Saturday, May 19, 2018

PXE

This image is from a shoot with a model who goes by the moniker PXE. It's pronounced pixie, which is fitting due not only to her petite size but her squeaky voice. Her voice is a dead ringer for Carol Kane's voice (from Taxi). She's definitely one of a kind— a fascinating person, capable of switching back and forth between a bubbly cartoon character and intense sexual persona. Speaking of bubbly versus intense, I think this is one of my strongest images— despite the fact that we were both pretty much laughing hysterically the whole shoot.  It seems to visually convey a celebration of female empowerment.  "I am Woman, hear me roar".




Monday, May 14, 2018

Miera

Pin-up style took on quite a few different forms, even though it’s a formula that is actually very narrow and rather easily defined. My favorite style would be Irving Klaw photographing Bettie Page in bondage— which is fun but most definitely fetish & BDSM oriented. It's all pretty much tame compared to today's fare, though. I based this shoot, however, on the friendlier pulp girlie magazines that were published in the 40’s & 50’s. They were a bit more toned down compared to the Irving Klaw stuff...

"I've met a lot of pin-up girls, but I've never been able to pin one down" ~ Groucho Marx






Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sienna Luna

In art, there is no need for color; I see only light and shade. Give me a crayon, and I will paint your portrait.  ~Francisco Goya





Monday, April 30, 2018

Letta

Low contrast photography is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, a lot of people will dislike it. It’s not really what you’d call the popular choice— many think that low-contrast means lacking in contrast or associate it with being flat. Some also believe that the more contrast there is, the better. It is fair to say that low contrast photographs are nowhere near as eye-catching as the high contrast B&W photographs you typically see. That does not make them in any way inferior. Subtlety can be something that is easily overlooked. When you get past that entryway, though, low-contrast images can be so wonderful. Much of my work posted here tend to be higher in contrast, but in actuality, most everything that I finish has at least two versions— a high contrast and a low contrast version... and often a few in between. I still have not decided which I prefer, so I sit on all versions waiting to perhaps decide eventually which will be the "finished" versions. I do know that whenever I spot a photograph by someone else that I gravitate towards more than anything else, it tends to be something with very low contrast. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that I respect how hard it can be to make an exquisite low contrast photograph...










Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dessa

The most important thing that makes this window series work is keeping the windows dirty. I was in this warehouse studio for fifteen years, and the windows (and sills and trim) that I used for shooting I never cleaned once. I kept a few that I didn't use for shooting clean so that I could have a nice view of Chinatown.









Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sienna Luna

"Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. " ~Abraham Lincoln





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, and its' organic nature. 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... I try to capture the moments that reflect the story of someones 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 (even if an abstract one). Nothing should exist just because “that’s how the scene looked”. The highest expression of photography is to make the whole image considered and intentiona— 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 a beatnik 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.