First rule of a risqué photo shoot: Avoid flashing anyone

(It’s Sunday morning, and that can only mean one thing! Or possibly two, depending on if you’re waking up next to a commode. But hey, even if you are, WELCOME TO FLASHBACK SUNDAY! Ooops, sorry — I probably shouldn’t yell. I promise to keep my excitement to a whisper. What make’s this week’s Flashback particularly exciting is that it’s sponsored by the publishers of Random Day Books, who thought their release of 50 Shades of Time-Traveling Love Vampires would be a great tie-in to Flashback Sunday! So sit back — or sit up, if you aren’t wedged too tightly between the wall and porcelain — and let’s travel back to 2001… back to a time before I even had a blog.. back to a time when, even if I’d heard of Freshly Pressed, I would’ve thought it was an annual report from the Hamburger Patty Maker’s Union…)

image This morning, as you sit drinking your morning coffee and reading the paper, I will be taking photographs of naked senior citizens. I should point out that 1) they are aware that their pictures are being taken, because 2) they asked me to do it, after 3) taking one look at me and realizing they had nothing to be embarrassed about.

The photos are for a goofy calendar that will be sold to raise funds for a community pool in Mapleton, Ore. You should also know that the photos will not actually show anything controversial because all private areas will be covered by a strategically positioned prop, such as a AARP card.

The idea came from Nancy Walker, who reads the column and, after finding out that I’m also a photographer, approached me about taking the calendar pictures. Why? Because — as Nancy put it — she and her friends feel they know me well enough through my column that being around me with little or no clothing is “no big deal.”

Being that this is a pool fundraiser, we naturally chose the pool as our back drop. And, being a professional, let me just say that “back drop” is a term that I plan to use very carefully. Because they understood the complexity of today’s shoot, Nancy and her friends prepared for it by meticulously practicing their poses ahead of time and working out the details. As I discovered, these details included getting a few husbands to participate! That’s right! I’m using exclamation points because they were very excited about this!

I am not!

However, I am also a mature adult. Besides, the husbands’ level of excitement about this project remains to be seen.

And I’d prefer it stay that way.

To help my subjects feel a little more comfortable, and because I understand the importance of ABSOLUTE TRUST in a situation like this, I briefly considered the idea of taking all of today’s photos while being completely — you guessed it:


Just kidding! I actually thought about doing it in the buff. But I felt no need to embarrass the older men who, since retiring, have frittered away their time by going to the gym twice as often as I do.

Now, keeping in mind that the goal in all of this is to create a goofy — yet tasteful — calendar that people will want to buy and potentially even hang up somewhere in their home or office, it goes without saying that I will not be appearing anywhere in it. I know this comes as a big disappointment for those of you who….

Okay, so no one is actually going to be disappointed by this.

That’s perfectly okay.

Trust me, the last thing I want is for anyone to get excited.

(Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. You can write to him at, or at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439)


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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

32 thoughts on “First rule of a risqué photo shoot: Avoid flashing anyone”

  1. Slide over, Calendar Girls! Or scoot, or wiggle, or roll, whatevs. This is gonna be BIG! As in fills-up-the-lens HUGE! Have a loverly time, Ned — a worthy project for all concerned.

  2. First thoughts: euuuugh!
    Second thoughts: how brave they are.
    Third thoughts: where’s the Jack Daniels (for me, not them … or you).
    Fourth thoughts: what was the issue again … hic!

      1. Sometimes alcohol is worth the risk of a little light drowning …

        In fact, the way I see it, ALL the time if you indulging in enforced voyeurism.
        Good grief man, it’s practically de rigueur if you want to survive mentally unscathed.

  3. I’m confused. After reading your column they actually feel comfortable enough to be in the buff around you?? They’ve obviously never read your blog, because it has quite the opposite effect. 😉

    1. Hahaha! They were readers of my column in the newspaper, where things are a bit more tame. Actually, it’s the “comments” part of this blog where I get into trouble. Often because of you…

        1. Without a doubt, they can be even more entertaining than the posts themselves 🙂 Some day, I may do a post just on my top/favorite comments.’

          You’ll definitely make that list; you’ve had some doozies!

No one is watching, I swear...

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