Archive for November, 2010
I don’t have anything going on in my life this week that’s especially worth telling you about, so here’s a link that Jay found, to a fundraiser for the Test Positive Aware Network, where you can help select Chicago’s hottest bartender from a gay bar.
Here’s a small sampling of the bartenders that caught my eye.
You can look at these and more of each guy for free, or you can vote for a small donation. But apparently, the more you donate the more naked the boys get.
Voting ends today. And I should keep this page . . . maybe some potential models once we get to Chicago?
I think I only have one more story to share about the GLAAD Auction last weekend: I can’t close the book on this adventure without talking about some of the art that we saw. There were at least three pieces that I seriously considered bidding on, myself, and the whole room was full of fantastic, amazing art.
Here are the pieces that really caught my eye.
This first piece won “Best Emerging Artist.” I just love it.
Shawn Huckins: Laughing My Fucking Ass Off
This painting would be PERFECT for a portrait studio.
Paul Richmond: Say Cheese … Cake, Starring Mike Ruiz
This mixed media piece really held my attention. I seriously almost placed a bid and I still might contact the artist to see if he’d be interested in a print trade.
Jason Driskill: The Road to Damascus
Finally, this nude was intriguing.
Ron Amato: Armor 2
It should go without saying, but I have to say it anyway: It was such an honor to be included in a collection with so many great artists. I want to try to do this again next year.
I took surprisingly few snapshots on this trip to New York. Aside from the auction, this trip was about visiting with friends and family. I didn’t set foot in Macy’s or B&H Photography, not did I do any other shopping. I spent time with some of my favorite New Yorkers, and I ate a lot.
Upon arriving, Jodi took me for a walk though Central Park. There were street performers everywhere; some were making art, some were dancing, some singing. Some were aggressively panhandling and others looked like there were just there because there’s nothing else they’d rather be doing with their lives. I thought that was cool. This couple under a bridge were great, and the acoustics were like being in a concert hall.
This trio was our favorite. This is Julia Haltigan & the Hooligans, and they’re worth looking up online. I wouldn’t have thought that a trumpet, a bass, and a voice would sound good together. They’re very bluesy and it reminds me of the kind of music you’d listen to in the dark on a really hot summer night when the air conditioning isn’t working. I should have bought a CD from them, and I still will probably go online and do that.
On Saturday, I went to a great place on the Upper West Side with some of my favorite friends (Jodi, Patrick, Kristin, and Brad) and my nephew Jeremy and his new wife Joy, who just moved to New York in July.
After lunch, we went to Levain Bakery for cookies. Levain cookies might be the best I’ve ever had in my life. They are massive (I’m not kidding — as Jodi would say, each cookie is the size of a baby’s head), and they are the perfect combination of soft and crunchy, and while they are on the expensive side they are well worth the shipping price. You should really try them.
After we ate cookies, I caught everyone laughing at something Patrick said.
And I caught three cute boys going in to get cookies.
Then we went farther north, so my nephew could show me around Columbia, where he’s going to grad school. I was surprised to find this neighborhood so different from the rest of Manhattan, it’s much quieter and lower to the ground. And it’s not nearly as far north as I thought (only at 116th Street). I know Jay would like it there. If we were going to live in New York, this might be a good fit for us.
Just outside of Columbia, Jeremy also walked us by a massive cathedral.It’s been under construction for 180 years and still isn’t finished, and when it is, it will be the largest in the world — according to Jeremy (his wife, who’s British and Italian but grew up in Paris, disagrees and says nothing will trump Notre Dame).
Before the GLAAD Auction, I snuck onto the roof of Patrick’s building to take a photo.
I liked it so well that I took a model up there the next day before catching my flight home. But you’ll here more about that later, when I get the rest of his photos edited.
Jodi was with us, and I think she and the model made a little connection. He’s a personal trainer at Equinox at Columbus Circle and just two days earlier she had been telling me that she was thinking about trying out that branch. When Marshall (the model) heard that, he gave her a free training session. I hope she takes him up on it.
The other highlight of this trip was Saturday’s dinner, when Patrick took me to Les Halles — which is Anthony Bourdain’s first restaurant. I highly recommend the place, but I should warn you that it’s heavy on the meat. And I’m not used to eating French fries with a steak, but I would never have guessed that French fries could taste so good. And the chocolate mousse, which I ordered at Jodi’s recommendation, was unreal. Pound-your-fist-on-the-table amazing.
Then we went to Boxers, which is a pretty basic gay sports bar, but even so it was cool enough to make the gay bars in Indiana look kind of lame. The crowd was friendly and fairly diverse (for New York), and the employees all do wear red boxers. I gave my card to one bartender and one barback, at least one of which acted legitimately interested in posing for me. But our schedules didn’t mesh.
Here’s my last observation: I noticed that as a group, most gay men in New York look more masculine than they do in the Midwest. They were not necessarily more attractive, but they were bigger, hairier, and just looked stronger and healthier and more “butch.” But don’t let any of them open their mouths because their voices could turn the air pink. I’ve never heard so many queeny-sounding guys.
And New York lesbians are so cute — just adorable. Great haircuts, glasses, and shoes. Even a girl in a men’s suit still managed to look feminine. And those that I met were just so nice. I just loved it.
I’m not being mean, but this was not a young woman, and yet she pulled off those hose and heels and looked amazing.
That’s Amanda Lepore in the pink shoes. If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten a better photo of her.
A shot of the crowd.
A guy wearing a tiara.
This is the backside of someone that I should recognize (I’m not very star struck). I loved his mini skirt. I just didn’t think he would appreciate my walking up to him and saying, “I know I should recognize you but I don’t, so who are you?”
A cute boy.
Someone else that I should recognize. I think he’s a famous hairstylist or a fashion designer?
Patrick and Jodi, my two dates.
Jodi and me, standing between my two pieces.
Jodi with Mel, who is the most adorable lesbian I’ve ever met.
New York City’s most A-list personal trainer.
Another cute boy.
Two drag queens and their friend.
David Bromstad and me at the after party.
The DJ at the after party. He played really good mixes and he was a cute dancer.
This is NaTasha Yvette Williams, who is playing the “Oprah” role in The Color Purple on Broadway.
People mingling at the after party, including more cute lesbians.
This last two months has been one of the busiest times of my life. Between the day job; working with several new, fantastic models; getting published in a magazine; leading a photography workshop; signing on to do a calendar and then rushing to get it put together; starting to see a new therapist; going on trips to Chicago, Nashville, and Michigan; keeping Lucy healthy; putting the house on the market; and trying to maintain some kind of gym schedule so I don’t get fat(ter) again, I feel like I haven’t had time to catch my breath, much less sleep, think, or spend more than 10 minutes with most of my best friends.
But this weekend is the last of my obligations. I’m leaving tomorrow to spend a few days in New York and to attend the GLAAD OutAuction.
To be honest I’m really anxious. I’m not a morning person and I’m freaking out that I have to get up at 4:30am to get to the airport on time. I haven’t taken a trip like this without Jay in nine years. I’m worried about packing the right clothes. And most of all, I’m worried that I’ll feel completely out of my element or otherwise act like a big dope from the Midwest at the auction.
Don’t get me wrong, I am REALLY looking forward to this weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve been on an “adventure” and this counts. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with NYC-based friends like Jodi, Patrick, and Brad and Kristin. I’m having lunch on Saturday with my nephew and his wife, who just moved to New York for grad school at Columbia. I might have a couple of quick photo shoots. I’m going to a swanky French place for dinner with Patrick, I’m shopping at the “real” Macy’s on 34th Street, and I’m finally going to set foot in the mega B&H Photography store (I’m handing my wallet to Patrick and ordering him not to give it back, no matter how seriously I start threatening him).
And despite my trepidation, I am looking forward to the auction on Sunday night. It’ll be fun to dress up and go out with friends. I’ve been ordered to get a photograph with at least one celebrity. And despite my initial shyness, one cocktail and I’ll be fine, two cocktails and I can talk to anybody. (Three cocktails and I’ll be trying to convince Scott Herman to come home with us for an impromptu photo shoot.)
I’m looking forward to this weekend, and I’m looking forward to coming home, too. For as great as this has all been, I’m pretty relieved that this is the end of my “big things” for this year. I’m thrilled that the pinnacle is being part of an art show in New York, but I need a break. After lunch on Thanksgiving, my schedule for the rest of the year is WIDE open, and I intend to keep it that way. I need to have a mellow December, recuperate some of the money I’ve been spending, and take it easy. And to achieve that, I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings if I decline most holiday-related party invitations this year and just spend the month enjoying my home and my chosen family.
Because next up, come January 2nd, moving becomes priority number one. But I’m not even ready to start thinking about that, yet. Let’s get through this, first.
Here are a few more photos of Matt, the boy I met in Michigan.
And now for something completely different, here are two portraits I took recently of my friend Jeremy. I’m completely in love with them both, and I think this is the beginning of a new phase in my portrait photography. I need to get out more. If nothing else, I’m probably not going have my own studio for a while when we move to Chicago. Plus, after shooting portraits almost exclusively in the studio for a couple of years, I have to admit that it’s kind of boring.
This is much better.
The fine art nude photography workshop that I led this weekend with Seth Hancock was a success — actually, it went better and was more fun than I expected. The four hours went by so fast; the photographers I’ve talked to since say they got a lot out of it, and the models all seemed to enjoy themselves. And we had enough photographers register that even after paying the models for the day and the rent for the studio we used, both Seth and I made a little bit of money.
This was both Seth’s and my first time doing something like this, and I don’t think it’ll be the last. We learned a lot, and we would do some things differently in the future. I think we tried to cram too much information into four hours. I think we could have had a slightly more defined theme for the day. I should have moved some more furniture out of the room I was teaching in and set up a different backdrop. But these things didn’t detract from the workshop, they were just small things I noticed that will make the next one even more seamless.
Since I was talking/teaching, I didn’t shoot more than 10 photos, myself. But I did manage to get a couple of shots that I like. Here’s one:
I have to give special kudos to my partner, Jay, who came to the workshop to do some sketching and ended up being the art director for a few photos, keeping the models entertained when they weren’t on camera, and helping both Seth and I stay organized and on schedule. I’m giving him some of my workshop money, he was so helpful.
After the workshop, Seth, Jay and I went to dinner and talked for almost three hours about everything from photography to money to relationships to stories from each of our childhoods. This was as good as the workshop, itself. Seth goes home to LA tomorrow, so we won’t see him until his next trip back. In a way, it sucks watching yet another friend leave, but I’m glad Seth and his wife are pursuing the life they want in California. And we’ll see them again soon.
This was fun.
I’ve added six new photos of Mel, the newest guy to pose for my New Gods series, and already one of my favorites.
You can see more starting on this link and scrolling forward. Note that the remaining images are full frontal and not safe for work, but still worth perusing if you ask my opinion.
Last weekend while I was shooting Matt in our hotel room, my camera’s remote shooter got stuck and I accidentally captured a rather long series of photos like this one.
Funny thing though about accidents, they sometimes produce things that you like.