Feb 6 2012

What I do and how I do it.

If you have ever been to church or that type of gathering you may have heard of “unspoken” prayer requests. The person who wants the prayers asks silently (or through someone else) because he is either too embarrassed to ask for himself or it is too personal or painful situation to talk about. Later, when someone close to him dies of something horrible you are shocked. You wonder “Why didn’t he tell me/us this before?” This question, if actually asked, is usually answered in an indignant manner “What do you think the unspoken prayer request was about?”

I have trouble listening to people when the give me feedback on my work. It is really not on purpose. For some reason either mentally I filter this feedback out or the people giving me feedback left something unsaid.

I feel the feedback is all good but the specific thing I need to hear is sometimes left unspoken. After many years of having all the bits and pieces floating out there, they are now all connected. I now understand what I doing wrong.  However I had to hear it was from one of the unkindest sources: other pro photographers.

The only thing I wish is that someone had told me these problems years ago, in a way I couldn’t filter out. I am sure someone has tried, but for some reason didn’t say the right key phrases to put the gears in motion.

Moving on, I am not sure how to get this to happen sooner in the future. I have a bad problem with being able to ask the right question to elicit get the right sort of feedback. In order to move to next level of my work I have to figure this out.

So I will put it out there now… I had no idea that I was as bad as I was with people pictures. I, in fact loved my work, but didn’t understand why others didn’t.

Jan 27 2012


I have been trying to express to people why I would ask them to model, because when I would ask their reply is awkward and centers around the point of “I am not a model, why would you want me”. Usually I had no good answer for them-I’d say something along the lines of “I think you would be good blah, blah, blah” or something like that. It wasn’t until I asked to shoot someone recently that the right words came to me.

I search for authentic responses– shy, awkward responses in front of the camera. Something to show who the person is something that impressed me enough to ask her to a shooting session. Of course, this method is not guaranteed to produce the results I want. But I felt I was more likely to produce results than working with a “REAL” model. It is pretty hard working with more experienced model the way I do and the way they are taught to work. To be fair, it still takes a while to get work either way.

Jan 21 2012

A recipe for disaster, failure and depression

I can’t think of any other form of art… well, I will say it this way.   I can’t think of a harder situation to be in. My work (the work I want to do) depends on someone else buying into the work as well (I.e. the model). 

As I have recently discovered, this has to be a long term buy in from both of us.   This seems only to be a recipe for disaster, failure and depression.

 I am hoping to fall into the movie universe and have a simple stroke of luck followed by a good story arc ending in a great epic ending. 

Other than that, I have no ideas.

Jan 17 2012


I was looking at some andrew wyeth’s work and I was thinking how I like his watercolor study work better than his finished work.  Let me back up.

I have been really trying to find artist that I really like. Now that I am well out of college I can focus truly on what I like rather then what is hip and current.  One of my favorites is Andrew Wyeth.

He speaks to me in way that defies my medium of choice. I am a photographer mostly and that is pretty much representing reality if not putting slight spins on thing. One that caught my eye was how he said the he is “..not in one place at one time, but floats from place to place…” and paints a pictures that represents the total sum of the pieces. Sort of like taking the best pieces of his work and putting it together in one final painting.

This is a little disheartening seeing is how I loved his candid portrayals  of his subjects whether it be human, animal or landscape. It smacks of starving artist sale paintings or assembly line art. For a while, I was confused and deflated.

To be honest, I was pretty pissed.

It was then I noticed his watercolor was primarily the studies of what he was going to make. (sketches)These where the things that I loved and that was in my opinion the good work.

I have always said that I work in sketches, and that the major problem I had was that I had a hard time bringing to the table what I felt like a finished work. This something that throughout my work and throughout all the time I have worked had been gnawing out me.

I for some reason thought about the two main avenues of what work I do produce and the difference way people react to it. I do fine art portrait work and Landscape and people seem to prefer my Landscape stuff better.  I have always wondered why that is. “Maybe..” I would think ” I am bad at my portrait work and am really just going to solider on with it and make no new breakthroughs.” I could just suck and my landscape work just didn’t suck that bad.

I think however…  it is something more.

Most of  my people photography is just the studies and I never spent the time to finish it.  Where as my landscape work seemed better cause I got to let it mature. I would visit a place for years before making finished pieces of work.  It then strikes me that my better work of models, are the work that people seem to like. I had the time to let that work mature and I have work from girls that I have worked with for a long time.

worked with her for like two years, but this would explain why it felt right.

Nov 12 2011

the first of many.

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