Monday, November 9, 2009

Mixed Feelings - London, UK

Been trying to write this blog about London, UK for most of the weekend - Not sure what to say - I did not really have a great time, kind of wish I never went. If you read this blog often, I am sure you have noted that I am a bit too trusting at times. This is a quality that I both despise and cherish. While I do put myself in situations that are uncomfortable... usually, I can stumble through them gracefully. I test myself with them, learn from them - It helps me to understand who I am better - I do take more chances than I probably should and yes, it will probably get me killed someday but I refuse to spend my life living in a world where I need to worry all the time - Most people are good people, if I approached life thinking otherwise - I would not be who I am.

The day that I flew into London, one of blog readers from Becker's blog, picked me up at the airport! He took me out sightseeing and even hired me for the evening. Was his first time shooting a nude model (love working with amateur photographers who are serious about their work). Had a great time, he was sincere and fantastic to work with. Booked me a trendy hotel in downtown Soho, took me out exploring the city - And even though it was "just a bridge," he gave into my pleas to explore the famous Harry Potter Millennium bridge - Saw London bridge, London eye from a distance, grabbed some Bitters at a great little pub on the Thames (pronounced Tims in Britain), ate in China Town, wandered around Piccadilly Circus - You should actually thank him, because I did not take a single touristy photo while I in the UK, these are all his.....


The guy who booked my trip to London picked me up on Friday - I do not want to seem unthankful because I am thankful for the trip - but I spent most of my weekend in constant fear that my plane ticket home would get canceled - Agreed to playboy styled nudes - walked into a situation with strap-on-dildos, a naked photographer in the woods, and a stripped male-model getting caned on the floor... Since I signed a contract saying that I would work with this 'photographer' four hours every day from Friday-Monday evening. Spent most of my freetime sleeping in until Noon, drinking myself into a near coma at the local pubs or reading my books, trying to submerge myself into any other world other than the one I was in. The 'p
hotographer' had a print-out of my limitations, and yet, I found myself being pushed again and again - Acting out perverse fantasies. Either it was total lack of communication on his part or he just enjoyed putting me in an uncomfortable situation...

There was no sex, but it was close - And I felt used and pushed. More than that - I was ANGRY! By Monday, I shut-down completely, barely spoke at the shoot, fell into Sub-Space, kept checking my phone, hoping 6pm would come sooner than it could - I am almost 100% sure that he would have been vindictive enough to cancel my ticket home if I did not follow through with working with him. If I learned anything on this trip, it is that I will absolutely NEVER let a photographer buy my ticket to another country EVER again in my LIFE! Ever. I was on edge every-second I was there - I was terrified.... fucking.... sucks.... balls....

I would love to go into detail about the weekend (it really would make the best blog entry EVER!) - but I am not going to get into it since said 'photographer' reads my blog and he already told me that I should not talk about personal details. I am more than sure that I will get a scathing email just for writing this blog entry - so enjoy it - it might not last long.

19 comments:

semi234 said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your experience.

I think if you changed the details & gave the incident some distance (maybe like waiting 3 or 4 months). Same w/ like changing aliases or instead of using a whipping cane, you used a leather belt. It might give you some clearance.

Like instead of it taking place in London, "you wouldn't believe this crazy shoot that happened while visiting Alberta".

You could also break up the antcedotes. Instead of telling us that X, Y, & then Z happened, just tell us about X.

Whatever you decide, I cannot really blame you for taking the high road on this matter.

Deanna said...

Im so so so sorry. Im sure your more trusting than me, but I have had similiar situations and they just plain old suck. Sometimes it makes me disgraced with the whole human race, but then when I meet another nice person it all balances out. Hope your feeling better now that your home :)

Dubbayoo said...

Wow. I am also sorry to hear your experience did not turn as hoped. I thought it sounded too good to be true but I also want to believe the good in people and didn't want to be the one to pee in your Corn Flakes.
On the positive you got to see your namesake city, you learned a bit more about people including yourself and most importantly YOU ARE HOME!!!! Back with the people who truly love and respect you.

God bless you and all the Shiny Happy thoughts that got you back to the U.S. of A.

PD said...

First off, welcome back. Good to have to back on this side of the Atlantic, safe & sound.
Ah, hell. Hate liars. Feel like I'm letting you down. I can't think of anything to say. Golden Opportunity wrecked by some bum. I give you credit for speaking up about it. At least you may help someone from being set up into doing something they do not want to do. semi234 might be right, just need time.
Maybe this one goes under lesson learned.

Wish I had something else.

Again, Welcome back London.
:)

Paul said...

I am so sorry that your experience of London was so bad. We have just returned home after a great (but frantic) 12 days in the UK, 3 of which were spent in London. Thanks to your friend, you did have some pleasant memories. I am glad you are safe and home.

Jim in Huntsville said...

Welcome home! Please don't let this experience spoil you. London is a wonderful city. I served three years in the UK, and made the trip into London every chance I got. Next time, go on your own dime (there are scads of great tour deals out there), and enjoy England for what it is. Call me some time. I'd love to tell you about it.

Vlad Kiosk said...

Bummer!

Sorry to hear that your trip to our fine shores was a bit of a mixed blessing. I wasn't down in the big city that weekend, or I would have at least offered to show you round some cultural knick-knacks.

Up here, amidst the lakes and mountains of the north-west, I could have offered you a rainy ramble around old castles and ancient stone circles, but I was guessing that such things probably aren't your cup of tea! ... ;o)

London Andrews said...

I will probably go back someday - probably next time with Matthew or something. It is a city that I think Matt would love.... and I could use the company, big-time.

Vlad! It would have been great to tour around castles and old stones... : ) That is exactly what I hoping to do but never got around to it! The countryside out there looks friggin-gorgeous! Perhaps next time... : )

Aubre said...

This is what I don't understand. Did the contract have an out clause. Some assurance you could decline to produce if the subject matter exceded your percieved idea of what it was supposed to be? You know if its beyond the crazy shit you suspected could you say hell no I'm outies. Well what's done is done. I suggest, as I'm sure most have/will- Have your ticket in hand (roundtrip). That photog decieved you and it sucks to hear about it. No one likes being blindsided with nasty suprises. Did you ever have a feeling things weren't going to be right,..like a gut feeling?

Bob said...

Good God - I knew it had been bad, but I didn't know *how* bad - even with your omitting some details. Sorry it went so wrong, but as usual, you surfaced with dignity, grace, wisdom and your spirit. That's what makes you special.

Rood said...

Hi stumbled on your blog by accident and read your last story there. Sorry your impression of London was horrible. Hopefully you'll go back with someone who will make it special next time around. Lots to see in London but it's a place thats not to everyone's tastes but like Vlad said there are lots of things to see off the beaten track.

Anyway best of luck for your next adventure,

Rood

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Danny said...

But the upside was you got to have extra fun with Erin and myself. And those pictures came out really well. Are you going to tell everyone about the ranch dressing photo? :D

Anonymous said...

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Mr. Devo said...

Wow. I only just saw this!

Im so sorry you had to go through such a crappy time whilst you were here. Its great that youve learnt from it though and shared it so that other people can avoid the same mistakes.

Some people really dont have the right to call themselves Photographers, give the rest of us a bad image.

Anyway, this is late, Im glad youre well now and onto brighter skies.

Much respect,


Canonjon. London, UK

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Anonymous said...

I just heard that you had a bad experience in London so naturally googled your blog, as I'm originally from there. Alas, 1 year late!

Hope this hasn't put you off visiting England for good. I really think you just had one bad egg on the trip, as there are some professional ans respectful photographers over there.

Anyone booking your flight is holding you at their mercy. I find that bad experiences help us to make changes and do things differently next time. That way, you have a way out.

Hope you make it back there!