outdoors

Burn Brighter

I was walking in the wrong direction
I was walking like a man on a wire
Couldn't keep it for my own protection
Couldn't keep it from the fire
Stayed dead though my heart can't be dead
Stayed dead 'cause my head won't lie
Just waiting for the one salvation
The same one to make it alright…

…Break me from the chains
To keep us burning brighter…

-The Heavy

Model: Kat - one of many wonderful human beings I’ve worked with.

The Act

Beneath every silver lining lies a dark cloud.

I’m interest in dark clouds because they represent reality. I enjoy the act we all stage for the world, but reality is the thing that, for me, slices through the most convincing of acts and make a photograph something timeless and of value.

@poetic.mix
Bangkok, February 2019.

For Sigrid

“I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone…”
- Gilmour and Waters.

Sigrid was my neighbour. She passed away today. She was a wonderfully rich (not $) German woman partnered to Gabi, another German woman. Sigrid grew up in Berlin. We had many wonderful chats in the backyard about Berlin in the 70s and 80s, about music, about relationships, my art, about life. Sigrid had cancer. Gabi had a big job looking after her. Smoking was not allowed for Sigrid, and I understand Gabi’s view.

Recently, while Gabi was away in Europe, Sigrid and I would catch up and chat, smoke cigarettes (she showed me her secret stash of cigarettes), and drink the great coffee she would make me. I shared something with her. She shared something with me, gave me something which I still have. She’s gone now, but the part of herself, and her life experience she gave me remains. .

Model: @anoushanou

#lookingtothewest

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

Don't be Anaethetised

I’ve received a number of messages recently from dear followers about what I do but this one from from @mara_paints has brought me back to life, breathing inspiration back into tired photographic bones. It gives me faith to #saysomething and #sayitloud if I think it matters, because there are people who follow me that are on the same page and care about the same issues. I’m not alone. Don’t be anaesthetised! I you can’t find something you want to speak about, your photography will never progress beyond pretty pictures which satisfy rather than challenge. This from Chris Jordan: “There's this kind of anesthesia in America at the moment. We've lost our sense of outrage, our anger and our grief about what's going on in our culture right now”.

I can identify with this post as an aging woman in these times! I hate getting older and I hate getting wrinkles and age spots... fuck! But artists like you help push back and shine the light on our humanity and what is important! As an artist, I don’t yet have the guts to paint what is not the society norm of beauty... but I think about it every day... and your photography reminds me that the beauty is in the soul and not the surface presentation of appearances... I will continue to try to embrace my age ... but I am not giving up the beauty products to try to reverse it!

This means so much that someone can see the essence of what I do through my pictures. It gives me the strength to continue now with projects that are deeply important to me - ones that challenge and explore social norms and consciousness. These explorations are far from model photography - in the same way that recent work has been, for example the NO HANDS exhibition with @lauren_michelle_artist

The last week I’ve been reading a lot, mainly about photographers who inspire me who are driving change in a social sense. People like James Nachtwey (@jamesnachtwey) and Chris Jordan (chrisjordan.com and @albatrossthefilm). The next few posts will include some profound (to me anyway) quotes from TED talks that those guys have done.

Photo: my dear friend and long time artistic collaborator @biancawolff.com_ just after her beautiful new haircut. Many more images from this shoot.

Photography or Model Photography?

“I think a good portrait says a lot more about the photographer than about the person portrayed. The subject or person
you choose to photograph, the place where you position someone, the moment you capture, the selection, the editing, the use of light—all of these elements are the choices of the photographer. I think we are all (unconsciously) searching for recognition, for something we know, something about ourselves. I think that is having your ‘own style’ within the medium; the reflection of the photographer can be seen in the work.” - Robin De Puy.

This is why general model photography will never be the domain of serious and respected portraiture. Recognition for your work is based on factors extraneous to the above. ‘Likes’ and appreciation are based on socially acceptable norms for beauty (nothing to do with what makes a good portrait)

Also, as photographers we wrongly feel a need to gain appreciation from the model in the photograph. If they do appreciate it, they’ll post it on social media and you will gain more ‘recognition’ for your portrait. Again, nothing to do with a good portrait.

Viewers of model photographs, in my experience, find it almost impossible to see past the above, and truly look at the photograph to identify aspects such as those mentioned by Robin above.

With regard to all this, I feel a huge freedom from the skewed photographic views of the model photography world with my self portraiture. It’s me physically in the pictures of course, but there’s more of me in there than that.

Only one person from the model photography world has ever said they see me in my model work. Thank you Kat @poetic_minx .

Model: @anoushanou who never ceases to inspire my portraiture

The Road Less Travelled