The last moments of @neckro’s short zombie survivor life. (Well, pretty much. He did get up, but was killed moments later anyway.)
Tonight’s Electric Six show at First Avenue is being recorded for a two-part live DVD/album and for the second set they are playing Fire in its entirety? (One of the greatest albums ever!) FUCK YES.
I’ve decided to start utilizing this as my personal blog once again, since I was being terrible about posting regularly on photoSynthetique.com. That site has once again reverted to being a photoblog.
“Sometimes I have to list out these accomplishments to remind myself to focus on all the little good things instead of the little bad things.”
A quote from this post by my friend Maranda Bingen.
A very true statement. It can be so hard to stop and pay attention to all of good things happening in life, especially if you’re like me and you’ve decided that 2012 is the year that you start heaping things on to your own plate. If you’ve not been around me recently, I am now registered to begin teaching photography as a part of the Continuing Adult Education Classes at North High School starting in April! Teaching is something that I’ve always felt that I would likely be pretty good at doing. I have the patience, I love helping others develop their skills and I could seriously talk about photography for several hours every day. It’s something I’m extremely excited about!
In addition, many of you might be familiar with The Libertine Asylum, the artist organization that I’ve been a member of for the last three years. Well, after having met a lot of fantastic people (many of whom I am happy to now count amongst my good friends), making a lot of really great contacts in several different industries and learning the ins and outs of hosting some amazing nightclub events, I have decided to step up and help the Asylum plan for the future! As of last week, I am now the “Lord General” of the Libertine Asylum, a title that I decided upon after weeks of deliberation based on the fact that it both implies leadership and has the right level of pretentious artsy-ness to it that says that I’m not just some boring CEO. As Lord General, I will be directly responsible for organizing our group and providing a strong central vision for what we are doing. That said, it is still a group of amazing artists and thus most of our activities will still be a collective effort, so I can not even begin to claim sole credit for what we do. My primary responsibilities are to ensure that someone can crack the whip when necessary so that things get done when they’re supposed to and to resolve disputes. We will also be expanding our mission from that of a “Fashion Collective” to an “Artist Advocacy Group”. With that, I hope to see a much larger number of Members from all walks of life, all art disciplines as well as different businesses that would like to work with artists. I think it’s going to be a big year for the Libertine Asylum!
It’s been a great month, family-wise as well. Next week we get Inara for 10 days straight, which will be the second time in 2012 already, so we have some fun stuff planned. She had her Winter quarter parent teacher conferences last week and I couldn’t possibly be more proud of her. She’s doing fantastically in academics and she has really come out of her social shell. At the beginning of the year, she was painfully shy and had troubles interacting with the other kids but she has opened up greatly over the winter and has a group of regular friends at school now. Each school day, one kid gets to be the teachers’ helper and all of them get really excited to be the one chosen so every morning would start with the kids asking the teacher who would be the helper that day before even bothering to greet her. Inara took it upon herself to start saying “Good morning Ms. Ashley, how are you today?” at the beginning of each class and her polite example prompted many of the other kids to start doing the same. When I heard that, I couldn’t help but be incredibly pleased with how she is progressing. I’m still not looking forward to her teenage years though, as she is very adamant about always doing things her own way and she is terribly stubborn. We will weather it though, and I’m confident that she is on the road to being a wonderful individual.
Thought of the Day:
“If you do not change your beliefs, your life will always be like this.“
I’ve been working in the fashion, portrait and wedding photography industry for several years now and there is a phrase that I absolutely hate. Based on the above title, I’m sure you’ve already guessed that it is “real women”.
I hear it all the time, from colleagues, friends and recently even a teacher in the photography program at school. The idea is that the women we always see in fashion, artistic nude or swimsuit photography are too
skinny. “Real” women don’t look like that, goes the thinking. “Real” women have curves. Even in a recent season of America’s Next Top Model, there was a curvy model who referred to herself as “real-sized” to counter the more common plus-size label. While I understand what she was thinking, (and she was certainly very curvy and beautiful) no one likes to be called plus-size which is often felt to be a synonym for “fat”, I don’t think she realizes the damage she’s inflicting on the other side of things.
You see, by referring to curvy women as “real”, what are you saying about smaller women? Are they not real? The idea is that all of those twiggy models that we see on TV and in magazines are unhealthy and clearly starving themselves to achieve an ideal that is unnatural. I don’t doubt that there are plenty in the industry who fit this stereotype (and don’t even get me started on the “thinspiration” crowd, those who think anorexia is a perfectly normal way of life), but what about all of those women who are
simply naturally skinny? Not all of them asked to be as small as they are, but that is just the way nature made them and they are making the best of it. If you think that skinny people of either gender are free of self-image issues, you’re sadly misinformed about human behaviour. The movement to classify only curvy women as “real” implies that skinnier women are not normal, the outsiders and to be pitied or hated.
As anyone who has followed my career is aware, I have always worked hard to strike a balance and show people from all walks of life. Skinny, curvy and everything in between. I think beauty is far more in the confidence and personality of an individual than in their body shape. I know that sounds like a trite cliche, but I have found over the years that you can put a model in front of the camera who has the absolute magazine “perfect” form and end up with crap pictures, while models who have very little experience and a few more curves but a lot of bubbly enthusiasm and a great attitude have turned out FAR superior images.
Someone who follows my tumblr recently asked me the following:
“When I look at (your) tumblr I get depressed. Please post more reblogs of fat girls (or just less of the over photoshopped sticks I keep seeing)…. I don’t want to butt into your tumblr but I like you and I’d rather just straight up tell you. Being an image maker (photographer) you can make a difference, what do you think?”
I completely agree with her sentiment here, it’s true that my Tumblr does have a lot of very skinny women on it, and I can see how that would be disheartening to a larger woman. This is not intentional on my part. I use my Tumblr as a general inspiration blog. I see images that I admire, or perhaps that I would like to try to recreate someday, so I reblog them there to share with everyone the kind of images that I find really cool and would like to see more of. The problem is that while I endeavour to show women of all sizes in my own work, not all photographers are the same. Many do not have images of larger ladies in their portfolios, either because they haven’t worked with any or because they feel pressure to adhere to the bullshit standard in print and TV that all women have to be flat-stomached and fit enough to be a yoga instructor. Those who do have plus-sized models in their portfolio, they rarely have them doing anything edgy or inspiring, they are generally just there to say “See, I shoot bigger girls too!”, leaving their concept shoots to only feature traditional swimsuit models. Thus, when I happen upon their work, the images with the skinny model with the awesome lighting, fantastic posing and dynamic shadows jumps out at me, while the totally boring portrait of the plus-sized model just standing there doesn’t. I’m only interested in the craft brought to the image, it’s rare that the model alone catches my eye. It’s an unfortunate part of the industry that generally only a certain type of model gets the creative shoots, I would really like to see it changed someday and all I can do is contribute as much as I can.
All women are “real”, and all women are beautiful in their own way. Next time you feel compelled to hate on someone because they’re the size you want to be or don’t want to be, remember that it’s very likely that they hate their own size as much as you do and making them feel shitty about it isn’t going to help anyone.
Image 1 “Kasia Pilewicz” is copyright ©2011 The CW Network. Image 2 “Parseltongue” is copyright ©2011 Drayke Larson.
Inaugural blog posts are always so difficult for me. They’re basically an introduction, mixed with an excuse for why I created this new blog, why the old one sucks, how I’m totally going to be so much better about posting in this one, etc. It sucks and I hate it, but I don’t really know how else to begin this, so here we go!
Who am I? I’m Drayke Larson.
Why would you give a crap about what I have to say? Well, you probably won’t be coming back to this blog for what I have to write, because that’s not the medium through which I communicate. I’m a photographer. I create beautiful, ugly, sensational, understated, fun and horrible images. But mostly beautiful ones. My guess is that you will give far more of a crap about those than anything I type in this box.
How many blogs have I had in the past? Too many. At least five according to Google. Yes, I had to google my own blog count because I’ve forgotten. Most of them have fallen by the wayside and are archived copies of young angst, but a few are still “active”, but will likely be less so in the immediate future. Blogs such as my photoblog, although that will likely be folding into this blog very soon. I do also have a blogspot account, but it is essentially just a mirror of that photoblog.
Other things you should know? I will likely post a lot of things here, mostly my photography. This can include photos from weddings, portrait sessions, fashion catalog shoots, random street photography and photos of my daughter, Inara. Actually, there will probably a lot of photos of my daughter, she is one of my muses. Part of what makes me such an avid wedding photographer is my love of family, something I take very seriously every day. I should also mention that I am engaged to be married, and thus not only do I love shooting weddings but I am now co-planning one as well so I am learning what it is to be on the other side as well.
I’m the kind of person who really enjoys new things. Sometimes this means I start a new blog and then slowly begin neglecting it, but not this time!. (Famous last blogger words, if there ever were any.) I do have an SEO manager now, and he is making me commit to a minimum of one blog post a week. I do respond well to external pressure, so that helps. Plus, I really need to take a break from editing sometimes and remember to share all the wonderful things I capture, as that is largely the point; sharing my vision of the world with anyone and everyone who will give me the time.
So, welcome to the new blog. I hope I can share something with you that you will enjoy. :D<br>
<i>Photo provided by <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/fairshadow“>Fairshadow Photography</a>