“Photographers feel guilty that all they do for a living is press a button.”

Man, time sure flies when you are having fun… or just completely stressed out. I’m still upbeat and optimistic for the most part, but I royally screwed up this past Sunday when I overslept on a model I was due to interview and get some preliminary shots on. That was a first and I pray the last time that ever happens. I’ve been flaked on before by models time and time again, but I’ve never been the flaker. So my public apology to this model, whom I hope to introduce to you very soon.

For me, on that day, it was like the last straw and I cracked. I’ve pledged to make it up to the model of course and she’s forgiven me. We’re trying to reschedule right now. I ended up over at Felix’s house getting full off of some more of his Thanksgiving turkey aaaaand then a whole bunch of Amaretto. Yeah, DiSoronno style. Needless to say headaches ensued throughout the night. I ended up leaving early that morning before Felix got up and missed out on Summer’s pancakes. Damn! It was also the first time I slept through a Lord of the Rings movie. They put in Return of the King (at my instistance, mind you). I remember Smeagol trying to bait a hook. After that I woke up to Frodo hanging over a river of lava. So I missed the whole movie. At some point we’re supposed to do a LOTR marathon.
I still need to recognize I need a break every now and again, but I also have to quit putting so much on myself. Sometimes its through volunteering or free projects, but I know I take on too much at times. One of the more important skills a person can learn is the ability to say “No”. I’ve never really had to proactively employ that skill too much, so every now and again when it does become necessary, I’m caught off guard. Its kind of like I am out of practice on it. Dave Rudin and I recently talked and I advised him to take a day off, rent a boat load of movies, have a pizza place on speed dial, get naked and turn off the phone. Well, I just now threw in the naked part, but I should quite being so hypocritical and take my own advice.
Lets see, what else is going on…
My subscribership for this blog has doubled in the last two months. The same thing can be said of my website, TLNeasley.com. I’m guessing that is in large part to Chris St. James, who’s done such a wonderful job of helping photogs gain some exposure. While the blog subscribership has doubled, the site visitors has stayed relatively the same. That’s kind of an odd statistic since I know I’ve been getting more traffic to this blog, but Feedburner as a different way of calculating stats. I’ve been checking my statcounter and it just doesn’t add up. Mystery. On my website, I’m seeing big traffic increases from the number of visitors and in terms of hits or the images they click on. Not long ago, I gave you the top 5 images that had relatively always stayed the same. Well, that’s all shaken up now. Trisha still has the top spot, but everything else has been some of the newer models like Lorelei, Lessa, and Faerie. Elizabeth had 2 that rounded out the top 10 for November. Its been interesting to see these stats grow. I guess that’s one of the main things a blogger lives for.
I would wager the only thing a blogger or artist with an online profile gets a kick out of more than watching stats grow is COMMENTS. I’m no different. I like the positive feedback on my images as much as the next guy, but you know who wants these comments even more than me…yep, you guessed it – THE MODELS! So if you like the work, leave something positive. Trust me, these models go to my site regularly and check to see if they’ve gotten ANY comments. Since most do it for free, its their only real validation that they’ve done something worth while. But the biggest reward is mine. The more you guys comment, the more they want to model for ME! Case in point, last month one particular photo of Lessa got about 200 hits…but no commentary. Oh and I guess FOLLOWING a blog is a good thing too. Google recommends promoting that by adding a word or two about it in a post to spread the word. I don’t follow anyone yet, so I guess I had better get on that.
I think I’ll start featuring one or two models for every post I do. So that will be something I am now adding on. Claudia from Museworthy is an excellent one to start with. She’s an art model from the New England area and post regularly about her dealings. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the mind of an art model and see what this thing is like, you should skip right on over to her Museworthy blog. She spares no detail when she lays her mind out for the online community to review. She’s writes so intelligently that you can use her material as a learning experience for yourself. I’ve talked to wanna-be art models before and have often sent them to Iris Dassault’s site as to illustrate how a model should conduct herself. Well, let me add Claudia to that list. You’ll gain a year’s insight in a few days just by going to all of her past blog postings. You get to see the practical application of what a good model is, knows, and does.
And then I believe I will follow up again with ModelDonna from deviantART. Yes, I mentioned her in my last posting, but since then, we’ve conversed even more and I simply have to say the girl is fascinatingly worthy of mention a second time. I said before that she has that “it” thing, but let me add that she’s got “it” plus some. She’s photographed by her husband, Elric Doe who does a masteful job at capturing her in so many wonderful ways. She’s added more material since the last posting. One of my favorite images is her “Waiting For…”, done in low light. Its one thing to have such a superb model. Its something else entirely to be able to counterbalance and complement her with the perfect photographer. Well done, to the both of you.

I chose to go with more images of Melissa on this post. We’ll talk more on her later as well. Still got more shooting to do, so be patient.