Everybody Loves Calvin and Hobbes… I thought this one was appropriate.

Franz Nieto, Piercing Expert

Martha, Piercing Expert
I mentioned to you all about last weekend’s excursion into the mountains. What I saved until today about this past weekend was my invitation to the Tattoo Expo 2009, dubbed “The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth”. I think it lived up to it’s billing. Granted, there was a Photoshop convention going on at the same time…I went Friday afternoon. However the Tat Expo was the bigger deal for me. It kicked off at the Mandalay Bay and had an enormorous turnout. As soon as you walk in you hear the loud buzz of tattoo guns, but as you acclaimate, you cease to hear them. There were so many artists there with a labyrinth of booths and stations set up to give anyone their heart’s content. I need to give a special big thanks to Martha and Tattoo & Company piercing expert, Franz Nieto. Talk about some awesome folks with big hearts. Martha had some of the first dermal achors that I had ever seen. I think I’d seen them before but mistook them for bars.
Esther Hanuka
Do you remember the T-Mobile commercial where a series of accountants are getting the door slammed in their faces for trying to talk to families about saving money on their cell phone plans; but then Catherine Zeta-Jones walks up to do the same thing and immediately gets this one guy’s undivided attention? Well, that’s what it was like when I got to meet Esther Hanuka, aka Queen Esther, who is probably the prettiest thing on the planet wearing skin art, and let her talk to me about tattoo magazines. I’m telling you, I was within arms reach of the woman and I still wasn’t believing how gorgeous she is. As many nude woman as I photograph, you’d think I’d be fairly comfortable around women and I tell you she gave me a case of the dry mouth. However, she quickly put me at ease, with how cool she is. She’s not standoffish at all, as some hot mods get a reputation for. I’m pretty quick on discerning people’s demeanor and at no time did I get the impression that she’s stuck up or maybe too good for us regular folk. We talked for more than a minute and, in fact, she talked to me about how gorgeously beautiful Vikki Blows is, as if she weren’t just as fabulous herself. (She even promised to let Vikki know I want to shoot her, next time she see’s her!) But then again, I can be honest. When I walked away from her table of tattoo magazines, I wasn’t thinking about Ms. Blows. Esther is a fabulously gorgeous woman, but I was mainly impressed with simply how awesomely cool she is. And besides, she’s got a beautiful name.
All in all, I enjoyed myself at the Tattoo Expo. I just finished editing several of the pics I shot that day. You can find about 20 more shots of them on my web site, Photo Anthems.com. One thing that I didn’t expect was to be able to take my camera in there. I brought no flash, diffuser…and only the 50mm prime. I figured if I went in with a bigger lens, that I’d get stopped at the door or something. Had several instances where a nice zoom would have made the difference. I figured I’d get to go back on the next day, and bring the bigger gear, but then that was when I got stuck up on that mountain. I was too tired to go afterwards and the knee was just starting to ache by the time I got home. Lesson learned.I’ll def know next time.