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Artists, Tutus, and Rollergirls, Oh My!

Sheesh. I've been a busy busy panda.

A few weeks ago I did my second Portrait of the Artist series, this time with local artist Joe Garber after discovering his work at Cupcake Royale. He has this series called Demons which features a lot of animal-headed humans, so obviously I was completely smitten with it. I contacted him and he was totally down for helping me out, which was great! Here's the portrait that came to mind when I was planning the shoot. I borrowed the antlers from a gal at work whose husband hunts.

You can check out more of his work over on the blog.

Then last Friday I got back in touch with Kristine Hawthorn (aka Helene Hawthorne) who designed the costume for The Witch. We're doing some trade work together and she asked me to take some photos of her new tutus for her etsy store. Here's one of my faves from that set featuring Shonna as the model, a friend of Kristine who I definitely want to work with again!

Tutus And B-ball

Then on Sunday I did not one but TWO shoots. First up in the morning a friend of mine who moved to Portland got ahold of me and asked to do a quicky shoot for fun, and I can't ever say no. Besides, it gives me a chance to practice my on-location fashion shooting and using natural light.

Right after that I had to rush off to take photos for Sarah's roller derby teacher who needed promo shots for the league that's starting up.

Like I said, busybusybusy!

Oh, and it's not stopping there! Tomorrow I'm meeting with a friend who's got an actual paying gig she wants me to help photograph and on Thursday I'm meeting with an incredible Steampunk artist who I featured on my blog a few weeks ago to talk about doing a portrait session for her and to also do some promo photos for her!

No rest for the wicked!


Hello, LJ!

So… hi! I've been a busy bee, and I'm sorry that I've not had any time to spend on LJ. I've been blogging every day on my photo blog. I've been trying to do a theme for each day of the week (well… I take Saturday off… not because it's the Sabbath or anything… it just happens to work out that Saturday I'm normally out and about doing whatever and I should have one day off). But between that, Twitter (for random witticisms), Facebook (for most of my friends/acquaintences to keep in touch), and G+ (for networking with lots of steampunk folk)… while I do love LJ for it's uniqueness in the social networking sphere, it takes more time and effort then those others, and it just feels more like a journal than a social network anymore.

But I'm not ready to give up on you yet, LJ! Like a gay cowboy, I can't quit you!

So what've I been up to? Well… last week I put out the word that I was itching to shoot and see if anyone was interested. My step-sister, Mishka said that her friend Charlee wanted to do a shoot, so I connected with Charlee who is looking to set up a modeling portfolio and Heffner Management told her to send them some photos of her in just a plain white tshirt and jeans. So we started there and also did a couple of other shoots. This is the white tee shot, and I've got to say I'm really proud of the way this one came out. I'm getting better at my black and whites I think, and I love the motion in her hair and the subtle expression she's got.


It was funny because I had had a really bad day up until this shoot. Our car had died and I was fighting with T-Mobile about our bill and was ready to punch a baby in the face. But I had Maddie doing make-up whois always fantastic, and Charlee's a great girl and we just had a lot of fun. And I actually got a message on Facebook from Charlee's mom the next day thanking me for making her first shoot such a good experience! That really put me in a much better mood for the rest of the week. And Charlee's getting lots of encouragement from both people she knows and also people who follow me. In fact Jayla who is the model I shot for one of my favorite photos said that Charlee had that magic that most models aspire to. I'd never heard anything like that from her, and it's high praise indeed (she's one of the best models I've shot, though she's put modeling on hold to go back to school).

And then last night I went and did a shoot with my second subject for my new project Portrait of the Artists. His name's Joe Garber and I saw his stuff at Cupcake Royale up on Capital Hill and immediately fell in love with it. It's weird and cooky and just awesome. We did some stuff in his apartment, and then went for a stroll in the park and took some photos there. It was a lot of fun, but it was fully dark out by the time I even got over to his place (frackin' Fall!) so the outdoor ones aren't as good as I'd like. So photos from that to come!

Anywho… I really should get back to work now. Break time's over!


Ghost Town

Frankenstein: Creature & Elizabeth

Man, I've really been neglecting my journal. I think that's how my last dozen or so posts have started, haven't they? I confess I've been seeing other Social Networks. I started a Twitter account which takes care of my desire to attempt random acts of wit, though this is still my view of twitter. I've also been seeing a lot of Google Ploos (that's how I pronounce it).

Oh, yeah, that photo up there is from the Frankenstein play I've done some work for with the folks down at the Burien Little Theatre.

I've also been blogging daily over on my own blog. I'm trying to focus on making my blog useful to my target market, which I've determined is commercial advertising for small boutique businesses and also fashion. I figure one of my biggest assests is my graphic design and branding skills, so I want to package that along with my photography services. That's the plan anyways. Everyone tells me that you need to show the kind of work you want to get, so I've made it a goal to make one ad a week from my photos and put that out and talk about ways in which creativity and clean design can aide in branding and marketing products. In other words I want to make it more useful than just "I make pretty stuff" because that only holds people's attention for so long. I'm also doing a weekly blog posts on various trends in the industry. The one I'm working on now is about color palettes, but I'm taking time away from that to write this. I'm also doing a "Cool Thing Tuesday" where I want to plug objects that inspire me. For the most part I think they're going to be stuff like fashion accessories or steampunk gadgets. The sorts of things that I'd love to network with people to photograph, but occasionally they might just be a cool thing like a new piece of technology or whatever. I always want it to be an object as opposed to, say, a piece of software. Oh, and on Monday's I'm going to be writing about Creativity.

So… segueing off of that I'm actually teaching a photography class on a Cruise ship next year on the subject of Creativity. One of the photography podcasts I listen to, Phototips, is doing a free seminar on a cruise ship (you just pay for the cruise). Jimmy, the host of the podcast, asked me if I'd be interested in teaching a class on Creativity. Sure! I love helping out the photo community and I like the crowd they roll with, so it should be fun meeting some of these folks I only know by username.

So… what else? Oh, did I mention about my shooting my first ever magazine fashion editorial? It was 2 weeks ago for the brand new Love Couture magazine in Seattle. The magazine's not out yet, so I can't share any photos yet, but I'm SUPER excited about the photos. I think they're some of my best work yet! Not as creative as some of my more wacky stuff. I wanted to make it more about the clothes and the accessories than about the photos, you know, but I think they're beautifully elegant if I do say so myself.

And I guess lastly I published my first YouTube video! I wanted to start putting together slideshows of my photos, so here ya go, enjoy! And please let me know what you think!


Toga! Toga! Toga!

Water Bearers

This is a teaser from yesterday's photo shoot with my friends Priya (on the right) and Sitara on the left). We wanted to do a Greco-Roman-themed shoot with water jugs. It gave me a chance to play with the new black seamless paper I acquired a few weeks back AND also he new boom stand I picked up from the same studio, which let me use the beauty dish more as it's meant to be used, which you really can't do on a straight light stand. At least not with these lights.

Man, I'm SO absolutely in love with the black seamless. Be prepared to be bombareded with photos on this stuff, because man it's purty stuff!

Oh, and note to self, if I ever do togas again, remind me to get the steamer out. Removing wrinkles in post is a giant pain in the patootie!


The City & The City

I finshed China Miéville's incredible novel, The City & The City. It's the story of Inspector Tyador Borlú, a police officer for the city-state of Beszel's Extreme Crime Squad as he investigates the murder of a girl from the nearby foreign city-state of Ul Qoman. And by "nearby" I mean that parts of both cities occupy the same place in time and space but are in fact separate cities. The residents of their respective cities are not allowed to acknowledge the existence of the citizens of the other city. They must UnSee them. They must UnHear them. Indeed, they must UnSense them, or they are in Breach, a terrible crime that no one ever comes back from. If one needs to cross over from Bezel to Ul Qoman or vice-versa, they must go through the one gateway between the two cities in the heart of the cities on a border policed by all three government entities; Beszel, Ul Qoman, and Breach. The in-between areas of both cities are called the Cross-Hatched areas. The mystery girl was an American student working on an archaelogy dig in Ul Qoman who had crazy and dangerous theories about a legendary third city that the myth says secretly rules Beszel and Ul Qoman. The girl was murdered in Ul Qoman and then her body was dumped is Beszel and Inspector Borlú must work with his Ul Qoman counter-part, Qussim Dhatt to solve the mystery amongst factions on both sides who want the cities Unified or the ultra-nationalists who want to keep them divided but their city superior.

The fact that this book takes place somewhere in the countries of Eastern Europe lends this an extremely powerful edge that putting it anywhere else just woudn't have, and it was an absolutely brilliant move by Miéville that really made this book work socio-politically with the problems of post-soviet reconstruction in areas like Kosovo, Sarajevo, and other Balkan areas. Miéville does an incredible job of weaving elements of Kafka, Orwell, and The Illuminatus! Trilogy into his own wonderfully weird style. As with all his stories the pace is very very slow. Really he could have told this story in 50 pages instead of 320, but he's such a master of character- and world-building that I never mind the pacing of his books. His books are never (for me) predictable, and this one kept me guessing the entire time. It was nice to see him try his hand at mystery-writing, and he did a fantastic job as he does with everything.

On the Buy It, Trash It, Borrow It scale, I heartily recommend you Buy It. Then loan it to your friends. For me Miéville is the master of today's imaginitive fiction, and this is amongst my favorites of his.


This Definitely Needs To Happen

kylecassidy, has started a Kickstarter project entitled The Drowning Girl: Stills From A Movie That Never Existed which is a collaborative project with Caitlin Kiernan on her upcoming book "The Drowning Girl: A Memoir". You need to watch the promo video and then help him out with this. I'm totally loving Kyle's existing work on this project and can't wait to see what all they're going to produce together. The photos really make me jazzed to read this book. I can tell already that it will circumvent the extensive queue of books in my "to read" stack. So help make this happen with me!

Preparing For Marriage

Last Monday we had my sister and her fiancée over for dinner and engagement photos. After dinner we headed down to the Edmonds waterfront area in the threatening-to-rain to see what we could get as the sun set behind the clouds. This one's probably my favorite :)

Preparing For Married Life

In other news, mercifully last night's photo shoot was postponed till (hopefully) Sunday. Apparently the tattoo artist was having a hard time wrangling people for a Monday night so he canceled. I was okay with it as it gave me some time to get back to editing my shoot with rabies and to finish rewatching Trigun.

Here's another one from that.



Apparently It's Fur Week!

This really wasn't planned, but I did two separate shoots involving fur this week! First was rabies, and this time it was Becky (who I did the 7 Deadly Fashion Sins with). Originally we had planned to do a location shoot downtown, but we forgot that this is Seattle and it has a reputation to protect. So we took shelter from the rain by shooting back in my "studio" (aka The Racquetball Court).

This was the first shot from that series. Man I've got a LOT of photos to go through. I still haven't finished going through the photos from Monday's engagement shoot with my sister and her fiancee, nor finished editing rabies's shoot with Ferris. PLUS tomorrow I'm doing a trade shoot with a tattoo artist for his portfolio (he works with Majenta who I've done trade work before with).

So anyways, Maddie (who's modeled for me before) did the make-up and styling for this shoot. I love working with both of these girls. I think our styles mesh really well creatively.

Becky's Fur Coat

I think the quote of the day for this shoot was ""it's like wings… on her eyes"


You re so jealous

Internet. On my phone. Yeah thats right! You know youre jealous! I'm so cutting edge!

Death & Bunnies

rabies came over last night to do a photo shoot. She brought along her fantastic vintage rabbit-fur coat, and Sarah and I supplied the bunny, Ferris. We had the help of the wonderful make-up artist, Jenn Hill.

Death & Bunnies


Mumblings on Photography

So that podcast interview I did last week aired today. It's just weird hearing myself played back. Even more weird to know it's on a podcast broadcast to everyone on the internet. One that I've listened to for about 2 years.

So yeah, if you're interested you can listen to it over here.

Oh, and for the record, I don't hate the question "what is art to you" in general. It's that I hated hearing it asked week-in and week-out on the podcast and hearing basically the same answer from one perspective or the other. So you don't have to be clever and ask me what I think art is. :)


This woman's photography breaks my heart and rebuilds it.

Every. Time.

And this video is adorable.

Originally posted by bastamastowka at summersky

from xgabberx
как обычно в конце бонус


So… as mentioned, I had my first photography podcast interview today. The podcast is the Photographer & Model Podcast which I've been a listener of for a long time now. I was already a bit of a nervous wreck, (just ask alsofine or smokytheredhawk!) but I was doing okay. My interview was for 9pm my time. Everything was good. I had time to go help my mother-in-law buy a point-and-shoot camera from Kenmore Camera before their upcoming vacation, have dinner at Costco and talk to the folks there about upgrading our cellphone plan), and be back in time to compose myself and scribble some notes for the show.

That was until 5pm when I get a call on my cellphone from the host of the show saying "er… we tried to Skype you and you didn't answer". Er, wait, what?!? I thought we had planned for… oh… yeah… Houston is two hours AHEAD of Seattle, not behind. BUGGER! So we're on the road and I beg them to give me 15 minutes for us to get to our destination (Costco) and I'd throw caution to the wind and do the interview over cellphone rather than Skype (they said they tend to get better results from Skype recordings which is how they prefer to do it).


I hastily scribble down some notes on the drive of the points I had wanted to hit (they gave me a list of their standard initial questions to expect… which being a regular listener I already knew) and spent the remaining 2 or 3 minutes just trying to compose myself and shove the embarrasement which had joined the anxiety and self-doubt in the back of my throat.

The phone rang, they walked me through how the interview would go, and then we were off for the next half-hour.

It was kind of surreal like a weird out-of-body experience almost. I guess it's because I've been listening to the show so long that it was almost like I was just listening to the show on my cell-phone. I think the interview went well. Hopefully I didn't come across as too much of a doofus, but I've learned to never underestimate my ability to look like a doofus.

The show airs next Thursday. We'll see!


I was just asked by one of my favorite photography podcasts if they could interview me for their show!

I'm totally blown away. I don't want to jinx anything, so more details to come if/when it happens, but seriously… totally rad just to be invited!

*happy dance*

First Yashica-44 Photos!

So I took my new/old Yashica-44 which I converted to shoot 35mm film with me to Yellowstone determined to do some street-portraits with it. Here's the first set of photos from it.

I know that I made a mistake when developing the film (I accidentally put fixer in when I should have been doing a stop-bath), but also my film-holders are a bit manky and difficult to load, so I think part of my problem might be there. Also, I did nothing to clean the flat-bed scanner nor the film when I scanned these, so all the dirt and smudges are kind of part of the "effect".

Street Portraits - Sarah

Street Portraits - Boxer

A West Yellowstone Shop-Keeper
Street Portraits - West Yellowstone Shop-Keeper
I'm not sure whether there's a light-leak going on, or what the deal is, but in this instance I kind of dig the effect.


Un Lun Dun

Just got back in town from a week-long vacation in Yellowstone. On the trip I finished China Miéville's excellent children's novel, Un Lun Dun. It's the story of 2 girls living in London, Deeba and Zana who end up travelling to a strange alternate-reality fantasy version of their city called UnLondon, inhabited by a strange fantastic array of creatures who have built their city mostly on the effluent things that pass through the cracks of our reality. The garbage, out-dated money, old and discarded technologies, etc. wash up in UnLondor or Parisn't or similar AbCities as they're called.

Zana is the chosen-one known as The Swazzy who's destined to save UnLondon from the fearsome Smog. A being that used to harrass London at the end of the 19th Century until it became conscious, was fought off by the old Londoners, and chased into UnLondor where it has lain plotting it's return. After witnessing a broken umbrella spying on her room, Zana and her best friend, Deeba, follow the creature down a series of blocks before twisting an old steam valve and winding up in UnLondon where their adventure begins. They meet a half-ghost boy named Hemi, an old animated milk carton named Curdle, a living pin-cushion tailor named Obaday Fing, and a Conductor on an old british double-decker bus converted to a zeppelin named Jones, himself a transplant from London who now conducts his passengers to safety with a variety of weapons. Trying to find their way home, the girls make it onto the great Pons Abscondia Bridge that spans the river Smeath (a mix-up of Thames) that cuts straight as an arrow throught the heart of UnLondon where they have their first show-down with the Smog and are rescued by the Unbrellisimo, the lord of Unbrellas (the animated, broken versions of our umbrellas.

The story is absolutely classic Miéville. Lush, colorful, slightly steampunk without being overly so, tinged with horror, though in this case it's a bit more kid-friendly horror a la Clive Barker's Abarat series. I really enjoyed this. I don't think I've been really satisfied with a fantasy book in a long while, but I closed this with a smile on my face and a sigh of contentment.

On the Buy It, Borrow It, Trash It scale I'd say Buy It and then Trash It, but only because it'll end up in UnLondon as a truly inspired work of fiction that the Extreme Librarian Bookaneers can fight the warrior booktribes of the Middle Shelves over!


Miscellanea At The Comet

Last Friday we went back to the Comet Tavern to hang out with some friends and see some bands. here's a couple of random shots I took that I liked.

This was the tambourine of one of the gals from The Phytons.
Ms. Tambourine Man

Drinks @ The Comet

Actual band shots to come eventually, but I must say you really should go see both Watch It Sparkle (the band our friends were there to see) and Hedwig & The Angry Inch (the band - both the lead singer (dressed as a woman) and the backup singer (dressed as a man with a beard) were in drag) as they were both awesome.

Photos From Where You Sit

This weekend while waiting an hour and a half for the ferry I decided to challenge myself to see how many photos I could make from where I was sitting. Here's what I came up with:

Photos From Where You Sit

Photos From Where You Sit

And this little guy is our car's guardian-spirit who lives in a little cubby hole in the dash that seems custom-made for him!
Photos From Where You Sit

More over on the blog!


Photos: Noise For The Needy - Conor Byrne

First up was Lizzie Huffman, a wonderful singer/songwriter from Denver.
2011-06-10: Lizzie Huffman @ Connor Byrne

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Photos: Noise For The Needy - Comet Tavern

As promised, here's some photos from the Comet Tavern show for Noise For The Needy last Thursday.

Here's the lead-singer and incredibly varied instrumentalist for Surrealized, Kimo Muraki. These guys were awesome. Totally want to see these guys again.
2011-06-9: Surrealized @ The Comet Tavern

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One of these days I'll get a camera with decent low-light performance. But for now I'm just gonna deal with the crazy amounts of noise and the shallow DOF of a 50 f1.4.