Category Archives: Portfolio

Issues developing or building my portfolio

The Naked Man Finally Finds Exposure

OK!!!! Here it is the big day!!!!  The website is finally up and running!!!!  You can find it at  We have put together a limited version to test the site and see how it will function.  It’s still a work in progress so there may be some quirky little things that aren’t quit there yet, but for the most part you can get a good feel for what it will become.  We currently have eight of the thirty plus odd galleries open so it will give you a sampling of various styles.  Sorry I could not get an opening splash page up to warn viewer of the content, but most of you know what that is anyway and will hopefully get that up later in the day.  As an option I have chosen to hide the more graphic images from casual public viewing that can only be accessed when you become a registered user.  There are ratings at the bottom of the gallery pages, but they are way at the bottom so please feel free to use to give some feedback, you may have to scroll down to find, but am working on bringing them up into the page.  And there are comment sections at the bottom of each section for feedback.  The blog will now become more searchable via keywords though not all of the blogs have been categorized yet.  There is still a tremendous amount of work to be worked through on what’s currently up, but will be refined through out the upcoming weeks as we muddle our way through it.

It feels like I have reached the pinnacle of a wondrous place in my life today.  I now have a public home where I can dwell and share my creative spirit.  A year and half ago I was too afraid to even show my work publicly and now have a site that totally celebrates what I have become.  Thank you to all that have contributed and helped along the way.  A very special thanks are due to Glenn who keeps pushing me and reminds me of the practical side of my vision.  A huge thanks to Thor for his hours of working through my massive catalog of images and getting them organized and putting so much of the galleries together.  Alison you are the female love of my life, you just keep inspiring and cleaning up all my dirty little messes and making sense of my babbling.  I also have to thank Ramon who’s giving me the courage when I feel like I have fallen in a dark holes from which I thought I would never recover.  This website is a community effort and I have graciously learned this year that it takes a community to create art and survive.

Gems of Images Buried Deep

Despite all my yammering yesterday about the death of art in general, I am having a blast being creative. The creative process is rarely about money, and my life seems to have been always living on the fine edge of poverty and sustainability. There were so many great thoughts and comments yesterday about what constitutes art. My friend Katie La Salle-Lowery posted on my Facebook: “After all, everyone has access to pencils, paints, etc., too — but we aren’t all able to make art with them.” This kind of brought it into perspective for me as I began to ponder what makes an artist, an artist? Someone else had commented on the use of lenses and tools to tell stories from the artist’s perspective. To me, the process of creation is what makes my life sustainable and bearable to live and, all in all, I am having a blast doing what I do best and personally growing with each new adventure. It’s not like I am out to duplicate what I have already done, but a discovery into something new I have not yet touched upon. I am beginning to see that the new website will become my gift to others of my life well lived. About a man with hope in his soul to discover his identity that happens to make beautiful images in the process. As I begin to look over the vast body of work I have created, I am often startled and surprised and what I have been able to express. Right now it is so massive that it’s become over whelming to contain. Where do you begin and where does it stop. Yesterday we completed one complete section for Chad, hence the images of Chad the last two days, with only 30 images. But we have uploaded nearly 2000 images to the site that actually need to be worked through. Every time Thor goes through the archives, he finds gems of images buried deep. Things that were discarded in a first cut long ago that I haven’t looked at since. I find it delightful to have such a problem to deal with. I know the site does not have to be completely ready to launch and I can just activate the sections that are necessary that are done. There are just a few broken areas that need to be solved, but I am aiming at getting it up and out there within two weeks. After all it will always be a work in progress. I loved the comment Marg from Australia left on the blog yesterday “I think copyright is on its way out. I find it impossible to protect my work anymore – I think I will just stop worrying about it. There is just too much else to worry about LOL! And if someone thinks its THAT good that they want to copy or nick it for their w/site – so be it. Kinda flattering, in a way – LOL!” Flattering indeed!!!!!

Drawn Into the Darkness

In younger days I was drawn into darkness and often found myself lurking in shadows that were unsavory to others and probably not always safe for myself. Being a boy from Montana we do not always perceive dangers that others may be aware of within their surroundings, making us fearless. Being a stranger we may not always be aware of what the rules are and what is normal. Everything in Montana seems safe, unless you have a run away tractor barreling toward you because the diver has passed out at the wheel. I have spent a great deal of time in large cities and have only felt a threat a couple of times in my life. I spent a year in Washington DC working as a bartender for a club in the Dupont Circle area, had a roommate who was a porn actor, we did a lot of drugs and become party animals, some times to the point where I was not even sure how I even got home. In fact waking up one morning, my ankles sore and swollen to discover I had somehow ended up with a pair of pumps at the foot of my bed, I must have traded shoes, the previous night either with a drag queen or a woman with very large feet. I had always heard Washington was a somewhat dangerous town and had known people that were bashed, some of them quite severely, which in those days was quite often. As a bartender with a porno housemate, we become a privileged sort of celebrities who were recognized and often given a certain amount of advantage, in the form of little packets of treats slipped into our pockets. We were creatures of the nights, going to bed as the sun rose, sleeping all day. But I never felt a threat when I was out, even when I got stupid silly messed up. I had a good group of friends and we all kind of watched each other’s backs.

Yet I was always drawn to the darkness. There is beauty at night that becomes extraordinary; that most people do not always see. In photography it becomes very vibrant when it rains or is wet. That’s why you often see wet streets in movies shot at night, yes, even in Los Angels when it doesn’t rain, or not very often, because it makes the details in the lights pop. That beauty seems to become more pronounced in bad neighborhoods with a lot of structurally interesting textures, like alleys and areas of old abandon warehouses at night, like the meat-packing district in NYC. I am always a person who is keenly aware of my surroundings; I think this is another Montana thing that we develop a fascination with everything around us. So at night these areas awaken a feeling that I always love to explore. It becomes about who I am in the space or even possibly channeling past lives, who knows. But in cities these are typically the areas one always tries to avoid, yet these are the areas I like to linger. I tend to think I have a strong masculine presence that most people don’t really want to mess around with. I am very confrontational when I meet others and think I have a focus that sends a clear signal that I can hold my own if you come up against me. My observation skill keep me aware of what is happening around me so I don’t become an open target and can divert things before they can happen. But it is these areas that most excite and attract me.

In looking at my catalog for the website I see this feeling of lurking in darkness present in most of my images. It’s what makes it theatrical and heightens our wonder and curiosity about the subjects. I love the shadows and seeing things emerging from those shadows.

Organizational Essentials

It feels like Montana is heading into fall already. The nights are getting very cold, though we have not had a major frost yet. This is typically my favorite time of the year, when I actually get out and begin cleaning my gardens out for the season, but this year I feel like I have become oblivious to what’s happening in my outside environment. This morning as the sun is streaming through the studio windows I realize what a shut-in I have become this fall. My focus and energy has completely shifted to The Naked Man Project, 24/7. In many ways I have become obsessive about it. The website is completely taking shape and the overall structure is set. Stephen and I are working through the massive naked catalogues I have amassed over the past 14 years since I took up photography and doing a massive sweep of housekeeping elements I should have established early, but never quite kept up on. I did it for my photography business, but never really for the nude portfolios. The catalog is so massive that we needed to begin copywriting, rating, sorting and key wording all the images so it becomes searchable and manageable. The galleries are built in the website, now we just need to import the images into those galleries. To do a web site of this nature I really cannot just turn it over to someone else and have them build it, because it is my personal connection to each of these shoots and collection of images that will make the project and site interesting. So it really needs to maintain the integrity and vision of what I conceived from the beginning. And the way the Joomla platform, on which the site will operate has already been designed, so the look and feel have already been established; now the content just needs to be inserted, most of the content, here of course, being the images. Stephen is becoming very good at recognizing what I see and am looking for in my own style, but he is still not quite up to speed, so the final selection and elimination needs to remain mine. I had no idea I had such a massive collection of images. One of the reasons I have neglected this kind of housekeeping on my collections was, I never really intended them to be used for anything. So my lesson and advice to artist is to come up with a filing system that you can grow into. Take the time after a shoot, once you have created the images to do some housekeeping on them, make it a part of your workflow, even if you never intend to use the images. Believe me it has taken me years to figure out a filing system that makes for easy access. I use the Adobe Lightroom Program because it has so much depth to the possibility and it one of the most powerful cataloging software programs available.

But most important I am going to take a couple of hours this afternoon and get out into my garden and rut around in the dirt and feel the cool earth in my hands and get back to an essential part of myself I have been missing: my connection to Montana in the fall.