Well shit, another year. Here I am. What the hell have I been doing, where am I going? Who am I? I've been asking myself these questions my whole life. Perhaps I will answer this stuff when I am dead, as an afterthought. Until then, let me take a moment to look back on the last year. I'll give you some of my thoughts as I go. Or perhaps I am just writing this to myself. Which is cool too, because I should remember where I've been and what I've done.
As it is, this last year has been personally, a very educational year. Outside of photography, I embarked on a journey of self exploration. I'll spare you the details but I've learned more about myself and other people in the last year, than the previous 5 combined. That's a big statement but as I said, I will spare you the details and get on topic.
Let's start at the beginning of the year and work our way thru with some highlights.
This shoot marked my first experimentation with black light and bodypaint. A lot can be done. I hope to do some more because I've got a few ideas in this area that could be pretty wicked. Shoot.
As a child, like many, I read Dr. Suess books. Thus it was delightful for me to be able to shoot a bodypaint themed around his books. Shoot.
Peter gets some love from Bruno.
Next up is a business suit body paint. Shoot.
But no day in court would be complete without interviewing everyone at the scene. Including the dog.
Next we go to my basement. I had recently completed remodeling the space and decided to christen it with Summer. Shoot.
Then I shot another bodypaint in Tacoma, on location, various locations in fact. Shoot.
Next up is a self portrait. For the hell of it.
Next I had the pleasure of working with a brand new model on another body paint. I enjoy this, for the challenge.
Another body paint, Egyptian themed. One would get the idea that I hang out with body painters, but really I am trying to expand my social club to people in fashion and beauty because I really love that area too. Shoot.
And let us not forget Alan with Emily. Oh and Snickers. Alan is a good guy. I appreciate him letting me use his building for shoots.
Then I went to Alaska, where much of my life changed forever.
When I got back, I wanted to do something special to commemorate my mental and spiritual breakthrough. Thus I designed a shoot to take place at a pretty house with Emilee. She was absolutely perfect for this. We had tried to have a proper shoot for months, then I went to Alaska further putting it on hold. I was about to give up. In fact, THIS shoot was my last effort. If schedules don't work, I move on. Sometimes, I will abandon props, clothing and ideas if the original model I had in mind isn't available. Good thing we persisted because it was one of my favorite shoots of 2017. Shoot.
Next, I went to my first football game. While I am not an agoraphobe, I always said that if I ever go to a Seahawks game, it would have to be in one of those suites. It's not the perks that enticed me; the catering, array of foods, beer, wine and whatever you want, whenever you want. Or the drive up and walk inside parking, or the heated room with comfortable seats. It's about the negatives that keep me away. The lines. I hate standing in lines - to get a beer or take a piss. We can probably all relate to that one. Thus when a buddy invited me to a suite, hosted by Pokemon, which included free parking and NO lines, I gladly accepted. THAT is the way to see a game. If you like games.
Went up to Cle Elum and found a little place to play around. Photo by Peter.
NB: Don't worry Mr. Man, I lost all my firearms in a boating accident.
On October 6th, I scouted Chambers Bay as I'm always looking for interesting environments to shoot in.
After spending time down at the Bay, I decided to hop in my vehicle and drive out to Lake Chelan. Why not? Took a few days and hung out with my buddy Dean, where I also got to meet some new friends. Winery hopping was awesome. I think I will be going back again. A few times.
Another awesomely themed body paint featuring Tim Burton characters. Love love. Shoot.
Pennywise. I have a love for stuff like this. In fact, in my house, I'm going to make a room for all my dolls and clowns and a comfortable chair where I can have tea, read books and sit with my friends. haha ... just kidding. Or am I? Shoot.
Then something more family oriented. I don't know how I can switch from dark to light in an instant, but it's possible. I suppose this is the new me.
This is Jenn, getting kisses.
Next up is ... guess. Another body paint. Laken killed it. And Tim. His makeup opened my mind to fashion on this shoot and thus I shot it in that style. Shoot.
Next up is a shoot that I designed from the ground up. I'm probably not done with it, but here's the concept. I wanted a tall, like 8' tall, demon girl in a shoot. I could think of no one better than Kiana. I met Kiana thru Leah a while back when I shot Leah at Kiana's flat in Seattle. Since then I became her friend and decided to approach her to appear in my photo concept. This was the result. Shoot.
When I sit down to draw out a concept, I often have help. This image was my inspiration. It isn't all jelly beans and wishing wells. Sometimes I am haunted, as we all are, by unseen forces.
After this we did a cosplay body paint. I know so little about the world of cosplay as a subject. Like Who's Who and what not. But none the less, it's all about lighting when you only have a studio to work with (and model). Starfire. Shoot.
Up next is the first of two shoots I did in one day. First is a "Cabin in the Woods" body paint. The mask is made by Morgan, a talented leather mask maker based in Tacoma ... shoot.
Next was an icy mermaid warrior chick. Jenn put this one together and I purchased the trident, which is a prop from the Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (or is it 10?) Anyway, I thought the paint would be better with a prop. I wanted blood dripping off it, but I guess blood wasn't in the recipe for that day. C'est La Vie. Shoot.
Next, I totally put Peter up to making this photo. And well, having perused Playboy for the first time in a long time, I will note how they have done a great job toning down the magazine and making quite respectable images. Not that the Playboy of yesteryear was sleazy. On the contrary. Now though, at least for the 1 issue I looked at, it's definitely more classy, boudoir, type stuff. This is refreshing given how many sources on the internet do the exact opposite.
The end of people for the year, comes with Emily once again as an angel. She made the wings too. Pretty awesome. Models who bring cool shit to the shoot, get points. Emily is a trooper. I enjoy working with her because she is so fucking down to earth and that's exactly what my doctor has ordered me to partake in as much as I can (just kidding, but no really, down to earth people are who I want to forever surround myself with). Please, if you want to work with me in 2018. Keep it real. Shoot.
To close out 2017, I leave you with a few images taken over Christmas and just before New Years.
It's great to get out and away from the city. To experience an early morning sunrise, the everlasting crash of waves, a new sun and a new day.
You can see all the little people in the photograph (mid right side). Those are all the photographers trying to get their shots of Haystack at Cannon Beach. I don't know how you feel, but I really can't stand, standing with other photographer's photographing the same shit. Doesn't matter if it's a person or a landscape. It just turns me off. Thus I try to break away from the pack. Always.
It's sort of a full circle moment as I write this. This year, was trying at times, and great at other times. But in the darkness, I was able to confide in an angel. She is off somewhere now. I may never know her again. But I hope she casts the darkness I revealed into the ocean. I will always love her for the simple reason that she was there at the right time and place, even if it wasn't what she signed up for. And out of that, I have been able to look forward, for the first time. And so, it is a full circle moment that I finished off 2017 by enjoying a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
Look, I try not to hand out advice because no one ever follows such, but if I had one thing to suggest, it'd be to go see a great piece of music. What it can do for your mind is beyond words. Beethoven's 9th is the pinnacle of his symphonies. Written and performed just a few years before his death, it is a stark contrast to human life and his life at the time. It is life everlasting, an ascension. With the darkness of a lifetime that is drawing to a close, came such a magnificent piece of music that today is one of the most known pieces in the modern world, and for good reason.
In closing, I would like to express my absolute appreciation, admiration, love and loyalty to my friends and real family. My connections in the photography world and life in general has helped to keep me going and has given me meaning in a world of darkness and wrongness. So thank you, Peter, Jenn, Tim, Emily, Emilee, Tim, Laura, Curtis, Liesl, Scott, Sunny, Douglas, Lynn, Gary, Dean and others, you all know who you are. May 2018 be great.