Saturday, January 29, 2011


photo by Shane McConnell on the farm in NM
Yes that is my dark cloth for my 8x10 often my habit!

Birds of a Feather

While attending the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena I met a man named Norman Mauskopf, at the time he was a "white coat" working the lab for the students and possibly picking up a class to teach during that time frame. I did not really know Norman at that time as I was younger and driven by photography and in what was called at the time "Photo Boot Camp".
It wasn't till I arrived in New Mexico when I really cemented my connection with him.
We were both teachers at the Santa Fe Workshops. I really started to pay attention to his work as the books were for sale at the shop on campus. He was a master journalist. He just had an eye for the juicy bits and pieces in his work. Both being curious about each other and holding one an others works in high re guard it was inevitable that we would become friends. Norman has rather a dry humor and a keen eye for evocative moments I highly recommend you check out his website it's about as down to earth as it gets.
He shoots film AMEN.

Tragedy into Strength

Tsering Tsomo reporting from India

By adopting a realistic approach to problems, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said one can transform tragedy into strength no matter how big the obstacle is. “With a calm mind, we see reality more clearly but a disturbed mind destroys inner peace because it cannot utilize human intelligence properly,” His Holiness said. “The enemies, the destructive emotions, are inside you and only you can destroy your inner peace.”

Defining happiness as the state of deep satisfaction, His Holiness said happiness can be achieved on sensorial as well as mental level. Even animals experience sensorial satisfaction which is physically-attuned and therefore short-lived. But human beings can achieve a deeper, genuine sense of satisfaction on the mental level by using human intelligence.

Sometimes listening to devotional music or looking at holy images provide sensorial satisfaction that complement the deeper practice of attaining deeper satisfaction on the mental level, said His Holiness.

He said he has always found the image of Mother Mary carrying a baby (?) in her arms as a very powerful symbol of compassion, love and kindness. Once when he was on a pilgrimage to visit a small Mary statue in Fatima, His Holiness had a very profound experience. “We were coming back after holding a silent meditation and for no apparent reason I looked back and saw Mary’s statue smiling at me,” His Holiness said.

Different religious traditions whether theistic or non-theistic practice different methods to reduce extreme self centeredness or ego. Theistic traditions such as Christianity believe in total submission to God which in some ways reduce self-centered acts. Non-theistic traditions such as Buddhism and Jainism believe in the law of causality which essentially means cultivating positive Karma or actions to achieve long-term satisfaction. Buddhists believe that through positive actions, one can prevent future negative actions without relying on external factors.

Cultivating positive qualities of warmheartedness and a genuine sense of concern for other’s well-being has nothing to do with being a believer or a non-believer, His Holiness said. These are inner secular qualities necessary for a happy life, not some abstruse concepts of next life or heaven and hell, he added.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Karen Day Making a Difference

While I'm out chronicling America my pal Karen is making a difference exposing issues in the world. She's an Inspiration.

Why Are These Women in Jail?

In Afghanistan, women and children are rotting away in prison for "moral crimes" like leaving an abusive husband.

Want to help? Purchase a "Not Guilty" T-shirt to support the Afghan Women's Justice Project.


By Karen Day

High in the Hindu Kush Mountains, a 16-year-old girl named Badia used to lie awake at night, sharing a wool blanket with her newborn daughter and 40-year-old husband. She had become this man's bride at age 12. Almost every day after their wedding, he had beaten her with the broom she used to sweep the dirt floor. "A healthy boy will never come from such a worthless girl," he would say. It was Badia's fault that he had to take a second wife, he announced. She was lucky he was a kind man: No one in the village would have condemned him for killing her, and her child.

Welcome to Afghanistan, one of the worst places on earth for women.

Badia eventually escaped, sort of. One snowy night, the shivering teenager slipped from her bed, baby pressed to her chest. Then she ran, barefoot, up a footpath as old as Genghis Khan. But she didn't get far. She got sent to prison, convicted of the "moral crime" of leaving her husband's home without his permission. She recounts her story while staring at a concrete wall surrounding the women's prison in remote Nangarhar Province. "I'm a criminal in my village," she says, stroking the raven hair of her daughter, now 2. Together, mother and child have served two years of their 10-year sentence.

In Afghanistan, the most commonly practiced form of judicial "due process" simply requires two men to accuse a woman of a crime. Case closed. No burden of proof or defense. A group of respected male elders hands down the sentence. (Men also appear before this council, or jirga, but usually to settle debts or property disputes. Their wives and daughters are often traded and enslaved to resolve such debts.) For women, typical "moral crimes" punishable by prison—or death—include refusing to marry a rapist, having an affair (or simply getting accused of having an affair), and murder-by-proxy, wherein a male family member kills someone and assigns the prison sentence to a female.

An estimated 860 women are currently behind bars in the country, along with 620 girls between the ages of 12 and 17, and 280 children, according to the U.S. State Department and the Corrections System Support Program, or CSSP, a private U.S. contractor tasked with reforming Afghan prisons. Ninety-five percent of these women are convicted of "moral crimes."

Kinah, 21, is a striking beauty with the black-coffee eyes of many in Balkh Province. She sits in one of two rooms that imprison 40 women and 18 children, rocking her 6-month-old daughter, who is nestled in a sheet tied to a chair and bedpost. At age 6, Kinah was promised in marriage to a 40-year-old man, but at 16, she ran away, marrying a young man she loved. She is now a convicted adulteress and widow, as her former fiancé tracked her down and shot her husband. The murderer was sentenced to 10 years; Kinah was sentenced to 12. The room echoes incessantly with children's coughing. The courtyard offers the only escape, where tents serve as shelter from below-freezing temperatures. "Sometimes we have no milk for the children," Kinah says, holding her baby close.

Mercifully, CSSP and a handful of nonprofit groups such as the Afghan Women's Education Center, or AWEC, are working to improve imprisoned women and children's lives. CSSP works in eight of the country's 34 provinces, repairing crumbling buildings, raising operating standards, and training Afghan wardens. Says Rita Thomas, a CSSP on-site adviser, "What's most heartbreaking are the girls." When funds allow, nonprofits will provide literacy classes, emergency medical services, and counseling.

Mike Runnells, CSSP director in Kabul, says the group plans to be in every district by the end of 2011. He admits that these intentions could prove difficult where insurgents still rule with impunity, adding, "Our first priority is the safety of our workers." One adviser was killed in 2007, when her vehicle was targeted in a suicide bombing.

For aid groups in the region, yearly budgets are slim. These groups stay afloat thanks to donations, intermittent federal grants, and iron-willed directors who often work without salaries. But you can help.

What you can do: Buy a "Not Guilty" T-shirt ($25 ). The Afghan Women's Justice Project will send the proceeds to the nonprofits helping Afghan women and kids in prison. One shirt purchase buys a child's milk for a month or school supplies for 10 dear writer friend

Why Have a Baby After 50? By Karen Day

Deciding to have a baby after 50 may be this world-traveling journalist’s wildest move yet.

Having a Baby After 50

I opened my post office box and removed an AARP magazine, a La Leche League newsletter, and a postcard of a pagoda in Myanmar, which I'd mailed to myself two weeks earlier while on assignment in the country formerly known as Burma. The Idaho mountain morning was autumn orange, my first at home after 24 sleepless hours flying economy class from Yangon. My baby screamed whenever the stroller stopped rocking, and the early miseries of a cold pounded in my head.

A young woman standing next to me at the post office smiled and nodded at the stroller. "What a beautiful baby," she cooed in a swoony voice. "Where's his mother?"

Putting on a smile stolen from mug shots of serial killers, I said, "This old hag is his mom."

I am 54 years old and suffering the delirious consequences of weaning a baby and being one of the first Western journalists to visit Naypyidaw, the new capital city of the military dictatorship that has held the Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for much of the past 18 years. No doubt, I am also the first breastfeeding 54-year-old journalist to go this route. (No, I didn't take my son with me: Myanmar, military dictators, and babies really don't mix.) But today, deadlines looming and baby wailing as if his hair is on fire, I choose to blame my entire exhausted life on the airline's lack of business-class upgrades and on Mary Martin.

I was 7 years old when Peter Pan soared before my eyes. No Wendy envy and shadow mending for me. Martin set my imagination free and ruined any future I had as a shop clerk or a stay-at-home mom. Nothing since has been able to hold me down -- not marriage (past or present), four kids, State Department warnings, or leaking breasts. I'm not complaining. My dual careers as a journalist and as a mother are rewarding: unimpressive pay, but magnificent scenery once you get outside the refugee camps or the laundry room.

So perhaps that's why I've been dodging bullets in the third world and giving birth for four decades. The possibility of my dying on the job does not seem too alarming, since fate can hit you with a truck anywhere. But to some, having a baby in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s sounds like a nasty habit, right up there with chewing tobacco or scrubbing grout with your toothbrush. There should be a 12-step program for women like me, rebels who can't give up their quixotic causes or their diaper bags.

Around 505 Magazine

Artist of New Mexico
8x18 Artist Micheal Ceschiat
I saw a card with these objects on it. They are called "Pokers" I found them curious and contacted the artist to do this session. He is also a professor here in New Mexico and has frequent shows of his works. We did the same shot nude however I give my artist shots to a local magazine to publish and we felt it was a little much for the readers.

On locations shootin 8x10

AMERICAN PHOTO by David Schonauer

8x10 by karen kuehn in Joels Studio in NM

When asked about this picture of eccentric Albuquerque-based artist Joel-Peter Witkin, Kuehn said: "He wanted to be photographed between an image of God and an image of Satan. Does that mean he's in purgatory?"

Karen Kuehn: A Career Case Study

How one woman's quest for a simpler life led her to photographic purgatory and back again.

By David Schonauer

When asked about this picture of eccentric Albuquerque-based artist Joel-Peter Witkin, Kuehn said: "He wanted to be photographed between an image of God and an image of Satan. Does that mean he's in purgatory?"

Career paths are rarely straight lines, especially in photography. In the September/October issue of American Photo we looked at just how hard it is for photo assistants to successfully launch their own careers. In our November/December issue, we examine the careers of photographers who have made it big, but who, for one reason or another, are now overlooked or underrated. There are a hundred reasons why one talented photographer becomes a success and another, equally gifted, never quite makes it, or having made it can't hang onto it. You can explain it by talking about the vagaries of the art world, about bad luck or bad timing, or you can do what I often do and simply chalk it up to fate.

My favorite career stories are the ones with second acts. Recently I received an e-mail from photographer Karen Kuehn, whom I have known since the 1980s but in recent years had lost track of. That's because in 2002 she left a thriving career in New York City and moved to Peralta, N.M., a small town down the road from Albuquerque. My first encounter with Karen came when American Photographer magazine profiled three young shooters who were taking New York by storm. (She was one; the others were Chip Simons and a guy named Mark Seliger.) Karen was the crazy surfer girl (she grew up in Long Beach, Calif.) who rode her bike all around Manhattan, from her apartment on the Lower East Side to the midtown offices of magazines like Rolling Stone, for which she worked regularly. Her biggest gig was a 15-year stint shooting for the New York Times Magazine. "That really put me on the map," Kuehn says.

Then life got in the way of her career. A single mother, she decided to leave New York. Her old friend Simons had already opted for a different lifestyle by moving his family to New Mexico, where he established a solid career. So Kuehn headed there also. " I needed to raise my son in a place where I could work and have him rooted in an earthy place," she says. "That's what I traded for -- a new home where my kid would ride bikes with his friends and swim in irrigation ditches."

But the price was steep, she admits. "I am by no means making any money here," Kuehn says. "I have chickens and fresh eggs every morning, but getting fresh photo assignments is a struggle when you live in the middle of nowhere." In photography, an industry that seems to get more competitive every day, it is easy -- very easy -- to become forgotten. Kuehn told me how one young photo editor greeted her at a meeting: "She said, 'I know your pictures, but I don't know you."

These days, happily, Kuehn is getting known again. She's been working on a spectacular new personal project -- portraits of New Mexican artists. The highlight of the project, she says, was shooting Albuquerque-based artist Joel-Peter Witkin.

"I met him a few years ago and tried to shoot him, but he was difficult and tried to control everything," says Kuehn. "Then I met him again recently at a wedding, and his wife Barb had him make up with me. His house isn't at all what you might expect from someone who makes the kind of images he does. It's like your grandma's house -- warm and friendly."

The shoot, which took place in late September, went well, reports Kuehn -- even if Witkin maintained a controlling presence. "He wanted to be photographed between an image of God and an image of Satan," says Kuehn. "Does that mean he's in purgatory?" On reflection, the photograph is an entirely appropriate depiction of an artist who leapt to the height of fame by creating visual allegories about life, death, and the states of being that exists between the two. "I didn't take this picture; Joel basically directed it," says Kuehn. "I was his gift to me."

The mark of a brilliant portraitist is to recognize when the gift is of real value. Kuehn, having spent her own season in photographic purgatory, has been around photography long enough now to know how to accept the gift graciously. "After all that's happened, I think I value photography more now than I ever did," she says. "I don't just want to do it; I need to do it."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


photograph of stage light while shooting Penn & Teller

Making Art from Your Heart

Rogue ideas usually come from a ROGUE MIND

I have made a career of creating ideas. I am paid for the way I think. The surprises, the johnny on the spot solutions have been the foundation of my life. Some folks are skilled charismatically, verbally, visually, athletically, mathematically, administrative skills and many other talents unmentioned. I have always felt that my forte is intuitive thinking and creating. Why limit myself ? Visionary thinking shows you all the variables. Why be stuck with one idea of what is when you have choice and can choose the best solution for each situation/story.

The mind is much like water it is either a pond that stagnates or a river that meanders along the shores or the ocean with its terrific fiery and glass calm. Every so many waves comes a "ROGUE" wave. It's here where the brilliance shines. My mind is a playground not alway's for me but others of like mind have enjoyed the gems that sprout. For me its never been drug induced to get it to respond. No need for wine or anything more than seeing and being in the world with all my senses.

I teach this in my workshops and its great to see others light up with just a few ideas pondered and shared by experience. Timing can't be is or isn't there. However I am pretty good at exposing it in others with the many projects I've put together for students to tap into the dreams and core energy where individuals have images residing. This is a place I feel exists in everyone, some are just blocked or shut down or off and afraid to be in the live place where change and joy and love expand their soul to be more creative. I love it when my classes have all ages involved, 18 -76 year old people who are curious. Its never too late to see one's own mind.
To be true to oneself and present and connected to one's heart. My class is like CPR for the soul.

When you find your rhythm with another creative its expanse and no matter what occurs this is by far a huge gift, oddly tantric and its really like the ocean undulating a shared energy often unexpected because their s an open heart and desire to be alive with oneself. Its difficult to say why it happens for some and not others but I feel its a familiar spirit that compresses into one. Unforgettable creating is the fire in our belly's. Don't deny yourself and squash it if you've got it.

Everything I touch I do it with a goal of excellence and a natural passion. This is my way, or I just don't do it. It's all connected organically. Be it gardening, mothering, photographing, being a lover or many of the things I enjoy doing. Everyday is new and abundant with feeling in my life.
I don t just look at things simply but with heart I try to find a different and unique point of view.
To be original is always key or to spring board and idea into a new identity and give it a breath of fresh air and a life of its own.

Telling a story is a big part of my image making, be it illustrative or a soulful capture. "A picture is worth a thousand words." If my files could talk ! If I have one shot at it I try to do it so that the public can get a quick read and hopefully I've evoked some emotion and life force in the viewer. I have so many projects in my journals that need funding. And I have never let the lack of money hold me back. I always find a way effortlessly to at the very least chronicle my life. Many images I choose not to share. Often I ask will it change my life if shared, or the subjects life? Good bad indifferent. I try to be responsible and accountable for what I share with the world. As interpretations can be often misread. People who twist things to the dark side don't interest me much. Finding negative in the most innocent images is their trip. Look at Sally Mann; a great photographer of children, hers often were nude and the world was quite critical of her point of view. Perception is half of communication.

The creative mind is the worlds greatest gift. No one ever really knows the real stories behind an artist images unless they have a direct mentor ship or have read the actual words that validate others "ideas". concepts are just ideas....stories within each persons being. The general public likes to put their stamp on it especially if it links them to the greats or some sort of chatter that really isn't who or what the artist is about a large percentage of the time. Artist just make stuff and get lost in it and some sort of internal mojo just has to express itself. Some to make a difference, some obsessive and the speculation will be always at the tips of those who either respect art, teachers, or wish they could be of like mind. No exacts just part of it rather than an observer. Its all human. Everyone wants to be a hero and connected to what is good if their nature is good. Its all good if it promotes art that is valuable. And that is the question. In the eyes of the beholder.

Recently a very bright woman that I camped with at Burning Man stated to me . . .

"Their no absolutes"

This resonates with me and my Buddhist practices. I am more human and less perfect than society would like to dictate. All this is adding up to some sort of artistic expression. Utilizing one's life experiences for art is historically common. Artist don't share everything and somethings are better left to a mental memory. Photography is very personal and sometimes images with stories are better left unsaid. Musing the memories is a derivative of the masters. Places, experiences, and great loves even tragic tales can be quite a pallet for the artist in any medium.

I like to shoot projects with the INTENT. To make a difference and to share them in greater venues. I have an artist heart. Two nights ago my friend Chip was here and he said

" your heart is too passionate and sensitive for the world."
( a very creative thinker

At times I feel it so...I create with great care and sometimes other s are insensitive to anyone but themselves. I understand seclusion and keeping my life private and peaceful it suits me, even thou I can flow in with the more opulent of situations. Propping and posturing is another topic for artist who want or need great recognition. I know who I am as a person and its my gift to continue to make art. I don t need to align myself with anything other than the Spirit that is communicating through my body as a vehicle for messages. Is it me or is it bigger? I don't know but its a given and it comes out of me with ease. So this is my journey continued and its really intrepid.

I channel my life into my art. Reflecting concepts from life experiences is where my art will be going more so in years to come. Getting all my lessons and all the characters and stories are going to find their way to the silver print in time. Older and wiser for the gifts and the observations of others and how they handle life has made me a better person for making art. Biology, the news, humanity are my food for thought as I begin new projects. Share the lesson. Concept 10-20 images, make love and express your gut through your medium. The journey is full of love and vitality even when it pains you. Finding the full cup of love to share. I am a messenger at best. Someones daughter, a mother, a lover and nothing but a warm place for my pups to lay their little heads. Embrace your life with what is good.

"Make your life your art"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Surfing for Life

Sunset Wave on assignment for the NYT

I was on a job for the New York Sunday Times Magazine
"Surfing for Life"
I photographed all the legendary surfers of the time.
Peter Cole, Woody Brown, Eve Fletcher, Fred Van Dyke, Anona Napoleon, Rabbit Kekai, Shay Bintliff, and John Kelly

It was a dream job and it was dangerous, I had been on waves 4-12ft but never 18-20.
It was a difficult job and thanks to the life guards I was able to get waterman Terry Ahui to escort me out to catch images of Peter Cole and Rabbit on the inner bowl of the Sunset Wave; one of the most difficult waves to surf in the world. Their is no doubt I wouldn't be alive if they didn't help me do my job.
Later National Geographic picked up this shot for a book about photographers favorite places.
Mine is the Blue Room.

Aloha & Mehalo
keep our waters clean

Poet Charles Bukowski once said
"The ocean is full of blues greens and sharks"
I dedicate this photo to Clem Herbert who was my favorite surfing buddy in NY.
He passed away from a fall off his skate board. Hit his head and when the ER drained the fluid from his brain he went into a coma never to awaken again.
Dalton our other buddy flew to the Canary Islands and played guitar for days to Clem hoping to wake him up. I miss him every day.
When I surf the first wave is always for Clem.
He was the most thoughtful man I've ever known.
I miss you buddy.
Surf those clouds.

Favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt

St Cecilia - The patron St of Music
David Austin Roses are the most Fragrant.
I have hundreds of roses that I've planted on my farm.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

"I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered.
But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall."

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built."

"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."

"If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault."

"Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive.
One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway.
You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Death Snatches But Cannot Hold the Indomitable Artist

photograph of OK Harris by karen kuehn
New Mexico Artist ( book featured on

O K Harris was a good friend of mine who has passed away. He was a huge inspiration to everyone. He supported the artist of New Mexico. Always abundant in creating and manifesting art. He helped everyone and anyone. His welding shop was an open door for anyone who wanted to make anything. I remember one day while meandering through all the steel and scrap I found a piece in the pile that I fell in mad love over. It was an uncompleted piece.
I had no idea it just made me happy. As usual O K and his wife Rosemary and I would have a coffee and a yak about art and love and things that were know love mostly and than I went on my way. A few days later OK shows up with his big welding truck and lifts this large piece over my fence and gifts it to me. I was in shock. I didn't mean he had to give it to me...I just adored all his art. Wow..this was typical of him and his generous Spirit.
He never hoarded things or stashed stuff but rather recycled it back to those he loved as well as strangers.
I would meet him for random lunches once a month for several years before he was diagnosed with cancer and issues due to Vietnam and Agent Orange.
It took him rather fast. He had commissioned me to do some sweet photography of his partner Rosemary. We were to trade for two dancing horny toad lizard's he was to make. He never recovered and we all sat and snuggled him till he passed. Rosemary said to me once.
"Karen if I die before OK would you marry him?" I was touched and speechless. OK and I had our own language as friends. We just got it.
Art was our language and we celebrated each others gifts. God Bless him and Rosemary.

"To O.K. Harris"
by David Coy

The reaper should have picked another face from the robust crowd.
You had more work to do: creatures to cut and weld.
Brother, you were wild,
eager and alive with spark and fire creating the next edifice.
It wasn't time to shut you down, to quite your heart, to turn off your oxygen.
I believe your bones are plates of steel. Your flesh is paint on canvas - spread thin in brilliant color.

What I know of faith and science is electricity runs beyond the copper wire.
The lightening is the air crackles and our hair rises.
Death snatches, but cannot hold the indomitable artist"

I loved this and thank David Coy for sharing it.
OK you are so missed and your the only reason I want to go to heaven.


photography by karen kuehn in New Mexico

A night if torrid lyricism and fierce accordion rascality! For Mark Growden, life bleeds into music and vice versa, which is part of the reason his songs have always held such a deep emotional sway with such a wide audience. Growden's first few recordings – like 1999's Downstairs Karaoke and 2001's Inside Beneath Behind – built on the outlaw troubadour vibe of his legendary (and plentiful) live performances around the Bay Area. Now comes his latest album, Saint Judas, a quantum leap forward for the singer that is his most refined recording yet.

Mark Growden - voice, accordion, clawhammer banjo, baritone sax, Myles Boisen (Tom Waits, Clubfoot Orchestra) – guitar, Chris Grady (Tom Waits, Clubfoot Orchestra, Beth Custer) – trumpet, Alex Kelly (Zakir Hussein, Joan Jeanrenaud, Paul Dresher) – cello.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


People only show you what they want you to know or believe is their public image of themselves.
As a photographer it's important to be thoughtful if you reveal a deeper more transparent person.
The nature of the shoot will determine how far to push the session.

KNOW your Subject.
Arnold Newman's photo of Krupps was historical as it expose the real deal.
Alfred Krupps was a terrible man; a former Nazi slave labor boss he deserved to be exposed as evil.
Arnold read this individual to a "T" and made a huge statement by lighting horrifically.
This is a great example of reading your subject and telling a story.

photography by the late great Arnold Newman

This summer while teaching my "MOJO Rising" workshop at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops I will cover reading people. Facial expression, body language, posture are very revealing about a subject. It's important to see who a person is and to be authentic in sharing a piece of their soul. They may appear sturdy when in fact they could be very fragile. I find from experience whom ever your subject is that often their occupation is where they are most grounded and how they relate to the world stems from this platform they have maintained. Political people often project a public image that isn't really true to form but rather stiff. My job is often to loosen them up and share something a bit friendlier. People with public relation firms always advise them or are on set to make sure they control their clients image. Often you have to court them into a particular concept or idea if it isn't one they created. Now a days a photographer has to jump through more hoops to get a really pure image rooting in personal style. In this coarse I will talk about reading subjects and breaking barriers. When you think you've figured someone out I promise you haven't there is always another point of view and to every light side is a dark side its just a matter of seeing what is appropriate for each situation rendered. Care for their soul and have a kind eye unless your a brutal journalist that shoots for the grit we I will look and explore subjects with all good intentions. We will tell stories and do portraits that show a caring photographer behind the lens. Sign up now before the class fills.
Call admissions at the SFPWS 1 505 983-9248

Sunday, January 16, 2011

photo by Samantha Walker
(Teaching at SFPW )

"MOJO Rising"

Photograph from the heart
My literary editor Jenny Jensen (

Portraiture is story telling. Good story telling comes from the heart. This course is part self-exploration and part photographic technique. Using exercises with sound, smell, taste, touch and vision we tap those senses that will allow you to extract telling images from even the most uninspired subject.

This class is not for the meek. If your are willing to look in the mirror and do what it takes to find the personal stories, thoughts, images that lay dormant in your creative sphere, then each day’s photo assignment will reflect those individual gems.

We meld this approach to finding your personal style with technical material covering lighting, the symmetry of the human face, point of view, better awareness of settings, styling and props, format and style. We work on how to best illustrate emotions and explore methods for breaking down barriers between subject and photographer.

Students will keep a journal of each day’s experiences and revelations and from that material chose images to do daily. Watch how the mojo develops. Any and all props you bring are welcome. This is a class filled with possibility – join us!

Santa Fe Photography Workshop
July 26th, - Aug 2nd 2011
Santa Fe New Mexico
This is a one week intensive group workshop.

Sign up now before the class fills
1 505 983 9248

Friday, January 14, 2011


Lloyd Greene photographing me for his workshop with DMK
photo by David M Kennedy

photograph by Lloyd Greene 4x5

photo by David M Kennedy
Lloyd Greene One on One Workshop 1/14/11

Today David Micheal Kennedy set up an appointment to bring one student; Lloyd Greene to work with me and do some photography. They arrived and we had some vittles and about 1.5hrs to work before dark. Lloyd did his homework and researched my work so he'd know a bit about my character so he could capture a moment in time. It's always interesting to be on the other side of the camera and not be engaged with self portraiture but rather to have a stranger looking and seeing you for the first time. We all have some self image of who we are and what we look like until someone else frames us! We talked and worked and I felt good about being Lloyd's subject. Lets say I live a very private life when I am home on the farm. I usually am not very interested in this sort of thing and I avoid it for the most part. David is a good friend and we help each other with our students and offer up ourselves as part of each others educational programs. Today I feel Lloyd took some terrific shots....did he use the wrinkle filter? God I hope so! This photo session was a very positive experience with a thoughtful photographer.
He had a nice presence and well he smelled know that can turn a photo shoot sour in a second....smell good. Photography isn't just about taking but giving back as well.
It's nice when a man says..."Your a hot babe." And my other pal Chip Simon's was here and he said "hey your normal cloths Kuehn?" boots and wife beaters...501 s.
Today was like a little celebration of Spirit and being photographed on occasion is good for lifting it too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011