This all began on a Mormon dating website.
Ginarie lived in Colorado. I lived in Utah. We had an incredible connection via the internet that was ratified by a first date in Salt Lake City – the kind of thing that romantic movies try to imitate. It happened to us in real life.
She is one of the reasons I believe in other realms beyond this one we call “earth life”. She and I go waaaay back. Super way back. Many lifetimes back. This fact was made was made obvious to me from the first moment our eyes met in real life, one fateful July afternoon in 2005.
Ginarie was my first muse. Not only was she breathtakingly beautiful, she had a bright mind and fantastic sense of humor… but those things doth not a muse make on their own. Ginarie had that rare ability to connect with me in something nearing telepathy.
I had a vision in mind for fine art photography project, something I’d never done before: a fine art nude piece. I envisioned a starkly lit black and white image featuring a woman’s naked hip next to the curvaceous body of a Les Paul electric guitar. The idea was to make their respective curves move through the frame in tandem like two railroad tracks winding through a mountain pass parallel to each other. As I began telling her what I was seeing in my mind’s eye, she finished my sentences for me. It was obvious that she was having the exact same vision I was – a pattern that would repeat itself many times over the years with her as my muse.
Being a good Mormon boy, I had never photographed a naked woman before. (It’s worth noting that at the time of this shoot, we were still very committed to Mormonism – which included vows of sexual abstinence outside of marriage).
In the Sermon on The Mount, The good Lord said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
I liked to think that looking upon a woman in the name of art was a different matter, and hoped the Good Lord liked art as much as I do – enough to perhaps overlook some of the inevitable lust that would be on the table.
I packed my car with studio lights and set off for Denver to spend a week with Ginarie.
Upon arrival, we set up a makeshift studio in her apartment. My palms were sweaty. A dash of adrenaline garnished my bloodstream. I had never photographed a naked woman before. This was not just a naked woman; it was HER. My newly discovered soul mate.
Ginarie emerged from her bedroom in a satin robe. I nervously directed her into the optimal spot. Once in place, she untied her robe and let it fall open. Her face glowed in a smile that said a thousand things… her smile was partially informed by whatever awestruck expression was on my face in that moment. She was a confident girl (and for good reason, she was stunningly gorgeous). Being a quintessential Leo, Ginaire had a bit of proud exhibitionist showmanship in her as well. I took in every exposed curve, every expanse of bare, smooth skin, everything that made her a woman. Everything that makes me a man surged to full attention.
‘I’m a good mormon’ I kept reminding myself. ‘We are going to keep this artistic and professional’
This photograph called for a bare hip, so I beckoned for her to remove the robe. As if a race car driver anticipating the green light, she immediately began letting the robe slide off of her shoulders, down her back and off of her now bare hips. Ginarie was not shy. Her smile made it clear – she was absolutely enjoying feeling the warmth of the lights on her bare body and the even warmer light of my gaze upon her every womanly detail. She readily gave me every pose I requested, seemingly reading my mind and rendering exactly what I hoped to capture.
We worked out several variations on the shots I needed to create the finished piece. Some time passed. It was hard to gauge how much, my head was swimming in a dozen hormones and notions – some artistic and some carnal. She came toward me to look over my shoulder at the back of my camera, curious to get a glimpse of the raw material we had just made. I flipped through dozens of photos of her naked hips, each shot having a variation on light, shadow, composition, angle, etc. As per my normal practice, I was immediately deleting images that were obviously not contenders for further work – images that were out of focus, poorly composed, or ruined by bad lighting. An image came up that was severely underexposed because the flash didn’t fire correctly – hence – the image contained only a ghostly outline of the shape of her hip, ass, upper thigh, and curvature of her back. Being so dark and underexposed, my thumb automatically reached for the “delete” button. Ginarie read the situation in real time – “No, stop! Let’s look at that one again!” She called out. Fortunately my fingers had not yet invoked the deletion. She pulled in closer, wearing only the robe which only covered her back… we both agree that this image deserved some further investigation.
I discovered that this dark, underexposed image, which I was about to delete as a lighting mishap, was actually something unintentionally and exceptionally beautiful.
Throughout history, many great discoveries of science and technology were made accidentally, while pursuing a different discovery. In the microcosm of my life, I was Albert Hoffman accidentally discovering Lysergic Acid Dyethylamide in my laboratory.
Nothing was the same after that.
The shoot was done. She draped her robe back over her shoulders, but not closing it. We meandered down the hallway toward her bedroom and bathroom – she needed a few moments to collect herself. We kissed. I slowly dropped to my knees, her lips one dangerous inch from mine. I looked up to see her grinning, saying,
“Look all you want….”
….her most sensitive places basking in the heat of my self control combusting with my desire.
I think she would have stood there for an hour if I would have been able to tolerate kneeling that long.
It wasn’t my knees that were hurting, either.
We had stepped right up to the edge of Mormon impropriety and dangled as far over the edge as one can without plunging into the depths.
After the sight of her perfect womanhood had been burned into my psyche, we both went our separate ways for a few minutes to relieve tensions and collect thoughts….
….like good unmarried Mormons do.
The image we initially set out to create with her hip and the guitar, is called “Rhythm and Blues”. If you have to ask why… you haven’t had your heart broken by a woman yet.
As for the unintentional discovery – the finished image has a flame like quality, one that hints at possibility and power, emerging from darkness. Flame gives power, light, warmth, and life to the world… as does the feminine. And as does the feminine, fire can also destroy.
Taking a line from an inside joke and giving a nod to the mutually assured destruction that feminine power may invoke – we decided to name the piece, “Destroyer of Men”.