Chris reflects on the first challenge.

Mar 2, 2009

My outfit for the first show was made up of this really fabulous Burberry grey button-up, Perry Ellis tailored trousers that fit amazingly, a really cute vest over the shirt and a fabulous pair of black leather Dolce and Gabbana shoes to top it off. I was so happy with the outfit because I literally could see all of it as something that would come out of my own closet.

We were able to do a few tests on the actual runway before walking for the judges and I felt that I had everything down. However, when you finally do walk out and the judges are sitting right in front of you, it sends an extra set of nerves through your body. It’s even more real that way. 

The only thing I would have done different was at the end of the runway pose, I should have looked at the judges in the eyes. Instead I thought it would be better to pick a focus point on the wall behind them so I wouldn’t be as nervous. But I think the judges wanted that little extra connection from me.

In the model house, everyone really liked my picture that week with Branden. Although I was upset that they picked a shot where I wasn’t looking at the camera. Also, I wanted to see the buildings of NY and some of the people below like some of the other photos had. But I just thought  that, well, they can’t please everyone and I thought that the photographer would pick the best shot out of all that would complement both models in the photo. 

Also I remembered switching up my poses in the box and only looking to the side in some shots. Sure enough the first thing Perou says at the judging was that he didn’t like my shot because I wasn’t looking at the camera! I was so upset because I knew that there were plenty of shots of Branden and I where I was looking at the camera and I felt that there were others with better poses. Not only that but Perou also was poking fun at the fact that Branden and I were kissing during the shoot. On more than one occasion he pointed that out and made his opinion seem very disapproving of the situation. However, Branden and I didn’t kiss and even if we had, who cares, it would have been hot. I thought back to Perou’s comment to us when we first got into that glass box about us kissing to get more comfortable and it just upset me to be standing on the runway in front of him now and hearing his judgment. He came off to me then as really homophobic. I would have expected his judgment from a common person off the streets, but not from a fashion photographer in the industry.