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  • Tara Darby Rasheta

My First Topless Photoshoot

It won't be my last and it's probably not what you think.

It's no surprise that models are generally very comfortable with their bodies. Many are accustomed to pushing the envelope, but that doesn't mean that everything has to be overtly sexy. In my teen years my mother would often remind me as I exited the house for a date or a model booking to "be a lady." Those words stuck. Over the course of my 20+ year career I would define my print work as often elegant and always PG.

So when I walked into the studio and was asked to drop my robe to expose my bare breasts, it was a bit unnerving.

But this wasn't just any studio or any photographer. It was for the cosmetic surgery staff who will be tending to my reconstruction after my double mastectomy. Before-pictures are required. It's for my plastic surgeon to refer back to before I go under the knife, and oddly enough, it may also be required by insurance to prove that I am the patient they are billing for. Unlike most image release contracts we sign as models which allow our clients to do just about anything with our images, this contract was quite the opposite. Nobody will ever view the faceless photos of my chest but the medical staff- and that put me at ease as I put my pen to paper.


This photoshoot was certainly one to remember. That evening, my husband and I were ushered into the waiting room to see the breast surgeon. I had already snuggled into my plush, cozy robe when the nurse called me back to take my photo. I was expecting some discreet little corner of the office to do the deed. But instead it was a full on, professional photography studio complete with state-of-the-art equipment, LOTS of beauty lighting (thank goodness) and a huge backdrop. It was swanky. I was asked to do a number of poses forward, to the side, three-quarter shots and even to the back. As I was striking my poses like a champ, head held high, shoulders back, tummy taut, arms positioned with air-holes and angles (industry pro tip for avoiding fatty arm) I wondered if the nurse was impressed with my talent? I don't really think she was.


This won't be my last topless photoshoot. Once my second surgery is complete and my scars have healed, I will have yet another photoshoot to showcase the results. I think I might actually be looking forward to that one.



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