Here is a quick snap of the mugs I got from the lab. I told them after seeing the first one to think artistic. These were not mugs of the kids playing baseball or soccer that you sent to aunt Harriett. These were original work of art that I was selling. Told them to reduce the image by a quarter inch, and increase the space between the images by that same quarter inch. Much much better, except that I wanted the insides black to match the black in the image. Stay tuned.
WTH, I got my first mug back this week, as I figured it needs work. I am getting another one made to different specifications. I had to get it back, see it, hold it, and sleep on it. This is the sort of work that goes into an original piece of art that no one sees. That line is too small between images, the image needs to be smaller so I have a border top and bottom.
Waiting for the new mug that I can’t show either until I approve. FaceBook won’t allow me to show it either, I played enough to know that. I have skirted that line often with good results. Stay tuned.
Tuesday’s Grace was shot in a family burial plot on an old farm. One of my best subjects, lithe, and young.
Brand new treatment, soon to be coffee cup. For a $100 investment in my art you get a coffee cup.
Hand down this is the favorite image to date. “Watermelon Girl” was shot many year ago, the model was 19 at the time. We when down to an arroyo in Austin, that is a drainage area for flash floods. The image was shot for a charity event, a small bidding war erupted over it. I was very pleased, and I got dinner and drinks out of it.
Playing with rope ideas with my favorite model, Jean Dawson. Cross-processed, and out of date film…, love the starkness of the image, that brutal hard light.
That the magic has happened, it’s sitting there waiting to be processed. That part of the equation happens at the lab far away. About 10 days till I get a rough idea of what I have gotten; knowing that these scans mean nothing. All told 30 days to get the master scan back from the lab. Only then do I get my hands on the final image of this scan.
Overall I am very pleased with my exposure, held the details in the window. The knot holds-up well, many years since my tying days. A very patient model here as I fumble with remembering long ago combinations.
Image deserves a higher quality scan to get the colors to balance off her skin tone. Only then will I know what the image looks likes…, what I will have to work with. So not for the impatient, or for those in a rush. Time put into all aspects my work…, the care and feeding of a model, the care and feeding of my mind…, still able to come up with ideas. Then to pull it all off, for that magic to happen in camera. And at 70 you say!
A twenty year old college student, so full of herself and her sexuality, she had dabbled in the porn industry a bit. When we met to discuss a possible shoot she came off as a world weary pro. But the quality of my work and the ideas I present intrigued her.
By the second shoot she was comfortable with me, the way I worked, and the way I respected her space. I’d told her that we would again be working out at the farm, but way off in a very rustic area. Took her to the family graveyard, three old graves, a wooden fence surrounding the plot. This was to be a completely nude shoot. She worked very well, good poses, good movement. These are among my favorites, back-lit, motion, and soft focus. Arty shots.
I watch as you move in an elegant way…,
Unconsciously you move, hands just so
arms just so,
and your legs held…, just so, elegant.
Putting on makeup, unconcerned with the way you look,
but the way you are perceived, the way you relate to the world.
The footing for the foundation of you…,
who you are, and who you wish
to become in this moment in time.
Unconvinced of the gift of you, the treasure
of you…, the worth of you.
Taught, tortured from youth…,
the child inside of you disbelieving…,
basic value that I see shiny in your eyes.
The basics of your life, uncomplicated, easy in your skin,
mind and body; held just so…,
elegant in the beauty of you…,
Elegant in the you of you.
21 December 2010
Traci James (The You)
With the Harvey Weinstein and Terry Richardson cases making headlines I fee the need to say something about how I work. The problem is that young women and men are not prepared to understand or handle a situation like this. An older man with power and influence carrying on, saying this is the way its done in the business. That is the concern I have about expecting young models to think through all the ramification of posing nude. The problem I have is thinking these “kids” as fully grown adults. That they should be treated with all respects at any age is a given. Early twenties they are still kids in so many ways. I haven’t wanted to take advantage of them, I do run the risk of being seen as patriarchal, I feel that is well worth the risk. Yes I will shoot women who have reached the age of eighteen if they are willing, However my preference is twenty-four, I feel that by this time they can make a more informed decisions. Yes I do get a release, but that does not give me the right to ruin anyone’s life because they agreed to shoot with me. It doesn’t mean I can use the images indiscriminately, I ask the women who are in contact with me if I can use their images for whatever I am trying to accomplish. Those that decide to not keep in contact are still deserving of privacy, and should be kept from their lives harmed. Noting the developed my own brain has given me an appreciation of the not yet fully developed brains. I know a lot of photographers who say “well I have a release!” To my way of thinking, yeah you do, but you should ask first…, maybe she has a reasons (like kids) not to want to be exposed like that, or to use identifying information with an image.
I had a model who was twenty-four at the time, but a young very naive twenty-four. She came from a farming background, wanting to make up for lost time. I could see that she was testing herself, testing her limits. We’d been shooting nudes for quite sometime
, she was bored with that, not a challenge any more So I said, partly in jest why not masturbate? NO she said, but I could see she was thinking about it, was she brave enough. Now don’t go jumping to conclusions, I knew she was ripe for someone to take advantage of her. I also knew the way I worked, knew that I would be willing to protect her and her images. She said yeah but I have to get comfortable. So I got some really lovely images mainly because she didn’t know any better than to fake it, when she left she was happy as a clam. Only after she had second thoughts, asked her friends, they told her she was nuts, that her job was in jeopardy. I told her not to worry, I wasn’t going to do anything without asking first. I kept my word, but still her concern was what did I think of her.., what kind of girl did I think she was. Finally a few summers ago we had the chance to really talk. Told her that I didn’t think that she was that kind of girl either, that I respected her, that I was still protecting her and her images. She was relived that I didn’t think poorly of her. We went though the images again, told her how proud of was of her, that she needed an outlet at the time that wouldn’t harm her. That I had thought of all the ramifications before we actually shot, that I was willing to protect her, while someone else might not. I still have hopes she will come for another shoot, but she has other priorities now.
Not everyone works the way I do, with my past mistakes of my own, made when my brain wasn’t fully developed. I have learned a hard lesson, and would really hate to be held accountable for mistakes in judgement I made in my twenties. I think of a shoot as having the features of the Stockholm syndrome; a model gets so comfortable with a photographer so she wants to please him or her. Then has second thought, but by that point, the damage has been done if she has signed that release. I don’t want to be that photographer…, ever! I want to do the right thing by my models then and now. I think that’s the reason I haven’t had problems. I do the right thing, even if it cost me money. I have found that the rewards far outweigh any monetary harm.
I love this image because of the white breast in the midst of all the colours. From the personal collection of mine, with the model consent and approval. The model isn’t all that pleased with the size of her breasts, though I maintain that the size isn’t important. She has no body fat what so ever, she is very lean, active to say the least. I also think she has bought into the idea that she is somehow a lesser woman, because she doesn’t have large American breast. I love shooting her, long and lanky, athletic and fit. We began our journey in nude photography some years ago, she has a special place in my view of women. To me the size of her breast is unimportant. That her heart is in the right place is all that matter to me.