Skip navigation

If you have ever read any Hunter S. Thompson then you will get this. If not, then read more….

Purpose in life. What is yours? Does life make you or do you make life? Do you make art or does art present itself for you to make? I’m not sure what happens but I know for me its something I don’t pursue, but happens. Life on the other hand I’m still not sure if I’m swimming upstream or floating. Read the article….

http://yourfriendshouse.com/uncategorised/hunter-s-thompson-on-finding-your-purpose/

Advertisements

All the worlds thoughts and wants and needs and pets and babies… are on social media. Pictures and photoshoots and on and on and on…. I don’t mind the connections, the ability to find family and don’t forget the images you have to see, (you won’t believe the 3rd one). But putting my works online has suddenly hit a skid. I think hitting the IP server with all the images over and over might create a desensitized following. Maybe seeing every shoot and every model might just make your following mondaine. I think a few here and there might intrigue, but a gluten of images just makes it not so special.

Again, just my opinion.
Now for a shameless plug..

image

 

 

I am who I am. I’m old, to a 22 year old. But when I look in the mirror I’m just me.
I have my vision and my style. Its just me. I see other work and appreciate and respect, but as much as I think, “hey that would be cool to do”, I have to tell myself its not me. The drive to copy and reproduce usually dies off after a while, and I usually say to my self, what was I thinking?

I will take some elements of the work I see, after all, Woody Guthrie once said, “some people steal from one person, I steal from everyone”.

However, I feel better doing what I feel is me, which is generally a mixture of all I’ve seen with my eyes and what I see in my head. It makes me feel like I’m closing a book after a good read.

As much as you think you want to use a machine gun with a pretty girl, if it’s not your thing, what the hell are you thinking?

Stick to what you think is you. The hard part is, is figuring that out.

image

I’ve been thinking lately about how many photographers out there are selling themselves as “do everything” photographers.
To me that would just be a job. I realize that marketing is a important part of what a commercial artist does, but again to me, it seems that if you “do everything” you most likely do one or two things well and the others you just throw in to make yourself busier.
I would rather do the things I love and get better at it everyday.
Not sure if its because I’m hard headed or old school but its seems that I just feel strongly about doing one thing and doing it right.
Do any of you feel the same? Different? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

image

I will be adding images, videos and stories (that always arise) about my next few shoots. Hopefully to give you insight to the controlled chaos that is a photo shoot.
I have been generating ideas for a series of fashion shoots using the motivation I’ve taken from the masters, then again using their style of “this is what’s been discovered, but what if I did this” method.
Hopefully prodding my creativity to something that’s fresh and out of my comfort zone.
That needs a good stretch as well.
Stay tuned as this will be either boring as hell or mind blowing. I rarely go in between.

image

Here’s a question, How do you select 10-15 images to print and hang for sale or viewing from over 6 terabytes images? I’ve set out to pick a few for an upcoming Art Crawl in St Paul. (www.stpaulartcrawl.org) Now I open some files an BAM! there it is… All the stuff I’ve done over the years right in my face. Great right!?

Unfortunately, I’m the type of artist that pretty much hates everything he has done every 6 months. I mean there are some I still like, some ones that people I know like,  Sooooo, I have to go through them look at them, decipher  what I like and what I don’t, then figure out I need to shoot more….

Come to the Art Crawl on 25th/26th/27th of April and see what my toiling has produced.

DSC_1318-Edit

A lot of people seek out others work to give them inspiration.  It can be a good thing depending on what your motive is. If your looking to find someone to emulate then I think its a risky thing. I do look at others work both modern and classic to see both whats out there and what is lasting, but I do it more to see how someone is seeing things or how they light or edit. Themes and poses of current day people I look to see what they are doing to see trends and how I can not repeat it. I like originality. Leading and not following.

That takes me to now. I share studio place with great people. One is a portrait shooter who does babies and families, one is a wedding/glamour shooter, one is a fashion portrait artist and graphic designer. Me, well you know me… this mixture seems to work well. We all have our strength. We all have our short comings.. I really look forward to working together with these people, giving, taking and growing as artists. Sharing a studio can be/should be more than just sharing keys and a Google calender. It should be continuing education.

We are planning a big shindig for the St.Paul art crawl in April 2014, so….keep these people in your sights.

www.NouvelleGraphicDesign.com

http://www.lilybocarlock.com

http://www.nicolekleinphotography.com

http://www.stancampianoimaging.com

 

DSC_1613

As anatomy is the study of the structure of the Human body, Photo shoots take on a life of their own. I will take you through the thought process of one of mine. Although its an accurate account of a specific shoot, many of the particulars are unique to the individual shoot. It seems each shoot takes on a life of its own. I think I like it that way as each shoot is born, lives, matures and dies. This way I hope to never get into a rut by doing the same theme or the same post processing every time. I find you can still do this and still stay within a personal style, or expand it.  I won’t go passed the basic set of lights and such. That’s the photographers choice.

So this model and I have shot several times. We’d been trying to set up another shoot, (probably our 5th or 6th shoot.) I had in mind a specific idea and so did she. They were kind of opposite but I was ok with that as we both knew the others wants and needs.

So finally, we set the date and the themes. I wanted to shoot some vinyl looking pieces, She wanted some head shot type of work for an upcoming trip to California.

The shoot started with a couple of outfits.  A red dress and a white skirt with stripe top. We shot with a variety of back grounds and and poses. I set my lights to a 3 to 2 ratio and used my trusty 17-55 and began to click. We shot the head shot work first. Shoeless and casual. That gave a free felling to the shots. I think it worked.

Then we went to the vinyl looking outfits. She changes and we shot a few places in the studio, things were “ok” I was was feeling that there should be more, so we went to the hallway and stairway. The stairway is on the top floor of the building so there was no one around. There is a dead elevator shaft in the center of a winding stairway enclosed in industrial cyclone fencing that is painted black. I brought along my SB-900 Flash set in remote mode so I could shoot it off camera. We started shooting in the stairway and Right away I knew it was the right spot. Sometimes thats just how it goes. You can try to force something but it just doesn’t work. You can’t force something that just isn’t there.

BOOM done.. That was it. We shot for about two hours and were done. Once I saw the results of what we shot in the staircase, I was happy and she saw good shots she could take to California. Pretty simple right?

This just one example. I think every one is different but usually there is one moment in each shoot where you go… ya… this is the set I want!

And Voila!

DSC_1984-EditDSC_2176-Edit-Edit

Ya… What the hell is it? In the eye of the beholder? Maybe, but I hear so many people say “I’m not artistic”, but yet they write a short story on facebook about a ex or a family member or a boss that they hate. Hmmmm WTF. When people ask me what I try to say in my art, my answer is “if it doesn’t change you in some way, I’ve failed”. I stole that from Henri Cartier-Bresson I think, but I feel its pretty accurate.

I think if people would just take the time to get in touch with themselves they could figure out where to get inspiration. Instead of  laying it out for everyone to see on Facebook, draw a picture, play the clarinet you have from high school, stack your spice bottles in different way, mow the lawn in a different direction so it looks like a baseball field. If all else fails mold your mash potatoes into the shape of Devils Tower. Then… step back and describe what you see.

A lot of artists draw off many different motivations, life, love, personal beliefs, changing the world etc…but basically its simple. Find a release, an outlet. I’m not saying leave your job and start selling mash potato sculptures on street corners, but take the time when something is on your mind and do something that gives you the satisfaction of saying “wow this shows how I feel…” Sing a damn song if you have to just,

STAY OFF FACEBOOK WHEN YOUR PISSED OR HURT!

Ok I feel better.

DSC_7975-33

 

 

Style. What is it? Do you have it? Do I? Style in this sense is defined by Merriam-Webster as : a particular way in which something is done, created, or performed. So as I read it, it can be anything. It can be consistent, in the same “style” as others or it can be just a way to do a certain “thing”.

When I was in photo school, I took some black and white classic nudes on film, ( you remember that right?) I developed them at school as I was want to do, and left them hanging on the drying rack and went home. The next day my instructor approached me and asked me if they were mine. I said yes and smiled, then he said “I thought so, they look like your style.” MY STYLE”? I thought, I’m sure grinning from ear to ear! I have a style!?! I wanted to dance like Steve Martin in the movie “The Jerk” when the new phone books arrived. (Sorry kids, ask your parents). I. HAD. A. STYLE. I was so proud.

A few years have passed….. I still like my style, but I think now I have discovered that its not a certain, trait, or edit or lighting technique. It could be I guess, but it doesn’t have to be. I think you can have a style and still branch into different looks and genres. In my opinion, doing the same “style” over and over again is boring. But…. my style can be seen in any of my images I hope,  you just have to look for it.

Look at mine, and see if you can find it.

DSC_1168DSC_2874-Edit-5DSC_9995