Chicken Tacos, Dogs, and a Camera.


“Photo shoot!” a guy wearing a baseball cap tipped sideways yells on Sunset Boulevard almost to the beat of the trip-hop music blaring from inside the window of his black Escalade. Did he have gold teeth? I can’t tell from the way the sun hit him, just perfectly from behind. This guy was an almost perfect example of a silhouette, if I were explaining the meaning – let’s say to a class for instance. The client, a lovely blonde girl with a bobbed haircut and pointed blue shoes, smiles self consciously. She looks down at the cement and wraps a piece of her blonde hair behind her ear with an ever-so-gentle touch. I laugh, trying to make her comfortable.

“Photo shoot. Is that what this is?” She cracks a slight smile.

“Cause up until he pointed that out I thought we were buying Prada bags!” And there, she laughs and looks back up at me almost with a newfound confidence.

I’ve recently quit serving people and their dogs. I once served a woman chicken tacos and a water. When the food arrived she set the tacos on the floor for her dog (tortillas included!) I’ve had it with that, and have begun a headshot business. I’ve set the whole thing up real nice. Professional, yet inviting and comfortable, they way I like it when photographer’s shoot me. Jon takes the headshot and I do the makeup … for now. The overall goal is to eventually take the shots myself as well and possibly, hopefully, double my income?

The client shows up. They’re served an assortment of lavender, white, or apricot-peach loose leaf tea. They sit in a lavish director’s chair a director friend of mine gave me and I begin with a little bit of Laura Mercier. Her cosmetic line’s the best, I’m convinced. I’m utilizing my talent as a makeup artist (since I graduated from MUD not too long ago). There. They look lovely. Perfectly natural, flawless, and most importantly, their eyes pop. And then we’re off. Walking down Sunset Boulevard, en route to locations with colorful, funky backgrounds and then to the calm, darker theatrical locations.

Jon’s so good at this. The photos are some of the best I’ve seen. After the client leaves I’m given a photo lesson.

“Point the camera at me. And set it so I’m in focus and the background is out.”

I think. Hmm … I know this. I know this. I look at Jon.

“You know this,” he affirms. And does that Elvis smirk, the one where his upper lip curls up, just a bit.

After a minute of thinking F stops, shutter speed, ISO….

I place the ND filter over the lens of the camera and change the F stop.


Did it.

Not bad.

Starting a business with a boyfriend was a risk we both took. I mean, it could turn into an utter disaster, but I’ve got a good feeling about this! And so far, just for today, everything’s looking up, actually a lot more up since serving dogs chicken tacos.

 Alice can be reached at

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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