“Thanks for doing your own hair and makeup,” says Rachel, “I was going to arrange a trip to Heidi’s Salon.”
“No problem, figured I should do it myself if you want to take my picture,” says Ariane.
“So, tell me about this photography assignment,” asks Ariane.
“Well, the assignment is a monochromatic color study,” Rachel explains. “Which means what?” asks Ariane.
“I’m supposed to take a photo that is dominated by one color,” Rachel explains, “and I need 4 elements with that color.”
“I’m going with an orange/brown color, I figured it would be easy since it is still autumn with orange and brown leaves in the trees.”
“So trees are one element.”
“I’m planning on taking the picture during sunset. The scarf you are wearing is 3, and your skin lit by the setting sun is 4.”
“My skin? So I’m posing nude then?”
“You said you were OK with it.”
“Yeah, I guess. So where are we going?” asks Ariane.
“I’m not sure. We were going to go to Echo Canyon State Park, but the road is closed.”
“Um, in case you haven’t noticed, we are in an all terrain vehicle. We don’t need roads!” exclaimed Ariane before adding, “But, isn’t a state park a bit too public for a nude photo shoot?”
“Don’t worry I got a permit for nude photography.”
Didn’t know there was such a thing. but OK,” Says Ariane, “Let’s get to Echo Canyon.”
Ariane reaches a section with few trees and drives her SUV off the road.
“Hey, you can’t just leave the road,” exclaims Rachel.
“This is an all terrain vehicle, it is built for off-road driving. Besides we are just going over that hill,” answers Ariane.
The other side of the hill turns out to have more trees which Ariane has to drive through.
Rachel is panicking, but Ariane loves this kind of stuff.
“Don’t worry, I do this all the time,” says Ariane, “Besides we are almost back on pavement so to speak.”
“What road are we on?” asks Rachel, “This road is not on my GPS app.”
“It wouldn’t be, this is an old highway decommissioned a couple of decades ago.”
Ariane continues, “As you can tell, it’s rough going, lots of pot holes, but it will drop us off at the old Echo Canyon campground.””
Wow, that is very convenient. That is a mile hike of switchbacks into the canyon we don’t have to do,” says Rachel rather impressed. “Why did they decommission it, seems very useful.”
“Mostly because a section of the road had to be rebuilt every time the river overflowed, which usually happens every spring.”
“Yes, that would get expensive,” says Rachel.
“Wait! That means that there is no road ahead!”
“Only a couple of meters, we should be able to clear it,” says Ariane reassuringly, “unless it got bigger since the last time I did this three years ago.”
“That’s not reassuring.”
The SUV is airborne for only about a full second as it clears the gap, but it seems a lot longer to Rachel as she screams her disapproval.
They land on an embankment, a short distance from the park boundary.
“See, now wasn’t that fun?”, asked Ariane reassuringly. “Look, we’re here.”
“Ariane, you are one crazy bitch.”
“Thanks, I like doing daring things sometimes,” says Ariane. “Lucky for you that list includes public nudity.”
A short distance into the park, there is a bridge overlooking a pond. Rachel decides this is the best place to take her photos.
“Wish I would have brought more cameras, our window of orange light is going to be small.”
“I’m sure it will be fine,” says Ariane.
“Let me get some test shots,” suggests Rachel. “You’ll need to stand in the middle of the bridge near the rail, feel free to sit on the rail if you want.”
“What should I be doing?” asks Ariane.
“Just pose how ever you want, cover yourself or let it all hang out is fine. Just change it every few seconds.”
“Also I may ask for different expressions. Smile? Pout? Distant stare?” Ariane tries different looks as Rachel calls them out. “Good!” says Rachel.
“Hey look we are getting some clouds in the sky,” says Rachel excitedly.
“Wow, that’s lucky,” observes Ariane. “Clear skies do not produce good sunsets.”
“The lucky part is I know someone who can control the weather,” says Rachel. “And right on time, too. They are already turning orange.”
Before Ariane could ask for an explanation, Rachel got into photographer mode. “Go ahead and take your clothes off.”
“You don’t want to buy me dinner first?” jokes Ariane.
As Ariane takes off her jacket and shirt, a park ranger sees them and comes by.
“Excuse me, nudity is not allowed in the park.”
“I’m sorry, we are doing a photo shoot, and I have a permit,” says Rachel to the Park Ranger.
“Can I see the permit?” asks the Ranger.
The Park Ranger looks over the permit. “Well your paperwork is in order but you still need permission from the park ranger, which is me.”
“I see, so can we?” asks Rachel a little scared she will be rejected.
“Well its off season on a school day, and I haven’t seen any minors, so sure take off your pants and take your pictures.”
“Thanks, we’ll be done in half an hour at sunset.”
“I’ll go block access to the bridge then, good luck with the photos.”
Ariane gets undressed wearing nothing but a scarf.
For the next 20 minutes or so, Rachel barks orders to Ariane on how to stand, where to look, and what facial expression she should use.
“And that is sunset,” states Rachel as the light gets too dim to take more photos without the flash going off. “You can put your clothes back on.”
A bunch of people watching the photo shoot applaud.
After sunset they pack up and go home.
It is dark as they “four wheel it” back to the broken highway, but that is what all the extra spotlights on her SUV are for.
Rachel is a bit more relaxed on the trip home, trusting Ariane to drive as she scans through the digital photos on the camera.
A few days later Rachel invites Ariane downtown to the “unveiling” of the finished photo.
Rachel greets Ariane as she comes into the downtown Art Museum.
“Hello Ariane, glad you can make it.”
“Thanks for the invite, so what is this “Young Artists Gala” and why did I have to dress up for it?”
“It’s an event the museum puts on annually this time of year to introduce their Young Local Artists exhibit that they do until the end of the year. The photo I took of you will be on display.”
“The NUDE photo of me is going in the museum? Oh great!”
Rachel smiles, “Don’t worry it turned out fine.”
“For a fancy prestigious event, the crowd seems a bit small,” Ariane observes.
“True, there are only three type that come to these things: The artists, their guests, and patrons looking for cheap art or cheap artists.
Like that blonde woman over there, she buys art for The Ellison Group to hang in hallways and lobbies of their real estate holdings.”
“So a picture of me nude could hang in a hotel lobby?” asks Ariane.
“Unlikely, they usually stay away from that, unless they want it for the Top Club.”
The gala introduces numerous artists and shows their work. Drawing, painting and design work seems to dominate, but Rachel finally gets her turn.
The museum guide introduces her. “Our next young artist is a famous supermodel who is looking to move behind the camera, meet Rachel Spahr.”
The photo appears on the monitor behind Rachel as she speaks. The crowd reacts a little shocked as it is the only “nude” picture featured at the show.
“So this is the picture I submitted, it was an assignment to use minimal color so it is a woman wearing nothing but a scarf taken during sunset, which blends with the autumnal scene in the background.”
The small crowd applauds politely. Ariane is feeling a little embarrassed.
After her presentation, Rachel and Ariane check out the framed photo in the exhibit.
“So what do you think?” asks Rachel.
“Wow, I look very, very naked in that picture,” says Ariane.
“Yes, Hoo Boy Magazine is interested in publishing it.”
“What? I don’t want to be in a men’s magazine,” Ariane says angrily.
“Sorry, it was a college assignment,” says Rachel sympathetically, “they paid for the permit, the camera, and the sunset, I don’t have control over it’s publication.”
“Well this is humiliating!” “Don’t worry, how many people do you know that read Hoo Boy?”
“None that I know of, though I suspect most of my ex-lovers.”
“And how many people do you know are likely to come to the art museum in the next month?”
“I’m fairy sure most have never been once, except the one or two I brought myself.”
“You see, no one is going to see this in the magazine or the museum,” says Rachel assuredly.
“Especially when it is already posted online on the college website,” says Rachel as if she is ripping the band-aid off.
“Great, the damage is already done then. At least it is an interesting nude and not a naked selfie, like last few times I appeared naked online.”
“That’s the spirit!”
“But, I think it is only fair you share in my humiliation,” Ariane suggested with a slightly evil grin.
Rachel hesitates a little bit, but decides to give in and trust Ariane. “OK, for the sake of our relationship, I’ll do it. … What exactly do I have to do? I don’t want to do anything that would ruin my career as a model or a photographer.
“Don’t worry, you can be anonymous if you want,” assures Ariane.
“Our next contestant is Betty Big Boobs,” says the announcer as Rachel walks out on stage wearing nothing but sunglasses and black pumps.
She does a perfect “catwalk” to the end of the stage.
Then she turns around and walks back off the stage like a runway model.
After her 15 second show, Rachel gets dressed and finds Ariane sitting at a table.
“How was that?” asks Rachel.
“I can’t believe you did that!” says Ariane.
“You asked me to.”
“I figured you would say ‘no’.”
“I almost chickened out, but you know what? That was a lot of fun! You say they do these amateur nights every week?”
“Oh no I created an amateur stripper. If you do it again, they will expect you to stay on longer than 15 seconds.”
Rachel smiles. “So, should we stay and see if you won?” asks Ariane.
“Or, we could go back to my place, and maybe you can give me a private show,” says Rachel.
They leave together.
END OF PART 3
Gallery of full sized images: