26 September 2009

For My Subscribers...(my bad)

That personal message I mentioned towards the end of the last post is now in yellow text, so that is shows up on the email posts, which have WHITE backgrounds. The text itself is in white font, which is okay for my green blog background. So that paragraph should have looked like this:

Now on a totally different matter all together, let me deviate just a little. I got a personal message this evening from a friend who ended an email with the following sentiment:

"Thank you for being in my life."

There. Now that makes sense, doesn't it? Okay, tell you what; to make up for it, here's a recent shot of Melissa done this morning. You can see an interview on her on Univers d'Artistes in the next few days.

25 September 2009

Get Well Chris...

"To Chris St. James:
As often as it takes, We are here for you.
Despite the miles and the space, We are near to you.
A burden shared, reveals the merit of a Friend;
And there are many of us, ready to begin. 
Get Well Soon!"

Things are definitely different now. Looks like I'll have a little more time on my hands to keep up my blogs, at least for a while. I lost my job today. It was a damn good one too. But I was released today into a city with an already surging 13.1% unemployment rate. Damn. Oddly enough, I gotta tell ya, in some ways I am relieved, though I know this feeling will be short-lived really quick. I was spending many a weekends working. Long days and nights in an office. I had never wanted a job in the first place that was going to be so time-consuming of my days and take away from my photography. Granted, I had no idea it was going to be this consumptive of my time. I knew I'd voluntarily put in the hours in the beginning just to learn the system. I hate being ignorant of anything. But in July things when into overdrive and weekends became routine. Well, now I've been spat out. I said my good-byes to my crew and bid them well. I think I was far too gracious about it. I asked for no reasons or tried to argue/defend my case. I said thank you for the opportunity with a dry mouth. It sucks that it had to come 12 days after I just moved into a new apartment though.

As it were, this occurred an hour or so before the close of the day. My first thought and the first thing I did when I got home was to finish a get well greeting card for Chris St. James, my friend and mentor in France who runs, Univers d'Artistes.com. (Well, I guess you all know who he is by now. My tag cloud should be testament to that fact.) He should be getting out of the hospital today and Unbearable Lightness has put forth a request to us to send a uniquely styled get well card for him, spawned from the imagination of Michael Siu, of New Orleans. As soon as I got home, I finished it up and emailed it to U.L. Here is mine. I think I'll relax this weekend, do a shoot with Melissa in the morning, finish editing some family portraits for Faerie, and complete some edits for a wedding. I'm not thinking about a thing concerning employment for at least another week. Besides, I am so tired of working for somebody else. Honestly, I don't know why I am even discussing this now. I had plans on not even mentioning this to anybody til at least Monday. But maybe that won't make a difference. Who's reads this blog anyway...

Now on a totally different matter all together, let me deviate just a little. I got a personal message this evening from a friend who ended an email with the following sentiment:

"Thank you for being in my life."

Now I've had some personal expressions of love before. I've had people express good will and benevolence. Some have blessed me with eloquent prose. But when I read the above sentence, I had to pause and just examine the contents of the words of which this sentence is composed. I think part of the profoundness has to do with the fact that its different, new, and oddly enough, an odd concept. These words were received despite the lack of any sort of intimate relationship. Rather its the culmination of mutual respect and simple appreciation for one's peers. Despite everything that has transpired today, and the job is only a part of it, this sentiment alone helped my day. It reminded me of a poem I wrote a while back, entitled, "The Power of Mankind", (enjoy the abstracts):

Doesn't it just make you feel good,

When a kind word is passed your way
Makes you feel appreciated
Exalts your self-worth
Puts a glow on your face for the rest of the day.

They are the building stones for character
Leaving the recipient much improved
         An elixir for the spirit
         A salve for the heart
Liniment for the body, once before abused.

There are words that build up,
                                  reinforce and compliment.
There are words that tear down,
                                  weaken and kill.
Thus, is the power mankind oft wields
                                  without the benefit of thought.
Tragically so, our words can condemn.

But, doesn’t it just make you feel good
When you pass a kind word someone’s way
You have the power to make them feel appreciated
Exalting their self-worth
And it puts a glow on you face for the rest of the day.
Don’t Abuse Your Power...

by Terrell Neasley
December 1997

08 September 2009

Blog URL Change

Man, I didn't even realize I could change the url on my blog, til just now. So I'm putting the word out to all my subscribers that its changed as of tonight.

So now you can see me at www.PHOTOANTHEMS.blogspot.com

Yeah, I know all my numbers are gonna drop for a while, but hey... things change.

Switch to Photo Anthems

Well, in case you hadn't noticed, Photo Anthems.com and Photo Anthems Blog are now in effect. I've been working to make all the changes and updates today. This shouldn't be a surprise, as I've mentioned previously that I'd be doing this update at some point. If its not too much trouble, I'd like to ask everyone who has linked to me to change the link to Photo Anthems, as well. What is Photo Anthems? For starters, it was one of the last cool names available for use without having to buy it from somebody just sitting on it. So, since I did't have a million dollars lying around, I had to leave Photography.com alone. I started to go with "www.thecoolestnudesyou'lleversee.com, but Marketing 101 says that's just a few consonants too long. Photo Anthems was still sitting on the table, so I grabbed it. I thought of several names dealing with muses, art models, and a few others, but I do shoot more than just the nude, so I needed something that encompassed all my work. The name Anthem is just a beautiful word to me. I had long had it in my head to use it at some point. In hopes of being able to make a song out of my images, Photo Anthems was born.

One of the coolest things in the updating of all this is that its been a while since I've checked out the stats on my sites. Despite not blogging on the same 2wice a week schedule I was adhering to last year, my numbers are still way up. My state-side numbers now far supersede my European counts (mainly the UK, France, and  Germany). It wasn't that significant of a difference before, but now, its about 10 times my European count combined. I hadn't really looked into whether or not I'm losing my Euro-readers, or if my US readership has simply taken notice. More than likely its the latter. Most of my visits come from search engines, which brings me to some of the most surprising stats of all. Now you'd expect, searches for words and phrases like "best nudes on the planet", artistic nudes, art models, model poses, etc, would bring traffic to me. But I was somewhat gagged to see some of the stuff that drew traffic. Granted, they were pretty much one time visits, per keyword, (instead of 100 people searching model poses), but there were bunches of them and I am hesitant to repeat them. Some people are just weird like that.

I thought we'd revisit Natalie. Its been a while since you've seen her.

04 September 2009

On Morocco

These photos were taken of Melissa during a recent figure drawing session.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, and I've really got nothing planned. I've got to actually work this weekend, just to get ahead on my job and I plan to do some scouting for my next photo workshop. Gotta find a new location. Something out of the sun, scenic of course,
and something not too difficult to get to. That's the real trick, right there. Mainly, if its easy to get to, scenic, and shaded, its going to have a lot of people in it. Which is sort of counterproductive unless all those people are paying participants. I don't mind so much then. So much of today, or yesterday was spent at work. Tomorrow, I've got a lunch date, and then its off to scouting. Labor Day will assuredly be spent laboring and depending on my progress, I might be able to work in some scouting if I don't find what I am looking for on the morrow. I've only got these two days to find something.

On another matter of locations, I was reading about Morocco a few days ago. My first encounter on anything Moroccan, besides the leathers, was two girls I picked up out of the rain while in Grad school in Kentucky. They were carrying grocery bags from Wal-Mart which was right across from campus. One of the girls was holding a bag that I thought was a baby which is what prompted me to stop in the first place. It was raining. What man wouldn't stop? But in my car is now seated the most beautiful slash gorgeous woman, I think I've ever been that close to. Forget celebrity beauty. This girl was just plain fascinating. She was like museum beautiful....not to be touched...just gazed upon. I'm talking Mona Lisa, here. I got to know her over the next few months, since we had classes together and were both in the MBA program. At different times, I was introduced to other friends of hers. ALL of them were gorgeous. None as beautiful as she was, granted, but all these women were Moroccan and they were all gorgeous. Well, this girl got to see some of my work at one point and we discussed my artwork. I never made a pass at her and never even asked her to model, but she did bring up the possibilities herself and we both considered it. Alas, it never came to fruition. She went on to graduate a semester before I did I think.

Nonetheless, I began to research her country even after she was gone. Everyone knows about Casablanca, but I knew little else about the place. I recently read that Morocco was the first county to officially recognize the United States when we claimed our independence:

1750 - 1912 "During the American Revolution, so many American ships called at the port of Tangiers that the Continental Congress sought recognition from the "Emperor" of Morocco. This was accorded, in effect, in 1777, making Morocco the first country to recognize the fledging American republic. Negotiation of a formal treaty began in 1783, and resulted in the signing in 1786 of the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both future U.S. Presidents, were the American signatories." - http://www.moroccanamericantrade.com/relations.cfm#1

This was about 3 or 4 years ago and I have since steadily been reading about this country. I must visit this place. There are many places in the world I want to travel to. Belize, Jordan, Israel, Portugal, and Turkey, top the list. I want to revisit some places, I have already been such as the Netherlands and Spain. But Morocco is one place I don't think I would mind living in. Aside from the beautiful women, its another place for me to explore for a few years. I like learning about new cultures and being in different surroundings. I understand from my friend, that the place is much more progressive than what I might think of a Muslim country. However, I am not sure how well my nudes would go over there. I think for that time in country, I'd resign myself to landscape and portraiture. It would make another interesting chapter in my life. I don't know when I would be able to visit. There is much in my own country I am still exploring. But if the opportunity presents itself, who could pass that up. Yes, I think I'd move there.

André Elbaz (born April 26, 1934, El Jadida, Morocco) is a famous Moroccan painter and filmmaker.

Elbaz studied art and theatre in Rabat and Paris from 1950 to 1961. He started painting only at the age of 21, until which age he had been interested mainly in theatre. A few years later, he managed to combine his two passions into a new approach in art-therapy, inventing together with his wife, a psychiatrist, the Pictodrame, which brought him world recognition.