Friday, March 30, 2007

It can NOT be the end of March already...

It is simply not possible that 2007 is 1/4 over with. Next weekend is not Easter. No way. Uh uh. Must be some sort of elaborate April Fool's joke, and we all get to turn the clock back to Groundhog Day, right?

The accelleration of time is relative... when you're 5, a year is 20% of your lifetime! No wonder it takes forever for summer to arrive and for Christmas to roll around. By the time you hit the tender age of 20, a year has already dropped to 5% of your life, so it seems to go that much faster. At 40, it's dropped to 2.5% of your lifetime, and 2.5% of anything is within the margin of error... negligible. That's the only explanation I can come up with. I guess that, and being extremely busy so that there's no time to just sit back and spend a lazy sunday loafing around the house, or get away and take that vacation to just unwind. If I'm going to travel somewhere, I'm going to take a camera and shoot! Busman's holiday, to be sure.

Now, there's not much I enjoy more than shooting. Like they say about sex and pizza, even when it's bad, it's pretty damn good. Luckily, I've had very few shoots that were less than totally enjoyable. And I like editing the shoots, but it's time consuming, and it's easy to put off next to the urgency of a scheduled shoot, or a day job project crunch. As I keep telling myself, I'm keeping NEXT month very lean on shooting, and going to try to get heavy on the editing, and revise my workflow and deliverables a bit. And despite all my wonky math in the last paragraph, they still put 24 hours in almost every single day, and it's up to me to do good things with those hours.

Here's Marsha, reminding me with her eyes that I need to finish editing more of her photos. Patience...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

So long, AngelD

A favorite model of mine, AngelD, is moving far away next week, and I'm going to miss her. Her enthusiasm, her humor, her sense of adventure, her smile and spiky hair, and of course her exquisitely sculpted physique that photographs so well. Hoping to keep in touch online, and follow her adventures on her blog. I'm not sure if there are many compelling reasons for her to return to Ohio, so I'm not sure I'll get to see her or work with her again. Makes me sad, but I'll try to think about all the kickass pictures she's made with me already. :)

Best of luck on your new adventure, AngelD...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Happy Jack

Here's "Danaid" -- a fairly new figure model who it was my pleasure to photograph recently. She's trained as a sculptor, and I think that artistic sensibility is transferring well into her modeling. She's already in high demand, and I think is a little surprised that she's getting so much attention as a result of answering an ad another photographer ran in one of those free community arts papers. The portrait shot here earned a showcase on her OMP portfolio. I'm already looking forward to working with her again. Thanks Danaid!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The eyes have it...

On edit 3/27: Another bit of luck... the portrait of Penny has been featured on afuckaday, which despite the name, is actually a very classy aggregator of some of the best artistic nude photography on the net. Evidence that they're classy? They used the portrait rather than the full nude. Thanks Rob!

Funny how my weekends are becoming more complicated and demanding than my "work week" lately. Just thought I'd "drop by" a group shoot on Saturday and hand out a few business cards, maybe do a quick shoot with a model or two. Ended up spending almost 7 hours there, and worked with six different models, and I think got some really nice stuff. Some of these models were experienced, others just starting out, and one was a friend of another photographer who I don't think had ever worked with a photographer before. But I'm finding that having experience as a model isn't terribly important, but rather enthusiasm and a spirit of adventure can work wonders. I'll do my best to have some shots from that event soon, but as usual, I'm in the hole on getting images to models.

A case in point that experience isn't everything... here are two more images of Penny from our second session, which I think was her second session ever. Obviously, experience can't give someone beautiful eyes (although skillful makeup can help), and the confidence evident in the reclining shot is just a part of her -- probably helps that she's in such great shape, too. Not a typical "model type" really, but a wonderful woman to photograph and spend time with. And Penny has been lucky for me, too... two OMP showcases so far, including the portrait here.

On some of the blogs, there's been a bit of debate about the merits of "first timers" compared with experienced models. Each has advantages and maybe some drawbacks, but for me, it really comes down to the individual person being photographed, and how much they want to be there working with me and want to be a part of something special.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

H20 Art Show

I'm supposed to take some work down to an art show this evening at a club downtown. It's billed as an art show, but the flyer only features musicians, so who knows? Haven't even been to the club, let alone seen their set-up for an art show, so I'm just going to take my little stack of mounted prints, find a place to show a few of them off, and see if anyone looks my way. These are essentially the ones that did NOT sell at the Dirty Show, so maybe they'll play in Dayton a little better. Or maybe not.

Coincidentally, another shot of Sarah behind the masks. Thought for SURE this one would sell at Dirty.

Postscript: turns out I HAVE been to the club, numerous times. I'd known it for years as The Dayton Diner, but it's changed hands umpteen times since then and I lost track -- turns out it is now The Pearl. Got there a few minutes later than I'd planned, but the charming Mary set me up with a primo spot next to Kidtee Hello's table. Was able to nicely display 15 prints, and sold the print of Sarah shown above. (Thanks Matt!) Got a good number of folks really looking over the work who were very complimentary, and I may even have a couple new models out of the evening as well. :) There will be another show there April 17th, and I plan to have a number of new prints available then. Also going to look at a way of selling "loose" prints rather than matted so I can have some product at a little more affordable price. Thanks again to Mary and everyone who stopped by.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sarah belle 'em

A couple more from the stunning Sarah Ellis... the title "Sarah belle 'em" is sort of a corruption of Garrison Keillor's faux writer credit "Sarah Bellum" -- an obvious play on cerebellum, a part of the brain. My tortured pun refers to how, in addition to being knock-down drag-out gorgeous (belle), Sarah is brainy -- a grad student in a rather obscure and non-glamorous discipline that I'd have a hard time even describing. Her brilliance shines through in her quick wit and shining personality, too, and it's a pleasure just hanging out with her for a few hours, let alone photographing her. It's so nice talking with her, there's a distinct danger of chatting away the entire shoot. These two shots were Showcased on OMP today, in case anyone's keeping score. Thanks for another great shoot, Sarah, and hope to go again soon!

Thanks BT

Friend and photographer BT Charles has decided to retire his blog due to what sounds like a great variety of other opportunities and obligations, but is also planning to expand his photographic "focus" as well. He spells it all out here. Although I've only known him for a few months, he's given me quite a bit of encouragement and support in my work, as well as being a generous resource. I'll miss reading his blog, but I know I'll be hearing from him.

On edit, BT couldn't stay away for long... I knew it! Check out his resuscitated blog.

Rose as a lamp, an idea unknowingly plundered from Andi. Before the shoot, I wandered into the room where Andi, Rose and Charity were chatting and setting up, and Rose had the lampshade on her head. I thought she was just goofing around, but figured it could be a fun little thing to shoot. Found out after the fact that Andi had suggested she don the lampshade, and was also considering shooting it. As we were shooting, Andi also suggested adding the cord. So I guess she deserves a lot of the credit for this one. Or blame, as the case may be.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

3000 words?

Three shots of the incomparable Sarah Ellis... stay tuned for more.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


A thought that's been on my mind the past week or so has been the change in myself since I started seriously taking pictures again in the fall of 2005. Prior to that time, outside the day job, I was primarily a consumer and appreciator of music, movies, TV, magazines, websites, books, and even dabbling in video games. I was doing some photography and cheesy video, mainly concerts and some skateboarding things, but wasn't really too involved in it. I was primarily a consumer (and collector) of stuff. My days of playing in a band were basically just a memory, but that too didn't really consume me, even to the point of bothering to practice on my own outside of rehearsals. As a bass player of modest ability, I found solo practice to be a pretty dismal way to spend time. I was also entirely wrapped up in politics, still stinging from the results of the 2004 election where, through hours of volunteer work, I gained a truer appreciation for what Will Rogers meant when he said "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat."

Today, I feel like I've shifted from being mainly someone who consumes to being someone who produces. In addition to loads of time spent shooting and editing pictures, most waking hours are spent figuring out how, when, where and with whom I can set up shoots, considering new ideas and techniques, searching for props and wardrobe, considering and sourcing equipment, and from time to time, actually finishing pieces to offer for sale. I hesitate to equate "art" with "product" but there is a great deal of satisfaction that arises from producing images that receive positive attention, and making prints that actually sell. Now, there is a lot of "consuming" that goes on to produce the work... everything adds up: camera equipment, studio fees, props, wardrobe, travel expenses, prints, mats, frames, books, magazines, website fees, not to mention fees or expenses paid to models from time to time. But in a business sense, those are capital and production costs -- an investment in the final product.

Not sure if talking about all this fits in with the romanticized vision of the artist, but it's the reality, and I feel that while it hasn't been cheap, it's been money well spent. Particularly because of the sense of purpose and direction that this pursuit has given me. In a lot of ways, I'm a very different person than I was two years ago... happier with a greater confidence and a fulfillment of feeling productive. I still have my days, like anybody, and I've increased my stress level somewhat, but I feel there's the positive stress of trying to come up with good ideas or juggle model schedules, compared to the negative stress of trying to deal with the phone company or having my office turned upside down for "maintenance improvements." I do need to find a more effective way of editing images in a timely manner, and maybe I'll have that sorted by the time this blog hits 300.

So, again, I invite you to leave comments... congratulate me on sticking with this blog for 200 posts, tell me I've reached new levels of self-indulgence, let me know what sorts of changes you've seen in my work (or the blog or whatever), or just that you're out there reading and would like to see this thing reach 300. Thanks to everyone for tuning in, especially those who've made the effort to leave a comment. And special thanks to the models, such as Marsha here, for making it all possible.

Friday, March 16, 2007


After a bit of a dry spell, a couple new OMP showcases*. The top one is the bright shiny Penny tossing her hair in the air like she just don't care. Penny was initially brought to me by a model friend of hers because she wanted some pictures for her boyfriend's birthday. She'd never done any modeling before, but liked my work and wanted to see what I'd do with her. Our brief "introductory" session I figured would just be some casual portraits, but her first question was "so, do I get undressed now?" (The answer to which is almost always "yes" by the way.) We got some really lovely images that day, but I wanted more time with her and also she wanted to do more shots with a variety of wardrobe. Our second shoot was a lot of fun, too, and she had the poise and confidence of an experienced model, and I really love a lot of what we did. Ironically, the boyfriend who was the motivation for her shooting is now history, but I think Penny may have caught the modeling bug, at least as a fun diversion. Life is funny that way sometimes. I'm looking forward to yet another shoot sometime soon with her, maybe some outdoor work. Thanks Penny!

The second shot is Cheyenne, someone I'd talked with for quite a while before we actually worked together. We already have a lot of ideas for another shoot, but I need to keep those under my hat for now. Look for more from this shoot, too... two showcases so far from the day, with many other candidates to be posted. My thanks to you, too, Cheyenne.

Going to be away from the computer most of the weekend, shooting like a madman, but the next post will be #200 on this blog, so I'll have time to ruminate on some grand bi-centennial sort of statement of mission and purpose. Or maybe just a cool batch of photos. As always, your comments, questions and suggestions are greatly encouraged.

*For my thoughts on the significance and insignificance of OMP showcases, please check this entry.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another Hottie to vote for...

Maxim has posted this week's candidates for their Hometown Hotties contest, and the lovely Jenn Thomas is among them. Had the opportunity to work with Jenn at a group shoot last year, and she was incredible, both as a model and just as a sweet, smart, funny, energetic person who was there to work. I think we shot at least ten different outfits (almost unheard of at a group shoot) and she gave it her all. She's doing quite well for herself, and is working internationally, too. She sort of combines the best features of Liz Hurley and Terri Hatcher, so I would not be at all surprised to see her on TV or in the movies someday. I hope you'll all take a minute and vote for Jenn a few times this week.

Monday, March 12, 2007

In case you were wondering...

You know, sometimes things absolutely drive me up the fucking wall...

(This photo is completely unrelated)

(on edit, 10:38pm)

...then sometimes things are set straight and I feel a bit better.

(This photo is also completely unrelated. both are ehme.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bending over backwards

Going to be away from the computer for most of the weekend, but wanted to check in and make a humble request or two...

First, this blog is approaching 200 entries, and I would GREATLY appreciate some more comments. I hear from a small handful of people on a regular basis, and I appreciate their efforts, but the other 99% of visitors haven't bothered yet. I know your returning visits are a positive comment of a sort, but would love to hear more from y'all as to what you like, what you don't like, what you wanna see more of...

Here's Teddie, bending over backwards to make an interesting photo for your appreciation. We're talking about another shoot soon that could definitely find its way into the "friends-only" blog, and you wouldn't want to miss that.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The rise of the model/photographer

Blog Against Sexism DayLearned from Candy's Blog that yesterday was "Blog Against Sexism" day. Trust me to be a day late, but it prompted me to finish an entry I started a week or two back. Now, I'm not sure how well I could defend a blog full of nude women against charges of sexism, although from what I hear back, the models I've worked with feel I'm professional and respectful, and they often recommend me to friends, including several who thought I would be a good person for first-time models to do nudes with. Not sure if that makes me non-sexist, or if it's even relevant to the term. But I do what I can in my own way.

But that's not really the topic I had in mind... What I wanted to mention was a trend I've seen of women models picking up the camera to become damn good photographers. Now, this is not an entirely new thing. One of the more famous examples is Ellen Von Unwerth, who went from modeling to the top tiers of photography. A somewhat less prominent example coincidentally presented itself last night as I was looking through the book Lynn: Front to Back by Lynn Kohlman, who did a lot of fashion/glamour modeling in the late 60s and early 70s, but then picked up the camera to become an excellent photographer. The book is quite powerful -- in addition to presenting some of her modeling work, and a lot of her photography, it largely deals with her battle with cancer, and there's a startling photo spread at the front of the book. On the left side is a simple, gorgeous nude of her from her modeling days, and on the right, a stark shot of her with double mastectomy scars and a shaved swath on her head with a long incision closed with staples. Well worth checking out for yourself, but I digress yet again...

Back to the trend of models becoming photographers... KC is someone I've had the chance to photograph a few times, but from day one, it was clear she had her eye on being a photographer. She managed to find an excellent situation with a mentor who provided her with a lot of resources and taught her the technical side of things, but her work just seemed so fully formed and polished right out of the gate, she's obviously a natural. Excellent photoshop skills and fashion sense, she has taken a lot of inspiration from V Magazine, and hopes to be published there someday. If they're smart, they'll grab her. She also does some great self-portrait work. In the meantime, she's moved from tiny Anderson, Indiana, to the big city of Dallas, landed a sweet photographic "day job" that most photographers I know would kill to have, and is talking with a new magazine about being one of their main photographers. So besides being talented, smart, beautiful and motivated... she's just recently turned 19. Hard not to be a little envious of her work and success, but I wish her all the best.

Athena is another model I've worked with several times who has been photographing models herself for a while now. She's also multi-talented in doing makeup, and designing/making a variety of clothing -- I believe she made the lingerie she's wearing in this shot. Like KC, Athena is also 19, and has virtually unlimited potential for growth.

One definite advantage the female-model-turned-photographer has over someone like me... they've been doing makeup and steeped in fashion culture since their mothers first let them wear lipstick, so it's completely natural for them to know what make-up will complement a specific outfit, or how to do dramatic makeup and have it look right, and the built-in comfort level models seem to have working with female photographers. And they've had the chance to observe a wide variety of photographers to pick up ideas on technique, lighting, how to direct a model, where to find locations, and how to "be a photographer." Plus, "young and beautiful" has definite advantages over "old and grizzled" in this realm. Or am I veering away from the "blog against sexism" course?

While I've not (yet?) worked with her, I've admired the work of Katie West for months. While she has done some modeling with other photographers, her real strength is her self-portrait work. Simply remarkable images made with the most basic gear generally in the humble surroundings of her apartment, the personal intensity reminds me of Francesca Woodman's work. In fact, while a lot of my plans for a road trip up north this weekend have fallen through for various reasons, I'm still planning to go to the ©POP Gallery opening on Saturday just for the chance to meet Katie. Maybe some of the brilliance will transfer if I shake her hand.(On edit: didn't get to meet Katie... realized when I go there that it would be like trying to pick Cindy Sherman out of a crowd. Also, I fixed the link to Katie's website.)

There are loads of other examples, but I'll just bring up one or two more here. Michele, aka Grafix Chik, is something of an accidental model, I think mainly by virtue of knowing a few photographers and being so damn lovely that we all badger her into posing for us. Her photography is wonderful, even though she just considers it a hobby. Some of the best self-portrait work I've seen, she has a great sense of visual whimsy that comes through whether she's shooting still lifes, herself, or posing for other photographers. When she wants to, she can do sultry as well...hell, I doubt there's anything she can't do.

Lastly for this entry, I can't forget Andi, artist and photographer first, and ocassional model, again by virtue of hanging out with other photographers... sometimes even dating them! Scandal! That seems to be one pitfall of being a female photographer... male photographers will often ask you to pose for them. I doubt it happens much in the other direction though... of course, very few male photographers that I've ever met would be suitable for anything besides, perhaps, a Diane Arbus-style portrait showing the ravages of age, alcohol, and/or junk food. Not sure if that qualifies as sexism, or just plain asthetics. There's a reason 99% of my work is with women...

Again, there are scads of other excellent female models-turned-photographers, and female photographers... just time and space limitations prevent me from including more now. Feel free to nominate some of your favorites in the comments, and maybe this post will get a "part two" entry sometime.

So, have I addressed sexism and its attendant evils with this blog post? Not sure... I'm reminded of a joke song called "Chicks, You're Our Equals Now" sung in sleazy lounge-lizard style, which on the face of it, celebrates gender equality while cluelessly including the old sexist language and ideas it purportedly speaks out against. The ironic cluelessness is pretty brilliant in its own weird way. Maybe that's what I'm doing here... praising the female model/photographers I know while showing sexy photos of them, amid a sea of nude women. I guess I would say I'm all for equality, but believe there are differences between men and women, and it's those differences that make life interesting. Or maybe I'm dead wrong... I suppose a lot of sexism is a result of cluelessness, not actual malice. So, feel free to clue me in with your comments.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A nude with no baggage...

Something reminded me of a shoot from a while back where I was bringing in a model from out of state for some nude work, and the airline lost her bags. The initial reaction is "oh, well, it's a nude shoot... not like she needs to have any wardrobe" but it's not that simple. In this case, the model had packed her hair supplies and toiletries, as well as her Rx meds, cell phone charger, an expensive purse, and a few choice wardrobe items, including several pairs of "kinky boots." She had to describe a distinctive item in each of her bags to the lost luggage drone, and asked me "what do you think they'll make of two bags filled with boots, heels and lingerie?" That and a round trip of only about 24 hours... ah, appearances.

We could have shot without doing much to her hair and without wardrobe, but the real trouble was the time-consuming effort of trying to work with the airlines to figure out just what had happened to the bags, and when they might be arriving. The 7:09? The 11:15? Maybe the 6am flight? I ended up driving to the airport four times that weekend. Not to mention the aggravation factor -- dealing with airlines ranks right up there with the phone company and the cable company -- somewhat putting both of us off our game a bit. And there were further complications I won't go into here.

It also really cut into the time I'd hoped to shoot... was planning on some hotel room fun the night she arrived and an early start the next day and possibly a couple different locations. Granted, we did end up with my "usual" 3 hours to work, but considering the expense and what seemed like months of discussion and a few weeks of actual planning, I was disappointed in the amount of time we had. We did get some excellent images, which is the important thing. But still, when the "best laid plans" are messed up by the damn airlines, it's hard not to think of what might have been.

This shot is NOT the model in question, but rather to illustrate the position the airline put me in...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Blogrolling...the models

As a part two for the earlier blogrolling entry, here's a quick introduction to the models whose sites I have linked, scientifically sequenced using top secret criteria... obviously, I'd suggest paying their sites a visit for all the latest scoop from them. Tell them I sent ya...
The list starts with Candy (above) and her excellent blog Feminism Without Clothes. I've talked about Candy here a number of times, so I won't rehash it. Suffice to say that she's a wonderful young lady richly deserving of all the attention she's been getting lately. The shot above is from our recent shoot, from which many more treasures wait to be unearthed.

Iris Dassault has been exceptionally supportive of my work, and I really enjoy shooting with her and love the results we've managed so far. I say so far, because I hope to work with her more as the warm weather approaches. Her blog has been praised far and wide both for its images and its thoughtful insights, and rightly so. Check it out! (Or read more Iris entries from this blog.)

Rose and I go back a ways to when I was first getting serious about the model photography thing. While I don't like to play favorites, she's one of the models I always enjoy working with, even though we often seem to catch one another on an off day. Have her on my card for the next group shoot, and I'm looking forward to being on top of my game that day and doing even more memorable new work with her before she graduates and moves even further away. She pops up in this blog pretty regularly if you'd care to see more of our work and read more about her. (on edit: she's since taken down her blog)

...angel del polvo... (Angel of the Dust) is the blog of the magnificent AngelD. Just about as energetic, sweet and funny as a person gets, she can switch into a real zone of intensity in front of the camera and achieves some incredible things with that wrought-iron physique of hers. Of course, she does great with the softer side, and frequently likes to inject her weird sense humor into the proceedings, too. Plus, she appears to be fearless... snakes, rooftops, odd guys wielding nipple rings... she'll work with it and look great doing it. Word is she's moving away soon, too. I miss her already. :( See more AngelD fun elsewhere on my blog.

Beauty is All In The Mind is Crystallynn's blog reflecting her attitude that there are many ways to add beauty to the world. In addition to modeling, she also does work as a stylist/make-up artist (MUA!) among a variety of other talents. Coming off something of a tempestuous year, it looks like she's really going to be directing a lot more of her time into her modeling during the months ahead... which is good news for me! More Crystallynn entries...

Go Back to Sleep is the well-intended, but infrequently updated blog of Sleep to Dream, aka Charity. A sweetheart who always has plenty of ideas, she has a lot more range than she usually explores. Always a pleasure to shoot with her, I'm looking forward to working with her many more times. Read about some of our other adventures

Strangling is the blog of the woman with many names: Mas69ter, Edward, but most simply, Heather. Shoots with Heather always have an accidental quality about them for some reason. Moreso in the planning of the shoots, rather than the results, although I'll admit to things being a bit hit-or-miss with her. My earliest recollection of her is wandering around the Southfield shoot with Andi, topless under a fuzzy white coat with her striking red hair... as she and Andi were walking by, I had Heather stop for a couple impromptu shots with Barbie, so I guess even our first shoot was more or less accidental. She's really only shown up in the blog once or twice before, but maybe more will be forthcoming before long.

Last but not least is The Original Jada, a Chicago model I hope to work with at some point... she was kind enough to give me a link early, and she runs a very lively and entertaining blog, so be sure to check it out. Thanks Jada!

Thanks to all these fine models for their hard work and efforts, and for placing their confidence in me, especially those who worked with me when I was just getting started with the model photography rock-n-roll thing. It's been great so far, and I look forward to a big year ahead.

Of course, I have lots of nice things to say about models NOT listed here, but to my knowledge, they don't have blogs that they're maintianing. Models, if you feel I've left you off my links list, just let me know. Cheers all!

Sorry for the lapse...

Real world busy-ness and business have kept me away from my blog for a bit longer than I'd like. Here are a few of Alexis from a recent shoot to hopefully make it up to you.

Things are heating up with the prospect of spring weather right around the corner. Been shooting a lot more than I've been able to edit, I'm afraid, so I'm going to try to balance that out a bit if possible, but the good opportunities are presenting themselves more and more regularly these days. So in some ways, it's a good problem to have. That said, if I owe you images, your patience is appreciated, but a gentle nudge wouldn't hurt. GENTLE being the key word...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blogrolling...the photographers

Just wanted to take a few moments to direct your attention to some new links on this page (over to the right there) and introduce a few of the players briefly. Obviously, click the links to learn more about 'em in their own words. Here's a quick rundown, old and new...the sequence is a top secret semi-random formula.

Hotel Room Nudes is Don Nelson's flagship blog. I've learned a lot from Don, not only in photographic terms, but also in terms of attitude and clarity of vision. I thank him yet again for his grumbling support. We've worked with a couple of the same models already...maybe our paths will cross before long.

Exposed for the Shadows is where Dave Levingston shares his outstanding photos, technical insights, and philosophical musings. Truly a generous soul, I have to say I envy his new "retired" status that will give him all kinds of time to wander around the country and make more great art with wonderful models. (Don't tell anyone, but he does some beautiful commercial work, too.)

BT Charles (aka Bruce) does a wide variety of excellent conceptual photography, from the nuanced to the outrageous. He (and his beautiful wife) have provided me with a great deal of encouragement and he's graciously shared a lot of insights with me. If you meet him, buy him a nice cold Coke.

She Saw Red is one avenue of expression for my girlfriend, Andi, who excels at so many different things, it's hard to keep track. (That's her, giving her "sexy librarian" stare.) With a camera, she can beautifully transform her subjects, while making it seem effortless. Her models idolize her from time to time, but I wish more of them truly appreciated how good she is. Go read her blog, check out her photography, buy some jewelry, and tell her to do more painting. She's been along for much of my photographic ride... thanks for the adventure, sweetie.

James M. Graham for lack of a better word, is a rockstar. Maybe it stems from his former career as a music writer, or from living and working in NYC, but it's there. Got to meet him briefly at The Dirty Show last month, and was impressed at how genuine and down-to-earth he is. (More so than most other folks I've met from NYC who aren't rockstar photographers.) Advice to other photographers out there... do NOT mention James' name to a model while you're working with her... unless you want to hear her rave about him for the rest of the day. ;)

Fluffytek is the team of Richard and Lin, who produce some wonderful art nudes over in the UK. They've been extremely complimentary of my work, and they seem to complement one another perfectly. If I ever visit my sister, I'll be sure to schedule a stop in London to meet them in person and see if Lin's up for my first international photo shoot.

Newcastle Art Nudes is where you'll find Mark, and it's a relatively new addition to my blogroll, and he's a relatively new blogger. You'll also find Mark in Australia, doing some excellent figure work and exploring a wide variety of stylistic techniques. Australia is someplace I've always wanted to visit, and maybe now I'll have a couch to crash upon if I can scrape together the airfare. No worries Mark, that could take a while.

Magic Flute Art Nudes is another new addition here, although Stephen Haynes has been doing outstanding nude work for quite a while. I recently ordered a print from Stephen, and we've had some good conversations as well... maybe he'll buy one of my prints before long.

Chip Willis is just up the road in Columbus, but I had to go to Detroit to actually meet him at last month's Dirty Show. Chip keeps doing outstanding work and exploring new areas, plus he has a knack for getting published around the world. He's one of the photographers putting Ohio on the map internationally, and for that I thank him. (Blogrolling points off for not linking back to me...or seemingly anyone else.)

Far Rider Photography is a self-described "two-wheeled photo tramp" and his blog reflects a wide variety of photographic interests. David is from a little town in Ohio, and seems to have an advantage there of lots of cool rural locations... I should head down to Circleville this spring and ask him to show me around.

Last but certainly not least, Visions of Excess is Boyd Hambleton's blog. One of the more personal and introspective blogs on the list, Boyd loses blogrolling points for the infrequency of his updates, but he makes up for them in length and intensity. Boyd's group shoots have been tremendously valuable to me, especially when I was first getting started on this little adventure, and Boyd personally has offered a great deal of encouragement and inspiration. He lives something of the "starving artist" lifestyle, which takes a lot of guts, but it gives him a lot of freedom to work and he seems to have an endless supply of models who will do almost anything for him. There are a lot of days where I think that looks like a pretty good option. Thanks for everything Boyd!

Next time: Blogrolling...the models! That's Rose up at the top, giving y'all some BAMF attitude. Word.