Unfortunately I am suspending all studio photo shoots for the summer due to heat. I will commence with studio projects in the fall. Any studio-based projects planned for summer of '17 will be rescheduled. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
Lately I've been so caught up feeling like no one truly knows me that it only just occurred to me... I've crafted my entire life in a way so that no one ever would.
I don't mind working a "real job" in order to support my art. It affords me the opportunity to create what I want to create instead of being a whore to the commercial art buying public. Since I never have and never will labor under the impression that my art is for anything more than my own edification, this isn't an issue.
An impending job change is leading to a lower paycheck, which means there won't be anything left over for canvas, paint, fabric, brushes, clay, wax, having prints made, etc. Having an ever growing inventory of completed art that no one wants to buy makes it difficult for me to feel that this matters at all. Please don't misinterpret this as a "woe is me" moment. It isn't. I'm perfectly aware that my art doesn't make people scream "OMG I HAVE TO HAVE THAT TAKE MY MONEY". For some reason my art says "Awww, you should give me that."
Anyway like I said my creations are for my own edification. So it's nice just seeing people all over the world click "like" sometimes on something I've created.
So get ready for mostly photography posts because random road trips with my camera will be about all I can afford for awhile. Which is fine. There will be plenty of inspiration later when money falls from the sky one day. :) Ebb and Flow.
I'm literally not good enough for anyone. Every single person I know wants more out of me and/or needs me to change in some way to better suit them. No one who loves me as-is.
But I suspect I'm not alone in this. I mean, it can't be an entirely unique situation. However as in most things it hardly makes a difference simply knowing others feel the way you do. It doesn't change your situation. It doesn't help you cope with the fact that love is not unconditional. It just isn't. Anyone who thinks that love is capable of being unconditional is just lying to themselves.
You are lying to yourself.
I'm done lying to myself.
It seems that it's all about who's boldest, brashest and loudest today. But what about the subtleties of conversation? Sitting in a small group and sharing ideas and dreams, failures and commiseration, successes and celebrations? Respecting one another. Listening to hear and understand instead of yelling to be heard.
The simple things. It's a lost art.
I am done talking. Words mean nothing. You only listen enough for an opportunity to jump in and start raping me with your own words. In addition you already have your own perceptions which will never be swayed by my input. Concepts such as "correct" and "incorrect" are foreign to your mindset. If my truth contradicts your assumptions then speaking my truth is simply a waste of air.
I will no longer waste air. If my art can't say it, then no communication will happen.
I have been in the business of taking still portraits for a quarter century. Yes I phrased it that way for dramatic effect 25 years is a long time to busy oneself with any one thing or another. I'm proud of it.
But sometimes you want the portrait to move. There are times when you just look at the portrait and no matter how phenomenal it may be, how reflective or deeply we may see into the soul of the subject. Sometimes you want the picture to talk.
So I will make it talk.
Below is an example of a video portrait I made this summer. It was really just a chance to finally get something on film after spending nearly two years calling myself a fledgling film maker. Now I've made a short little project and I loved it so much that I want to do more.
The idea is simple. I ask myself "If this persons portrait could talk, what would it say to me?"
By working with the subject, discussing key locations that have played a large part in their life, discovering their passions, fears, accomplishments and favorite memories we put together a shooting plan that will take about a day and go about creating footage on location and in studio to complete a video that's no more than 10 minutes in length.
The end result should feel precisely the way you think it should if you looked at a portrait and asked yourself "Nice photo but I want to know more about that person, what's going on behind their eyes and expression?"
So if you have a story to share please let me know. What are you proud of? What has held a lifelong fascination for you? What is such a big part of your life that it defines your humanity? What makes you an individual, separate from anyone else? Let's dig into that and get it on film.
Comment below, drop me an email via the Contact page here, a DM on Facebook or Instagram works too. Just give me a holler and we'll begin the discussion of your video portrait!
I believe that I make the art and how you incorporate it into your personal space is entirely up to you.
So this being said I will be selling my art simply, with no hardware, hanging, matting or framing. You just buy the art, which keeps the cost of the art lower while giving you 100% control over how you choose to display it.
If you have it narrowed down to a couple frame options and want my opinion, shoot me a text with the options and I'll tell you which is my favorite. If you'd like, if not that's great too. I would love to see a picture of what you end up with! I can see a whole gallery full of customer images of my art actually hanging in their homes. :)
So there you go, Ill be sure to mention this on each item I post in my online store. But officially that's where I'm at. I won't charge you for hardware, just the art. Which hopefully helps put more original art out there in the world.
Buy the art then make it your own. :)
I am 5'7". My anorexic weight was 150 lbs. My largest poundage was 300. As an adult man I have worn a boys size 18 all the way to a waist size larger than my age. I'm 42 years old. At my smallest I would eat one cup of white rice once a day for weeks on end. At my biggest my regular McDonald's order was a large Big Mac Meal with a 6 piece nugget on the side and two pies of whatever variety they had. Not just once in awhile. Regularly.
There has never been a mystery to me about my size. I've been entirely too small and way too large. Neither was healthy either physically or mentally. It was the mental part that took over 4 decades to figure out.
So on this journey I discovered how much the state of my body effects my mentality and emotional health. It's easiest to admit that we damage our bodies because we have emotional problems that aren't being addressed other than by how we punish our physical selves. What keeps the "Chicken or the Egg" hamster wheel spinning is that our body can also be the source of emotional stress that then causes us to further damage ourselves because of how our body makes us feel. Woh. Pause, take a breath.
I began to wonder how I would feel if I accepted that my body is lumpy, too hairy for my liking, I'll always have to contend with skin tags and that my ass is too flat. Not... "what if I just say 'fuck it' and just love myself at any size". At the end of the day I also want to be healthy enough to live a long, happy life. I want to take care of my body so that it won't reject me too early and kick me out before I'm done with it. Let's face it though, there's no way to live in your body the way I have lived in mine and bounce back to an 18 year old skin sack at middle age. Sometimes I'm not sure if my lower belly and inner thighs are a topographical map of a mountainous region or maybe scars from the slash marks of a wild beast. No those are just stretch marks. So no matter how healthy I become, there still be issues.
How I relate to those body issues is all up to me. At this point in my life the choices I make, the life I live and how I take care of myself is entirely up to me.
I choose how I relate to my body. So there are lumps where I don't want them and not enough lumps where I do want them. Laser hair removal is expensive and shaving is a pain in the ass, so.... And I'll be damned if I'm not getting my Dad's nose with the overly large pores and tiny little red veins, no matter what products I use.
So what do I do with all of those things? Do I let them send me on an eating binge? Do I punish myself for those things by denying myself food? Does it make any sense whatsoever to do either of those things? Maybe I just accept that I will never be perfect and let myself off the hook enough to enjoy my life while taking care of me. Maybe?
That's where The Body Project comes from. I know I"m not alone in all the things I just said. I know that most of us feel the same way. So let's take comfort in the fact that we're all neurotic about our bodies, feel shame at times and aren't 100% comfortable in our own skin?
I'm a photographer so I'm approaching the issue visually by literally showing our bodies for what they are, imperfect vessels for imperfect human beings. All bodies, all sizes, colors, ages, genders, etc. The more diversity shown in the collection, the less alone we feel. The fact is that we're not alone and I hope The Body Project helps illuminate that truth.