A portrait of Roarie

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Roarie. Serious model in front of the camera, crazy goofball adventurer in real life. It’s always a pleasure to shoot with her because it’s stress-free to get good photos, and the conversation during the shoot makes it even better. Needless to say, if you even have any inclination to shoot with a model, you can’t go wrong with booking her, and that goes for photographers with or without experience.

We managed to shoot outside of the studio, at a gorgeous apartment owned by a model named Vonny. Floor-to-ceiling windows, tastefully decorated, and filled with opportunities to make a large variety of photos instead of the bog-standard studio environment. Well worth the fee, even though I hear the rental costs have risen since our shoot as she has added a mobile backdrop. You can contact her on Model Mayhem here. (Yes, Vonny is also available as a model.)

The next time Roarie’s here we’re gonna eat everything in our path. Pretty sure that’s not healthy but valar morghulis, eh? More photos soon.

Don’t just dabble

I had an interesting (and pretty intense) conversation-slash-disagreement with my wife last night about the values of inculcating a love of music and culture for our six-year-old, and our approaches differ greatly; on hindsight it might just be the fact that I do take my “art” seriously, but I believe that one does not achieve that by adopting half-measures, by dabbling—dabbling is what hacks do.

Now I’m not against dabbling per se, but there is a significant difference in the psychology behind it. If, for example, you are already a photography enthusiast mainly interested in portraiture, and for shits and giggles you went ahead and photographed some flowers or fireworks because you haven’t really done that, then sure, it’s not a bad idea. In musical terms I guess the equivalent would be a trained pianist picking up another instrument, although I’m happy to be enlightened of better examples.

What I am against, however, is the “I’ll dip my toes into something furtively and see how I get on” kind of dabbling, simply because it denotes a kind of non-committal engagement without the investment of effort. I apologise if it sounds snobbish, and I’m not saying everyone should think this way or even agree with me, it’s just how my brain is wired. If you want to do something, do it well or at least, commit to it. Invest in the right environment to push yourself as far as you can, rather than do it half-heartedly and hope you’d like it. I would even go so far as to say it’s not unlike pursuing a rewarding relationship of any kind—being half-hearted will never get you a lover, or even a friend—let alone a love for the arts which is an intrinsically rewarding life experience.

You do not pursue the arts because you just happen do it, you do it because you need to, or at least want to.

I’m not sure if she understood what I’m trying to say, but we agreed on one thing: that Suzzi, pictured in the photographs above, is versatile and has an uncanny ability to work the camera beautifully. The joys of working with a person who can do that, to be able to practically make love to the camera, is beyond my meagre vocabulary. Those photos aren’t even the best of the lot, and you’ll see more soon, I promise. 

In the meantime, enjoy your week ahead, and I’m off to do a (non-photography) job that I haven’t done consistently since I left my editorial position last year. This should be fun.

Getting away from Facebook

Looks like a busy couple of weeks for me, with four shoots lined up.
It’s always good to be busy, keep the edges sharp and the mind working,
not to mention the physical activity that comes along with not being
holed up in front of a screen—even though the last week was spent
nursing a cold that was unwelcome.

That said, I have made up my mind to drastically cut down my activity on Facebook. Given that my work doesn’t get much exposure there, what with people being sensitive about nudity, and those who aren’t don’t often show their support by keeping silent, it’s almost outliving its usefulness to me as a photographer. Then there are privacy concerns, especially since I’ve two kids now.

 I’ll still use it to keep in touch with people, and will still be accessible on Messenger, but I realised how much time I spent on it (entirely too much), having some time back for more productive things isn’t a bad thing. There’s always Tumblr where I post photos more regularly.

Who knew a three-day ban would help me wean myself off that accursed platform with its ambiguous and arbitrary “Community Standards”?

I even found the time to edit some photos. More to come, and hoping for a productive shoot in the afternoon with a model.

Short blog note

Half of 2016 has flew by and I still have a backlog of photos to process, galleries to update, and zines to print. It’s not entirely bad though, since I’m working at my own pace and making sure I work on photos I truly enjoy—and that never gets old. If anything, it’s a good reminder that my photography continues to be a great source of happiness.

More to come, but here’s one for the weekend.

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