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


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


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.