Shutterbug Sunday: Paul Ward

Today’s fabulous shutterbug is a little different from the others I’ve posted in that he shoots mostly women. I find his photos absolutely beautiful and true works of art. Here is the amazing Paul Ward.

How long have you been capturing the world around you, either professionally or from the first time you picked up a camera?

I have been taking pictures since I was very young, since I was the only person in my family who could take photos without cutting off people’s heads!  I remember using the old kodak 126 camera with the flash bulbs you had to buy separately and stick onto the top of the camera.  I started doing nudes around 1998 or 1999.

What/who is your favorite subject? Do you find humans difficult or intriguing to shoot?

Art nudes is my favorite subject.  I photograph both men and women, but predominantly women, as it’s getting difficult to find men (and increasingly women) who don’t have some sort of body art on them.  The models I photograph are easy to shoot since most of them have some years of experience modeling for photographers, painters, sketch artists, and sketching/painting groups.  They don’t have any problems being nude and are pretty confident individuals.

If you could choose any one person in history, alive or dead, to do a full photo shoot of, who would it be and why?

Bettie Paige and Marilyn Monroe would be a tossup for an artistic nude shoot.  It is very hard for me to find models over a size 10 to do figure work, and those two women would be my dream shoots !

Do you have a fantasy location you would love to shoot? If so, is there a specific subject to go along with it?

I’ve never done location shooting.  I look at a lot of the outdoor nudes and abandoned building nudes and I don’t “get” most of it.  I find most of the images too busy with too many distracting elements in them.  I’ve never thought about shooting anywhere else than my place of residence, so I can’t really say I have a fantasy location spot.

SK Saturday: The Wind Through the Keyhole

And so I finished reading this one with time to spare, amazingly. It was…different. A story, within a story, within a book. I don’t know that I really liked the format. I guess it was a little too much storytellin’ for me. 

This book is listed as installment 4.5 in The Dark Tower Series. In it we find the ka-tet of Roland, Jake, Oy, Eddie and Susannah still traveling along the path of the beam, heading toward the Dark Tower. They come to a river and meet a friendly man to get them across. He reminds Roland of a horrible storm that appears out of nowhere and is easily predicted by the billy-bumblers. Oy has been acting strangely and Roland has a “duh” moment as he realizes it’s for this reason.

That’s my first problem with this book. It’s one of those things (if there’s a term I’m not certain) that’s too contrived by the author to mesh well for the reader. Perhaps deus ex machina? Except there was no real reason for this book to happen in the first place. I don’t think I learned anything new about the characters that I needed to know so long after Roland’s journey ended. He does have a few tidbits about his mother, some introspection that makes him more human. However, I don’t think this book did that justice. In the book Roland tells everyone a story. That story is mostly about a situation where Roland tells someone else a different story. That story takes up most of the book. It’s not a bad story. I was actually quite enthralled. I just don’t know that it was worth taking up the thread of The Dark Tower series again, and getting my hopes up that it would be another piece of the puzzle. 

So, taken at face value as a stand-alone book, this is a good read. Depending on my mood I might even say a great read. But as a part of this series, being placed where it was, I just don’t know. Keep in mind that I began reading this series again solely because of this book. I received it for my birthday and wanted to remember every detail that came before this story took place. I’m in the thick of it now so will continue on with the series. But of course, I remember how it ended and know that’s not going to change.

Friday WTF?: What the Real Problem Is…

By now if you’re not living under a rock, you’ve heard about the controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A. I’d like to state that I love their food…a lot. And to be honest, not eating there is pretty damn hard. I’ve always known of their Christian values because every time I crave a chicken sandwich on a Sunday I’m reminded. They’re closed on Sundays, no problem. They happen to have the best damn customer service of any fast food chain I’ve ever been to, no matter the location. They seem like a genuinely good company and I had originally wanted my daughter to work there.

Then one day a few months ago an online friend made a comment about their intolerance of homosexuals. Now, I firmly believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. This private company is definitely well within their rights to believe what they want and enforce that belief through their system. However, the real problem I have with them is this:

Chick-Fil-A will not knowingly hire homosexuals.

Chick-Fil-A knowingly donates money to causes that are radical in their intolerance of homosexuals.

This isn’t a new issue either. As I stated, I heard of this a few months ago, and further research turned up this article from March of 2011.

So while I applaud their refusal to back down from their beliefs, and agree they have every right to them, I don’t agree with those beliefs or how they enforce them on others. To me, wanting to work for the company shouldn’t give them the right to enforce their beliefs on me, especially when so many need jobs so badly.

Do You Know Marianne Evans? (contest)

Today I’m happy to welcome another Inspirational Romance author to my blog. Marianne Evans has a new release coming soon titled Devotion. I absolutely love the cover!

You’re Writing About…WHAT?
Yep. Those four seemingly innocuous words came at me more than a few times as I created the story DEVOTION, releasing on October 15th from Harbourlight Books (part of the amazing publisher, Pelican Book Group!). Why, you may ask? Oh, nothing too out of the ordinary…just another day of being an author of Christian fiction and romance writing about adultery.

You read the word correctly, no need to scan back over it a few times. Adultery.
Before I wander into the topic of the “A” word, let me give you a frame of reference. Some background. First of all, there’s a misconception out there that Christian fiction and romance is, thankfully, beginning to overcome. What would that be? It’s the idea that books with a Christian world view and faith-centered themes are somehow out of step with modern culture and the reality of our world. Unrelatable.

There’s another misconception we’re blasting out of the water as well. It’s the idea that Christian novels are…well…shall we say…a cleverly masked sermon. I like to hope, and pray that the stories we tell apply to the life all of us lead with an uplifting message of hope and inspiration.

Now, I’ll step toward the topic of DEVOTION.

I’ll grant you, the idea of a Christian novel centered on the issue of adultery is unusual, but Devotion and the characters who drive it, stirred my heart and refused to be silenced. Kellen and Juliet Rossiter had a story to tell with powerful importance and impact. The idea of working on committed relationship, fixing what’s wrong and finding your way back to the love you share with your spouse appealed to me as a writer and a woman who’s been married for thirty years.

Marriage, like life, has seasons both good and bad. People you love, the vows you make, aren’t disposable. When the seasons of turmoil transform into the seasons of joy, you look back on the trials and share a knowing sense of connectedness and rejoice in all you have established together as husband and wife—a covenant, not just a contract.

I pray you enjoy Devotion and that it blesses you as creating it has blessed me!

From This Day Forward

Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.

Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that’s what she thinks.

For Better or Worse

But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation?  How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?

‘Til Death Do Us Part

When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion. 

Book Info:

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Harbourlight Books (October 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611161649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611161649

Author Bio:
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create.
Evans’s novel, Hearts Communion, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category and readers have lauded her work as: ‘Riveting.’ ‘Realistic and true to heart.’ ‘Compelling.’ Evans has also won acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of Aneruca chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Marianne is also giving away one ebook copy of Devotion to a lucky reader. Leave a comment below with your email address to enter. The winner will be chosen via on 7/28. Good luck!

My Post on Why Piracy Sucks

When trying to decide on what photo to use for this post I decided on this one because it proves a point. Every single one of the books in this photo has been paid for, which means the author who wrote them was also paid. Now, I’ll admit I bought many of them used. So the author may have only been paid once and then I bought it and paid someone else with NO proceeds going to the author. As an author I know this will eventually happen and I’m okay with it. The point is, it was originally paid for at least once.

I’d like to tackle the argument that pirated books aren’t actually stealing from the author because that book wouldn’t have sold to that person anyway. Let’s look at that for a minute. Yes, it may be true that if you chose to illegally download my book for free you only did so because it was free. If you saw it somewhere else for even a penny, you would pass it up. Okay, I get that because I know how expensive books can be. But guess what, I DON’T STEAL BOOKS. Jut like I don’t steal anything else, if I don’t have the money for it I go without. In fact, I haven’t bought a book in at least two months because I simply can’t afford to. Here’s a little gem for thought, I promised my husband I would only spend the money on books that I earn from writing. So, while you’re stealing my books I’m not getting paid for them. That means I don’t have the few bucks it takes to buy myself a book or anything else.

The next argument is that an author isn’t going to become a millionaire from the few books that would sell if they were paid for instead of stolen. Really? No shit. I’d be happy to afford a burger. I’m a really low-maintenance gal. If I can use my royalties to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk for my kids then I consider it a good month. The fact of the matter that e-pirates are either ignoring or plainly refuse to admit is: PIRACY IS THEFT. No, seriously, it really is. Any way you slice it, if you take something that is for sale and don’t pay for it, you have just stolen it. I don’t believe I’ll magically become a millionaire if pirates stop offering my books, but that’s really not the damn point.

Last argument, books that are stolen actually help the author by giving them exposure. Well, that might actually be true. However, if given the choice of having a HUGE fan base of thieves that love my books but don’t pay for them and having a few loyal readers who are willing to pay the money…I’ll take the loyal, HONEST readers any day. That’s just me. I prefer to surround myself with people I can trust and since PIRACY IS THEFT I would never trust a pirate. I wouldn’t even want to get book reviews from someone stealing my work, and reviews are something I love to read.

So in short, keep this in mind: you wouldn’t walk into an art gallery and take a painting off the wall and walk out without paying. Why not? That’s art just like writing. You wouldn’t get away with using a cell phone without paying the bill. Why not? It’s just air you’re using and not a tangible thing. Just because e-books are not made of paper doesn’t make them worthless. it doesn’t make them EVERYONE’S. Books are books whether they exist in your hands or on your screen. Be a responsible reader and pay for them

Final thought (for real), if your argument is that books are available at the library so they should be free game then go to the damn library. Mine aren’t there so it doesn’t apply. The library still gets permission for those books. That’s all authors really want, to be asked permission. I wouldn’t walk into your house and make a sandwich just because I found the door unlocked. Don’t follow the pirates links and take the books just because they’re there.

Shutterbug Sunday: FOTOJADAMO

Sometimes I’m amazed by the connections I make while playing online. I meet very creative people who inspire me in new and interesting ways. One such connection is James Moreno. Who is this creative shutterbug? The genius behind FOTOJADAMO, a fellow Texan, and all around nice guy.

How long have you been capturing the world around you, either professionally or from the first time you picked up a camera?

My photographic curiosity started back during junior year in high school. After graduation, I started to become more adventurous with male models in the summer of ‘98.  My very first subjects were popular jocks, the epitome of every gay man’s fantasy.  I found it intriguing how open-minded they were about posing in underwear for me.  I was shooting exclusively in black and white film using lengthy chemical baths and expensive paper.  I later invested in a digital camera in 2002, and created the name JADAMO, which is done by simply adding the first two letters of my full name: JAmes DAniel MOreno together and the rest, as they say, is history.  
 Recently, in 2011, I suffered a horrible blow to my photography career when 13 years of my work was gone in a blink of an eye.  Someone broke into my van and stole my equipment, my camera, and 13 years of vital documents and releases. I knew I needed to work harder to start over again.  I made my comeback in January this year and decided I’d go far beyond my own expectations.  My goal is to reclaim as much of my “unusable photographs” as possible.  My comeback portfolio is an orgy of avant garde:  fashion, design, art, lighting, Photoshop, male models and sex.  It’s an attempt to extricate myself from the mass produced and so-called “shock-value” photographers that have been flooding the scene as of late.  My goal is to give life and recognition to my body of work that has its own trademark FOTOJADAMO appeal.  If you know a photo was taken by me, than that’s all the redemption I need to keep me going.

What/who is your favorite subject? Do you find humans difficult or intriguing to shoot?

By nature, I am a people watcher.  What else can be more lively and diverse than us?  Sure, animals and nature can be exciting, but from my perspective, humans are strange, fucked up creatures and I’d be a fool not to capture them.  I would never pose for me, because I’d look and feel silly wearing the things I’ve had my guys wear. And that’s why I have a higher level of respect for my models.  I can trust that they’ll deliver a killer photoshoot no matter what. What I find intriguing about photographing people is that it will always be difficult, especially for someone like me who must work with the bare minimum like budget lighting, and baby powder for make-up.  When anything can go wrong, it usually does.  But I prevail and accept the way things are, or I’ll keep working smarter until I succeed or die trying.

If you could choose any one person in history, alive or dead, to do a full photo shoot of, who would it be and why?

Ace of Base.  They are a HUGE influence on my vision, and also of character.  To have the opportunity to photograph all four original members would be a major highlight of my career.

Do you have a fantasy location you would love to shoot? If so, is there a specific subject to go along with it?

I would love to float amongst the clouds with my camera.  When I was prepping for the 2012 Austin Fashion Week Mash-Up Competition, I knew I needed photographs of clouds to supplement the background of my submission.  I spent weeks in June aiming my camera to the sky where plenty of cumulus clusters hovered above.  I would recall my first plane ride when my eyes witnessed clouds from miles overhead.  The setting sun created silhouettes from behind pure white cumulus clouds as it painted their bold, soft edges with splashes of reds, oranges, and yellows.  The occasional sun flare would peer between the gaps with its strong rays and blinding light, an epitomic scene associated with visions of The Heavens.  I sat there, next to my small window, tears flowing heavily until the sun disappeared.  It was the most beautiful moment of my life.

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