Sunday, June 29, 2008

Presenting... (Photo of the week project #3)

I've been busy with prepping for a show that I decided not to do a project for the week. However, since I had Mahria there alongside her photos, I thought I'd document the event. Not the best photo in the world but sometimes, it's about the moment.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Portrait (Photo of the week project #2)

The photo for this week is the classic portrait -- perhaps spiced up a little bit with the lack of a top on the model.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gasmask Mannequins

Here's some more images in progress, this from my gasmask mannequin series:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Change...

I've decided to make a change with the blog (and a subtle one since it started two posts ago) -- rather than making the blog get the image after everywhere else that I post images to, the blog will actually get the first cut of any images I do. Making this a work in progress blog.

It's important to capture work in progress -- while I'm not as much about the process as the end result, reflection on the process is important. My process is fluid and ad hoc -- I generally come up with a concept or an idea and pitch it to the model. When we get in studio, sometimes the concept materializes the way I expected it to and sometimes, it becomes something else. Like the above image -- this is captured really setting up for the later work. The shoot itself was to be more fashion oriented as an experiment -- so the earlier images were more about getting the initial lighting the way I wanted it to. But I think the image captures a different side of Dru than my previous shoots with her -- it's some how softer. I've been doing a lot of high-key imagery lately -- I suppose as a counter-balance to the spate of single light, low-key figure studies I did in April and May.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In Praise of Older Women

I might have mentioned it before but I tend to avoid mixing sexuality with nudity -- one of the problems is that we tend see nudity and immediately assume sexuality. I suppose for that matter, I tend to avoid depicting sexuality at all. If it's sexual, it's usually accidental rather than intentional.

I've come to suspect that one of the reasons for this is that the majority of my subjects are young. While age alone does not give you true insight into the fullness of the sexual being, age as the byproduct of experience and maturation does. This struck home most with a quote I read from New York magazine. In it, Debra Winger discuss where she is at in life:

"Yesterday, a photographer was shooting me for another magazine, and he said, "Ooooh, I love that freshly fucked look!" And since it was eleven o'clock in the morning, and I'd just gotten out of bed with my husband, I actually had been. I had that look. Love that morning stuff! At the same time, one of his assistants was saying, "Wow, you're my mother's favorite actress!" (link to full article)

It's the comfort with embracing your sexuality -- not as an act of rebellion, not as experimentation, not as identity formation but purely as an expression and extension of your natural being, this is a view of sexuality I can get behind. Too much of photography with sexual elements has the churlishness of youth -- it acts out for the sake of acting out. I may be dating myself but anyone who has seen the love scene in An Officer and a Gentleman (and what a scene it is!) has seen something that is on one hand clearly manufactured and yet on the other hand has a naturalness to it. Perhaps when there is an opportunity to capture that would I experiment with sexuality in my photography in a stronger way.

At the very minimum, I wish I was the photographer of that shoot with Debra Winger...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Longing (photo of the week project #1)

I've decided to start a new project -- my photo of the week project. The goal of this is to break me out of a creative funk I've had the last little while and to really refine my technique. One of the challenges of a shoot is that it almost feels like I have to cram a ton of photos in. But for this project, the goal of each shoot is to get one concept, one basic pose / position, one lighting approach to produce one image. No more, no less.

This particular photo was inspired by an old Marilyn Monroe photo. While I don't think I captured the same essence -- that's fine. It's not about slavishly copying another photograph but taking the general idea and then transforming it with the essence of the model and the circumstances. I doubt I'll use a reference image for each of these photos but I think it's important to acknowledge influence where influence exists.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cool stuff

Joshua Hoffine must have had a lot of nightmares as a child because they're all reflected in his work. It's amazing stuff though -- check out his website. Brought to you courtesy of soothbrush.