I retired from photography in 2010 and sold my company for enough to live on forever. But, being foolish, I couldn't help but get back into it, so here I am. I work mostly in-studio, mostly with females, mostly more or less clothed. No porn, very little nudity.
My second favorite venue is street-photography, working to capture people (the public) (i.e the "Unwashed Masses") in candid moments and/or random acts of weirdness. Sometimes I'll set those moments up; sometimes I'll just wait and watch. I don't need the money, so fun is fun. I sometimes use assistants for this, sometimes not. More and more I opt to work alone simply because I cannot FIND reliable (reliable) assistants. I'm not sure they exist anymore. Unfortunately, working alone isn't fun, so.....I find that I simply photograph less.
The images on these pages represent about 1/100th of one percent of the images created by me while working with various companies over many years. Some are displayed as "educational samples", meaning that they were never sold (never were for sale) and were created expressly and only to show what's possible with digital composite technology. Some were client orders. Basically, if you can imagine it, it can be done digitally, and my hope is to inspire you to imagine more.
Some of the images below are "digital makeovers" (before and afters). I note that, nowadays, since digital tools have become so easy to use and "automatic", many photographers and artists use these programs to create or enhance all sorts of imagery without knowing anything about compositing; it's like saying you're a race car driver without having a clue how the engine works. I was one of the first, way back in the 1980s, to use digital compositing techniques in everyday studio workflow. Using today's easy-peasy digital tools feels very much like cheating, and in a sense it is.
On this page you'll find images that make fat people thin, thin people fat, old people young and also age progression works. None of the people portrayed here as bald were really bald. I like animal composites and head swaps. Many images on these pages, with the exception of the some of the "before and after digital makeover" shots and a few others, are composites, meaning that one (or possibly all) of the heads or faces and/or backgrounds weren't contained in the original photograph.
I've done work for law firms in which my composites were used to trick adversaries into admitting they were lying, and I've worked for police departments making composites that tricked criminals into confessing. There's a shot of a coyote in a darkened warehouse, for instance. That was first composited to be a crook in the warehouse, caught on security video, robbing the place. Of course there was no security video -- but the crook didn't know that so he confessed and cut a deal.
What about all the composite images shown below? Is that "real photography"? Do I "retouch"? Yes. Every chance I get.
I've narrowed my workload down to the few things I enjoyed most about photography and digital manipulation, and it includes the photography of mostly women, mostly portrait or full-body work.
Will I do weddings? Nein, nos, nyet, jok, oya, aniyo, le, mi, min, Hell no. I'd sooner gouge my eyes out with finger-cactus. Is there good money in weddings? Of course. Are weddings like Chinese water torture? Of course. Buy the coffee and ask me why. And now that I've said that in print, I keep getting requests to do weddings. Ok. Maybe I will. But only under my own terms and conditions! ;-)
Sessions with children are only rarely welcome, and then only provided they are calm and polite (sedated, cuffed and preferably unconscious). Any studio is teeming with very delicate and extremely expensive equipment. I refuse any longer to chase little hoodlums (monsters, demon seeds, future-criminals) around the studio and it's hard to duct-tape them to the sitting stool. I can afford not to subject myself to this torture, so I don't. And now that I've said THAT in print, I recently find that I really enjoy working with children but only if the parent is present and keeps the little buggars well in line.
I'll always opt for tasteful over vulgar, refined over base, polite over rude, spiritual over material, gentlemanly over boorish, quiet over raucous, mystery over revealing, alluring over brash, logic over chaos, dignity over sleaze....
Honestly....I prefer to shoot people I've come to know a little, and people who to some degree I consider friends (who, whom, kill me please because I somtimes forget).
I don't like the meat-grinder or assembly-line approach found in busy studios, which is why I'll no longer be associated with busy studios. The longer this whole process takes, planning the shoot, discussing expectations, exploring possibilities, the more I enjoy it, the more fun it'll be for you, and the happier you'll be with the results.
Am I the best photographer in the world? I'm not even on the list. But I'm a "good" photographer and I'm a "more than just good" digital manipulator, which is what I love most, and which is how I can now live on royalties.
In any case, for me, it's not about money. It's about art. Art should always be fun, and it always will be fun to the extent that money is not involved. Politics and religion don't mix; love and money don't mix; neither does money and art.
Want to do a shoot and see what we can create? Just say exactly that and I'll take it from there.
But what do I charge? I don't charge. I have that luxury, finally. I can finally afford to do this for fun. If I can make money I will, but I don't "have to". I am, therefore, more than a little picky about which projects I choose. Show me some face and we'll talk. Seriously, send me a snapshot or five and if it strikes a chord we might create something wonderful. For free. And it'll be fun.
The world is overflowing with the "traditionally beautiful". I look for the "desperately unique". I prefer working with newbies, age 5-90.
Born Seattle -- raised and lived all over the western US and other countries. Spent much of adult life working wild horses in ranch settings. Riding rustler patrol was great fun. We were allowed to shoot the engines out of the vehicles the rustlers used and leave them out on the range. Moved to Canada and Alaska and lived in remote regions for many years. Fished commercially from California coast to Alaska, skippered tugboats. Federal law enforcement (anti-corruption unit) central US, two years. Flew helicopter logging operations in Washington until biz partner lost in crash. Owned marine rescue company -- 321 rescues in NE Pacific (twice rescued the Coast Guard) and 131 shipwrecks raised as commercial diver. Wrote for and featured in countless magazines through 1970's, '80's and '90's. Started printing and graphics company -- sold it 15 years later for enough to retire.
I maintained photography businesses through all careers and activities. Photography is the only thing I've stuck with through everything else.
I now concentrate on photography, though I have several other businesses running. I relocated to California for the weather (greatest motorcycle place on earth) but the government is forcing me to leave. Why? Because there is so much free California-Money floating around that few people are motivated to work for a living here. I cannot staff my businesses. With wages offered from $10 to $45/hr I can NOT find employees who will reliably work. The flake-rate on employees for regular jobs (photographer's assistant, model trainers, artists, tattoo-instructors, etc.) runs about 70%. That means that about 7 out of 10 people who are vetted, screened and formally hired, don't show up for their first day of work, or flake within the first week (no-show, no call, no email). This is true of a restaurant business I've been involved in as well. With hired models that statistic is worse, now running about 9 out of 10 who flake for their shooting appointment. In Seattle the flake-rate was about 20%. In Canada the flake-rate was almost zero. People here (Central Valley of California) simply will not work, even though the unemployment rate is far above the national average. It means that I cannot maintain my businesses and I will be forced to relocate eventually. Add to that California's insane tax burdens and it's a no-brainer. California is anything but business-friendly. In fact, it's decidedly hostile to the very thing that fills its coffers: Commerce. Even most microscopic parasites are smart enough not to completely kill the very hosts they feed on; not so, the government of California.
Similarly, I am constantly asked by wanna-be models how they should go about starting a career. Some shouldn't bother, but some really should pursue it because they have looks and talent. So I proceed to write out a short list of things to do to get started and to SUCCEED. They are so excited. But virtually not a single person will take even a single step in that direction. I might check with them a month later to see how they're proceeding, and they say they've done nothing. Nothing. A check in six months reveals the same progress: none. Why? Because they simply will not try. I see the same thing in tattoo students and in traditional artists and in every other "creative" endeavor. We've hired countless artists whose work was beautiful, and allowed them to work from home, guaranteeing to buy every piece they put out for good money. Their futures seem set. Yet virtually every single one of them flakes and stops producing within one to two weeks. I simply don't understand it. I'll pay hard currency to someone who can help me understand this phenomenon. I suppose most would write it off as rank laziness -- nothing more mysterious than that. For an example of the opposite of this, see the profile of Mayhem Model #982 (Kerri Taylor). THAT girl, ladies and germs, is a fricken dynamo, and that commitment to success sort of warms the heart.
I look for unusual looks. The quintessential "perfect blond" or brunette or whatever, with classically arranged features and middle-of-the-pack measurements and stats has become boring to me and maybe to many others. Life is (IS) variety. Show me a different look. Please.