Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ce...Ce...Cecilia!



Wow. 5'8". Professional. On time. A mom who is 100% into her daughter's career!

These things don't happen. And when you add in that Cecilia is only 14yo...

Then you start to understand just how rare an item she is.


It was a great shoot. It started off a little rough. But quickly turned productive. Many thanks to Cecilia and her mom.

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Eventful January!!!


2012 promises to be a great year. Another trip to Odessa is in the works. And we will start everything off with three new models in Jan.

I'll be starting a new Indie Go Go page soon so those that want to contribute to the next Odessa trip can do so. This time I will have LOTS of behind the scenes footage.

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

(Titus 1:15)


"To the pure all things are pure, but to the impure, nothing is pure" (Titus 1:15).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Work...



Here is a taste of today's photoshoot.

Amazing new model. I look forward to working with her often.

Simple. Sexy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Next Book???


I think the next book will be about bodyscapes and different parts of the body.

A stomach section, boob section... posterior section.

I could also do a book on Phoebe.

It's too early to tell.

I do have a shoot coming up that will concentrate on the tummy. Should be fun.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

EDITED PROOFED Copy of Beauty and Youth Now Available.

The proofed copy is up.

Both copies will be available. The Ebook is still available for the old book.

The price for Beauty and Youth in Odessa has been lowered.

Make sure you purchase the cheaper edited and proofed book.


Four Days and Three...
By Benjamin Parrish ...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Odessa book to be re-worked.



I got my proof copy... finally!!!

I'm not satisfied with it.

There will be a few changes and additions. As well the price will be dropped slightly.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"In Bed With Brittany" Now available in Ebook download.

Model, Brittany Marie
By Photographer, Ben...


When I published this last year the "ebook" didn't exist at Blurb. Now it does.

I also lowered the cost of the IBWB books. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Artist Statement


Artist’s Statement

My work is a journey... with minimal parts light, texture and subject. Unadorned. Without flash and hyperbole.

Not to demean the works of others but beauty, true beauty, needs little else. Some light, a touch of shadow and a subject's bodily expression. I am too easily lost in the adornments of glamour with its bright lights and cumbersome motifs. This is why I prefer to work with the light that is available. With whatever model and whatever wardrobe... a drape, a hand or maybe only a dropping shoulder that shifts out of light into shadow.

On My Subjects


The female form represents humanity's aspirations and desires at a level of wanting and need that is far beyond just sexuality. The taste and smell and texture of femininity by definition must be powerful as it is the key to continued life. By finding this femininity I capture these aspirations momentarily. Depicting in a small way God’s design. A design so powerful and successful that a few brushes of light against an engaging texture is all that is needed to display the august nature of the fairer sex.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Book is done...

I just spent the last week trying to get these photos edited and arranged for my second book.

The un-proofed copy is actually ready for sale if you want it... So is the iPhone/iBook download.

Here is the catch... since it's NOT PROOFED I don't want to sell a ton of them till I see it. I have seen the iBook download and it is GREAT. But I have yet to touch the hard copy... So the catch is you might get a rare book because I might change a few things... and your rare edition might not be "perfect".


Four Days and Thre...
By Benjamin Parrish Cook

Monday, October 17, 2011

Done!

I finally finished editing all the photos from Odessa.

That was a lot of photos!

Stay Tuned...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book # 2


I've been pondering if I should publish another book of photos.

After looking over the photos from Odessa it seems another book could be possible.

I am about 3/4s through Karina's photos and will need to finish Taya and Mika's photos before I make a final decision. But it looks like a book could be available to purchase before the end of November.

Just in time for X-mass!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm HOME...

Ughhhhhh.... Odessa Ukraine is sooooo not around the corner. Quite a journey.

Charlotte, NC -----> New York JFK -----> Istanbul Turkey -----> Odessa Ukraine
-----> Istanbul Turkey -----> New York JFK -----> Charlotte, NC

The trip was a complete success. I want to thank those that helped make it happen. I'll be calling on your help again in the Spring / Summer to make it happen again.

The plan then will be to get to the waters edge. Should be great work.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

There are no words...



There are just are no words that can adequately describe how beautiful Taisia is. She is every bit as lovely in person as she is in pictures.

I also worked with Mika today. Mika is a vision. So easy to work with and I'm sure a few of the photos we produced will def be favorites for everyone.

A heart felt thanks first to Dasha the make-up artist and local "fixer" she helped put this together. As well the models Karisha, Taisia and Mika. Also to the Odessa Group LLC who was help beyond mere accommodations and not least to my fans and patrons. Your support is the real reason I was able to take this trip.

I'm sort of going between editing photos and packing, editing more photos and packing. I don't want this experience to end. And via these photos it never will. But right now I have a tremendous mental hangover. Almost like greaving. I worked on this trip for over three years. It's not like these models had agencies or even spoke English. Hours of tracking down rumors and leads! Not to mention the poorly translated messages via Google Translate that I hoped got you point across... and didn't put off the reader. As well wondering if my life at home would participate (which it barely did). In short I am at the end of a three year journey. One that ended in near perfect success.

YOU..? well you are at the beginning. I will post a precious hand full of photos here to see. The rest will go up on my website. A website that I hope is ready before December.

If you want to experience all of the photos you will have to participate at all levels of patronage. I'll try to keep it reasonable. I'm a fan too... and money is tight for all of us. But trips to Odessa ain't free..

And we are already working on TRIP 2. Perhaps returning to Odessa in the late Spring or Early summer. That is high season here. Accommodations will be at a premium... but I want to photograph these models in the water.

Every model has tentatively agreed to work with me again. We will see.

Keep eye open for more posts with photos over the days and weeks to come. As well as an announcement about the website so you can get your hands on finished prints worthy of proud display.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A little groggy...

If I sound a little groggy in the video below it's because I had yet to sleep since leaving SC at 6am Thursday. This is about 3pm Odessa time on Friday.

I didn't actually get to bed until... 5-6 pm EST.

I really wish I could have slept before shooting Karina... oh well. That's like saying I wish I won 140 million dollars instead of 130 million...

The apartment here is a great location and the apt itself is well appointed and squeaky clean. (That stops when you walk out the door however.)

A few notes on all of my work...

Just as a heads up...

I'm working on a new website now. It is perhaps 30-60 days away. All of my work will be there for purchase. There will also be opportunities to support my work in a general way. Those that do that, those that support my art, will have first look and exclusive access to parts of my work. Some of you already have. My work in Odessa is partly due to a few donors that helped... "up front" rather than just buying a finished product.

This investment in my work is not just money but an act of faith that I very much appreciate.

Finally... How to view my work. My photos generally are meant to be seen digitally via a bright screen with little or no ambient light on the screen. Otherwise the image will look DARK. If you purchase prints the images are meant to have light shown directly on them. A "spot" needs to be far enough away to encompass the entire print. Generally a flood type light will keep "hot spots" off your print. A defused flood will work best.

During the day light from a window is generally preferred.

Lunch in Odessa...


I have to learn more Russian. The sauce is very garlic-y and sweet. I like it! But it could have been made out of old shoes and radishes and I would not have known!

I also bought sparkling water instead of normal... Good thing I like carbonated water! I will eat out this evening... maybe. I might just edit photos and eat another bowl of pasta.

Behind the scenes...


Dasha the make up artist was fantastic. She also did the translation as Karina and her mom speak very little English.

Here is a behind the scenes photo for the fans. I'll have a video up of the Apartment where I am staying and where we are shooting.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meanwhile... in Odessa...


Remember my last post about Taisia coming over first...

Ha! I have no idea what is going on. As long as the models keep showing up!

I can't begin to put into words what a treat it was to meet Karina and her mom. A VERY protective mom too. Good for her.

As promised.

I still don't know.

Dasha and Taisia are on the way over and I still don't know if Karina is coming...

A language barrier is not an easy thing to overcome.

Odessa reminds me of Phibsboro in Dublin.

The apartment is great. Perfect for shooting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not looking so good...

Well I'm in JFK waiting on my flight. I have received news that my local contact is having trouble getting back in touch with Karina.

Taisia is confirmed. That will happen. But I give myself about a 40% of working with Karina.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Surprise!!!

While communication last minute is less than desirable I still think everything will move along as planned. I hope.

God willing and creek don't rise...

I will be working with Karina Terebun.

Karina is a top notch model with all the talent and pose a photographer could want.

She retired from her last gig for unknown reasons and I have been lucky enough to book her for a shoot in the next few days.

Let's just hope communications improve and nothing goes wrong. Nothing is in stone this trip as I am relying on a third party for the majority of communication.

Monday, October 3, 2011

And the nerves set in...

I received a last minute email from my local "fixer" who is the make-up artist I'll be using in Odesa... She said she has a scheduling conflict.

So now It seems I will be landing in Odesa at 12pm their time and shooting secret model number 1 around 4pm. This is of course after 20+ hours of travel.

I hope I have my wits about me. Maybe a power nap will be in order... Who am I kidding? I can barely sleep now from the anticipation.

I still don't know exactly what day Taisia and I will be working together. But we have traded messages and I have every confidence the shoot will go off in some form or fashion...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'll try to blog about the whole journey!

I'll do my best to send back video and photos of the trip. After all getting there is always half the fun.

The accommodations have been sorted and at least one of the models had reconfirmed.

So this is T minus 4 days and 20hrs on a plane and counting!

As promised... stay tuned for an announcement on who the "surprise" model will be.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Flight Is Booked... Odessa here I come!!!

The flight is booked. I will be visiting Odessa next month on the 7th.

Keep checking back for updates. I already have one surprise model that was booked last minute. I will reveal the surprise model before I leave.

I will also blog the entire trip as well as post video.


Don't forget to contribute for exclusives no one else will get!

My Music Mood

Some New Work For You


Been working a bit.

I hope you like.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years After 9/11...

Lessons Yet To Be Learned.

1. Terrorists are not psychopaths or mentally ill. They are not cowards any more than we are. What they are is desperate. They are short sighted. They are misguided. If you set out to fight terrorism by fighting psychopathic cowards you will waste your time and money.

2. There is nothing the US can do to rid the world of terrorism but it can limit its exposure to their aims by being measured in its responses to provocation and in how it deals with tyrants and dictators that build the farms that grow terrorism and resentment of the West.

3. Terrorism must be measured and responses to terrorism must be measured in two ways. Principally by REAL potential threats on the horizon and what kind of real damage in life and property these threats could cause. Next it must be tempered by ACTUAL damage terrorism has achieved in terms of life and property. (Which is VERY VERY little compared to many domestic forms of loss of life and loss of property.)

4. Finally to limit liberty and freedom in an effort to “fight terrorism” is to give terrorist “a free one”. Because censorship, a loss of privacy and guilty-till-proven-innocent tactics do more to harm our country at its fabric and base than any type of attack on America that was historically accomplished or realistically will be accomplished in the future ever will.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm Homeless! Damn You SmugMug.

As of tomorrow my http://femalebeauty.smugmug.com page will be no more. SmugMug is kicking me out. They don't like my work apparently and definitely don't like the fact that I don't appreciate them holding onto my money for 30 days. I complained about the 30 days, then complained some more when I was given a "canned" response to my questions. And was summarily given the boot by the head-honcho for having the huevos to ask a few tough questions they didn't have a good answer for. Oh well. Plans have been in the works for months prior to this smugmug fiasco to have a more permanent web site. I expect to give you an announcement in about 45-60 days regarding where I will be. This new home will be my final destination. Who knew selling art would be so worrisome?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So close! But not quite.

It's physically impossible to be BETTER than U2. Especially the U2 from the 80s.

But Boyce Avenue is so damn close to "as good" it's hard to call it.

If you don't know Boyce Ave... you soon will.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Photographing Taisia


This post is about my journey to photograph one of the most beautiful models I have ever seen. Taisia Harlamova.

I have been in intermittent contact with Taisia for over 3 years. We have agreed to shoot now on three separate occasions. The first three fell through because of timing and money issues. Not to mention a communications barrier. She speaks some English and I speak very little Russian.

Oh... Did I mention she lives in Odessa Ukraine?

MORE LATER...

Photo credit - Unknown

Monday, August 22, 2011

A little taste of Sherri.


We had a great time. Fun to see Sherri again. I love catching up with her. She is too funny.

And she is hot!

See more photos in the days and weeks to come at: http://femalebeauty.smugmug.com

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's official. I will be working with Sherri again.



Keep your eye out for some up coming collaborations between Sherri Chanel and I. Go see her at www.sherri-chanel.com .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Possible BIG Shoot on the Horizon.

I've been in touch with one of my favorite models. We are working through the details.

I hope to have something solid to report in a day or two.

It's almost been three years since we worked together!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Eyes Have It


I just uploaded a new Exhibit to my Gallery.

"The Eyes Have It" is a small collection of photos that show the power and beauty of a model's Eyes.

Enjoy!

My Gallery!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A muse... Phoebe.


I first worked with Phoebe a couple of years ago. I flew to Arizona and set up shop at the Crown Plaza (if memory serves...). My expectations were minimal. Phoebe had done a considerable amount of shooting prior to our meeting. Much more than most young models. That is what attracted me to her. That's what let me risk a large amount of money on a young model, something I don't do likely. Young models are notorious for "flaking".

Phoebe and her mom arrived and we discussed the shoot. Phoebe had ideas and concepts immediately. Most young models just sit there. Staring at you. Letting mom do the talking. I don't trust those moms. The ones that don't give the models a chance to interject. I have curtailed many-a-shoot early because a "bad vibe".

What I got from Phoebe and her mom was the opposite. I got an artistic vibe.

The first shoot went great. In the down time Phoebe entertained me with jokes and stories about school.

More than a year later the planets aligned and we worked together again. This time I flew them to the Atlanta area. Another successful shoot. Phoebe was older. And so was her craft. She moved flawlessly from pose to pose. She needed little from me.

And of course in between shots and sets she again entertained me with stories from home and her signature off color jokes.

Phoebe definitely falls into the "muse" category. I often find myself creating shoots in my head with her in it. I look forward to working with her again. She truly is a "photographers model".

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Commission Me to Create a Work of Art for You


Like all artists I can be commissioned to create a one of a kind work of art for you. I will work with you on theme and tone. If you want a particular model that can also be arranged but you must realize that the costs associated with commissioning two artists to collaborate on a single work is significant.

I look forward to hearing from you and collaborating with you to create something that is presentation worthy.

If you are interested in a one of a kind work of art contact me at [b e n c o o k 2 (at) g m a i l. c o m .]

Music in my head while I shoot...

When I am creating a shoot in my head it often starts with music. I don't often have much music playing while I shoot. (I'm not against it.) But in my head it is always playing.

I have been haunted by Mozart's Lacrimosa for some time. I will be putting photos to this haunting prayer.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Talent in His Pinky Finger...

If you are not familiar with GreyAgent... what a treat I have for you.

Ode 2011 Ver2 NSFW from grayagent on Vimeo.

Odessa is calling.


Odessa Ukraine = Beautiful Women

In the next days and weeks I will be revealing the details of my trip to Odessa. While in Odessa I will be working with a model named Taisa. Taisa exemplifies Eastern European beauty. She has perfect high cheek bones and cupid's bow lips. Some folks might recognize her as she has been a model since she was young.

Photo Credit: Artur Belov http://vkontakte.ru/arthurbelov

Why I photograph beauty.

I guess I could just explained why I got into photography at all... But that's kind of a boring story. The more interesting one is why I started photographing beautiful women.

Years ago when I was just experimenting with photography I was shooting sunsets in Charleston SC and farm houses in Sumter. When... for no apparent reason it hit me to photograph a pretty girl. I wouldn't even think to call the person a "model" at this point. I hadn't processed the photographer / subject relationship that far.

I placed an add in the City Paper in Charleston and I got several responses. Surprising really. Two of note where Lindsey King (who later went on to appear on ABCs "the Bachelor") and Amy Frost (who later went on to be a life long friend and muse).

The shoot with Lindsey was a comedy of errors that I never showed or admitted to her. I miss loaded the first roll. It never existed. 30% of every roll was also out of focus because I hadn't figured out the diopter yet. And most embarrassing was the fact that I had her follow me a mile into the woods... alone to my parents river house to shoot. I never for a minute thought that might be uncomfortable for Lindsey. But... it seemed she didn't care. I did get a few NICE photos from that original shoot. My first pretty lady shoot. In fact one still hangs on my wall.

Most important however was the Amy Frost shoot. When I first met Amy she was living on Logan St in Charleston. She was a ballet dancer. She answered the door with wet hair and a pack of Parliament Light cigarettes. We chatted on her porch in the humid low country air for about 45 minutes. I don't recall what we discussed. I was immediately intimidated by her innocence and beauty. If it were not for the cigarettes and Bud Light bottles littering the porch from whatever event was held there the night before I might have had to ask her to PROVE to me she was 19.

Our shoot was over in about 2 hours. Amy was much more at ease than I was. I did manage to load all the film correctly this time. But I accidentally left a yellow B/W contrast filter on the lens when I switched to color. I never noticed the yellow hue.

As it turns out this mistake was a "happy accident" that created one of my favorite photos of all time.

This shoot turned out to be the first of many with Amy. Amy also became one of my dearest friends. Her beauty even today is only matched by her compassion and creativity. She was my muse. She was the reason I resolved to photography beautiful women. She exemplifies beauty and creativity in my eyes.