After a very successful exhibition and book launch for my Naked In Baja limited edition printed book last month, I’ve been working hard to create an eBook version which represents the same high standard as the printed book. Of course you can never replace the tactile beauty of a high quality printed book but the images in this eBook do look quite stunning on an iPad.
Containing all the images of Samantha Grace, Carlotta Champagne, Ella Rose, Anne Duffy, Stephanie Anne, Anoush Anou, St Merrique, Sara Liz, Brooke Lynne and Meghan Claire that appear in the printed book, the eBook (iBook) version also contains an extra bonus of two small, behind-the-scenes videos from my shoot at Playa Las Cachora with Carlotta and Sara.
The book contains an introduction by Zoe Wiseman along with 8 chapters of artistic nude photography totalling over 110 pages. The eBook is now available through Blurb for immediate purchase and download.
I can’t believe it’s been just over a year since we were all basking in the Mexican sun, eating tacos, drinking margaritas an oh, taking lots of beautiful art nude photographs of course! It took my reminiscing about Mexico and missing everyone at Fest XI in Palm Springs while I was stuck at work back here in Brisbane to prompt me to finally do something serious with all of my art nude images.
So the Naked In… projects were born and I decided the first in the series should be Naked In… Baja Mexico. Each project will consist of a fine-art limited edition book, an eBook, a limited set of postcards and a series of signed prints. To help raise funds for the design and production of the limited edition book from this first project, I have started a community funding campaign which, much to my amazement, managed to raise the initial funds needed to cover the basic costs in only 3 days. There is also a website / blog to support this and the future Naked In… projects so make sure you check it out and keep visiting to see the latest updates – www.naked-in.com
Of course it would be great to see the support for this project continue so if you are interested in supporting it, click on the photo and head to the Pozible campaign and have a look at what’s on offer.
Strange is the title to this post, as Merrique was the second shoot during my time there at the gathering.
A lot of our work was concentrated on a square opening at Jennie’s place at the Hotelito. This theme (which is the first stuff posted) will become a themed series like a bunch of other previous submission. Though there is a lot of material and hence it has become the finale of the individual postings. I am amazed by the dynamics and creativity that Merrique brought to this, so I am very ecstatic with the results. Here are a couple of samples…
As well, we accomplished some other perspectives, and again, simply amazed.
In addition to the shooting around Todos Santos, their were the wonderful moments meeting many new people. One afternoon I went to the pool at the Casa Bently to appreciate the experience while contemplating the cold and snow I was reading about back home. There at the pool, I meet world citizen Tara Tree and had a most splendid chat with her. Later my wife Dee Dee told me of her experience at the turtle release and how much more enriching it was because of Tara’s translations. Thank you Tara! Upon my departure from Todos Santos I was taking Brooke Lynne to the Aeropuerto and Samantha Grace rode along as she had a flight later in the day. To kill some time Samantha and I explored a couple old cemeteries where the locals were preparing loved ones’ grave sites for the day of the dead festival, then a formal catus garden and ending in the downtown of San Jose del Cabo for lunch where she expanded my vocabulary. Muchas gracias Samantha and loco tacos!!!
The following is a little taste, a sampling, from my time shooting at the Zoe Fest X in Todos Santo, BCS, Mexico.
In the palm oasis that divides Toto Santos. In addition to her modeling, I also highly recommend checking out Meghan’s photography.
On the bluff overlooking the old port dock. Worth the bumpy drive up the mountain and worth the full insurance on the rental car.
A little shoot with big rewards!
Unlike other shoots, I did not have a lot planned. I am glad, because what she created was splendid.
A friend who shares her art with me. Thank you!
A day before the Fest I explored this house and it looked like none had set foot in it for years. It soon was evident how popular it became, I thought a little make over would create something unique.
Keira and Rebecca Lawrence
I am very grateful for their professionalism working with me shooting this series.
In my head I kept hearing music from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western.
Our schedules did not mesh in Germany, so we met in Mexico. Such a delight!
Art, that others have created, in it’s many forms is much of my foundation and inspiration for the art I seek to create.
Below is a short video that is both a homage to Rene Magritte and to my experiences with those I created with in Mexico.
Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.
St. Merrique and I shot at The Casa Dracula and at the Hotelito. Lots of pictures! I posted some earlier as I was in the midst of editing everything, but might as well put them all in one space.
We stopped at La Esquina cafe before our shoot and I had them fix up an iced mocha with three shots of espresso. I was feeling kind of “duh” in Todos Santos. Not sure why, maybe it was the drastic cut to my coffee intake upon arrival. Well, espresso intake. Espresso makes all the difference in the world! Anyway, it finally did the trick. I wasn’t moving at a snails pace anymore. And I think I took more photos because I was just stupid high on coffee! ha. I work best with lots and lots of mocha.
I worked mostly with my Rollei and later switched up and used my tilt-shift lens with my 35mm Nikon fM.
Merrique rules! By the way, incase you needed telling.
Merrique and I shot twice for the Hotelito Studio series.
As I was reviewing the digital images from the first session I noticed some of the surroundings were coming into shot. The work from the studio series ( as with all my film work ) is reproduced full frame and with the film edges shown, so these surroundings became a distraction I didn’t want. With this in mind I decided to shoot another session using a different location.
However, once the film came back from the lab I noticed I hadn’t captured these distractions on film and the hero shot was on this first roll! I’ll post outtakes from roll 2 soon …
The selected image for the series is in the top left corner …
This is part eleven in a series of blogs on my recent artistic adventures in Mexico.
Ever been to a party where you don’t know anyone? Many people find that to be an uncomfortable situation.
Me? I don’t really mind it. I guess it depends on the people at the party, but I can usually get a conversation going with someone without too much effort. And if I’m at a gathering of artists, well that’s a piece of cake!
That’s good, except with all the evening socializing, great conversation and mingling going on at ZoeFest, it was a challenge to make it across the room to speak with someone you were hoping to have a conversation with because there were always a handful of great conversations to be had in the space between. Kinda like trying to get from the hotel entrance to the elevators in Las Vegas. A maze of shiny, blinking things to distract you on the way.
During the first few days, St. Merrique and I had managed to only have a few sentence fragments of communication in passing. Enough that I knew, yes, we both wanted to work together in Todos Santos and also that she would be departing from ZoeFest a few days earlier than the rest of us.
Yet we always seemed to be on opposite sides of the room at whatever social function we were attending. She finally resorted to sending me an email to try to schedule some shoot time. It worked.
Merrique is from my favorite city in the world, Paris, although she currently calls Los Angeles her home base. She has a quiet graceful quality about her, but you can also tell there is a powerful strength behind those eyes of hers. Beauty not to be trifled with.
This was the second of three shoots on my third day of ZoeFest. Again it was at the Hotelito where I had just photographed Claudine. Since my shoot with St. Merrique was scheduled right as the mid-day heat was about to make its entrance, we decided that perhaps shade should be the theme of the day. I found an interesting vibrant pink wall that would keep her out of the direct sun. Definitely a background she would stand out from, even in the shade.
I took one test exposure frame of her casually standing at rest against the wall and satisfied with my camera settings, I told her I was ready as I raised the viewfinder back to my eye.
Before even clicking the shutter, just looking through the viewfinder, whoever it was that was in my first test frame was suddenly replaced by… well… St. Merrique!
One of the great thing about working with models who exude a great deal of professionalism is that there is so little direction needed. Merrique knew her environment, the light she was standing in and where I was in relation to it all. All I had to do was find the composition that worked with what she was giving me. Just her against a textured wall. A doorway to the left of the frame and a shaft of sunlight from behind the little building, sweeping past her feet.
Maybe I would have her move a bit closer or away from the wall or maybe a half a step to the left or right, but to be honest, there was very little I could say to improve upon what she was doing. Really perfect.
It was also one of those times when I was having a color or B&W argument in the back of my head while we were shooting. I’ll talk about this more a bit later, but I usually know whether an image is going to be color or B&W as I’m composing it, because I do compose differently depending on that choice. The decision is usually not made in post processing, but at the time of the shoot.
The wall was so vivid behind Merrique. I finally let myself off the hook by agreeing that I could later choose how light or dark the wall would be behind her in my B&W conversions and balance the composition accordingly whether I decided to go with B&W or color. Regardless, I had to stop the mental argument because St. Merrique was really doing some amazing things with her shape!
We decided to head over to the pool. Even though I had shot in that location just a few hours earlier, the light was completely different now and one half of the pool was now completely in the shade. Perfect.
I had Merrique move to the middle of one of the long sides of the pool and this time I moved close to the wall instead of shooting across the pool. It created a lot of negative space which I love to work with. All I had to do was to not fall in the water as I balanced precariously close to the edge!
She continued with lovely poses and this time I ignored the color or B&W argument that had started up in my head again. It was a lovely blue wall, but I was thinking B&W as I shot.
St. Merrique was a joy to work with. Lovely, graceful, intelligent. A wonderful collaborator in the hot sun. Except that we were smart enough to remember to work in the shade.
We wrapped the shoot, very happy with what we had created.
Oh, and I should mention that not only is she a stunning model, Merrique is also a musician and audio engineer! Crazy talented! You can hear some of her music here.
My next shoot with the spectacular Rebecca Lawrence would begin in an hour!
Claudine, Ella Rose, Anoush Anou, Meghan, Stephanie Anne, Kiera Grant, Rebecca Lawrence, St. Merrique, Candace Nirvana, Brooke Lynne, Carlotta Champagne, Samantha Grace, Anne Duffy, Tara Tree and Sara Liz. Thank you, Ladies! Stay tuned for the video!
I’ve yet to be overtly critical with any of these images. Sometimes every image on the roll says a little something. I usually figure out that ONE shot after I’ve had a chance to divorce myself from the day, the editing and the here and now feeling when the shoot is still so fresh in your head. Merrique is an amazing model and that makes the editing process that much harder.
I had been looking at this door at the Casa Dracula for quite some time online. I thought Merrique and I were going to get in the car and drive to the boat dock in La Paz and head over to one of the islands for our shoot, but Todos Santos kind of kept me from leaving… (you can never leave…) and maybe the pink champagne on ice had a thing or two to do with that, but I really think it was the heat. Heat that I’m missing right now. brr!