Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Semi-Scandalous Day at the Beach (in Pictures, Mostly)

Feeling a little under the weather last Sunday, I decided not to forgo surfing and shoot some photos of The Brothers on their long boards instead. I quickly realized that shooting surfers is not only difficult but slightly boring.

But here are two prerequisite shots of Kurt and Kyle surfing anyway:

See? Not very thrilling. I mean, both guys are great surfers. I'm just not a surf photographer.

So I lay on the beach, basking in the new Spring sunlight and thought about an idea I have for a new series of photographs:

It's a scandalous idea, you see. I would exploit all the young surfer boys I hang out with by taking risque photographs of them. Not porn, per se...just a little edgy. It would make a great coffee table book! Mad wealth would ensue!

I mean, listen - we've had it up to here (finger to neck gesture) with photos of hot, young chicks from a male's point of view. When do you see young men from a woman's point of view? A woman who, in some cases, is twice their age? Ah, just scandalous enough to work, Beth Mann.

But where to begin, where to begin?

As I roused from my sun-drenched semi-sleep, the answer was undressing right before my eyes. His name was....I don't know. But there he was. My first model, as if a sign from above!

He quickly noticed as I began snapping shots of him and didn't seem to mind at all. Au contraire. I think he put on his shirt and took it off about four times.

I shall call him Mr. January (for my calendar series, soon after the coffee table book is published.)

Now, some may say this is a little distasteful. My God, I could be their mother! But guess what? I'm not. I'm not their mother. And at 42 years of age, I care less and less what people think. I'm not bedding these guys (and if I was, then what?), I'm just appreciating them in their steamy prime as I pine away at the Jersey shore. Is that so wrong? Wait. Don't answer. Cuz look! I'm not caring again!

The look of me not caring.

Then I decided to take a few of my friend Eric the next day. Eric is the most poetic surfer of the bunch. He's a musician and really into death and Gothic romance. He's got a delicate, sweet quality to him that I just adore. He was tough to photograph because he's a little shy. But I think we're on to something. This was just a warm-up. I think I want to put him in a bathtub with a boa constrictor or something.

You see, I'm a bit of a pariah down here. In a traditional suburban area, where a woman of my age is either unhappily married with four kids or divorced, raising said four kids on her own, or dead from a meth overdose, I often stand alone, like a 42-year-old single unicorn.

Sure, I hang out with married couples sometimes and usually want to stick my head in a bucket. Most seem so resigned, so discontent. The few that seem happy, well, I desperately long to have what they have...but I don't have it right now.

So I surf, a lot. And these are the boys I surf with - young, silly, strong, daring, awkward at times, just trying to find themselves.

Clint, the oldest Brother

Since I'm not much of a people lover, these young guys have been a real salve to my aching misanthropy and a boon to my spirits. I see them struggle to find themselves, their voice. They are still vulnerable and open and surprisingly gentle, for all of the testosterone coursing through their veins.

They open up their lives to me, without all the decades worth of protective guise and bullshit we layer upon ourselves. Simply put, they make the whole human process seems a little more dear to me. I like watching them unravel like pretty little manly flowers.

And I plan on making a scandalous calendar called, um...The Boys of Summer. No, Girl Gone Wild or I Gotta Get out of Jersey before they Arrest Me!


Just click here to purchase.

Thanks to Joe for his suggestion.


Jules said...

So I'm sitting here at my desk at work on a slow day checking out your blog when a co-worker passes by. She's like "WOAHHHHHH what cha readin' over there?" with a big smile on her face.

Needless to say, I sent her you blog link.

lespedeza said...

i'd like to be constructive, BUT why does somebody who liked shoplifting, not go back to it. as joseph campbell said, 'follow yr bliss.'