28 August 2009

Introducing Briana!

"I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do." - Will Rogers

Since the last time I posted, I know there were several things I wanted to mention. Wisdom would recommend writing these things down or at the very least, start posts sooner. I can remember not a one of the points I wanted to bring up. So let me just talk about some new things then.

One, I'm starting to see several people start to ditch deviantArt. Several of my own mentors have either taken off their nude work or just deleted their galleries entirely. Much of its been because of dA's lack of responsibility of protecting artist's work, (or at least not encouraging theft), and then also in protecting the artsists personally. One mentor of mine experienced malicious racist attacks that went on unchecked for far too long. What's dA's stance? I really don't have a clue. The finally banned the guy, but why not act more decisively or even take preventative measures that either strongly discourages or keeps these sort of things from happening in the first place. In any case, I may have to abandon the site myself, if for no other reason than the principle of the matter. If they can't treat my friends with some respect, then why should I hang around.

I'm still looking to reinvent my Las Vegas Art Models Group. My 1st figure drawing session had a good turnout, but this past Thursday's did not. I've had to postpone my next Art Nude Photo Workshop for a few weeks, also for poor sign-ups. I want to stick to my original reasons for founding the group, but its not easy. Competition has become fairly stiff. But if there's one thing I learned in school on that, is that you can't go hating on the competition...at least as long as they are being fair. I was listening to KNPR about Jerome Boykin who graduated college and started his own business cleaning parking lots of major retailers. I laughed when he recounted a story of making enemies. Once, a competitor whom he was a replacement for dump a load of strash in a parking lot he was responsible for. Another time, somebody killed the battery on his sweeper truck. The fact of the matter is Jerome provided a service that was more desired than his previous competitors had done and word of mouth got him more contracts. So, provide a better workshop is what I must do. For me, the trick is to get ahead on my day job. I've been getting pounded here lately and it taking up time that I would normally be devoting to my own business endeavors.

I had a nice little back and forth on Model Mayhem with model Nettie R. Harris. Sweet girl. She's another one on my list of "Got to Work With" models. Very insightful, and a pleasure to talk to...you kind of get a sense of what kind of person she is, just by the way she writes. At least, I do anyway. I'm usually not far off on the feeling I get about a person when I read them. That's not to say, I will know everything about them or whether or not they are a Crest or Colgate person. I can just tell if I'm going to like them. And her, I like. She's a prolific model who gets around the country as a traveling art model. You already know my affinity towards art models, but I have more of a curiosity slash adoration for those who make it their livelihood and travels the country to do it. I mean, come on...imagine the life. You can also check out her blog, Rhythm Before Unknown.

Nettie has unique features that I think lend well to a high degree of versitility or maybe a dynamic range of possibilities. Despite her age, she has a very adult face for portraiture. She can easily range between early to late 20's depending on her makeup. Granted, anybody can apply enough makeup to look any age, but Nettie won't require much and still keep a natural look. I've seen her do that best with her Glamour or Fashion images, yet she can just as easily flip the script and become the lithe, hippie-chick, which I prefer most. She can give you flamboyant or simple. Sexy and classic or playful and awkward. Either way the girl's got range. She's been shot by the best and golly-good-jeepers, I want my shot.
Well, the model you see posted here is Briana. I shot her the same night as I did Keisha and what a great showing it turned out to be. I didn't get as many shots of her, (since it was almost 3 in the morning by then), so she's coming back for more. For now, enjoy these.


16 August 2009

New York City

This time last week I was enjoying myself by celebrating my birthday in New York City. It was my first trip and was quite an experience. I hadn't "experienced" a city like that since well, when I first came to Las Vegas. Vegas has its own feel, but its quite different. NYC felt like it had history and it felt like a home. Not my home, granted, but the city felt as though you were walking into your best friend's grandma's place. Everything there was grounded...rooted...the city is a weathering rock. And despite all that, I didn't bring my camera...purposely. I already have enough work to do and I knew I'd spend all my time shooting rather than enjoying the company of friends. For the record, the iPhone is not a good camera phone, but it did do a nice job when you can hold it steady. That's the view from my hotel room pictured to the left there.

I hadn't seen my friend Shwu Huoy, (pronounced Shu-Hoy), since my last semester in grad school about two and a half years ago. We've kept in touch over the years. So it was definitely cool to see her again and have her show me around her city. We both graduated at the same time...but with dual Master degrees in the same programs: MBA and a MS in Telecommunications. When we graduated, I came out West and she went East. So she's only been there a few years, but she's got that city down. I arrived on Friday morning and I got to see her later that afternoon. From then on, it was us in the streets or the subway. The subway system seems so difficult to learn and I felt like I had to be on guard for much of the time. I was surprised to learn that Shwu Huoy often took the subs at night. I guess I've seen too many movies about how dangerous the underground trains can be. When you see women with strollers doing this, you start to feel a bit more comfortable with the idea. The intricacies of the labyrinths were truly a monumental feat of engineering. At one point, as I commented on the last post, I saw a huge rat go around the corner. Nobody even flinched.

Central Park was probably the most amazing to me. I'd meet people everywhere and talk to them for a bit, conversing with them like we were life-long friends who hadn't seen each other in a while. I met a beautiful woman who had shaved her head. You could see through her blonde stubble that she had a map outline of the globe tattooed on her skull. It was gorgeous. I had to ask to check out her head and I HAD to give her a card, cuz I'd love to work with her sometime. I played catch with a couple guys throwing around a football. It was one of those "I had to." moments for me. All I had to do was signal the guy with the ball that I was wide open for a pass. It the universal signal meaning, Throw the Ball. Of course, I caught everything thrown my way.

Central Park was another staple of New York in which I had a misconception. I didn't realize how large and expansive it was. I thought it was just a open space surrounded by trees. No...the place is more than 850 square acres. I could have spent my entire time in the one place. We walked the walking/running/biking paths and I came upon a group of women who were trying to get one girl up into a tree for a picture. You know me...never to leave a damsel in distress. So I boosted her up onto the tree limb and helped her down. We proceeded on over to a pond where there must have been a million people in row boats. We watched one couple run into another. That many people really takes the romance out of it, I think. That's where Shwu Huoy and I stopped to catch up on life and the happenings of our lives.

We were due to meet good ol' Dave Rudin later that night for dinner. We made our way over to the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, and had dinner at the Pacific Grill. Our waitress, Irena, who is from Russia was a beautiful girl. She's with me in the picture. I had a lobster ravioli entree that was delicious. I liked it better than the place we went to the night before, which was an Italian joint, in China Town called Il Piccolo Bufalo, if I remember correctly. Pacific Grill had the view, it was next to the open waters, and it had Irena!

The three of us then took a walk over the the Brooklyn Bridge and we walked to the other side. Now that was an experience as well. Only two thing marred the moment. One was the traffic. There were still a bunch of people walking and biking at night. Second, and most weirdest of all was a scary moment when a guy made a threatening move toward Shwu Huoy. Dave had stopped me for a sec to explain some sights. Shwu Huoy didn't immediately see that we had stopped and walked another 15 feet past us. I half listened to Dave as he explained the view and watched a somewhat imposing figure of a man approach Shwu Huoy. She never said anything to the guy but he made a threatening move toward her as if he wanted to make her flinch. Granted, I was over there in less than a second but it still unnerved me that the guy had gotten that close to her. I guess my concerns in the subway were warranted after all. The guy just smiled and walked on. He passed us once more later on...said something....and left. I kept my eyes on him the whole time.

We had breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner which was connected to my hotel, the New Yorker. We hung out there for a while with my bags in tow and then we did B&H Photo which I didn't even realize was just around the corner from where I stayed! The place was HUGE. I know many a photog has walked in that place and come out broke more often than compulsive gamblers do in casinos here. I got to meet Dave's friend. Dean Lavery, who really knows his stuff and takes some wonderful photographs.

I know there is something I am missing or forgetting to mention but I'll pick it up in the next post. Oh, I think NASCAR can save a lot of money training their drivers, if they'd just train them in a New York City Cab.

10 August 2009

Introducing Keisha

I've got some catching up to do. My computer crashed about 2 weeks ago and it was out for the count. The morning after my last figure drawing session, it wen
t belly up...or hard drive up, as it were. I just now got another computer, a desktop...PC; not a mac. (Thanks Win!) I know I said I'd have a mac as my next one, but Apple
has really been pissing me off as of late. So, screw that notion.

One of the things I didn't get a chance to publicly do was to thank Peter Lime for giving me props on his deviant art site. As it turns out,
deviantart gallery. I don't have a thousand people watching my gallery, I can assure you. I didn't even know that was the deal, but I knew something was up because
I kept getting visitors saying congrats or that Peter has suggested they take a look at my work. Thats when you know how huge you are. Peter was like Oprah to me on that day, which was sometime last week. So if you would please help me return the favor by visiting Peter's sites, I'd appreciate it.

I was very compelled to talk about my recent trip to New Your City. But, I'm going to waive that one til my next post.

I'll only make a brief inquiry as to why there were several sightings of hairless pointed-nosed cats down in the subways. What's up with that? Dave Rudin actually did an excellent job of chronicling the story for me so well, that I might not even need to talk about it at all. He calls it, "Big T in the Big Apple."He really summari
zes the whole thing in a nutshell. It was certainly good to see him on his own turf for a change, as opposed to him coming here to Las Vegas.

I will also add that I didn't sleep much while I was there, except for the first night and that was only because I stayed up all night the night before. What was I doing you might ask. Well, I was shooting. I'm
only pulling all-nighters for photo related work. In this case, I got to shoot the beautiful Keisha whom you see pictured in the accompanying shots. The girl definitely brings it. It took us less than half an hour to "break the ice", but after that, this amateur...soon to be pro...was in my head, giving me what I wanted before I needed to even ask. So yeah, she's got some good intuition. I also got to work with her nearest and dearest friend, whom I'll get to posting after I talk about the NY trip. So stay tuned in cuz this girl has got a dangerous degree of hotness approaching critical mass. I was so glad to meet these girls and relish the time we spent shooting. More projects are already in the works. Like I said, stay tuned.