Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I’ve always been poor, always. And it’s always been by choice. I’ve weighed my options. First some college and college loans, then, great salary, air-conditioned work environment, health insurance, early mornings, long hours, and complementary donuts on the left scale. On that other scale you’ve got unpredictable but always low wages, physical labor in the sweltering sun, uninterrupted, “commercial free” rockin’ roll, general working hours that you are at liberty to tweak according to your current agility, and port-a-johns decorated for your personal pissing enjoyment with “handload your turds here” and an arrow pointing to stick figure replica of a wide open female crotch complete with spread apart libra and perfectly round butthole. ( boys, eye roll ) J
Sometime in March 2008 I ran across a posting for nude art modeling for a figure drawing class. The pay was $40.00 for 2-21/2 hours of posing. At the moment I was working part time at a Thai Restaurant making about $45 dollars for a 6-7 hour high paced day and part time for my husband’s painting company which paid about the same. We had been supplementing our income with any extra odd job we could get. The chief of which was donating plasma for $30-$35 dollars a sit, with a maximum of two donations per week. But I was mildly underweight according to their (110lb) restrictions to donate and the weather was starting to get too hot to get away with wearing multiple layers and water bottles in my pockets to make up for the extra weight. Besides, I have always had respect for the nude art form and have full confidence that every body, in every stage of life is a unique form of art and worthy of being drawn.
By July 2008, Bloomington Painting, the company that my husband owns and that I work for was experiencing crippling setbacks. Due to lack of communication, poor weather and lax hours we were in the hole $5,000 dollars, over half of which we immediately owed to our employees. In desperation I cashed my last remaining personal savings, a $3,000 CD. It was at that moment that I realized there was no more cushion, there could be no more mistakes, no more setbacks.
But at that time Bloomington Painting was the only sources of income for both James and I. Newly determined I agreed to some Trade work with a local and out of state photographer. From those shoots forward I have pursued modeling for a twofold purpose: initially for the money but also as a creative outlet. However, it’s gotten to a point in my modeling career…and maybe it’s just the audience I am attracting, but it’s gotten to a point that everyone wants a major discount to work with me, or they want me to work with them for free. Now I would love to trade my time and talent for a photographer’s time and talent. But the honest truth is…I could easily be booked full at this moment if I was taking all these offers. Sure if there was three or four photographers I could settle on to work with on a trade basis this would be ok…but there are literally dozens of amazingly talented photographers giving me this offer, there are even photographers willing to pay for my flights and for my room and board. I am beyond honored. But at the end of the day, or weekend, what I’d have to show for myself would be amazing images and more amazing experiences…no money, no payment for my phone bill, no car insurance, no rent. The honest, and for some people disappointing, truth is I got into this for the money. I did. I hope that it shows that my heart and soul is not sacrificed in the pursuit. But that is the honest truth. I have to say.
It becomes an ongoing drain of energy when you have to fight for your rate when you know that not only you do deserve it but you need it.
All this to explain something very important: I am not going to accept a cut in my rate. I have told some photographers that I will but upon further thinking I will not. To local photographers: My rate is my rate. It is for my time. If you cannot afford a full day, be modest and take a half day. If you cannot afford a half day then wait until next month. If you can’t afford it period…then you can’t. I never make you take my picture. It’s your own choice to pursue this. Photography is not a need. It is a pleasure, a hobby, a past time. For some of you it pulses through your blood and you hunger for it just as greatly as you do for your bread. And I do understand that and I feel for you. But I am not lunch. I am a young woman. I am taking off my clothes and molding myself to whatever artistic vision you might have. Even if I do put my thoughts into an image, it still is always more the photographer’s image then my own. It is at your mercy to light it, compose it and then to pick your favorite image and edit it based on your own style and influence. You have to pay for everything else in photography…why do you try and skimp out on my payment? I am a prop that you may rent. Please give me that. I am nothing less.
To out of state photographers: When I am offered to be flown anywhere it is a great honor. I feel very flattered. But out of state shoots suck up the most time and time is most precious. If I am going to be traveling I need compensation beyond paid expenses. Again, I have bills to pay. It’s as simple as that. I’m not saying that you have to be put out $1,000 to shoot me. It just means we need to plan this carefully. I’ll most likely ask that you cover my travel and board costs and allow me to stay a day or two extra to find a paying job in the area that’s all.
This was a difficult letter to write…one long in the making. But for me modeling has gotten to this point…this point that I either start making more money at this, or I move on from modeling (except for the occasional exceptional artist) to another endeavor…another creative outlet that will hopefully bring me a humble revenue, for that’s all I ask for.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On the Road Again.

I'm traveling alone in Chicago. My first trip so far away from home (New Orleans, LA) for so long.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chi-Town, "Windy City", "The City of Big Shoulders"

Chicago is the Largest city in the Midwestern USA states, as well as the thrid most populous city in the United States with more than 2.8 million residents.
Incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833.
Today the city's attractions bring 44.2 million visitors annually.
The city has a notable, and has been home to numerous influential politicians, including Barak Obama.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Freak was ME

Who defines normal? No one wants to quite be 'normal' anyway. So is a 'freak' simply different? rare? maybe 'deformed'? Who, where do all these rules come from?