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). 
Link HERE

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?

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. 
Namely:

  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. ;)

Cookie

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.

Ethics - Why not to heavily edit

running through the internet as one often does, I came across this pearl of writing that, in hindsight of reading it, found I quite highly agreed with the moral.

That plus it's also a personal taste of capturing what is in the moment, warts and all, in the best possible way for the model by the photographer.

Buzzfeed Article

With a few taken quotes, I'll summarize.

A photographer specializing in sexy and risque styles was approached by a 40's-odd aged woman looking for sexy images of her for her husband's birthday.

“She came to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, ‘I want you to photoshop all of my cellulite, all of my angry red stretch marks, all of my fat, and all of my wrinkles….just make it go away. I want to feel gorgeous just once,’” Haltom wrote on Facebook.

So after the shoot, the editing and delivery of the photos the photographer got an email from the husband.

When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These pictures…while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer….they are not my wife. You made every one of her “flaws” disappear…and while I’m sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years.

He concluded that receiving the photos had showed him that maybe he wasn’t telling his wife enough how beautiful he thought she was:

"She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder."

This the promoted the photographer to make a blanket rule that she wouldn't do extensive editing on any photos, to which I humbly agree.  You can be photographed as you are, for who you and still be sexy.  Even if you're after motivation to improve your health, editing an external person's ideal version of you may never look the same as any results you yeld.
 

Quotable Quotes - 1

Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.
— Ed Sabol

I've heard a different version of this -  "The Taste (Quality) is remembered long after the wait is forgotten".
It's a catch cry that Nando's uses quite a bit, I like it for a lot of reasons.

Firstly it's a catch saying to savour the good things in life, as we're all too often driven by instantaneous gratification seeking, particularly since the dawn of internet accessibility.

Secondly, it's a statement of intent and later, one of reiteration.  How many times have you gone back to the same place for a coffee because they make GOOD coffee?  True some times you go it's busier than others, or you rework your routine to allow for that extra wait for the GOOD coffee.  But you do it not because of the wait, but the anticipation is paid off with quality craftsmanship or some other aspect.

I found myself quoting this lately as I rush to organise photo shoot and book models. But once the shoot is done and the images are digitally sitting there in a holding pattern to be edited, it can often take a while.  Those of course are the photos that don't have a deadline for some chronological end of their meaning or aren't paid sessions where the client has a fair expectation of a set turnaround.
These are the photos that have creative and purposeful meaning by how i shoot them, with intent as to how they will be conveyed at a later time in another portfolio type context.  So rushing to edit them sometimes isn't as productive as letting them sit and emotionally settle in my mind as to how to finalise their meaning.

To this, let me explain now that I will not rush work to appease the anon's of the internet that see I've taken photos of models (as sexy and handsome as they are), so that you can get a quick thrill of seeing them in another context before I'm ready to present them as they are intended.

Quality of presentation is how I like to portray this studio, nothing less.

Winter 2015 Challenge

Time to launch the next challenge, get ready.... and GO!

Intent: To create images that illustrate your suburb of residence.

  • The image must not be any graffiti or contain any locational text.
  • If people are in the photo, majority must be facing towards the camera.
  • Photos are to be of publicly accessible viewing spaces. (No private backyard shots for example.)
  • To honor the origin of this challenge, you can only take a maximum of 24 photos for the whole project. 
    This is to simulate film based photography, so you need to plan your shots and take your time.
    Only 3 images may be submitted of the 24 you can take.

Conditions: In order to participate you must work within the following conditions:

  • The medium of artwork is to only be photography.
  • An artist may enter any time before the works are to be submitted.
  • All works submitted must in before 31st Aug 2015.
  • Artists may watermark their work if they wish, but only with a basic name and copyright in the bottom left or right corners of the image.
    Any links to portfolios can be included upon publishing here if you wish to provide one to me.

Post Southern Hibearnation Review

It's been a while since I was asked to be a running photographer for the VicBears annual Bear run.  I skipped last year to take a step back and see things from a regular punters perspective, only to find i was still closer to understanding what happens than most.  This year I decided I'd take up the mantle again, only to find out a month or two beforehand I'd be shooting alone, unlike previous years I've worked with another photographer to get the best of two angles.

After 8 days, countless hours or mingling, help preparing venues and nearly 1000+ photos taken it's all over for another year.  The tears flowed for the winner of Mr Australisia Bear, Erin O'Neill, who was new to the gay and bear life within the last 12 months himself.  Many new connections were made, both local, interstate and thank to the Where The Bears Are crew, internationally as well.  It's my intention to get interviews with them for the podcast when it begins.

One of the hardest parts to wrap my head around, before, during and then realize soon after, is that its a week where everything becomes hyper sensitized. The sexual prowess of people going, be it at the sauna or other events in hopes to be having an evening rendezvous with an out of towner.  Or the looking glass of how we perceive what it means to be a bear, masculinity and brotherhood.  These elements are taken out of everyday context for many and in the end there is often a euphoric sense of being able to achieve anything. But when faced with real life burdens and necessities, these often well made plans seem to crumble or at least not be as fulfilled as we'd hoped.

On the other hand on of the big benefits of being a photographer or at least not a committee member who orchestrates each and every event, has let to a deep countering of the stresses my day job had burdened me with over the past 6 months.  A chance to escape the expectations of those who except much, to seek enjoyment and praise for something I have less a burden and more creative enjoyment doing.  If I could trade one for the other without the lack of financial reward changing, I'd seriously consider it. 

 

If it hasn't been covered before, when someone is physically hot in a way that clearly requires effort to maintain, I often wonder what's behind the physical veil, the drive to make someone mind tick enough to maintain a routine to reap such reward?  

I found myself wondering that exact think with the show pony of sorts from the Where The Bears Are visitor, Ian Parks, actor and the character 'Hot Toddie' on the show.  I had seen more than enough to know what he looks like via the internet over the years without thinking i'd ever met him.  So it was no surprise every time i saw him topless when he had to be for stage or camera.  But it wasn't the body that intrigued me so much as his mannerisms in the crowd.  Often he would hang back, be reclusive if not avoid the sea of people all together.  In the briefest of dialogue we shared I often felt he did not feel like he fit in, initially it can across what I interpreted as arrogance.  I was not the only person who got this feeling and over the week, i heard comments reflecting the same thoughts i had.

It wasn't until I'd spoken with a wiser if not similarly troubled bear who'd been following Ian's twitter for a while who'd given me an insight into Ian's own dialogue shared via his Twitter.  It would seem to the outside person, as i had felt it was arrogance that Ian showed, was actually reservedness and shy in an aloof way.  After I'd realized I'd been harsh to take the negative viewpoint to justify any level of self-superiority, i felt somewhat foolish and empathetic to him beyond that.

 

All in all was a wonderful week for me and new resolution to not look for the cracks before looking for the light in people.  The authorized sample photos to be added soon.

Life's limitations

Hi reader.

It would feel like there hasn't been any new developments since I started the blog and the website, but much has happened behind the scenes.  Alas, most of it has to do with my daytime job and its impact on my time and energy to carry out other project like this one.

However, in the brief moments I've had to assemble models and other meetings I've achieved the following.

  1. Agreed to be the photographer for Southern Hibearnation 2014.  More about the event can be seen at http://southernhibearnation.com/
  2. Prepared a few shots for the Men on Men art competition.  More about that can be seen at http://www.lairdhotel.com/men_on_men_art_competition.php
  3. Built a new workbench in the garage/home studio so i can now place things on it without tipping it over. (Previously it was a few uneven planks sitting on a old kitchen bench)

In short, a lot of background upgrades and repairs to the home and ego.  Stay tuned for more as events develop.