I’ve been shooting in a studio on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown, PA for about four years now. I’ve recently made a decision that it’s time to move on, discover new locations and expand my comfort zone. I’ve taught numerous workshops there and can’t even remember how many models I’ve collaborated with in this wonderful space. Nothing but fond memories of it all and of course the pictures really tell the stories. It’s a place where I’ve learned and grown as an artist, a place of comfort and familiarity. In a strange way some of the wonderful experiences are reasons why I’m moving on. I don’t want to simply settle into a comfortable situation. I want to challenge myself reaching for wonderful pictures that I’ve not yet discovered. So this decision is not one born out of any bad experiences but one born out of challenge, hope and continued growth and learning. I’m incredibly excited by the opportunities that lie ahead of me. There are times when it’s important to make a change, to move into a new unknown arena. I’m always respectful and somewhat fearful of the unknown, however a large part of this decision was in fact to embrace the unknown. My workshops will also take on a new life with some different locations and concepts so please stay tuned…..
Below are just a few of my favorite images that were made in this studio.
I recently had the good fortune to collaborate with a new to me model. Laina Vandekieft is an incredibly versatile talented model who brings extraordinary creative energy to a shoot. I returned home from the shoot fully energized feeling that we had made some wonderful images together. I’m amazed but what she was able to do with a simple black dress.
I’ve had an itch to get out the studio for some location shooting and a change of pace. Enter a photographer friend who recommend Dessa Fell. Dessa and I swapped a few messages and she invited me to shoot at her place in Philly, an apartment in an old building with large windows. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her and she brought so much feeling and emotion to the images which is always something I’m searching for.
I had been following and admiring Alex’s work for some time and knew her only from common Facebook friends and groups. I sent her a message on Facebook asking if she’d be interested in working together. Here’s my lame request inviting her to shoot with me :
Ok I’m seeing your work all over the place and loving it. I must get you in front of my camera…… I do hope you’re interested…..
Her response was one of the most honest and sincere I’ve ever experienced which of course only served to heighten my interest. We agreed to a date and were both excited with the opportunity. As the date approached Alex was overwhelmed with the effort and work required to organize a fantastic artistic event scheduled for the day after our shoot. She contacted me asking if we could reschedule noting that she would honor her commitment to me if I was unable to reschedule. Sincerity and professionalism, how could I not reschedule. As fate would have it I had a friend coming to visit and shoot with him bringing the model. Yeah, you guessed it. He brought Alex the week after our scheduled shoot. Alex and I had re-scheduled for two weeks after this session so how lucky was I to have the opportunity to shoot with her twice in a two week span. The images below are selections from both sessions.
A workshop presented by M Pannier Workshops. Save the date… June 1, 2013 at Red Studio in Frederick, MD. I’ll be assisting Mike for this event.
This workshop is an introduction to lighting the human form with natural light in the studio. We’ll convert the studio bay door at RED into a giant softbox to demonstrate techniques with available light. Photographers will have the opportunity to experiment with several setups and light modifiers to control and manipulate the light. Photographers will work one-on-one and in teams with the figure models for six hours of shooting. Two professional figure models, Rhus (MM# 549677) and Laina Vandekieft (MM# 2907440) will join us to inspire photographers of all levels of experience.
Registration now open, for more information or to register
This is a quote that I stumbled on recently and posted on FB. It received a real mixed bag of feedback which is what I expected. I purposely did not initially offer my views on it. Of course from my perspective as an artist who primarily photographs the nude form, this is the context in which I’ll frame my feelings and opinions. The quote taken literally to me means give me the full nude or it’s just not real. I don’t agree with this interpretation because in many cases parts are sometimes better than the whole.
One could argue that the implied nude will tend to hold the viewer’s attention while their imagination takes them on a journey full of all sorts of possibilities. The question I would ask in this case is “are these thoughts related to the image they saw or to what’s buried in their subconscious?” Only the viewer can answer this and I’d guess that it’s a mix of both. A quick scan of today’s advertising world and you’ll see the implied concept put to use in many different areas. The cliche “sex sells” comes to mind and the reality is that it does. We are all sexual and emotion beings which is something to embrace and a topic for a different post. For me the implied nude carries a much greater sexual and or sensual connotation that a full nude. The full nude leaves little to the imagination and must speak in a different voice to hold the viewer’s attention. I’m also a strong believer that the full nude is much less sexual than the implied nude. What I attempt to communicate with much of my work is the beauty of the human form. I’ll also explore the provocative and erotic genres as well. We tend to take human beauty for granted but it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful things nature offers. Unfortunately the society in which we Americans live believes nudity to be wrong, perverted and a plethora of other definitions. It’s also unfortunate that there’s so much abuse and mis-use of it.
I do both implied and full nudes in my work making conscious decisions regarding what it is that I’m trying to communicate. The depth to which both implied and full nudes have been explored over time in a variety of media tells us that there are exceptions to everything i.e. there are implied nudes that are not necessarily sexual stimulating etc…. At the end of the day I think the important thing for the artist is to communicate what it is they intended in as strong a way as possible.
I’ve worked with Arielita quite a few times over the past few years always creating some really wonderful images. This last session was a bit different. We know each other fairly well at this point which can make a significant difference in the resulting images. The session was relaxed, fun filled, light hearted and incredibly productive. We both had ideas and concepts that we wanted to work on so we rolled through a number of sets.
A simple yet powerful concept that us artists / photographers should really pay attention to. Credit Andy Armstrong for sharing this with us.
You are not Jerry or Jasmine - video presentation.
Homage to Rudolf Koppitz who did some amazing work in the early 1900′s. This is a variation of an image that was on a card that my daughter gave me for my birthday a few years ago. It’s not exactly the same and was not intended to be. It’s the result of the concept brilliantly executed by these four models. Many thanks to Mickayla Rose, Bonsai Tree, Calypso Sky and Trinity Chevalier. It’s a rare opportunity and an honor to have four incredibly talented models in the studio at the same time.