Interpretations

Here are five videos.  In them, somebody eats an ice cream cone, chews gum, eats a lollipop, smokes a water vapor hookah pen, and repeats a simple, innocent phrase over and over.  Some people will read more into them than that.  Mostly, that's ok.

As an artist, you hope that people find meaning in your work and that your creations help make some tiny bit of order out of the world.  I believe in people's right to define their own meaning in my work, and I respect their conclusions - that is the beauty of art.  I love the opportunities I have to hear what people find in the works that I create.  It is humbling and helps me grow as an artist and a person.  Sometimes, however, people read into your work things that were never intended, and not in a good way.  

In the book This Book Has No Title, author Jarod Kintz says, "The moment I heard her name I fell in love.  Of course I fell in love with the wrong name, so I made her legally change her name to match that of my love interest."  Attempting to change reality almost never results in any significant change.  Sometimes an elaborate work with a model in her underwear is less about the underwear and more about what the model is doing.  Like being rooted to the ground through tree-like hands, symbolically grounded by an internal struggle.  Some people only see the underwear.

Bow Project Redux

Recently I was photographing a model who had long ago seen her babysitter pose for my Bow Project and had always wanted to pose for it. After years of waiting for the right time, she asked to pose for it, and I agreed.  However, the Bow Project was long ago done and over with, and now that Keely was old enough to participate, I didn't want to do a token shoot.  Instead, we looked at how the project could change, and new inspiration came, reflecting the way my overall mood had changed in the intervening years.  This is the result of that shoot.

Seeing the result was all the inspiration I needed to revive the Bow Project, and recently I shot two new models in the new style.  It definitely reinvigorated my excitement for the project - I'm looking forward to doing it again and seeing how it needs to change to make it better than ever!

And of course, I had to do a shot of Keely in the original Bow Project style.

Introducing...My New Work

I miss the darkroom.  Well, not exactly.  What I miss is the magic of a photo coming up in the developer, the smells of the chemicals, the uniqueness of every print.  Making a print by hand is really where the "magic" of photography exists for me.  Today's digital prints are beautiful, but they lack an organic quality - the beauty of a hand craft - that makes them somewhat boring.  That said, I don't miss the time in the absolute blackness of the darkroom, the smells of the chemistry (except for the fixer - everybody loves fixer!), the shock of coming out from the safelight to the daylight, or the amount of time it takes to make a print using modern enlargers.

I could get out my enlargers and developing tanks, but it's so nice to work in the light!  Here are the prints that I'm working on currently hanging to dry. 

Over the last few months, I've been experimenting with a printing technique invented in the 1830s and used somewhat commonly in photography from the 1850s to the 1920s.  Gum dichromate printing uses watercolors, gum arabic (the sap of a middle eastern tree), and a light sensitive salt to make photographs on many different surfaces.  It takes many days to get a print because of the steps that must be taken, and the proportion of successful prints to dismal failures should be disconcerting.

For some reason, however, I love gum dichromate printing.  I've started to become confident enough in my results to begin printing some personal work on it.  I'm thrilled with the results so far, in large part because it is allowing me to look at my photography in a different way.  The character of the prints is so different than any modern printing technologies, and it is allowing me to give my photos a handmade quality that is so foreign to the very sterile, boring digital technologies of today.  Further there is just a satisfaction at creating a print that looks good and took many hours to make.  I'm absolutely in love with this process.  Keep your eyes open - I'll be releasing selections from these new bodies of work in the very near future!

Annie

I had the opportunity to photograph a model that I last shot two or three years ago.  I originally met her when she and several of her co-workers at a restaurant about 45 minutes away came to my studio to have photos made for a calendar contest.  We had a ton of fun and got some photos that they were all happy with.

Annie kept in touch, and we talked about getting together to do another shoot for quite a while.  She has done of a bit of modeling for other photographers and enjoys dabbling in it as a hobby. As we talked, Annie said that she wanted to shoot something elegant but "different."  When we finally settled on a date, I sent over some ideas, and she was excited by the ideas we developed.  This was my favorite from the day.  I'm looking forward to doing it again, hopefully soon.

Annie wrapped in fabric

Portraiture

I've been doing a lot of portraiture lately, working on a few different techniques.  Kate came into the studio for a quick session, and I'm pretty happy with what we were able to make for her. I'm anxious to hear what she thinks!  In addition to her portraits, she posed for an upcoming photo for the Dreams series.  I can't wait to get in and shoot the rest of the photo!  For now, enjoy.

I love how the colors and tones brought out the intensity in Kate's eyes and the smoothness of her skin in this portrait.

This was my other favorite from Kate's portrait session.  I love how much motion we were able to get in her hair.