Archive for January, 2012
Jay and I sometimes watched the show Miami Ink when it was on TV, because we like tattoos and we thought the backstories told with each tattoo client were interesting. At the time, one of my favorite artists in the shop was Kat Von D, but I didn’t get all that hooked on her spin off, LA Ink.
Okay, I’ll be honest, I couldn’t stand LA Ink. It wasn’t about tattooing, instead if focused on the shop’s hyper-dramatic tattoo artists — which ones hated each other, which ones wanted to go to work for a rival tattoo shop — and Kat Von D’s love life, which was also kind of pathetic. (Jesse James, really?)
But the other night, Jay stumbled into the second spin off, NY Ink. Ami James, also from Miami, is the shop owner on this show. There’s still no shortage of tattoo shop drama (mostly due to the shop’s manager — if the show represents his true personality, he might be the most humorless gay man I’ve ever seen), but they’ve also taken a turn back to the original premise by featuring more tattoos and telling the stories of the people who are getting them.
I’m going to be honest though, the main reason Jay and I are watching is because we are both crushing on one of NY Ink‘s tattoo artists, Billy DeCola.
If you look at the guys I photograph, I suppose it’s possible that one could surmise that I like wholesome guys and jocks. I’m sure there’s some truth to that, but you also have to realize that I don’t have complete control over who comes to my studio and who doesn’t. I shoot the people who make appointments. But if you really want to get down to my own, personal, “type,” I am usually going to want a guy with a little more edge to him. Speaking to that, Billy is perfect.
It’s also kind of ironic that there he is, and here I’ve been looking for a guy with good legs and tattoos for a portrait idea that I have. So far, in Indiana, I’m drawing a blank. And I hadn’t even thought of this before, but Billy is the epitome of the guy I have been looking for. He’d be perfect for this portrait idea.
You can click a few of the above images to see a larger version; Billy should be seen big. And all photos in this post were taken by other people, I can’t claim photo credit here.
I don’t really pay a lot of attention to website statistics. I can’t tell you the last time I looked to see how many visitors come to either of my photography sites, and for that matter I’ve never looked at the stats of this blog.
But the other night I accidentally clicked on some link on my Facebook fan page and it took me to a stats page. I found it interesting to look at the top 19 cities where my fans come from.
Numbers one and two are not a surprise at all. But the rest? I never would have guessed.
- Indianapolis, Indiana; 643 likes
- Chicago, Illinois; 169 likes
- Mexico City, Mexico; 102 likes
- Bogota, Columbia; 100 likes
- New York, New York; 97 likes
- Santiago, Chile; 91 likes
- Caracas, Venezuela; 80 likes
- London, England; 78 likes
- Jakarta, Indonesia; 77 likes
- Columbus, Ohio; 75 likes
- Los Angeles, California; 69 likes
- Houston, Texas; 68 likes
- Sydney, Australia; 54 likes
- San Francisco, California; 54 likes
- Upper Darby; 50 likes (Where the fuck is Upper Darby? I must wikipedia this one.)
- Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; 47 likes
- Athens, Greece; 46 likes
- Medallin, Columbia; 44 likes
- Dallas, Texas; 39 likes
Coming from Indiana and having a bit of a thing for things that related to the 1950s, it should come as no surprise that I’m a James Dean fan.
I read a biography a few years ago that addressed James’ alleged bisexuality (or even homosexuality). Sadly, I loaned that book for a friend and never saw it again. But now, here is a trailer for what seems to be a feature movie about James Dean and his personal relationships. I’ll want to see this one.
Yesterday, a friend sent me this photo rugby player Gareth Thomas posing for an ad campaign for Parisian shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s boutique. I think it’s absolutely stunning.
Here’s an article about the budding friendship between Thomas and Louboutin. Apparently, they have become good friends since Thomas came out of the closet a couple of years ago. Louboutin is even using Thomas as inspiration for a new line of men’s shoes.
I have to confess, I think I know fashion fairly well — although probably not as well as I should for a photographer — but I’ve never heard of Christian Louboutin. This, even though I understand that his shoes are the *it* haute couture accessory of the moment. To quote the article linked above: “even a pair of ‘run-of-the-mill’ Louboutins can set you back almost £800.”
That’s $1254 in the United States, for those without a currency converter.
I’ll stick to adoring the photograph.
In my new and ongoing effort to update my portrait work, thus moving away from the classic (read: boring) studio-style portrait and towards work that looks more interactive and interesting, I dug through some older images and decided that these two photos, taken five years ago, suit my current taste in Portraits.
The subject’s name is Patrick, and shortly after I took these photos he moved to California to pursue acting. I have to confess that I don’t even remember his last name, which is sad because I’d love to hear how he’s doing. He was fun. Cute, too.
In an effort to breathe new life into my portrait work, I recently offered a special on Facebook: $50 gets you a one hour shoot, two photos taken — one for me (in which I get complete control over what the subject wears, where we shoot, and what will be the tone/mood captured), and one for them (when they can control the wardrobe/mood/outcome). I think it’s going to be interesting.
I’d encourage all of you to take an hour and 15 minutes and watch this documentary. I know a little bit about addiction, but I can’t imagine what it would take for a person to give up a great job, a Mercedes, and a beautiful apartment to become homeless on the streets of a city that’s foreign to you. But that’s one interviewee’s story.
Among so many other scenes that I found disturbing was one user’s premonition of the political ramifications of meth use (I’m paraphrasing here): If you think that drug use and addiction in the gay community isn’t the next wedge issue conservatives will use to try to marginalize us, you’re not paying attention.
Please watch this documentary.
METH explores the rising wave of crystal methamphetamine use within the gay population. Through the reflections of a dozen gay men, we learn of the drug’s allure, its promise, and why its popularity is soaring. Some of the men in the film are current users, and they share their life with us while under the constant influence of “Tina.” Other interviewees are former denizens of “Tina World,” who have managed to crawl back from the depths to which their addictions brought them. Throughout, METH is an unflinching look at the devastating effects of addiction to this very serious drug.
I found this documentary via my friend at Wicked Gay Blog.
If you’re younger than I am, which of course a lot of you are, it’s possible that you’ve never heard of Jon Erik Hexum. About the time I was accepting the fact that I wanted to have sex with men, Jon Erik made a crappy TV movie with Joan Collins called Making of a Male Model.
I thought Jon Erik was the hottest man I’d ever seen.
Sadly, Jon Erik was killed on the set of a TV show just as his career was taking off. He accidentally shot himself with a gun loaded with blanks, causing a massive brain injury. Here is a video interview with him. Even his voice is still familiar to me.
MY FRIEND: This guy I met was interested in you taking his photos the next time you’re in town.
ME: Send me a photo.
MY FRIEND: Check your email. Interested?
ME: Are you serious? He’s very hot.
MY FRIEND: Very. He claims he’s 38 (which matches his face), so a bit too old for some of your work. He’s very excited about your work, and would like to promote his business.
ME: I’d love to work with him.
MY FRIEND: He offered to provide his service for yours.
ME: What is his “service?”
MY FRIEND: The kind you pay $300 an hour for.
ME (loooooong pause): Umm . . .
Bobby was in my studio a few days before Christmas of last month, here are the two portraits I decided to post.
You’ll also see Bobby, under the name Tyler (his porn name) on Vir Impudicus in one of the galleries. These photos are not safe for work.
On a snowy January day, I thought I’d share a photo from a warm July day that I took near a soccer park.
I shot this photo several years ago, but it just made its way into my Portraits gallery a few days ago. I think this is a little closer to the portrait style that I want to move towards, anyway — I want to shoot fewer smiling, posey people against dark, smokey backdrops and more people in situations that tell a story, or that suit them.
Scottie is an artist. Since I took this portrait, he moved to Chicago briefly but now lives in San Diego.