_MG_8635-Edit-Edit-2

Thought I’d posted this one, but I can’t find it, so here it is (again?).

When in Venice, after a long day of traveling around, Anna kindly accompanied me to the beach for a sunset portrait. Usually I prefer black and while, but the sky really was spectacular and full of color and Anna was very patient and poised. She had the look and gentle grace of a model and I’m grateful she gave of her time. Even with all the amazing sites this quiet hour on the beach was among my favorite moments on the trip.

_MG_1023-Edit-Edit

From a family shoot I did Saturday. When I get hired for a shoot it’s usually for smiling color photos, but I always sneak in a few of these black and white portraits because I love them and my subjects usually love them too.

_MG_8146-Edit

Continuing to work through the backlog of sets.

This one was shot in May of 2017 at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix, AZ.

Makeup was performed by Becky Jo Harris of Becks Aesthetics.

Models were Audri, Purrversia, Lexi, and Nichole.

We shot for two hours after the garden closed as the sun was setting. The reservation wasn’t cheap but was totally worth it to have the place to ourselves.

Check it out at the link below.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Sunday I got to work with this lovely young lady again in my (almost) complete studio. It’s a small black-box room with a picture window that allows for these high-contrast B&Ws.

_MG_0411-Edit-Edit

_MG_0429-Edit_MG_0433-Edit-Edit

_MG_8703

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to shoot. This is largely due to performing in a comedy troupe and a shadow play of Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I found a couple more gems from Italy (backwards) and have a shoot tomorrow and one Sunday (forwards). It’ll be good to get back to work.

These are definitely not selfies. Normally I’m averse to self-portraits for myself (totally fine if others like doing it) unless there is reason or humor for it. I seem to have started a tradition of birthday self-portraits and this year I shared them on Instagram (MRP_Visionaries). I did this partly because it struck me as meaningful work; the release or exposure of pent up emotions. It also may have made one person feel like they’re not alone in their personal struggles.

I wasn’t going to share here / FB except that it seems counterproductive to share in one area and not another. This is some of the sort of work I’d like to do; help people release and cope with their metaphorical demons (if real demons, call a priest).

I also wanted to share because I’m not sure I expressed myself properly with the series. The final image is meant, as perhaps some interpreted, not as a post-life image but as a post-crisis image. I’ve re-edited and toned down the blow-out here and I think it improves the image but that I still didn’t quite succeed on the message. 

So why post it? Because as part of growing as an artist (if I may flatter myself a moment) is to realize where one’s message may have failed. I think the over-editing of the first version was not only a technical failure but also perhaps an artistic one. Also the pose will take the viewer immediately to prayer and on reflection (get it?) maybe I should have used a pose slightly less associated with a monotheistic religion and something slightly more universal or meditative.

In either event the point of the series was to get some raw emotions out, but also to show that it can get better if we get through the rough patch. I have been very fortunate in my life to have relatively few of these, but it can still be hard to remember that it is only the PAIN that I want to end. I still have work to do even if I don’t know for sure what that is.

_MG_3625-Edit-Edit_MG_3636-Edit-Edit_MG_3638-Edit_MG_3643-Edit-2