An old timer once told me that I should never trust a person that hasn’t been kicked in the ass by life. I’ve met some exceptions to that rule, but it’s turned out to be a pretty good rule. People that have seen the hungry side of a kitchen table, or have lived in neighborhoods where you won’t find young couples walking hand in hand through a moonlit park, or have gone to schools that have metal detectors to scan the children for weapons when they walk through the door, usually have made a decision about the path they don’t want to take in life. Along with that self-knowledge comes an ethos they live by built on values, principles, and morality they have chosen for themselves. They also have the ability to weigh and measure those that have chosen a different path than theirs, as well as those that are in their view, good people. Those good people are often an eclectic group, judgment, or the antithesis of that is carved into the tablet of rules they live by. They have often spent a lifetime being judged by those that felt they come from better homes with nicer things and addresses only a select few could afford.

Missy Posterli is one of those people the old timer was talking about. She’s worn the steel-toed boot of life more than her share, and she stood at the crossroads of life deciding which fork to take in the road. She took the one she could walk down with her head held high and by all accounts has done quite well. Ironically she has the name Barbie tattooed on her wrist. She looks a bit like Barbie, but she certainly didn’t grow up like Barbie.

After high school, she left her home in Ohio and moved to Las Vegas with dreams to build a future. Her street-wise upbringing, gorgeous body, and face, and cerebral and professional approach to all situations made her well suited for the nightclub world. She landed a job at Drais, the infamous after-hours club on the Las Vegas strip.

That was more than a handful of years ago. She lives in a beautiful home with her husband and dogs and has earned her way into a management position. The income is far more than she could have made back home in Ohio, and the opportunities that lay before her, given her resume and reputation, are almost endless.

I met Missy a handful of years ago when we started working together shooting mostly glamor. She took to modeling immediately and got better and better with every shoot. She carries herself with such presence, such dignity, a near elegance, that I would have never guessed her background. One day she told me where she came from and about life back home. It just made her an even more beautiful woman and over time, a friendship emerged.

There are only about a dozen women I love to work with, and Missy Posterli is near the very top of that list. She is a great model. She is also an incredible person that I both respect and admire. She respects my marriage as much as she respects her own, and she loves to model for me as much as I love to shoot her.

It took a long time for me to get past that tough exterior and earn her trust. I suppose it took about an equal amount of time for her to earn mine. Neither of us would do anything to lose that.

She’s coming by this week to visit Ana and I and spend some time learning about photography. I think she will be an incredible photographer. It will certainly make her an even better model. I think that when Missy finds her voice as a photographer, she will be an incredible one. She knows people. She knows beauty. And she knows ugly. And she knows the story behind all of it.

That will make her a fine artist, and I can’t wait to see what she creates.