A few days back was studio day. In came the model and an assistant, a fellow photographer who has some tricks up his sleeve on how to create fake blood. Now that I know how it can be done, it’s rather simple, but I had no idea on how to fake it properly and have it stay on a knife, somehow defying gravity, so he came in very handy.

The model I would be working with that day isn’t really a model, she’s the girl next door, mother of several – not telling how many to keep her privacy -, with whom I had spoken earlier about this idea I had and how difficult it would be to accomplish: having a picture of a large size knife protruding off a woman’s vagina. And why on Earth would I be interested in photographing that? Well, because if vaginas represent what’s most sacred on women (that’s debatable, yes), a knife in there would convey the message that if you play around with women, you get cut. You’re bound to get hurt. In a sense, women rule the world (that’s also debatable, but I stand by this).

Having taken some photos of her before, for reasons I don’t quite recall now, I told her what I was looking for and she – much to my surprise – made herself available for the challenge if I thought she was fit for the curves I needed. And I did. I was, at the time, looking for models, I had explained the general concept and got a few replies but none that made me confident I could pull this one off as I envisioned it.

So, into the studio she came just to get that one photo done. We had chosen the knife beforehand and even got to test it a few days before coming to the studio. Holding the knife handle inside a vagina isn’t easy you know? It slips with the weight, so it was actually my wife who suggested some nylon string for the model to hold the knife during the session. Little did we know that she would have to hold pose for over two hours.

Meanwhile, my assistant for the day was preparing the fake blood, with honey and gooseberry, and we were getting ready for the shoot. Some test photos were taken, to make sure we got the light just like I wanted it, and then the careful insertion of the handle and many, many pictures looking for the right angle for the knife to shine in the otherwise obscured legs and genitalia.

The resulting photograph is exactly what I wanted, and it amuses me that so many people can’t (or won’t?) see what it is until explained or after long observation. This sort of confusion in getting at the meaning or even the actual content, of what it is you’re looking at, just adds to the value this one has for me.

I have Kerubyn to thank for assisting me, and a huge thank you to the nameless model who subjected herself to an experience she actually enjoyed but was physically demanding in not so obvious ways. I am forever grateful.