26 January 2012

A New Panda!

Muse, Panda © 2012 Terrell Neasley

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars."

- Og Mandino

Wow. I went by Panda's house since I was in the area. I wanted to introduce her to my knuckles. [Insert: knuckles = kids!] Cassie and my kid-in-law came to help me get around for the first week after surgery and on the way back from one of my doctor visits, we stopped by Panda's joint. I didn't recognize her for the first .04 seconds that I saw her. She cut her hair drastically...actually she let her hubby and a friend do it! I wasn't expecting that and as I sat in my car wide-eyed as she came down the stairs to meet us, I knew I couldn't wait til I fully recuperated from the knee surgery to shoot her again. I desperately needed her new head! Well, I got that chance earlier this week and she came over to my place. I'm not taking any other assignments right now. The knee is too swollen and I'm in too much pain to try to concentrate on doing a great job. HOWEVER, shooting nudes, for some reason seems to distract me from the pain. And I've already shot Panda enough that I'm comfortable with her seeing me so vulnerable. I don't mind if all of a sudden I move incorrectly and searing pains emanates from my knee causing my body to wrack in awkward momentary contortions. I catch my breath, ease myself back into the correct position and proceed as if nothing had ever happened. Besides, it gives me something to edit during my downtime!

Muse, Panda © 2012 Terrell Neasley
I couldn't be like that in front of a client or a model whom I'm not as familiar with. Its just not a good showing or good form. It also puts too much pressure on the person I'm shooting to feel like they should help or do something when in actuality, they can't. So why then would I then shackle them the inevitable millstone of helplessness that is sure to sink them below waves of disparity at not being able to assist me? Panda would call me a Dumb-Ass and laugh at me. And to another fact, I've been specifically requested to do a NILMDTS session. I had initially considered not taking that assignment, but since I've previously shot for this family only a few months back, I felt a certain obligation to commit. I can only do this with Panda's help. She's got a car that's easy for me to get in and out of and she will assist me on this shoot. So for the time being, the only thing that can make me pick up a camera is doing a nude or a call for a NILMDTS session when I'm specifically requested (or if no one else is available).

Muse, Panda © 2012 Terrell Neasley

It's been two weeks since my surgery. I just left the doc yesterday for me two-week post-op and he gave me the lowdown. I went in sort of irritated as hell. I've been in constant pain for most all of this past two weeks, but I walked (or hobbled) in very reserved. I didn't go in blasting about how I couldn't get any stronger pain meds like I wanted to. This guy has been genuine with me from the start and the first thing he did was apologize for my discomfort. He told me everything he had to do and why it wasn't good for me to have stronger meds. My knee was basically a trash heap inside. He cleaned all that up, scrapped down to the good bone, and then proceeded to drill 20 HOLES inside all that! That's the Microfracture procedure I mentioned in the last post. I didn't know it was 20 holes, though. I was thinking maybe 5 or 6. This guy went for the shotgun effect, but he explained that it was truly necessary and that it needed to be done and that it was necessary to get deep into the good bone. This was going to leave me in a little more pain because the swelling was going to be so much more persistent.

Muse, Panda © 2012 Terrell Neasley
But you know what, I feel better about that now. I'm focusing more on the new stuff I'll be able to do when I hit the trails! I'm excited about my travels this summer! Ever seen a chained dog when suddenly let off the leash? They come blasting out the gates!! That's what I'm concentrating on. I won't be blasting, but I'm just looking forward to living again and I'm going to really make use of my long awaited ambulatory prowess. I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do and will try to make sure to not be stupid and rush ANYTHING. I've got 6 weeks of crutches. Then its at least 6 weeks of rehab. I'm going to make the best of it and get back on my feet. Not saying its not going to suck, but you know what, its no different than taking really bad-tasting medicine...except that the distasteful experience is a little longer.

19 January 2012

Another Surgery plus 2010 Interview of Me by Karl

"My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn't stand the sideline."
~ Michael Jordan

Wow. This has been an interesting month so far. I wish I could tell you about all the wonderful shoots I've been on, but alas, such is not the case. Knee surgery has been the theme of the month so far. Weeks of trying to prep for it and now just recovering from it. My daughter and son in law decided to take vacation time to come and assist me for the first week. I didn't think I needed it, really. I was wrong. Pain meds haven't been helping and the doc sees no reason to give me anything stronger, so I've just stopped taking anything all together. This isn't the first time I've had to deal with the VA no understanding the problem. I can't say why I don't respond like they think I should to medication. I wish I was more of a typical case for them, but I'm not.

I don't expect the kiddos had that great of a time trying to accommodate me over the last week. I know I was being a bear. I didn't want to stay seated or immobilized and the thought of having to use the word "can't" for routine tasks tasted bitter in my mouth. It wasn't until reading about my procedure online that the truth sort of sunk in to where I understood it. The docs told me I'd be looking at 6 to 8 weeks. In my mind, that adds up to half that time for me. I'm strong. I recover quicker than most. And I can handle it. 6 to 8 weeks is the general "play it safe" recovery time for the average guy. I couldn't have been more wrong. I had so many other people tell me a simple scope of the knee is an in and out 2 to 3 week thing. Even my primary care doc told me I'd be on my feet in 3 weeks top. So why was the othopedic surgeon saying 6 to 8? Well, what he knew that the others didn't was that he was also performing a Microfracture procedure on my knee, whereby you drill small holes into the larger pot-hole that's already at the end of my femur. This is supposed to encourage bone/cartilage growth to fill in the hole naturally. THAT's the part that takes so long. Weight-bearing activities such as "walking", can prohibit the bone growth. So 6 to 8 weeks ON CRUTCHES is what's prescribed.

I simply had no clue and didn't understand that I'd be on crutches this long. SIX to EIGHT weeks! Wow. I simply cannot get that out of my mind. That possibly puts me all the way out to mid-March! I've already had to postpone two projects to the end of March. I don't know if you realize it, but that also means postponing getting paid til the end of March. Which simply means I gotta slow down spending big time. Personal projects have also been postponed. My continued work with Panda is having to be delayed as well. And I have a couple other models whom I thought I'd be working with around the first week of Feb, that I've had to simple cancel til further notice.

The good thing is that I just have to get through this doing the right things. Its believed that I get another 10 to 15 years of "good knee" time, instead of what I've been dealing with over the last decade. Two months for 10 years. Not a bad trade. To my understanding, this 2 months doesn't include rehabilitation time. I won't find that out til next week. I had 10 weeks rehab for my hand last year. I read in one place where full recovery might not be expected for 6 months! So this'll be interesting.

Karl of "Looking About" blog has reposted an interview he did of me a few years ago. After a look back on that time period, I sort of wonder what my answers might be today and if any of them have changed. Not much would be different, I presume. I think I'd answer the same in about 27 of them at least. Its a good reflection because I was definitely in two different places in 2010 vs today. I was coming out of some pretty hard months in oh-10 and even the 3 years before then. In fact, I think it may even be time for another "Interview of Self" like what I did a long time ago in 2008.

  1. What is your favorite word? Altruism
  2. What is your least favorite word? Normal
  3. What turns you on? A naked woman
  4. What turns you off? Clothes!....kidding...People who don't take responsibility for themselves and pass the blame.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? Bacon sizzling in the morning would be the least crass answer
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? Its a tie between a high-pitched nagging voice and an alarm clock
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Fuck
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Probably acting, but I used to dream about playing football
  9. What profession would you not like to do? There are plenty but I'm going with Nursing. I've got much respect for them, but its not my gift.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Come on....Get your butt on in here!
  11. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Traveling the world with boundless resources and a model that I photograph everywhere, all the time
  12. What is your greatest fear? I honestly can't say I have one. I mean, I certainly don't want to be eaten by an alligator or fall from the empire state building but they are not fears of mine that I think about all the time. 
  13. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Galileo Galilei, just because he's the only person I can think of who was also misunderstood.
  14. Which living person do you most admire? Other than family....Billy Graham, Chris St. James, and Bill Cosby (How can you stick with just one?)
  15. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Procrastination
  16. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Lack of integrity
  17. What is your greatest extravagance? I spent $400 on comic books once, but I've since sold my collection and not bought another since 1994, I think.
  18. On what occasion do you lie? When I have to take into account someone else's feelings and the truth is not worth the heartache or when I need to be polite because I need the business.
  19. What do you dislike most about your appearance? I'm actually cool with myself. If I had to say any one thing its that I look mean when I am not smiling.
  20. When and where were you happiest? Christmas at Mama Carrie's as a kid
  21. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? I'd be kinder to people and more understanding
  22. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? Me. That's all I have control over.
  23. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Jeremy and Cassie
  24. If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be? As a person: A white female, just so I could experience the opposite of my current self. As far as a thing, I'd want to be a star just for the billions of years galactic experience 
  25. What is your most treasured possession? My faith
  26. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? A disapproval of yourself because of someone else's opinion
  27. Who are your heroes in real life? My Mother
  28. What is it that you most dislike? A coward
  29. How would you like to die? Old age preferably, but if not, then on my feet in a way that makes it count
  30. What is your motto? Stay alert, Stay alive! Hooooah!

14 January 2012

"A Year in Review of the Nude: 2011" by Terrell Neasley

Visit the link: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2888660 for more details on how to order your copy!

Mercy, Cover Model featured in
"A Review of the Nude: 2011"
by Terrell Neasley
Thought I'd make a post to talk about my latest pictorial periodical (as in this will be a regular thing). "A Year in Review of the Nude: 2011" is my reflection of the models I worked with who shot nudes throughout the 2011 year. I didn't shoot as many models as what I may typically shoot in 12 months. The first two years I was in Vegas, I was probably shooting about 2 models a month, but I've since slightly waned on how many models I shoot. Lately, I've had a propensity to shoot more images with fewer models. Some models you just simply gel with and you tend to end up shooting them again and again without searching out new talent. This last year, I shot 7 models of whom I feel I did some incredible work. Some experimental first time shoots and then others that were simply exploratory while discovering new countrysides and vistas. Some shots are almost overly conservative, even by artistic nude standards. Then again, there are some shots that are bold, daring, and provocative enough to make your pupils dilate a few more millimeters wider than normal. Regardless, I ofttimes take what the model gives me and that becomes my raw material for editing.

Viki Vegas, Model featured in
"A Review of the Nude: 2011"
by Terrell Neasley

Dominique, Model featured in
"A Review of the Nude: 2011"
by Terrell Neasley
I've had a few emails and inquiries asking why I've got the book priced the way I do. A reasonable price might be $30 to $50 and if I wanted to maybe push a little more profit, I could charge upwards of $75. Those are the suggestions. Truthfully, I could have gone that route. I could have made a smaller book, both in size and in quantity of pages and made it paperback. However, that's not exactly the way I want my work to be portrayed. I want it exhibited big and in large fashion. I also want it on good paper, bound well, with excellent print. That's the ONLY way I want my work shown. I am a photographer, make no mistake about that, but I'm an artist first! This is my artwork and I'd much rather my pieces be viewed as such. I didn't make a "book", per se. I assembled a collection of my artwork. I've sold SINGLE pieces of art for much more than the $149.99, I have this book listed for at about 115 images. I feel like I'm practically giving the book away at that price point. Chances are, YOU'VE paid more than $200 for a single photo or art piece to hang over your couch. Realistically, my first thought was to have it over $500, and this may well be the case in the future. But for now, $149.99 is where I set the option to purchase. This is my art. There's a story behind every single shoot. There is emotion, love, and feelings wrapped up into each image. Time, energy and effort is spent in editing these captures... all done to share and exhibit my wares to you, the general public. So this is more aimed at a specific demographic of people who spend money on artwork and who will generally spend well over that amount for art. Its well made. Its large. And the pictures are friggin' awesome! So if it sells, great. If not so much, then that's okay too!

Panda, Model featured in
"A Review of the Nude: 2011"
by Terrell Neasley

My main goal had nothing to do with profit generation, oddly enough. I want each book I do to be successful, of course. I desire for it to be in demand, without a doubt. However, I didn't make it for everybody. The majority of people will not desire a book on nudes anyway. Of the ones that do, most won't shell out my asking price. I know this. I am not bothered by it. My goal if anything is to share this with people who see it more as a piece of artwork, as opposed to simply a book to be consumed once, and shelved. I am interested in my work being shown in your homes, no different than the art you hang on your walls with a lamp shining on it or propped up on a pedestal in the corner. Its the same as my single images I create. When I edit and do my final crop, I'm not as concerned with whether or not its been cropped to standard sizes, so you can go to Wal-Mart and purchase a frame for it. How it is, is how it is. I'd prefer it to be custom mounted by a professional and framed accordingly. I've sold to some clients and assist them on choosing how my images will be mounted and framed once I have the print produced. Maybe its just me, but I don't want my artwork in regular frames all the time. If the print size is 13 x 9 3/4, then I don't want it cut down to an 10 x 8 so it can fit a ready made frame! Granted, people will do what they want, but my work is made to be custom hung. Don't fault me for being particular about this.

Mercy, Cover Model featured in
"A Review of the Nude: 2011"
by Terrell Neasley
I think you will love this book. You are going to fall in love with my models and the shots they each contributed to. You will feel the story behind each image and be left wondering about the details. It will definitely pique your interest and you will want to imagine what shooting with Panda, Mercy, or Viki Vegas, must have been like. Each have their own different feel. Shooting with Viki was far different from shooting with Mercy and I believe you will sense this as you peruse through the pages. You will get a sense of Panda's willingness to create art and feel how cold Dominique must have been and wonder how she tolerated the temperatures. This is what my book delivers. Its artwork that you can appreciate, but its the experience that will make the hairs stand on end and give you the goose bumps your sympathetic nervous system has been starving for. At the very least, take a chance. Jump!

04 January 2012

Panda, Get Used to Seeing Her

New Muse, Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley

"There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness." ~ Po

Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley
First post of the new year! Hope you all have been safe and have reasonable New Year's Resolutions. Me? I've got big expectations for 2012. Lots of traveling, for one. A lot more shoots, for two. I'm not sure yet, but I think I photographed less than 6 models for all of last year. That's unsat...can't happen again. WON'T happen again. But I did do some great models. In fact, I'll be showcasing them in a new book coming up that I think will be an annual thing for me from here on out. "A Year in Review of the Nude: 2011". Yeah, I think that's catchy. Look for my posts announcing it within the week.

Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley
On of the last models of the year that I worked with is Panda. I photographed her pretty much all of December. We did about seven shoots and more than 200 edited shots. I don't think I've edited so much work of any other model I've worked with. Lorilei had the record for the most hours shot in a day. That was broken, with Panda. Viki had the record for the most shoots in a relative short period of time. Panda took that record too. I've had some pretty awesome shoots with several models and she ranks up there with some of my all time best. The girl's just got a talent for posing and she's one of those that will not hesitate to get in the cold water. AND SWIM AROUND IN IT! I'm not taking put putting the feet in the water or standing knee-deep in it. This girl was in the Colorado River in December, just because she felt like it would make for some cool shots.

Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley
Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley
It was very fortuitous for me to meet her, because I actually met her at Trixie's going away party. I arrived late and Trix had introduced me to everyone as her personal photographer. Of course after discussing some of the work we've done over the years, it piqued some interests. One of those interested was Panda. I wasn't so sure she was serious, just because she was slightly inebriated at the time. So I wasn't so sure of what to think. But of course as it turns out, she was absolutely 100% serious and committed. And she came along at the best of times, because right at that particular moment she was exactly what I needed and as long as I don't disrespect the hubby, its all good. He's been cool to hang out with. I just have to be a little smarter and make sure I stretch before racing him down hotel corridors again. I'm sure he didn't know the old man could get up and go like that, but 43-year old quads that haven't been stretched don't like that kind of stuff so much and my right one let me know. After 3 weeks, I'm still putting heat on it.

I think one of Panda's biggest assets is her portrait. Those eyes are killer and her expressions can grab attention quicker than Jackie Chan snatching a fly out of the air with chopsticks. The good thing is that she's just moved here and will be here for a while. We have a bet on who's going to get tired of who first. Its hopeless. She doesn't really know me. I can shoot all day every day and wake up every morning looking forward to the day. The girl doesn't stand a chance. But I'm more than willing to put it up to a challenge and see. I suspect I'll be announcing my victory sometime well before the new year is out. But she's definitely been a blessing. She was a big help with my shoot with Mercy and for being so young, she's very mature for her age. And for being a student of anthropology, damn she's highly intelligent. There's no downside to the girl.

New Muse, Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley

"There is no charge for awesomeness... 
or attractiveness." - Po
On another note, I finally got to meet Karl, famed blogger from Looking About. It appears he'll be spending time here in Vegas on and off and was here for a week last week, so we got to hang out a little. He's cool (and tall!). We got to do some lunch at the Shish Kabob House over off of West Flamingo. It was great meeting him and his Mrs. Conversing with him over a myriad of topics was excellent. Its awesome to share new ideas and perspectives in this line of work. The dude's got a fascinating job. I think we talked about everything except for politics and the school system here in Nevada. Time went by so fast, I was almost late for my next gig, even though I thought I had allotted myself plenty of time. We also both shared our mutual admiration for Carla, the most talented writer/blogger/model in the business who runs "What We Saw Today". Maybe you recall her as Unbearable Lightness. We have both been influenced and mentored by Carla over the years, but yet neither of us have ever met or worked together. I came close to going to visit her in the late Summer of 2010, but we had schedule conflicts and the trip didn't happen. I think before 2012 expires, I'll have Carla in my portfolio. Its just got to happen. Its a tragedy that it hasn't already happened. I can't let another year go by. I actually had a dream of a shoot with Carla that I still have worked out in my head. This will be a reality.

Okay, dang. I just clicked over to Karl's blog so I could link to it for this post. There's a huge pic of me and a reprint of the interview we did a year or so ago. I don't look too bad! Think I'll use it for a new Facebook profile shot. Thanks, Karl!