I've been interviewed a few times about my horror photography and told the story about how in 5th grade I got a book on horror SFX and accidentally managed to take a "ghost" photo, and that those really set me on the road that led me to where I am today. I've recently been unpacking boxes that've been packed for *mumblemumble* years, since I moved out of my parents' home when I was 19, and I've been finding all SORTS of things, so I thought I'd share them & their stories.
(posted at DeviantArt)
The picture is "Little Girl Ghost" and the full story's in the image description. It was an accidental double-exposure taken in St. Augustine on a field trip. It got a great reaction, and made me want to learn to do it on purpose.
That same year I was performing in Macbeth as part of my school's Gifted Education program and I needed to find out how to do makeup for the witches and make blood for the stabbing scene. To my delight, I found this
(posted at DeviantArt with an Amazon link)
at the Scholastic Book Fair. I was delighted at all the info & how-tos, like my first blood recipe:
Non-toxic washable red poster (Tempera) paint
Red, yellow, and blue food color
Corn syrup (like Karo)
You shouldn't mix up this recipe unless your parents say it's OK. As all vampires know, blood can be very messy! Remember, again, to wear old clothes and to put newspaper down. The washable paint won't stain, but the food colors will! They will also stain your skin, so use at your own risk!
Pour out a cup of corn syrup. Add a teaspoon of red and of yellow food color, and a drop of blue food color. Stir. Now add a teaspoon of the red poster paint. Stir again. You have blood, Igor, blood!
I mixed up 2 liters of it & put it in a jug, we kept it under the sink in the classroom. Come April Fool's Day, I was in the classroom alone before school started one day & I saw the assistant principal making her way down the hallway. I ran & grabbed the blood & poured it all over one of my arms, then staggered out in to the hall in front of my poor victim. I was crying & gibbering hysterically, and I collapsed at her feet, clutching my blood drenched arm. She asked me what happened & I whimpered out a story about cutting my arm on something under the sink. As she was screaming for help, I lost it & started laughing & yelled "April Fools!"
She DROPPED me on the floor and stood up & stomped her foot. Then she took a moment, took a deep breath, gathered herself, and said "Only YOU James. I'm a little disappointed you didn't find a way to have the bone sticking out." So next year I did. :D
The shock and reaction over the blood incident and the coolness of the photo really fascinated me with the idea of horror, and it's gone on from there. I hope you enjoyed this little peek in to my mind!
It's a truism that a photo of a naked woman posted to a website will get more attention than a photo of a non-naked woman, or of a something other than a woman entirely. While there's certainly a basis for this and many would just say "Duh!" it's simply not always true.
Case in point, around 9 AM this morning I posted 2 images to my DeviantArt. The first was a photo of a Maned Wolf, a South American canid that's basically a giant fox:
(click to view full-size, SFW, no membership required)
The second was an art nude of Laura Unbound:
(NSFW, linked to the image in my MI portfolio, as the DA page requires membership. See it on DeviantArt HERE.)
I submitted both to a number of groups, and SOME of the disparity is because the wolf shot has been accepted to a few more groups so far. However a LOT more people look at the Nudes category.
So in around 9 hours, the wolf shot has:
Comments: 16 (includes my replies)
Favourites: 70 [who?]
Views: 475 (475 today)
The nude of Laura has:
Comments: 3 (no replies from me yet)
Favourites: 22 [who?]
Views: 274 (274 today)
I don't know what'll happen in the long run, especially after more groups accept Laura's photo, but for now fox>"fox," flying in the face of "conventional wisdom" about "naked girls trump all."
I get questions every so often about my image titles. For my photos of models (as opposed to most of my nature images, landscapes, etc) in the art & fetish genres (and sometimes horror, too) I often use song titles or bits of lyrics from songs. I also use pieces of poems, lines from plays, or random things I think of , but pieces of songs probably make up 75%+.
When I created this piece
(click for full size, 18+)
I titled it Grey Tones Can't Be Trusted, from a lyric in the Elton John song "Red."
Yesterday I googled the phrase, in quotes, "Grey Tones Can't Be Trusted" and got this:
Imagine my surprise that MY photo here on MI (I have it displayed elsewhere, too) was ranked #1, above all the Elton John hits! I thought "Well, maybe it was because that's a pretty specific phrase and I used quotes" so I tried it again without:
Yeah, that brought a wider range of responses, but my image here on MI IS STILL at the top! I have no idea how or why that image has jumped to the top of the list that way, but I think it's kind of cool. I'm definitely going to have to look in to the ranks for some of my other song-named images, I'd LOVE to know how/why they affect SEO (search engine optimization). Speaking as someone who doesn't know jack about this, and so might be totally off base, it seems like MI's certainly getting Google notice, anyway.
Regardless, it's a cool bit of publicity for me, Amaris (http://www.modelinsider.com/profile/901), and Renee (http://www.modelinsider.com/profile/421).
I was contacted today & notified that fairly well known model Amanda Logue, who did adult work under the name Sunny Dae, has been arrested in Georgia on charges of prostitution & murder, and is pending extradition to Florida.
For reasons unknown, Amanda took all her profiles down from Model Mayhem (www.modelmayhem.com/373020, unfortunately MM blocks spiders so there's no archive available), 2kmodels.com (a sort of Model Insider/MM/OMP site for porn work), OMP, and other sites a few months ago. Her profile (cited in some news stories) is still up at www.weselectmodels.com/view/amanda.html?id=2005, where it oddly says she won't do porn, even tho she's still listed on several adult company sites under her working name: http://www.realitykings.com/amateur-models/25673/Sunny-Dae.htm & http://bangbrosnetwork.com/t1/profiles?m=Sunny-Dae1 for instance (both 18+).
UPDATE/EDIT: Amanda had new profiles up under the name "Mandi Kaye" and was actively soliciting work. For example: http://www.modelmayhem.com/1619702
UPDATE/EDIT: I missed it, she never removed her profile here: http://www.modelinsider.com/577
One of the concerns often expressed in debates about escorts is the safety of the photographer, especially with the infamous "boyfriend escort." While Amanda was never militant about escorts & was willing to be reasonable in discussions about it and advocate things like checking references or taking another model, she often stated that her PREFERENCE, especially when traveling, was to take her boyfriend as her escort. While this doesn't play directly in to what happened here (since this was not a case of an escorted model booking with a photographer thru a site like this), it makes something she said on the topic once particularly ironic:
Its a simple solution...If the photographer does not allow your escort then move on there are others that will...If the photographer does allow a escort make sure you bring someone who knows how to conduct themselves in a professional manner...If your scared don't bring someone for protection just don't shoot...It does not matter if you have a escort if your scared you will still be uncomfortable and then the photographer will be uncomfortable also and the results will be less quality work...A escort such as a BF can be a ok experience if they allow the photographer to do his job and if the BF does not have the mind set that he is there for protection...A mature model that is serious about their work should have the intelligence to not bring a gang member or drug dealer or mofia or anyone that will interfere...Also references !!! both model and photographers should take a little time to check out who they will be working with...If they have a reputation of being unprofessional then that should be your first and biggest qlue not to shoot...
Altho Amanda had removed many of her profiles, she was still actively in touch with a number of models & photographers, including me and my girlfriend. My girlfriend was scheduled to shoot with Amanda & Amanda's boyfriend (with him operating the camera) at FetCon.
Apparently, according to that WeSelect profile & the news stories, Amanda's been running a lingerie shop & hosting lingerie parties and offering herself for sex in addition to her modeling. This must not have been bringing in enough money, as she scheduled a "sex party" with a Tampa area man and then proceeded, with her boyfriend's assistance, to murder & rob the man.
As described in the story, she went in to "work" while her boyfriend waited outside. While in the house, Amanda texted her boyfriend, including one text that said she wanted to have sex in the house AFTER they committed the murder, clearly showing it was planned. She wore the man out with sex, then while she was giving him a massage her boyfriend came in (according to her), crushed the man's head with a sledgehammer, then they stabbed him repeatedly before emptying his house of cash & valuables.
This is clearly a fairly rare case, JUST as rare as those of prostitutes who're occasionally killed by guys who the media reports as being "photographers," and certainly can't reflect ALL models who demand escorts, or all boyfriend escorts, but it DOES show that the risk CAN exist for photographers. Does that mean I think photographers should base their behaviors & choices on it? No, of course not... because it's EXCEEDINGLY RARE and outside the boundaries of normal interactions on sites like this. That's exactly what the point about this sort of thing on the other side of the coin has always been... it's irrational to base broad assumptions or poor logic on isolated incidents.
Links to the news stories:
UPDATE: As more info has come to light about this case, it's clear that this guy was NOT the bf/husband who so many of us in the community have met & known, and sometimes had present when Amanda was working, or at social events. Turns out she was stepping out on her husband with this guy. Friends of the family describe him as a "devil" who lured her in to a bunch of bad things. Also of interest is that the "sex party" was apparently videoed, with the police IDing her from the footage, which she left behind. This makes me wonder about how the victim found her, as some adult models will offer "extra" services or try to skirt prostitution laws by saying that if it's filmed it's porn, not prostitution. I'll be curious to see how this all came about. This also shows a major hole in references, since anyone asking about Amanda would have been told that she & her husband were great folks & perfectly safe when, in reality, she would have shown up with this guy and no one would have been the wiser. This shows trhat even with references you need to keep your wits about you & take reasonabel safety precautions when meeting people.
As usual, Pat Yuen's also on top of this: http://blog.patyuen.com/2010/05/28/admitted-prostitute-amanda-logue-and-boyfriend-jason-andrews-murders-dennis-scooter-abrahamsen/
*EDIT: This has been edited at her request to her initials, her ex is apparently doing searches on her name looking for dirt. This's a very well known redheaded fetish model, not a Florida or Georgia gal. If you know her you can guess who I mean, if not & you want to know PM me.
Folks, normally I wouldn't publish one of these "internet appeals," but this one was sent directly to me from the lady in question & she's a good friend of mine so I know it's legit.
Some of you may know the fabulous WH, one of my favorite fetish models, lifestyle kinkster, and an all around sweetheart. I JUST received this heartbreaking message from her, she's experiencing one of the nightmares many nude & fetish models (not to mention lifestyle kinksters) share.
My Ex is on a witch hunt. He is trying to take my childen from me based on the fact that I shot fetish content in my home when the children were with him on his weeks of custodial care. I have retained a lawyer and shut down about 90% of my revenue-deriving operations plus most of my online profiles and I am desparate, DESPARATE, to keep my children (we currently have joint/shared custody, 50/50 right down the middle). If you can spread the word about this, that would be great. I am beyond myself with grief. I have contacted the NCSF and heard nothing. I got a call from jay Wiseman and he's trying to set up a fundraiser, perhaps? I have no revenue coming in and I need to mount a strong legal defense.
I have her number & have verified this is for real. She's sent me a PayPal address for donations, I will share it with interested parties. If you know Wednesday & want to speak to her directly, please let me know & I will have her get in touch with you if you don't already have first hand contact info.
This absolutely SUCKS, she's a super person & she loves her kids. It's despicable that her ex is trying to take them away over her work. Unfortunately, as I said, it's a concern many nude/alt/fetish models & lifestylers I know can relate to all too well. I was looking forward to working with her at FetCon this year, now I'm just hoping to help make sure her FAMILY is together then. Please help if you can.
I am blogging & tweeting this in several places, if you know the lady in question & know more of the people she's worked with please feel free to pass along the info. The more people who know & might be able to help, the better.
EDITED TO ADD: While I was typing this, Brian has been posting in the MM forums claiming I did NOT try to contact him. Another mod is parroting this. Not only is that untrue, it's a violation of their OWN RULES to talk about former members who can't defend themselves.
EDIT 2: Did Brian receive my e-mail? I DO have his personal e-mail, and have contacted him there before about site issues. I have copies of replies from him. We've also talked about personal issues via mail. I know I sent it & got no reply. I know the security hole was wide open & being indexed by search engines, and I know someone else was posting it publicly. So to accuse me of malice or making things worse by talking about it publicly is ludicrous, and I have NO reason to lie about contacting them.
So, I'll make this brief as I can. I've been a member at Model Mayhem since shortly after the site started. It's been my primary networking tool since 2005. I've been active in the forums, and in real life with the various community members. I volunteered for the site. At one point I was suggested as a mod, and when that was shouted down by some people the former owner, Tyler, asked me to head the then-forming Gatekeeper program. While I declined that, I did head the unofficial Picture of the Day 18+ contest until it was made official & site-wide, whereupon I continued to run it for some time, devoting many hours to it.
I have made a lot of friends and gotten a lot of great work from the site. I'm going out at exactly 69,000 posts in the forums. With that much talk I've rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but I've helped a few folks & gotten a lot of "thank yous" too.
Now, after almost 5 years and a lot of time, MM has removed my account. They've been looking for a reason to do so for some time, partly because of the blatant personal animosity some of the site administrators have for me, and partly because my involvement with Model Insider patently terrifies them.
Yesterday's events finally gave them the excuse. In short form, they screwed up code on their website and opened a MASSIVE security hole. It was open for several hours without anything being said. Then Pat Yuen blogged it & made some tweets about it. Info on the security hole & events is here.
After Pat's tweets & blog I messaged Brian Diaz (the head mod & site admin) directly (I have his e-mail) and let him know. Nothing was done. So I posted some tongue-in-cheek comments on Twitter & MM's Facebook, making sure they would see them. In fairly short order, they took the site down for about 15 minutes, plugged the hole, brought the site back up, then took it back down to fix out of sync servers, then brought it back up again.
It's kind of funny how fast they fixed something they blamed on a hole in Tyler's infamous "spaghetti code" given their usual claims about how hard it is... Brian & Dean Johnson (one of the other site admins) both said the ENTIRE CODE had been gone thru in that brief time to look for more examples of the breach, given that the "block member" feature has been down for some time, allowing, among other things, a KNOWN STALKER to harass at least one model with no action from the mods or the site. I guess something embarrassing to the MM moderators & IB admins (since the breach allowed a peek behind the curtain at their clear disdain for members and lack of ideas about the site's actual operation) is FAR more important to fix than a simple feature needed to stop a model from being threatened by a dangerous individual.
In the midst of all this, Brian & Dean were posting in the forums & to MM's Facebook & Twitter patently lying about the issue, blaming "outsiders" and "hackers" and "malicious individuals" and such. They flatly denied any changes in their code were at issue. As it became clear this was a lie, they backed off those claims on MM but left them uncorrected on Facebook & Twitter. They also began censoring their Facebook, removing not only posts about the truth but any posts from people ASSOCIATED with some of us who told the truth, even if they were old posts that had nothing to do with the situation.
The lies continued in the MM forums, tho, with them making non-credible claims about people using their bug to do more than just look at mod thread titles, locked/hidden threads, members' brig records, and the names of mods who've locked threads. They claimed some members (and strongly insinuated all along that Pat & I were responsible for it) had used the hole to do things like delete peoples' avatars, which was patently crap.
I stayed out of the fight in Site-Related over the MM mess & went on about my business, chatting with friends, setting up a shoot with another MMer for this weekend, discussing professional associations, giving out some anti-scam advice, reporting a questionable account, a usual day on MM.
Then, about an hour ago at 9:30 PM EST, with no warning or discussion, I received this:
"Your account has been removed from Model Mayhem for the following reasons: Your actions to disseminate the security flaw yesterday through as viral way as possible without making any attempt to alert the moderator or management team is a clear indication that you are not interested in being a productive member of the MM community. We feel it is time for you to seek a presence elsewhere."
That's fine. It's their site, it's their rules. They want to kick me off, they're welcome to. What I WILL NOT stand for, and what I want the members to know, is that they are lying about me AND lying about what happened on the site.
They screwed up the code, code that they could have fixed (as I noted here, whereupon I was promptly accused of borderline criminal activity by Brian Diaz) long ago. The speed with which they fixed this breach SHOWS how easily they can manage it.
They lied about what happened, and they're blaming the wrong people for it. This has not only affected me, Pat Yuen was also removed from the site. He has also always been a tireless friend to the community. I will NOT apologize for helping expose a massive failure on the part of a multi-million dollar public company like Internet Brands (MM's owners) to run their site & secure it adequately. I did nothing morally or ethically wrong, and I certainly did nothing criminal.
I am upset & hurt by this. Most of all, I want to say to Brian (who I am sure will see this) that I am TERRIBLY disappointed in you. While we haven't always AGREED we have always been civil and I thought we had mutual respect. I sought you out to let you know when I found someone slandering you, we spoke a few times about meeting in real life to share a beer. I realize you have to defend Internet Brands and Model Mayhem, and I have a REALLY good idea of what's going on behind the scenes there & the pressure you are under. But I tried to do the right thing & let you know about this & was ignored, and then you made this out to somehow be my fault. Removing me from the site, that's business and I'll live. The rest hurt. I'd like at least the decency & courtesy for no more lies to be told about me.
Brian, you have insisted time and again that I work for a competing site. So I guess we’re competitors now. If that’s the way it has to be, then that’s the way it has to be. But then you, of all people, should be aware that posting verifiable untruths about your competition is a little more serious than just kicking someone off of your web site. If this is how it is to be, then I suggest you not only stop, but set the record straight. This situation is of your making and your choice, Brian. I expect better from you.
Mirrored to my photo LiveJournal: http://slephoto.livejournal.com/16614.html
Any non-MI members reading this can leave comments there.
X-Posted to a few places on LJ.
Since the blog on my personal website isn't working with my hosting provider's service & no one can tell me why (*sends dirty looks at Chris*) I figured I'd post this here & on my LJ.
On Friday September 26th I took my lovely girlfriend Renee out to a section of the Chatahoochee River for a shoot with another photographer, as she was not supposed to be driving at the time.
While they worked I wandered a bit of the river to look for locations, then went & napped in the car until they finished shooting. When they got back, she and I went off to get some of our own images. The other photographer had shot her in various areas of the river, but he'd done it all from the banks. I found a cool waterfall that he couldn't have shot her on because it required crossing the river and kneeling in the shallows to shoot.
Now when people think of a river they USUALLY are thinking of a flowing stream of water running thru soft earth, maybe with rocks & such lining part of the banks. Well, not HERE. Where we were the river bed is SOLID ROCK. The channel's anywhere between 2 & 6 feet deep and 3-7 feet wide, cutting thru the rock, and the "bank" for several feet on either side is MORE rock, often quite slimy & slippery.
Unsurprisingly the other photographer had thought nothing of sending the MODEL out in to this icy rock torrent but he'd stayed dry, warm, and safe on the bank. Well not me. I won't ask a model to do anything *I* won't do. So I stripped down to my swimsuit & forded the river and started walking along the rocks to the shooting spot. And promptly slid in a pool of slime and fell on my ass in to the river.
Now at the time of this slide & fall I was carrying my D200 with my f2.8 28-70mm lens and battery grip on it. I obviously had to save the camera, so I jerked it high up in my left hand (the side AWAY from the rock bank) and torqued my body to protect it. Sure enough the camera was safe & dry but there was this ugly "POP" from my shoulder. Turns out it was a few muscles & tendons shredding, and the "ball" in the shoulder's "ball & socket" breaking:
So after pulling myself back from the water I sat there for a few minutes clutching my arm & swearing quite a bit while my girlfriend worriedly tried to get me up & back to the car to seek medical attention. But NO! I am a PHOTOGRAPHER! If Peter Beard didn't drop his camera after a RHINO gored him, I wasn't about to let THIS stop me!
Over her protests Renee gamely listened to me pleading to at least let me get the shot, and she climbed in to the waterfall. I braced the camera against my body & shot for about 20 minutes until she insisted we were done and made me clamber back across the river and to the car. There I dried off & dressed before driving 2 hours home, where I continued to refuse medical care. I'm broke and have no insurance, so I kept hoping to shrug it off as a simple sprain. I got cleaned up & we retrieved her kids from school, but by then the swelling and pain were so bad, and the grating noises so obvious every time I moved, that I admitted defeat and let her take me to the local urgent care center.
Once there I was very painfuly x-rayed, and as shown above found out I had a nasty break. The Drs there said all they could do was put me in a sling & immobilize it until I could see an orthopedic specialist, who'd decide if I needed surgery. I was SUPPOSED to see one immediately at the beginning of the week, but due to various circumstances I wasn't able to see one until today, October 5th. Did I mention that in the mean time, on the Sunday right after the accident, I had a paid shoot where I had to hold the camera for 3 hours with the broken arm? Whole other blog there.
So today I FINALLY got to the orthopedic specialist. He reviewed my x-rays and put me thru some SUCK ASS painful range of movement evaluations. He said yes, I have some torn muscles but they're not TOO bad. And the break is in such a place that I CAN and SHOULD move my arm SO LONG AS I don't try & lift or raise it past a certain point. He explained that the broken part it what's attached to all the stuff at the top of my rotator cuff, so raising my arm too high would cause the connective tissue to rip the loose bone away... which's BAD, mmm kay?
I have to stick with the sling for 4-6 more weeks to keep me from messing it up and give the bone a chance to knit, and I have to do some really disgustingly uncomfortable PT exercises to keep the muscles from locking up. Renee is doing a cheerfully sadistic Nurse Rachit impersonation & forcing me to do them. Hopefully no further surgery or treatment will be required.
After all this rambling, I hear everyone saying "Well, was it WORTH it? What about the damn PHOTOS?" (Ok, you're really all saying "Jesus, this idiot's in love with the sound of his own voice, talk about tl;dr, will he ever shut up?") but bear with me. Once I had the Dr's verdict I felt it was FINALLY time to go over the photos, and here're the 2 winners. You tell me if it was worth it or not. :)
(Click to view full size)