Behind The Scenes

I’ve talked a lot about being a photographer.  Some think it is a glamorous job, others talk about how much work it is and how many hours you have to put in just to get an 8 hour paid gig.  To me, I don’t care how many hours I put in, I don’t consider it glamorous, I just call it fun!  Seriously, I get to take pictures all the time!

Today I decided to share some behind the scenes images taken for Instagram or just for fun.  I’ve also included one special photo that I am probably not supposed to talk about but I never got paid what I was told I was going to get paid and they never had me sign the release that was supposed to be signed, so fuck it!

I’ll get to the story in a minute, but first I have to say that I am really liking this whole selfie thing and behind the scene photos, I have to do more of these.  I’ve already got some planned, but I do like the candid ones as well.  Sorry for the image quality, many were downloaded from my Facebook page and we all know how Facebook destroys image quality.  But today isn’t about quality, it is about having fun!

I love that I have all of these shots to remember the photo sessions I have done.  Some of these images are from some of my favorite shoots too, so that just makes it all the better.  Oh the stories I could tell about some of these images.  I miss my old Mercedes, I do wish I still had it but I needed to move on and push forward with new work.  I have the Naked Travels book to remind me how awesome this car was!

BTS with Kaley and Parris

My favorite beach is another one, it has become more crowded lately as people are finally discovering this hidden little gem.  I think people never knew how to get to it and they had no idea there was a small parking lot hidden behind the freeway overpass.  I have photographed so many people here.  Editorials, model sessions, beach boudoir sessions, wedding clients and pretty much anything and anyone I could get to go to the beach with me!TAJ photographing Mandy

TAJ photographing Codi

Of course there are always the lingerie and editorial sessions.  These are always fun.  I love it when I get a good behind the scenes shot of me working, or of the models doing hair and make up.  There is a certain voyeuristic charm to images like this.  It is that slightly taboo moment where it looks like you might not supposed to be there, but you are.

BTS with Jim, Alexann and Jerilynn

But back to the other story.  Many years ago I was asked by a photographer friend to assist on a very important shoot.  He couldn’t tell me who it was for but it was an “A” list person.  As it turned out, it was for the Playboy TV show, “The Girls Next Door”.

This was an interesting shoot, as I wasn’t actually my friend’s assistant, he was also an assistant for his former student who was the photographer.  Boy did I learn my lesson about working with novice photographers, never again!  But that is a story for another day.

It was two days of shooting at the Playboy Mansion.  We were photographing the still shots which would be put together for the intro to the show.  Well, unfortunately Mr. Hefner was not feeling well and did not wish to be photographed on day 1 when we had him scheduled.  So we went about our day and scheduled him for day 2.

Amanda behind the scenes for Instagram

When day 2 happened we were told that he was not available for photos again.  Well this put a big monkey wrench into the whole shoot because how do you have an intro to a show about Playboy without Hugh Hefner?  They asked the production team if they could use the old images from the first season and they said no, they just won’t work.

There was one solution.  I was the only skinny guy on set.  The production team asked Mr. Hefner if it would be alright if they could borrow his robe and slippers so that I could wear them for the photo shoot and be his stand-in/body double.  He said that would be acceptable!

They sent down his own robe and slippers and I got to wear Hugh Hefner’s very own robe and slippers around the Playboy Mansion.  I had to be delicate with these items as my feet are about 3 sizes larger than his and I am about 6 inches taller than he is!  But we made it work, and the photo below is the shot where they put Hugh Hefner’s head on my body!

Hugh Hefner's Body Double TAJ

It was a fun time, wearing his robe and slippers around the mansion.  This is when I met Hope Dworaczyk and ended up photographing her a few months later after she became Playmate of The Year.  Some of the models and crew thought it was hilarious, we took many photos and just had fun with it.

Overall it was a great experience, except for one person, but I’ll never have to work with her again so I’ll take that as a positive win for the day!  I love what I get to do.  I get to play and have fun nearly every day.  Of course there are the days you wish you never took a certain job or have a client who turns out to be a little crazy in the head.  But overall this is an amazing job and I have had one hell of a career!  I have met some amazing people, been able to see live performances that only a handful of people were able to witness and have shared moments with some who have become lifelong friends.

Robyn, Jim & Tara

It is fun being The Average Jim.  I may rant, complain, shout how much I love what I do and talk endlessly about absolutely nothing that really matters at times.  But I am lucky.  Trust me when I say I know this and I do not take it for granted!  Thanks for reading, I’m off to play!