Thursday, July 27, 2006

Elizabeth and Melissa

Shot a couple of excellent models from "out of town" last night, Elizabeth (airborne) and Melissa -- they've been on the road all summer and still have a few weeks to go. Interesting coincidence is that they have three shoots this week in the space I'm in... with three different photographers. It'll be interesting to see what each of us come up with. Anyway, absolutely delightful young women and it was a real hoot of a shoot. Hope to work with them again sometime. ;)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Another one "just because" ...this time, it's Nemesis. If anyone keeps track of this sort of thing, it was image 666 on the flash card, so watch out for hidden secret messages... oooh, scary!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Gonna Make Ya Sweat

Here's AngelD, busting several moves of many, from the dance floor at IGUN in Bowling Green last night. It's actually two clubs on the same block who have their "Goth Night" on the same night, but it's sort of one event. Not to reveal trade secrets, but I saw a lot of "my" models there: AngelD, Sara, Charity, Katie, Heather, and several potential models. It's been a huge resource for models who work with the noted Boyd Hambleton... it's part of how he can be so prolific. Boyd's been a great source of encouragement and information since I first met him last year, and his frequent group events have helped me develop my skills as well as my network, so many thanks to Boyd. Boyd's impressive body of work has also been very influentual and inspirational for me. Also shouldn't shortchange my girlfriend Andi, who is essentially the one who connected Boyd (and me) with the IGUN crowd. Besides being a kickass photographer in her own right, has also been a huge source of encouragement for me and has introduced me to many of my favorite models...not to mention her infinite patience with my photographic pursuits, and for not being jealous of my shooting with so many beautiful (and frequently nude) models.

By the way, I use the term "my models" not in the sense of possession or ownership, but simply as shorthand for "models with whom I have worked" and as a certain term of endearment. Almost without exception, I've found the models I've worked with to be delightful and charming, and I wish only the best for them. So, while there has been some controversy in the forums about the use of the term, I'll still refer to these beautiful women (and men now and again) as "my models."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Bling's the Thing...

Here we have the lovely Amanda modeling a beaded necklace and bracelet set (and nothing else) from a little project I've started recently. Spoke with the owner of a local shop that sells beads and teaches classes in designing jewelry. She agreed to loan me some of her pieces in exchange for photos of models wearing them. Not sure if this was quite what she was expecting, but I'm enjoying working with her creations. Look for more as the project progresses.

Amanda took a shine to the red set and despite her suffering some serious allergies, she did her usual outstanding job... and as is almost an automatic with Amanda, this image won an OMP Showcase. She is really one of the best, and I feel very fortunate to have her in the area, and that she seems to enjoy working with me. :) So, thanks Amanda! Can't wait to go again!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Go Figure...

Some selections from another sauna shoot this past weekend, this time featuring Kirsten, an outstanding figure model from up near Cleveland. Kirsten was happy to scamper around the studio building and outdoors in the buff, partly because it was so damn hot (check out the first vertical shot, the rear view... that is genuine model sweat), but because she's completely comfortable nude and wouldn't mind if passersby saw her in the altogether. Before I started working with models, I would doubt if I knew anyone comfortable enough to do that, but I guess it makes sense if you're going to be a figure model, you need to GET comfortable. But I think it works the other way around... those who don't mind being nude (or flat out prefer it) would naturally drift to figure modeling, especially if they have the figure for the job.

I guess what strikes me odd is that, even though SHE doesn't mind, and even though the building is primarily artists' studios, I still catch heat from management if I'm spotted with a nude model outside my studio. Aren't we all grown-ups? Aren't most of us artists? It's private property, and I think I've seen a child in the building 3 times in almost 7 months -- and most children would probably think it's either very funny or very cool to see a "naked lady" posing in a doorway. But somehow it's still a big deal... another way we're still a puritanical culture. I would make the argument that the human body is one of the most beautiful "miracles" in the world, so why be so concerned when you see one wandering around?

I know I'm stating the obvious here, but you're probably too busy checking out the photos to read the text anyway, right? So, here's to Kirsten and the many other confident women (and men), without whom, figure photography would be far less enjoyable.

Update 7/18 -- more good news... two of these images earned Showcase honors on OMP. The top one of her in the "Classic L" pose won on my portfolio, and the one standing in the open doorway earned one on Kirsten's portfolio. I guess sweating the details (and the entire shoot) pays off!


Another of my brave models from the sweatbox weekend, Nia and I had a ten-minute session at a group shoot a couple months ago, and I've been hoping to get her to the studio. This was the weekend, and I'm really pleased with the results... just wish we'd had a little more time THIS time, too. Oh well, another time.

Update 7/18/06 -- The last image in this entry just received a Showcase on OMP! Nia is becoming the showcase machine!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Heat treatment

A few from today's very productive shoot with Nemesis, my 5th shoot of the insanely hot weekend. The good news is that AC may actually be in the works... there's now an air conditioning unit in the studio, but wiring the 220 will take a while longer. In other good news, discovered the best hot weather drink... the Cherry ICEE Float at Burger King. So good, they won't even SELL you a large.

Thanks to Nemesis, Kirsten, Nia, Michele, and Merry for weathering the heat and doing outstanding work this weekend. Look for more images from the weekend here soon. :) (Note to models: Thanks for your patience!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sativa Night Fevah

The lovely and talented Sativa will be returning to the area from New York with her friend Nikki in early August. These are from a shoot back in March which included a lot of failed experiments, but I hope to do much better with her this time around. The less said about our last attempt at a shoot, the better. Let's just say it wasn't the heat, it was the stupidity. :)

Another Gaea, just because...

What's left to be said?

Lost in Transrasterization

Couldn't resist fast-tracking one from Wednesday night's shoot with Gaea. I think I'm going to be working with her on a regular basis. I may have to get this one printed nice and large. You can't tell from the compressed, shrunk version, but the detail on this one is just razor sharp, and I love the light and her form is just perfect here. Yeah, I'm gloating a bit. But it's a shame that the detail gets lost in the resizing and such. I think I need to do a bit of investigating on how to hold that sharpness when resizing, rather than losing it. Granted, how much detail can 72dpi hold? But there are some photographers who manage to get crisper small images. I don't think it's just a matter of "sharpening" or "unsharp mask" but I'm guessing a plug-in of some sort.

I think some of the folks who read this are photographers. Anyone care to share any insights?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

AngelD encore

So many nice images from the AngelD shoot, if I do say so myself. Just couldn't resist sharing a few more. By the way, did you know that if you click an image in this blog, you can view an enlarged version?

Oh, and the first copy of the AngelD calendar has sold, so if you were the person who bought it, thanks! If you tried to go check it out, and were told something about not having permission to view it, Lulu does this dumb thing where the default "rating" for browsers is "teen" so anything with a "mature" rating gives that message. Irritating. But I've changed the rating, so you should be able to go right to it to preview and (maybe) purchase.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Career Suicide Girls?

Once again, in her excellent blog Feminism without Clothes, our friend Candy has a new entry that may be of interest to some readers of this blog. She writes that the folks over at Suicide Girls have taken to re-selling "retired" photo sets to at least one other website operation, but that this other operation is clearly marketing itself in a way that I think most SG models would not appreciate. I haven't verified if these are actual SG sets on this site, or if it's one of the many SG knockoff sites, but either way, Candy raises some interesting issues. Check it out.

I've shot a couple sets for submission to SG, and I know they require a total buyout of the images, but I don't believe they indicated that they were planning to sell images to other adult site operators. I know several models who would never do "adult content" work, but would do an SG set, simply because the site presents itself as a sort of "grrl power" community, and not just another "pr0n" site. If this is true and it gets around, I wonder if SG won't be hurting their long-term image for some short money.

By the way, here's Candy from our set last November, simulating something that may be a suicide attempt in the literal sense, or may just be a lost weekend. It's open to your interpretation, too.

Postscript: There's a pretty involved discussion thread at Model Mayhem that addresses this. There is a statement from at least one model that states SG is selling shots to "adult" sites without offering further compensation to models, let alone photographers. Sounds pretty nasty...

Altered Egos

This is what I wrote a few days ago before Roadrunner stranded my home computer. Rather than edit that one, I get to add a new one with another picture.

Here we have Miss May, definitely one of the more "alt" of the alt models I've worked with. Strikingly beautiful face, tall, dancer's figure, the effect is intensified by her personal style which includes a variety of exotic piercings, and her hair almost completely shorn except for a forehead lock and locks at either temple. She is a fixture in the punk/goth scene in Northwest Ohio who recently began modeling from time to time. I had the chance to work with her at a group shoot back in May and we did two sets -- one in her full punk regalia, and another that focused more on her glamourous side. Sort of a twisted Audrey Hepburn in a way. I'm hoping to work with her again soon.

I've worked with a number of "alt" models over the past year or so, and have really gained an appreciation for interesting tattoo work and a strategically placed piercing. For supposedly being the "alternative" scene, it seems to rival mainstream modeling at least in terms of numbers, visibiilty, and the beauty of the models. Of course, it's not always easy to tell where to draw the line. I would say that probably 75% of the models I work with have at least one tattoo or non-traditional piercing, and a lot of them look at "alt" modeling (including fetish and bondage work) as more of a wardrobe choice or role playing, while some "live the lifestyle" to a greater extent as part of their personality. As a photographer, having a wider range of what is "beautiful" presents many more new opportunities than limiting oneself to a more traditional range of "model good looks." I enjoy my forays to the alt side, and I hope those who look at my work appreciate the beauty I find in these models, too.

Bad timing...

This is another shot of the delightful and prompt AngelD -- NOT one of the models discussed in this entry.

Had found an interesting model on SuicideGirls who lives here in SW Ohio and back about the 20th of June we set up a shoot for Tuesday, July 11. Great. I was looking forward to it. We would confirm details closer to the shoot date. Fast forward a bit to last week, and it turns out that a set she'd submitted on SG is posted, so now she's an official "Suicide Girl" -- great for me, right? EXCEPT I had not gotten a phone number, so now my e-mails to her to confirm that the shoot is still on have gone unanswered, since she's probably getting tons of e-mails and messages as a result of the set being posted. So, I don't know if she's still planning to show up at my studio, or not. My gut says no, but I certainly don't want to be the one to stand HER up if she does in fact show up. So, I'll go down to the studio at the appointed time tomorrow and hope that she remembers and honors the appointment. Light a candle for me, please.

Postscript: did hear from this model, and while she is canceling tonight's shoot, she says she does want to reschedule in August because she's spending all her spare time now preparing for a local move. So, keep the candle lit that we actually get to shoot together after all.

My doubts about Tuesday's shoot are multiplied by the fact that I had a no-show, no-call on Monday. I won't mention her name, but here she is at right. I had shot with her before, and she had confirmed by e-mail today and seemed very enthusiastic about the shoot. I'd even booked a make-up artist and we had plans to do a pretty ambitious number of set-ups based on a number of clippings she'd sent me. Sounded like a no-brainer. So, somewhere between 1:00 and 7:00, Cincinnati and Dayton, she either changed her mind, slipped into a coma, or just plain forgot.

What to do about the no-show, no-call models? Part of me feels like warning other photographers about them somehow on OMP or MM or something. Another part realizes it's part of the game, especially when it's a "time for images" shoot, rather than a paid shoot. I get criticized sometimes for paying models, but it sure prevents this no-show problem, which to my mind is worth the money. How much is an evening of my week worth to me? Monday I still had to pay the make-up artist, so that money's down the hole, plus the opportunity cost of either doing another shoot, or working on images from prior shoots, or doing the unthinkable and spending a quiet evening at home.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just for laughs...

The incredible AngelD from yesterday's shoot, cracking up with her boyfriend. Look for more pix and news from our shoot soon.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Roadrunner sucks...

Wrote an entry to go with this photo on my machine at home, but as could be expected, my Roadrunner crapped out before I could finish and post it. RR has been this way for a couple months and I've had numerous service calls, but it still works only about 10% of the time. I'm ready to just go back to DSL.

So, until I can post the full entry, here's the photo at least, of the uniquely lovely Miss May.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Just because...

Another one, just because I like it. This time, it's Alicia. Enjoy.

On edit: Guess someone else likes it, too. Turns out this shot won an OMP Showcase, my second with Alicia.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"Hey Baby, It's 4th of July"

Every year about now, I always have the song "4th of July" by X running through my head. Written by Dave Alvin rather than the band's usual songwriting duo of John Doe and Exene, I've found it to be one of the most enduring songs from one of my all-time favorite bands. Not so much a song of patriotism, but more of putting aside differences to enjoy life's little celebrations. Check it out.

Today's images are actually from February, when I helped Barbie realize a dream of hers -- being wrapped in a flag in a cheap motel room, brandishing a weapon and stilletto heels. We called what we ended up with "NRA Porn" -- the closest I've ventured to the "girls with guns" subgenre. Is it art? You tell me, but we had fun doing it.

Barbie basically did her first modeling work at the fateful Halloween Group shoot last year, and in a short time has really developed as a model and has done excellent work with a number of the top artistic/alt photographers in the region. Happy 4th, Barbie!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Feminism without Clothes

In another indicence of coincidence, Candy's blog entry for today touches on a conversation I had just last night and was considering blogging about today. Seeing Candy's entry makes me think it's a point worth addressing, and 4th of July weekend seems like the right time to discuss matters of freedom and personal liberty. Hope she doesn't mind that I borrowed the name of her blog for the title of this post.

As I've mentioned, my sister is in town visiting and last night was the first chance we've had to really discuss my photography. While she is being very supportive of me and likes my work, she admits she has minor qualms with some of the subject matter (i.e. nudity) in terms of her stance on feminism. I said that I'd understood feminism to be support for the right of women to do whatever they choose to do, within the limits of the law, and even to work to change the laws.

Obviously the models I work with are posing of their own free choice. Some as a form of personal artistic expression, some like my work/style and want to be a part of it, some out of a desire to see themselves photographed by "a professional" rather than their friend's camera phone, and some primarily for financial reasons. Or for several of these reasons at once. As I understand them, the feminist arguments against glamour/fashion/nude photography or even pornography range from perpetuating stereotypes, objectification, exploitation, to corruption of society and promoting violence against women.

From my perspective, most of the models I have worked with have been among the most liberated, independent, and feminist women I've ever met. As Candy's blog points out, feminism is essentially about freedom, including sexual liberation, and repression is the opposite of freedom. Repression, as I see it, is the greatest threat to feminism, and women in general. I'll spare you examples. Feminism is also the freedom to choose whether or not a woman participates in "the beauty culture." But I think a big part of feminism is withholding judgment on the actions of any women who are exercising their freedoms.

I don't mean this to sound like a rant against my sister at all... she sees my point of view, and is a highly intelligent and rational woman who expressed mild reservations about this aspect of my work. I appreciate her kind support in my efforts to create beautiful images -- some more sensual and sexual than others. The discussion just seemed blogworthy.

By the way, today's photo is not Candy, but Amber, who is obviously her own woman, and is ready to fight the power. It's from a series of "protest images" I did for Boyd Hambleton's literary magazine, The Center of Our Universe. The download version of the magazine is less than $4.00, so be sure to check it out.