While browsing the booths at the Everything To Do with Sex Show in Montreal, we stumbled upon a nude photographer. There was a catalogue of portraits to look through and despite the saleswoman’s enthusiasm about their elegance we thought they were actually quite tacky. They were all dimly lit, with red backgrounds and black cloths covering up the most private of parts. We thought the photo editing was not worth the $250 price tag per session. But, there was a contest for a free one-hour session and free edited photo so we entered it. The partner wasn’t too thrilled but we decided that if we won, we would go for the experience of it.
Well, we won. Here’s the story.
We debated going because it wasn’t the type of photographic styling we appreciate. We decided to go anyway because maybe we would be surprised and end up with a timeless photo of us looking cheeky.
The photo studio is called NU2, which is a French play on words – the pronunciation of NU2 translates to “Us Two”. Apparently the photographer has been in the business of semi-nude photos for over 20 years and has won a bunch of awards. (We’re not really sure why there were awards given to him but we’ve stopped questioning the tackiness of the Montreal erotic industry).
When we received the phone call saying we had won – we were informed that there would be a 1-hour session, about 45 minutes would be pictures and 15 minutes would be talking with the photographer. We were told we would get one electronic photo we were able to print with the option of buying more. We were told we would get two free drink coupons to the bar next door to “make a night of it”.
Bonsecours Market Montreal – Nude Photo Shoot
Bonsecours Market, Taken from WikiMedia
When our appointment time approached, we headed to one of the oldest buildings in Canada, which has of course been converted into a tourist-oriented shopping mall and an erotic photo studio (because why not).
The studio was hard to miss – giant posters of naked women and a bunch of ballot boxes. In fact, inside, there were about 6 ballot boxes for different events around Canada. We were definitely not the only winners – contests seem to be part of their business structure.
NU2 Photoshoot Montreal – A Couple of Kinks
There was no official greeting made and after a disorganized shuffle to confirm we were the next couple scheduled, we were explained what to do. We were going to get naked, cover ourselves with cloths and the photographer would place us accordingly “all we had to do was close our eyes” (Sketchy? Yes). He then explained it would be a 10-minute session (what happened to the hour session?) and we could buy one of three photo packages afterward if we wanted.
We entered a dark private space with a red cloth on the floor and were handed two black cloths to cover ourselves (who knows when those were last washed). To his credit, he asked if I was comfortable displaying my breasts. We then proceeded to lie down in very awkward positions while he moved our limbs and occasionally the cloths. At two different points he removed the cloths altogether without announcing it. It was definitely weird and felt uncomfortable (and this coming from a couple who has had sex on live cam).
NU2 Photoshoot Montreal – A Couple of Kinks
After four terribly awkward positions, we were done. We went out to his computer, chose our favourite picture and then were propositioned the three different packages. The first two included a blown up wall-mounted photo of different sizes, the larger being $860 and the smaller being $660 (which is an insane price for a 10 minute shoot and dodgy Photoshop). Alternatively, we could buy individually photoshopped pictures that would be sent electronically for $100 each. We settled on the free promotional offer, which would be a photoshopped electronic version with their watermark on it. It’s not exactly like we’re going to hang it on our wall.
During this pricing conversation, we discovered that it was a ‘now or never’ deal. They don’t keep the photos (thankfully) but that means you have to decide right away whether or not you’re going to spend a large amount of money. We think this is part of their business setup. You enter a competition, you win what you think is an hour-long shoot worth $250, and then you feel guilty so you buy an overpriced photo. It’s a pressure tactic. Once we confirmed we would not be spending money, the photographer basically just walked away without saying bye. (I’m pretty sure Business 101 says to treat everyone with respect – cuz you never know, they could be bloggers on the Internet…).
We rushed putting on our coats and boots, clearly not receiving the two free drink tickets that we were promised (which were HIGHLY needed at this point) and ran out the door. The whole process took 30 minutes.
We then proceeded to go for a drink anyway. A much needed drink.
I’m kind of sad that it was such a horrible overall experience because it has deterred us from finding another (actual skilled) nude photographer. We think nude portraits can be really classy, timeless and a fun capture of your intimacy. This was not any of those things.
We would absolutely not recommend going to NU2 studio. Anyone who blatantly lies to get you in-the-door, uses pressure tactics and then becomes disrespectful when you don’t spend exorbitant amounts of money, does not warrant your business.
We recommend researching your photographer – do you like what they do? Are there positive reviews? Did anyone feel uncomfortable? Establish a code word between you and your partner to get up and leave if either of you are uncomfortable at any point.
In any case, it was an overall negative experience but we’re glad we went because now we get to forever laugh at our tacky semi-nude photo. Here it is – voilà!