Tuesday, January 30, 2007

These boots...

One of many highlights from a recent shoot... more to come. OMP liked this one.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A note from Shelley

"Hi Gary,

Just wanted to say thank you for a great shoot again! 4 of your pics that I posted were showcased! I am so excited....first for me! I have received many compliments on your photos as well. Thank you again!


Shelley is a wonderful model, as you can tell, and to get this kind of note from her is so gratifying, and a nice start to what's going to be a busy week.

Working to finish up stuff for the Dirty Show, and had a rather jam-packed weekend that ended up being less productive than hoped. Did manage to do a slightly abbreviated shoot with a model I've been talking to for at least six months now, and I hope to have a few of those ready to post soon. I also talked to a potential new model who I believe will be outstanding, if she decides to go ahead with a shoot. Also, more events that are set for the magical weekend of February 9-11 continue to cross my path, and even though I'll not be able to take part in these new ones, the syncronicity is interesting for me at least...
This just in...Since the original post, two more Shelley shots showcased. Six in one day? Wow, somebody there likes us.

Friday, January 26, 2007

JJ Encore

Busy day leading into a busy weekend, so probably no time for any philosophical meanderings for a couple days. In my absence, I leave you with a couple more images of the sublime JJ Plush.

JJ's really special. One of the warmest, friendliest people you'll ever meet -- her personality just sparkles and lends an extra dimension to so many of her photos. She's also enthused to explore a variety of areas, and seems to excel at everything she tries, from fashion and glamour to pin-up and figure, even into the realms of erotic and fetish work. Still fairly new to modeling, she has a presence and poise matching most of the professional models I've worked with. I've only had one brief shoot with her, but I'm hoping to get together another time when we'll have some room to experiment a little more and find new ways to showcase her amazing curves.

Well, off into the swirl of the weekend. Look for a full report on Monday!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Foxy Rocks It

Have to say, Foxy here was fun to shoot with. Something about a model with a really strong physique... I was sort of mesmerized to the point where I lost track of time and our brief (group shoot) session was over before I had a chance to really mix things up with her. Hope to get a chance with her another time so she can get really pumped and "take us to the gun show." She seemed a little reticent about it at first... some models shy away from looking too muscular in photos, even though they're working out like crazy. I guess some folks still feel it's not too feminine, but I don't think anyone could argue that Foxy here is a beautiful specimen of the female form.

On an almost unrelated note, while I was working with Foxy, the chorus of a song from a few years back kept running through my head... Not the Hendrix song you might suspect, but instead "Foxey Lamotta" by a guy named Dylan Hicks from his first album, Won. The song is actually about a smooth-talking ladies man, but the "Foxaaaay Lamotta" chorus has a way of rattling around my head. The odd shame about it is that you can buy this album for as little as 20 cents (plus shipping) on Amazon. Like his other two albums, "Won" is a real gem -- one of thousands that get lovingly written and recorded, released then sink virtually without a trace. In a way, being a musician is more than a little like being a photographer... you can put all kinds of creativity and time and effort into a shot, and most likely, some folks will take a quick look at it, while the vast majority of the world never knows it exists. But hopefully, the shot will really connect with at least a handful of people, or maybe more, which justifies the whole endeavour. But maybe it's best not to think too long about this... for a while there, I was tempted to link to this to somehow illustrate the point. Man, it's getting late...


No, it's not a case of deja vu... I initially posted the top shot without comment a few days ago, just because I really liked it, but didn't have time to do a full-on blog post just then. Shelley certainly deserves to be thanked for a marvelous shoot and applauded for being a wonderfully engaging young woman, so I've added a couple more from the shoot and shuffled this entry back to the top so you all could enjoy it. Despite being based in small town Ohio, she's making a living modeling and doing shoots in San Francisco, Chicago, and other big time spots, so I feel doubly fortunate to have had the chance to work with her. Look for more from the shoot sooner or later.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


It's a strange phenomenon, but it seems that each month has ONE day/weekend that everyone chooses when scheduling events -- three weekends of nothing in particular, and one with three, four or more events. February 10th weekend is one of those. The main event will be the Dirty Show in Detroit, but it turns out that's also the weekend selected for Boyd's first "Fetish Ball" in Toledo, and a group shoot at Collingwood. In addition, the esteemed Candy Poses will be in Detroit for the weekend, so I've been trying to set up time with her, which I've been looking forward to since our first shoot a year ago November. There are a couple other events that I'd probably take part in if there weren't so many conflicts that weekend. But I have nothing really concrete the rest of February, apart from a shoot here and there.

Is it just that everyone thought that the weekend before Valentine's Day would be a good time? Or just strange coincidence that only seems apparent because of my perception? In this case, I think a lot of these events revolve around the Dirty Show. I'm sure there's a rational explanation this month, but in other months, it occurs with unrelated events from different spheres. Oh well... I guess it beats having nothing to do through the entire month.

The shot is the sparkly JJ Plush from the last Collingwood Group Shoot, just showcased on OMP.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

"Now I wanna be your dog..."

The building where my studio is located is something of a hodge-podge of artist's studios, small businesses, hobby businesses, and a few informal hangouts. There's a couple down at the far end of my hall who are usually there when I am, and their dog, Dave, is pictured here with the boldly beautiful Teddie.

Dave has a knack for tracking models, especially nude or semi-nude, such as Teddie here. Sometimes I wander outside the confines of the studio proper, into the hallways, elevators, stairwells or outside the building, and it seems that at 80% of these shoots, I'll hear the sound of thundering pawbeats as Dave tracks us down to check out the model. While Dave is a pit bull, he is a very sweet dog, and the models usually melt when they see him and reward him with affection and attention. Generally, Dave's arrival precedes his owner, so that gives the model a chance to cover up, but sometimes, the models don't bother, as with Teddie here, whose self-confidence in the situation impressed me. On this occasion, the owner asked if I could take a couple snapshots of Dave with the model so he could show his buddies "what a player" his dog is. So, here's the proof. Sometimes a dog's life can be pretty sweet.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Hard to believe this shoot was almost a year ago now... thanks Amanda!


Another shot of Redemption which has been garnering some nice comments on her Model Mayhem portfolio, so I thought I'd share it here, too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


A couple shots from a recent session with a model who goes by the moniker Redemption. I meant to ask her about that after the shoot, but it slipped my mind in the face of some rather challenging Chinese food. I'd only met her very briefly a couple times prior, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Turned out to be quite a fun and free-wheeling sort of shoot, which included her singing (quite well actually) and more than a couple karate-style kicks. Initially it had been planned as a rather complicated shoot involving another model and a photographer a bit further down the road (we'd each shoot, then change partners) but wound up being just me and Redemption.

In general, I find that I do my best work when it's just one-on-one with the model, or sometimes two models. I think it's a reflection of my personality in general... put me in a group of even three people, and I tend to sit back and listen, probably to the point of being thought aloof. But with just one person, I feel I'm much different -- more at ease and funnier and just a better conversationalist. In a lot of ways, a photo shoot is like a conversation -- a simple back and forth interaction between people, give and take, with each person helping to steer the direction, introduce ideas and then expand on them. Another similarity is that you want the good ones to just go on and on into the night. Thanks for a great conversation, Red! We'll chat again soon, I hope.

Implied or Covered?

Here and there, the term "implied nude" has come up a few times in recent days, and its misuse is turning into a minor pet peeve of mine. I guess because it's being used interchangably with "covered nude" (or "concealed nude") by some models and photographers. An implied nude is when the model is wearing clothing, but is posed in such a way as to imply that she is wearing nothing. The top three images here are examples. Brit and Charity are both wearing lingerie, but posed in such a way as to suggest otherwise, and Elizabeth is simply wearing a strapless top which is cropped just out of frame. The bottom two (May and Charity) are examples of covered topless images, in that they are clearly not wearing tops, but are covering their nipples. I suppose the shot of Charity could also be considered an implied nude because of the fact that she's in the shower, one might presume that she's fully nude, although she's wearing undies.

When I first posted the above paragraph as part of an earlier version of this entry, I thought I was mainly pointing out a language problem, however, based on one comment to the original post and several entries in other blogs, some photographers seem to be taking this as a model problem. The comment was so strongly worded that I pulled the entry in order to reconsider whether the topic I was addressing was really the topic I'd raised.

These photographers have stated in pretty strong terms that they won't mess with models who draw these distinctions and limit themselves to implied, covered, or partial nudity. They state that that "nudity" means nude, naked, 100%, with virtually nothing held back, and they won't work with any model unwilling to go 100%. That's not to say that every shot shows everything, but rather that for the model to participate in the making of the art, she has to be comfortable with full nudity, put herself totally in the photographer's hands, and not limit the poses by insisting that certain areas are always concealed. "How can you bare your soul if you can't bare your body?" seems to sum it up.

Part of me wants to take that "all or nothing" stand. Unless you have a specific commission, the market for non-nude model images is pretty limited in terms of selling prints or publishing. But more importantly, when a model is not holding back, that shows in the finished image. To my mind, it seems that letting go would be a much more enjoyable experience for the model than constantly worrying if some bit is showing or not. And it's one less thing for me to worry about behind the camera.

However, rather than draw a line in the sand, I'm going to continue taking it on a case-by-case basis. While I am shifting more of my work efforts to the art nude side of things, there are models I enjoy working with who have good reasons for their limitations, and I can respect them for that. Perhaps at some point I'll make the leap from being a "photographer" to being an "art nude photographer" but for now, I'll leave my options open.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


So much rain in the past week or so... makes me wonder how deep we'd be if this was all snow. As I recall, we've had maybe two snowfalls all winter, only one of them more than a heavy dusting. Not that I miss shoveling, but I think it's pretty clear that something is wrong. Maybe AngelD here is just heating things up too much...

Scrambling to catch up and keep up. Things actually happening with the day job, so blogging has been a bit light. That and trying to find topics that won't piss off SOMEONE. Maybe I missed the mark again with that first paragraph.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Can't we all just get along?

Seems to be a lot of bad vibes floating around the past couple months... not sure what it is, but by all rights, shouldn't we be about the happiest people around? Maybe we can try to be more like Jackie and Mara here and express the love and celebrate the beauty...


Thursday, January 11, 2007

"To sleep, perchance to dream..."

As promised a couple weeks ago, here are a few shots of Charity (aka Sleep to Dream) from our recent hotel shoot. It was prompted by her "Seven Deadly Sins" project, for which she invited me to help her with "Sloth." Her concept was simply to be sleeping, surrounded by her menagerie of stuffed animals. We also expanded upon that a bit with the addition of the cobwebs and the ethereal effect of the LensBaby to give it a little more of a goth Sleeping Beauty quality.

There's kind of a humorous story that goes with this shoot, basically involving what the hotel valet and desk clerk must have presumed when I was visited by this beautiful woman carrying her large leopard-print satchel, and saying she'd only be staying an hour or so... but I'm not sure I can tell it concisely enough to make it funny, so maybe it's best left to your individual imaginations.


Here are some more shots of Kaleidescope Eyes from last fall. After shooting the middle image, I mentioned that her expression was very sad, and she countered by asking if every nude shot had to have a seductive expression or the detached "model face." Of course, she was right, and it was obvious. When done right, going beyond those standard expressions can push the image from "art nude" into "portrait" because it adds a more personal dimension to the photo. So, when the time is right and the model is right, I try to capture a wider array of expressions, including sad and angry and happy and, like in the last shot here, mischievious. Hardly groundbreaking, but it's something I try to keep in mind when looking into the eyes of a subject.