A photograph is worth a hell of a lot more than a thousand words…


I’m not a sellout, dammit.

No photograph with this post, just me running my soup cooler. I was thinking about my post a few days ago when I was lamenting not being able to photograph my own vision, and the more I think about it, the more I think that simply isn’t true. My vision goes into every photograph I create. It doesn’t matter is someone else asked me to create the photograph for them. People come to me to create their photographs because of my vision.

I remember my college professor once saying that professional photographers, those who create photographs as a means of putting food on the table have to be willing to compromise from time to time and be willing to “sell their soul just a little.” I suppose there is some truth in that, but as in everything, black and white are not critical absolutes in life. A certainty in one situation is not a guarantee of a direct translation or application to another situation no matter how similar.

My studio has been open for six months now, and if I honestly believed I was a sell out, I would close shop, get a job at a gas station and take pictures on the weekends for free. But, I just spent the last four hours sorting through the photographs that I have taken since I opened up in January (because my website is in dire need of an update), and I am finding myself having a good measure of trouble picking which photographs to include in the update.

Between January 4th and June 6th, I have taken over thirteen thousand photographs with my digital camera alone. ¬†Granted, not all of them are winners, and about half of them are culled from the herd before I even show them to the client. But, after my sort this afternoon, I still have close to 300 of what I would call “winners,” photographs that I am happy to show to anyone. Perhaps 100 or more of them I would cheerfully enter into an exhibition…5 of them I already have plans to do exactly that.

So, I may very well be a portrait photographer for hire, squeezing friends and strangers for their hard earned dollars, but I am still quite satisfied that I am just as much an artist as when I was in college. My vision is in every photograph I create because it takes my vision to create it. My subject matter may have changed between then and now, but I still treat every subject with the same eye.

I still like photographing women sans clothes, but weddings, children, and puppies present the same opportunities for the exploration of light, line, and beauty.



ulesmannesqueThis is my attempt at emulating Jerry Uelsmann. Any idiot with even the most rudementary photoshop skills can make a composite photo from digital images, but it takes a bit of skill to do it in the darkroom.

This is my meager attempt. ¬†I have a new found respect for Uelsmann’s craft. It isn’t easy, let me tell you. this is as close as I got, and I’m still not entirely satisfied.

The female figure comes from an 8×10 negative. The open hands (looks like an Allstate insurance commercial) came from a medium format 6×7 negative.


brokenI shot this photo for use in a composite print in the darkroom. I enjoy it as a stand alone image as well.

I printed this in sprint (a cold tone developer) then bleached this print in an exhausted mordancage solution and redeveloped it selectol soft (a warm tone developer).

The emulsion cracked while I was flattening it, so I reheated it, cracked it again, reheated and cracked, etc. etc.

I owned this print for a grand total of 3 days. The model’s boyfriend snatched it up as quickly as he could.

Pinhole from waaaay back.

21Well, not way back as in the dawn of photography, but way back as in when I first started photography. I created this when I was in Intermediate Photography at KCC, fall semester of 2006.

This was shot using a pinhole camera made from an old military ammunition can. I taped two pieces of 4×5 orthochromatic film to the inside of the can and placed it in front of this creepy ass maniquin for about 15 minutes.

The film didn’t line up quite right so that accounts for the ‘split’ effect.