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Archive for December, 2007

Rekindle

Friday, December 28th, 2007

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So…apparently I’m making it a habit of running into friend/models after 1-2 year breaks. First it was with Atilla, now with Fifi. Luckily, the only thing that seems to suffer, in these instances, is my ability to adequately keep in geographical contact with them…because the image results seem to be doing just fine.

Fifi’s been hiding out in British Columbia, where she’s settled in to a new home. Luckily, enough of her old home was calling her back…and she deciding to knock on my proverbial door to hang out and shoot during her winter visit. Both my stomach (courtesy of her cooking) and my camera have been thoroughly pleased with this.

FifiFifiFifiFifiFifiFifi

Banshees

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

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I just coined the term…feel free to use it.

If you develop a keen eye, you can spot them a mile away. Relatively green models that get a handful of shoots with accomplished photographers under their belt and, suddenly, get some inner “Diva Switch” flipped on inside them. Ivy school college football jocks match them for pure empty bravado. Sometimes the transformation is subtle, sometimes it’s sudden…but the result is always the same. It’s one of the prominent reasons I stopped shooting for a while.

The thing is…although the mentality is often stitch-sewn to the fanciful notion of making modeling one’s career (that’s usually what turns on the generator that ignites the switch in these ‘models’), there are models who do make it into a career…into their job, and you can tell they, still, are artists first. That primarily motivating force is what separates them. Or at least I like to think that’s the case. Perhaps there are presumptuously aloof artists that can be completely consumed by the art…but I doubt it.

I doubt it because I keep running into accomplished, stunning models (many, art models) who aren’t riddled with the Banshee mentality. Perhaps it’s because these models aren’t using modeling as a means to fill their empty “conceit gas tanks”.

Then again, so much of art is self discovery. If that’s the case, maybe the catharsis is just a way to unveil the truer faces we each hide underneath our social etiquette…and perhaps the Banshees do us a greater service by blossoming from their cocoon rather than hiding their true nature behind pretty ephemeral petals.

There is no Honor: Of Cowards and Cheerleaders

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

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It’s funny the myriad layers upon which indecency and sexual assault is perpetrated and defended.

I was on ModelMayhem recently on a rather volatile thread that turned into a question of what constitutes a ’sexual offense’. One particular photographer’s continued words supported the idea that even if the offender is not completely sure about the consent they have to advance on someone else, they are justified in doing so if a firm verbal “no” is not placed. The equivalent of saying it is okay to march, willy nilly, onto another’s property and do as you wish so long as there is no “Do Not Trespass” sign.

You can see the interactions here, on page 4 of this thread until the point where I leave the conversation at the end of page 9:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/p.php?thread_id=226233&page=7

The name of the offender you’re looking for is: Daguerre.

To make a long story short, I came to find out that his demented view actually translated directly to his repulsive behavior in real life. I was alerted to this when I was directed here, to Iona Lynn’s blog, by Candy Poses. Now, this isn’t just some regular run-of-the-mill story about an abusive photographer. Iona is a heavily experienced, well respected model. But…even that might not have been the final straw…until friends (more people with sterling reputations) online start coming out in support…some with their very own personal stories dealing with this, as I’ve dubbed him, “Repulsive Maggot”.

One of the key things to note is that this wasn’t some regular schmuck with a camera. He was an accomplished photographer with an obvious psychological imbalance that fed upon the personal and professional trust of the models that worked with him.

So, now that I’m done addressing the coward himself, let’s point the finger at the others:

In the thread I’ve linked to above, it suddenly became very obvious who supported him and the sick ideas of “personal responsibility” he was outlining. One model in particular (”It’s Lisbeth”), felt compelled to call me a jerk because, even before knowing of his heinous acts, I could see through his shit. She then pranced into the one unlocked thread still remotely dealing with the topic and whimpered around garnering the pity of some, because she had befriended this freak and defended him. Quoted from my response in that separate thread (in response to a poster that pitied her, suggesting she was not deserving of the consequences she would garner for her involvement):

“And her discovery in private of her relationship with someone who’s done the things he’s done would weigh any less on her conscience? No. We are all responsible for the company we keep, even if our only alibi is: “I would have never known.”

I do agree that it is a bit unfair for people to randomly harass her about it…but she’s sticking her face out in public, now.

Even before the facts came to light, there was support by her for the mentality that leads to violations such as the perpetrator committed. I was there for it. There is no “Get Out Of Jail Free” pity card for that.”

But, it’s not only her. There are other members on the site who giddily pom-pommed the brainless argument that the victims in these cases were, in fact, not victims because they did not follow X prerequisites to stop it. Idiots. Really…there is no nice way to put it. Idiots.

They seem more concerned with trying to avoid looking like fools for supporting a now well-known sexual predator than with realizing the importance of the issue. And all this doesn’t even get into the oceans of comments made with a disrespectful humor that came out in complete disregard of the dire nature of the situation.

I thought I’d come to grips with the tactless nature of the human species. I thought I’d come to grips with the egotistical nature of the human species. I thought I’d come to grips with the repugnant nature of the human species. I thought I’d come to grips with the irresponsible nature of the human species. I thought I’d come to grips with the outright stupid nature of the human species.

How wrong I was.

At the end of the day, the only solace left is the kind words sent to me in private by people who were violated by this worthless fuckwad…people who I respect and admire.

To them, my eternal thanks goes out. May your bravery ever singe the stupidity of humanity and break them from their myopic blinders of mere personal understanding.

Patience

Monday, December 17th, 2007

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A “virtue” which I don’t have very often. One specific reason why, for instance, is because I could have indulged in a year’s worth of shooting with Atilla instead of just catching up 12 months later.

I’d met her at a fashion show in December of ‘06 and was excited about the prospect of getting to shoot with her. Perhaps my procrastination and poor ability to keep in touch with people played a part, but we just seemed to lose contact. Every now and then I’d run into new shots of her again, particularly when I was looking over the gorgeous work she does with her good friend Kathryn Parker (aka MachineDance). Then, one day near the end of October, she sends me a message on ModelMayhem saying she’d be in my area during Thanksgiving break and that we should get together to shoot. I was rather ecstatic. I didn’t realize how ecstatic I should have been until after finally getting to shoot with her and seeing the images.

Wow. If she wasn’t the type of person who’s an absolute sweetheart, I could easily feel humbled by her. Piercing eyes, gorgeous figure and the newly acquired light-blue/blonde hair made me smile about as much as Aprella’s green does. She just rocks.

So…this time I owe her the next visit, and once these holiday thingies disappear and life is semi-stable again, I’ll be on my way.

Oh…that’s right: proof of Atilla’s yummy awesomeness. Here we go.

AtillaAtillaAtillaAtillaAtillaAtilla

M/O/P Trip: Part 2

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

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The drive back from Michigan ended up being a lot easier to handle because of being able to break it up into 3 days. The drive from to Toledo only took about an hour. That was the day of the Collingwood groupshoot. We spent that night at a hotel at what was dubbed the official ‘Cuddle Party’. Then, woke up the next day and drove 4 hours to Pittsburgh…but not before stopping by Columbus to pay a quick visit to my adoptive art-sister Sarah.

I’ve been incredibly fond of Melvin Moten Jr.’s work for years and had sadly missed the opportunity to run into him at previous Collingwood shoots. Raelyn knew this. Conveniently, she had also shot with him before and had developed a good rapport with him…and convinced him it would be fun to meet on our way back to Virginia!

Caged Gypsy & Raelyn

He had a shoot scheduled that day with Caged Gypsy and we traveled with him to meet up with her. I always try to err on the side of tactfulness when meeting other people…especially people I respect. So, it actually took him reassuring me 2 or 3 times that it was okay for me to join in on the shoot with him before I caved in. Heck…the offer alone was honor enough. So, the setup as well as the human sleeve he had Caged Gypsy and Raelyn in were entirely his puppeteering. This is one of the shots I came away with that I was fondest of.

After the shoot, Caged Gypsy was wondrously gracious enough to let us crash at her place before we set off on our way back to Virginia the following afternoon.

So…all in all, it ended up being one of the most fulfilling trips I’ve been on. Damn Ohio/Michigan; I love it every time I’m in that area. Now, if it just wasn’t an 8-9 hour drive…

M/O/P Trip: Part 1

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

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Last month I took a fun roadtrip to Michigan. Well, the trip there wasn’t as much fun…just me in the car, direct-driving with breaks only for snacks and gas. It’s the trip back that was the fun part. Although, before I departed Michigan with Raelyn, I got the chance to meet Autonomous although I only discovered that she was her (the person was the model) after returning home, which was kinda sucky. Next time I’m there I’ll be sure to pester her.

From Michigan, we left to Toledo, where Boyd hosts his monthly Collingwood groupshoots. I’d been meaning to pay him a visit for nearly 2 years since we’d met in Columbus. The entire experience ended up being wonderful, running into friends and people I’d met/worked with previously…and then meeting new folks who were quite spectacular.

Below are images from each of the ’slots’ I shot with different models. From left to right: Thorny Rose & Tyrgrim, Heather, Gumby and Lola.

Thorny & TyrgrimHeatherGumbyLola

I also had the chance to meet the lovely PXE although we didn’t get a chance to shoot together. Later on at a group party, I nearly decided to steal her on our trip back, but we decided to postpone the kidnapping…at least until February. :)

Part 2 of the trip, through Pittsburgh, coming soon.

Scaffolding

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

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Little by little this blog thing is coming together. I want to get to, at very least, images from my recent trip to Ohio, but to start I think I’ll work in reverse.

This is from the latest shoot I did while Raelyn was visiting me. It was actually my first experience with snow and it was also the first dusting we’ve had this year. I had originally envisioned a more serene B&W nude on the bench because the nearest building light seemed to hit softly onto the area, but after testing it out on a subject it proved a bit less enticing than I had imagined. Instead we went with a more decadent attitude and ended up with a rather fun result. Then, later on in the night, we decided to head back out for more and got a nice series of shots with one of the nearby lampposts.

Winter WonderlandWinterLight

Overdue

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

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I’ve been meaning to give one of these nifty blog things a go for some time. I update my site too infrequently for my taste and always end up having some imagery that I’ve procrastinating displaying because of being behind. This medium should provide an easy way to showcase multiple images from shoots and I can also retroactively post messages from older shoots that never got their proper spotlight.

In addition, it will probably be a venue to talk about random topics…most of which I’ll try to keep art-related to some degree (I know some of you aren’t that interested in having me rant for hours about certain topics!).

So….yeah. Here it is. :)