June 12, 2014

RECAP: SNAKE CHARMER (2005)

Leading up to the release of PROCESS, I had mainly focused on photographing urban and scenic landscapes. I enjoyed using the camera to capture movement in everyday surroundings. 

My interest in photography led me to working in a One Hour Photo lab which within a few months, became a portrait studio. I gained a lot of insight into traditional portrait photography, but felt a need to expand on these techniques; utilizing more eclectic subject matter as well as applying more stylish effects.

Back in early 2005, I began experimenting with portrait & editorial style photography. One of my first sets included a model named Leslie McKenna. Leslie and I met through a mutual friend back in 2004. She brought a new level of professionalism as she already, at 18, had experience in catalog and print work. Leslie also conceptualized this series and brought 3 live snakes to set; two 7ft boa constrictors and one 3ft python.


In July of 2005, Leslie and I created the aptly titled "Snake Charmer" Series. Our objective was to create contrast between her fair-skinned form and the patterns adorned across the reptilian. Unsure of the best process to achieve the desired results, this was my first and only "colorization"; a technique used to apply, or in this case leave, the desired hues against a desaturated backdrop.

A female boa named "Fluffy" was used in most of the final images. She was the most docile and comfortable with people. We introduced a male boa first, then a small male python. In order to maintain Leslie's safety, it was important to keep both males separated. Considering the smaller male was kept around her neck, we had friends on set to lay in the snakes, keep the males separate and remove them after only a few frames.


Here are a few outakes from the session which took place in Northern New Jersey on July 1st, 2005. A SPECIAL THANKS to Leslie for her creativity and hard work, which ultimately crafted some stunning images and proved to be an amazing learning experience for me.


OPTPHOTO © 2014

April 29, 2014

RECAP: PROCESS (2004)

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Optimism Photography I will be posting recap photos and stories from the past 10 years.


Way back in 2004, I began showing photography works at local art shows and coffee shops. I was approached by Michael Ian Weinfeld of Feldt Design for a collaborative art book titled PROCESS. This pocket sized book was part of a grassroots movement that allowed artists to publish their own work. Over 40 artists were involved with 3000 books published. Each artist received 50 copies of the book and the rest were distributed to small books stores and used as promotions for gallery shows. PROCESS was a great opportunity for each artist to share each others work. This was also my first publication.

"The Gateway" 8"x12" Limited Edition 1/100

Each artist involved received a 2 page spread which included 2 images, info on each piece and a small write up on our own individual process of creation. "The Gateway" (above) was 1 of 2 photographs chosen to be included in the book. This image was captured on Fuji Film ISO 200 from The Gateway Hilton (it's since changed it's name) in Newark, NJ sometime around 2003. This vantage point gave me the ability to capture the urban sunset.

Limited quantities of both PROCESS and "The Gateway" will be available this weekend at The 2nd Annual Barn Theatre Flea Market in Montville, NJ

OPTPHOTO.COM © 2014
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