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?


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:

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 .

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.


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

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.