Suyama Images: Blog en-us (C) Suyama Images (Suyama Images) Sun, 11 Feb 2018 19:17:00 GMT Sun, 11 Feb 2018 19:17:00 GMT Suyama Images: Blog 120 90 Help & Love Over the years, my mind gone through a steady evolution. And today I was validated and discovered someone else with the same point of view on the subject of love.

A lot of people may draw whatever conclusions from my art photography or my poetry. That's fine. My art has always simply been my outlet to help me either satiate my creative impulses or in some cases, to bleed out parts of my past. Yet, I've always tried to give back ensuring that the subjects of my photos also get something out of it. Peter Hurley has said, sort of off the cuff and in a joking manner, that he is 90% therapist and 10% photographer. But you know, I've sort of echoed this sentiment as well. I like to help people see their best side. 


Outside of the image, in my day to day life and dealings with people I've evolved in the area of love.

I think at a time in my life when I was drinking more or less uncontrollably (which is great for clouding one's vision and fucking up relationships), I always wanted others to be happy, it was not selfless love. It was, often times, selfish love. This is not, The Way. 

Next in my evolution, I only wanted others to have love with others. I didn't really care about myself so long as others knew love and therefore some sort of happiness. This too is not the true Way. 

Next in my evolution is combining my want for other's happiness with also learning to love things about myself. This has been the hardest thing to evolve into, and I am still learning. But I know it is the Way. Love for others, and oneself is the full circle. The missing point in many people's lives.

Thus I felt this significant enough to make a blog post about since I feel many people misinterpret my interest, dedication and loyalty about their day to day lives, or goals. My perception may be wrong, I can acknowledge that. But just in case...

Outside of my darkest times, I've always considered first and foremost: 

1) Our value to others is defined in our willingness and/or ability to help others. 


Real love is the carrier oil, if you will, for strong lasting relationships, whether these be friendships or otherwise.

But what does that mean? Love is a word which is used to describe so many different forms, many of which are lesser degrees or in some regards, twisted or perverted forms of love (or altogether fake or false love, with undisclosed motivations). Today I finally found (Thanks Jenn!) someone that has articulated love: 

2) "Genuine love says: I love you therefore I want YOU to be happy. If that includes me, great! If it doesn't include me, I just want your happiness."

You can watch this short video where this quote came from:

Unselfish love, I believe, is the key to a happier mindset and is a great basis for lasting, strong relationships. I hope more people will adopt or consider these two concepts, help and love, no matter how many times they are hurt. And no matter how dark times can become. 

If love for all is a hard concept to grasp then try this. Go out into the environment and people watch, or have lunch with someone, anyone, friend, stranger. Then, "Find something to admire about THAT person." Repeat and repeat until you start seeing the admirable qualities all people have. 

]]> (Suyama Images) help love why Sun, 11 Feb 2018 19:17:13 GMT
2017 Year in Review 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. 

And later that day. Two completely different shoots. Shoot 1  ..... Shoot 2

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. 

]]> (Suyama Images) 2017 in recap review year Sat, 30 Dec 2017 20:10:31 GMT
Changes Website Change

When I first started with this website, I had in mind a place to store the images I had taken along with offering some of them for sale. That is, sale of a print to be displayed for personal use. While I've rarely (maybe once or twice) engaged in actively soliciting people to purchase prints, that has been an option for much of the photography that I have done. 

My intention with prints was never to "make a living" or any such foolish notion. It was simply to help pay for the website hosting. I've decided to suspend selling any prints with the exception of a special folder of hand selected prints that I am comfortable with selling. I will create a menu item which directs to a page of selected images. These will be replaced every so often as I see fit.  

I've always worked diligently to provide images to the people I have shot over the years, whether it was trade, or on shoots where I paid the model. That will not change. Anyone that I have shot, may request the high resolution images of their photographic experience with me at any time. Indeed, my current SOP consists of giving access to the high resolution, watermark-free images as soon as they are uploaded. It would be great if people at least credited the artists involved in the shoot when posting to social media. (Nothing here invalidates the legal copyright ownership I possess over every image I have made or will make. I do not engage in WMFH and likely never will. No images may be used for 3rd party commercial purposes or to be sold without prior written consent.) 

Some people chase likes, and overly want attention, comparable to chasing butterflies in the grand scheme of things. These are things I've never craved. I was always in it for the experience of meeting and working with other people while fulfilling my creative impulses. And even when I was paying for a shoot, I have typically always offered the model the option of imagery that would best bolster his or her portfolio. That is, this is NOT just for me. I feel that I personally gain nothing, if I cannot in return, have the opportunity to give back. That's thinking that, for better or worse, has been embedded in my mind for a long time.

Facebook Change

Facebook ... recently I've decided to close my main Facebook account which may or may not cause some people to feel alienated or estranged from me. I didn't explain it there, but I will give you some insight behind why. 

First, Facebook over the last year has parted ways with my thinking. Too many people want to scream and cry about all the injustices in the world, without doing a damn thing about it. If I want to be disturbed or angered, I will watch the news on a TV at volume 10 (12 if you're in Seattle) because that's tantamount to how I feel on Facebook these days. And conversations that go against the grain of "collective think" are met with ostracizing, denigrating individuation. So what's the point? I've escaped one cult and don't need to be in a place that effectively acts in the same manner. Why people feel the need to pass on negativity all the time is something I don't understand. 

Second, I got off the sinking ship of Myspace and ended up on Facebook as a place to stay in touch with friends and mostly those friends in other parts of the world. I'd like my new account to simply serve to stay in touch or allow easier communication for creative collaborations. 

Third, too many personal images and experiences of my life were on the Facebook account that is scheduled for deletion in a few days. I must maintain layers between the people I am connected to online and myself (edit: These details of my life are irrelevant, trivial and meaningless to anyone outside of my head with the exception of the people I have associated with, though I assume they have memories and photos of their own. Thus I'm treating this platform as more of a networking site instead of my personal virtual hangout.) I intend to keep my new Facebook account free of personal details and communications. If you still want to be connected there, you can connect here though I don't intend on using Facebook much.  If you want to see my photography, other than my website, you can look via Facebook fan page or Instagram. I rarely post the same imagery to both accounts. 

I value real life interactions above all. I've lived in a time where communication wasn't possible over long distances without much work, and in this time where communication can reach the other side of the planet in a matter of moments. Having lived in both, it's my opinion that the happiest times are when communication isn't through a computer screen, but face to face. I'm not shutting the door on anyone per se so if you want to communicate, then do so. I'll give priority depending on the method ie, face to face > phone > text > email > social media direct message > social media public message. Thus completes my explanation to remove my original Facebook account. 

New Adventures

Late last year I began a new business endeavor known to only a few, as Synergy Nutritionals (company) Synergy Gold (product line). This is a health supplement company that uses only professional line supplements to help people maintain or regain health. I've had an interest in that area since I was a teenager due to losing a family member to cancer when I was young. I've spent many years now studying western and eastern medicine along with keeping an open mind about the uses and practicality of mainstream western approaches and science. In other words, I'm after whatever works and I don't care what it's source or origination is so long as it gets results. This is the basis for my company as well. It's an east meets west, best of both worlds approach to health and healthy living. 

Many people have told me that I should become a doctor. I figure going to college to get certified as a doctor wouldn't truly serve my intentions however, that is, helping people one on one is great, but I might be able to help more in this manner. 

Helping me in my endeavor is a Naturopath and friend, Dr. Lynn Mikel who practices in Des Moines, Washington. I am happy to help steer people in the right direction in terms of getting or remaining healthy. I can only relate my experiences and combined knowledge. As for actual medical help, I recommend you see a licensed health practitioner. =) 

And of course, I am no different than anyone else. I've lived a somewhat rough lifestyle physically and mentally. I will never claim to be a saint, to be perfect, to be 100% healthy all the time, to eat perfect, or to have all the answers. I've NEVER thought of myself as better or superior to anyone in any way. Or any other such nonsense. I'm just trying to do my part to leave something here that benefits other people. 

Artistic Collaborations 

I am still happy to shoot and collaborate with other artists, wherever I happen to be. The best method of reaching me is either through the contact form on this website or by emailing If you are someone I know and have my phone number, you are welcome to use that as well. 

]]> (Suyama Images) gold suyamaimages synergy update Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:10:37 GMT
Sailors on a dark sea Sailors on a dark sea
Troubled. Crazy misfits are we
Yet we maintain our course
And stay true.
Sailing from the bitter end
As death’s keel cuts deeper, and comes nearer 
We come here innocent and attempt to mend
And then become molded by our influences
For better or worse
We live, we die, and leave behind
Some of us, forever in darkness
Flying on the wings of the devil’s curse
One day we will all rest
Some will talk, many will take
Others will remain silent,
Perhaps it is this, our fate
What I know, could have never been known then,
But still the wise persist
In teaching youth, that not all oceans are dark
And that the freedom of the seas and our final release
Is embedded on ourselves, just as sure as the devil’s mark
I’ll take another ship, at another time
Perhaps alone, will I go
But we can meet where the white caps flow 
We can collect up a fleet of misfits
As the shallow would say, because they narrowly look
But let them know, sailing on a wayward sea
Are our misguided youth, navigating eternity

Master and CommanderMaster and CommanderSailing on the Seas of Fate


]]> (Suyama Images) Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:39:08 GMT
Me too The whole #metoo hashtag and all that it implies which has spread across social media this past week, points to a pandemic condition which has existed for as long as mankind has walked the earth. And while isolated incidents of sexual harassment, rape, and all the rest have occurred and been at the fore of people's minds recently, there is another insidious and evil bed buddy which ties into a larger problem from what appears to be a dark pattern some humans are leashed to, eating away at the souls of others, while slowly splintering their own, singing in the death chorus of oblivion.

Some people act as lone wolves in their domination over and violation of other people. But in many of the industries that this problem exists (I've actually yet to find an industry where it doesn't exist) which include; music, movies, politics, colleges, religion, sports, corporate, etc etc etc, everywhere in the world, there are the enablers that supply other human beings to the depraved to the tune of $100 billion annually (according to the ILO, 2015).

Yep, talking about sex trafficking.


It has always pained me to think about slavery of any form. A violation of another's body isn't the worst of it. To me, it's the psychological trauma that upsets me more because such can last a lifetime and be wholly debilitating. This is why I wrote that free book on human trafficking a couple years back.

So while many, of whom I know or admire, have now joined in on the sad chorus of me too, the first step to bringing attention to the problem is being done.

There are plenty of strong networks out there for support such as RAINN. I hope you take advantage of these resources if you need to. And I hope that we all educate ourselves a little more, not just what we can do broadly, but what we can do in our personal lives to affect this great pandemic, from the isolated incidents of sexual harassment and assault to the insidious, repeated, victimization by sexual means on a commercial level.

The other day I mentioned teaching our younger generation about personal responsibility and empathy. I think when kids are instilled with what these things mean, then right and wrong may play a larger role in the decision making of our future generations.

If more people could easily feel what others feel with as much clarity as if it were happening to them, the world would change quite quickly and for the better. Empathy is why I don't judge people. I don't know what they know, or where they've been, or the hurt they keep well guarded inside themselves. I give everyone rope and enough space to move forward. What they do is ultimately up to them.

Am I perfect? I'll be the first to admit emphatically, no. Not even close. I have my own hurt well guarded. Occasionally, this bleeds into public view. Sometimes certain people receive a more intimate glimpse of it. I apologize for letting it bleed out (E, A, M, L, you all know who you are). But my own mental anguish and pain has served to motivate me to help alleviate the suffering of others by empowering people in any way I can.

My door is and has always been open. We should all be free to live healthy and happy lives. And no one has the right to violate those points. Not even once.

]]> (Suyama Images) assault metoo models opinion sexual harassment slavery trafficking Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:46:21 GMT
Emilee at The Junsei House I recently had the opportunity to shoot in a location that's had my eye for some time. 

The Junsei House is a unique property located in West Seattle as you can read about here

My thought process on putting this together was to essentially put Emilee into dark clothing which I knew would play well with her white skin and red hair. I also knew it would work to counter-balance the muted tones of the interior's wood surfaces. 

I believe we skirted fashion-boudoir but categories have always been tricky for me to decipher.

The shoot was published in NIF magazine.  

At the end of our shoot we wrapped up with some very impromptu, fast headshots:  

If you want to know more about this property, I recently discovered a youtube video where the architect explains what went into making the property. It's a pretty fascinating thought process.

To view the full set of photos with Emilee at this property click here

To visit NIF magazine to view the 14 images published there click here. 

Emilee West Model 

Nikki Reign MUAH

Peter Jensen Assistant 

A special thanks to George & Kim Suyama for giving me the opportunity to shoot in this amazing location! 





]]> (Suyama Images) beauty boudoir elegance emilee emilee west fashion george suyama headshots junsei house minimalist one light red hair simple west seattle Mon, 28 Aug 2017 14:33:47 GMT
My long-standing policy on image usage Most images on this website are for sale as prints, as they have been from day 1, when I created this website years ago. 

The exception to that rule are password protected images, commercial images (shot for clients) and images specifically deemed as not for sale (it will not say "not for sale" but the option to purchase will be missing). 

The copyright of every image on this website belongs to the author and creator of that image no matter who is in the image, where it was taken or when it was taken. I do not do "work made for hire". As the copyright holder, I am entitled to display such images or sell such images at my discretion with the exception of a) commercial sales or b) defamatory imagery (of which I never post images that are not at least consented to by the subject of the images). Selling prints has never been a secret. It is and has been said on my homepage and every page you visit or image you click on. I have provided the two places where you are informed of this fact, along with it being stated quite clearly in my model release form. (I will also make this writing part of my main navigation menu).

And on every image too! 
Thus it really is no secret. In addition, there are many lengthy articles which cite the laws and rights of photographers to sell their images - for non-commercial purposes. 

A purchased print entitles the buyer to having that print, as a print, for their own personal and private display. 

It does not allow for third party transfer, publication in any medium whether digital or print, nor does it allow a buyer of a print to publicly display or use for financial gain. A buyer of any image is neither allowed to use any image in a way that constitutes harassment, bullying, or public ridicule nor does it grant or entitle one to copy or alter the print in any way. Finally, purchashing a print does not entitle the buyer to any copyright or ownership of any image on this website. These have and so long as copyright law exists, will always be rights afforded the owner and copyright holder of any images. 

Why do I sell prints? 

My reasoning has consisted of a few thoughts on the matter. 

Other than viewing the images as art and therefore wanting to spread art into the minds and lives of others;

I've shelled out thousands of dollars to purchase lighting, camera equipment and have spent many hours learning and nearly 20 years making images. Making a pittance on prints doesn't even come close to the time and money I have invested. It probably never will as I do not put my attention into photography as a primary business concern. 

Next, this website costs money to have and maintain. This isn't a free site. 

My time is valuable too. Every TF shoot I do, needs to have some value for me as well. 

If I've shot a model and they wish to display my images, which potentially leads to them getting hired by another photographer and thus increases their potential for making money, why can't I make a little something too? TF is not really a trade if only the model benefits from displaying images. Before you say, "but you displaying images makes you money too" that is incorrect. The only money I've made in photography has been through commercial work. And as it is, the only prints I actually sell on my website have been from people who have hired me specifically to produce something for them and with models that I have paid money to. 

I'm not greedy. In addition to purchasing and maintaining equipment, of which most of it has sat at a studio and been made available to other photographers at no recompense to me directly, I've always paid models when I can whether it was expected or not. I've always tried to ensure that there was food and drink on site and that people have an enjoyable experience being shot. 

Finally, the only free shooting I do, is for charities and non-profits. And I've shot for many non-profits over the years and have always made that imagery free to use and free to download to the respective charity or non-profit. I've devoted a lot of time to the safety of models including having researched and authored a FREE book on human trafficking. 

Moving forward  

All trade work, just as all paid work, must carry with it a signed model release as to the usage of all images, by default and as it is lawful to do so, I put them onto my website for private sale. Getting a model release has always been my standard practice though as I am human, there have been shoots which were done without a model release as often such shoots were arranged by someone else. None of these shoots are currently for sale. 

If I shoot you, I will display the images for sale - unless you are paying me for my time. Then that choice is given to you. This is the exchange for me shooting you on a trade basis. If this goes against your wishes, no photography will occur with you without recompense.

There are exceptions to this statement, but they are something that MUST be agreed to prior to any shooting and should be reflected in a signed model release or contract. In addition, some trade work I do, mostly with first time nudes, etc. are kept private, not purchasable nor visible to the general public. Nor are any commercial-work images for sale including headshots. Such images have always been provided digitally to each client and have been maintained here so that they may download them again at any time, free of course.  

Further, I've removed images from my website just by being asked. For example, I had one model contact me a couple months ago asking me to hide their images from view because they were going into a work position that could be jeopardized by any such imagery being made public. I removed them that day. Was I obligated to by law? No. But it makes little difference to me as helping someone succeed in life is far more important to me than simply displaying some photos. Another model recently contacted me about making images of her non-purchasable. While I removed her images entirely (effectively "writing-off" my time), I fulfilled her request that day as a professional courtesy. I respect a model's wishes and do my best to ensure someone always gets something out of a shoot.

I do not "profit-share" on the sales of my prints as it is more of a hassle for me to do so. I typically leave these in the account of my host to pay for the website. The time of needing to transfer money from my website to my bank account, and then to write a check for each print purchased would be burdensome and definitely not worth my time. I have two other businesses which make up about 80% of my time and 98% of my income. As I am not greedy, I am also not adverse to licensing a model to use TF images to sell on their own respective websites for non-commercial purposes, ie in the same manner that I sell images (and without any financial sharing to me). In fact, I encourage models to use them in such a way as to bring them income or more work, I've always shot people to satisfy my own artistic yearning to make art and to help others however they can be helped from my images. The option of selling prints can be added to any model release and I require any such arrangement or intention to be put in writing prior to action. 

My time, attention and photographic expertise is not a one way street. An exchange should occur, with the exception of charity work where my recompense is the feeling of having helped. I appreciate your attention in reading my position regarding these matters. Nothing here invalidates any legally binding contract or pre-existing model release. This is to further inform people on how and what I do with my images and what I am willing to let you do with them. 

]]> (Suyama Images) business copyright image usage non-commercial print sales Fri, 04 Aug 2017 15:47:20 GMT
Any side you choose I am the light to your darkness.

Or the darkness to your light.

Caught in the eternal struggle

Remembering, while I forget

Left scattered on the planets and stars

Perceived not in word

Only through the language of the ancients

In timeless form. immortalized.

]]> (Suyama Images) poem Wed, 14 Jun 2017 04:23:35 GMT
Summer This was the shoot space, after and before (the dude in the before pic is a real estate agent - taken during my preview of the property). 

I only have one more space to remodel in my house and then it will be done (well, okay I will go back and remodel my main bath again, as my tastes and skills have changed).  

My basement has always just been a basement, but now that it looks pretty I figured I could use it to do a shoot every once and a while (this being my first shoot in that space). I did re-arrange the items pictured to accommodate this shoot. 

Meet Summer. 

In my opinion, each of these photos below communicate very distinctly different things. The only real connection is the way in which I chose to process them. With that, some images from the 1 hour shoot look best as black and white, or perhaps a vintage twist. Those are linked at the end of this post. 


I made some versions in B&W and "vintage" ... you can check those out or the full color set.  Thanks for swinging by. 


]]> (Suyama Images) beauty blonde model naturallight summer Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:23:44 GMT
All in a Days Shooting Body paint day, 3 models, 3 body painters, 2 bystanders, 4th model could be the dog (though au naturale). Let's get started. 

Let's see what's going on in the paint room. Oh look, painters and models. 


Well, while they're all having fun, what can I do? How about get set-up and try out some doggy photography?


Ok ok, we did something like this last week. So let's get more artistic - that means black & white. Just kidding, sort of. 

Well that was fun. Now what? Oh let's do a self-portrait with the new ringflash. How about with the mirror. Okay. 

Cool, now let's get started. We've got three distinctly different subjects shot in a wide array of light. Third time using new camera. It's cool, I can hack it. 

We have lighter too! 


And yet, more natural light. 


Okay, let's change the pace. Katana is nice, but the alien has landed. 


But wait! She turns into a sort of translucent, something something, under black light! 


And there's that dog again. Lookin cool. Along with the painter, Jennifer! 


But wait, there's more! The lawyer is in the house. So let's change it up again. We've got a court room to work in. What can we do? How can we utilize the light? Court is in recess, let's go!

Wait, Bruno, we need you to model again. You're going to be on the witness stand. 


Oh, and of course, one last pic to prove I was there (besides the self-portrait). I used to hate having a camera pointed at me. Now I don't care.

C'est la vie.


Thanks for stopping by! 

Full set: Katana

Full set: UV Alien

Full set: lawyer




]]> (Suyama Images) alien bodypaint katana lawyer nsfw nsfwish studio Mon, 20 Mar 2017 22:50:00 GMT
UV Body Paint and Black Light I recently had the privilege to shoot some black light photography, something I've always wanted to do but which I was sort of ignorant to proceed on due to my lack of knowledge about the lighting aspect. Mental barriers aside, I found some lights recently that work just fine. 

My impressions and experiences:  

The good: It's a whole new world and dimension of seeing things. Thus it sparks the creativity factor. The lights are cheap, the ones linked above are $99 each, I bought two (it's always good to have more than 1 of anything you actually depend on). Post processing is rather fast because you can't see skin imperfections and what not (of course SOME types of paint might show such imperfections, but I've no clue and to be honest, I haven't really looked at other people working with black light). But with the fact that the lighting is so different than traditional strobes, you can almost batch process the photos and then tweak certain ones here and there for the sake of consistency (something I SOMETIMES do).

The bad: It's hard to focus. You're using black light, in a dark room. It can be done, especially with focus assist activated. You also have to use much higher ISO's than you will typically use for shooting portraits with strobes. 

On the shoot I used two cameras (Olympus E-5 and Fuji X100S) and worked anywhere from ISO 800-3200 and kept my apertures down around f2-4. My shutter speeds ranged from nearly a second (for certain shots) but most stayed around 1/60th - to 1/160 roughly. I couldn't rely on manual focus so had to defer to focus assist. 

The neutral: In order to mount those lights on some light stands, I took U brackets with butterfly nuts and installed the brackets through the factory mounting holes on the light units and then tightened them down on some light stands. So they were positioned sort of like mini-strip banks.

Crappy noisy pic: 


Anyway, we did a lot of experimenting to see what worked and what didn't. Some of the images are muddy due to the ISO and some are sort of "impressionist" in a way, almost looking like paintings instead of photos. I actually think it worked out well with this theme. Check it out: 




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Also, in the last shot below, you will see a mixture of fluorescent tube lighting (the same shit you see in bleak corporate office environments) ... and the black light. I found the mixture of light interesting. 



To see the full gallery from this shoot, or to purchase prints, please click here.  Until next time! 

]]> (Suyama Images) NSFW UV black light bodypaint cosmic model ribbon Tue, 31 Jan 2017 01:13:40 GMT
On the Radio - A follow-up Last night was a trip.

Yours truly was on an internet radio show  (follow that link to listen) talking a bit about my thought process as a photographer and my project on Human Trafficking. First, I have to thank the radio show host Michaella ... she's awesome and I felt she really helped me along (because you know, speaking is actually an art). 

Some things from the show, got me thinking though. That's what happens when someone asks you questions, especially about a thought process that you have to define and articulate, especially when really it's something I've never thought about. Why? For me, making art comes naturally. I don't think about it too much, I just see it in my head, and then work to bend the universe and it's people, to my vision. 

The biggest question that stumped me though was about the darkness, as a subject that often runs through my images. I'm not sure I answered the question very well because I've never really thought why I gravitate toward it. In simple terms, I often shoot darker or thought provoking imagery because I must satiate my dark passenger. (Just kidding, or am I?)

In my photography, you will often see the dichotomies that I present. My mask series illustrates this easily. A beautiful woman, soft skin, nude, with a demon mask ... things like that.  Beauty comes in many forms. I've also been gravitating toward lighter stuff too.  


My lighter side, which has also been illuminating to me: 

And I'd love to do more of these sorts of implied nudes. Sure shooting women that are between 18-25 is all good, but I'm also searching for women between the ages of 30-50. 

Anyway, I got out of my comfort zone. It was challenging. But rewarding. It's something I can say I've done. And could do again. So hey, if YOU'RE on the fence - about anything, just jump and do it. That's where real growth happens. And it's rather invigorating. 

]]> (Suyama Images) dark interview passenger perspective radio Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:15:31 GMT
My top 11 darker images and why In no particular order of favor or rank.

I've decided to include some of my favorite (11:11) images and what they mean to me. You could say this is Halloween themed, but when I think about it, my response is immortalized in the words of Peter Steele, "everyday is Halloween" ... 


Mask by Morgan "Beelzebub" Photography Suyama Images Model: Mizz Amanda Marie

I shot this in the style and inspiration of the cover art from 1998's Adore album by the Smashing Pumpkins. I've always enjoyed that song, and the album. I have upwards of 50 or so Pumpkin boots, only second to The Doors, followed by Nine Inch Nails and Jimi Hendrix. This was more of a nod to that album. I grew a lot between 1995's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album and 1998's Adore. In a way, this was a transitional period and I didn't really embrace who I was until I saw that it was okay to do that. 

"It's you that I adore
You'll always be my whore
You'll be a mother to my child
And a child to my heart
We must never be apart..." 



This is the cropped version (the full length is here). I've selected the cropped version to illustrate an interesting anomaly.  To this day, I've never understood this photograph. It was taken with a medium format camera and the main light had not recycled in time, but the back light did. Thus the very dark, sillhouette. But if you look, the model (right) and the shadow (left) appear to have separate ideas on how to pose for the shot. This was taken with 1 click of the shutter - yes one picture, no double exposure. I don't think I've done double exposure since I used film. None of the frames before or after looked like this. 




I processed this image to look as if you were watching (what's left of) her through a TV. There were many reasons for this, but in short, there is a quote from Paul Washer who runs the HeartCry Missionary Society. It's rather fitting here, "Over the epitaph of this generation it will say ENTERTAINED TO DEATH." 




This image was inspired by the Black Dahlia murder. I've been somewhat fascinated by the case since I learned about it. I can only imagine what went through Elizabeth Short's mind during the minutes and hours before her death in early January 1947. While the crime was horrific, I've often wondered, did she experience terror or sadness as her life drew to a premature close? A sadness that she'd never see her parents again, or experience another Christmas, or go to the cinema with a friend. She'd be forever trapped, immortalized and remembered in death, not in life.   




I've enjoyed this image, not only for the obvious reasons, but because it's always symbolized being a monster and being stuck in one's skin as a monster or perhaps, put in another way, having flaws. I imagine many people feel or have felt this way (I certainly do). Some people feel that way because they are or were bullied. Some feel that way for past things they've done which they now regret. We all have our demons, and sometimes they just don't want to let go. 




I didn't have a mother after about age 13 or 14. As I've gotten older and have been witness to friends who became mothers, I can see the valuable role that mothers play in raising children and offering some sort of shelter from this world, at least for a little while. I am only now just learning that most mother's have tight bonds with their children, something I will never know first hand save for the scraps of memories from early childhood. What's always drawn me to this image is the look on her face, her attentive, maternal attitude as she offers life to death. This was part of the "mental clause" series. The location was demolished and now a housing development stands there. Little do they know ... 




Gone are the days of shooting zombies - at least until some vaccine or genetic mutation creates enough of them that it becomes legal to hunt/defend oneself (the upcoming election doesn't count) -wait different definition of shooting. That aside, this was taken a while ago at a zombie shoot in an abandoned house (also now demolished). I was piggy backing light from another photographer nearby and was standing on the second floor looking down the stairs and yep, a fucking zombie spots me.  I don't care for zombie photos because they, to me, look stupid and staged. If you want horror, shoot with a slower shutter and show some motion, harness crappy light, and nail the fucking shot at the precise time (in this photo, it was eye contact that added the element of horror). That's how this image was created. No real planning, just an opportunity at the right time and place.



I loved this body paint. It was probably one of the simplest concepts I've been part of (painted by Peter Jensen), but to me it mean't a lot more than many of the other body paints. This has a symbolic meaning for me, a mixture between not "having a heart" (did she eat her own?) and not having a soul (did it go somewhere else, leaving a shell of evil?). "Head like a hole, black as your soul." Anyway, you will never break my heart again.  




This is a fairly recent image I took after a friend and I remodeled this bathroom, installed the wall, tile and tub. I met the lady in this image years ago at a little health food store I would frequent. She worked there. Sometimes friendship blossoms and I end up approaching friends for various photographic concepts that have been locked in my head. This was one of them. It's best to let these things out. I find it helps.  




I titled this image "Black Widow"... her eyes are full of venom while her pose is almost alluring. There is a certain attraction that comes with the nudity of this image while there are precautions to take because the black widow kills her mate when he is done serving his purpose, which is to further the race. There are famous crime cases that have dubbed various women as black widows, which typically involves (some of the few) serial killer women who off husband after husband for different reasons. There is just enough parts of this image that are attractive that might draw one closer, but such will have it's price.




The golden dawn. That's the name of the series of images that this came from. To me, this one signifies rebirth and ascension, thus "golden dawn". There is a certain confidence in this pose that makes me think of challenging divinity. A darkness and a golden light illustrates the pull between light and dark, heaven and hell. The dichotomy. Her mask may repulse some, while her body may draw you closer with lust. I think sometimes we are drawn to the various aspects of light and dark in other people. This image reminds me that there is beauty on both sides of the spectrum and that we are all made up of various ratios of the two. I'm all for equality. 


In closing, I have many more concepts in my head. Things just clawing to find their way into this world. I hope to be able to share these with you someday. I'm not a dark person, I've just figured out how to harness my past and turn it into something that you can see too. If your darkness is getting the better part of you, you can always reach out to me.  It can't rain all the time.


]]> (Suyama Images) 11 Black Dahlia Elizabeth Short| Photography TV beauty black book dahlia dark demon demons halloween horror insanity institution law light mental models mother nails naked nsfw nudity portraits redhead scary sillouhette zombies Sat, 29 Oct 2016 17:30:56 GMT

Sometimes, life just isn't very fair. Today feels like one of those days. 

I met Kayla on 9 July 2011. My friend, Curtis, called me up and asked if I wanted to photograph an event for a good cause. He told me that it was for a girl with CF - that's cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes severe damage to the lungs. Though advancements are being made all the time, we are not to the point of having a cure. Thus many with CF need lung transplants, many of them don't get that opportunity. And sometimes, if they are lucky and get those lungs, it means a lifetime of taking drugs that stop the body from rejecting the new organs, as is the case with any such transplant. Sometimes those drugs stop working. Either way, it's a crappy hand to be dealt.   

This morning I learned about the passing of Kayla and it made me stop for a few minutes to consider many things. As I stood there seemingly struck by the weight of the news, I remembered when I had met her. I remembered that day like it was yesterday in fact.  

I had photographed the fundraiser to help her get a new set of lungs. And I won an auction for a vase, pictured below. We do what we can to help. We all have choices and I had made the right one when I agreed to photograph the event. 

After that day I became friends with Kayla through Facebook. And though I never became close friends she still served to inspire me. And she has been a constant reminder that helping others is the single most important thing we can do on this Earth. 

She lived 5 years and a day longer from that July day in 2011. She will always be an inspiration to myself and many others. She, like others with CF, have  had to face challenges that no one should. And she gave it a good fight, seemingly optimistic with a sort of knowledge that some don't acquire until they are much older. And that is: life is precious. 

I hope that wherever she is, that she can now breathe easy.   

She may be gone, but I will never forget her smile or those bright eyes or her radiant spirit contained in such a small stature. 

Fly free, breathe easy. There is a piece of blue sky, for you. 




]]> (Suyama Images) healy kayla Mon, 11 Jul 2016 21:29:36 GMT
Just words Broken by the still silence


from you


And we fight back, solemn promises

yours to keep

like wild weeds and waves

set the course for crashing, lover


Shadows scattered beneath your light



blue and green, we come

In bright midnight


]]> (Suyama Images) just poem words Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:41:02 GMT










]]> (Suyama Images) leah models truth velocity Mon, 04 Apr 2016 12:30:00 GMT

]]> (Suyama Images) eyes in secret the their Thu, 03 Mar 2016 00:22:10 GMT
Tip for Models on getting hired Dear Models, 

I've been reading some books lately and I wanted to communicate something that will help you get hired. Besides the information in these books, which I will cite later, I have some experience and preferences which I will hope will make sense by the end of this writing. 

I will assume the reason you are reading this is that: 

You want to get hired.   

Okay fine. So, having been in a position to hire people for various reasons and in various businesses, including the photographer/model relationship I will summarize what I look for (much of which is also looked for by GOOD hiring managers in business). So if you are aiming to go get a job somewhere consider how this can apply. 

First, here is a short list of the WRONG things to do: 

1) Fail to communicate at all. Fail to communicate in a friendly manner, fail to articulate. Fail to answer questions. Being abrupt also sucks. If your responses are one-worded or simply curt then, I usually just stop communicating altogether. It comes across as attitude, whether that was the intention or not. 

2) Inflate your self-worth. Big heads and egos are pretty big turn-offs just about anywhere in the business world. 

3) Shoot from the hip, "How much money, what about pay? When can I get paid? Is it compensated?" While all of these things are important, and I don't expect you to work for free, they shouldn't be your first questions. Hitting your potential employer with all sorts of "me, mine, money, more, me, me, me" stuff means or conveys that you are really just there for money and that this is the most important thing to you. It shouldn't be. Employers want to know what you can do for them and how you will help their business.

As a side note, EVERY single commercial job I've ever done in photography started with "What do you need/want exactly? And how can I help you achieve this?" In other words, what can I do for you, not what can you give me so that I can do something for you. I determine what the customer (which would be the photographer who will hire you in this case) needs and wants and then I negotiate the price based on the hard costs, my creative costs, time, etc. Money is NEVER in the first conversation - in fact when I get emails that start with "what are your rates?" I usually don't respond. Because I already know it's too much for them. They are shopping on price, not quality. There will always be cheaper or free _______ out there. Always.

4) Don't keep your word or your promise. Includes showing up late or not at all. Amateur hour is for someone else and they have openings in Flakeville for that. You will destroy your rep faster than opening a conversation with questions about money.    

So what do hiring managers, photographers, etc look for when they interview people? 

1) Your ability to communicate, friendliness and honesty. 

2) Your excitement or passion for the art, project or industry in general.

3) What YOU can do to make my portfolio (or company) better and/or stronger. In other words, what can you offer me? 

4) Not the most important but, a portfolio. The stronger the better. I don't care who hired you before or where you were published. If you fail in 1-3 just above, then I don't care what your portfolio looks like. There are 7+ billion people and you are replaceable. I've hired and/or shot people I met at grocery stores. I've remodeled houses or worked in commercial remodeling and turned around and shot for the same people. You don't have to be a "model" to get in front of my camera or have awards or be published in Playboy or whatever, you have to have the right attitude. I understand that this point differs in places like high fashion and some commercial work. But let's be real, 9/10ths of all models won't get into high fashion. So don't build your business like you are a high fashion model (if you are). 

Once I've determined that you will assist me, I will be happy to discuss an appropriate pay (or some sort of exchange) for the project or shoot.  

You don't want to waste your time with customers who ask 500 questions. Here is what I do, with tact, to handle those sorts:

1) Qualify them. This is the first thing any salesman does. Find out what they want, and determine whether you can do this. 

"Oh yeah? So you want this, and done like that? Okay, good. I can do that. I know a great location for this and have a team of professionals that can help put this together. I will send you over the contract and estimate based off of what you've told me about your project and what I think it will cost. I think you're going to like my vision for this. I'll send this over now and get back in touch with you tomorrow on it." In a nutshell that's how I handle sales. Price is always negotiable because no job is the same as the last (unless maybe you are shooting headshots, in the same manner, same place, etc).   

2) Watch out for the red flags. Personal comments or personal questions that are inappropriate. Cut the communication and move on. Save time. "I don't think I would be a good fit for that project, thanks for considering me." End of conversation.

So in short, be courteous, answer questions but qualify your potential employer. You want to know ultimately, what they need/want and if you can perform and finally if they can afford you. You have a better chance of getting the money you want if you can convince them that you would be the best choice for their vision, project, job position, etc. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting, money, or fame, or cred, or whatever. But don't promote yourself with this sort of thing, promote yourself as a service that gives 100% and ensures customer satisfaction. The rest will follow if you have any business sense at all. 

Oh yeah, the books I've been reading. Good to Great and The Art of the Start. Good luck. 

]]> (Suyama Images) education hiring how-to modeling models tips Wed, 17 Feb 2016 01:01:38 GMT
There are no secrets to great lighting or photography -nsfw This is NSFW because I have included some recent images I made. 

There are no secrets here. Photography is quite simple as is lighting. If anyone makes you think it's tough, just know it isn't. When you first got behind a wheel and started driving, there were many controls that as a passenger you never thought about because they didn't concern you. Behind the wheel though, you've now spotted the controls for lights, blinkers, heat, A/C, emergency flashers, e-brakes, regular brakes, windshield wipers, etc. It seemed perhaps a little overwhelming, but now as a seasoned driver you can get into just about any car and know basically how everything should work. As a passenger the extent of your knowledge for the car was in turning the knob on the radio.

Photography and lighting is much the same. It's perhaps slightly overwhelming at first but then second nature after a little bit. 

Here is, in my opinion, what it takes to go from novice to good ("great" might include longevity, exposure and marketing, but you will hit a few "great" photos along the way, some by design, some by luck). 

1) Knowing how your camera works and what effect various changes will have when applied. This includes knowing all of the basics such as what an aperture is, shutter speed, how ISO affects output, and so forth. Think of it like this. A camera is a somewhat complex tool. These days you can put it on full auto and let the tool think for itself as you aim it at various objects and people to capture a photo. The more you know about changing those settings, and knowing what they will do ahead of time, gives you more freedom and power to create some art. 

2) On the subject of lighting you add one more element (outside of using ambient light or sunlight). Now that you have a firm grasp of such things as ISO, aperture, shutter speed, using an off-camera light is a safe next step in being able to harness your creative potential. By understanding the basics of light and how that works in illuminating your subject you have another tool in the arsenal for creating your vision. There are a million ways (almost) on modifying your light to change it's effect. Everything from colored gels, to the tight circle of a snoot, to a strip of light used to create nice shadows made by a strip bank to soft even light of a large softbox or octobox. And on and on. A shortcut here to understanding is to hook up with a friend that has some lights and to practice using whatever modifiers they have so that you can see what effects they each have in use (books, blogs etc only get you so far). When I got into using off-camera lighting, I simply purchased many different modifiers then experimented. Another good way to do this is pay for a lighting workshop that includes hands-on experience because that's what you need. 


3) A basic knowledge of post processing. Today we have been granted our own virtual darkroom right in the comfort of our homes on a computer screen. Personally, I use Photoshop and Lightroom. Am I a wizard at these things? Not really. It's probably MY biggest weak point. Part of it is my upbringing in film and part is my laziness to sit down and concentrate on learning it. I know what I know and I get by. For everything else, outsourcing can work but I have only done that when it concerns the exchange of money and when it was beyond my knowledge. So, buy a good photo editing program. Lightroom and Photoshop are offered by Adobe for about $10 a month on subscription. A cheap price to pay for such powerful tools that can help complete your vision. The more you know here, the more you can be cool like some of the other guys.

4) Creativity and imagination. If you know 1, 2 and 3 above, then really the only thing left is having good artistic vision, knowing what you want to create and then doing it. Sometimes though the idea is only loose in your head, but you start shooting and it develops. Anyway, being an artist probably has something to do with having an imagination so, there ya go. The more the better. 

5) Bring it to the next level and collaborate with other artists. If you shoot people, then discover the magic of what a good make-up artist can do. Or wardrobe. If you don't shoot people, then talk to other photographer's that specialize in your area of interest. In other words, other people have much to offer in the cultivation and nurturing of your art, style and general knowledge. 

6) Last piece of advice, as you begin to receive some sort of acknowledgement from your peers and/or get noticed, you may run into assholes that pick apart your artwork and tell you how you should change things - to their liking. Just ignore this. Art is subjective (obvious when you've viewed "modern art"). As it is subjective, you aren't here to please anyone unless that of course is your goal. Then again, you can't please all the people all the time so don't even bother trying. Just be yourself. Be your own style but don't be afraid to grow. No one will remember the guy who's thing is to imitate other artists. In short, shine and don't let the detractors and trolls snuff out your light.    

]]> (Suyama Images) Photography business education grow how-to practice secrets yourself Wed, 27 Jan 2016 15:56:27 GMT
Secret to Great Lighting Every Time  

The secret to great lighting every time is setting up lights, turning them on, and using lightstands to hold the lights. 


Isn't click-bait annoying? 


]]> (Suyama Images) clickbait education light perfect Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:29:48 GMT