29 February 2008

On Patience, plus some on deviantART

Lots been going on... busy, busy, busy. But that's a good thing. Its all photo related and all I can see are opportunities. I'm doing a wedding in Texas in a just over a week. I have, work to edit on soon to be 3 models, and my second art nude workshop is this Sunday afternoon. Also, I am working a side project that's got me beating the streets and cranking out calls, but its all part of the vision of a new friend, whom I'd like to help realize a successful outcome. I like where I am right now in photo. I was getting ready to release a self-published book and a calendar last fall, but I decided to slow down for a while. Don't enter any contests, don't publish anything ... just concentrate on getting better. Keep shooting. Keep the blog going. Make contacts. Let things develop. So that's what I've been trying to do. Just be patient and keep grinding away and things will unfold or you. Keep doing what you love and do it right. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I am not a very patient person with regard to some things, I will admit. I want to continue to develop myself and my art, grow my Las Vegas Art Model's Group, keep rolling with my blog, and just be patient. Take a deep breath with me... and let it out... One more time...

Actually, I do have something that bothering me like a stickerbugs (spurweeds or sticker weeds) in your drawers. If you're from the South, you know what that feels like. I've talked about Model Mayhem recently, so let me also give some time to deviantART. In whole, I like it. In part, I could live without a few things, two in particular. One, I'd like to see a block, screen, or filter made available to artists to keep their images from being faved, (and maybe even viewed) by people who lurk like scavenging bottom dwellers in other people's profiles, and have no gallery of their own. Sure, I know everyone is not an artists. Some are just art appreciators, but I have run into several questionables lately who fave my images that I have a difficult time saying thanks to when I check them out.

Second, I wish the moderators did a better job of screening what goes into the art nudes section. Now, I know they cruise through and dump some of your images into your scrap folder, but the other day, I was perusing through the latest additions and became quite annoyed at all the images of guys holding their peniises in their hands. One that really got me was a close-up image of a male buttt-holle. Is that really necessary? Can't we have SOME standards here? There were several more posted by the same individual sharing several intimate perspectives of the underside of his skrotum and I have a difficult time seeing this as anything resembling art. (Yes, I intentionally misspelled a few words to ward off evil spy-botts.)

Now let me also confess to my possible hypocrisy. I have had to defend some of my images that portray female genitalia with the pretext that its part of the body, just like anything else. I shoot the whole nude, and refuse to be stifled by taboos, opinions, and the such. I defend it as a beautiful part of the female body just like any other and if I shoot a nude who happens to have her nethers in view then just enjoy the composition or don't. Well, can the guy who posts his nads pose the same argument? Am I just biased towards women? Well, hell yeah...I know I am. I shoot what I love and it is the female form, not the male form, which appeals to me with great veracity. I just wish I could look at decent art nudes without the non-artistic elements added into this section. I don't mind mail nudes. I've done ma-ol nudes, myself as a mayle artt model. Dilemmas, dilemmas...

23 February 2008

A Girl, Her Dog...and her HAWK!

This week was such a good week, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, I had a few meetings with a promising model and another that held some promising opportunities. On Thursday, I got to meet and shoot with my friend, Katherine, who's on a road trip at the moment clocking some serious miles. She was only in Vegas for a few hours as she was passing through, but she swung by to do a shoot with her pet red-tailed HAWK. We got several images in the 3 or 4 hours we shot. Then as quickly and suddenly as she blew in...she was gone.

Let me give you just a little history on Katherine and I. I met her almost two years ago, while hiking in Colorado with my friend Mary, whom I was scouting a location to shoot. Katherine and another friend were at the bottom of a trail in the Black Canyons camping out for a few days and fishing. Mary and I met them at the end of the day and they welcomed us into their camp and fed us fresh caught rainbow trout and I think some chili. In the course of conversation, Katherine asked what were were out wondering the mountains for. I made mention of my intention to shoot Mary and she asked if she could be in it as well. I came back out to their campsite the next day and hung out til it got warm enough to shoot. As the temp rose, Katherine lost her clothes. Before long, she was catching fish and cleaning them naked.

I am not sure how it got started but we all ended up skinny dipping in some of the most frigid waters imaginable. This was snow melt, fresh off the mountains. I got to shoot Katherine and had a great time doing it. My entire spontaneous week in Colorado happened to be one of the best experiences of my life. Getting to meet Katherine was a thrill even if we hadn't gotten to shoot. The weather almost didn't cooperate. It rained the day before she got here and the day after. I had a great time with her and might get to shoot her again as she makes a return trip upwards again to Colorado. These are a few of the images I did a quick edit on. It may be a while yet before I get them posted in a gallery on my site, but I wanted to share with you all, anyway.
You will for sure see more of this girl.

19 February 2008

My First Workshop

My first workshop...

Stress is the best term I can use to describe it. Mainly it was the coordinations, but it was already starting out rough from my frustrating failed attempt at getting my drawing group established. I am the organizer for the Las Vegas Art Model's Group, which is a Meetup.com group I created to give models an a forum to socialize with other models and artists, as well as to provide a venue for them to work. Since the majority of models work for drawing artists, I decided to let that be my priority. I've been at it for 3 months searching for a venue to hold drawing sessions and I thought I had one secured but somehow that opportunity was lost...long story.

Anyway, I decided to work on a photo venue. A member of the group made his personal studio available and we held our first workshop there this past Sunday afternoon. It went very well. I had 5 of 8 slotted photogs sign up. I interviewed 8 models for the job. The first I selected realized she was not going to be available for that date. I settled on another, but then lost communications before I got a firm booking. I immediately contacted one of the last two interviewees and secured a committment. She turned out to be great! She's deaf which was an initial challenge but she is very spirited, enthusiastic, and charismatic, not to mention gorgeous. Our initial interview was about 2 hours and the second was an hour and a half. Everyone loved her. She's very beautiful with the same characteristics on the inside. We are making plans for a shoot with just ourselves.

I know I need to find a more efficient and less stressful way to organize this effort. Right now, I am certain I am undercharging the photogs who attend and underpaying the models I need to do the job. I've got to beef up my resources. I've received responses from several models willing to work with me, but its a whole different story making sure they commit. My philosophy was to go with the more mature and experienced model to help kick off this first one. The model I lost contact with was experienced at this for more than 8 years and was around 35 or so years old, yet I was left hanging. It was a 21 year old with significantly less experience who charmed my group and bailed my ass out of a jam.

There are still some details yet to workout. My model was toast after just 2 hours for a four hour workshop and so was I. I didn't shoot much at all. My job was faciliating the workshop and making sure everything was smooth. So, I need to workout how not to burnout my models while giving the photogs what they pay for. I've been on several shoots that lasted more than 4 hours. Maybe it was the warmth of the studio or the fact that I was exhausted from little sleep. But I know I need to find a way to keep my model fresh throughout the two 2-hour sessions. Oh well, its a process.

16 February 2008

More to Come...

I'll be updating Sunday night with details as to my first Artistic Nude Workshop and a few other things. Here are some aspects of Vegas, you might be unfamiliar with. I'll be posting more like this in the future as I take more shots around Las Vegas. Click on 'em for larger viewing.


08 February 2008

Virtual Relationships

I was just sitting here thinking about how easy it is to become connected with people on the net. Virtual relationships have become sort of common in my life as of late as I communicate with individuals, develop a bond...a connection, yet, never having met together face to face. In some cases I know that's an okay thing, but I know for kids, the naive, and those less wary this can be a dangerous proposition. Common sense should always be the chief discretionary trait in any relationship you become involved in, whether virtual or in person.

Yeah, I can get sentimental at times. Its part of the way I was raised and my own set of standards in how I value people and appreciate real friendships. It hurt being in the military and connecting with guys that you know at any given time you would lay down your life to save thiers only to have the PCS on you after 3 years. That's a permanent change of station where you get new orders for a new duty station. Where is all this coming from? Well, I have come to miss like crazy Chris St. James from Univers d'Artistes. We've communicated on a constant basis and he's featured me on his highly popular and acclaimed blog on several occasions. Chris runs his blog from France and I have come to almost depend on his blog posts to stay informed, entertained, and awe-struck, by the photogs he discovers and presents to the world. Now he's hospitalized, and that connection is lost. I have no way of knowing how he's doing and the frustration sets in for me because its in my nature to visit my friends in times of need. You want to comfort, console, and help in any way you can.

Lin Bang from Fluffytek has signed off from her blog for a while for the same reasons...medical care. I've only even recently began communications with Lin when she contacted me with reference to a blog post I made. Oh my goodness, she's so exciting to read. I've backtracked through all of the posts by her and her husband Richard. She's funny as hell, but she also has a wonderful perspective on things that really make you think. Her commentary is such that you can easily gleen wisdom from her writings and you are usually left in better standing if you heed her advice and considerations. She can easily bring value to your work whether you are a photog or model. She has the expertise to counsel in both regards. She's an art lover and she is an advocate for the photographic representation of the nude form.

So I guess its funny how you can come to miss someone you have never met. Well, you can certainly feel that void when you recognize the value they bring to your life in whatever form, is not flowing through the vitural umbilical in which you've become accustomed to feed. So this is a well wishing post to Chris and Lin. I wish you both a speedy recovery. Take care of yourselves. My prayers, and I am sure those of many others are with you. You guys hurry back, now ...ya hear!

03 February 2008

More of My Take on MM

Kickoff is getting ready to start for the Super Bowl. My Cowboys didn't make it and neither did the Packers, so I am not as hyped for this game, but I hope its a good one.
I've usually kept my reader comments open, but I have recently started to have to moderate them since I have been getting spammed by some type of online modeling gig. To me, that's just rude, but what can you expect from people like that. So apologies to Iris Dassault for not realizing she'd commented on my last post regarding Model Mayhem exposure. She's right, its a full-time job to get a presence there. In case you didn't know, MM is an online forum for models, photogs, and Make Up Artists (MUA) to collaborate and work together.

Its one of several online business models that allow to you post information and images about yourself and then communicate with like minded people who might like to do business with you. Its quite popular, but the format to gain more exposure keeps you on it constantly to say hello, comment on someone's work. The more you say...the more you are seen, so you are constantly being polite and courteous in the belief that its the proper etiquette to respond to someone else's comment about your images. You get a forum to seek out potential models in your area and they can also find you.

The thing is, this doesn't always pay off. You can expect to see several profiles where the user has not been active for several months or longer, because they get frustrated at becoming comment whores eagerly awaiting feedback. On the other hand, its great for MM in advertisements. The longer you stay on and the more often you come back, the better potential that you will see an advertisement that catches your eye. You may not be the type to be sensitive to these ad placements, but I can assure you, more money using this type of business model for generating ad revenue than they get from your subscription. Thats why they can afford to let you have the space for free. I'd be willing to be less than 8.2% of all MM users upgrade to the VIP service that allows them to post a hundred pics in stead of the 20 free ones they get. For the moment, even that service is suspended while they do some server renovating. If they are smart, they'll be virtualizing those servers.

On another note, I think I am getting ready launch my first photo workshop for my Las Vegas Art Model's Group as soon as we get enough participants to sign up. My drawing workshop is back on hold again, pending studio space. I am still looking forward to shooting Trixie again. She's got an excellent backside as you can conclude from these abstracts. I'm also anxious to interview with a few others who have contacted me about shooting. Its a process...
Not time for spellcheck... kickoff!