Oil On Canvas

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Oily nude of Guyanese model Gabriella. This was one of my funnest shoots in a while.

On a sidenote, a photographer recently asked me why do I shoot nudes. The answer's simple really. I shoot nudes because I like photographing women in the nude. There's no deeper meaning behind it, no contrived or pretentious explanation I can give you. I've simply always loved nudity, and not only the artsy stuff. I like the the erotic, the provocative, and the pornographic sides of nudity. These things have always drawn me in since as far back as I can remember.

An artist's work is often a reflection of their inner self. Nudes are just one facet of my body of work and my creative mind.

Bowens Bites the Dust

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I absolutely hate sounding like a negative nancy with all these "the sky is falling" type posts, but I may be on to something with my feelings on the state of the photography industry. PhotoRumors is reporting that Bowens, makers of professional lighting equipment, has gone into liquidation. 

Dang. I didn't see this one coming as they've been around forever.  Looks like they've fallen on hard times and have now gone the way of Calumet and Photoflex. I'm sure photographers can get some great deals at the moment, so better hop on that. Such a shame though.

Farewell Bowens. I hope whatever you guys do next is a homerun.

A Photographer Talks About Calling It Quits

Following up on my post, "Is photography as a profession dying?", photographer Stephen Richert released this great video explaining why he's walking away from being a professional photographer. After putting in years of hard work, listening to advice and doing most things the proper way, he finds it's still not enough to earn enough to sustain both him and his family. It's a very revealing video with Richert putting his pride aside to admit things just aren't working out as he hoped. I particularly like the part when he discusses how being an artist when you're young, single with no responsibility differs from being one with a family and a child to take care of.

Selecting the career path of photography is a sexy idea when you're young and want to do hip, cool work and be around pretty girls or travel the world. But when life gets real, meaning real responsibilities whether it be health, family, or just your own financial growth, it no longer looks as attractive as it once did. That's not to say it can't be done, but the market is becoming oversaturated while money-making opportunities are drying up. Sure, there are photographers out there who earn a living from photography alone, but it's becoming increasingly hard nonetheless. There are a ton of reasons for this. Richert outlines a few of them that affects him directly, but I'm sure it's affecting many others as well.

Big props to Stephen Richert for doing this video and I sincerely hope things look up for him and he can continue doing the type of work he loves AND get compensated well enough to take care of his family. Show him some love and give a like on his video and follow him on social media. You can visit his website at: http://livingvertical.org

To the photographers still trying to get a sense of financial stability with this beautiful craft, keep fighting the good fight! But if you decide to call it quits, there's no shame as long as you've tried your best! Godspeed.

Hanna at Muse Management

Some natural light beauty with the gorgeous Hanna Grace at Muse Management. She has the most stunning eyes! Love the colors in this one and more specifically the feel of this image. I love natural light for beauty images so maybe I'll go outdoors on my next beauty project.

I'm actually considering changing my style for beauty to more of a portrait style as opposed to the traditional "studio" beauty style that's so commonplace these days. I think as an artist, it's always about reinventing yourself and trying new things. It may not be well received at first, but in time people will come around. Onward and upward as they say.

Alien: Covenant

Finally got a chance to see Alien: Covenant. I was a huge fan of Prometheus and Ridley Scott delivered with the sequel. I had some minor gripes with some of the characters and their decision making, but I had no choice but to chalk it up to typical "movie stupidity". Researchers land on an alien planet, one that they've NEVER been on before or have information about, and proceed to explore it without helmets or protective gear. Yeah, okay. 

Despite obvious flaws like that, I felt the film did an excellent job of expanding the Alien lore and revealing the motivations of the android, David, played by Michael Fassbender. Speaking of which, I think David is one of the most iconic roles of an android in modern cinema. The character raises so many questions about creation and gives me pause as I know our species will eventually create similar beings in time. David is also one of Fassbender's best roles; he's building up quite the resume as a talented actor.

Overall, while Alien: Covenant lacks some of the horror aspects people expect in an Alien film, it triumphs with nuanced storytelling, a compelling villian, and lore that piques one's curiosity. There's so much more I want to see and learn about in this universe Scott has created. I can not wait for Alien: Awakening!

Camera of Choice: Why I Love the Nikon D810

Camera of Choice: Why I Love the Nikon D810

I've shot with a lot of cameras over the years. Notable favories are: Canon 5D Mark II and III, Sony a99, Fuji XT2, and the Nikon D750. I also used the D800 for a bit, but around that time I was still invested heavily in Canon. Eventually I bit the bullet and went all Nikon. First a D810, then a D750. I loved the D750, but missed some of the advanced features of the D810. So, biting the bullet once again, bought a D810. Luckily for me, I was able to get a great deal due to a promo Nikon was running at the time so I didn't take a loss.

So why this camera?

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Nick Bacon

Portrait I created of character actor Nick Bacon. I experimented with a bit of color work on this one. I initially planned to go with a black and white final version, but once I saw it sans color, it felt lifeless. The color version has much more character. The color of his eyes and skin tone give the image life as if to say this is a person that exists right now, not a relic from the past despite his classic western look.

One of my favorite images of the year thus far and a start to the direction I'm taking my work going forward. I love photographing beautiful women, but it can't always be pretty girls.

Is photography as a profession dying?

Is photography as a profession dying?

I would say so.

Today, I got an email from a photography business newsletter I'm subscribed to. The email featured quotes from an interview with a photograher who's been in the business for over a decade and he had some interesting comments on the state of the industry. It really got me thinking about where things are and where we're headed as an industry. As Dickens put it, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." That sums up my feelings about choosing professional photographer as a career in this day and age. Having put in almost 12 years myself, I can attest firsthand to many of the changes that have occurred from shrinking budgets, clients producing the majority of their work in-house, and the perceived value of what we do as artists quickly diminishing.

For example, when digital first hit critical mass way back when, perceived value was already skewing towards, "anyone can do that" territory. But now its pretty much gone full tilt. With new tech making it easier and easier for people to create "acceptable" imagery and the proliferation of images visible on social media, everyone's in on it. Numerous newbies from all walks of life are picking up digital cameras and trying to get a slice of the pie. Models are even turning photographer creating images that rival those from full-time photographers. Additionally, the veil has been lifted on many photographic techniques allowing almost every facet of creating images to become easier and easier. Just hit up YouTube and peruse the countless videos on everything from lighting to post-production and you're on your way!

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