This shirt says it all really.
This shirt says it all really.
I remember this girl was way above my pay grade. She was signed with Ford and yes she was legal, Jesus Christ. This was back in 2009 when I started dabbling in photography.
We were in her apartment and I was just casually taking some polaroids for her portfolio before she was even formally signed by Ford. She couldn’t pay me because she was broke at the time so she made me some shitty Campbell’s chicken soup which I pretended to like because, well she was gorgeous. We talked for a while on the couch looking over the photos, casually joking and jostling with each other to the point where we did have a slight moment that lasted about a minute. I was sitting on the couch and she was behind me. She bent down and leaned her head against my shoulder, her cheek touching mine. I turned and looked at her, our lips were practically almost touching, and my god, her lips were perfect.
Then I remembered I had to go away for a while and the feeling of dread kicked in and that really really fucking sucked.
So I just stopped, packed my things and left.
She’s married now with a kid and I couldn’t be anymore happy for her.
Whenever there’s an uncomfortable situation that I can put myself in, I try my best to put myself there. It builds strength and adaptability.
Usually I would not do a shoot like this because it’s just too grudgy low key art with almost no production budget at all. I mean, I only used one Profoto Magnum reflector throughout the entire project.
But I liked it, it allowed me to hang out with people who I normally wouldn’t have a chance to be with. Beatnik artists, grudgy artist that have completely different taste than I, but we all came together and made it work because creating art unites. And once we’ve settled on a vision, nothing else matters. We put aside our differences in taste and culture, to create and that’s a wonderful thing because we stop judging each other.
I’ve lost so many friends over the course of my life due to pride, fear, failure and all sorts of other mistakes on my part. I want to keep some around. Although I’m still not the type that can see them every single week, (i’m a very high functional introverted extrovert if that makes any damn sense at all.) I make every effort that I can to hang out because they keep me sane despite being almost 8 years younger than me. I guess I get along with the old souls.
Ok, so this is getting silly. How could I possibly go on a date with someone 200 miles away and not make it seem pressured and awkward. I don’t even talk to anyone else now and that’s highly unlike me because I’ve never been one to believe that there is only one person in this lifetime for someone.
Sometimes I wonder if people would even enjoy my company outside of work. The people I connect with whether they’re 15 year olds or 60 year old CEOs, was that moment real? or was it just for a really great photograph?
I’ve learned to really force myself out of my shell with photography. In a way, I genuinely enjoy meeting knew people, learning about their lives and making a deeper emotional connection with them, but how much of it is real on their part? That’s the one thing that constantly bothers me about my line of work.
I see their realism in the photos, no one can fake emotions that I capture. If I don’t capture it, then I keep poking and prying until I find a spot where they can open up and all usually within 30 minutes of meeting them. So perhaps it is real, that one genuine moment that we have, it’s hard to ask for more than that.
I’m having trouble figuring how I can be so attracted to someone when I know that it just won’t work out in the long run. I barely know this girl and I want to drive down to Georgia just to take her out on a date. It’s not even sexual, I just enjoy her company.
My Bianchi Pista enjoying a beautiful Carolina sunset
I used to have a 10 mile round trip commute from apt to school. I was in great shape, I mashed up and spun down hills all with a single speed with a ratio of 47×15, which was a pretty tall gear.
It built my calves, my quads and my glutes without the need for really going to gym and kept me in trim shape. I miss those days. My studio is too far for me to bike to and Charlotte just doesn’t have the infrastructure to support it at the moment.
Writing it down enables action. Writing down that I will begin to bike again will jump start it. Not to work or school, but around town, on purposeless trips from point A to point B just to soak up the views of the city and gain inspiration. Your brain is working faster, your adrenaline is going and you’ll see things that wouldn’t have been seen otherwise without having to find a parking spot. You can just go directly to it. I for see discovering a lot of new locations for test shoots using this method.
Kelley D. shot in Lower Manhattan.
It’s too easy to just half ass retouching, I see it all too often.
I don’t want to half ass my work so i’d rather charge a little more and out source some of my retouching work (at least for the top notch models and talent) to a professional retoucher.
This was a model I shot recently in NYC for a portfolio development session. It was my first time shooting in the Big Apple. Every single alley, location, street corner breaths history, interest and culture. It’s hard to take a boring photo in NYC. I will definitely be returning to bolster my book there and make connections with top agencies there again soon.
I’ve been doing fashion photography for so long that I’ve finally started being paid for it a couple years back. It seems to be all I know at this point, this artifice of advertising a person with just enough flaws that is accepted by society. Let’s retouch away her wrinkles but leave the ones that look good ok? Does anyone really want to see an Aerie ad completely un-retouched?? I doubt it.
I would though, I would love to see a woman with all her little rolls and stretch marks, eye bags and imperfection. It’s what makes us human, ones collective experiences etched onto our bodies, like a road map of every heartache and joy we’ve felt.
What I’m trying to say is, I’m working on my retouching game. I want people to look real, as close to the edge of what society deems acceptable. Then I keep the genuine un-touched copy for my own collection, as a reminder of the moment we shared in the studio.