Down, but not out.

I feel a lot of time has past since I launched the "Bear it up" book.
I can't say I've had much chance to do any more shoots in that time.

I would chalk most of that up to changes in my day job, taking on more responsibility in a changing team of varying experiences.
While I may continue to be on the quiet side for the remainder of this year, I'm still planning on some scenic photography opportunities in Europe later this year.
Not planning on beginning any new projects until early next year, but still open for photo shoots if requested.

The "Bear it up" Book is as always available for sale online here andin stores at Eagle Leather, Hares and Hyenas bookstore and ArtBoy gallery.

In the mean time, I've been working on starting a side to the photography; silicone moulding!
More of that in due time.

The long sigh, post launch


So it's been almost a month since the launch.
My day job has been mostly keeping me mentally from the next few steps now, post launch, so apologises to everyone who has helped get it to this stage thus far.

Firstly i'd like to thank Marc at ArtBoy Gallery for all the hours of planning and preparation for the launch, including pointing me in directions for promotion I hadn't even considered.  Right through to hosting the launch itself which went extremely smoothly and a good turn out.

Thanks to all the presenters at JOY 94.9FM who have had me on their shows, a link to the podcasts below.  Also to Dean Arcuri who took photos of the launch party, again, photos below.

To all the models who participated and to everyone who turned up and bought a copy of the book, I thank you very much.  You've validated me as an artist in a way that will pave the way for more to come.

And finally thank you to my partner, Owen, who has given me the freedom to take time away from our limited spare time to pursue this passion and has stood by me the whole time.

So, I think that's the Oscar speech list out of my system, please feel free to peruse the podcast, photos of the event and to purchase your copy of the book, follow the link at the top of the page.

Podcast links
The Woods
(Podcast not up at time of blog post)

Mad Wednesdays with Dean

Sunday Arts Magazine

Photo From the Launch Party (Courtesy of Dean Arcuri)


"Bear It Up" Pre-Launch Orders changes

So the final print run has begun for the Launch day of the long awaited "Bear It Up".
Any orders made prior to now can be collected as part of the Launch coming up in just under 2 WEEKS, any further pre-orders will have to be collected at a selected store or by post.

With less than 2 weeks to go, i hope you're as excited as I am to finally be seeing this project come full circle.

If you missed my interview with the bears on The Woods on JOY 94.9, you can find the podcast of it here.  Where I discussed all about what the book is about, why I felt it needed to be and the impact of what I hope it will achieve for bears and bear-like kin.

Details of the Launch can be found HERE
If you wish to come join us, there's nibbles and a special 6 limited edition prints for purchase as well.

Not much more to wait, can you sense my enthusiasm!?
- Cookie

"Bear It Up" - The bear book

So... I may have.... over the last few years... been working on a major project.

It's taken a lot longer to make than intended, a lot of hands to be involved and MANY hours of sitting in front of this computer going, how do I make this work?!


I'd like to FINALLY announce the bear book, "Bear It Up", is finally completed and in pre-launch phase!!!

This 64 page book of some of the most sexy guy I know, is a full A4 size of them showing you how you can be sexy, in any body shape you might be.
From the slim to the very large, all these guys has some reservations about getting in front of the camera, but almost all of them walked away with comments such as "I feel much more comfortable in my own skin having done that".

The book is in store locally (and in store only) at Hares and Hyenas, Eagle Leather, Mannhaus, ArtBoy Gallery and the Laird hotel for you to have a flick through and see for yourself what it looks like and place pre-orders there.
Online pre-orders are via my website (CLICK HERE) thru the publications tab.
The pre-orders are open until Easter with the Launch party on April 28 at one of the above venues.  You'll have to pre-order a book for me to tell you which. :)

Thank you also to EVERY single person who has been involved in this huge project of mine.  I really hope the effort goes into showing someone that you can be big and beautiful within yourself.

An Artist's worth

A painter paints, a designer designs, a photographer photographs.
Whilst the concept is simple enough, we are what we can do, what if the resources to do what we do aren't available.  More so, what if we're expected to do what we can do, without the financial backing to simply get enough resources to do the work.
But as a photographer, you have a camera, isn't that enough?

Well fellow artist, James Gould-Bourn (graphic designer) decided to parody the responses of the commissioning people (all of whom say the same basic thing). 

One of my more favourite comments was:
"You don't just need money to maintain what you build, you need money to build it, too. You can't promise construction workers that they'll get paid once the tower is done. That shows a lack of management skills."

While I do have a camera and I can take a photo. The question is, how much of my time and skill are you willing to barter with to get the photo from the camera to you via editing process to you?

A Breakthrough from a bad run

Its getting closer to Xmas, so of course the pre-holiday craziness us upon us.
Of the last few months there's been a fair bit happening both on and under the surface, most of it external to myself directly, but has direct effects to me.

The most prominent is the American election, how the stocks crashed on the day, the constant talk and fear of what the world may look like given the things that have come from both this and other international changes.
More locally with my day job, taking on way more than my state branch can handle over the last few months which has lead to many hours, days and even weeks just being to focused, occupied and driven mad with all the technical issues and lack of resources to achieve a productive outcome.  Leading to many moments where the stress of dealing with the day job (and often after hour coverage of breakdowns) has lead to social and home relational strains.

Speaking of home, there seems to be a pattern where one foundation of your day to day life, the others start to crack under the strain, as too has some of the things around the house; the spa, the automatic gates, prominently leaking taps, failing door hinges, etc.  So while I've been away from work, these homely issues also have needed my attention and effort to maintain status quo.

While I've had a short break here and there, I've always felt like i have been playing catch up just to a neutral state of mind and being with the world around me.

Which now leads to today.
Today I feel, at least at this very moment, that I've finally had the energy, inclination, time and mental capacity to get not only things repaired, but a few minor improvements achieved as well.

  • The Automatic gates (while I've been trying to finalised the repair of) are now working with a new control board. (Old board stopped opening one side of gate)
  • Replaced the wood screws with stainless steel screws that hold up the replacement toilet cistern (Rust resistant screws basically) as well as beaded the toilet base with silicone.
  • Cleaned and vacuumed the work car (Which i spend 10+ hours in a week) in order to de-clutter my work space and hopefully help improve my mental space by reflecting it in the physical space.

    Oh, yeah.... 

    I also finally finished and have ordered the first publication of my Bear book that has been in the works for 3 years.   Stay tuned for more info on the launch of the book early next year and where you can get your own copy.

    So with all that done, I can look toward the next 4 weeks with a bit more confidence that something has been done for the better.  I'd like to hear what you've considered a personal achievement for yourself recently. 

Some websites for inspirational imagery and ideas

So while on my regular surfings of the web, i came across some very interesting galleries I thought I'd share for you all to appreciate.

This Powerful Photo Series Proves That "Fat" Is Beautiful

I've always been a big advocate for being comfortable in the skin you're in.  Whilst we've all had the body shaming and the healthy pitch from experts and friends/family alike, if you're accepting if what you are now, you can still strive to better. I find it's also a healthy place to start from rather than allowing yourself to self shame as well. (Hence why I feel the need for the bear book, release TBA soon)

Why Yoga and BDSM Are More Similar Than You'd Think

Like anything, both practices take a level of discipline and focused measure.  A good read.

15 Unbelievable Photos Of A 60-Year-Old Dominatrix With Her Client

Just a quick glance at the photos and you can see the dedication that goes into such practice of lifestyle.  I'd love to capture that in local models and in doing so, preserve a moment and ideal within it.  (New BDSM ideals book concepts)

Post Holiday musings

So post mid year craziness, first with the lead up to holidays, trying to get the chess pieces in position work my day job, preparing the house for a house sitter, getting all the travel documents and dtravel items in check.  It was hectic, not to mention the few people that had organised to do photo shoots as well.
Once I was somewhat on holidays from my day job, there was the annual Southern hibearnation festival I help out with doing the event photography.  This year, as I was unable to be at all the events, it was a combined effort between me and another photographer, Frank from the club.  It was tiring work but i think we mostly got the main points covered, although admittedly not up to my highest standards of years gone by.
No sooner had I handed the final role to Frank to finish up, my partner and I were up and away for three weeks in the US of A.  Our destinations, LA, NY and SF with a return to LA before coming back home.  We saw from the vastness of markets and Downtown sights to the heartwarming, awe inspiring, mournfully remembering wonders that those three cities could present in our time.
Old friends rekindled with, new friends made and memories with my boyfriend to last decades.
I've added some of the many photos I took along the way to give some insight into what we saw ourselves. 

Having been back now a full week since those whirlwind of times, I now look forward to projects and plans for the next 6 - 12 months and beyond. 

  1. Over the next month until the end of August, finish photographing models for the Bear Book project.  Between August and September, design the book and by October have a kickstarter Page in place to begin funds for publication, hopefully by late November, early December (hint, hint, as a Xmas present).  Stay tuned for that one!
  2. Complete arrangement of the studio garage, for those who have shoot with me in the home studio before, I now have more space since adding a storage shed next to the garage.  This has also given me the opportunity to paint the floor of the garage, which means i can potentially work with more liquid based photo ideas.  hopefully will get that somewhat sorted before the summer.
  3. Update this website with some of the more later sessions that i haven't gotten to final editing with.  Mainly due to them being part of the bear book project, so once i've consolidated those designs I can add the other good ones here.
  4. Finally, as I've mentioned in my previous blog post, beginning the next project along with the BDSM community, to create a book looking into what BDSM life looks like. What long term D/S relationships and the ideals and philosophy kinksters live by in their day to day lives.  I'll be posting the brief for this within the next month, but the book will be inspired by both sex advice and people's own views of their lives.

Having gone for a few weeks in very nice weather, now coming back to some fairly cold and windy days, I have you all stay warm and safe.  AND PLEASE watch where you're going if you play Pokemon GO.   I've almost hit a few things myself, so it's as much a self reminder as a general one.

Have fun and hope to see you soon. ;)


My next Major artistic venture

So it's April of 2016, approximately 2 months off the timeframe I'd initially set out to finish the graphic Bear book project.  As of yet, I still feel like I could do with a handful more models, perhaps 5 - 10 more.  People of ages 40+, more muscular or chubbier builds to give a broad spectrum and variation in whom I've captured for this, at least, first book of the variety of bodies in the bear culture.
If however by mid August I don't seem to get any more, I think I'll have to close the gates and work with what I have to produce the final result.  The collection process is wearing a bit thin on my enthusiasm now and i'd just like to get a final product finalized.

Note: If you know anyone willing and able to help out, PLEASE get hold of me.  I have some free weekends and evenings to work with.

HAVING said that, I have started a new idea on what I'd like to produce next.
It's now more focused on the BDSM/Leather community and more specifically, the rules and ideals people live by in their sexual lives and in the more broader leather life they lead.

Still brainstorming the final outlay and direction of it, but again, call out for people in the Melbourne area who'd be interested in being photographed and sharing some of their thoughts would be appreciated.