Category Archives: Conception

Adaption of a Creative Impetus

I am beginning to feel like Meryl Street in Adaption where her world of reality begins to blur with the fiction of her creation!  Where does one draw the line between themselves and artistic integrity?  I have always been intrigued by the age-old question.  Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

I have recently reconnected to this project.  Not that it has ever really been out of my sight, but I recently met someone who asked if I had done anything significant with my life.  I wanted to say “Sure a while back I took a year off and created something that I put my entire soul into for the duration of an entire year”.  Creating a body of work that oddly enough still remains online, and even odder thousands of people each month still follow and peruse.  I am still contacted by people, particularly young artists who find my story and imagery inspirational to their own journeys toward creativity.   My heart is and has always been full of passion toward anything creative and I am quick to encourage others to seek their own.   Looking back I see I am one of the most blessed people in the world to be able to pour out my thoughts, feelings, concepts, and ideals (utterly express myself) and still make a living at it.  The project didn’t quite take me in the direction I had planned, but it did increase my notoriety as a seasoned photographer who had an imitative eye and loved to work with light.  To me it has always been about the light.   This work progressed my business in other areas, mainly portraiture, headshots, and other artistic creations.  I began to get work from clients whose talents as Internet escorts I could help bolster their own talents and boost their businesses.  The one thing I can honestly say is that I have laughed a lot over the past couple of years and created or worked on some very imaginative projects.  As usual I digress…

So I wanted to share this project with my new buddy and sent him a link to the site.  He came back somewhat surprised and astonished at the caliber of work.  I then jumped on the site from my cell phone and I began to see how clunky the site was to navigate via hand held devices.  I had not put much work into the site the past few years.  About a year or so ago it crashed. I guess due to neglect, so I had to do some major upgrades to operational platform and system modules and plugins.  I found a new template that would make it more accessible to mobile devices.  I was so busy at the time I never got a chance to actually adapt everything to the new system.   Viewing it I was quite embarrassed.   I have recently caught up with my regular work and decided I would spend a little time adapting it.  Suddenly I am totally falling in love with the whole project again.  I never stopped shooting this sort of work and have a bigger body of work yet unseen.  So here I am back at it again, realizing how much all this sort of free flow spewing from my inner psyche I had missed.  I think I am going to revive the blog, not to an everyday occurrence, but to once a week, after all I do have a life and need to make a living.

As a young lad all fresh faced I used to argue that life imitated art, now as a seasoned fresh faced (no I did not have a facelift) elder I actually see that art imitate life, it’s an expression of life.  So here goes…

Cleaning Through The Project!

I have spent the past couple of days cleaning through The Naked Man Project, fixing broken links, simplifying the internal elements, and opening up many of the existing galleries.  Many of the model galleries have not been open to look at since the beginning of the website.  My focus has been the make it functional.  I originally put real peoples’ name on many of the metafile data and when site became very popular at the end of the first year blog, many of the models become a bit leery of someone being able to search them and find them exposed.  So I began to shut down many of the galleries and a few of the blog posts in respect of their anonymity, some of the names I changed.  It was heart wrenching in the beginning when I was asked to remove things that I thought were key elements to explore my style.  Though most everyone had signed a model release allowing me to use these images I am still mindful and respectful of their wishes and realize we all live in a very small community here in Montana.  I still see and want this to remain a community project.  It has been a year now and many of the links have been broken and the site has remained in a stasis.  The site is still getting a lot of traffic and it is time to get back to the work.

I want to begin shooting on the project again at the beginning of February and have begun approaching some new subjects; I’m even meeting someone new this morning.  I still don’t have a clear motivation for the project and it’s aim but will begin exploring those ideas in the upcoming weeks.


I was a bit premature in my longing for spring and the garden because yesterday we had a terrible storm blow through Missoula and about shut the city down.  We ended up pulling all our UPS drivers in early because it was so bad, something I have never seen us do in all the time I have worked there.

Writing the blog this year, somehow, seems easier.  It flows easier as I feel I am better able to connect with my thoughts.  Those first blogs were a labor and often took hours to write and edit.  But I did not have much writing experience so I mostly just wrote what came into my head.  I am beginning to systematically rework this site.  I’ve been shutting down galleries that have broken links.  A while back I reorganized the structure of it and so if you find a link that goes nowhere, not to worry it should be fixed soon.  I am also going through my catalogs of images, cleaning up and reorganizing some of them to create new galleries.  I have a bunch of new models and many images that have never been shown and will try to add new ones each week.

Yesterday I added Seth; these are some of the latest images I have worked on.  Seth had a very hard angular body and expression and I designed the light to reflect his personality.  I particular love the lighting on this series.  The light sources are very narrow and sharp, with a tight focus.  In fact it was so tight I had a hard time keeping him in the channel of light I created.  In many ways I think these are some of the most exciting images because they have a very commercial feel to them.  Seth had a great deal of modeling experience and was easy to direct.  The lighting concept was to use one very strong key light coming in from a higher angle from the left.  I did add a little bit of fill light and slight sculpting from the right, but it is so subtle that it’s barely perceptible.  You will see it more so in some of the later images then the first.  The black and white images in this series where from a 2nd shoot several months later.  I know these would be black and white and lit Seth more bringing softer lights in from both sides to accentuate more the textures of his skin and torso.  I also envisioned these images would undergo some processing in the conversion to black and white or desaturation.  I tend to not do a lot of processing with my images, but I also knew these would look a little better if I flattened the tonal curves just a bit.  I see my subjects as lighting test and experiments and constantly and tweaking and adjusting the lighting and the subject during the shoot.

A Fresh Approach

Do we really change patterns in our lives or do we just learn to adapt to them. I began this year by coming back to this project I had started two years ago. I’ve decided to read and follow the project on a day-by-day basis, just as I had written it two years ago. I managed to create an index to the year-long project that made it easy to navigate back to the beginning so I can easily find the specific blog and date it was created. What I find ironic is that yesterday I was working on expanding and creating my business website I spent the day working through my catalogs of images and pulling out new images for the expansion. When I  opened yesterday’s blog, two years ago, “Postcards from The Edge” it was about the very same issues I was dealing with then as I was today. The website of course is completed but it took me a year to really make it happen and pull it together. I saw so much doubt in myself as I began to move forward with a project I was not even sure anyone would be interested. Well since the project has grown from a page on blogger to a full website with over 200,000 people looking at it. I also now know the answer to many of the questions I was asking then. Is there really a market for such types of imagery as a viable way to sustain myself? I think not. The internet is already over saturated with this type of photography and the only viable way to access it is to view it on our computers or use it as interesting screen savers for our mobile media devices. I have to say I loved this project and loved devoting a year to it. I had so much personal growth during this creation. It awoke a sleeping passion within and became an amazing means of self-discovery.

I had to take a year off, to realign myself into the reality of the real world, i.e. making a living again. You see I never made any money of this project what-so-ever, other than what was contributed to the fund-raiser to get to Europe, mid-way through the project, and it is actually this much money that was put out to create the website and maintain it for the past year or so. I realize I am still an idealist who has a problem with marketing and submitting myself. But I also never intended to make it commercial from the beginning. I have always felt the expression of our creations is meant to be shared without limitations or compromise. I have recently submitted an art piece, one of my rodeo images, to the local Missoula Art Museum and it is currently on display downtown. It is there with many other artists I have admired and looked up to within my community for decades. I am honored to become a part of this group and to stand equally beside them. I realize that though this project was not a financial success, it still brought me up to a level of respectability within the world I have always longed to reside.

Some of you may be glad to know I am back to this project once again, asking the same questions, searching for the same answers. I probably will not post daily, but will be working on it daily. I have begun first of all to read and clean up the old blog postings, day-by-day. Not to rewrite them, but to clarify what I was trying to say since I was an inexperienced writer when I began the project. It will also keep me focused. Help me clarify what I missed the first time. I am also beginning to go through the old catalogs and clean up and post those images and add them to a new extension of the site that will link the images to my new outsourced printing. Incidentally I have been with this new printer in California, the last six months, who has been turning my images into the most amazing artwork, hence the museum piece. I am still truly amazed to think this stuff has actually come from me. This is actually quite fun. The basic structure is now in place, so I will not have to waste so much time mired in the frustration of trying to figure things out and be able to focus on the creation, which is what brought me here in the first place.

It’s My Turn

The journey seems to continue deeper within myself as this last month I have begun connecting to the community that surrounds me and working with some very astonishing people. I miss the daily blog of coming to this page each day, part of what I have been working on it making to old blog more accessible from different points. I am about 2/3rd of the way through creating galleries of the images month by month. It is amazing to see how much was there and is stirring much emotion, still. There seems to be about 500 people per day still access the two blogs, the original and the new site and I feel it’s becoming something important and worth the time I spend on expanding it’s accessibility.

Part of the month I was going through a phase of questioning the validity of the project and what I was doing, thinking that perhaps these thoughts and images are to remain private. My father has been reading it and expresses concerns about me. He says I am a very strong writer, but I think this is the first time I have really let him in my world. I am somehow glad that he wants to enter in and see what I have become. My relationship with him is important to me and a stronger connection is what I need with him at this stage in my life.

I have been spending more time getting out and meeting new people in my community. Last week I photographed several members of the Imperial Sovereign Court of Montana (royal order of drag impersonators) getting ready for and images of their pageant. I posted them on my Facebook and they were stunning and enlightening. It gave me a stronger bond to my own community that surrounds me and gives me a greater sense of place and home here in Montana. I have also been out meeting, having coffee, and lunch with other members around me. Last night I went out, for a charity show and I finally met Soul Seeker, one of the guys whose manhunt profiles intrigued me into writing a blog about internet cruising sites. It was an amazing moment of coming to flesh of someone who had captivated and inspired me and see the extraordinary intrigue in his eyes, as he seems genuinely pleased to meet me as well. We are so lucky in many ways that we have such an amazing group of people that surround us. Many of us are from Montana, there seems to be such a healthy strength everywhere I look. Most everyone is aware of my project and what I have created and there is a certain pride about it that touches many of them. The project in that sense has become a reflection of my time and era as so many others are also relating to my process.

It seems everything I touch now is about me and I see the world that surround me from a new perspective; unique, unusual, quirky, marvelous. I am finding great delight everywhere I turn my camera. Though the last month has mostly been about me I have been bringing new subjects into the studio and am shooting most everyday. The explorations have been deeper and more personal then I have ever been. There is a truth and honesty others want to share with me and they allow me into vulnerable places. It’s still an explorations and I am not sure if these images will be for exhibition because they seem more raw, I feel more raw, more exposed then ever. Somehow the process of getting to work out there now seems less important then the actually process of creation. It becomes more about who I am, how I have lived my life, and having connected to something beyond what I ever imagined possible.