Thursday, April 19, 2018

Devon

I have always loved film grain. While some photographers may have disliked and avoided it, most had an affection for it and still do. Digital noise has never really garnered the same love. I think one of the biggest reasons for the love of grain is the look and aesthetic of the film— its' slight roughness. With most modern digital cameras, the photos are too crisp. Too sharp. Too perfect. It was the imperfection of vinyl records which made the music sound much more warm, friendly, and personal. When listening to music on a vinyl record, there are cracks, hisses, and pops. The audio isn’t crystal clear— you hear some “warm” noise in the background, which I feel enhances the musical experience. I feel the texture of good (there are different kinds) film grain is sublime. I think grain often makes photos more beautiful because they feel more authentic, more real. Grain makes a photo a little bit less visible, a little less clear— just like our personal memories, thoughts, and nostalgia from the past. Life isn’t perfect. It is jagged, rough, and imperfect. Life is often fuzzy and uncertain. I like to have my photography reflect our lives— finding beauty in the imperfect.





Thursday, April 12, 2018

M & J

I tend to shoot intuitively— I pick up the camera and shoot. I may be simplifying this a bit— previous viewers of this work may notice familiar set-ups. Those set-ups are easy though; I've thought about them over time, and it rarely takes me more than a couple of minutes to get things ready. Pick up the camera and shoot has been my main credo for a very long time. I don't like to think too much when I'm shooting. I prefer to keep moving.

When I'm editing, though, is when I do my thinking. I ask myself questions, in order to pick the best images. Does this image tell a story? It doesn't even matter to me if a viewer imagines something different than I intended, as long as the image has the ingredients to get an imagination flowing. Does this image elicit an emotion? My favorite photographs are always the ones that evoke a feeling or a memory, transporting you to another place and time. Often this means avoiding the obvious shot, instead of trying to capture the moments that reflect the story of your individual experience to create something unique. Is the approach creative? I define "creative" as an image that goes beyond predictable techniques and treatments. In more specific terms, the best creative images show subjects through the photographers' eyes and perspective. In other words, I try to reveal my subject in extraordinary ways: ways that the viewer otherwise would not have seen. Is it deliberate and purposeful? Every element in my images should have a purpose. Nothing should exist just because “that’s how the scene looked”. The highest expression of photography is to make the whole image considered and intentional – capturing the world in such a way that your vision and emotion are seamlessly conveyed to a viewer. If anything in your image looks unnecessary, or it distracts from your goal for the photo, I'm not making the most of a scene.





Friday, April 6, 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Rose

This is a one hundred percent unashamedly inspired homage to George Hurrell portraits from the 30's & 40's. George Edward Hurrell (1904 – 1992) was the foremost practitioner of the glamour idiom in photography and helped to create the standard for the idealized Hollywood glamour portrait. He invented the boom light (like used here) and is credited with developing other innovative lighting and darkroom techniques. While his photography was generally considered commercial photography during his career, he is now rightfully considered a pioneer in the history of photography.




Sunday, March 25, 2018

Joe & Melissa

I typically avoid the "model holding a vintage camera" shot that I've seen a hundred times because it tends to look stilted, like so many other 'vintage prop" shots. I prefer to recreate the past with make-up, hair, and clothes— paired with appropriate lighting. This was a couple shoot, and they were both on the vintage wavelength, so what the hell. I like how he looks like an amateur or paparazzi photographer rather than a fashion photographer, which gives things more of the Bettie Page feel.










Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kess

A photoshoot, for me, is having a nice day with someone who intrigues me. Ultimately, it's nothing more than that. Creating something is the extra bonus, not the sole goal. Contrary to what it may look like here, I'm usually not looking for perfect bodies or faces. I'm looking for people that share my passion for genuinely artistic photography... people someone else might call "strange or different", people who are still discovering themselves. I don't really care about how much experience you have— some of the women in the photos have a lot of experience and some posed for the first time, and often somewhere in-between. Ironically, someone who is inexperienced offers me an awkwardness that can come across as a nice tension rather than representing an easy superficiality. I typically don't start with an idea or a concept— sometimes I end up with completely different photos then I thought I would. My main objective in the finished work is to always create something special and show something representing the emotions or the interests of the person I work with. This is my mini-manifesto.



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Setsuki

I've done a lot of maternity portraits over the years— but they are most often paid shoots where I tend to be more concerned with making my subject relaxed & untroubled above anything else. Setsuki is someone that I have shot with before, however, and she is very comfortable in front of the camera. I think she lent a slight eroticism to most of the pregnancy pics we did together. I would not have wanted it to be more than a slight eroticism, though, because that would probably be distasteful. I think that this is just right. Below the pregnancy shot, are a couple from a year earlier— you can really see how the breasts change as well as the belly...














Saturday, February 24, 2018

Lee

Keeping on with the gritty. It's sometimes hard to believe that all of my work was so fashion magazine polished, with no imperfections. I still can appreciate that, and I can even still shoot like that— but it's nice that I've loosened up a bit.





Sunday, February 4, 2018

Vox Serene

You can often recognize a photographer by how they compose the edges of their frames, part of a language the makes their images as explicit as a fingerprint.





Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sarah

I always try hard to avoid eye candy— a photo that looks fashionably attractive and sophisticated but only has exactly one layer of interest. They look great for about half a second and then there is no reason for your eye to linger any longer. Think of an ad in Vogue Magazine. It's a shame, actually, because photographers who get to that level have usually broken past the "ugly, cluttered, too much crap in your image" level, and their images are often just missing that little extra that is necessary to make it memorable. But if you are a thinking photographer, you soon realize that you need to break free from the "eye candy" genre and start adding substance— without adding too much else. Easier said than done.




Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sienna Luna

I have to say that it's a really nice bonus of digital photography that I can shoot everything in color and convert to B&W in post processing. After all these years, I still tend to have no idea if something looks better in monochrome or color until I compare the two side by side. Obviously, much of my work fares well in B&W since everything that I post here is. I think that is often true because I think of and use contrast as I shoot. To be honest, though, not everything that I finish makes it here. I typically finish most images in color and then begin the grayscale process. Sometimes an image just looks lame after converting. That may not say much as to the inherent worth of an image, but sometimes it just does work better in color.









Friday, January 19, 2018

Izzy

This was shot the same day as the previous post (several years ago), but I don't believe that anyone has ever seen this image. File this under forgotten about, but not lost.







Izzy



This is one of my personal favorites. I was thinking of a Fellini film when I shot it, and it still reminds me of Fellini film as an image. I have to admit that there is not much humor in my work, with the exception of my portfolio of dolls & toys. This one cracks me up, though. That has a lot to do with Izzy, who never takes things too seriously, and is always a blast to work with. btw, she was shaking her tits at pedestrians below, before & after the shot- which was even funnier than the image itself...