When a part of you is gone

Sometimes things happen in life that you least expect, even though you know all good things have a beginning and an end. While enjoying a perfectly moderate Spring day before the disgusting humidity and excessive heat starts, I got some shocking news from my Mom in an email. That my favorite pizza parlor / tavern in New York that I’ve enjoyed for my whole life, is closing soon. The former Inn was built over 100 years ago and it’s been a tavern and pizza joint for nearly 60 years.

It’s in a small village outside the city, where it’s almost the land that time forgot. I’ve been in Nashville for 25 years, and that village has changed very minimally since then. I bet citizens shit themselves when they built a roundabout at one jokingly busy intersection. It’s always funny and comforting to visit when I go back. Funny that the whole village has changed so little, I think people like it for what it is. And comforting for the same reason. Community staples, like this tavern don’t come and go. If you leave Nashville for even a few months, you won’t recognize some of it when you come back. So it’s a nice contrast.

I think this leaves a huge void in the community. There are so few places where town workers can go for lunch. Or families / bar patrons for dinner or after work cocktail. Many generations. This isn’t just a brick and mortar business I like that is closing their doors. This is a place that’s always been there for me and I’ve been there with my parents, grandparents, friends, some who have passed on. I feel sad and angry at the same time, but understand it was time for these owners to move on with life. Over the years, nothing changed, the inside looked the same. The outside looked the same. The pizza tasted the same, homemade crust and sauce. Knowing I won’t taste this amazing pizza again is the reality that is hitting me right now. When a part of you is gone, this is how you feel. To boot, it’s going to be another Stewart’s shop. There’s already one less than a Goddamn mile away…and there is a gas station RIGHT next door. I will never forget the taste or the feel of the landmark. This is a lifetime of memories for me. One time a couple years back, I brought my twin lens Yashica medium format with me. This too will soon be a memory.

Outdoor nude photoshoot on the farm

There is something magical about how the nude female body compliments the outdoors and it’s elements. This lovely intimate photoshoot was no exception. The lines and shapes of her body, the power of the sun, the scenery of the farm and texture of the barn. All going together as a jigsaw puzzle would, as long as a competent person is there to put it all together. We shall begin with photos featuring the outdoor nude photoshoot on the farm!

boudoir nashville

A young man in the military had contacted me saying he was nearing overseas deployment for the better part of a year. So, he wanted to take some precious memories from home to keep his spirits up and keep him motivated. And of course super duper motivated to count the days until he returns home! Some lovely artistic nude and implied nude photography of the special lady in his life would be that care package we send him off with!!

nude bodyscape

Outdoor nude photoshoot on the farm

Nashville boudoir

A friend of mine was so gracious to let us use their farm for this photoshoot. The day was fairly chilly but the sun helped. The harshest sun of the day is between 10 AM and 2 PM and we were in the middle of it, but I used that as a lighting challenge, it paid off. This young lady was a trooper and had fun with it knowing how much it means to her husband!

bodyscape

artistic nude

All natural light here, turning the body and using very high shutter speeds and small apertures to expose for highlights….and create shadows! Moody bodyscapes are nice for the artistic and mystique factors!

bodyscape

bodyscape

outdoor nude

Nashville boudoir

It was nice working with this lovely couple! Thank you to her for being willing to let me share the shoot with my audience. And thank you to him for his service. Please return home soon and safely! I hope these (and more not pictured here) keep you happy while serving! I hope all of you have enjoyed this Outdoor nude photoshoot on the farm.

Nudes at abandoned theater

I had an impromptu reconvening with a past muse who entered the fold once again. It was interesting and fun to be re connected. She had tossed the idea around of shooting again after life happened, I agreed that was a brilliant idea. We both like distressed and abandoned locations, and the life after people vibe. So, without further adieu, I bring you some lovely artistic nudes at abandoned theater series. You’re welcome.

Nudes at abandoned theater

Ok, some are partially clothed and implied nude as well. It’s good to switch it up sometimes too. It appeared we didn’t have company, but do you ever really know? There are always miscellaneous littered items, and sometimes signs of residency. We’re just passing through, nothing to see here.

implied nude

bottomless

Is this the stairway to heaven? It goes to nowhere, but it depends which way you take when you reach the top I suppose.

stairway to nowhere

implied nude

I didn’t have to do much in post production. I used a neutral density filter on my lens, think of it as sunglasses over the lens. Makes the background darker and I light the subject with a bare strobe to expose her. All I changed really was the toning.

implied nude

Is there a spot available next to you? Imagine if this were still a public place, society isn’t ready for that yet. One day we may evolve.

bare bottom

figure study

moody

I really like figure study nude photography, we decided to use the landscape and textures to blend her body in with it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the Nudes at abandoned theater series!

figure nude

artistic nude

Sun, shadow, texture, mood, curves, shape, all key ingredients to a great art nude photograph. I love the continual challenge to see and document something new with each personal photoshoot. The most dangerous place to stay is in the comfort zone and to spend so much time on the set that you fail to see the subject.

 

Bringing someone to intimate photoshoots

This is not really targeted towards the model, but the lady doing an intimate photoshoot for herself or her spouse / significant other. I would expect a model to be able to work without a counterpart. Sometimes it feels natural to bring someone close to them while doing their photoshoot for moral support. I get it. Although my approach and style is different from the standard boudoir studio, I am still all about providing a fun and unique experience. I understand my private clients are often first timers doing any sort of intimate photoshoots whether nude or implied nude. With my clients, most do not plan on bringing someone to intimate photoshoots because of the awkward factor. By then we have met for a consultation or spoken in detail about their photoshoot. That’s the best way for them to feel comfortable with me and the creative process.

natural light boudoir

I never tell them they can’t bring someone, but a careful selection is encouraged. If a client wants to, It’s not acceptable for that person to distract or start offering ideas. Or create any other negative energy that takes away from the creative process. I’ve done this for a long time and am experienced working with people and the female form. It’s not in my interest to provide anyone a bad experience or one that isn’t for them. I’ve had mostly good experiences even with those accompanying clients. If they’re a fly on the wall and not disruptive, it’s all good.

bodyscape

I recently had a potential client ask me about her bringing her mom which was a bit of a surprise. The problem is moms are more likely to play the “protector” role or start offering opinions, which is not conducive to our shoot. And doesn’t that seem a bit awkward? An observer is one thing. A “bodyguard” or busybody would waste my time and yours. It’s an intimate photoshoot, not family hour. So, if I ask about what our experience would be with that person, that’s the information I’m after. Bringing someone to intimate photoshoots if chosen wisely, ok. The idea is to keep it fun and productive to achieve the best results. Don’t bring someone who will create tension or an awkward distraction. Or equally bad, call extra attention to us if we are using an abandoned building or property.

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Memoirs of early adolescence

Recently I’ve spoken with different friends about their experiences with their adolescent kids. I had to recall my own memoirs of early adolescence for it to make sense. What blog besides Farrell Gallery has more random ramblings and honest viewpoints? Well, probably tons of them, but they’re not as cool, so we’re running with this. Some random thoughts on this may help clear up these mysteries from a former adolescent boy, about the early teen years.

farm house

-We were growing into our bodies and felt awkward.

-Sexuality was coming, but we didn’t know what it really meant yet, and it was frustrating.

-We wanted more independence, but knew we didn’t have all the answers yet. But not to worry, at 16-17, you know everything. Then a few years later, you realize you don’t know shit. The more you live, the less you think you know. But the younger you are, the more you think you know. It’s like being in a maze with no way out.

-We didn’t like much conversation or questions because things were changing for us, and we either didn’t know the answer or thought no one would understand. Just because our parents went through it means nothing, because it was soooo long ago, and people had different genetic makeup or something. Yeah, that must be it!

-Social pressure and looking uncool means life is over.

-Chores to earn an allowance was such hard work, no one understands.

-Being given the choices when prioritizing can be both a good thing and an unbearable pressure. It was like being given enough rope to hang ourselves with, because everything was a paradox.

-One of the best memoirs of early adolescence….what the F is with these zits? What if she says no to the prom? She might tell her friends and then I’d have to move to Nome, Alaska because my life here is over! Thankfully it was a short phase. Very frustrating one, lol.

 

Abandoned Nashville factory

With the urban sprawl and gentrification in Nashville, abandoned buildings and even industrial areas where I might find what I’m looking for, are in short supply. I really have to keep my eye pealed for these locations and if I do find them, I must act fast. It often takes exploring outlying areas and keeping my feelers out when traveling anywhere. It becomes a sixth sense. I found this abandoned Nashville factoryย  After first walking the back side of the factory along the train tracks, I saw it was all fenced in and overgrown. So I went back to a possible access point. Part of the fence by the street side had a big enough gap to get access to the grounds, so in I went.

abandoned Nashville factory

Abandoned Nashville factory

Abandoned Nashville factory

abandoned building

abandoned building

abandoned warehouse

abandoned warehouse

This tucked in back area with debris and brush, despite the Winter season was the pot of gold. Complete with the cold air and musty smell that is indicative of abandoned buildings. I was loving the vibe, and this part was away from all civilization. Or so I thought!

industrial

abandoned tennessee

boiler

abandoned building

abandoned building

Everything looked great up until the end when I had captured my fill. I saw lights burning inside through a window. Ok, it’s time to go and shoot another day. By then I had what I needed. So that makes that place abandoned-ish? Or it just looked abandoned from the back and side. I was fooled at first, but I hope you enjoyed this ish abandoned Nashville factory, lol.

old factory

 

 

Burnt down East Nashville Church

I remember a late afternoon in early to mid December, walking my dogs to the mail dropbox a mile from my house. I texted my friend Jerry Winnett and said something like “Shit in a hat, I’m half a mile from home and on foot, and it’s raining” Later that day, December 11, 2016 to be specific, I heard the news about a local East Nashville church fire. Mid afternoon, about the time I was maybe two blocks away walking the dogs, the first fire was reported in basement level, and the fire department thought it was extinguished with minimal damage. Then several hours later, the whole church was ablaze and sadly, by then it was too late. The Eastminster Presbyterian Church became the burnt down East Nashville church that was no more.

burnt down East Nashville church

The portable fencing was down, and this seemed like an opportune time for my friend Jerry Winnett and I to start here, on our abandoned building photo outing we do occasionally. The circumstances are sad, but both of us love to show people the character of a damaged and forgotten structure that will inevitably be razed. The antique sewing machine seemed like a random thing next to the building.

abandoned building

burnt church

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

One thing Jerry and I talked about, the outside of abandoned or damaged buildings is always interesting. But the real character and test of the photographer’s ability is getting photos of the inside. I’ve photographed many abandoned buildings alone, but this was probably the worst shape building I’ve been inside. We both felt it was prudent to not go this one alone. It’s a completely different feel when inside one of these buildings.

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

burned building

burnt building

The hanging electrical wires, broken and burned boards, the smell of burnt wood, nails, broken glass, there isn’t a safe spot in the building. Which is why they don’t want people in it. The feel of the wet air, wind, sound of crunching boards as you walk. feel of the broken boards and ashes under your feet as you try to keep your footing. All part of the experience. You really have to know the feel of what is under your feet and pick your battles wisely when inside. Part of making it a successful photo outing is knowing when it’s time to get out. Feeling the energy is what helps me get the most dramatic photos.

fire damage

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

burnt down East nashville church

burnt down east Nashville church

eastminster presbyterian church Nashville

burnt church

abandoned building

old church

burnt building

burned down building

burned down church

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos of a once active community landmark. Now a piece of history, being a burnt down East Nashville church. Wishing the best to the leadership and congregation. Beauty and character still exists in it’s state of distress.

Nashville motel artistic nudes

I had the pleasure of working with a traveling fine art model recently, Rebecca. It was a very cold night in December and it was just too cold and dark to use an abandoned building. So, I decided to follow up on the roadside motel concept. Nashville motel artistic nudes are a special thing.

Nashville motel artistic nudes

Some might say, why not use this gorgeous curvy model to her full potential and find a boutique hotel or a fully furnished mansion. I would do that for private clients if that’s their vision, but it’s seldom my own vision to do something like that. As I see it, anyone can take a pretty photograph of a pretty model in a pretty location. I like texture and grit, character if you will. The whole experience added to the shoot. I had to fill out a guest registration card and do it through a window, and ring the buzzer for the man to come to the desk. To get a more dated and less corporate room and experience. Precisely the point. Rebecca found the wall heater, between the two of us, we figured out how to turn it to it’s highest setting.

artistic nude

nude Nashville

artistic nude

fine art nude

fine art nude

bodyscape

artistic nude Nashville

naked butt

The heater was comforting to her, I wasn’t going to interfere, just use that sweet spot and use it’s surroundings. But make them understated. Sure, in a fine art print competition, even subtle background traces are better to be avoided or removed. But that’s part of what gives the photos the vibe of the location. We created art, nude art, at grungy old motel, as most would call it. That is what helps me live up to self imposed challenges as an artist. And to use the canvas regardless of where.

bodyscape

Sometimes focusing on a certain feature and area helps define the photoshoot and provide some direction. I tried to focus on the upper vertebrae but couldn’t get the results I was looking for. That gives me something to do next time. All I knew going in was I had planned to do a film noir style artistic nude session and that happened. ๐Ÿ™‚

topless nashville

artistic nude Nashville

fine art nude nashville

artistic nude

nude tease

art nude

artistic nude

bottomless nude

film noir nude

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Nashville motel artistic nudes, as always, you’re welcome. ๐Ÿ˜€

Abandoned houses and meat packaging plant

In my travels to upstate New York to visit family at Thanksgiving, I found a couple abandoned houses and meat packaging plant that caught my interest. This particular house, I did not see a way in, and it was right off a main thoroughfare, so had to be happy with outside photos of this one.

abandoned house

abandoned house

abandoned house

And this next house, I was driving around with my best friend I grew up with since early high school years. As we admired the mountain views, it began to sleet a little. I spotted this abandoned cottage a ways off the road overgrown with briars and weeds. So we took the adventure and explored. It was awesome, the roof was caving in and getting inside was a breeze, once climbing over a pile of rubble and briars, ouch. But always worth it. I like to give people a little preview of what the experience is like, so they can picture themselves there. It takes a certain sub-culture to get into abandoned buildings. But there is such a story in each one.

abandoned house

Abandoned house

I love these 1960’s – 1970’s appliances.

Abandoned house

Abandoned house

Abandoned house

Abandoned house

Abandoned house

Especially this classic ice box!

Abandoned house

As I was flying into Albany, we were at a low enough attitude where I could see the Tobin’s First Prize meat packaging plant. It looked abandoned! From what I hear, it had been for a long time. Even better for photos! I wasn’t going to pass on this opportunity! It was time to put my rusty Albany geography to work and go find it.

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

Once employing hundreds of people and being a thriving operation, you wouldn’t know it looking at the shambles it’s in now. But it has such character. I wish I could have gotten in, but it would have been SO dark.

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

abandoned factory

I hope you enjoyed these photos of the abandoned houses and meat packaging plant. You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Undead bride concept photoshoot

You’re in for a special treat. This is a follow up article for the last article with photos of the abandoned burned down motel. I was with Madison, who was my muse for the day and directed us to this fabulous location. She’s quite handy with special effects and theatrical makeup, as you are about to see with lots of photos! So, we took her skills and my dark vision and ability to use these weathered locations, and did a collaborative undead bride concept photoshoot.

Undead bride concept photoshoot

Undead bride concept photoshoot

zombie bride

Undead bride

zombie bride

special effects makeup

theatrical makeup

Madison and I have explored abandoned houses together before, and it brought me great pleasure to see how much she appreciated the history and character of the locations that so many others would never get. Part of the fun is exploring and finding cool things, even though it’s code for me to never take anything. Madison found this cool skeleton key hanging on the wall, it even seemed to fit the door behind her but the fire and elements rusted the lock shut.

dark photo

zombie bride

A burned and distorted frog / lizard stuffed animal, one of the ugliest things I’ve seen lol.

special effects makeup

A little shutter drag never hurt anyone either. I hope you’ve enjoyed this undead bride concept photoshoot, keep your eye out for more work coming soon.

shutter drag