Model Mayhem #:
Last Activity:
Oct 14, 2022
Very Experienced
Paid Assignments Only
Aug 06, 2007

Friends (853)

About Me

"Suspension of disbelief" - Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1817
"The only thing I've ever mastered is expanding the bounds of my ignorance.  My fault, my failure, my gift is that I am content with goalless curiosity." - Black Swan MM#484036.
Questions? - [email protected]

Orlando, "But Oh, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes." - William Shakespeare As You Like It - Act 5, Scene 2. Lines: 42-44

The Tenth Muse of Black Swan

I'm looking to take a photograph of a one word poem.
Poetry is one of the cornerstones of my vision.
So to the Muses of verse and vision -

"How can my Muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse [and vision]
Thine own sweet argument?"
- Shakespeare's Sonnet 38

Applause for the applause that’s due
Arise my Muse and be remembered.
Muse “Valerie” just is, without effort
Muse “Rebecca” the reason of it all
Muse "Risie" the guide outside of time
Muse “Sarah” at the center of most
Muse "Alex" of the creative now
Muse “Natasha” the force of introspective adventure

I hope I am worthy of your gifts

"A white swan or a black swan, fine art or a fine edge, a nest or a pigeonhole, to work or to play, good or bad, yin or yang...  Like the gray that is found in a rational feeling, art and the nature of things is rarely binary." - Black Swan MM#484036

"rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno." - Juvenal (Roman poet 1st and 2nd century)
(translation: “a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan.”  Original idiomatic meaning: "not possible or nonexistent."  Black swans were thought not to exist until their discovery by Willem de Vlamingh in 1697.  Modern idiomatic meaning: "rare")  Thematic use: special private moments that are as rare as a black swan.  Thematic philosophy (in part) is from the writings of Nassim Nicholas Taleb.


"I don't want to capture your attention. I want to rip it from you and leave you breathless." - Marliese Leitner  MM#531941

Photographing a one word poem....
- - - -Ars artis gratia- - - -
O! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui! Hem!
- - - - Ars amandi  - - - - -

Life's quote of the month -
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer." - Rainer Maria Rilke
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Hello -
I'm currently working on the Black Swan Project.  Women, if you would like to help as a director, a resource person or a model, contact me for more information.  References available...

As it always is, I am looking for a teacher or mentor and a muse.

Black Swan
Contact me about my rates or if you qualify for TFP.

A note about my work - Although this project is specialized, as a photographer I do not specialize.  I consider myself well rounded and comfortable in most environments.  If you are interested in my other work, please write.

I do not use any third party plugins or software other than Photoshop.

Favorite Quotes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"...and I was stopped by several employees at a local hardware store when someone overheard me talking about shooting someone... "I shoot everyone", I explained. That didn't help either." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I'm in love with questions.  For me, they are like the rudder in life's journeys. The questions point the camera." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I follow my camera everywhere.  It's the only one that knows what we're doing..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Love and hope are found in the waiting. Expectations from either gives us patience." - Black Swan MM#484036

"The greatest distances aren't measured in miles but in how much you miss someone..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless." -Oscar Wilde

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." -Albert Einstein

"Rules for photography is a bit like making rules for dreams.  Even a guideline shouldn't confine the vision of the artist..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I hear that many photographers want the subjects to shut up and model - I wish to take pictures of their words and thoughts." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I submit to the will of my camera and sometimes it hurts... " - Black Swan MM#484036

"My visions use to be represented by silver halide but now my visions are represented by golden pixels." - Black Swan MM#484036

"'Art is the lie that reveals the truth.' - Picasso...  'I strive to be this kind of liar.'" - Black Swan MM#484036

"I don't see how to properly glorify the creator without closely examining the created." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Magic and art can be synonymous. They both defy reason, share themes and can cast spells." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Art, a demiurgic energy or the study of an archetyoical image?  Is there a difference?" - Black Swan MM#484036

"I do shoot nudes...  My hope is that if there is a nude in my work, no one will notice and if there isn't a nude, then everyone will think there is." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence [or taste] of the American public." - H. L. Mencken

"I don't capture an image, it's given to me." - Black Swan MM#484036

"The techniques, the 'how' of the art, is far less important as the 'why'.  If you asked me 'how' I might tell you.  Ask me 'why' and I won't." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Real? No camera image is 'real' - ever.  It's just an image and it will never be anything more than that.  Therefore, a Photoshopped or edited image is no more or less real than any photograph.  They are all just images.  A set of coordinated blemishes on paper - nothing real at all... Further, reality is not in paintings or sculptures either.  They are just images or shapes, stains or stones.  Now, how the human eye and mind sees those images, sees art; well, that could be very real." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Everything you can imagine is real." - Pablo Picasso

"Why bother to explore edges if you aren't willing to step over those edges every now and then?" - Black Swan MM#484036

"I believe that a photograph of simple beauty is a visual echo of what God sees." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I think that if I go too far over the edge I will never find my way back again..... Oh what the heck...." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Edges may define some parts of reality and may blur others...." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I can build a bridge over a wide river to a distant bank easier than I can build a bridge over my camera to a woman who is just in front of me..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"What I prize most about my photography are the images that I haven't yet taken." - Black Swan MM#484036

"There is a place where women can go that men can't.  We can only watch them go to that place with envious delight." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Taking it to the 'next level' is a lot like riding an elevator and not knowing if you are going up or down." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Light can expose beauty but shadows can expose fantasies." - Black Swan MM#484036

"It's beauty that captures your attention; a personality that captures your heart and a good photograph which is somehow does more than both." - Black Swan MM#484036

"At times a face can be so beautiful that I'm left without any meaningful words to describe it.  When I see that kind of beauty in a face, it means more to me what I see 'in' that face, than what I see on it." - Black Swan MM#484036

"The center of anything is an illusion, as are edges...." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Something in me needs art. It is a hated but sweet obsession that keeps my heart pumping." - Black Swan MM#484036

"If you have no eyes - dream with a camera..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"...we all start in front of the camera.  Some of us need the additional expression and move behind the camera.  Later, as photographers/artists, we move in front of the camera again. Then after a long time, we remove ourselves altogether and the camera and the subject are the only things left." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Art? I don't know what that is..... Vision? I only know mine..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I employ flies on walls with really big cameras..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I'm looking to take a photograph of a one word poem.  Someone told me that finding a one word poem is impossible.  That may be true but it isn't the finding that is important, it's the looking." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I'm not a photographer/artist because I have to eat. I'm a photographer/artist because I have to breathe..." - Black Swan MM#484036

"I think that I would replace the word 'style' with the word 'philosophy'.  From my point of view, it isn't something that found me, it is something that was intentionally created to cement the construction of a needed vision....." -  Black Swan MM#484036

"Shadows are the dwelling places of fantasies." - Black Swan MM#484036

"To one degree or another, every photographer is a stalker with a camera." - Black Swan MM#484036

Black Swan personal philosophies - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Give and forget you gave. - Forgive and forget you forgave." - Black Swan MM#484036

"Just because the basket's empty doesn't mean that the clothes were put away. " - Shelly Stotts  MM#516064

"Amuck, amuck, amuck, amuck, amuck..." - Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus  - - A great photography/life lesson...

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person's life, sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. " - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“It is foolish to pretend that one is fully recovered from a disappointed passion. Such wounds always leave a scar.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Black Swan comments on other ports - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A comment under a B/W image of Keira Louise MM#2557924
"Dreams and fantasies have a few things in common.  They're ethereal and at times (like with this image) they can both make me say to myself, 'I wish...'" - Black Swan MM#484036

Comment of a photograph of SJMoon MM#2546381
"When you look upon some faces there is something more than beauty there. You find yourself trying to understand that face, to get to know it better. Like a beautiful cover of a book, you don't know what the story is but you know that it's going to be very interesting. Your face has such a look." - Black Swan MM#484036

To a beautiful sepia-tone image of Cat Hedlund MM#1771218
"This is a wonderful example of a timeless beauty that exists at any age or period.  It isn't about youth or perfection, it's only about beauty."

To a black and white image of Monique Adria MM# 97876
"I look at this image of a beautiful woman with a Mona Lisa smile and it occurs to me that some women know something about themselves that could never be explained. I want, more than anything, to know what that is. But, I also understand that I never will. That look is enticing in the extreme. So beautiful...." - Black Swan MM#484036

To a black and white image of Trishston Pogue MM 1288671
"Mignon Mclaughlin once said, 'It's wonderful to watch a pretty woman with character grow beautiful.' I didn't understand her statement until just now." - Black Swan MM#484036

To the beautiful and talented Emanuela Nay MM#1062952 -
"They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and yet when I look at your pictures I am left without any words at all. Speechless. I look forward to less words and more pictures of you. Delighted as always...." - Black Swan MM#484036

To a beautiful image of a model (371022) -
"The universe offers only subjective viewpoints.  It represents all that can be seen. What can be seen could be many billions of light years distant and sometimes the only thing that can be seen is just a few feet away." - Black Swan MM#484036

To a beautiful image of a model -
"I tend to run from the demons that chase me so that I can fall for angelic visions such as this... Either way, I will fall, but this is so much more enjoyable." - Black Swan MM#484036

To a model with long red hair  -
"A Russian Proverb warns 'There was never a saint with red hair.' Perhaps not but I see that there was at least one angel." - Black Swan MM#484036

To a model dressed with a Christmas theme...
I have all kinds of clever things I could say about this image. I know that as Christmas nears, presents such as this are on the minds of many. Instead I will offer a simple "Thank You" for this picture and a hope that you have a wonderful Christmas too... - Black Swan MM#484036

They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words.  I don't think "they" saw this, for if "they" had, "they" like me would be left with no words at all. Wonderful... - Black Swan MM#484036


Blog -----------------------------------------------
I was sitting in a restaurant having something to eat one afternoon.  And as it often happens, I have my camera with me and it is laying out on the table.  My camera is a fully loaded 5D and looks rather impressive. The body and an external battery pack, 70-300mm stabilized lens, flash head w/softbox... A gentleman walked by and pointed at the camera and asked me how long did it take for me to learn how to use it.  "35 years and still learning", I answered.

"For me, the work, the art, is often defined by the passion in my heart and not by what I know." - Black Swan MM#484036
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Blog --- 02.16.09 ----------------------------------
"Art or beauty; what does it matter?  Why would I care what it is to anyone else? 

I express myself and leave it up to others to declare it whatever they want.  Some may want to call it art, fine.  Some may want to call it trash, fine.  I don't express myself for the sake of others opinions.  I express myself because I need to...

Labels are not important and often they just get in the way. Call it whatever you like, it will make no difference to me... " - Black Swan MM#484036
/Blog ----------------------------------------------

Blog --- 03.05.09 ----------------------------------
"For many it isn't about the art, it's about the geekisms such as the biggest and best computer, operating system, software or camera equipment. This isn't new, even before the digital age many 'photographers' have stood behind their opinions of the best equipment as proof that they are good photographers.
For example: with all the profiles here on Model Mayhem and in the countless forum entries, isn't it odd that there are so few comments about artistic philosophies and yet comments about the best of one thing or the other boils over in so many places?" - Black Swan MM#484036
/Blog ----------------------------------------------

Helpful links - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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Credit Notes

There are three people that have helped me in ways that are difficult to explain.  They have offered me encouragement by word and example.
To "Miss V" - we talk, I learn...
To "Miss M" - you do, I follow...
To "Mr. V" - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  and "There is no spoon..."
You each have raised me up and helped me reset my goals - Thank you....

          ***** About Picture Comments *****
-Do not leave picture comments about how I could have done something better.  I have a steering committee that gives me feedback on that level... Those picture comments will be deleted.
-Please don't promote other artists by putting comments about them or links to them in the picture comments. Those picture comments will be deleted.
-If you have criticisms or suggestions about the art, the port or a picture, please message me. 
-Other than that, all positive picture comments are welcome.
-I would like to know how you feel more than what you think.

Tags - I've spent a fair part of my life working on my photography.  If you aren't going to leave a MEANINGFUL tag about my work, don't tag me at all. Words such as "nice" aren't meaningful.  If you are tagging with a "thanks" or "thank you" you are "very welcome" but the tag will be deleted.

Do not use the words "thanks" or "thank you", or any derivative of them in the tags. PM me instead...