date: 20201123 “A MILD #WINTER #MONDAY IN #NOVEMBER.”
Location: Ishihara Park, Los Angeles / Santa Monica, CA USA
subject: Kelly Zhang [Female; Asian; Chinese; Woman; Girl; Young-Adult;]
attire: streetwear; jacket; mask;
camera: Pentax K1-MII
keep-rate: 138/161 (~85.71%)
genre: Candid; Individual; Traditional; Portrait; Portraiture; Classic; Classical; Posed;
usage: Business; Dating; Profile; Headshot; Business; For mom; Family; instagram; linkedin; about-me;
tone: Sleek; Goofy; Fun; Playful; Urban; Cute; kawaii; Cheeky; Bright;
seed: Adobe Camera Raw
primary-emu: RNI Agfa Optima 200 v3
rights-usage-terms: CC BY-SA 4.0***
meta: I’m working on “curating my work.” until now, I’ve basically been using SmugMug as a dumping ground for fear of not waking up in the morning. I’ve lived with this “fear” since childhood. Categorically, it’s not as much a fear as a plausible reality; basically, I’ve always accepted the fact that tomorrow may never come and try to be as well prepared to die as possible. So with my photography, I don’t really care about copyrights and monetization. I just care that it’s viewable and available for my subjects and anyone else to see.
I’ve come full circle in my workflow. I started using Adobe Camera Raw along with ACDSee in 2004. Since then, I’ve probably used/trialed every piece of photography software available. ACR has it’s issues, handling variants is a pain in the ass. But it is faster and more flexible than Lightroom, due DNG/sidecar adjustment embedding. Fortunately, with the innovation of cloud storage and essentially unlimited space, my approach to photography is plausible.
I’m massively backlogged in terms of curation and updating old albums to the new workflow. I botched a lot of color grading the past few years with experimental workflows, and in the past few months, a poorly calibrated monitor. (That’s why I’ve been using the tagline: “I’m just a guy who’s a photographer for fun.”)
Then again, what the hell is “professional photography?“
Most of the photographers in my locale use instagram or wix for their portfolios of crazily-saturated-uncanny-valley-shit: “models” striking weird poses with glazed expressions on their poreless faces and the occasional camera-wielding-self-“portrait” of CPT. Douche/Cunt-face her/him/themselves. Not to mention the scores of dudes with: ladies as their profile photos, galleries of poorly-lit, over-processed, scantily-clad women, and a profile that says “DM for rates.”
Alas, I do not have what it takes to call myself a “professional photographer” in LA.
Kelly and I met on what used to be one of the greatest innovations in internet dating history: OkCupid. It’s one variants of OLD (online-dating) that still allows you to keep a well curated profile. I’ve been a user since it’s inception. It used to be a great place to meet and make friends from all around the world. Now it’s a husk of it’s former glory: “The deepest cesspool.”
I messaged Kelly with something along the lines of “Hey, I’m just looking for portrait subjects + [discernable proof that read the entirety of her profile].
This session is the aberrant result.
The second shutdown put me on furlough from my usual work at NUEVA, and I was a bit hamstrung on how to go about finding subjects for PARTY_ANIMALS, due to the increase in transmission rates and the fact that the photos I was getting were not on par with my vision. While that project is “to be continued” at a later date, arranging these casual portrait sessions in the closest park has been, safe and fun.
I’ve recently just finished setting up my site *okpebbs.com. Booking is finally available, it’s free for first timers if you can find the “secret-link.”
Maybe I’ll have a “real portfolio” someday.
[ Oh and while I do use a CC BY-SA 4.0, license, do be respectful to the subject. ]
And Kelly: stretch more / look into standing desks!
I’ll probably end up mirroring this on a “real” platform.