Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Valentine’s Day Promotion

I want to create a promotion for Valentine’s Day.  Come and we can create a photo for your loved one sort of thing.  They could be just a portrait or it would become something a romantic or ever a bit naughty.   You can take the session anywhere you want.  I do offer a full range of printing, matting, framing options with all the work I do.  It could be just a picture in a card, or we can make a card with you as the artwork.  Any ideas or possible graphic design element is possible.  All images we create will be kept confidential.  I am offering a special sitting fee of $50 and you of course will retain proofs.  The session would take about an hour to shoot and you can bring whatever props you would like.  I will do my famous specialty lighting to of course make you look fabulous.  It could also just become a portrait of the two of you in the confines of my studio.  For orders that needed to be printed, it will take about a week to turn around, so you will need to schedule the session about 10 days prior.  It’s time to show your love and create a classic image of yourself.  This becomes the perfect Valentine’s gift that will be remembered for years to come.   If you are interested in booking a session you can reach me here.

A Lost Sense of Community

How is it that I live in such a small gay community and still not know anyone?  It seems many people at least know of me!  I feel somehow on the outskirts of socialization.  The friends I have are dear and love to hang out with them when we do.  We do not have any kind of gay bars here in Missoula, so I know it is difficult to get out and meet new people.  I feel like I keep trying to connect with people on websites, but that doesn’t work either.  I do a lot of chatting but never meet anyone in person.  Is every one really that busy?  Perhaps it’s me that’s busy?  I’m not sure!  This morning I linked to a guy in Columbia Falls that liked a posting I did and as

I browsed through his images and Facebook page I thought, how is it I don’t really know who this person is?  Why have a never met him.  He is just a couple of hours from where I live.  I know that I tend to work a lot and my evenings are generally full with a part time job, but it feels like Missoula has always been this way.  I have often wondered, why don’t we have a closer community here?  I keep wondering if I lack the communication skills or am perhaps just socially inept?  I am passionate about everything I do or get involved in?  I am comfortable with myself and feel I am a charming host and love cooking and creating gay centric gatherings?  But there just seems to be some people that don’t respond?  I have a lot of offer to the next generation, but somehow feel lost in my connecting to them?  I love to have houseguests and get to know others?  I love to share my life, my experiences, my passions, but

no one really seems interested.  Missoula is what I would consider the mecca of gay for Montana.  It always has been.  We have a University with a large population of artist, writers, and creative souls.  It’s a semi-expensive place to live and many of us have to have many jobs or work out of state to actually make ends meet here.  I am going to make it my goal in the next couple weeks to try and socialize and meet more of my community! 

Refining the Focus

After being sick for a week and hitting a deer with my car, I realize I have been self-contained for so long that I take most everything around me, including myself, for granted.  I am amazed how much I have fallen out of shape over the summer and with the sudden series of events I see I need to become kinder to myself.  Since I am caught up with all my other work, I am at a point now where I can take a break for the next couple of weeks before the peak season starts at UPS.  I can really focus on something that is meaningful to me but I am not exactly sure what it needs to be.  I would like to bring my focus back to The Naked Man Project, but I am never quite sure where I am going with it all; it seems difficult at times working in such isolation.  Working with Dustin yesterday afternoon I really had a blast and felt totally connected to him.

Dustin is also a photographer so it great to begin a kinship with someone who can appreciate the world from my perspective.  He was completely willing to go on this crazy adventure with me all afternoon and is incredibly beautiful to photograph.  He has an awesome sense of humor, extremely smart, and just down right fun to hang out with.  After he left I loaded the images on my computer and began to work through them.  Wow, everything was extraordinary.  He was completely natural and I knew deep inside I have matured and grown so much over the summer.  Though I have not worked on this project in some time I am now ready to jump back in full force.  Dustin really hasn’t seen the images but has agreed to come back and work again.  The first session always seems to be an ice breaker and I do not expect great things to emerge so quickly.

My studio is an open room flooded with natural light and I use studio strobes that contour and shape the subjects.  They don’t get a real sense of what I am actually getting during the session, so they don’t really see the results until I bring them in to review the proofs.  More often than not subjects become a bit impatient with the beginning phase because it is a series of tests to see how I can light them, moving the light, testing different types of light.  I often hurry through this part of the process because I am afraid I will lose the subject’s focus.  But somehow with Dustin also being a photographer, I was able to spend the extra time completing the testing and dial in what makes it pop for him.  For many subjects this often does not happen until after several sessions.  Today I am jacked that I have regained my focus and am back to shooting what I love most.

Today’s image is of Dustin from our shoot from yesterday.

Nurturing the Creative Self

Today I am back to shooting on The Naked Man Project.  I have a young man I meet last week coming in and I am very excited to be working with him.  I desperately need a strong connection to an exploration of my own self expression today.  I had a brutal week that has wreaked havoc on all elements of my being: physical, mental, and emotional.  I am like a wounded soul that is crying out in the darkness.  Thursday last I began to get sick with sinus congestion.  Everything I tried all my regular remedies and nothing seem to work.  It got worse and I was completely miserable forcing me to take several days off.  Finally about mid-week as it began to subside and I returned to work and I was driving home I hit a deer full on going about 65  to 70 on the interstate,   devastating my car, setting off the airbags, and smashing my face.  I then spent the next couple of days dazed, unable to focus and concentrate, suspended, drifting in a state of oblivion.  I need something to ground me.  This is the first morning I have felt normal.  It feels odd to be so out of touch with myself for so long.  It was serendipitous that I happen to have this photo shoot scheduled for this afternoon, right when I need it the most.  I have not shot for this project in some time and I awake this morning excited to return to it.  I’ve had so many thoughts and ideas floating in my head that I have needed to explore and express.  I realize connecting to others on this level has such a profound impact on my emotional well being.  My expression through creation is nurturing and comforting.   It connects me to a deeper side of myself.  Somehow in the studio I am able to release all that self-doubt, fear, and anxiety.

Statement of Submission

I am taking an major step in my career and am going to submit one or two of my images to the Missoula Art Museum’s annual Art Auction.  The dead line for submission is Oct 15.  I need to create an artist statement, which I am quite surprised I have not done up until now.  I went on line to look at what a good Artist Statement should contain and found an article that asks a series of questions that lead to the creation of the statement.  “Step one: Take five minutes and think about why you do what you do.  How did you get into this work?  What are your favorite things about your work?”

Well here is my attempt at step one:

I am an artist in love with light and have always worked in light.  I began in the theater as a lighting designer and later segued to photography which for me become the ultimate expression of light.  Someone had once told me the true meaning of photography was to paint with light.  I love this concept as a means of expression.  I was originally drawn to the media by the works of Robert Mapplethorpe.  When I first become familiar with his works I was aghast with how one man was able to take us inside him inner world, show us his true emotions, desire, fear and reveal it within the context of a single image.  I was working in theater at the time and it would take us weeks to express the simple moments he could capture within a frame.  My work is about getting to the core of who we are as a culture, and how we interact individually within that culture.  To reveal our humanity, combing the past with the present always moving toward the future.  Identifying the essence of those pivotal single moments in time, to explore and show the world from my perspective.  Where I have been, what I have done, and how I relate to the environment that surrounds me.  Growing up as a fourth generation cattle ranch family in Western Montana, I was always denied a means of creative expression.  Art wasn’t a topic of conversations and creative endeavors were often shunned or dismissed a trivial or meaningless.  Yet around me, I saw remarkable beauty that I some how needed to express and explore.  It was always about light as it changed the landscape and impacted our mode of operation.  From harvest season to feeding was dictated by the movement of the seasons.  Ranching was hard, yet the beauty of the landscape and emotional response was constantly shifting only to remain covertly hidden, self contained.  I think this is why I was drawn the theater.  Here I had control of the light and could significantly manipulate the emotional context from which I existed.  It is often something we take for granted when we watch the arch of a play becoming revealed.  But there is a beauty that remains subtle and often hidden in the movement in its revelation.  The light color shifts from warm to cool, opening up, and narrowing in focusing the audience’s attention in a sub textural sort of way revealing the character inner being and emotional state.  This is what ultimately draws me to photography: is the expression of one’s feelings that are often hidden, unable to be expressed.  My studio became my ultimate means to explore, control and manipulate the light much the way a painter does when they paint.  I guess in a sense I paint with light revealing what is searching for what is hidden.  Thus began my obsession with the painter Caravaggio; one of the first artist to truly paint his reality from light.  Sure there is an artistic and heighten sense of that reality making it theatrical, more presentational, giving us a broader access to it’s interpretation.  I think the playwright Tennessee William’s sums it up brilliantly in his introductory notes for The Glass Menagerie “ The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic.  Memory takes a lot of the poetic license.  It omits some details; other are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.  The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.”