The tattooed men in Rhys’ life: July


July: Reid Cain, musician, soccer player, comic book shop proprietor, husband, unicorn in the mist

Reid Cain was the biggest surprise to me of all of our shoots. He has a reputation for being somewhat gruff. In fact, a coworker once told me he was afraid of Reid because he never knew what he was thinking. And yeah, there’s a good chance that at some point in your acquaintance Reid will call you a “nerd” despite the fact that he runs a comic book shop. Throw in the fact that I’m pretty sure his wife—New Times Flavor columnist Hayley Thomas—agreed to the shoot on his behalf, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

On the plus side, Reid has at least a dozen tattoos. He’s got them across his chest, up and down both arms, as well as at least three on his left leg. This was helpful because it meant we wouldn’t have to pose him awkwardly in order to ensure that his tattoo made it into the photo (as we had to do for several other shoots, including mine).

We got the concept for Reid’s shoot while working on Jenny’s photo. She mentioned the idea of sexy lifeguards and we were instantly delighted with the idea of Reid posing as a sexy lifeguard.

We met Reid and Hayley in Avila Beach one very hot August afternoon when the beach was very crowded, and all I remember from the experience is chatting with Hayley and turning to find Reid leaping majestically through the air, arms outstretched like a mad dancer, kicking ocean spray off his heels. The props were minimal; Reid wore sunglasses and swim trunks. The direction was minimal; I don’t remember offering a single suggestion, and Colin later said he was just trying to keep up with the madman leaping and prancing in the surf.

Hayley seemed completely unsurprised by it all. They’ve done photo shoots together; they’re in a band and, to a certain extent, qualify as local celebrities. So she was probably the only person on the beach that day who wasn’t startled by her husband’s balletic performance.

But the rest of us were in awe, and when we brought the photos back to the New Times office to show our collaborators what had happened that day on the beach, they too felt the magic.


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