Sunday, July 28, 2013

"The Big Ugly Land of Oz" Project

My good friend and photography/self-portraiture cohort, Osmyn Oree - sent me a text a few days ago, in which he proposed the most fantastic idea! He suggested that each week, he and I should alternate posing a different self-portrait challenge to each other - which I immediately thought was positively brilliant...because not only would it allow us to continue collaborating with each other (albeit on a completely different level than our last collaboration), despite the fact that we do live four states apart - but it would also put the fire under my butt to stage a new set of selfpics, on the weekly. And let's face it - I've been horribly remiss about being the dutiful self-portraiteuse that I used to be.

So anyway...the more that I thought about Osmyn's brainchild, the more my own wheels started turning like mad! And after conferring with one another about this, that, and the other - we finally came up with this plan: 

The Big Ugly Land of Oz is Osmyn's and my new, weekly, self-portraiture tumblr. blog (we just launched it today - yip!) on which, we will feature the self-portraits that the two of us shall publish each week. But we also wanna encourage all of you to participate, by submitting your own theme-relevant selfpics to the site.

Every Sunday, Osmyn and I will each choose one photo from the group that stands out to us individually - and those images will be printed on archival quality, double weight matte, 8.5" x 11" paper, at my 1 lb. Gallery (on my kickass Epson Stylus Pro 9900 printer, no less) and then sent to the winning entrants as our "Thanks!" for participating.

The photo above, is my response to this week's challenge - in which Osmyn and I had to photograph ourselves after, or while - doing something that would contrast with our natural skin there ya' go!

I can't tell you how excited I am about this endeavor - because I really do hope that it'll help me to prioritize making my art over doing the other things that I've been doing lately (at least one day a week?), but I would love to think that it might also motivate you guys to throw your own hats into the self-portraiture ring!

*Footnote: The Big Ugly Land of Oz is now defunct.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tangerine Dreamin'

Was reminded of my recent, completely amazing (albeit abbreviated) visit with Osmyn Oree, after he posted a photo from one of our shoots together, on his tumblr today. You may see it here, if you'd care to...

Seeing the image reminded me of what an incredible couple of days I spent with him in Lancaster - and so, feeling a bit nostalgic - I went back through the self-portraits that I took while I was there, and I came across this one...which I had actually basically put entirely out of my mind. And that might've had something to do with the fact that - on the morning that I took this pic., the hotel manager very kindly came by my room to see if I needed anything...while the curtain in my room was fully open, and while I was in the midst of my shoot, in all of my naked glory, sitting on top of the luggage stand! As soon as I saw him peer at me through the picture window - I screamed, "SORRY!", and raced over to the window to pull the was sooooooo incredibly awkward...I just felt awful about it because I could tell that he was way more embarrassed to have seen me naked, than I was to have had him see me...

About a minute after the whole thing went down, the phone in my room rang...and when I reluctantly picked it up (cuz I was pretty sure that I was about to be kicked out), the hotel manager said, "Yeah hi. It's the guy who just came by your room...why don't you close the curtains? And you're gonna break the luggage stand if you keep getting on it." I replied, "I was taking pictures, and I wanted to let the good light in. I won't do it anymore...and the luggage stand is fine."

I did open the curtains again though, and kept my clothes off - just long enough to take one more selfpic up against that pumpkin orange wall, and in that scrummy morning light…SORRY!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Drawing Lines in the Sand

No hidden meaning in the title...that's just literally what I was doing when I took this pic.. Well, it wasn't actually sand, it was dirt...but whatevs...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Am I Blue?

Another selfpic from my shoot at that swell-fella-that-I-briefly-mentioned-in-the-last-post's farm, this past Tuesday...Thank You...again! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


See? I TOLD Ya' I was gonna take some new selfpics this week! (Believe me, I'm just as surprised as you are that I actually lived up to my promise)

A million hugs, and the hugest THANKS - to the swell fella who let me shoot at his place, today! Lawdy did I ever need a day like this day to happen...*sigh*... 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

At My Fingertips

I've not taken any new self-portraits since I went up north recently, to work with Osmyn Oree...and when was that almost four weeks ago? CRIKEY! Anyway...if it's ok with you guys, right now I'm gonna havta settle for posting (yet another) selfpic that I snapped on that gloriously productive second day of shooting with Osmyn, at my new favorite crusty old industrial building - the Stehli Silk Mill in Lancaster, Pa....I'm gonna try reeeaaallly hard this week, to mete out a snippet of time to devote to taking a new batch of selfies, though...I pRoMiSe! (sort of...I think)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Floating on Air

I honestly cannot believe all of the good things that have been happening in my life lately...I mean, as if this past Friday night's celebration of the Grand Opening my new photography gallery, in tandem with with the first ever solo show for Photographer Osmyn Oree - with so many of my wonderful friends in attendance, along with family members, and folks that I'd never met before - and then selling one of Osmyn's gorgeous prints, on top of all that - wasn't enough to have me floating on air - I've got a couple of other cool things going on, as well:

Haje Jan Kamps' new book, "Shooting Yourself - Self-Portraits with Attitude" was recently published, and is available for purchase through The Ilex Press, and UK. Haje very kindly featured me and my selfpics in our own special chapter - plus, several more of my self-portraits appear on various pages throughout the book. I am so elated over having had my work and my story included in the book...I just keep thinking, "Could somebody pinch me please? This cannot possibly be real!"

THANK You, Haje, and congratulations! You must be positively delighted with how well the book turned out!

And in other kickass, breaking news - the incomprehensibly sweet, thoughtful, and generous fellow blogger Molly, of Molly's Daily Kiss - took it upon herself to put my name in the hat as a potential speaker at Eroticon USA 2013 (which is scheduled to take place this October 19th, in Atlanta, Ga.) - after which, event organizer, Ruby Kiddell contacted me, and officially invited me to submit a proposal (which naturally, I did) and the next thing I knew - there was my name and bio on the roster of speakers who will be participating in the weekend's events! Can you believe that?! Little ole ME - leading a discussion about erotic photography, and hosting a self-portraiture workshop at Eroticon's first engagement here in The States!!!

All of these amazing, new developments practically blow my fool mind! I'm not sure what I did to get so lucky, but I'm not asking any questions...think I'll just count my blessings, and continue to revel in all of the excitement :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Worshipping The Porcelain God

Don't even ask me what possessed me to actually go through with staging the shoot that produced the selfpic above - cuz I honestly couldn't tell you what it was. All I know, is that as soon as I saw those old nasty crusty potties - I instantly got the idea to stick my head down inside of 'em...despite the fact that this is what I came face to face with when I did:  

Yeah...pretty gross, eh?

Anyway...moving on to a slightly less grody topic - the grand opening of, and the artist's reception for the premier photography exhibit being displayed at my new "1 lb. Gallery" - is this Friday, July 5th - from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. - WOOT!

Those of you who live anywhere nearby, BEST get your butts over there to celebrate this festive occasion with me - and I mean it! I'll be serving complimentary beer & wine, along with my own version of Kir (mixed with Prosecco, instead of white wine - Yum-mo!) - plus scrumptious hors d'oeuvres (made with locally grown and raised ingredients), provided by my dear friend - the owner of "The Foxy Kitchen" in Millwood, Va. - THANK You, Carole!!!

It's gonna be a mess of fun (hopefully not TOO much fun though...would hate for any of us to end up with our heads in the toilet, heh!), and I do so hope that at least some of you might be able to make it! But for those of you who can't, don't sweat it - cuz there's always next month!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Stehli Silk Mill

I've been so unbelievably busy putting the finishing touches on my photography gallery, in preparation for its big grand opening this Friday - that I've had no time to update my poor blog, I'm so sorry! But this morning I decided that before I allow myself to dive headlong into yet another insanely hectic day, I must first post a new pic. and entry.

The image above was snapped inside of The Stehli Silk Mill a couple of weekends ago, while I was up in Pa. visiting and working with Osmyn Oree. Osmyn correctly assumed that the sprawling compound of ginormous, old factory buildings would be precisely my cup of tea...and I must say, as soon as I spotted the vast expanse of rooflines, and windows, and a comely, brick smoke stack - peeking up from behind the nearby row houses - I was positively smitten! And the closer I got? The more madly I fell in love with the derelict structures...*sigh*...

I desperately wished that I could breach the chain link fortress that protected the city block-long property from intruders - but two things kept me from doing so: 1.) there was a roofing crew working on two of the buildings, so the chance of being spotted was pretty likely, and 2.) I'm still on probation for my trespassing convictions, so I was way too chicken to risk getting caught poaching.

I tried sating my burgeoning obsession with the silk mill, by taking pictures of its exterior from outside of the fence, using my iPhone and Minolta XG-1...but it wasn't nearly enough to quell the nagging desire to be shooting inside of the chain link barrier.

The next morning, (while Osmyn was tending to other commitments), I set out with my arsenal of cameras in the hopes that I might distract myself from my disappointment in not being able to document the silk mill in a more up close and personal way - by shooting other interesting subjects that I spotted around town. And it worked! For about a half an hour...after which I found myself being drawn back to the silk mill, it's magnetic pull annihilating my already tenuous willpower.

Just as I had done the day before, I walked along the sidewalk that followed two sides of the perimeter of the first building in the complex, but then I went a little further than I had the day before. I turned a corner and wound up in a parking lot that was situated directly behind the first building, and when I looked up, I saw a man who was working just on the other side of the fence.

Before I had time to talk myself out of it, I walked straight up to the fence and addressed the man. I introduced myself and told him of my passion for photographing old buildings, mentioning that I'd never had the opportunity to shoot anything even remotely as fantastic as the silk mill buildings are - and then I asked him if it would be ok for me to come inside to take pictures of the place, inside and out...and the crazy thing is - he said, "Sure"...AAAAAHHHHH!!! I was absolutely stunned! I never in a million years would've thought that he'd be hep to it, but he was! I thanked him profusely, and dashed towards the construction entrance so that I could get myself inside before he had the chance to change his mind. I honestly couldn't believe the good fortune that had befallen me...I was in absolute paradise...felt like the closest thing to what heaven would be, if it existed.

By the time I'd finally begun to collect myself a bit, I was already deep inside of the bowels of the first weathered building that I'd entered - and at that point I realized that I needed to get in touch with Osmyn, in order to let him know that I'd gotten permission to shoot at the silk mill, and to then urge him to gather his gear, and get himself there - as soon as possible!

Over the course of the 5 hours that I personally spent on the grounds of The Stehli Silk Mill that day, I took an absurd number of pictures with my iPhone and film cameras, staged a respectable amount of new self-portraits, and posed for Osmyn as he went through the 7 rolls of film that he shot with his medium format Hasselblad. Needless to say, by the end of the day I was disgustingly dirty, ridiculously exhausted, but most of all - deliriously happy...

"THANK You!" to the nice man who allowed me to tromp around the silk mill property, snapping so many, many pics.!

...and Thank YOU, Osmyn - for taking me there in the first place! Love Ya', Buddy!