By: Katie H. Willcox
Hello from Spain! I just had the most interesting sequence of events take place. Today, while shooting on location at the beach, a man walked by. Nothing unusual about that. But, then he came back and walked right up to our crew of six people. He interrupted our shoot to ask for a photo. Also, not unusual. Often, people walk by taking pictures of us taking pictures, and I don’t mind because I realize they don’t usually see a photoshoot production in action, and it can be exciting to watch. I figured this man was being polite and asking if he could take a photo first, which was nice! Except he wanted to take a picture with me, not of the production. By the time we realized what he wanted, he was standing next to me and gave his phone to Fred, our photographer. It caught me off guard, and as you know, I am not a timid, shy person, and yet, I felt bad saying, “No.”
It all happened very quickly, and he left. We talked about how weird that was, and I was mad at myself on the inside for not saying, “No! We are working, and I don’t want to take a photo with you.” I was blaming myself. I am a strong, outspoken woman, but I don’t like confrontation at all, especially with strangers. I talked with Carmina, the makeup artist, and she reassured me that I have the right to say, “No.” I know that, but I didn’t.
We continued working and walked closer to the beach to shoot more outfits. Sure enough, here comes that guy again. Only this time, he was even more strange. He pulled out his wallet and offered money to the photographer to do another photo. This time we all were adamant; it was a definite, “NO.” He got the vibe and walked away. At least, that is what we thought.
As we moved to a new location near a bar on the beach, Carmina said, “He is right there watching us!” It was a perfect sunny day at the beach, with excellent crashing waves, and this man is sitting with his back to the ocean watching me. I could feel it, and it felt uncomfortable. Third time is NOT a charm, but he tried anyway. Yes, he came up to us for a third time asking for another photo with me, and at this point, the entire crew was telling him to leave and said a collective “No.” He left. Well, that was the last we saw of him anyway.
As that was happening in real life, on Instagram, another situation was going down. When I am at home, I am a busy person. Although I post on IG regularly, I don’t always have time to respond to comments or DM’s, but I try my best. My DM’s always say 99+ unread messages because I get so many. If Instagram were my full-time job, then I would be on it much more. But, I run a company, have a three-year-old, a husband, several employees, over 60 models, a house under construction, and still need to live my real life. Plus, I don’t want to live on Instagram, I want to live in real life. I think I do an awesome job sharing who I am authentically and unapologetically. Let’s say; I am not afraid to be unfollowed.