Monday, March 28, 2011

Powerhouse Women Photographers & The Changing Face of Photography


One of the most common emails I get (daily, and many) are usually ones in which I am being asked what I do to become inspired, and further - to stay inspired. In looking at my own work, I bet you can guess a few of my favorite things (and that I draw continual creative energy from...)
Subjects occupying the very top of that list of things, of course, would be: (in no particular order) women, history, simplicity, the forgotten, storytelling, gracefully sad beauty, and fantasy/fairytales.

I can honestly say... everything speaks to me, and much of everything inspires me. I think in life and to create pieces that speak to a broad audience, everything has to speak in some way to you and move you, deep within. Being moved deep within is the catalyst from which all amazing imagery is spun. That is the basis of great work and creativity. This is where I create from. This is the opinion that becomes the resounding image.

And, photographically speaking, there are a few visual artists that I've decided to feature today, having personally found them to be sources of continual inspiration, since I began shooting, back in 2006. I didn't know all of their work back then, but I know all of their work now, and if you want to be inspired, you should too.

To be consistently inspiring as an artist (a stream on flickr, for example, that I know I can always come back to) is not only a talent, but a rarity.

Today feature centers around 13 women, many of whom are friends, and a few I don't know, but who's work I consider to be among the most reliably inspiring in the industry, today - not only for their talent and unique vision, but also because they have that fleeting ability to deliver the elusive and continual dose of creative wonderment. I also respect these women for being themselves and doing something I think is *key* to any lasting career: putting in the time to refine and stand behind your own unique vision, whatever you find that to be.

These women are not only photographers that pack a punch, but women who are changing the face of photography in it's various mediums, from every walk of life, and from every corner of the world. To be pioneers in an industry is no small task, continually putting up your diary for public review. Further, to relay that diary with some dignity, sincerity and consistency, is something else.

Many of you may already know these women (if you don't you are in for quite a treat) but this would be my own list of women to follow and to continue to follow, as you develop yourself as an artist. This isn't a full list by any means, but definitely some of the pillars. Some of these women are well established and a few are still up and coming.

Before I begin, a couple of notes:

1.) Please don't swipe their work. These artists have been kind enough to share so much of themselves with you, already. Be inspired, instead.

2.) This list is in absolutely no particular order.

3.) To view more about any particular photographer, click on their name to go to their website or online portfolio.



Location: Singapore / Toronto, Ontario, Canada / International


Location: Los Angeles, California


Location: Manchester, UK.


Location: London, England


Location: New York, NY / London, England


Location: London / Dublin


Location: Sweden


Location: London, England


Location: Dallas, TX


Location: Iceland


*Lucia Holm (Miss Lulu & The Teaspoon Shortage)
Location: USA


Location: Moscow, Russia


Location: Brighton, England


Also, last but in no way least, I want to direct you to a young and wonderful powerhouse photographer by the name of: Nirrimi (see port here) and though I couldn't get in touch with her before I needed to run this, be sure to check out her amazing vision.

And that does it for today! As for me, I'm just beginning a new season of shoots, the first of which was yesterday 0f 33 slated, thus far...

I'm shooting for two collections (one new & top secret & the other: "Faerieland").
I promise I won't disappoint. ;)

ps. I may run another of these as my shooting season slows. If you know someone who you feel deserves some recognition, feel free to leave a note below. (male or female)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Friends. I'ts been forever since I did a giveaway, and ... well... it's nearly SPRING! Seems like a perfect time to hold another, just before another season of shooting begins. (and man do I have a season planned ;)

I'll keep this short and sweet, but here's what's up for grabs:

I'll be giving away two prints, this time.

The first: "Summer Hymnal" - (Version 2)

The second: "Elemental" - (from my "Faerieland" series)

SO. How do you go about entering?

Very simple and just a few things:

1.) Be sure you are a fan of my facebook fan page. (my personal profile doesn't count)
2.) "Share" my facebook fan page on either your facebook or twitter. (in your own words, why you like it, are sharing it, etc...)
3.) Lastly, just leave a comment in this blog post that you did both, and you are entered!

Extra Credit: Well, for those who are feeling extra spectacular, you may get (1) additional entry, by doing any of the following, in addition to the above 3 steps:

*featuring my work on your blog
*following this blog from your own, but clicking 'follow' to your right
*featuring my work on flickr (yes you have my permission, but please only use watermarked imagery ;)

Simple, right?


I'll be holding this giveaway beginning this evening - march 30th, 2011 & announcing the winner(s) (being drawn at random) the following day on all networks.

Be sure when you leave your comment/entry that you also leave where I am able to get a hold of you (ie: email, facebook, etc --- but be safe about things, and don't post your telephone number ;)

Thank you & best of luck!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Faerieland Returns...!!! | 2011 begins...


After a long Winter slumber, I'm so proud and excited to announce that Faerieland has begun to wake up.

With so many new places, characters and story lines, I hope you like this first piece of imagery, as I begin endeavoring into shooting for this collection, throughout Spring & Summer.

... As the woods begin to thaw and as the forests begin to rouse.

This year, I simply want you to get as lost and mesmerized as I have over the course of the last year.

Let this collection sweep you away.
With what I have planned, all I can say for those that have been following this collection since it's inception is: be excited.

For a refresher course about Faerieland (what it is, when and how it started, and why) you can read my 2010 interview w/ The Examiner to catch up on the metaphors, motives, and symbolism within this growing collection.

For those that don't want to read that full article, here's an excerpt:

"I took notes. I slept outside underneath briars during a normal work day. I sat on the forest floor looking up at the canopy, right in the mix of animals like deer and rabbits and birds. It’s amazing when you sit there long enough, what becomes comfortable with you. I recorded what I heard everywhere I went on my mp3 player, and put it on repeat with solo piano tracks for a full month. It was all I listened to. I wanted to understand nature as well as how far we stray from it, and how I was going to visually relay what it meant to come back to it, metaphorically..."

I hope you'll join me as I return to the dark woods...

I give to you:


As with all pieces of my work, I wholeheartedly recommend viewing them as high res. on either my website or on Flickr, as part of the entire set, in order. Blogspot has a tendency to greatly reduce quality.

"Elemental" is my first nude shot (Faerieland or other) in the (nearly) five years I've been behind the lens. For those who are familiar with my work, you know that I often hint, but rarely shoot nude w/ models & never myself. That being said, I'm not averse to nudes in any way. Bodies are so beautiful and completely natural (this collection screams natural and coming back to one's roots) and certain segments of this collection will absolutely call for it. Am I happy to have done it? Absolutely.

My philosophy on nudes in photography are these:
"Is it elegant?"
"Is this appropriate?"
"Does nude add or detract from the photo?"

Now onto more about this piece...

"Elemental" is the culmination of what Winter felt like, to me, this year.
In the midwest, Winters are rarely three months -- usually closer to 5 or 6 with a short and bittersweet Autumn, and then very early cold and snow that often lasts into mid March. This year saw temps as low as 30 to 40 below.

I wanted this shot to represent the depths of the quiet, lonely, cold, white, hazy, pale, epic Winter, as I've experienced it, and to hold (as with all my work and messages, within themselves) the contrast of beauty amidst hardship. This is so easily represented by nature, and was my goal for this piece. That's my goal for all of Faerieland.

This year, when I stood on the 12 acres, here, where I type this now, I couldn't hear a sound, beyond the wind at the tops of the tallest trees, and when I closed my eyes this is the image that represented all of it...


Additionally, last year, there were two images shot that never made it over to this blog and it's about time they do, though many have seen them by now, in publications or interviews.

Without further adieu, I also give to you one of the very first landscapes of "faerieland" as well as an image comprised of over 40 individual photos...

"Pigeon River Falls"

The above piece is a panorama.

Vertical Panoram's don't get very much real estate on the internet, so here's another (cropped) below. This is actually about 7 different images, shot on the trembling cliff edge minutes before dark, just short of the Canadian Border. I had to shoot a long exposure, but had trouble doing so, since my camera was on the edge of such massive water movement and the entire ground would shake my camera and tripod. I got lucky that one full Panoram was crisp. ;)

Detail Shot, "Pigeon River Falls"

Everything in Faerieland has secret meanings, different motives, hidden symbols, and though this face (in the above rock) is visible, it's a nice hint to how dark I intend for this collection to be as I continue weaving it together. This is a world in which natural is normal, and where dark is normal.

Nothing beyond nature exists or ever has. No time. No technology. No inhibitions.
But, just as nature has two sides: serene and graceful beauty amidst a world fraught with things such as death and an order that must be respected in order to flourish within it, so will "Faerieland" be its representation & ever present reminder of that (sometimes) struggle.

With this collection, I want you to think: "That is so beautiful. But, oh wait...that scares me a bit". What is my hope? Which is my goal?
Both. I want you to feel both.

Lastly, the final shot I'm sharing today did make it over to Flickr last year, but didn't make it over here to my blog, so I'm posting that today, as well with a few notes on how I made that image.


"Sentinel" was an amazingly fun and very difficult piece to make. I had an amazing designer make that leaf mask you see, covering the eyes of the watcher. This shot is comprised of countless images; probably somewhere in the ballpark of 40, total. Each leaf was handpicked during the Fall and hand colored, and finally - individually photographed. In post, I had to stitch each one into the photo, around the watching eyes, in a way that would present a strong composition and offer enough variation, to be believable. "Sentinel" took about 5 days to complete, in post alone.

And that's it for now...

New work on the horizon line. I've been building and continue to build everything, as well as casting, and working with great designers, from all over the world. I and am ready to go.

Today is March 1st (!!!) which means Spring is this month & the moment it warms even a little, these secret characters, new models, dark stories, and beautiful world are coming to life.

Welcome back.