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Learning from a different kind of photographer

This week I visited (virtually) the studio of my friend Wess Gray. He’s had a portrait photo business in Enid, Oklahoma for 40 some years.   Wess and I have been talking on and off for about 5 years now. He’s visited my studio once, but I have never seen his. In a conversation earlier this week I said to him, “Wess, someday you’ll have to show me how you have survived, no thrived, doing portraits in Enid, Oklahoma." He called me and said to go to his web site. (The image above.) [...]

Mining my old images

This shows an original, uncropped image, then two successive croppings to get closer and closer to the emotional message of the photo 12/31/20. That date is important, because if you take March 19th as the day the Coronavirus lockdown started, I had gone 296 days without being able to think about creating anything new. That’s important to chronicle now because memory fades. The pandemic was debilitating creatively. It was hard to form any thoughts, much less creative ones. There was a glimmer of a thought that was going through my head…the idea [...]

How does a creative project start?

new project-creating clothes from everyday materials In this case it was both a subject and an idea. Kansas City Ballet ballerina Kelsey Ivana Hellybuyck LOVES clothes. So much so that she’s always posting photos on social media wearing different outfits that she’s put together. (That’s the image on the left.) I stubbed on the designer Iris van Herpen. Her clothes are beyond futuristic! She uses innovative materials and creates shapes that fabric could never hope to achieve. Now I don’t have access to her high-tech fabrics, but I have quite a collection [...]

Capturing beauty at 30°

                      Since the pandemic I have been shooting in the garage, with the door open. I started in August, and the garage could get pretty warm Problem solved with a big flexible duct that ran from inside the house, pushing cool air through with the fan. Cold weather obviously presented another set of problems. Two radiant heater on either side of the model actually make it almost comfortable. Then a big propane powered unit that sits in the driveway pumps warm air past me [...]

Seeing a photo in an environment

                                    We are used to seeing images on computers. When an image will be turned into art for a wall, just how big should it be. I like to imaging my work LARGE on a wall. How to show that to a potential client? I return to the computer, find an appropriate room image, then insert my photo into that scene. Violá, seeing the artwork in the context of a room virtually.

Where does inspiration come from?

  I had started “mining” my past shoots, especially photos where I appear with someone. ( They always had me with someone. I thought the series had to be about interaction. Then I ran across this single image somewhere on the internet, and thought to myself, “it can just be one person, it doesn’t have to be two.” Natalie Singletary is so expressive. I found a wonderfully energetic photo of her shaking her head. I added even more blur and created the image above. This has opened up an infinite number of possibilities where [...]

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