Monday, January 24, 2005

Playboy Model Search

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Friday night Empire hosted a bash billed as the Playboy Model Search, where beautiful women were invited to compete, meet and be photographed by a bonafied Playboy photographer. Also there for the festivities were 'celebrities', like a couple who was on Fear Factor.
When I walked in the door I was immediately overwhelmed by the stunning number of men in comparison to women in attendance. Not surprising really considering the expectations.
There were ten women who competed and they varied in looks as well as personality-- from the terribly shy to the true exhibitionist types-- and everything in between.
I sat with a fun group of unusually attractive women who had a couple of good looking guys hanging with them too and I gotta tell you-- the women had a comment about everything as the ten hopefuls strutted their stuff one by one. Hair, breasts, legs, clothes, attitude, and in great detail I might add. It was almost like listening to the sports announcers at a football game and very entertaininig. They weren't mean at all. Just funny and honest... the kinds of things you might even think but never say out loud.
The woman in this photo is not the winner but she strutted like the best of them, and I like the women in the doorway watching behind her...

He said yes!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Judas Priest drummer Scott Travis was at The Roadhouse for the George Lynch show! He's considered to be one of-- if not the very best-- drummers in music today. And there he was at The Roadhouse! How cool is that? As he was on his way out the door I introduced myself with the appropriate awed banter and asked if he'd pose with me for a photo and after a tiny pause he said, "I don't think so, I look terrible tonight." I leaned towards him and said, "You know, I call this series '101 Horrible photos of myself with famous people' because I look horrible in every photo." He smiled, thought for a moment and said Ok. Then the charming man went to fix his hair in the refelection of the front door. So darn cute! When he was ready he said "We're gonna be in this together? but I'm so tall!" And yes, he is tall. He was the tallest man in the room by far. But he bent down a bit and I shot off a few then showed him on the back of the camera. He smiles, he nods approvingly and says with a bit of surprise "That's good", which made me VERY happy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Artists at Large

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Guess who this is...
My colleague Debbie Belt and I have been talking about doing a project together for some time now and we finally hit on one we are equally enthusiastic about-- Artists and their creative sensibilities. We've started visiting studios. I shoot, she writes. We post the results on a blog we call Artists at Large.
Our first subject is Gale Hart, a wonderful painter and energetic spokeswoman for animal rights in the form of her art as well.
I shot the second one yesterday, but I won't be revealing the name. Those of you who frequent the local art world may already recognize this silhouetted artist. His identity will be revealed soon enough within the blog as it developes. In the meantime take a few moments to wander over to Artists at Large and see what we are doing!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Oh Lord, Restricted

You hear me talk about photo restrictions all the time because they are a daily part of my work life and quite a frustration too. You learn to live with it. Tonight I was assigned to shoot the Lord of the Dance show at The Community Center for eMusiConnect. This is interesting. I had a very hard time finding the contact info for the company putting on the show and went a very roundabout way of getting a message to them. They don't seem to publish their phone number. A darling young woman called me, took my information and got it to another person who later called me with the approval and contact info for the person in charge traveling with the production. I arrived there tonight, pleasantly greeted at the stage entrance by this contact and the show promoter.
What was of particular interest to me was that they couldn't remember a time an outside photographer was allowed to shoot this show, or most of the others they had toured with. I think they were genuinely surprised I had the ok. One catch. I had to sign a paper saying the pics would only be published by the client I was shooting for and that includes even my own personal web site of any kind, blog too. It also said no artwork could be created out of any of the images. Wow.
The photo restriction this time was to pick a spot, but not in front-- and for just the first eight minutes. High marks go to the promoter who stayed by my side as I shot... unwittingly he let me stay far longer than he should have I am sure... closer to 20+ minutes really.
The bottom line is this: I can't publish, web or otherwise, any photos from this show, so you can't see even a taste. As soon as the images are up in the web gallery at I will publish the link. I know you are all so very excited and curious.. ;) For the record, from what I saw it is a lovely show, well danced, beautifully lit, colorful, sparkly and dramatic too.

Share more of Cher next time please!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Bob Mackie's human Barbie Doll Cher appeared in all her spectacular glory at Arco Arena Friday night, decending from the rafters on a giant chandelier, a goddess in an enormous gold and silver encrusted, fur-lined hooded cape. She is beautiful, a living legend, a performer not to be missed and I was as excited as I could be to shoot this show. Cher was truly amazing.
This time we were allowed to shoot just ONE song. ONE single song while standing in the aisle way back at the sound board.
So just in case I brought the necessary gear to get (relatively) close up as well as my own portable/collapsible step stool to stand up on, and it sure helped. (Insert major %$*@#$%*&@!!#% here regarding the degree of difficulty shooting with all the *%$#@&!! tricky variables involved, but left unsaid.)
The interesting thing that I keep hearing people joke about is that this is billed as her Farewell Tour but it has been going on for three years and it's her third time in Sacramento too. The show stays the same but the costumes change each year, thanks to the remarkable costuming imagination of Bob Mackie.

The Village People, still doin' it

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
The Village People opened up for Cher at Arco Arena Friday night. Here's the line-up:
Felipe Rose, Native American (original)
Alex Briley, Soldier (original)
David Hodo, Construction Worker (original)
Ray Simpson, Cop (1979)
Jeff Olson, Cowboy (1980)
Eric Anzalone, Biker (1995)
According to their press The Village People have sold over 65 Million records, that's impressive.
This show was opening night for them on Cher's current tour, which they will continue in the states for two months before hopping over to Australia for more.

Friday, January 14, 2005

From Russia With Love

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
A few months back I shot pics of two fabulous models who hail from Russia and now live in the states, not this state however. This lovely woman lives in Texas. I spent nearly a 12-hour day shooting them while they were visiting Sacramento. They had seen my work and wanted to play.
I got many wonderful photos from the shoot but sometimes it takes awhile to really see what you have. Today, with a few minutes to spare I pulled this image out of the pack and worked on it a bit.
I've become so enamored with the painterly style I've been using. Still need to push the boundaries more but having fun anyway.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Feed the cat or he'll make you crazy!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
I made the mistake of running out of cat food just prior to this pin-up girl style photo shoot today and Toby, the thinner of my two darlings at a whopping 19 pounds, was sure he would soon perish if he didn't get his "I'm starving, FEED ME" message across pronto.
The model, who is really a dog person, was patient and sweet as Toby kept wandering into the photo for attention. No doubt he was also glad to see someone down at eye level for a change too!
As you can see from this photo he's huge for a cat. It's the breed. He is not fat at all, just a big guy. They are both well fed now. I stopped the shoot, ran out to get some chow and now they are both passed out in a satisfied heap. The shoot was awesome! So many cool pics I'm not even sure where to start.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Moonlighting, A New Project

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Moonlighting is something I have been thinking about for a long time, mainly in relation to the live music scene I have been around and photographing for the last couple of years. I think being a performer takes courage, passion and tremendous imagination and skill. But how often do we really consider what their "day job" is?
So as a photographer with a journalist heart I have this quietly rolling around in my head... Can you make a living just playing in the local clubs? Probably not.
I went to Cheap Thrills with a friend a few days ago to find some cool vintage clothes and ran into Mike Farrell of Th Losin' Streaks. Seeing this well known, awesomely talented musician working behind the counter crystallized the entire thing for me. I remember blurting out the word "Moonlighting!" and asked him on the spot if he would be my first subject. He said "Yes!" By that night I had set up the blogazine and already had a list of people I wanted to feature.
The first entry is up! The plan is to photograph subjects at work, during performance and tell a bit of their story. Hopefully I'll be posting about one each week. Comments welcome.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Playing in the Fun House

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
Meet Min, a lovely professional model I met recently and got to work with yesterday. One of the things I have been wanting to do lately is work more with reflective surfaces so here is one of the images I shot of her reflection-- just a bit of a fun house quality. Afterwards I did some subtle art work on it to enhance the ethereal look. This is definitely something I want to do a lot more of now!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

Originally uploaded by Charrmer.
What better way to start out the very first day of a brand new year than by shooting a picture you really love?! Truth be told I got so many lovely photos from this shoot. I adore shooting silhouettes too, just don't get to do it too often. When the mother-to-be sparked the idea I jumped at it.
Turns out the idea of silhouettes has been around since the 17th century. Yes, I did a little research...
"Silhouette" took its name from the French Minister of Finance, Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1767). It was his hobby to cut profiles from black paper.
So Happy New Year to all and to all a good life! May we all be as creative and joyful as we desire in any endeavor we embark upon.

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