Monday, January 9, 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

L & B & K

I love shooting in filthy, dirty tubs and showers. The more squalid, the better. They provide the backgrounds of wonderfully sordid and sleazy images. A clean tub is so boring.











Thursday, December 22, 2016

Li

I'm really happy with all of that black, negative space in the center. It's as if it is a vacuous void drawing you in. There really is no detail there— I had two 1000 watt light boxes behind her, and nothing in front. All of the side detail comes from that massive amount of light trying to wrap around her like an eclipse.




Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Devon

I've always like the looked of a negative. It would get old if I posted these all of the time, but now and then it's nice. Since I tend to dislike all of the shoots that I've done on white backgrounds, here it makes the background black. Also— white, glowing nipples...










Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ellen

I've always really liked this image below, with the cigarette— even though out of context it does not hold any particular meaning for anybody else. Well, it happened to be shot just after a very intense shower scene— where she had got herself off with a Waterpik to the point of exhaustion. So consequentially she is taking a relaxing smoke break, hair still dripping. Photographs are often like that. A favorite quote of mine by the photographer Diane Arbus sums it up best— "A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know".














Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Setsuki

Setsuki is a circus performer— so whereas I usually employ rope work for a suspension, this just her and a simple heavy chain that we linked up to the ceiling hooks. She did it all— I just stepped back and clicked the shutter. The brick wall, which is always behind the backgrounds that I typically use, is a nice departure. I've tried the brick before and did not like it, as it tends to be too busy looking. I think that I got it right this time...











Monday, September 12, 2016

Percolate

There is an interesting story behind this image, as it almost did not happen. For a good majority of my shoots, I have always done the make-up myself— this dates back to when I first began photographing people. I made use of a very retro aesthetic from the very beginning since I wanted to emulate early masters and early Hollywood glamor photography. I started doing this in the early 1990's, which for all intents was still really the 1980's. This was not exactly a good time to find people with hair and make-up that looked like the time periods I wanted to represent in an authentic way. So I had to scrub everybody's faces clean, do their make-up and hair as well as find clothes for them. Yeah, no easy task. I like doing it, though, and it tends to relax women before a shoot. It has had another added benefit in that my early work (and most of it since) does not look badly dated now. Things got much easier later on when Swing and Rockabilly music came back in vogue (and to a certain extent has remained so). Suddenly women were showing up at my studio with these wonderful dead-on looks, all ready to go. It felt like 90% of my work was now cut out for me. It was not like I had not paid my dues, though. When women don't have their own cosmetics, I often tend to go for a fresh-scrubbed natural look nowadays. Anyway, to make a long story short (too late?), I've since started to get a little more experimental with maquillage when I do it myself now. For this session, I used white and black eyeliner on the top of the lids, along with some white mascara, in order to try something a bit weird and futuristic. I have to say that both she and I thought it looked kind of clownish, and she wanted to wipe it off and try something of her own. I convinced her to just shoot it for a few minutes first since I spent a while doing it. I'm glad that I did because it turned out to look a lot more elegant and distinctive in the shot than it did in real life. It was also by far the best thing we shot that day. It is one of my favorite images, and it even looks better in color— but I don't like to show color work here. I'm always amused at how often people are reluctant to trust me at first, but then turn out to absolutely love the results of something that they were initially rather wary of trying...





Sunday, September 11, 2016

Scarlett

This is from a series that kind of look like those old-timey boardwalk photographs— except that they more resemble actual vintage images, rather than being campy or hokey. I find it interesting there is such a fine line between being genuine versus silly. I like the challenge of taking that extra effort to make it work. By the way, I scraped this scene together on a tight budget— the rug was $20 from IKEA, backdrops are my usual from fabric row, and the rest came as bits and pieces from Linens n' Things. It all fits into a trunk, and it takes me about 15 minutes to set it up!










Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nicole

A rather old film shot from 1994. I was just finishing up with my Pictorialism phase, and starting to do some very genuine portraiture that looked like it came from about the same era. Pictorialism was the name given to an international style and aesthetic movement that dominated photography during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. I've never stopped doing this kind of portraiture, but this is perhaps my first successful one, and still an all time favorite that I tend to rate all others against. It's kind of like Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl from National Geographic— a great early image that I'm always unsuccessfully trying to top.





Friday, September 9, 2016

Twinky

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. Twinky is someone that I had shot with before, however, and she is very comfortable in front of the camera. I think she lent a slight eroticism to all 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— not too much. By the way, she was 38 and pregnant with her 5th child at this shoot. Crazy!





Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ajaye

“It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.”    ~Timothy Allen