Tag Archives: B&W

The Female Nude

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I am a woman. I am aware of my body like any normal human being. It’s not a surprise, just look at the images served up to us. Everyone is beautiful, happy, young, thin… they have the perfect (insert your own personal thoughts here) stomach, eye brows, waist, legs, hips- sometimes it feels like an impossible treadmill of perfect we will never really achieve because of genetics, because we have real life and real work and can’t spend the amount of time it takes to achieve “perfection”.

But really, what is perfect?

I’ve always be interested in shooting nudes. I started in college. The body is one of the most beautiful, natural things about life. The way it changes, the way it gives life, the way each is our own and that is what makes us special. I wouldn’t take my grandmother’s wrinkles away, or Dad’s loving soft hugs, or seeing my sister-in-law’s body change carrying the amazing twins my family adores. I would not say that I have had body issues all my life, but as I’ve gotten older I had to learn to look in the mirror and teach myself to stop judging the way I look compared to other people.

As a photographer I look for what is photogenic from people to places to the design of a still life. I’m not going to lie, I love tall beautiful thin fashion models. They are like illustrations of illusions of an idea of who we think we are or could be. Fantasy is part of the fun, photographing that fantasy is one of the things that I love most.

However…

There is a place for curves too. Curves are incredible. When our model Jourdan walked in I was honestly first taken back by her personality. Her confidence. Confidence is the one of the greatest quality anyone can possess. She was cool, smart, comfortable in her own skin. She was one of the least self-deprecating models I’ve ever worked with. When we started making photographs a lot changed for me. Not only as a photographer but as a woman. Maybe even more importantly as a woman. Here was a human, not afraid to let me photograph her with nothing to hide behind, no character to portray, no fantasy story to tell, it was just her. In the moment. In the light. Just the way she is.

After this shoot I had a mix of emotions. Her body, so beautiful, so photographic in its shapes and contours was in one word: inspiring. She made me realize that the female form in any shape and size is incredible. To have curves, softness, confidence was true beauty. She represented to me what being a woman was all about. I understood why Renior and Matisse painted the way they did and I saw that beauty too. I was so proud to be a woman and in my personal life, more confident about the size of my chest and softness around my stomach. If wrinkles show the hand of time and the life that was lived, curves show the fertility of it and the raw attraction of humanity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that women come in many fascinating forms and, at this sitting, I saw beauty in a way that should be more often seen.

Here’s to the beautiful form we call being a WOMAN.

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Maiyet Resort

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Sometimes you have to be present in the moment. Sometimes you wake up and it’s raining outside, the wind is ripping at you and what you physically feel in nature, you are emotionally feeling in life. When Kelly and I were talking about shooting a fashion story on MAIYET’s resort collection, fittingly while at a resort for Art Basel, we couldn’t have anticipated the day nature gave to us. I wanted to use it as inspiration, to set the mood, to let the rain fall on her, the sand stick to her skin, the wind throw her hair and the ocean push her down. I wanted to wash away the year into a black and white memory. I’ve been so raw lately, having traveled and created non-stop for so long. I wanted a dark day on the beach, just to feel… something.

I think though the turmoil of that day, the turmoil of emotion is a part of life and a part of art. The change in the weather, the change in our lives. Everything changes, does it not? I remember last summer shooting my first story on MAIYET, the dancing light of the eastern tip of Long Island, the bond of friendship and womanhood captured from behind the lens. This resort collection carries the same threads but like life, you can see the changes. The signature cuffs are here but they are bigger now. The gorgeous coats take on more volume. The artful design to clothing is still there but more refined, more wearable from ocean to ocean.

So why MAIYET?… because they think differently. They hire artisans from around the world to produce their boutique clothing line which aids in these craftsmen to be able to build viable businesses in counties where opportunities like that do not exist so freely. Beyond the clothing they work with artists like Benjamin Millepied to choreograph a video with custom made pieces in movement to a beautiful dance based on an ancient Greek love story. They also made my all time favorite black blazer I’ve worn more than any other article of clothing, and THIS video which always and always gives me wanderlust.

…. and then I’m ready again for the sun to come out.

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Big Sur

California's Big Sur, a sceneic drive along the pacific coast highway

I’ve always wanted to drive along Big Sur, the dramatic edge of the western United States. While in Pebble Beach with Lincoln Motor Company, it seemed like the appropriate time to do that all-American activity of going for a drive, listening to old Beatles songs and Elton John favorites, pulling over every two miles to look in awe at the real picture show that is Big Sur.

California's Big Sur, a sceneic drive along the pacific coast highway California's Big Sur, a sceneic drive along the pacific coast highway California's Big Sur, a sceneic drive along the pacific coast highway California's Big Sur, a sceneic drive along the pacific coast highway

 

Captured on 4×5 black and white Ilford Delta film

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Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

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It’s an interesting thing, the world of luxury cars. Growing up in Texas, luxury meant the biggest pickup truck on the road…but that was not for me. I dreamed about the cars they drove in Sabrina and what was in Jay Gatsby’s garage. I knew these cars were aesthetically special but beyond that my knowledge ended. Lord help me when it’s time to change the oil or, heaven forbid, a flat tire with the old car I just bought last fall. I’ll def be pulling one of these when that day comes…

So here I found myself at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as the guest of one of my favorite clients, Lincoln Motor Co. which as you know has a great history of classic motoring in America and I felt so honored to be their guest, diving into this world of antique perfection.

Here are 10 things I learned in the lap of luxury:

  1. Do not touch the cars.
  2. These car owners give a new meaning to “spotless“… the smallest particle of dust was no match.
  3. Men will totally lose any logical thought in their head when one of these cars or if any of the new concept cars is present…or even in ear shot. (yes, we could hear them driving around from our hotel room)
  4. Racetracks are LOUD. Earplugs next time… I wonder if Donna Karan makes a chic pair?
  5. You don’t know rich until you know car culture rich. Jay Leno has said “Concours is where simple millionaires come to rub shoulders with billionaires.”
  6. Once you show your automobile at the Concours, you can not enter again for 10 years.
  7. One example I found through sly eavesdropping of how much it cost to restore an antique car: $500,000.
  8. Cars in the 1920s (Duesenberg) had hidden bars stocked with crystal decanters and tumblers. I literally screamed when he opened the back of the seat to show me.
  9. The prize car at auction while I was there went for $23 Million…. a car that I can’t figure out how it would ever make it past a speed bump.
  10. After driving around Monterey Peninsula next to Lamborghinis, McLarens and classic Ferraris any other roadway in America looks disgusting… including the Hamptons. #gamechanger

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It was an intoxicating passion to be around, and only something as perfectly beautiful as these cherished pieces of automobile history could distract from the ravishing California coast… pebble_beach_concours_d'elegance_02 pebble_beach_concours_d'elegance_03

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