A New Photograph and a Most Humbling Experience

When I come up with a new photographic idea it has the tendency to be a fleeting thought of something that I think is metaphorically interesting or would just plain look cool. For my project Hallucinations Of Our Imaginations this was the first idea that I thought of. I wrote it down in one of my several photography books and I would typically forget about the idea, this one became "A bug in my brain." I just could not let it go. There were a few questions that I did not have the answers to. "Could I freeze the motion of paint with the equipment that I had?" "Would hardware store latex paint work?" and finally "How the hell am I going to suspend someone by ropes...and where?" Finally the question of my Photoshop skills came into play. 

The first few photographs in the series proved that the equipment and paint did in fact work. As I continued to check the above questions off a new development happened. In the past I had used Model Mayhem to find models for my projects, until it became a pay only service. I was not sure that I would be able to find the people needed for these projects with out the site that I had used for so many years. Facebook proved to be my savior. By putting casting calls in Facebook groups and on my feed people began to show interest in being apart of my art. In most cases it was people that I had known that stepped up and have made this project possible and helped nurse it with me to become the project that it is today. But I still had one final piece of the puzzle that I was not able to find, "How the hell am I going to suspend someone by ropes and where?" 

After talking to other photographers and people in the BDSM community I had received several quotes by professionals to help me with this project. Unfortunately the prices were way out of what I could afford until a local photographer suggested that I talk to his friend Michael. After a few exchanges we set up a meet with the model to go over the project and feel each other out. He was profession and ultra concerned about safety, just like me. That was it, our team was set. I had the how but I could not find a location to do this is, I mean who is going to let me drill anchors into their ceiling? I found the answer one day while looking in the mirror. "Well there's got to be beams to hold the dry wall up right?" I was in fact right, what I did not expect is how hard it would be to find thus said studs. Instead of going left to right or front to back  they were angled side to side. "Who built this place? Mickey Mouse?" and before you ask "Why not use a stud finder?" I did but it was woefully unreliable with a popcorn ceiling. Suspending our model from the ceiling of my apartment worked beautifully. We used a ladder to relieve the pressure of the ropes furring our 2 hour shoot.  The next step was finding someone who would be willing to let me drop a rainbow of paint on them for an extended period of time. Thanks to Facebook a friend of mine that I would have never guessed would be interested was ecstatic to do something so new and out of the box. The resulting photograph is roughly 4 hours of shooting and 10+ of editing.  

Please go here to see the final product

Female Model: Masha, http://www.mashasmodeling.com

Male Model: Blake Levy

Rope Artist: Michael, https://www.facebook.com/messages/t/nichols15q

Assistants: Jen Mount, Janan Kerry, Gabriel Gonzalez, Azaria Gonzalez