Looking glass

Archive for the 'Imagery' Category


Thursday, August 26th, 2010

I suppose when you have a near flawless complexion and skintone, cosmetics become more of a superfluous thing than in most cases. That would explain why this would constitute Isis’ first ever donning of lipstick. I would be tempted to be a bit mopey at not having contributed partially (at least) to the makeup, but the results Laura got taking over hardly left me bothered in the end.



Monday, June 28th, 2010

…ie. I think, via experience, I’ve run the gamut of model names enough to not be surprised much anymore by how quirky they get. Regardless, her name is actually quite apropos considering she is helping my new venture back into actually contacting models to shoot with.

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword because after an experience like the one I had meeting and shooting with Freshie, I start remembering the myriad things I liked about the entire collaborative and lightheartedly fun process. Yet, those are the sort of expectations that can lead into the disillusionment that is rampant in the ’scene’ (although more so on the side of the models).

But then I start editing more of the photos we shot and the results are far too adorable, drowning out most of the concerns. An absolute darling of an individual to start up this facet of the cycle again with.



Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Summer is officially under way. I actually began it a day early while hanging out in DC with some good friends during a much-needed relaxing mid-afternoon grass-sitting, snack-eating session. It also presented a chance to whip out the camera for casual shooting.

I find it interesting (if not fitting) that, in continuation of recent themes, I was treated to an odd dichotomy of visual death and life encapsulated in different forms.



Wednesday, May 26th, 2010


Anyone who tells you that they don’t fear death is either disingenuous, deluded, or delirious.

For the second time this month, I’ve become a spectator to the carcasses of a few fallen hatchlings at the base of the stairs up to my apartment. The nests high above in the archway appear perhaps too vulnerable to the elements. I had quietly been a bit bothered that I hadn’t gotten around to taking some pictures of the barely-feathered newborns the last time. I didn’t, however, plan or wish to be witness to the event again…

It is the most fleeting of things, the amalgamation of fired neurons we call life. We take for granted that the entire encapsulation includes the very sentience we perceive it with. The convenient benefits of our evolved brains are the ability to create distractions and the ability to assign emotional value to things we can whimsically imagine for ourselves. They are the blinders that keep our eyes away from inevitability and focused on construct…and considering our species’ fixation with emotion and value placement, it’s perhaps a psycho-biological prerequisite.

It’s not the loss of the sensory stimulus that’s so much the issue…I suspect that is the primary thought process we all go through when mulling the questions. It’s the process of losing the very system that processes the stimuli. It’s not the loss of everything you’ve placed value upon; it’s the loss of the ability to place value.

Quiet, stark reality. A testament to brevity.

May you find many vivid intoxications for as long as you will need them.

Seeing In The Dark

Friday, May 7th, 2010

 How I Learned To See In The Dark

I was fortunate enough to be able to again catch Chris Pureka, this time on a spring east-coast tour for her new album. Sometimes I wish I had the talent to be able to condense my emotional catharses into an aural medium. She has an unassuming, honest energy to her (you can tell when she’s just speaking plainly) that actually reinforces the heavy, melancholy vocals she pours forth.

This video of the new album’s title track Wrecking Ball is from a show only 4 days after the one I saw her in. Enjoy.


Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I’ve actually been a rather reserved person most of my life, particularly socially. It was a progression of habit and eventual familiarity with the process itself that put me in a place where interacting with models in scant-to-no clothing didn’t feel partially awkward for me even when being thoroughly focused on the shoot theme. Now, it’s something I think I’ve come to take for granted. My roommate of many years has lived with me throughout this evolution and doesn’t bat an eyelash at random nudity in the apartment. Being around people who are comfortable in that sort of environment may as well be second nature to me now.

It does manage to surprise me, then, when two people entirely new to modeling are able to perform a flawless transition into that ‘photo shoot zone’ where the mood is completely comfortable and fluid…despite their state of (un)dress.

Amber and I had been talking for months about getting around to shooting. It became one of those deals where you’ve got the firecracker rocket stuck into the ground and you’ve got the lighter in your pocket…and days still go by without getting the fuse lit. I’d spoken with Andrew less and we hadn’t even formally discussed shots with him. Had he not ended up being free from other obligations that day I wouldn’t have ended up being able to incorporate him at all in the actual shoot. But, with a little good fortune and the totally stress-free environment (granted, being around people you’re familiar with and a few bottles of wine can help with that…), we managed to crank out some rather fantastic stuff.

Among many other spectacular things, it was another prodding reminder of how much I do enjoy shooting couples.

Amber CAmber CAmber CAmber CAmber CAmber CAmber & AndrewAmber CAmber C

Gold Dust

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I wasn’t even exactly sure about how I would title this blog and then Tori Amos’ Gold Dust popped up on my random playlist…an interesting duality of a title.

The main part of this entry is for Pia, Mikaela, and Isabella. I know Pia through work and she was kind enough to invite me over on a gloriously warm April day for some picture-taking with her and her two girls. You may as well have had Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun playing on repeat in the background as theme music. It was actually pretty hilarious. Like, creating the idea of an ‘alien zombie cow’ hilarious. It was a vibrant experience.

The other thought in my head recently I’m actually including here because of how polarizing it is in comparison to imagery so emblematic of youth.

A close friend of mine had her father pass away last week. It would be cliche to go on about what emotional impact that can play on anyone who is normally a bundle of laughs, but there are some events in life that leave a concerned friend at a loss for adequately expressive words of comfort. I was surprised, though, at how it gave me pause as well. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that death hasn’t historically crossed my path very closely. Not to say it necessarily makes for any naivete to not live so close to it often, but my philosophical and psychological views can tend to bring the stark reality more sharply into focus. I’m convinced that anyone who tells you that they do not fear death is either distracted, delusional, or drugged. It’s not the loss of the world that’s the issue. It’s the loss of the perceptual mechanism that lets us render it into reality. The freak self-reflective sentience we ephemerally own as a species evaporating and, along with it, the entirety of ourselves.

Which is the type of thing that (it seems I’m reduced to cliche after all…) puts the wonder of youth in such a brilliant light; that unspoken inner feeling that there’s still a figurative ‘new car smell’ in life and that there are plenty and plenty of miles to burn.

May we all get to watch things sparkle for as long as they (and we) possibly can.

Pia, Mikaela & IsabellaMikaela & IsabellaMikaela & IsabellaIsabellaMikaelaMikaela & Isabella


Friday, April 16th, 2010

It’s an odd social quirk that tends to divide the construct of traditional family unit from the innate human aspects of sexuality that bring it forth. It’s as if the status of parenthood partially amputates someone’s full-bodied qualification for the ’sexiness box’. Perhaps the unrelenting vigilance to be wary of anything that would even topically intertwine aspects of sexuality and children (apart from that whole birthing process, however…) tends to create a divide in our heads that feels awkward finding the two in any way close together.

The downside of that, however, is that the process of becoming a parent seems to nullify a part of that freedom to revel in the whimsical and playful self-esteem and self-enjoyment wrought from being comfortable in one’s own ’sexiness box’ (not that the actual responsibilities of parenting themselves do not affect it already).

So, it’s nice to find a young couple that can be part of a family unit without losing the degrees of passion that made them a family unit in the first place.  I found it a refreshing treat to be able to shoot images that were passionate and emotive with Liz & Dustin and then an hour later, with them, romp outside in youthful silliness with their sons Gavin & Eliot.

It turned out to be another wonderful way to welcome in the deep spring.

Liz & DustinLiz & DustinLizLiz & DustinLiz & DustinLiz, Dustin, Gavin, Elliott.Liz, Dustin, Gavin, Elliott.


Monday, April 5th, 2010

For as quiet as March was, April is already shaping up to be ridiculously busy, in part due to a sudden surge of shooting. Oddly, it’s been entirely co-worker based; the blooming spring is serving to act as the perfect springboard for outdoor shooting. I think I’m already nearing my yearly quota for lying in grass, though…

The first session of the medley was really just an impromptu get-together with Laura. She’s done photography schoolwork and we’ve talked for quite some time about just getting together to chat and find scenic somethings to capture, but she was particularly interested this time in getting to be the subject of images as opposed to being the one who’s always taking them.

This meant I got to play with the cherry blossom trees around my place again…in addition to other stuff we ad-libbed.



Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

March is almost over and I had yet to get my butt in here for an update. The cherry blossoms are blooming but I have a couple of shoots this week that will involve families/couples and likely take place at least partially outdoors, so my idea to run outside long enough to get a shot or two of the trees just to have something to write about here seemed a bit silly. It was also too late to create the setup idea I had for an addition to The Tori Project.

So…I decided to finally get around to showing off what I had already taken the time to include a gallery of on the main site: my AutoErotica project. It was an idea that combined numerous things I wanted to focus on: overt and unashamed sexuality, awkward angles (a trait of my early photography that many models and photographers claimed was something they enjoyed about my work…I felt that I wanted to get back to something classic of mine), the ability to display a progression of events in some makeshift fluidity via a collage effect, and a setting that was relatively unique and adjustable (no matter the season, so long as the air conditioning or heat is working, I’ve got a functional shoot location).

Having shot four series of this theme, there was enough to make a dedicated gallery for it. The only downside now is that, due to my hermit-like retreat, the breadth of models whom I could reach who would be comfortable collaborating on this sort of project becomes rather slim. Maybe I just need to start peeking out more often…

Until then, though, here are the 4 finished results.