Triggers O’Grady was a novice pornographer and he was looking increasingly more uncomfortable as the photo shoot progressed. Thankfully his lovely fiancée was downstairs styling the models otherwise he would never have been able to explain to her why he was spending the morning with a very tall semi-naked African glamour model. He had been a photographer since leaving college and found he was rather good at doing dogs. He dipped into fashion occasionally but it didn’t pay too well as there were too many other people doing it for nothing just to get their big break.
Most people think fashion photographers are terrifically well paid and glamorous but the reality is that most of them earn less than a checkout girl. Although they probably have more fun it has to be said and they don’t have to face the daily risk of ‘checkout back’ or repetitive strain injury. The dog market was, in contrast, under serviced and he was making a tidy, albeit niche, living by indulging wealthy pooch lovers. He once did a shot of a very sexy black Labrador wearing a solitary black stiletto and this is where I had come across him. On asking if he fancied participating in a new adult business venture he jumped at the chance. He was eager to share in the vast wealth that pornography purports to generate but was reluctant to destroy the clean cut image that he’d worked so hard to create amongst the Crufts set. So he agreed to help me but only if he could work under a pseudonym and Triggers was born.
They were an odd mix. One was seventy years old and lived on Sloane Square. Another was Australian, quite pretty and informed us she had a rash.
I didn’t know too much about the sex industry either and Triggers and I threw nervous looks at each other across the room as the models I had hired started to strip off and change into their stockings and basques in front of us. I had once seen a TV documentary where the film crew snatched scenes backstage at a London top end fashion show and all the models walked around half naked still in their miniscule underwear and shreds of costume. This shoot was nothing like that. There was a considerable absence of supermodels, wealth or glamour. They were an odd mix. One was seventy years old and lived on Sloane Square. Another was Australian, quite pretty and informed us she had a rash. One girl called Blade, from Tottenham, told us she was an African princess. Which she wasn’t.
Nicole from France was up first. We had hired a grand house in the not so grand Mile End district of East London and it was costing me £100 per hour so we needed to get a shift on. We were using various rooms in the house to do the shoot and the girls were supposed to strip for Triggers and he would photograph them. We would be using the photos for a web site that I was planning to launch later that week. Triggers led Nicole up to the first floor and into the white room. I waited at the bottom of the stairs not quite knowing what to do. Having never directed a nude erotic photo shoot before I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be in the room while Nicole stripped and nobody was giving me any hints on the correct porn-shoot etiquette. I had fully briefed Triggers so opted for the gentlemanly approach, stayed out of the room and waited for the shoot to finish.
I sat on the bottom step, lit up a fag I’d bummed from Blade, coughed, put it out because I don’t smoke and in a quiet moment of reflection wondered how I had got into all this. How had I ended up surrounded by semi-naked glamour models running a porn shoot in Mile End? How had a respectable, strait-laced shipping executive managed to go so far from everything he knew?
This is an extract from The Accidental Pornographer
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