arts project

An Organic and Spontaneous Workflow

A short preview from a video we made for the NO HANDS exhibition. Full video on my website or Lauren’s under the NO HANDS link.

The video was made for the exhibition to illustrate how we made the pictures that were in the show. The workflow of photographer and model, and very much a process that evolved organically over a long period of time. Mainly me having to find ways to shoot a model who was continuously moving, never still but also an exhibit of Lauren’s expressive capabilities. She was clothed for this demo but of course hardly ever clothed for the rest of the work.

To do this video I had to find a way to obtain the same light as at her place, where we shot all the exhibition stills. Pretty simple flagging of light on both sides to suck light from the shadows on the side and a reflector inside out used as scrim (to simulate frosted glass) pegged to the window. Choice of window was important. Sun was direct but low angle winter sun (and it was changing which made it tricky). I was shooting this on Lauren’s fairly cheap camera and lens as mine was recording the video; but the results are just as good as using a more expensive camera.

Lauren’s website: laurenmichelleartist.com

Music on this video was the track we listened to as the video was done: ‘Ride it On’ by Mazzy Star.

Both she and I have a whole page dedicated to the NO HANDS exhibit including videos, bios, text, BTS and more. Plus all the prints from the show are available for purchase, see catalogue at bottom of NO HANDS page. Hope you find it interesting.

Much much more new work coming from continuing projects.

Revealing

Always seeking ultimate photographic truths. 

Photographing yourself is revealing. Photographing yourself nude even more so. Photographing your face at close range being the most revealing. 

But photographing yourself is liberating. I don’t care about wrinkles, sunspots whatever. I try and not think vainly about it when doing it, and deliberately try and not make things flattering. This is true freedom from model photography.

I'll Shoot Anyone

Member’s only content: http://mikstacey.com/members-area/2019/2/3/ill-shoot-anyone

Another nude dude in your feed for ya. In the name of balance and variation and a host of other stuff. #boring

If you are a male, any age, any dimension, or a female with any characteristics (in fact I’m more interested in those who do not fit the social norm for ‘beauty’ and have a story to tell), and would enjoy being photographed then let me know. I will photograph anyone, big, small, white, black, old, young. Beauty is not confined to 20 to 30 year old females. .
#makemodel #shootmoremen #igpromotesphotographerswhopromoteinequality

This shot by Dr. Clayton @eric_clayton02

Trashed Art - Project Updates

Please check here form now on for updates of my work. Project status reports for my subscribers are important so that you know how I’m using your money. The latest one is available in the following link and I will update it monthly.

My usual Instagram account will disappear tonight midnight. My commercial presence will remain as @mikestaceycommercial and there is also my arts account: @avisuallife

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQvSBmz12Lf4RY1ENUacGk4J4_8lG5hzqCirhtBJgAwnRYy8sijadd_uH5dVYpljk1mhLRfUyA9y6ah/pubhtml

Censored, Packaged, Damaging Beauty

The natural version of the image can be found in the member’s area:
http://mikestacey.com/members-area/censored-packaged-beauty

Censorship of both the male and female body is now more rigid than we’ve seen in the last few decades - largely due to the sheer flood of nude and/or revealing imagery via social media. It’s a complex matter. We’re all aware of the social norm fo beauty and the pressure on women to conform to that - and we’re aware of the fallout - the damaging psychological outcomes. Censorship is one device that contributes to this by essentially “shaming’ various aspects of our bodies; genitals, breasts, nipples, butts and pubic hair.

I’m currently exploring this topic, both visually and otherwise. Here’s an interesting excerpt from an article written by Esther Young in ‘The Owl’; a student edited publication from Santa Clara, California. (https://santaclaraowl.com/). It addresses various concerns from a female point of view, whereas my interest is at a higher level, irrespective of gender.

‘Media’s treatment of the female body is a disappointing reflection of what this culture deems beautiful or ugly. In American culture, body hair is considered ugly and even trespassing social media safety guidelines. Even women’s hair removal product companies, though aimed at selling their razors and shaving creams to women, do not allow the appearance of actual body hair in their ads. This censorship conveys the message that a woman in her unaltered, unshaven state is unacceptable and even offensive. This upholds a double standard of beauty. While photos of bikini-clad women in their unaltered states are censored, naked celebrities photo-shopped to glossy, toned “perfection” are splashed across magazine covers and the same social media sites that censor nipples and female body hair. Women in their natural states are censored while photo-shopped images of the female body are used to sell and make profit, while promoting an unnatural and idealized standard of beauty. Meanwhile, ads showing men with pubic hair peeking out from the top of their Calvin Klein underwear are also freely displayed.’

Concept and Set-up: @staceymikephoto
Photographer: @shotbyminx

Photographic 'Art Nude' is Not Always Artistic 'Art Nude'

There is a large difference between photographic ‘art nude’ and traditional art nude (painting, life drawing, sculpture etc). One of the differences is the gender split between numbers of male and female models in each and also the gender split of the ‘artists’.

Photographic art nude is virtually all female models and male photographers.

These images are available as prints in my online store here.

In Her Natural State

In Her Natural State is a non-glorified visual documentation of the transgender woman. In a world obsessed with beauty standards, this captures the transgender woman in a natural state and brings into view a taboo topic: the feminine penis. An important part of oneself that is to be embraced, not something to be hidden and ashamed of.”

- Kate Adamson

Vanity Fair

This shoot with Meluxine was years ago now and was shot mainly for the ADORNED series that was exhibited at GalleyOne88 in Katoomba during August 2016. The large format portrait work followed up on initial shoot with early collaborator and dear friend Bianca Wolff. I had seen a few shots Meluxine had done with a tin plate enthusiast and given her long modelling career and vast experience I knew she'd be familiar with the large format workflow. I’d also worked with her before was confident she could hold a pose for the required length of time.

During the week GIAN Styling and I got hold of some jewellery which would fit the film portrait theme and it looked fantastic hanging off Meluxine's neck. She also had her own things from Mexico that she brought along and added to the mix. True to form Meluxine's look and gaze, not to mention hair, were perfect for these shots and I loved shooting with her again. 

We shot in Vanity Fair Studios in Sydney, run by Christine Dengate, and with Christine and Gina's help, managed to arrange the lighting to be something similar to what I had worked out with Bianca last week. 

After spending only an hour snapping off about 15 sheets of 4x5, we headed out into the courtyard outside the studio to shoot some fashion/nude stuff. Hope you enjoy all these free images.

4x5’s for ‘ADORNED’

Digitals

6x7

Hunting

The other thing. The other thing, which is probably more important than anything is the photographer’s ability (or lack of) to capture moments within moments. Only a photographer, probably a documentary photographer’s (James Motty), could realise this aspect. To be able to seize moments out of life that tell a whole story, a whole movie, at the click of a shutter is an art in itself. Not every photographer can do this, and that’s fine, photography encompasses many things, many of which I don’t/can’t do.

So concept or idea aside, it’s irrelevant if the photographer can’t do this bit. Even where there is a defined concept, the approach and skill required is exactly the same. The photographer is a hunter, who is constantly ‘hunting’, for moments, of and within life itself - which is playing out in front of him/her. The unadorned beauty and fragility of life itself. You can either see and react within a thousandth of a second to that, or not.

For me, this is what I do best. It is irrelevant to me what or who the subject is, when I’m shooting like this I’m not thinking about the subject, at all. People need to get that. Look at the photograph, not the subject. If I’ve managed to capture a moment like this one shown, I’m a satisfied and completed photographer. My job is done and dusted.

@poetic.minx Amsterdam 2018