I'm starting a new photo-art project soon. There are many details to work out in my mind before I can decide where I need it to go. I want to name it, much like we name a baby while it is still in the womb so that you get a feel for it, romanticise and love it before it gets here. Plus, it helps keep me in direction to name my projects. All of the posts for it will be on a separate filter I'll make once I get things figured out, and I'll add people to it at the appropriate time.
What got it started was the scar on the end of my nose and the fact that I need a new creative outlet. I got the scar from the accident where I fell out of the tree. Unless you're really studying my face you probably wouldn't even notice it. I have tons of scars all over me, and that is the only one I'm really self conscious about. So not long ago, I was in my bathroom shaving my neck and caught sight of it, just sitting there just under the end of my nose, antagonizing me like an angsty, stubborn label. I stopped shaving and decided to study it once and for all. I have given this tiny, insignificant piece of myself so much energy that it has become much larger than it really is over time and so finally the thought occurs to me that it's just really not important. And then my perception of it changed and in studying it I didn't see it as big as I'd made it anymore. Then it occurred to me that most people probably don't notice it anyway, and if someone actually did and it changed their perception of me, then fuck them. So I was left with "What if this is just what it looks like, and that's okay?" So the idea was sown for this project.
I am a finder of flaws - physical flaws - because I find more character in a flaw than the average person too preoccupied with perfection to bother finding beauty in the odd, strange, or simply different. I like imperfections. I detest vapidity. I've never been much on a pretty face, whether there was more behind it or not. People only really come alive to me and become either beautiful or ugly through their actions. Only when I feel superficial (which we all do, and you have to allow for it - like it or not) do I take people at face value, and that's generally because I'm attracted to them physically and it all turns into sex anyway - even if just in one's mind. It has its place.
I want to do conceptual photography of people's features and parts, to sum up a greater whole if that makes sense. I absolutely adore the work done by 50poundnote, whose series of bingo cards is one of the most inspiring, genius things I've seen in years. I'm also inspired by the work of michaelnolan and bitterlawngnome. All of these amazing people just provoking me at every turn to get out the stuff that lingers around in my head too much instead of where it belongs. I don't know how else to put it. It will consist largely of sectionalized pieces, individual parts but seldom of an entire form. I'm not that interested in photographing the whole of a person right now, though I will be taking several different angles and many full body shots. One thing you learn is that you might as well take all of the pictures you can get while the opportunity is there, whether you use them or not.
I have several people who have offered to sit and model for me, and I thank you all. And I thank you in advance to those that will offer in the future to be part of the project. One of the people who has surprised me the most by agreeing to the project is my friend Jason. Jason is straight, soon to be divorced, and the father of a rambunctious little boy. He owns a construction company with his family and is a firefighter as well. Very all American, rugged, former jock, gravelly voiced and sothern to the bone, down to his lowcountry drawl. He's very handsome and has an amazing body, strawberry blonde with impossibly broad shoulders, huge arms and hands, big legs and a thick neck. On a whim I asked him about posing for me yesterday morning while I was pouring myself a cup of coffee, and he agreed without hesitation, even growing excited when I explained the project and Maggie talked up my previous work. While I know he will bring a good sense of form into the result I'm after I have to admit that the idea of him getting naked for me and the camera is QUITE hot. I'm sure there will be a ghostofaman story written about the experience.
So anyway, I have a lot to figure out and decide on before shooting begins next weekend. Location space, lighting, composition, you name it. Then there are the questions of colorization or black & white, layout, whether to frame or not, effects, filters....
Now for the real challenge - getting inspiration and encouragement from myself.