Over the last month and far before that. I’ve been working on putting together a new website and photo-included business cards to give out to prospective customers, friends, and whomever I might run into during my excursions to the outside world. Considering my last batch of cards read that I live in Seattle and list a website I long ago lost the password for and a no longer active email account. I’m overdue for an update. Considering I left Seattle in 2021. I can’t help but wonder, wtf was I waiting for? Ultimately, this will all cost me. A monthly fee for a website. Money for new business cards and that studio light set I’ve had my eyes on. All for what? Will people be lining up for studio time? Will I find new faces for an upgrade to my portfolio? Will I lose my often overthinking mind trying to book clients? Who knows. Choosing a few images and a suitable template sounds and probably is easy. But it hasn’t been for me. So with a self-imposed deadline looming. I wonder, will it get done? Wait. Let me overthink this.
A combination of hearing from former models I’ve worked with and a number of sales regarding studio lights and equipment. I’ve experienced overwhelming urges to recharge my studio work. After a week or so of measuring, planning, and unhealthy overthinking. I was able to free myself from the lofty goal of rekindling my studio photography days. While my love of connecting with my subject, and doing my best to earn the trust and capture the beauty and depth of my subject. I’d be wiser and a lot more happy to look back and say, “I accomplished just that.” If I ultimately decide to get back to that aspect of my work. I’d like to explore more of my interest in natural light and shadow. Until then.
My Fascination with Slide Film. (Continued)
Continuing my deep dive into decades old images that I captured on slide film. I’ve somewhat shifted my kicking myself for less than perfect attempts at capturing the beauty and uniqueness of my subjects and instead recalling how much fun I was having and how lucky I was to have complete strangers agree to give me the time to practise my new passion. I can also recall how my social skills and ability to strike up a conversation with just about anyone were taken to new heights.
When in Doubt… Part II
Following up on last night’s post “When in Doubt…” I’m coming to the realization that my days as a studio photographer might be over. Being that I spent more than four hours going through old sessions and even considering reacquiring studio lights. I whole heartedly admit to missing experimenting with studio lights, settings, modes and above all, interpreting beauty. Looking back, the road was full of mistakes, anxiety, impatience and an overabundance of caffeine. Still, when I was clicking with a subject, it was magic. Going forward, mainly due to my issues with balance and speech, I will have to find peace and balance. In the end, I hope to learn more about landscape photography and long exposure. Enough so, that I can prove myself to me.
A Playful Moment.
I had so much fun shooting with Gia yesterday. Her laughter, smile and those incredibly expressive eyes. In the days leading up to our session. She sent me a couple of pictures of models dressed in flowing raps. (Imagine saffron robes blowing in the sahara winds.) While she never managed to track down the material. The idea stayed fresh even as we had begun our shoot. When it came time to change into the next outfit. She asked if I had any sheets we could use as a substitute. Thinking on my feet. I decided to use on of my photo backgrounds instead. Wrapping it around her upper . I had her friend hold the the ends. Creating somewhat of a loving tug of war. Notice the smile and the playful exchange she’s having.
Catching Up with a Dear Friend
When my long time friend and favorite expatriate messaged me that she would be returning to New Jersey for a short, yet important visit. I knew the odds of me seeing her this time around, let alone catching up on her three years in Germany were about as good as the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series. Still, any chance to see such an old and dear friend was worth taking. Imagine my surprise when she was both available and looking forward to indulging me in one of my truest passions, studio photography. The hours we spent together were more of a gab session with me sneaking in a shot or two whenever I could.
Having met Mandy in the parking lot of a strip mall adjacent to my high school when I was sixteen. The likelihood of us ever becoming friends seemed improbable to say the very least. Yet, despite being polar opposites we became trusted, close friends before long. Supporting one another through sickness and health.Through the good times and bad. She’s been a huge supporter and influence on me as a photographer and as a volunteer to worthy causes. She’s one of the few people in my life who crosses the lines between friends and family. One’s that, no matter the distance or time. Remain, unspoken, an integral part of my life. And as my Mother put it “Damn, that woman does not age.” Looking at this picture. I think it highlights both her beauty and unwaning strength. I’m incredibly grateful for having the chance to catch up with her. One of Jersey’s best, no matter where she goes.
Third Time’s the Charm
Having worked with Tory on two separate occasions. We’ve worked towards creating some noteworthy images. Ones that displayed both her talent and beauty. Strangely enough, each of the two sessions left me scratching my head, thinking, she is far more beautiful than I’ve portrayed her to be. Far to beautiful to be hiding under all the clothes and makeup that only serve to mask any of her beautiful features.. Just an opinion, but one that cried out, begging for redemption on my part. For, in my heart of hearts. I had failed in not portraying her as the beautiful woman I saw her as.
Armed with ideas and a sense of determination I reached out. Much to my surprise and slight confusion, she not only agreed, but thanked me for the second (actually third chance.) Knowing, as well as accepting that each individual has their own sense of style and look that they’re comfortable with. It can make for a difficult task in attempting to have someone give in to a look other than their own. In Tory’s case, she made it incredibly easy for me. My suggestion to wear a comfortable tee shirt and go minimal with the makeup could best be equated to a less is more theory. Personally, I felt that those small changes went a long way to bring out her true beauty. I was finally given the chance to see the woman I always envisioned was under the makeup and clothing.
I can’t go without thanking her for both the opportunity and trust she gifted. I’m more than happy to report that I finally got it right.
Back to Basics
While my prior studio session helped me get on solid ground as far as my studio lighting was concerned. This weekends session with Audrey allowed me to take things a bit further. During my previous session I took full advantage of lighting the background from behind with a soft box while lifting the shadows at 45′ degrees with my new Photoflex 72′ SRP umbrella. This time around, I added a beauty dish that really highlighted the models skin and features while adding depth to the images overall quality. Moving the lights around and playing with photography’s rule of thirds More on that Here Most important was Audrey’s presence. With a sense of grace and an intuitive nature to know what I’m about to say before I utter a single word. She has made our annual studio sessions an opportunity to grow and learn while having an absolute blast. As the years comes to a close. I’m beginning to see where the next year might take me creatively. From here, the view looks pretty damn good.
About a week ago I had a friend come over for some initial tests in the new spot. I had moved just a week before and was looking to start booking as soon as I possibly could. Considering Audrey has always been such a fun and patient subject to work with, she was my first and only choice. Considering Audrey has always been such a fun and patient subject to work with, she was my first and only choice. Though we spent a fair amount of time in the studio fiddling around with different lighting and the lofts natural light. I felt most comfortable exploring what the building itself offered. As we moved from space to space, I realized how much I really preferred the natural light the halls, lobby and nearby gallery offered. To say I’m excited by the endless possibilities my new settings have offered, would be a tremendous understatement. I look forward to both the opportunities and challenges it all brings.
Everyone Has a Unique Story to Tell. Sometimes We Just Need to Listen.
I’ve met a lot of unique and beautiful people in my lifetime. Though trying to start a conversation with a complete stranger can be a humbling kick in the ego. It can open the doors to to so many new and rewarding experiences. These days I don’t feel all that comfortable speaking myself. Often catching myself stumbling over my words or feeling unable to say exactly what my brain is trying to communicate. Depending on how you look at it. It can be viewed as a positive, negative or both. For me personally, I try to see it as a positive. The positive being I can muster the words and expressions well enough to invite a conversation before letting my ability to listen take foot. Though I didn’t expect it. I find myself enjoying the time I spend with my mouth closed and my ears open. I’ve met some very interesting characters with some really incredible stories to tell. I’ve learned a lot with this little gift. More about the world and it’s people. More surprisingly, I’ve learned a lot more about myself. Most times, a smile, a nod or a simple hello can start a conversation. I took each of these three images within about an hour with the help of those three expressions. Try it some time. You might be surprised by what you get.