Tag Archives: Arts

Broken Doll Horror Themed Photo Shoot

Broken Doll Horror Themed Photo ShootBroken Doll Horror Themed Photo Shoot

As part of Crypticon Seattle’s 2014 show, I was fortunate enough to be able to do some advertising copy for them, and they said it would be cool to help them out and help me out by doing a blog post about doing advertising copy. This is just one of the galleries from the photo shoot, and it was awesome having a very bendy flexible model to work with for this shoot.

The idea was a broken puppet that would be forgotten and broken in a corner, with a ton of clarity to help set up the idea that this is a grim dark gritty issue.

It gives you a nice visceral feeling, and in some comments on facebook we definitely got a reaction about the ideas of women, horror, victimization, and everything else that would go along with that. In all it was a great way of seeing how people would consume and if possible get them to react to the picture. We are constantly flooded with images of sex, violence, horror, that getting people to react to anything is a small miracle. There is a long way to go with women in horror and coming up with some kick ass strong archetypes. But really the boyfriend gets chopped into bits and the movie ends up with fire, flame, and generic general mayhem.

Crypticon Seattle is one of the biggest horror conventions in the Seattle area so it is always interesting to see what their volunteers are up to when it comes to arranging a photo shoot. I was glad I got to participate in this one as it just ended up being a lot of fun, and there are a ton of smaller galleries to work with and for them to pick something for their advertising campaign. When I see the final proofs of what they are using I’ll post that along and see where we go from there. You know ad people, once they get their hands on an image it does not matter what the photographer intended, everything changes. And we so rarely get to see what the original image looked like. So here you are a super bendy flexible model to work with as a broken abandoned toy in a corner. We should all take better care of our toys, all the time.

Here is the gallery to go along with that as well so have some fun with it.

Broken Doll Horror Themed Photo Shoot

Enhanced by Zemanta

Color Your Own Pinup A Saucy Coloring Book

Color Your Own Pinup A Saucy Coloring BookColor Your Own Pinup A Saucy Coloring Book

Sometimes weird ideas happen, and over my career I have taken a ton of pinup style pictures, and they are generally popular. It is a fun style to take, and a fun style to show off that everyone has the ability to do some form of pinup work. So a friend of mine was commenting on the pictures and said “hey why don’t you make a coloring book” so that people can color their own Pinups? Well, it seemed like an interesting idea, and since I know how to do a line drawing out of a picture, it seemed like a pretty simple project to take on. And about 48 hours later, there is now a Color Your Own Pinup coloring book that you can get on most e-commerce sites.

The cool part is that everyone is going to make something here, I’ll make a little bit, the modes will make a little bit, and yeah I went through lulu so they will make a little off this as well. I did try create space, but the lack of a decent formatting template in PDF, and not being able to make it past their inbuilt checker without spending a few hundred dollars was a drag. I know how to format a book, but getting through create space for a small 30 page book is really something horrific to go through. They are fine for regular narrative print books, but I really just wanted a cheap happy fun little saucy coloring book. Not a major production, cheap is good, but getting past the system for anything like a comic book sized book is a pain in the butt.

So here it is, ready to go, you can pick up a copy at Lulu, and in a couple of days everywhere else you can think of. In the long run through, as always interested in hearing what you think and if this is worth going ahead and doing something like this again. There are tons of pinup pictures out there, making a fun happy saucy coloring book is sometimes something you will want to do in the future as a photographer. And honestly, making money off of pictures is generally hard enough to do, if you can come up with a simple straight forward idea like a coloring book for you pinup pictures, why the heck not? The good part is when everyone wins, and money gets to go to everyone who is involved in the book. And the people who helped come up with the idea and encouraged you to do something a little silly, a little fun, and a little weird like this.


Enhanced by Zemanta

798 Arts District Beijing China June 2013

798 Arts District Beijing China June 2013
798 Arts District Beijing China June 2013

798 Arts District Beijing China June 2013

798 is changing, so much of it was missing from my 2012 trip that it was very sad to see what is happening to what is singlehandedly the most amazing place in China if you love modern art. In so many ways Beijing can be a crowded sterile city with small pockets of live amidst the high rise buildings. 798 defies everything you thought about china from the time you walk in the area, to the time you leave every sense from touch to taste (awesome food and drinks) to visual art to everything that surrounds you invades your mind and you will leave changed. 798 is a unique place in Beijing, there might be other places like it, but 798 is a legend.

The interesting part is what you can find there. Everything from all art forms are there. The wall art is the most special and amazing to me. It is simply world class, and would not be surprised to find a Banksy or other world class street artist working out of the spaces there. The other interesting part is that there is art there that can be found on the streets of Seattle. When you see a slap tag on a wall in 798 on a USPS priority mail label, you know that there is communication and sharing between Chinese slap taggers and American slap taggers. I almost fell over to see something like that, and would love to know more about how they communicate and how they share stuff happens. I would love to see some Chinese slap tags floating around Seattle.

It does look like the area is subcuming to the pressures of urbanization. Significant portions of 798 were abandoned this year. Pressure of high rises and other mass housing are everywhere in the area, and that has to be putting pressure on the galleries and artists that live and work there. I have no idea where they will go once 798 is gone, but I hope to find it when they do finish moving to their new digs. China faces incredible population pressures that Americans can only guess at. In a land that is 5000 years old, in a culture that has seen a little bit of everything, 798 manages to stand out as unique. It would be a shame if the area was eventually bulldozed for more high rise housing that few people can honestly afford. (One of my Chinese friends was telling me that it is 50,000 RMB per square meter of an apartment in a high rise, and you only own it for 50 years not forever. $8,000 roughly for those who want to do a quick conversion in your head).

798 deserves to live, but that is up to the Chinese government, and the artists that need to be there to help the community thrive. In all though, for as long as it exists, this is a vibrant and amazing place to go visit, you should soon, because it might not be there for very much longer.

798 Arts District Beijing China June 2013



Enhanced by Zemanta

Sakuracon 2013 Event Photography

Sakuracon 2007
Sakuracon 2007 (Photo credit: TheKingInYellow)

Sakuracon 2013 Event Photography


Sakuracon is one of my favorite events to take pictures at. The amazing number of people there in Cosplay is always fun to see, and take pictures of. There is always something interesting about taking pictures at an event like Sakuracon. One the kids and their parents are generally awesome, and there is an etiquette about taking pictures at a show like this.

The first thing to remember, most of these people are under age, so you have to make sure that you ask their parents if it is ok to take their pictures. I have always found it good to ask in general, and to make sure that you are not “creepy guy with camera” have your photography cards handy. Make sure you give out your photography cards to anyone who asks for it.

Sakuracon has ejected photographers in the past for being too much creepy guy with camera, and not enough care being paid attention to the people you are taking pictures of. Sakuracon has a pretty intense photography policy that professional photographers should pay attention to, to make sure that they are following the rules. People get really nervous when a person is taking pictures of their kids in costumes. And some of the anime costumes can be a bit revealing.

Your best bet when taking pictures at a show like this is to make sure you are being totally cool. If they say no, go with that and just go find someone else to take pictures of. There will be professional cosplayers there, so you can go take pictures of them.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Sakuracon 2012 if you are interested in checking them out.

Above all, be cool, follow the rules, ask, hand out your card to everyone, and have a great weekend taking event pictures. Be every aware that many of the people there are underage, so make sure you are in contact with their parents before doing anything.
And for the love of everything, if there is another catastrophic costuming failure when taking a picture of someone, it is your responsibility to stop taking picture, and make sure you delete them off your camera.

Enhanced by Zemanta

New Year Rollup how did I do with Pictures



New Year Rollup how did I do with Pictures

2012 is simply going to go down as the year that I hit the professional photographer stage with a wallop. 2011 was a very simple year, some 183,000 picture views and not many people all that interested in what I was doing; as well I only uploaded around 3,000 pictures in total. This year though I wanted to stretch my wings a bit and see what I was capable of doing, what I wanted to learn, and how to get some of those coveted sales that were so important to crossing over from amateur to professional. I did get sales, but not many, and I stomped all over last year’s picture views with a vengeance.

Total picture views for the year officially are 1.9 million, however with all the sharing, and other places I found my work over the year we can easily bump that up to 2 million, but I’ll stick with the official stats on what I can directly record as people’s interest in the things I took pictures of. Sharing however became one of the critical components to what I was doing, sharing meant a lot, and introduced me to a whole new level of people who were interested in what I was doing. But here is how things break down.

Most popular sites I posted at:



Deviant Art


Most important places to find places to take pictures

Meetup.com hands down the most important place I went to this year to find photo events in my area

Events like Sakuracon, Emerald City Comic Con and sharing those pictures with the fans

Personal contacts, thank you for inviting me to come along and take pictures

Most popular galleries in total:

Freemont Summer Solstice Parade

World Naked Bike Ride Seattle

Sakuracon 2012

Emerald City Comic Con 2012

Jet City Comic Show 2012

Kumoricon 2012

Faerie Con West 2012

Crypticon Seattle 2012

Geek Girl Con 2012

Latex Model Shoot December 2012

Most important social networks:


Deviant Art



Lessons learned from this year are probably the most important for me to understand and use 2013 as a way to monetize the picture taking. The whole hobby has to start paying for itself now that it is getting to be rather expensive in terms of hosting, sharing, and the way that I go about taking pictures. Personal contacts were important, but honestly, Meetup.com out performed everything else that I could think of for finding modeling events to take pictures at. While I did get my Model Mayhem account this year finally, it was meetup.com that really made the difference, and has already made a difference in what will happen in 2013. I am already booked through the end of April because of meetup.com and the events I went to in 2012. I cannot recommend meetup.com enough that is what opened so many doors this year for taking pictures of models.

Overall, now it is time to monetize the picture taking and that is what I am going to work on a lot in 2013, need a way to feed the beast, and this is going to have to start paying for itself, I would at least like to break even on the events I take pictures at, so let’s see what happens with 2013.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Pinup Photography and why it is awesome


Pinup Photography and why it is awesome

Pinup Photography and why it is awesome

Pinup photography is a fun style of photography to do, and one of the photographic styles that I have been working on diligently over the last couple of years to try to get down. There are a number of standard poses, such as the checking the stockings/nylons poses, as well as the sitting with your legs tucked under you with your arms up around your head sticking your chest out.

Honestly I think that the early 1940’s and 1950’s style pinup is almost a golden age of innocence and lust that keeps people thinking about the potentials. In our overly saturated naked body style photography that is going on now, the more innocent and clothed pinup style really works on a deeper level. We get to imagine what we are going to get when we look at those kinds of pictures.

The problem comes into inspiration, and the photographer knowing how to pose the model. One of the best sites I have for a deep dive on Pinup is the “Pinup Files” web site. You really need to check this place out so that you can get a really good idea of how to pose your models and get them doing what you need to do so you can get the picture you want to have. I have used this web site to work with models to get the posing down so that they have a good idea of what needs to be done on their part, and the photographer can then work on the framing to get it down just right. Posing pinup’s once you have the art down is easy, without stressing out the model too badly in some weird contortion pose that hurts them after only a few minutes.

Personally I love pinup photography and hope to do more of this in the future. Let me know what you think of the genre or what tips you would have for other photographers.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Smugmug does something wonderful about their price increases

Don't be a Dick - Thank you Smugmug
Don’t be a Dick – Thank you Smugmug

Smugmug does something wonderful about their price increases, they backed off a little bit and really looked at their customers and how they use the site.

Smugmug is my photo hosting site – I have been with them now for seven wonderful gorgeous years, and at the end of my current yearly payment I was seriously looking at going somewhere else. I just could not afford the price increase because I really use Smugmug for warehousing and not really for making money. I just do not have the traffic or the name to drive any kind of sales. I have however had at least one sale through the site, and I am good with that, so I did want a price list that I could tweak a little so I could make a couple of bucks off a sale if I made one.

This morning Smugmug just made my whole day, and while I won’t change what I have been doing, it is going to be so much easier to stay with Smugmug now, because my price increase of 50 dollars a year rather than 200 dollars a year. Now if Smugmug just raises prices a little every year that will also be easier to afford. Below is the total cut and paste from Smugmug this morning, and I am very glad to be staying with them, they are part of my photographic continuity, and it would have been like chopping off my own arm to leave them. I am a total Smugmug fanboy.

Dear Dan Morrill,

We’re emailing as a result of the passionate feedback many of you gave us after our pricing change–and some incredibly moving stories we heard about your photography.

It’s been two months since we created two Pro accounts, Portfolio and Business, where there once was one. The main difference between them was the ability to price and sell.

Today we’re adding the ability to price and sell to Portfolio accounts. We’re sending this email to you because, based on the features you use now, we think you’ll choose to renew your account as a Portfolio account.

Portfolio accounts are designed for up-and-coming photographers on a budget who don’t need the features higher-volume pros use, such as packages, event marketing, coupons, multiple active pricelists, and order branding. Like Business accounts, they provide deep site customization, image protection, and integration with our professional labs.

You can find a complete list of differences between the accounts now on our pro features page, and more details on our blog.

Your account will automatically renew at the Portfolio rate ($150/year or $20/month), but if you prefer a different account, you can visit your Account Settings.

Our price change was honestly scary and emotional. Two months later, we’re relieved that it’s providing us the ability to invest more in engineering because sales are up. We are gratified by the support we’ve received from so many of you and hope that this change will offer wonderful up-and-coming photographers a chance to pursue their passion.

All the best,

Don and Chris MacAskill

Founders, photographers, regular guys


So all I really have to say is yay! Right on Smugmug, this is the right thing to do, this is the right way to listen to your customers, this is the right way to listen to me and what I need out of Smugmug. This is just right, you can’t get any more right. With all the hoopla over price increases, account types, and everything else, I really just want to kiss you full on the lips right now. If you are in town, let me know, I’m buying you folks a drink of choice.


Enhanced by Zemanta