“A bachelor is a guy that comes to work every morning from a different direction.”
 – Sholom Aleichem
Word for the day – From Science,  Dark Energy

That’s how long I’ve been running this blog…Three Years now, this August. I really didn’t know what the hell I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to get with the times and get my art in the eyes of my viewers and readers. A few people picked up on me and I acquired a few mentors with bigger names that put me on the map. Eolake Stobblehouse of Domai.com and Chris St. James of Univers d’Artistes were among the first to spot me, advise me, and feature me on their own blogs. Along came Iris Dassault, model/photog, who came to notice me somehow and even scared the mess out of me when she later told me said she’d be in Vegas soon and would like to model for me. Iris is a world renown art model who has been shot by the best of the best and featured all over the place. The first thought that came to my mind, naturally, was “WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO WITH, IRIS DASSAULT!?!” I didn’t see how I was going to do anything that would have compared with anything she’d done before. How was I going to produce a photo shoot that she’d deem as worth her while. I began to scramble and get some help from some locals. One guy understood my plight and offered me the use of his studio and his expertise.

It was only after a few others did the same that I began to think to myself that I might be getting set up by those that were more intent on shooting Iris themselves, more than helping me. That actually helped steel my resolve a little more. I came up with a plan and calmed down. I kept telling myself that she is just another model, which may not have been true but I needed to believe it anyway. I gained more confidence by understanding that I did have something to contribute and I had my own unique style and editing that, for damn sure compared with the “greater” artists. They may have had more resources than me, lights, props, etc., but when it came down to the shot…I felt I was right there in the mix. Then Iris’ travel plans changed and she didn’t get to come to Vegas. I never got to shoot her. It was still a lesson learned though.

Dave Rudin was another powerhouse that got to come my way. I saw his work and felt I could identify with his style. He’s got my fave pic of all time…not just favorite nude, or favorite B&W…I’m talking favorite picture that has ever been photographically captured. It’s his shot of Carlotta Champagne amongst some rocks shot out here near Vegas that I simply adore. Dave has come to Vegas often and we’ve gotten to visit on several occasions mainly having breakfast, a few dinners, and we’ve caught a few shows. He even made one of my workshops when I was running my Las Vegas Art Models Group and hung out with me at my favorite camera shop, B&C camera. I don’t want to miss him when he comes to town. At the very least we always have breakfast at the Original Pancake house. I get the French Toast. We also talk often on the phone and I was surprised when he put me on a three way call with he and Dave Levingston…another icon in the business. DaveL would I guess be DaveR’s mentor of sorts. I wish I could get around to visit DaveL sometime. I’ve only got to visit DaveR once in New York when I went there this time last year for my birthday. DaveR hung out my myself and my Malaysian/Grad-school friend, Shwu Huoy (who at 90 pounds is one of the smartest women I know who can still lead a managerial team like a drilll sergeant.)

I’ve had several other mentors who have kept tabs on me but none quite so much like Unbearable Lightness. Now THIS woman is a phenomenon. Yes, she’s over 65 and is a model of hotness…pun intended. I noticed her for the first time when she became a co-blogger with Iris Dassault. To be honest, (and she doesn’t know this so don’t say anything), I was a little perturbed that she signed on with Iris. I didn’t know who she was and I followed Iris’ blog to read Iris, not anybody else. I didn’t know why she was taking up space on a blog that was already a great one. The first time I read one of her posts was by accident. Up until this point, I’d skip over her postings to get to Iris’. (Damn, she’s going to never talk to me again after this.) She had a point of discussion that I thought was from Iris and I read it with glee. (Did I just say “glee”?) It wasn’t til I had finished it that I began to go back over some of her points to organize my own comment that I realized that it was a post by Unbearable Lightness.

I sat back for a second and the thought occurred to me that I may have erred in judgement. I began to go back over some of her other posts and was quickly becoming a fan. When another blogger joined Iris’ blog, I reverted back to the same sentiments. “Damn. Who is this other person invading Iris’ and U.L.’s space?” Eventually, U.L. got her own blog…a few actually, and I followed her around like a puppy. You have to ask yourself what has made her so popular. As much as I’d love to say its her brain, methinks it’s her body first. Yes, she’s hawt. And the fact that she didn’t even start modeling til she was 59 is an enigma. Why did she deny us for all those years? I’d have loved to have seen a journey of U.L. from back in the day til now. But I also submit that hotness and good looks will only grant you favors and boons for only so long. What has kept us is the fact that she writes with an ability to command your attention, make you feel relevant, and entertain you as well. In a span of 2 hours, she’ll have had 23 comments on a blog post. This isn’t over a day’s time. This is as shoot as she hits the little orange button that says, “PUBLISH POST”, people know about it and are all to eager to be first to leave a comment. I know this because I’ve gone “Damn, somebody beat me!” when I thought I would have been first to make a post. Don’t act like I am the only one to do this. A recent post had 23 commentators in less than 2 hours! I think the most I’ve had is a little over 10 and half were my own responses.

To many of us, I think she’s like that really good looking 3rd grade home room teacher, or your 9th grade Spanish teacher who’s got the really big boobs. Yeah, they get your attention with the physical aspects, but they keep you with their ability to involve you and interest you in what comes out of their mouths. The fact that she is a teacher, professor actually, is a testament to that analogy. She has the gravitational energy to attract us into her orbit. I’ve watched her followers grow to over a hundred now. Hell, I’ve got 18 and I feel special. She collects followers like a hobby. But she is not only being followed. She’s also a follower herself. I have no idea how she tracks so many artist’s works the way she does. Nobody has commented on my blog more than she has, sometimes being the sole commentator on many of my posts. I can find some obscure artist with a blog post and U.L. has already noticed it and left a comment. I gotta say, its encouraging for anybody to get interest and blog participation from U.L. I constantly refer beginner models to her site who ask what an art model should be.

I think a greater question can be made when we decide what we will do when or if U.L. decides to no longer participate with us. We’ve had this discussion before. If you’ve tracked her long enough, you may have seen a few times, where she’s been pissed enough to call it quites. Right now, she blogs almost daily as if its her responsibility to us. You might even wonder if there was some Senate bill that was passed into law over the last few years mandating her to blog. So if you’re reading this, Don’t friggin’ piss her off! We’d like to keep her around as long as she wants to do this. We all like her for various reasons. She’s kind, but thorough in her criticisms and observations. She’s relevant and factual in her debates. She’s not afraid to bring up subjects that some might conversely shy away from. She has the gravity of the sun and she perspires sugar. Okay, so she’s a superwoman and the fact remains that she’s a phenom. Where is your comparison? There is none. I may take flattery to the dramatic heights of a soap opera, but you cannot deny my facts.

The pics you see are my top 5 pics that have received the most hits on my website, PhotoAnthems.com, for the year so far, in order.