The Photo Behind the Story

Every story has a story of how it came to be. The spark of an idea. The chance encounter. The insight that started the author moving.

This is the story behind the Space Girls.

It started with a photoshoot. I had a hobby as a glamour, portrait, pin-up photographer. I’d done all kinds of photoshoots from senior portraits, to dating profile pictures, to a goth swimsuit calendar. One day on a trip to Austin, Texas I was browsing a closeout toy store and saw two cool black rayguns. I bought them and put them in my prop closet at the studio.

A few weeks later I got a notice from a traveling model she was coming through Houston and would I like to shoot with her. She was of course pretty, but had an interesting look to her. Unnatural red hair, a curvaceous figure, and star tattoos that wrapped around her body. So, I said yes and we shot together in November of 2011.

The model was Annalee Belle, who is now a great advocate and influence, but sadly no longer a redhead.

During that photoshoot Space Girl Red was born.

The way these kinds of photoshoots work is that I have some ideas and we – the model and I – talk out how to make them happen. During my prep I found the rayguns and wanted to do something with them. Annalee had a formfitting, shiny red, two piece outfit in red. I’d been perfecting using gelled lights on the background. So we create a retro pinup space girl who I always just called Space Girl Red.

I got to push my photoshop skills in post to add rays to the gun, and a halo to the space girl.

But Red stayed in my mind. Then I shot with another model friend and Blue was born. Eventually the idea of a full spectrum of Space Girls grew.

Almost a decade later, National Novel Writing Month came around and I needed a subject. That’s when the novel began, and The Adventures of Space Girl Red came to life.

This image hangs over my writing desk.

Don’t Stop Here

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