MEMENTOS: Stories from the Archive, Vol. 1 “Wet ‘n’ Wild” shot for Northbound Leather in Toronto, 2013

I will never forget the first time I met Jenny Burton. I had been hired as a model for the F/W 2013 Mooseknuckles Canada campaign. The shoot was at a remote cabin in the wilds of Quebec in the dead of winter. The other models and I were getting glammed up for an exterior scene in the snow when the art director, this stunningly beautiful, warm and incredibly nice woman named Jenny, lined us all up and assigned us our wardrobe for the scene. I guess no one is immune to the charms of an enchanting woman as my usual resolve crumbled at her request for me to don nothing more than a military hat, boots, a skimpy bra and thong for our subzero shoot. I was impressed and eager to befriend a woman of such influence. We did become fast friends and the following summer I decided it was time for a playful payback.

I cast Jenny in our September 2013 shoot for Northbound Leather where I was working as art director and in-house photographer. The theme was “Wet ‘n’ Wild.” We had a curated selection of Northbound’s slipperiest pieces and had secured Toronto’s favourite swingers club Oasis Aqua Lounge on a Sunday morning for the shoot, which was a blessing in timing because they clean the pool every Sunday morning, so the debauchery of the weekend was all but a memory. I had a young-Liz-Taylor-hires-pool-boy-with-benefits fantasy in mind. Jenny and I were very excited for our male model. Armed with enough champagne to get a party started we were looking forward to a great shoot and perhaps getting into a bit of trouble afterward. Our excitement quickly dissipated soon after our pool boy’s arrival.

He was even more handsome than his photos, however, as I was taking him through his looks for the day he began to get visibly upset. Holding a latex thong in one hand a leather bowtie in the other he claimed that he was an Ambercrombie & Fitch model and absolutely not comfortable posing in Northbound’s fetish gear. I guess he did not care to research the brand before taking the job? How boring! He was about to abandon set completely so I had to think fast. I figured all we really needed from him was his body and could do without his face or increasingly dull personality, so I made him the offer to shoot him anonymously, without ever showing his face. He agreed and we went ahead with the shoot.

Jenny shone bright and easily commanded the shoot serving up a blend of young Liz Taylor meets Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. There was only one moment when we got into some deep water so to speak…

Donned in a full body latex catsuit complete with a gimp face mask without nostril air holes I had her jump into the pool. As we set out to get the shot her mask filled up with water nearly drowning her! I think she secretly liked it though. Some of us are suckers for punishment. The resulting photo is still my favourite from the shoot. No pain, no gain they say! I felt we were even after all for the frostbite I got on my butt at the Mooseknuckles shoot. Thank goodness for adventurous friends. xo

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