#17 - 'Natural'

Art by Alex-GTS-Artist

Krysta jumped, losing her balance and dropping down from her one-legged 'flamingo' pose. Her long-time photographer (and friend) Julie had encouraged her to experiment, and she'd been game to try a few new things. Despite her delicate center-of-gravity and three-inch heels, Krysta challenged herself to try a series of one-legged poses. She was starting to run out of ideas when she finally noticed Julie trying to get her attention.

"Let's take a break, space cadet."

Krysta snagged her jar of iced green tea on her way to the folding chairs at the perimeter of the room where Julie sat scrolling through the most recent series of shots. Julie had reserved the portrait studio in the Northshore University art building for only two hours, assuming she'd be able to power through a session as normal, but her model (and friend) was not responding the way she'd hoped. This, even after she'd presented Krysta with an elegant black one-sleeved crop top that had cost her more than what Krysta was paying her for the session.

"Despite your head being in the clouds, I got some decent shots. This one-legged one is good." Julie tilted the camera towards Krysta, who had leaned back in the chair and was staring at the ceiling. "Krys, seriously what is with you? I swear it's like...like pulling teats with you today." Julie looked to Krysta, offering an expectant grin.

"Wow, that was terrible. Even for you." Krysta said, continuing to stare upward.

"Well, at least now you're responsive," Julie said, standing up and heading across the room to turn on the fan. While the art building was air conditioned, not all the basement makeshift photo studios were and it grew increasingly muggy with each passing minute. She also liked the feeling of a little cool air on the skin of her still-healing tattoo sleeve. After experimenting with designer clothing and salon appointments, a couple years of art school had pushed her back into her more bohemian inclinations. "So, talk to me. What's on your mind?"

"Julie, do you remember that first photo shoot you did for me as a Christmas present, five years ago?"

Julie laughed. "How could I forget? We spent almost twenty minutes arguing over makeup and eyeliner."

"Yes, you kept telling me that it was necessary to offset the lighting, and I kept saying I looked like—"

"—a porcelain hooker," Julie said, picking at her tattoo scabs.

"I was all bent-out-of-shape because it looked so different from the stuff I had posted up to then on Instagram, but you convinced me it was for the best. Next thing you know, I had set up my site and churned out new material practically every week. My fans loved it, too. They liked the quality of the photos, the variety of the content, and the sheer volume of material. It was great."

"Then someone started reading forums," Julie said, scrolling through the photos on her camera.

"I never realized people could be so hard to please. They had a fit about how I was using 'trick lenses' and 'shadow tricks' to make my breasts look bigger. One guy, in particular, was absolutely determined to convince everyone I had implants because he had unearthed a six-year-old picture of me from when I was seventeen and 'only' an E-cup. Suddenly more people were griping about how they missed my early pictures because I looked 'natural' rather than 'manufactured'."

"Then we did the artsy shoot," Julie said, finishing a text.

"—in the dance studio," Krysta continued. "No filters, no makeup, and damn near no clothes. We had that nice, warm light, and the boot-cut underwear. It was pretty much the closest thing I have ever done to a nude shoot. I still love that shoot. We did those ones of me in the bridge position and the yoga poses. I practiced those for weeks."

"And the mirrors," Julie said, opening a plastic container of chopped carrots.

"Oh God, the mirrors! There were the multi-angle shots, and that wild one with the parallel mirrors that had reflections of me going on forever. We were so excited about that shoot we even had Percy recording it with high definition video...you know, back when that was actually a big deal. I remember because it was tricky not to get him in the shot with all the mirrors around. Then we released the pictures, and—"

"Phodoshup," Julie said, her mouth full of carrots.

"Photoshop! People actually accused me of photoshopping my legs and waist. Not to mention my tits. People commented I needed to hit the gym because of the cellulite on my thighs, which was stupid since they'd already accused me of photoshop."

Julie sipped her water. "People liked that shoot, though."

"Sure, a lot of people did, but it also cost more money, and when I entertained raising my monthly fee, people threw a fit. Some even asked why they were paying for it when they liked the "natural" shots on Instagram. Yeah, as if I don't consider lighting, and clothing, and angle, and filter for those shots that take half a dozen tries to nail down anyways. What the hell is so "natural" about having a couple dozen different filters to improve badly taken pictures?"

"'Been saying that for years." Julie was now scrolling through other photos still on her camera from shoots she'd done in the past few days. She silently kicked herself for not changing the memory card.

"It is like people really believe there's a perfect shot of me waiting to happen that will magically satisfy everyone or even anyone for that matter. I am a pin-up model. Cheesecake. A glamor girl. A tit enthusiast's wet dream. They beat off to this polished, primped, and pumped sex totem and then go on with their lives. There is no 'natural' or 'real' me. Every damned photo is through some filter, some lighting, some lens, or some bra that manufactures me into some idealization that they consume and then move on. You know what I mean?"

Julie was quiet for a moment. "You got in another GMO debate with Alicia, didn't you?"

"Seriously, who the hell pays two dollars for one apple? That organic stuff drives me up the wall. Julie, can I please move in with you?"

"I don't shit where I eat," Julie said, standing up. "Now, you've aired your grievances. Are you ready to get to work? I've only got this room for another hour."

Krysta took a deep breath and let it out as she stood up. Heading over to her mark, she reached behind her neck, untied her top, and slid it off her torso, freeing her round, full jugs from their confines. Krysta gazed down at them, smiling as ran her hands along the undersides. Noticing Julie had raised the camera, Krysta dove into the tried and true "cleavage hug," wrapping her arms around her breasts and pressing them together, raising the volume of her cleavage to eleven. The pose was a classic in the catalog of busty girl maneuvers, and she often wondered how her fans hadn't grown immune to it by now.

Then again, as long as her breasts continued to gain inches by the season, her brand would sell itself.

Krysta would complain about the hours, and the haters, and being a 'social media monkey', but at the end of the day she knew that she had thousands of fans that loved her body, and she was determined to keep them coming back for more. She cared about her work, and she appreciated the challenge of releasing content that was artistic, tantalizing, and fun. Of course, at the core of it all, Krysta thought as she gave her mighty assets an adoring squeeze, I know that..."

"Perfect, look at that smile!" Julie shouted, taking several photos. "Wherever your head is, let's go with that. Back up into the light."

...I have fantastic tits.

◄#16 - A Middle Ground