Here’s another nude set I shot with Monique. You’ll quickly notice that I went a little bit further with these than the “Shadows” set with her. Well, I’ve got to get comfortable with my foray into shooting nudes. Slowly ;)
These were shot last October, right after our night at the Playboy Mansion Halloween Party. Monique’s outfit was a Diamond in The Rough, which makes an appearance in some of these. Monique and I love this set of photos, and both feel like they should be shared.
I love that “Shadows” set with her, but this “Light” set are some of my favorite photos I’ve ever shot (and I’ve got quite a lot of photos out there now). Both sets are good counterpoints to each other.
Shooting in bright light instead of the dark makes shooting nudes, well a lot more nude. I intentionally let the grain remain for the edge I wanted, and to differentiate these shots from shooting porn (which I have no interest in ever shooting). No disrespect to porn, but I’m trying to do something a little more thoughtful and compelling. A major difference is that most porn embraces the social stigma that nudity and sex is dirty, taking that baton and running with it into far raunchier territory. I’d just rather ignore that stigma entirely and focus on capturing the most beautiful and most captivating photos I can. I’m growing with my photography hobby. Though it seems it’s now clashing with my experience in dealing with difficult aspects of our culture.
I’ve experienced some awful behavior from a world so consumed with insanely twisted thoughts regarding the sin of sex. This isn’t the moment for an articulate argument about it. These pictures are my protest. If you could look at something beautiful and publicly denounce it as dirty, does that make you a better person? Does disavowing that which is attractive and hot demonstrate your virtue? Then you can go ahead, give it a try…
This is my first time shooting nudes. It’s funny that Monique pushed me to be edgier than I intended to be. This girl is braver in front of the camera than I was behind it. She knew I’d only capture something tasteful, so I guess she wasn’t worried. So much respect for that.
I’m in love with these photos. I was considering keeping them private, but we’re both proud of them, and both agreed they should be shared.
My idea was to create images from some foggy shadowy surreal dream on the verge of disappearing that you’re struggling not to wake up from. I wanted to capture that in a way that was hot as hell and sensual, yet beautiful, edgy, and human.
I’m not pretending to be a professional. I don’t have professional equipment. This is clearly not a professional environment, which is obvious because my cat’s litter box is in many of the shots. And there was no way I was able to keep my damn stubborn cat from walking through some of these, no matter how many times I moved her away. I used my pocketable Sony NEX cranked to the max ISO sensitivity, which did remarkably well in virtually no light, creating the rawer grainier look I wanted.
Hope you like these ;)
To know me is to know that I’ve had a Sony NEX camera attached to my arm for the past 2 years. I get a million messages a day asking for photos, and I’ve come to realize I’ll simply never be able to physically get to all of them, I have many 10s of Thousands of photos waiting to be sorted through, individually edited, and organized into Facebook albums. Cranking out 2 facebook albums a week isn’t going to cut it, there’s too many. But I will definitely get around to the good stuff. I watermark each photo with HustleBear.com because I have absolutely no intention to ever make a professional career out of photography and figured I might as well bring eyeballs to my blog. I’m not a professional photographer, I’m a hobbyist, but I’m heartened to see so much enthusiasm from so many people over the photos. It’s insane, but I have over 1000 (!) Facebook profile photos out there among my friends. That’s pretty fucking cool man. Whenever I log in I see mostly my photos in my friends list. To date I’ve got 819 email notifications that someone used my shot as their profile pic, and much of the time I’m not notified, and never when it’s a cover photo. So yeah, that helps make it feel like a worthwhile hobby. Since the pics are watermarked to this site, and with all the activity my Facebook albums have been generating, people often ask me why I’m not posting these photos up on my blog.
I don’t have a good answer. It’s a good point.
So here you go, I’m going to start posting some of my favorite sets of photos more regularly. I’ll start with my Hong Kong trip earlier this year. I was there for only about 3 days, but it’s an interesting story. Continue Reading >>
Something truly horrible happened to me recently. The worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I know that far more terrible injustices happen around the world, but I’ve never experienced anything like this. I can’t talk about it. I will be happy to at some point in the future. Anyway I was getting pretty depressed and disturbed. And then I saw this video, and it hit me really hard. In fact I think it might be one of the most important videos you ever see in your life.
So beautiful and inspiring:
The photo above is Philip Gould standing over the grave site where he will soon be buried in a few weeks.
Some things are hard to accept. Some things feel impossible to accept. While watching this video, I realized that I’m unable to accept what happened to me, that I still hoped it was a nightmare I could wake from. Seeing Philip Gould so accepting even of his own inevitable approaching death is what I needed to see to realize that I need to accept what cannot be changed, that I can accept it, and that no matter how awful something is, I can appreciate that I have my life and my health and my drive to create a good future ahead.
Sometimes you smile at the world and the world smacks you hard. I hope I’ll have the strength to always face the difficulties of life as bravely as Philip Gould.
“Acceptance is the absolute key. At that moment you gain freedom, you gain power, and you gain courage.” – Philip Gould
I organized an event for Peter Schiff at my house, some difficulties ensue… (with Photos and Video!)
Whoa man, my house has been packed before, but never like this! Last week I held a cocktail party with a short talk from Peter Schiff. About 300 people came over, and most of them piled in my living room all at once to see Peter speak. It was so tight that the photographer actually had a hard time lifting his arms to take pictures. I was honestly terrified by the sheer number of people I knew would show up that I’ll somehow fit in one room; but hey, we made it work! And it was a great time!
Everyone looked amazing. Check out all the pictures below:
(Many more photos below at the end of this article)
As many of you know, I’m a massive fan of Peter Schiff, he’s had a significant impact on my economic understanding, and I watch all of his videos that get posted online. I even named him “Man of the Year” in a previous article. To say the least, I was extremely excited to have him over to speak at my house. I know I was warned a thousand times by many people that he can be difficult to deal with. Still, I was surprised that for a moment even I was pissed with the guy.
Continue Reading >>
Thanksgiving, this time my mom outdid herself. There were about 12 of us, family and friends, but she prepared enough food to feed 7 armies. I still have another 3 weeks to go before I can eat something again. But I’m beyond grateful to have one of the coolest moms the earth has ever seen.
My sister named my niece Lorraine after some great grandmother of ours, but we all call her Rainy. Rainy is 5 years old, and she fights dirty. She’s already been kicked out of 11 schools for being unruly, rambunctious, disobedient and a smart ass. I’m proud to know that she takes after me. Often she’ll like to surprise you with a punch in the back and then she’ll turn and run so you’ll chase her. We’ve learned our lesson that the nicer and quieter the restaurant is the more she enjoys playing the game “how to make the biggest disturbance humanly possible”, usually involves animal noises.
But this Thanksgiving, we just discovered what will make her stay quiet in her seat.
Rainy had a school Thanksgiving arts and craft project to list what she’s thankful for. She is to number her answers 1-5 and roll up the art paper with a nice ribbon around it. Well my mom silenced all 12 of us at the table as we are to listen to what Rainy is thankful for. Rainy removed the ribbon, unrolled the paper, stared at it and for once was silent. We’re all staring at her and waiting, then everyone starts pushing her, “Come on Rainy, read it to us” “Ok Rainy, let’s do it together, I am thankful for…” “Rainy, tell me, what are you thankful for?” Wouldn’t open her mouth, just stared back at us blankly. No high energy, she was frozen. Odd, I thought, until I took the paper from her and read it…
The world has come to an end.
Civilization as we know it is over. And all 50,000 survivors came out to the desert to celebrate with the biggest party the human species has ever seen. That’s what Burning Man feels like. The rules and social norms you’ve lived with all your life don’t apply in this city. Black Rock City. The most amazing city on the planet that exists for only one week each year and then disappears without trace. Leaving 200 square miles of endless dust blowing over dry earth in the extreme weather without any sign of life. Nothing lives on the playa, not even spiders or scorpions or ants. Until next year…
[photo gallery and videos below after the break]
(note: I wrote this a year and a half ago at the end of 2008. Hope this will give you insight into how I normally deal with massive conflicts in business, by confronting issues head on, finding common ground, not getting defensive, and taking real genuine action beyond words.)
So last month I rented out my house to a Hollywood promoter who threw an insane party with over 350 people. The party was more elaborate than anything I ever threw. There was a platform with hot girls go-go dancing under a rack of lights beaming a spectrum through the fog. Cool effect, and everyone was having a great time, telling me it’s the best party they’ve ever been to. But it was hard for me to walk around knowing maybe 5% of the people, feeling like I’m in some Hollywood club, only it’s my house, filled way beyond capacity, those are my tables and couches they are spilling their drinks over, these drunk assholes are fucking with MY things.
So anyway, the party seriously pissed off some of my neighbors. I’m probably 1/3 the age of the youngest people that live on this quiet street in Bel Air. I guess they’re not into loud crazy Hollywood parties, and so in the morning I got this email threatening cops if I do it again: Continue Reading >>
My parents divorced over 2 years ago. Probably for the best. They weren’t getting along too well, and their 3 kids already left the house years before. My dad is not always a ray of sunshine. A tough guy who’s done exceptionally well for himself (especially considering he came from absolutely nothing) but often very difficult to deal with. My mom on the other hand is the sweetest lady on the planet. Always smiling, positive, very warm and easy for anyone to get along with. My whole life, I always hear about what a cool mom I have, and I guess I’m fucking lucky; therapist offices around the country are filled with people complaining about their mothers. Yeah, there were a couple incidents when I was little and pushed her buttons until the woman lost it with me, but I have no right to complain. She’s always been very supportive, and she’s my biggest fan, bragging about me to anyone who will listen. So I get protective when something hurts her.
When my parents split, she was sad and hurt. She started leaning on me a lot more, always wanting me to join her for dinner or a movie. I knew that if I didn’t come see her she’d just sit and play solitaire on the computer all night. I could not let it go on like this. And so I told her, “Mom, I’m putting you on the internet for dating.” She protested, saying she’s not ready for that right now. I didn’t care, I went to her computer, found a decent picture of her, uploaded it on Jdate, and announced my mom to the world of retired old jewish guys. “Now Mom, write a description of yourself”. Well, she’ll have to write that herself, I do have my limits. “Now Mom, go on a bunch of dates, meet people and have fun”.
After all, she’s a hot commodity on the market. Continue Reading >>