Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jason Bay to the Mets

Anyone who knows me will happily testify that my crappy Red Sox have been breaking my heart since 1988. They've been punishing my psyche for so long that when they do win, I'm waiting for them to blow it somehow.

I was disappointed in hearing of left fielder Jason Bay's signing w/ the New York Mets. At the same time it doesn't surprise me, nor am I losing THAT much sleep over it. There are simply some teams out there that are so poorly run from the top down, you just kinda know that if a big free agent goes there, they're doing it simply for the paycheck. I don't blame them & it reinforces the comedic fodder in 3 years when (insert the free agent of your choice) demands to be traded because he want to win. A-Rod, I'm looking in your direction.

So w/ Bay's signing, he joins the "stellar" lineup of Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, & Carlos Delgado. This is the same team that finished 70-92, 23 games behind the division rivals & pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies.

Is anyone willing to bet against me that the Mets will still have yet another crappy season in 2010?


In other news...

Below is a picture of Lauren & Leeann playfully reinterpreting Gordon Park's legendary "American Gothic" where he himself was reinterpreting Grant Woods' 1930's piece of the same name.

It was a very spontaneous shot, nothing overly thought out but certainly fits into to my tongue-in-cheek creative nature.


Feel free to opine if you so choose.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

I do hope everyone had a great Christmas.

I've been trying to write a blog dissertation attacking the commercialization of Christmas as well as the idiots that buy into it (no pun intended) but it doesn't feel right. Besides, publishing it really defeats the purpose of the holiday season.


In other news, here's a picture of Jenn. As a sucker for smiles, she photographs quite well & has piercing blue eyes.


Feel free to opine, critique, whatever. Just please leave (at least) a first name so I know who's commenting.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Glass House Dysfunction

I have a hard time respecting politicians beyond the local level. The lying & soapboxing for the cameras is nauseatingly transparent. If politics is theater by another means, when I go to a play, the actors actions will not effect the lives of real people beyond an emotional response.

I give you the example of State Senator Betty Little, R-Queensbury & my own representative.

She said, "(Gov't) is now beyond dysfunction. It is madness, or something."

I don't disagree w/ her sentiment. However, one could argue that she is just as much a part of the problem as the very people she's attacking.

Senator Little could have contributed in solving this dysfunction if she had the intestinal fortitude switched sides & would have been hailed as being above the childish fray by citing *holding hand over her heart* "for the good of the taxpayers of NY" when her own Legislative chamber couldn't act like mature adults. As was shown, that didn't even remotely happen.

Senator Little could have alleviated the state's budget crisis by voting "yes" on the State Senate's Same Sex Marriage bill. After all, people do need to pay a fee (among other things) to legalize their marriage. To say nothing about how macabre that some lowlife like State Senator Monserate who was found guilty of misdemeanor assault for slicing up his girlfriend's face w/ a piece of glass can be allowed to marry yet two homosexuals who love each other cannot. I guess "equal protection under the law" means "equal protection for some people but not others."

As the saying goes Sen Little, "Fix your own darn house before you start worrying how others are doing." If you are bankrupt of ideas or do not have the courage to put them through, you should tender your resignation for someone who is willing to step up.

Following picture I feel is quite in line w/ the theme of this blog:


Feel free to opine, critique, whatever any part of this blog so long as people can civil adults.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carter Speech on Religion and Women

Apparently, I'm not the only one questioning religion's oppression of women.

I found an excerpt of a speech by former President Carter as reported by the NY Times. The full text is here.


In other news, this is my butt-kicking painter friend Heather.

This was one of the rare instances where I was more decisive in selecting her wardrobe than she was. :-)


Feel free to comment, critique, opine whatever so long as you're an adult about it. Also leaving a first name at minimal is mighty helpful to.

Monday, December 14, 2009

One of Those Weeks

Its been one of "those" weeks.

Last weekend's shoot got cancelled due to a snowstorm. The spot that I've been milking since God knows how long has temporarily been retired due to said snow blocking the route to get there.

Later this week, that shoot got canceled due to stress over a school final. Can't blame them for it since I've been there. We're both looking to reschedule but until we're actually shooting I'm not holding my breath. Life gets in the way sometimes.

Multiple inquires but nothing ever of yet.

Snows again, this weekend. I know I should expect, it tis the season & whatnot but it won't stop me from venting. I'm definitely not a winter person. :-)

This week's prize was getting into an argument w/ a friend. I cracked a joke in a moment of levity that I've said a thousand times over including them. They get ticked off, which happens. When I ask why or what's changed, the best the person can come up w/ is "Quit playing dumb. If you don't know, then I'm not going to tell you." So much for getting the benefit of the doubt. As if I don't have enough real drama in my life w/o the petty, manufactured faux stuff. LOL *rolls eyes*

All I can do is shrug my shoulders. That & remain optimistic that this week will be better.


This here is the super sweet Alyssa which was taken this past summer during my stay in Boston. We went to one of those old pre-colonial fort tourist places down somewhere on the Massachusetts coast. It was yet another abysmally rainy day.


Feel free to comment, critique, opine, whatever. Just leave a first name at the very least.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Analysis of the Church's Relationship with Women

Earlier this week, I discussed the Church's role in defeating same sex marriages. Today, I'm taking a closer look in how it treats women. I think these issues are more linked than people care to admit.

One of the Catholic Church's main missions is to promote social justice through equality on THIS world. Yet why is it that w/n their own institution, they are regulating women as being 2nd class citizens?

Think about it. They preach, "we believe in quality for all" yet how they conduct their business is anything but. There's a glass ceiling for women. They can assist in how the church is run, they can teach, they can recruit members but when it comes to actual leadership roles, sorry, they're unfit. Is this not an exploitation?

Winston Churchill during his political exile in the 1930's repeatedly denounced the Nuremberg Laws that legalized the discrimination of German Jews (among other things) "for nothing more than how they was born." Why cannot the same be applied w/ the Catholic Church & its treatment of woman? Were they any other establishment, there'd be a class action lawsuit accusing the Church of "sexual discrimination" or some sort of conspiracy to keep women down. Furthermore, the government would step in & say, "You have every right to conduct business as you see fit. But we cannot condone such actions. Therefore we will suspend the tax benefits those very same benefits that enable the status quo."

If you look closely in the Bible in how they describe Christ's conception. God created Mary free from original sin. He then later chooses Mary to carry his son (or himself, depending on your interpretation). There's a big tadoo in how God's gift to man is "free will."

At the Annunciation, Gabriel announced, "Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’" (Luke 1:30-31). Notice how its phrased, "you will" as opposed to "will you". Mary had no choice in the matter. Sure she may have been honored to have his child (or himself...didn't that whole Trinity thing split the Church at some point) but she just as well may have been revolted by the premise. So because Mary never consented of her own free will to having the baby, does this not mean God raped Mary? Where is Mary's "free will"?

Certainly has to make one wonder.

Why women still continue to support the church & its hypocrisy. My theory? Stockholm Syndrome.

Think about it. Stockholm Syndrome is "an emotional attachment to a captor formed by a hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and a need to cooperate for survival."

What's the stress? Could be anything from excommunication to denial of the sacraments to the denial of the soul's acceptance to heaven. What's the dependence? The spiritual renourishment. Why the cooperation for survival? Again, the fear of being excommunicated, the denial of sacraments, &/or the souls denial into heaven. Because of this, people become dependent on its teachings & interests w/ little critical thinking. In this context, can the church not be viewed as the captor?

Until the Church starts scrutinizing its own actions & do work towards a better world on this Earth as outlined in their mission in the New Testament (peace on earth; feeding the sick, lame, & poor; leaving this world a better place than when you found it; spread the word of God; loving thy neighbor as I would love myself; to name a few...), I have a really hard time taking anything they preach at face value.


This is Amanda. Taken during a very rare nonrainy moment while I was out in Boston this past summer. I swear it rained like 45 of the 60 days I was there, pretty ridiculous even by Boston's weather standards.

The shoot got cut short because we had to race outside to stop her car from being ticketed which we were successful in doing. Nonresidential parking in Boston is a pain in the rear. I recommend using their public transportation if at all possible.


Feel free to critique, opine, whatever, all I ask is that you be an adult about it. Oh yeah, & leave at least a first name if you're not a blogger member.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Church Forgetting its own Mission

I am deeply discouraged by the Church's role in defeating gay marriage in both California last year, Maine this year, & a last week in the NYS Senate.

Personal opinion #1: I can care less. If a gay or lesbian couple wish to be miserable for the rest of their lives through the bonds of matrimony like any other straight couple, who am I to deny them that wish?

Its hypocritical of the church, an institution that supposedly "seeks justice on this earth", to spend so much time, energy, & money on the very opposite. The last I checked, the New Testament is about loving thy neighbor, helping those that are less fortunate, sticking up for the oppressed, doing that to which you know to be right, saving souls, being honest w/ yourself & your relationship w/ God, healing the sick, etc. Its never about keeping people in bondage, making them be 2nd class citizens in the kingdom of God.

Personal opinion #2: When the church gets seeks change through the political process & betrays its own values, does it not demean its own moral authority?

Considering the scope of the (unfortunately) STILL ongoing pedophilia scandal here in the US as well as recently revealed abuses in Ireland, I'm puzzled why we citizens should take the Church seriously. Why should they dictate how OTHER CONSENTING ADULTS conduct their own business when they cannot control or ignore abuses in theirs. This is not even including the coverups that went on for DECADES.

I guess the message they're still trying to send is that 2 men screwing each other is a no-no but if its one of their one screwing a little boy or girl, its as Martha Stewart would say, "a good thing."

Personal opinion #3: Maybe the tax exempt status of the Churches should be revoked or more scrutinized. Or maybe gay & lesbian couples should get a reduction in their tax burden.

The Fourteenth Amendment gives "equal protection under the law." It broadly defines citizenship & the constitutional rights, particularly due process. Using this argument...if gay & lesbians do not have the same rights as straight folk, why should they be obligated to pay the same amount of taxes or serve on juries or other things like that. Also using that same logic, churches should start paying taxes. Are we the taxpayer not footing the bill from public services like fire & police protection? W/ that same line of reasoning, the gay & lesbian communities are essentially subsidizing their own oppression.

I'm honestly surprised in the NYS Senate debate, nobody framed it in such a way as helping ease the state's budget crisis. They could have had a nice windfall from all the new marriage licenses being issued to the new gay & lesbian couples. But then again, this is the same government body that was in session for the entire month of June because they couldn't act like adults & get a quorum. All the while getting no work done even though there's something like a $2 billion dollar budget deficit that (to this very day still needs to be resolved).

Personal opinion #4: Government at all levels should completely get out of the marriage racket & give everyone "civil unions" for all those who apply & qualify. It doesn't matter if 2 guys want it, 2 girls, & 1 guy & 1 girl. Completely leave the marriage business to religious institutions. Who they choose & deny should have no weight or special benefit w/ man's law.

Maybe I'm just a fallen Catholic who will burn in hell anyway (I'm a "pornographer" after-all who shoots half-naked girls that are wearing more real estate than the girls in the undies section of the JCPenny's catalog) but I can't take their mission seriously when I'm more educated about their own mission & what the messages of the New Testament than they are.


In other news...

This is Samantha & her fiancee, Ryan, in one of their goofy moments that is supposedly "pornographic" (like I'm supposed to be ashamed that is "porn).

For some reason I keep thinking of the song, "Anything You Can Do" from "Annie Get your Gun." The lyrics go, "Anything you can do I can do better!" "No, you can't." "Yes, I can." "No, you can't." "Yes, I can." & so on.


Feel free to opine, critique, whatever. Just be an adult & leave a name when you do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I got talking w/ a photographer friend of mine & the topic of expectations arose. For the sake of expediency, we'll call her Jane (as in Jane Doe)

Well, it didn't happen right off the get-go. Jane's an art student & got married over the summer. Her mother, apparently, was complaining that its taken her wedding photographer 4 months to get the pictures done. Nevermind the fact that the photographer in question is Jane's trusted friend. Nevermind again the fact that had Jane not offered to do the pictures to get the experience, she (according to Jane) would have been a bridesmaid. Nevermind again that Jane's mom was never privy to whatever agreement the photographer & Jane herself made.

"This is a really nice picture of the family taken by (Jane's Mom's friend)," the mother said. True, it is & it has a nice mat & frame to boot. The only problem being NO ONE'S LOOKING AT THE CAMERA because their attention is on the person who's supposed to be taking the pictures in the first place. Needless to say I smiled, nodded, & said, "It is, isn't it." Its part of that picking your battles thing & its not like Jane's Mom's opinion would changed.

But anyway, Jane made a comment that really got me thinking & is thus the inspiration of this blog. "You'd think that with a few photographers in the family," she & siblings, "she'd be able to appreciate how lengthy the process can be."

So we got talking, mostly to blow off steam to like minded individuals.

However, all people see is the end product. Unless they're involved in "the game" so to speak, its like a foreign concept to them. It'd be like my older brother trying to explain to me why some pro soccer team blows chunks or my sister explaining what to take into account when formulating a lesson plan. I can get a vague idea as to what they're talking about in better empathizing w/ their plight. But in actually understanding the topic in question, its to foreign for me to grasp maybe because I have no tangible use for it.

There's nothing wrong w/ it. It just is what it is.

So why does it happen?

Personal theory #1: Enthusiasm.

I cannot tell you how many times I've given small scale, unedited "proofs" to one of my subjects & then later seen them on Facebook or MySpace. Those are meant for their eyes only (& state it as such in the release they sign) or at least "not for public display". I wince even more when they attribute my name to it. It matters that people are seeing images that have not had my tender loving care. This is a reason why I stopped giving out proofs unless its a hire job.

They're so excited to get "something" that it overrides their good sense. Its sorta like how our old dog Buddy was. Whenever he'd see a fellow canine, he'd start barking & subsequently lose his mind in the excitement.

Personal theory #2: the "Blinders" Effect.

When something is outside of a person's knowledge orbit, there can be "fog of war" effect. Meaning the unknown is an element in & of itself that creates uncertainty. In such cases, people revert to their own knowledge base regardless if its even remotely applicable or accurate.

So if a person's political knowledge base is limited to what they've observed in NY State politics, they'd likely think that politics on all levels is dysfunctional.

Personal theory #3: Differing Perspectives.

Time & again, I see people make dreadful choices. Here's an exchange I had many moons ago:

Me: Are you sure you want (that shot)?
Subject: Yes, I do. Its one of my favorites!
Me: May I ask why? Not trying to be mean but you look constipated, not to mention caught you mid-blink.
Subject: Its alright. I just like how you captured my boobs. You made my A-cups look huge!

Considering we all look at things differently, I let the matter drop. There's like no way I could belabor the point w/o hurting her feelings.


Speaking of weddings...

Here's the something from the Connor-Filin wedding. & no, the bride isn't the aforementioned Jane Doe. She's my dear friend Shiloh, one of my earliest & treasured subjects.

It was a cute little ceremony last Valentine's Day, held up in Lake Placid. It certainly brings a smile to my face knowing that happy endings are possible & at the same time is a birth to a new beginning.


Feel free to opine, critique, or whatever, just be an adult about it.