Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Place

(All pics. snapped on 7/23/11)

My approach to this shoot, as well as my disposition while taking the pictures that you see in this post - could not have been more dissimilar to that of the last set of pics. that I wrote about. During the fated "amphibious" shoot, I was anxious and antsy and unable to apply myself - all because I was too geeked out over the prospect of meeting a man on a blind date, later that day. 

There is a common thread connecting the two shoots however - "my date" who (sight unseen) had me in too much of a tiz to make anything (good) happen with the "amphibious" pics. - is also entirely to blame for how this "love shack" group turned out. Not only did he provide the location for this shoot (Thank You!), but it was because of him - that I felt a renewed sense of purpose to tap into something more meaningful...and why I was brimming with genuine inspiration.

The tricky part about all of this though, is - for as much as I'm tempted to go into elaborate detail about all of the ways that "my date" helped to imbue these pics. with more oomph than that last dismal set - I feel that I must bite my tongue - in order to circumvent turning The Big Ugly into another over-the-top "tell all" digest, a la my old Big Ugly Blog. I wouldn't dare risk jeopardizing this very new, but promising thing we've got going on, by exploiting it..."my date" deserves better than that. 

What I will tell you though, is that this was unequivocally the hottest shoot that I have ever staged. The mercury was aiming to reach a new summertime high, and that - combined with brutal humidity - had me slipping out of that nighty and into something more comfortable, soon after just getting started. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the temperature inside of the shack was easily 105 degrees or more. I honestly don't remember my body ever being quite that drenched with sweat, before this.

Compounding the sweat factor, was my trepidation over if or when - a snake might come out of hiding to terrify me, or if I'd be bitten by a black widow spider, or finally get stung by the wasps that relentlessly dive-bombed and surprise-attacked me - for the solid hour that I shot these interior pics.. 

But you know something? I loved every single minute of this shoot. I loved feeling focused and exhilarated once again...I loved the setting despite my fear of snakes, venomous spiders, and aggressive, stinging insects...and believe it or not - I actually liked being this sweaty for my pics..

In a nutshell, these self-portraits sort of signify to me - that I was (when I took them), and somehow miraculously still am now - in a much, much happier place - geographically, artistically and emotionally...(Knock on wood that I don't mess it up)


  1. love the sweaty photos - reminds me of a favorite film, 'Body Heat'. it was filmed in New Orleans, but during a cold spell... so to get that same sheen they had to put fake sweat on the actors.

    real sweat is so much nicer...

  2. This is a classic example of why not to go into a shoot (or a design, or a drawing session, or whatever) with too many preconceptions on what you want to get done. You have a really taut body, as I'm sure you know, but the sweaty shot on top of the heater (or whatever that thing is) gave you far better definition than I'd have imagined possible!

    You may not recall when you started this, but I seem to recall that at some point, you didn't flex your toes like you do now... when you started doing that, it defined your legs a lot better. This is every bit as important an advance, IMO. In other words, try to shoot somewhere scorching hot every chance you get!

  3. I am so happy to read this post, happy is a very important thing and I know from previous posts you have not been feeling that. I am smiling when I read this today.

    To be honest when I first glanced at the pictures I thought it was oil you had applied, the clarity of the moisture on your skin is quite amazing and I agree with the above commenter....more hot shots I think.


    ps... I have nominated your blog here

  4. @daisyfae - I am ashamed to admit that I have never seen the movie "Body Heat", BUT! After reading your comment, I am definitely curious enough to give it a look-see, Thank You!

    (Oh, and I totally agree...real sweat IS the shiz!)

  5. @Steve Mouzon - I'm with you on the whole "preconceived notions" thing. I find that I come up with some of my best stuff, when I'm only vaguely familiar with a setting before I shoot. Many times I've gone in with a very loose idea of how to approach my pics., and sometimes with practically no plan at all - but once I'm there - my surroundings sort of dictate to ME what I should do...I love the more spontaneous shoots!

    And about my pointed have no idea how many people have made comments about, or asked why I always point my toes. I do sometimes wonder if it eliminates any chance for a feeling of authenticity in my pics., since let's face it - it's not exactly a position that most humans naturally assume. But for me it's all about aesthetics and vanity - not only does it help with muscle definition (which I like!) but it also gives the illusion that I'm quite a bit taller than my stumpy height of 5' 4" (which I LOVE!)

    Feels like we've had the hottest summer ever, here in Virginia...I hope to stage one or two more sweaty shoots before it's over :)

  6. @Molly - I don't even know what to say...It was beYOND nice/cool/sweet/thoughtful of you to nominate me and my blog...I just don't even know how to begin thanking you. Btw, I never did hear back - yea or nay - from the "Cool Photography Blogs" site, after submitting The Big Ugly for consideration (that's why I never reported back to you) but here's hoping I fare better THIS time around...THANK You so MUCH - you wonderful woman You!

  7. Love that first picture. A gloriously pastel, pastoral cottage. And the rest are equally great but different.