Posts Tagged ‘Steve Marsel Stock’

Chicks with Guns – Seeing RED

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Photo Assignment: Chicks with Guns

Seeing RED

 

You don’t kill animals. You harvest them

You don’t kill animals. You harvest them

 You don’t kill animals. You harvest them.

Not The Obvious Choice: If you think about it, I’m a very odd choice to shoot a project like this. I didn’t speak the language of outdoor sports, especially hunting! In my experience, affinity matters. For instance, I was once up for a commercial account for a golf accessory business. I didn’t get the account simply because I didn’t golf. Everyone that worked on that account had to be a golfer. In retrospect, that made a lot of sense. How could I possibly add anything to a golf shoot if I didn’t know the first thing about golf?

Now we come to “Chicks with Guns” : I’ve never hunted and have only fished on occasion. I’ve always lived in the city. Truthfully, I’ve never really understood why people liked hunting. It seemed barbaric to me. And based on where and how I was raised, it made sense for me to think that way.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

A Different Kind of “Shoot”: I fancy myself a wannabe video producer. Since the middle of last summer, I had been traveling to Maine every weekend, working on a peripherally related spec video project to flex my producer skills. When a client asked me to shoot a calendar for The Maine Sportsman Magazine, I didn’t hesitate! I thought, at the very least, the project would subsidize my gas expenses.

I also knew this type of project is why I got into the business of being a photographer in the first place. I wanted experiences that were both outside my sphere of knowledge and/or outside my comfort zone. And besides, this was the Miss Main Sportsman Competition—“Chicks with Guns”! What could be wrong with a photo-essay like that? Little did I know I was in for the learning experience of my life!

Jodi Jennings Haskell - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Jodi Jennings Haskell – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

I’m A Liberal from Connecticut:  “Hi! I’m Steve Marsel. I’m a liberal from Connecticut, and I’ve never fired a rifle.” Though I never actually said that, those words rang in my head during each call I had with the finalists of the Miss Maine Sportsman Competition to introduce myself for an upcoming shoot. Their way of life was alien to me: hunting, fishing, stuffing. Words not found in my daily vocabulary. But when I opened my mind and put my preconceived notions to rest, what I discovered about these “alien” people taught me a great deal about myself and my world view.

Britt Humphrey - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Britt Humphrey – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Ballots, Businesses, Bears, Oh My!: This project came at a critical time in the state of Maine. A binding question on the November ballot might have banned the use of bait, dogs or traps to hunt bears in the State of Maine – forever! Animal-rights groups had been streaming in money from out of state for months. The “bear-baiting” question was on everyone’s mind.

Carly Chapman  - Finalist 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Carly Chapman – Finalist 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

I discovered that thousands of people made their living in Maine as registered guides. For those of you who don’t know, a registered guide is “any person who receives any form of remuneration for his services in accompanying or assisting any person in the fields, forests or on the waters or ice within the jurisdiction.” There are more than 4,500 registered guides for hunting and fishing in the state. More people than I ever imagined.

Tiffany Waldron - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Tiffany Waldron – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Against the Odds:  Old school hunters were dying off, and sporting camps and lodges found it difficult to make ends meet in the modern world. For one, the competition for American sporting activities is staggering, leaving hunting and fishing desperate to keep up. For another, gas prices (until recently) had been increasing over the past few years, which really put a crimp in many businesses. It became harder and harder for sporting camps to remain viable businesses. So many of their customers drive from other states.

Georgette Kanach - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Georgette Kanach – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

What the average person doesn’t understand about the hunting industry is how many people travel from out of state to hunt and, more importantly, the economic stimulus their travels provide. Hunters and fishermen that drive up from other states usually stop along the way at the Kittery Trading Post or L.L. Bean or the like and spend money. Of course, many of those hunters come for the bear hunt.

Barbara Plummer - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Barbara Plummer – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

A registered guide told me that even prior to election day, when the referendum would finally come to a vote, hunters, who would normally leave there trophy bears with taxidermists in Maine, were taking their bears back with them to their home states. “Why?” I asked him. He explained that the out-of-state hunters didn’t know if they would ever come back to Maine. Even before the first ballot was cast, the state was losing money.

Linda Mercer - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Linda Mercer – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Both Sides of the Coin: Then there’s the larger issue, which is the really big educational concern for me. Most Americans have no idea where their food comes from, and many just don’t care. They think it’s cruel that hunters bait bears in the woods and shoot them. Perhaps these people think that their meat appears out of thin air on a piece of Styrofoam wrapped in plastic. “Blue-state” Americans (seemingly) refuse to make the connection with the food they eat in restaurants or put on their tables and where the food actually comes from. And I must admit that I was one of those liberal blue-state people. I thought that hunting was cruel.

Bethany Terstegen - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Bethany Terstegen – Finalists 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Let me make something clear: the bears in the woods have a much better chance of surviving than any animal waiting to be killed in a slaughterhouse somewhere, such as farm-bred cattle or chickens. The animals we line up in narrow stalls without giving an inch to turn their neck—they stand no chance of surviving! I think that my liberal brethren never think of that. The reason they don’t think of it is because they don’t want to.

Alyson Randall - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Alyson Randall – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Hunting and fishing in America is a birthright. It’s how this country was settled. And it is narrow and shortsighted to think hunting and fishing as simply cruel and unusual punishments. Especially when you consider the slaughterhouses and huge corporate farms that treat animals cruelly as a matter of course day-in and day-out. Where is the uproar for the rights of those animals? No one seems to care.

 

Starley Cashman - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Starley Cashman – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

A Look from the Other Side: You’ve probably heard the old saying, “A mind is like an umbrella: it functions best when open.” (Lincoln) That’s how I hope to approach every experience in my life. I want to keep an open mind so that I see both sides of as many issues as possible. True, I am a liberal, from a blue state, but the past few months have educated me. I now better understand where guides, hunters, fisherman and the like are coming from. I force myself to rise above the hypocrisy.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to pick up a rifle and start hunting tomorrow or next year or possibly ever. I’m not sure hunting is for me. But I learned something. I learned that I didn’t understand the issue of harvesting animals from the point of view of the people that were using them. My new friends gave me a new-found appreciation for what those individuals are fighting. I’m glad to engage anyone on this topic and speak on both sides of it. But I think that after this exposure, I’ve been informed and transformed. “Chicks with guns” turned out to be a very educational project for me, and I appreciate the opportunity to have experienced it.

 

 A very special thanks to James Eves for his generous spirit and gifted skills retouching these images.  Thank you my friend!

And to  Rhen Wilson for his superb editing skills.

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Our Bravest: A Salute to Veterans

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

 My Photo Session with Disabled Veterans from Our Bravest

Our Bravest Composite FullBehind the camera, my own assumptions and comfort zone can be rattled. In honor of Veterans Day, I offer this story about one of those occasions.

 

An Unusual Pitch

The project started out as so many do—a pitch over the phone. In early spring of this year, a long-time client, Theresa Fisher of CCA Global in Manchester NH (whom I really like!), rang me up and ran through the typical pitch I’d heard a least a dozen times. But my ears perked when she mentioned a “public service project.” I’ve made a point over the years to seek out public service projects, but my migration from still photography to television has spread me a little thin.

I was already primed to agree when the client sweetened the deal with a few more details. I can’t recall the entire conversation—my ADD/multi-tasking brain can only absorb so much—but a few choice phrases stuck out:

“—Fourth of July weekend—”  “—see the fireworks—” “—in New York City—”  “—put you up in a hotel—”

Theresa knew exactly how to whet my appetite. What self-respecting photographer wouldn’t say yes to this?

However, it was only after an emphatic “YES!” that I came to terms with what I had just agreed to. The realization hit me square in the face. I’d signed on to shoot portraits for an organization called Our Bravest, a non-profit that builds Smart Homes for catastrophically injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In other words, the types of veterans Our Bravest works with include burn victims and double and triple amputees.  I had never heard of Our Bravest.

As I set the phone down, my heart sank.

Exposing My Discomfort

You might be asking why the sinking heart. What was my issue? To be honest, lack of exposure. I’m not from a military family. No contemporary of mine is or has been in the military. I’ve never even met anyone disabled.

My mind raced, envisioning the injuries, the scars, the missing limbs. I’m squeamish to boot. I’m the kind of person who switches channels and looks the other way whenever I see something upsetting. I can’t even get my blood drawn without averting my eyes.  So imagining the day of the shoot, meeting these veterans…it made me – uncomfortable – to say the least!

But what could I do? There was no way I could reject the client’s offer. Theresa (Senior Vice President,Visual Merchandising and Branding) has always been a great supporter of mine. I’d committed myself to the project, and that was that.

 

Shifting the Focus

On an early Saturday morning in New York City, the day of the shoot for Our Bravest, my assistant Alex Mateo and I set up a studio in a function room in the hotel. I brought Alex because he’d done a tour of duty in the Air Force, and I thought someone on my team should have something in common with today’s subjects from Our Bravest.

When the first man to be photographed appeared, he rolled into the room on a motorized wheelchair. My heart quickened, and my equipment felt heavy and slick in my sweaty palms.

When I’m anxious, I become super efficient. I try to control everything I can, while I can, knowing that at any moment, I could lose any semblance of control I tried to cling to.

As the veteran, a triple amputee, approached, I felt that control slipping away. I hardly knew what to say, but the veteran didn’t need an introduction. As if sensing my nervousness, he introduced himself with an apology. “Sorry I’m late,” he said, slapping the arm of his wheelchair playfully. “This thing only goes about eight miles per hour. So traffic was pretty tough to get through.”

Without warning, I burst out laughing. And so did he. It wasn’t even that funny of a joke, but that wasn’t the point. The point was this man, who had gone through so much, used humor to snap me out of myself.

I had been so caught up in my own uneasiness, I didn’t bother addressing the truth. America’s veterans are us. We’re all the same. I didn’t need Alex to share something in common with them to make the day run smoother. We all share similarities, be it art, family, or a little self-effacing humor.

Any discomfort I had entering the studio dissolved immediately. For the remainder of the shoot, good banter and wit united us, and my empathy for the men and women who sacrifice themselves for this country blossomed. The resilience of the human spirit transformed me, and, thankfully, I will never be the same.

 

Special thanks to Theresa Fisher at CCA Global, Frank Siller and Paola Tornabene at Our Bravest for this great opportunity, James Eves for his great retouching, and Alex Mateo for his steady support, and Rhen Wilson for his superb editing skills.  

 

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All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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Steve Marsel~Cinemagraph of Poles

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Steve Marsel’s Cinemagraphs

 

Adding Motion and Interest!

On Location with Photographer Steve Marsel

Steve Marsel's Cimemagraph of Brunswick School's Ogden family

Steve Marsel’s Cimemagraph of Brunswick School’s Ogden family

Brunswick School’s Odgen Family – Giving back and Conservation

Pictured above is one of Steve Marsel’s eight Cinemagraphs taken for [addlink url=”http://www.brunswickschool.org/” text=”The Brunswick School”] in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Brunswick is the leading independent day school for boys, nationally recognized for the strength of their academics, athletics, and the arts.  The school is known for the clarity and consistency of their educational mission, and the quality and character of our students, faculty, and alumni.  The Campaign for Brunswick seeks $100 million in capital gifts further these ideals and goals.  For the web aspect of the campaign, Steve Marsel was asked to create a series of images that grabbed the attention of the viewers of the site, preferably something they had never seen before!  In this Cinemagraph, the Ogden family is pictured on the breakwater at Greenwich Point not far from Brunswick Upper School campus.  The Family made a substantial donations to the school and are longtime supporters of The Connecticut Chapter of The American Red Cross where Ross Ogden spent six years on it’s board of governors.  Ross Ogden ’62 first came to Brunswick as a second grader in 1951, when his family moved to Greenwich from Chicago. He and his wife, Cathy, have two sons, both Brunswick “lifers.“ Ross ’91 obtained degrees from Dickinson College and The George Washington University, and currently invests in commercial real estate. He also follows his love of the outdoors with conservation work for various non-profit organizations. Ted ’95 was inspired by his years at Brunswick to pursue a teaching career after graduating from Middlebury College and earning an M.A. from the University of Chicago. He now teaches and coaches at the Landon School, outside of Washington, D.C. Like his brother, Ted is an avid fly-fisherman. Steve Marsel felt that the repeating loops of the tugging on the fishing pole made perfect sense for this image and complimented one of the passions of this family – conservation.

 

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All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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Steve Marsel~Cinemagraph of Lights

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Steve Marsel’s Cinemagraphs

Adding Motion and Interest!

A Look Behind the Scenes with Photographer Steve Marsel

Brunswick School’s Baker Theater

Steve Marsel's Cinemagraph of the Brunswick School's Doyle Family

Steve Marsel’s Cinemagraph of the Brunswick School’s Doyle Family

Pictured above is one of Steve Marsel’s eight Cinemagraphs taken for [addlink url=”http://www.brunswickschool.org/” text=”The Brunswick School”] in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Brunswick is the leading independent day school for boys, nationally recognized for the strength of their academics, athletics, and the arts.  The school is known for the clarity and consistency of their educational mission, and the quality and character of our students, faculty, and alumni.  The Campaign for Brunswick seeks $100 million in capital gifts further these ideals and goals.  For the web aspect of the campaign, I was asked to create a series of images that grabbed the attention of the viewers of the site, preferably something they had never seen before!  Although the current version of animated gifs had been out for some time, they had no really caught-on, with one glaring exception – the on-line porn industry! If you think about it, Cinemagraphs and porn are a perfect match.  The device that separates a great Cinemagraph from all the others is a seamless repeating loop.  Some moving element that repeats itself in a “loop”.  So much of what that industry sells involves shots “loops” of motion that repeat themselves over and over again.  Once again – porn & Cinemagraphs are a great fit!  My challenge with the Brunswick School job was to come up with “repeating loops” that somehow related to the people in the photo and their connection to the school.  In this Cinemagraph, the Doyle family is pictured on the stage of the baker Theater on the Brunswick Upper School campus.  The Family made a substantial donation to the school earmarked for construction of the theater.  The houselights at the Baker Theater are programmable LED ceiling lights manufactured by [addlink url=”http://www.colorkinetics.com/showcase/theatre-entertainment/” text=”Philips Color Kinetics”]. The repeating loops of the lights made perfect sense and adds commentary to the image

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Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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Reflections of a Fashion Styling Intern by Stacey Lamb

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Skinny models, Jimmy Choos, exotic locations, top-of-the-line pieces—the world of fashion screams “glamour” to the everyday viewer.  But when you get down to the nitty-gritty details, fashion shoots are not as glamorous as they are cracked up to be.  I was given the chance to produce and assist my first professional shoot from start to finish and Boston Photographer Steve Marsel where learned a lot about the industry and myself in the process.

©2011 Steve Marsel Studio

©2011 Steve Marsel Studio

With the simple yet vague assignment to “come up with a shoot” the wheels started turning and the creativity was let loose.  Steve taught me the three most important aspects of a successful photo shoot: 1) the outfit, 2) the concept and 3) the location.  Achieve all three and the shot is golden.  With that in mind, I set off to tackle part one, the outfit.  I had the great opportunity to attend Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Senior Collection fashion show, and was blown away by the talent I saw.  I left that show with the extreme urge to drop everything I was doing and transfer to RISD, but my better judgment kicked in and I continued with the shoot.  I contacted the designers I enjoyed most, received several responses and chose one piece I particularly swooned over.  Linzi Kofsky, a senior at RISD, crafted a beautiful pair of chartreuse pants with such an elegant flow I couldn’t look away.  The top was simple and glistened with a closer look.  Part one, Outfit: complete.

Next, I thought about the concept.  I knew I wanted the outfit to be the strongest focus, and decided to find a way in which the slits in the pants would be reflected in its surrounding environment.  Steve and I picked our brains for locations and concepts with verticals stripes.  A yacht club with rows of tall sailboats, a loading dock with long shifting curtains, a forest with endless trees, or my favorite—a field with a zebra.  I called every zoo and petting zoo between Boston and Providence, but came up with the same response every time—“sorry it is not in our policy, a zebra’s kick is extremely powerful.”  I were Anna Wintour of Vogue, there was no chance I was getting that Zebra.  You win some and you lose some, and I learned this many times over in pursuit of the perfect concept.

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With the Zebra out, we decided on the trees.  After days of stalking Google Earth, swearing at my droid’s navigation app and creeping through poison ivy on a stranger’s property—Steve found the perfect location.  We chose a marshland that had numerous tall, thin trees that looked dated and decrepit, it was beautiful.  However, creeping onto a stranger’s property and conducting a photo shoot is not considered normal or legal without the owner’s consent.  Luckily, Ben Farnum of Boston Hill Farm graciously agreed to let us use his property freely, and the location was finally determined.

 

Walking to the location at Boston Hill farm, North Andover, Massachusetts

Walking to the location at Boston Hill farm, North Andover, Massachusetts

 

With the three main ingredients stirred up, the final course was ready to be delivered.  But wait, there is more.  I personally did hours of research on the best electric razors, sent out half a lifetime’s worth of e-mails and finally pulled together a team of makeup artists, hairstylists and most importantly—the model.  Gathering people together for a last minute shoot was challenging, but paid off in the end when every one showed up excited and ready to work.  You would think it is simple from here—make the model pretty, tell her she looks good and snap some pictures.  But other factors need to be taken into consideration, such as Mother Nature.  The shoot was scheduled for Thursday at four o’clock in the afternoon but come Thursday morning, the weather man was screaming bloody murder and the skies grew darker by the minute.  We had no other choice but to take our chances, so we prepped the model and hurried to our location.  It felt like a scene straight out of the Wizard of Oz, we were all Dorothy and the tornado was brewing.  Steve quickly set up the shot, we carefully hurried the model across a beaver dam to her spot and within a matter of minutes and eighty snaps of the camera, the rain drops started falling.  We ran back to the car and made it inside safely before the skies opened up and purple lightning shot across the sky.  Though our shoot was cut short, we luckily had a number of images to work with and proclaimed the shoot a success.  Being five minutes close to having nothing at all is a terrifying thought that I have chosen to push to the back of my mind.

Just before the rains came - shooting to get the best possible pose!

Just before the rains came – shooting to get the best possible pose!

 

The final stages of the shoot were coming together and the only thing left was to chose the image and make it beautiful.  Steve used his contacts and found an amazing retoucher who turned this shot into something extraordinary.  With my jaw dropped open, I sat at the computer for at least ten minutes switching back and forth between the before and after images.  Don’t get me wrong, the image was awesome before, but I learned a great retoucher can make all the difference.

The beautiful calm before the storm.
The beautiful calm before the storm.

The rambles tell it all—fashion is much more to the eye than a pretty face.  The number of details that go into one photo shoot is outstanding, but completely worth it.  This will not be the last photo shoot I produce for I am sure I have many more to come.  As Steve would say, “don’t be such a slave to fashion!”

 

 

 

Guest Blogger Stacey Lamb

 

 

 

 

Guest blogger Stacey Lamb is an undergraduate student in Communications and Studio Art at Florida State University. The next six months should prove to be quite an adventure for her—following her internship with Steve she will be backpacking Europe and studying abroad in London in the fall. Her passion for photography, fashion, travel and music strongly influence her adventures and life goals.  Read more of Stacey’s thoughts on her blog Slamb the Jam

 

Photography by Steve Marsel Retouching by Katja Bruijn – de Govorushchenko Original copy written by Stacey Lamb Hair styling & make-up by Aly Heifetz, Model – Aileen Benson. This image available for licensing at Steve Marsel Stock

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visiot one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

 

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Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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Page Rank

A Few Good Women – Cinemagraph by Steve Marsel

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Serving in the USMC was an experience that is a part of me.  I live it day to day.”

Sgt. Heidi Larson Hurley USMC

Sergeant Heidi Larson Hurley served in the Marine Corps for nine years.  “I decided to join during my senior year of high school while all my friends were being accepted to college,” she reflects.  “I still recall Parris Island like it was yesterday.” As graphic illustrator, she was part of a team that created training aids and presentations for briefings and events during the Saudi Conflict in 1991.  She went on to study at Mass ART and to work at Boston ad agency Hill Holiday.  Today she teaches art and design at Braintree High School outside of Boston.

Sgt. Heidi Larson Hurley USMC

Sgt. Heidi Larson Hurley USMC

The flag waving in Heidi’s classroom this Memorial Week is a reminder of – and a tribute to – all who have served their country and the cause of freedom.   “I belong to the Women Marines Association,” says Heidi.  “Some of the members are in their eighties and nineties now, among the first women who served in the USMC. I am honored to know them.”  Semper fidelis.

 

Want to know more about Steve Marsel’s animated Cinemagraphs? – Click here!

 

 

 

Guest Blogger Jack Brady

Guest Blogger Jack Brady

 
 
Guest Blogger John (“Jack”) Brady is a writer, editor, author and biographer.  He was editor-in-chief at Writer’s Digest and Boston magazine, and founding editor of The Artist’s Magazine.  His byline has appeared in New York magazine, New Times, Esquire, American Film, The Sunday New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine and numerous other publications.   His interview with author Evan Connell appeared in the March 2011 issue of The Writer magazine. He has taught journalism at Boston University and has been visiting professional at the Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University and was Hearst Visiting Professor at the University of Missouri Journalism School.

 

John Brady lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts and can be reached at 978/463-2255 or at 978/270-6686 (cell); or by e-mail at Bradybrady@aol.com.
 
 
Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

Steve Marsel Studio | Steve Marsel Stock | Steve Marsel Galleries| Boston Corporate Portraits| ICE HOLES on Facebook

All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
 

The Body Paint Renaissance by Paul Roustan

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Logo t-shirts, skinny jeans, and boys with shoulder length haircuts: what do these all have in common? They are all popular fashions from the seventies and eighties that became freshly rejuvenated styles in the 2000s.

Body painting, the application of paint/makeup to human skin, like many other fashions and forms of art, also experienced this reawakening. Except many people may not have realized this yet.

It can be debated that body painting is one of the oldest forms of art, often used in tribes as a form of rank or hierarchy. And over the centuries, the art-form evolved into different applications ranging from the traditional tribal, to go-go dancers, to Hollywood cinema, including such techniques as fantasy, camouflage, decoration, conceptualization, and tromp l’oeil.

In my opinion, body painting reached its undisputed highest glory in the 70s, when renowned fashion model/experimental artist, Veruschka (http://www.veruschka.net/), took her explorations to the most radical levels. She was essentially responsible for popularizing the camouflage technique, in which she would be painted, by herself and occasionally the photographer, to resemble the decaying environment, sometimes to the point where she seemed invisible.

Veruschka was also responsible for very conceptual photographic series’ where she would “remove” her painted clothing until nude, and then remove her skin to reveal the illusion of clothing underneath. Many of her techniques are still copied today, and those that knew of her then, still talk of her today, forty years later.

In the 90s, the art form was pioneered into the commercial industry by Joanne Gair (http://www.joannegair.com/). She is most notably recognized for her work with Annie Leibovitz and Demi Moore on the cover of a 1992 Vanity Fair (http://glamourphotography.co/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Demi-Moore-Vanity-Fair-cover-1992-BodyPaint-by-Joanne-Gair.jpg) in which a fully nude Moore was painted in a tromp l’oeil styled, faux suit and tie. That image was arguably the most influential image for countless body painters today, including myself. This also proved to be the main springboard for Gair’s career. She has since continued on to do numerous episodes of America’s Top Model(and other continental versions), is the head artist for the painted bikinis seen every year, since 1999, in the Sports Illustrated, and she is regularly involved with countless magazines, fashion campaigns, and TV/Film spots. Gair is perhaps the most prolific body painter to date.

The commercial popularity of body painting resulted in endless amounts of copycat styles, which consequently began to cheapen its reputation. In the 2000s, when people thought body paint, they pictured cheetahs or faux bikinis, quickly reducing it to cliche. As a result, many have written body painting off as a tacky pursuit.

Which brings me to my point… Before you consider the art-form an old fad, remember that like the revival of the Fedora and enormous Sunglasses, the body paint wave has hit again!

With the aid of online social networks, the next generation body painter has arrived, and the exploration continues. A whole new world has opened up as more and more traditional artists are getting involved in the medium of paint on skin. The talent level has become plentiful and diverse. Many artists, such as, Nelly Recchia (http://www.nellyrecchia.com/), Anastasia Durasova (http://www.adurasova.com/), Nick Herrera (http://www.facebook.com/TheBodyPainter), and Alex Hansen (http://www.alexhansenart.com/) have managed to consistently push the current limits, and discover new ways to apply techniques, textures, and concepts. And let me be the first to say, this may be its renaissance.

If you are one of those people that frown upon the idea of body paint, take a moment to look again. You may be pleasantly surprised. After all, it’s not like it’s the rebirth of the mullet.

http://www.bikenewyork.org/rides/fbbt/index.html

Body Paint Artist Paul Roustan

Guest blogger Paul Roustan is a native of Chicago, IL, Roustan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. After his move to Rhode Island, he completed a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006.

Multi award winning and internationally published artist,
Paul Roustan’s work has appeared on Spike TV, the Chicago Sun-Times, Airbrush Action Magazine, among others. His work has been displayed in over a dozen galleries in the past year.

Roustan’s airbrushed bodypaintings have been used for corporate, private, television, and nightclub events worldwide, including clients Playboy, Bacardi, Tupperware, Absolut, and more. His work has also been featured in fashion shows, parades, photographic workshops, and magazines.

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.  Special thanks to Retoucher James Eves Model featured in photograph above Akonwara.. For future party and events checkout these awesome painters and decorators in london.

 

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Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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The Rosa Parks Bus Shoot by Steve Marsel

Friday, February 4th, 2011

One aspect of this job of being a professional photographer that really challenges me is the ability to find props – quickly.  I was doing a shoot last month for our other blog – stevemarselstudio.com/blog for Martin Luther King Day.  The topic of my blog posting for Martin Luther King day was how Dr. King had single handedly started the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  I had never seen an iconic shot of the back seats of a vintage bus.  I looked.  Google images had nothing.  A thorough search online of the major stock photography agencies turned up little or nothing. I knew that if I wanted to create an image that represented Dr. King, it would need to be straight forward and direct.  I want to shoot THE “back of the bus” image.  An Image that would be the visual manifestation of that concept for all time.  But…  I needed a bus!

"Back of the Bus" image © 2011 Steve Marsel  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Back of the Bus” image © 2011 Steve Marsel ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

About the Bus:

The MBTA’s (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) RetroBus #2600 was built in 1957 by General Motors at their truck and coach plant in Pontiac, Michigan.  It is 35 feet long and 96 inches wide and is model TDH-4512 (for “T”ransit [sigmifying two doors, one for each entrance and exit, as opposed to “S”uburban with only one door], “D”iesel engine; “H”ydraulic transmission(as opposed to a manuel stick shift), “45” seated passengers, “12” is the model number – the even number “2” signifying a 96″ wide bus.  All 102″ wide buses had odd model numbers).

Number 2600 was built for the City Bus Company of Oklahoma City, and assigned their number C605.  The Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company, one of the MBTA’s predecessors, purchased the bus secondhand in the early 1960’s. The eastern Mass was eager to retire the last gasoline buses in its fleet, and consequently acquired a large number of used diesel buses in this time period.  The bus was assigned the number 3183 by the Eastern Mass.  The MBTA acquired the Eastern Mass in 1968, and took possession of all of its property.0 including 3183.  In 1970, 3183 was part of a group of buses leased by the MBTA to Middlesex & Boston Street Railway Company (M&B), a private bus operator serving Newton, Waltham, Lexington, and other communities in the western suburbs of Boston.  In 1972, The M&B went out of business and the MBTA took over it’s routes, so 3183 returned to the MBTA. The bus was retired shortly thereafter by the MBTA, and sold to the Gateway Bus Lines of Wareham Mass.  The bus sat in storage at Gateway for many years.  In 1988, the bus was returned to the MBTA and completely rebuilt by volunteer labor by the men and women of Everett Shops.  The bus was assigned the number 2600, to represent all of the General Motors “old look” buses owned and operated by the MBTA and its predecessors in the period between 1940 and 1975. Number 2600 has been used for parades and other special occasions ever since.

Photography by Steve Marsel Retouching by James Eves Original copy written by Steve Marsel This image available for licensing at Steve Marsel Stock

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visiot one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

 

Steve Marsel Studio | Steve Marsel Stock | Steve Marsel Galleries| Boston Corporate Portraits| ICE HOLES on Facebook

All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
Steve Marsel Studio Blog | Contact Us

 

 

Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and race in America. By Jim Buie Photography by Steve Marsel

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

In the 55 years since Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a city bus, sparking the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott,

America has made remarkable progress in the area of civil rights. Segregation has been outlawed, doors have been opened for minorities

to integrate into the mainstream of affluent American society, and whites have been freed from the guilt that comes from racial oppression. Who could have imagined in 1955 that the United States would one day have an African American president?,

Original Photography by Boston Advertising & Commercial Photographer Steve Marsel

Photograph ©2011 Steve Marsel

The victory of Barack Obama demonstrated that racial prejudice, as well as distrust and division among the races, have diminished considerably in the last half century. His election was a redemptive moment for the nation.

And yet, two years later, his presidency seems more transitional and less transformational. For many blacks, the American Dream remains far too elusive. Thanks to the Bush years and the Great Recession, many African Americans are worse off economically than were their parents. The income gap between whites and blacks has GROWN in the last 30 years. Racial discrimination endures in education, wages and employment. Indeed, a class divide has developed in the black community: middle class African Americans say they share values more in common with middle-class whites than they do with the underclass of poor blacks and whites.

African Americans still represent Obama’s strongest base of support. Just as John F. Kennedy broke a social barrier in becoming the first Catholic president, Obama broke a social barrier in becoming the first African American president. Just as anti-Catholic bigotry dissolved into insignificance after the 1960 election, it seems likely that bigotry against African Americans will fade with the generations that lived in and perpetuated racial segregation.

But much work is left to be done — especially in the economic realm — in making Martin Luther King’s dream of racial equality a reality.


Steve Marsel Galleries Blog Guest Blogger Jim Buie

Jim Buie

Guest blogger Jim Buie grew up in a small town in North Carolina during the turmoil of the civil rights era, which pricked his conscience about the social injustices he observed locally. He went on to a six-year career as a newspaperman, where he profiled Klansmen, met Martin Luther King Sr., Andrew Young, and Rosa Parks, among other “greats” of the civil rights movement.

More recently he served as a communications consultant to the North Carolina NAACP.  Mr. Buie is teaching English in central Turkey where he also writes articles for international publications.  His most recent book “Teacher of ‘Our Town’,” Jim explores his mother’s experiences as a teacher during the racial integration of her public school she taught at. He blogs about civil rights and current events at www.jimbuie.com.  Read more about civil rights on his blog .

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

Actual text of the speech by Dr. Martin Luther King to kickoff the Montgomery Bus Boycott December 5th, 1955
We are here this evening for serious business. We are here in a general sense because first and foremost we are American citizens, and we are determined to apply our citizenship to the fullness of its means. We are here because of our love for democracy, because of our deep-seated belief that democracy transformed from thin paper to thick action is the greatest, form of government on earth. But we are here in a specific sense, because of the bus situation in Montgomery. We are here because we are determined to get the situation corrected.

This situation is not at all new. The problem has existed over endless years. For many years now Negroes in Montgomery and so many other areas have been inflicted with the paralysis of crippling fear on buses in our community. On so many occasions, Negroes have been intimidated and humiliated and oppressed because of the sheer fact that they were Negroes. I don’t have time this evening to go into the history of these numerous cases.But at least one stands before us now with glaring dimensions. Just the other day, just last Thursday to be exact, one of the finest citizens in Montgomery – not one of the finest Negro citizens but one of the finest citizens in Montgomery – was taken from a bus and carried to jail and arrested because she refused to get up to give her seat to a white person. Mrs. Rosa Parks is a fine person. And since it had to happen I’m happy it happened to a person like Mrs. Parks, for nobody can doubt the boundless outreach of her integrity. Nobody can doubt the height of her character, nobody can doubt the depth of her Christian commitment and devotion to the teachings of Jesus.And just because she refused to get up, she was arrested. You know my friends there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression. There comes a time my friends when people get tired of being flung across the abyss of humiliation where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amidst the piercing chill of an Alpine November.

We are here, we are here this evening because we’re tired now. Now let us say that we are not here advocating violence. We have overcome that. I want it to be known throughout Montgomery and throughout this nation that we are Christian people. We believe in the Christian religion. We believe in the teachings of Jesus. The only weapon that we have in our hands this evening is the weapon of protest. And secondly, this is the glory of America, with all of its faults. This is the glory of our democracy. If we were incarcerated behind the iron curtains of a Communistic nation we couldn’t do this. If we were trapped in the dungeon of a totalitarian regime we couldn’t do this. But the great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right.

My friends, don’t let anybody make us feel that we ought to be compared in our actions with the Ku Klux Klan or with the White Citizens’ Councils. There will be no crosses burned at any bus stops in Montgomery. There will be no white persons pulled out of their homes and taken out to some distant road and murdered.

There will be nobody among us who will stand up and defy the Constitution of this nation. We only assemble here because of our desire to see right exist.

My friends, I want it to be known that we’re going to work with grim and firm determination to gain justice on the buses in this city. And we are not wrong, we are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, then the Supreme Court of this Nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a Utopian dreamer and never came down to earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I want to say that with all of our actions we must stick together. Unity is the great need of the hour. And if we are united, we can get many of the things that we not only desire but which we justly deserve. And don’t let anybody frighten you. We are not afraid of what we are doing, because we are doing it within the law.

There is never a time in our American democracy that we must ever think we’re wrong when we protest. We reserve that right. We, the disinherited of this land, we who have been oppressed so long are tired of going through the long night of captivity. And we are reaching out for the daybreak of freedom and justice and equality. In all of our doings, in all of our deliberations whatever we do, we must keep God in the forefront. Let us be Christian in all of our action. And I want to tell you this evening that it is not enough for us to talk about love. Love is one of the pinnacle parts of the Christian faith. There is another side called justice. And justice is really love in application. Justice is love correcting that which would work against love. Standing beside love is always justice. And we are only using the tools of justice. Not only are we using the tools of persuasion but we’ve got to use the tools of coercion. Not only is this thing a process of education but it is also a process of legislation.

And as we stand and sit here this evening, and as we prepare ourselves for what lies ahead, let us go out with a grim and bold determination that we are going to stick together. We are going to work together. Right here in Montgomery when the history books are written in the future, somebody will have to say “There lived a race of people, black people, fleecy locks and black complexion, of people who had the moral courage to stand up for their rights.” And thereby they injected a new meaning into the veins of history and of civilization. And we’re gonna do that. God grant that we will do it before it’s too late.

More info at http://www.thecorsetcenter.com/.

Your 2010 hangover is now officially over. Make 2011 your happy new year.

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Without even knowing that 2010 was the Year of the Tiger, I’m guessing that you will nod in agreement when I propose that we all need a warmer, fuzzier 2011.  That must be why it’s so pleasing to announce that next year will, in fact, be better—at least according to the Chinese zodiac. The Tiger of all hangover years—AKA, the year rife with cholera, oil spillage, and loudmouth tea partiers—will make way for the sweet, fluffy (preferably dwarf-angora-lop-eared ) Year of the Rabbit on February 3, 2011!

Original Photography by Boston Advertising & Commercial Photographer Steve Marsel

Photograph ©2011 Steve Marsel

So what should we all meditate on this year to make it a good one? Rest. Peace. Tranquility. The year proports to be languid and leisurely with a carefree and slightly indulgent air. Time to play nice and spoil each other. Do I smell gourmet cupcakes? Just don’t take it too far–procrastination will also loom. Railroad your diet, and that emergency bootcamp class will surely harsh the mellow.

Good taste, art, and culture will receive a bit more emphasis in 2011, as will personal development and slow, steady growth. Perhaps the most charming quality of the lucky rabbit year is that love, romance, and family life are well-starred. You will suddenly realize what it all means to you–how very lucky you are to have what you have and be surrounded by such amazing people, too.

While strife will still surround us—it can’t magically vanish, after all—the Rabbit favors peaceful solutions to life’s problems and much needed diplomacy. Last year may have left you feeling that all is lost, but chillax, hope is very much alive.

So enjoy yourself, entertain your friends, and take it easy! While you’re at it, have a coconut water – you probably need the electrolytes.

Lisa Miller

Guest blogger Lisa Miller was born in the Year of the Rat or the Jack Russell Terrier—she can’t remember. She is living and writing in enjoyable relative obscurity at the end of a driveway and the edge of a river. In true Rat fashion, as long as she doesn’t have to work in an office, Lisa will write anything you want at any time for money–anything.

Additional thanks go to the very talented Stylist Donna Laviolette Model – Amanda Wilson, and Retouching by James Eves Photography by Steve Marsel

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.