is being who you are

A warm day ...

Because its so cold, I feel like reminding myself and all of you that sometimes, it is warm. Not often in this crazy state, but sometimes. Le sigh ...



Winner of 2013 Contest

I held a contest. Batman picked the winner. (Here he is picking the winner. And here are their photos. :)

... Yeh? Batman and I are tight like that.

Aaaand some of mom and dad too. :)


Rainy days don't have to be blue.

Mimi was great to work with, and this was one of those awesome days where it rains, but it rains just light enough that we can still shoot with no cover.

Hurray for overcast days, as they are beautimonious!


Waxing poetic ...

I found an artist today. He brought me to tears, and I was struck speechless and immovable. His sense of timing and his soft but pointed aim went straight to my heart. Oh, btw, he's a conductor and his medium is music. Surprised I wouldn't be talking about a sculptor or another photographer? Don't be. 

Music is the key to the lock that is on our hearts. It is the brush that enables us to paint a canvas. Music is one of the most inspiring things to any visual artist. What I write here will be mostly what people already know, I'm sure, but I still feel like saying it. 

What would life be without music? What would the world be without sound? It would be a girl with no lover to meet her, or a child with no smile. It would be happiness with no one to share it with. In other words, it would be life but somewhat dull.

I feel things when I see a picture, but I YEARN for things when I listen to music. I am transformed. I am gone into the other world that exists in only my head. 

Music is like being led down a trail ... you don't know where it will take you and you don't know the sadness, anger, or the happiness you will undergo ... you are carried down that trail through a gentle compulsion: a fairy queen's lovely crooked finger beckoning you into the fairy ring ...

I know, I know, I'm being very melodramatic. Very 'non-modern' ... I can't help it. I live in the middle of worlds. I am divided between who I must be for this world, and the part that is a romantic and a dreamer. 

It matters not, since very few actually read this blog, I think. 

My point is that music is the soul of all art. Photographs and painting and sculpture is the body, and music is what makes us live ... I live in fear of being mediocre, and one thing that music brings to fore to me is that feeling that I CAN be interesting. That I CAN create work that isn't average. Perhaps I don't always achieve this goal, but it makes me feel that I can, someday.

These are some of my images that show a little of what the artist Ennio Morricone makes me feel ... 


Wheezing is exercise too

Just a quick post of images from a shoot. Alisha was totally cool about my making her run up and down on a 100 degree day just so I could get these shots. She did it like a pro, and I was impressed. Well, mostly I was impressed because I was wheezing just standing there. ;)


Its OK to be a Tourist

I went on a trip recently, and instead of highlighting client work this week, I feel like showing pics from my trip.

I decided to be as campy as possible with the shots. In other words, I chose to be a tourist, instead of a professional photographer. You kind of have to do that, every now and then, or you can easily go kooky in this business. :)

So, here are my 'tourist' pics. They're not 'omg' great or amazing, they're as normal as I ken make em. :) 

Art + Family = Ok

I love it when clients come to me with exact ideas of what they would like, and those ideas fall strictly within what I already love to shoot for. :)

Jessie came to me wanting something 'different'. She wanted some art pieces of her children that would fit into the 'vibe' of her house and family. She didn't want them smiling. She didn't want them normal or cute ... she wanted surreal. She wanted moody. She wanted, in a nutshell, art. 

I am always happy to oblige a request like this, especially when surreal and moody is what I LOVE to do in the first place. :)

Here are the fruits of that labor. And what adorable fruits these kids were to work with too. Look models, these kids put you to shame. I hardly needed to direct them at all!!!!!

It was a fun evening. Especially with Jessie sprinting back and forth from the baby to behind me to try to get her attention. :D What you don't know is that 90% of my images were of the children cracking up because of the antics of their mom. :D :D :D 

Overall, I'm so very glad to get the chance to shoot something different, and I thank Jessie and her family for allowing me to do that. :)

Here is the link for purchase, if any family members would like to have these images as well. :)




Jude, Jake, and Miguel's Grand Adventure

A tale whereupon Jude sets out to photograph Jake, and Miguel at the last minute comes along to also photograph and videotape the process. Many dragons were slain and maidens rescued and animals not harmed in the making of this video.

any thanks to Jake Dials for modeling for me for this shoot, and for Miguel for coming along and both shooting stills and shooting the behind the scene videos as well.

You can find Jake at and Miguel at

Jake is a really Great model from my area, and I recommend working with him if you have chance, if you want a professional, fun, and laid-back dude to photograph.

Thanks again guys!!!

Goodbye, sabbatical ...

You may have noticed that I've been in hiding this spring. I had some setbacks in the last few months, and I'd like to publicly apologize to anyone I've kept waiting. I've been struggling with some hard issues in the last few months since February ... have had to restructure my life a little bit, make some tough decisions, and in general sit back and let my inner self point me towards the direction that I needed to go.
That being said, I'm back, and I'm back feeling better for the decision I've made. I feel like a load has been let off my shoulders, and I finally feel as if I can get 'down to business'. I'm sorry for the 'sabbatical' of sorts, but it was a necessary one. Now that I am here, I WILL slowly trickle towards getting everything done I need to. I have a list ... and I'm going through it checking it off. YOU are on this list. :) 
June is the beginning of a new business for me, and for you. Beware. :)

Cake, Language, and Art: Nothing New Under The Sun

Artists, ladies and gents, are like makers of Cake.
Cakes are made every day and so is art, yet cooks do not feel fake because they make a cake, but somehow some artists feel fake for making art. We should be MORE like a cook! A cake is a cake, and a new cook thinks "I will make a cake!" and it's new to him. He enjoys mixing the ingredients, pouring the batter, spreading the frosting, and feasting on the finished product. Cooks borrow recipes ... and ARTISTS borrow recipes.

But, we are also like the cake being prepared. We are instruments of what ingredients came before us, and also a little bit of ourselves in the mix as well. Our Artistic Vision? It is made from borrowed materials: we do not create...and THIS is what many artists are stuck on.

In reality, the universe thrives on borrowing. Rain? Borrowed water. The life cycle itself? Borrowed energy, to return to an energy form when we're gone. Heck, even the words you are reading in Modern Day English are written in a language that is a staple of a 'borrowed' language ... as in, it's a mixture of so many different languages, that there can really be no definitive 'one original language' that it came from in the last 2000 years. Have you ever thought of that?

I've often thought of this in my life, and its always kept me a little humble ... when going through classes that were determined to bring the creativity out ... there was always some part of me that held back and said "I've seen this, in some other what's the use?" 
Like the 'cliche' ... "What has been is what will be, and there is nothing new under the sun". Even that saying, No! That IDEA ... came from a book thousands of years old ... while we feel smart saying it, it's already been said over and over by each generation. You see? Even the concept of 'nothing being new' .. isn't new!
I have been shooting for almost two decades now, with the last 5 being more intensive. You know what I'm finding? That FINALLY this year, I'm allowing myself to copy. I'm allowing myself to say "Its ok that its been done before. The difference is that YOU have never done it before." I'm letting myself lean in a direction I've never been able to before now, due to time, other constraints, and my own self-imposed lectures against 'its already been done'. But you know what? The doing, no matter if its just a new person making old hash ... it's making me happy. It's making me feel more like 'me'. Yes, you read me correctly: me doing stuff that's been done before, over and over, finally feels like 'me'. And I could never have become 'me' without 'them'.
But? Sometimes, the people we owe our thought processes to will never know how much they've done for us. And sometimes, I feel that newer photographers are hesitant to say who they look up to, as if there's something wrong or as if they are somehow wrong for creating things that have 'already been done' ... I used to feel that way. I'm don't any longer. I'd be nowhere without the inspiration some of these people have provided to me. The same as the people I look up to would be nowhere without their own personal influences, and role models, and experiences. You know what though? I'm through trying to "Be my own person" so desperately that I refuse to do things because another person did them first: From now on, I'm simply going to BE my own person and do what is new to me and what I like.

The truth is that while there may be nothing new, everything IS new. EACH EXPERIENCE IS NEW BECAUSE IT IS BEING EXPERIENCED OR DONE FOR THE FIRST TIME BY SOMEONE TO WHOM IS IT NEW. Do we belittle a child for drawing stick figures with crayons, simply because 'that's already been done.' Do we scoff at a bride and groom's excitement in each other on their wedding day? No. We don't. Because it is understood that they have a true RIGHT to believe those things they are doing, experiencing, feeling, are new. How dare anyone tell a child he has no right to feel as if an experience is new! We don't, because we understand how tragic it would be to ruin someone's experience of life and the joy it is to feel 'newness'. But, somehow, the minute a person becomes an artist, the minute they begin to feel the beauty around them and see how that beauty could be made ... we slash them down with words of 'There's nothing new'. Or, we become jaded and we say 'sure, its good, but that is better and this looks exactly like it.' Why? When did the act of creating something 'first' become so important in humanity? For what purpose? For power? Prestige? In reality, what good are those? We do not last, and we will be forgotten ... why not let those who enjoy creating old hash ... simply enjoy creating old hash? :)

Artists, of all kinds, are immensely hard on themselves. And they are hard on each other. We are hard on each other, ladies and gentlemen. Probably much more than the general public is. We see our flaws; we see each others insecurities; and sometimes, we do not do much to help, but much to hinder each other. For what reason? Who knows. Perhaps misery loves company? It's an unanswered question.

Regardless of the answer, I'm sure glad people still create, regardless of whether they feel they're creating groundbreaking work or not. I am glad that there are artists who sit and paint the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It has been painted so many times, from so many angles, but there are still artists who STILL paint it ... and they rightly enjoy doing so.

I think as artists, we need to stop being so hard on ourselves. We need to stop being so hard on each other and realize that it is not "Doing it first" that makes it significant, but rather, that WE are doing it for the first time. :) Because, if you think about it, if there was noone to copy, noone to study the master's works ... who would remember those works? :) Through the act of copying, we are keeping those who've gone before alive, because their influence lives ONLY through humanity.

That being said, I'd like to highlight some of the people who have been my idols over the years. This is not a full list, by any means, but these amazing artists are some I've been studying for years, and who have influenced me very much. I hope you enjoy their work as much as I have ... and I hope you someday see some similarities to their styles in my own work. If I could be as talented as any one of them, I will be satisfied. 

Enjoy! They ARE amazing! :D

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