It was a rainy overcast day, I locked my keys inside the studio as I was heading to the shoot. needless to say I was an hour late while waiting for a friend to show up with keys. I lost an hour of light which created good things and we missed out on good things. Jewel was sweet and a wonderful model to work with. Thanks to Elsa Brodmann and Jasmine for styling and makeup.
More images can be seen at the online magazine amelieg .
Themed shoots seem to be what's driving me these days. Last weeks theme was Frankenstein.This weeks theme was DEXTER.
Last night my scheduled model canceled.
I was lucky enough to call my friend Nettie Harris to come fill in. Damn we do some great work together. She trusts me completely. So much so that we established a safe word for tonight's shoot. If you don't know what a safeword is, it is primarily used in Bondage scenarios where the submissive may end the "scene' at any time. Dexter is the serial killer show on showtime and I recreated one of his kill scenes this evening. Plenty of plastic sheeting, Saran wrap and some stainless steel knives made everything look authentic. I still have to edit the images from today so here is a look at last weeks Frankenstein Shoot.
A rare treat this weekend with Bella Blue and Nettie Harris together. Yay! These two beautiful and incredibly talented models were so much fun to work with and they put up with my crazy ideas and concepts.
Today I started out slow with a new model who had never posed nude before. She had actually only done two shoots in her life. She was extremely nervous as we started out. I did my best to calm her nerves, but it was evident in the first set that she was extremely tense and uncomfortable. She told me that she ran around her apartment naked to help her get used to being nude. We both chuckled at that. I finished the first set and I stopped and downloaded the card so that she could see the images. Most were awkward at best but we found one that she really liked. I told her that at this point everything else is lagniappe, and usually the first set is a throw away anyway because we are getting used to each other. I took a minute to show her poses from Victoria's Secret and from my previous shoots with great models. She started to understand.
Set number two and I could feel that she was finally beginning to trust me. "Point your toes, chin down, close your eyes and relax you face, stand on your tippy toes." All pointers that I gave her and she took direction extremely well. Once she learned a concept she didn't forget it. I showed her a couple of in camera images. Great work, I encouraged, nudging her self esteem. I wouldn't say that we had a breakthrough but she was now pretty relaxed in front of camera. Again back to the computer so she could see the work. "Wow I didn't realize that I could take that kind of picture" she beamed.
Set 3 I had 27 mins left before she had to leave. I pull all the props away and just shoot her plain on the wall. "Keep moving every frame." I am snapping away and she is really working her look. We agree to meet again to continue to work.
End of the day. I am going through the images and many of them are good, a couple of them are excellent images. A wonderful day with a sweet person and a really good new model with tons of potential.
This image was shot at Lauren Warner's home in San Francisco. Her husband Kevin cooked everyone a wonderful breakfast/lunch for us consisting of eggs, bacon, lettuce, tomato for sandwiches and greens to go with them. I made myself a BLT sandwich and we chatted about the fact that someone had put a Pioneer electronics logo on their stove where Kenmore or other brand would normally reside. He was an avid collector of guitars, helpful, generous and a kind soul. He had a comfortable swagger about him. He invited us into his home and helped with "Craft Services" I felt entirely welcome when I first met him in the kitchen. We only met for a brief time but he made me feel like family in his home.
I found out he passed away a couple of weeks ago. My thoughts and prayers are with Lauren and her family. He will be missed.
Unfortunately my shoot this morning got called off. 4:30 am text. My model got sick and had to cancel. I was hoping to get some images for an editorial feature coming up. I did have a great fashion/cover shoot on Saturday.
Recently, when I answered a casting by a young and perhaps naive model she wrote:
thanks for your interest! i was going through your port and love your work. what would you be interested in shooting? there's not much of a market for **** pinups and i don't have the wardrobe for it :/ and i'm tired of seeing my naked, saggy boobs lol
Perhaps I misunderstood her reply but I interpreted it as the model thought I was a photographer who is only able to shoot nudes and pinups. I have fashion and some beauty images in this particular portfolio too. I kind of let her go by the wayside and haven't responded to this.
I do not like stereotypes or boxes that people put me in. I shoot many different genres yet Galleries, Portfolio Reviews and Institutions want to see a consistent style and look. God forbid you step outside your look to experiment as an artist. If I decided to shoot Mardi Gras candid images this weekend that would be frowned upon. Good thing that Mardi Gras includes naked women in public, that way I can stay in my genre.
I am currently compling images for an upcoming book and it is quite a dauting task. Aside from culling through 300+ images that were already deemed worthy of retouching or converting to black and white. I keep finding more gems along the way. A nice distraction.
Here is Sarah again: Two sides of a very beautiful coin. I think she was kind of surprised to see the reflected images in the window in the finals. I was consciously framing for both poses as well as trying to keep myself out of the reflection too.
I had a chance to shoot with Bella Blue again last weekend. Previously when we shot I complained about not having enough time with her. She gave me the day and what a day it was. We started with a public shoot idea that was thwarted by a security guard. Not wanting to miss the day I decided to call the public work off and we headed to breakfast and then to the studio.
Our first group of work was fantastic and it just got better from there.
Here is her video introduction. I started recording without telling her and she gave me some wonderful expressions of contemplation and thought before we started. I also edited this video and added stills from her pinup work that we did together.
Presenting the Lovely and Very Talented Bella Blue with an alternate soundtrack:
I was setting up the camera for an interview with the lovely Sarah Ellis. I started recording while I was setting up just in case something wonderful would happen and of course it did. For those of you who have never met or spoke with her this is the real deal. She is actually this sweet, candid, and is not in the least bit pretentious. I told her later that we had already started recording but it did not phase her in the least bit she just laughed.
I will post the full interview on this blog later. It is about 15 minutes so. I am considering posting a couple of parts so it has good pacing.
Enjoy this clip of someone I consider to be one of the significant art models of our time.
Luckily it has been unseasonably warm here in San Francisco. Natalie and I shot first on Monday the 19th. We wandered down to Mission beach by the Golden Gate Bridge. This is an old war battery where the guns were mounted to keep ships/subs out of the San Francisco bay area. I also had a chance to shoot with the amazing Betcee May. She was amazingly sweet and willing to pose and do all of my crazy concepts. We shot in Jack Kerouac Alley, the Conservatory of Flowers, Pacific Heights, Murals in the Mission district, and the Financial District. An amazing shoot with a great team. Thank you Iona Lyn, www.bayareaboudoir.com assisting and Lauren Warner on makeup and of course Betcee.
So I find myself in San Francisco, on an ordinary day or so it seems. It is 4:47 AM and I am loading up my sisters mini van, removing the children's car seats and setting them under the awning. The only light is a flood on the side of the building. The weather said clear and only a 10% chance of rain despite the downpour from yesterday. My shot list is tucked into the console along with a group of printed Google maps.
At 6:30 AM I arrive at Lauren Warner's home in San Francisco. It is still dark outside, sunrise is not until 7:20 AM. I decide to call rather than ring the doorbell because I was worried about ringing the wrong doorbell. Lauren answers and graciously invites me into her home. I walk through the old Victorian flat and into the kitchen where her husband offers me a coffee. Of course I take it and walk into the makeup studio. Old Jazz and Hollywood images and paraphernalia are prevalent throughout the room in an eclectic mix.
As I am waiting, through the kitchen Betcee May walks into the room. She is wearing a simple tan slip, she introduces herself and for the first time I see her eyes and wonderful smile, something that even the best images only attempt to represent. Behind her small gentle voice is a creative force to be reckoned with.
Today is going to be an amazing day and it is good to be me . . . really good.