Hairy issues.

A friend recently mentioned one of my old posts (from an old, extinct blog) that I wrote about criticism I received concerning a model I photographed that had underarm hair.  Below is the image and my original response to the criticism.  I still love photographing models that chose their grooming practice they want, not what is expected of them. 

What the fuck?
Katie - 012314

I just got on my post about working with Katie. Some anonymous cowardly hack wrote:

"She needs to get a razor. Yuck!"

I almost didn't publish it because of how disrespectful it was to Katie. I decided to publish it because this type of ignorance / stupidity / ... grrr. I am running out of adjectives I am so mad. I understand if you have a critique about my photo, (too dark, too light, lousy composition, wrong model for the setting, bad exposure, wrong media, etc.) but what the fuck are you getting at?

Is your view of beauty only limited to women of Maxim and Playboy that do not have an extra hair anywhere and where they have hair, it is in the absolute perfect place?? While I appreciate those types of photos, they are not the only types of beauty in this world. You are missing out on seeing so many beautiful people if you feel this is the only type of beauty.

I think the trend for women to be completely shaven is one of choice. While it is the current trend, I find great beauty in shaven women as well as "natural" women. When did we get so narrow minded?? I am so pissed right now. I am going to go for a walk after posting this.

Followup post

Got Hair??
In continuation to my "What the Fuck?" post yesterday, I am dedicating today's post to women who choose/chose to keep their hair. Somebody wrote a rude comment about a model I photographed that did not shave her armpits or pubic hair. Here are some more photos I am sure commentor will not like, but I find are beautiful.

A friend mentioned a very famous photo of Tina Modotti in her comment. Here is Tina photographed by Edward Weston. Tina was also a great photographer as well as writer, model, actress, activist and role model. She was also very beautiful.
Tina Modotti
Edward Weston
Edward Weston took a number of photos of his wife Charis. This very famous photo has some interesting history because her pubic hair. After the photo below was released, Edward and sons Cole and Brett were nervous about sending prints due to laws concerning obscenity sent through the mail. They took out a magnifying glass and had to see if any pubic hair was showing and if so how much due to the laws. If you look closely, she also has hair on her legs. I am glad Weston captured her beauty in this photo.
Nude, 1936
Edward Weston

So, I tip my hat to everyone who controls their bodies and how they choose to celebrate their beauty. If you are happy shaved, hairy (armpits, pubic, head, anywhere), tattooed, pierced, or any other form of free choice, I support you... and I would really like to photograph you to show how uniquely beautiful YOU are, not what the popular culture thinks is beautiful.


Good-fucking-bye 2013

Thistle - 010714

For the past three holiday seasons, I've spent them in my new home in Las Vegas.  A few days after the New Year started, I would have to make my nine hour drive back to the Bay Area.  As I drove south on I15, past the M resort, I would look in my rearview mirror and would say goodbye to Las Vegas with a bit of sadness to leave it.  2013 is something that I would have tried to run over if I didn't fear that it would hang on to the bumper and spill over into 2014.  I have never had a year as bad as it.

Since January 1st, I've read many Facebook friends sharing their relief of seeing 2013 pass.  I just read a friend's blog that expressed it as well.  At the water cooler, many coworkers shared the same feelings about it.

There are two parts of my hatred to 2013.  The first is witnessing my aging father in-law and mom both go to the hospital from nasty falls and their health slip.  Both of these well-spoken, brilliant people are shells of their former selves.  It saddens me how something like a fall can so quickly hasten a spiral down that doesn't seem recoverable.  Both are now in assisted care homes.
Jacqui- 010714

The second is of my own creating and living through.  I got myself into a crisis and had to claw my way out of it.  It was my own stupid arrogance and greed that got me there.  Even worse, I hurt others that I care about and lost a good friendship.  It took a many months of therapy and licking my wounds to start to feel human again.  By the end of December, I realized and owned how I ruined and lost a relationship and permanently tarnished the other ones.  I am finally starting to get back into creating art, but it still feels hollow and tarnished as well.

My hatred for 2013 was for witnessing the quick frailty that takes over people at the end of their days and for which I may live to see in my loved ones and die from myself.  I can't control the aging of loved ones, so it is my uselessness that hurts in that case.  My other pain is both self-inflicted and that which I inflicted on others.  This is what I hate most.  I hate that I caused the hurt.  Once again in my life, I have to deal with the fact that I am not the good guy.  I hurt others and was "that guy".  It sucks being the asshole.  I have to keep reminding myself though that as sorry as I feel for myself, I need to make right by the others and not wallow in the self pity.  Guilt hurts, but complaining about it doesn't feel right either.

I know 2014 is not a promise that the future will be sunshine, roses, and all beautiful days.  It will probably hold the last days for some people close to me, my continued stumbling movement toward healing, and other hardships.  On the other hand, I hope that through the wisdom I am gained that I wont be the cause of pain again.


Fourth time is also a charm.

Candace Nirvana - 010214

Late last month I got the opportunity to create with Candace Nirvana again for the fourth time.  She has moved to the Bay Area and owns/runs the studio, Lighthouse in Berkeley.  On top of setting up many Meetup events with a focus on education and art with nudes, she also is behind the camera creating amazing work much more often.   I am blessed to have her model for me since she is getting very selective of her work in front of the camera.

Candace Nirvana - 010214

I have a number of photos to push through.  You can also see a few more from this shoot at my partnership blog, Shadows Exposed.

Happy New Year everyone.

Candace Nirvana - 010214

PS - Candace is the first nude model that I've worked with four times.  I greatly appreciate her quiet grace and elegance she always shares with me.