Viewing entries in
Los Angeles

$100 Photo Sessions

$100 Photo Sessions

One Roll, One Look, One Hour

In keeping with this year's theme of simplicity and affordability, I'm once again offering $100 photo sessions for those looking for a quick and easy shoot with great results.  For $100, I'll shoot one look on one roll, Color or Black & White, on location or in studio. You'll receive at least 10 portfolio-worthy pictures in low-resolution scans (optimized for use on the web) at the completion of the shoot, once film is developed.  One additional look/roll/hour can be added for just $50.

Here are some of my past clients who've taken advantage of this offer:

Book your photo sessions now by signing up here!

So Now What?

So Now What?

Finding New Motivation

If you haven't noticed, I really haven't been shooting much this year.  Even everything I've posted on Instagram so far was work I completed last year, save for a few previews and tests.  Call it a lack of inspiration, lack of funds, lack of motivation, or all of the above.  On Instagram, I like to switch back and forth between posting street and portraiture, colour and black & white, 35mm and medium format, etc. as a way of keeping the curated gallery aesthetic of the page intact.  So after finishing my medium format color portrait series, the next logical step in the progression was to go back to black & white street.  Only I didn't have any black & white street left to post, meaning I'd need to go out and shoot some more.  Yet for whatever reason, I just didn't.  In retrospect, I guess I don't find Los Angeles to be that inspiring of a place for street photography, but it was more than just that.

At the beginning of the year I knew I wanted to get something different out of my work in 2016.  Shooting is a lot of fun, but is that it?  I've been dreading the day I actually sit down to add up all of film-photography related expenses from 2014 and 2015 only to come to find I'm several thousand dollars invested in a hobby that at the end of the day is just that, a hobby. (Hopefully it's not that bad, but I ain't lying when I say #StayBrokeShootFilm).  At the end of the day, I do go through an unnecessarily large amount of trouble and expense to manually expose film, lab develop and scan negatives, transfer everything to a computer, color-correct often mediocre lab scans (a result of unsupervised batch-scanning), sort them, and finally transfer them to my phone, all so that my photos can find their final resting place on Instagram amongst memes, selfies, what people are eating for breakfast, and the small and dedicated niche of other film photographers who typically reside in Europe and Asia.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Instagram for being the sole reason for my gallery debut in January, but I just don't think it's truly the best place for the kind of work I want to make (ridiculous censorship included).  And I do love displaying my work at these gallery shows, but let's be honest, people go to group art shows to support their friends and have fun, not to buy art.  I get the feeling this isn't a sustainable business model.

So this year I decided, you know what, I'm gonna scale back.  I don't want to have ten rolls of film to develop at the end of every month, and I don't want to crowd-fund anytime I need to print anything because I'd have no money left to create display pieces otherwise.  I was going to simplify, shoot exclusively black & film street photography using a single camera and lens combo for the rest of the year, and continue working to build my audience of fellow film photographers on Instagram by providing quality content of my own and engaging with theirs.  Meanwhile, as if on cue, the Facebook-owned Instagram adopted the Facebook model of aggregated news feed posts, meaning people would no longer be able to log into Instagram and see all the photos I posted in chronological order by just scrolling down their timelines.  Instead, now some mysterious Facebook-esque "news feed optimization algorithm" will determine which of my updates my followers get to see and when.  What that meant for me was, now a significantly smaller percentage of my followers would ever even see my work, and if they did, they'd see it in the manner, time, and order (if at all) that Instagram dictated.  And that's, for lack of better terms, fckin stupid.

If you know anything about me as a filmmaker, you'll know the Kubrick in me has a real problem giving up control over the presentation and viewing conditions and of my work.  It's for this exact reason that my short film To Police probably won't ever be released in full online.  If you wanted to see it, you needed to come to the theater to see it.  The second I put it on Youtube, the second people are watching it on their iPhones from the toilet, and I just don't think that's how a film about the shooting of a teenager by a police officer should be viewed.  But I digress...

So now what?  I even tested this new Instagram algorithm, and found that if I posted the exact same (crowd favorite) photograph now that I did a year ago I should expect about 200 less Likes.  Which doesn't sound like much, until you consider that a year ago I had roughly 5,000 less followers that I do now.  I had to more than double my follower count just to be able to reach only 200 less people.  And for me, Likes aren't so much about social validation as they are about engaging with a core audience of fellow photographers, filmmakers, and enthusiasts who actually do appreciate my work, so I do find visibility to be very important.  Particularly when this is the very same audience I intended to reach with the launch of this website in order to convert Instagram followers to Subscribers and Subscribers to Print Owners.  Because at the end of the day, the only way I was going to be able to keep shooting at the rate that I was would be if print sales could cover my expenses.  Now, with a significantly smaller percentage of people even aware that I have a website where I sell printsI get the feeling this isn't a sustainable business model.  

(I also found that charging darkroom prices might not be the best way to start out, so you'll be happy to know I am currently researching alternative, affordable print methods without compromising quality.  More on that next week).

Which brings me to today.  I'm now two group art exhibits in when it dawns on me that, like everything else in life, skill and merit are absolutely trumped by proximity and relationships.  Whether or not my photography is good enough to be hanging on the walls of true art galleries actually has absolutely nothing to do with who I know that could actually get my work into true art galleries.  And this is an important distinction for any up and coming photographer to make nowadays.  Sometimes your success as a photographer has absolutely nothing to do with what your photos look like.  So, let's just say I've found my next door, and have given my foot its next target.  I may not be shooting much at the moment, but what I am doing is laying the foundation for my first ever solo photography exhibit.  I've found some interested parties as a direct result of networking at the I AM Group Show, so hopefully I'll be able to make a fortuitous announcement in the very near future.  From there, it'll be time to move into permanent galleries.  

All in due time, all in due time...

First Test of the Nimslo 3D Camera

First Test of the Nimslo 3D Camera

Do These Count As Motion Pictures?

At last week's I AM Group Art Show, I got a chance to test out my new-to-me Nimslo camera.  This was a "3D" camera introduced in 1980 as a way of shooting 3D images that could be viewed without glasses through a technology called Lenticular printing.  Think of old school trading cards that have moving images on them if you moved the card back and forth to view it from different angels.  Lenticular printing isn't around anymore, but these cameras were built to use traditional 35mm film, meaning they're still perfectly good cameras.  They work but firing the shutters of 4 lenses at the same time, to capture four of the same image across the span of two 35mm negatives.  These days, you can scan those negatives into Photoshop and create mini "3D" moving pictures by layering them all on top of each other and creating animations that alternate between the visible layers.

I tested it out at the gallery opening during David Vines' performance and got some pretty cool results...

The trick here is to find the right subjects to shoot in the right way, in order to really emphasize the separation between the foreground and background, and the subject's position in relation to both.  It'll certainly be fun to play around with, that's for sure.

I AM: Group Art Show

I AM: Group Art Show

ART . MUSIC . FOOD . FREE

What more could you ask for?

I'm proud to announce that my second official photography exhibit will be up and on display in The Exchange Room Gallery at the Il Tramezzino Italian restaurant at UCLA from April 23rd until July 31st!

The official gallery opening will begin at 7pm on the 23rd and feature live music from RnB singer/songwriter David Vines, DJ Santana from TruthSeekers Radio 90.7 KPFK, food and drinks provided by Il Tramezzino, a live installation painting by The Exchange Room Gallery's own Suzan Z, and the collective work of 16 visual artists!

This is a FREE event for ALL AGES!  So mark your calendars and get ready for a night of food, art and entertainment!

Except for parking.  Parking isn't free.  It's still in Los Angeles after all...

But everything else, yeah... Free.


PARKING AND LOCATION INFO

THE EXCHANGE ROOM GALLERY

UCLA ANDERSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT

110 Westwood Plaza F211

Los Angeles, CA 90095

 In case you missed it, PARKING ISN'T FREE.

In case you missed it, PARKING ISN'T FREE.

Visit ExchangeRoomGallery.com for more info!

Brianna: A Dreamscape (Prologue)

Brianna: A Dreamscape (Prologue)

Blending Realities

The subjects of my screenplays and the subjects of my photography don't often intersect as much as I thought they would, considering that it was screenwriting that reignited my love for photography to begin with.  I suppose going into photography with no real goal other than to photograph whatever I wanted at the time might have something to do with that, yet one medium will still often act as a catalyst for the other in some way.  This time however, I found a rare crossroads between the two, which came in the form of interaction with one's own subconscious explored thematically throughout the narrative.

This came about after reflecting on many of the scripts I'd written in the past, trying to find unintentional common themes between them as a way of better understanding my own narrative voice.  What I found was that just about everything I'd written was some form of introspective personal drama, with elements of the inner-consciousness of characters manifesting as physical elements of the story in some way.  In To Police, we watch the aftermath of a police shooting unfold by exploring the lead character's own memory.  In the upcoming Shine, the lead character has a conversation with his own subconscious which has manifested in the form of his father.  This idea kept appearing in my work, so the next logical phase was to embrace it and find a way to bring it into my photography as well.  "How?" you might ask.  Well, with lingerie of course.

In my second collaboration with the lovely Brianna, we decided to try something new and come up with a way to blend a traditional lingerie shoot with this concept of personal introspection.  So what did we come up with?  Two distinct narratives being explored via two distinct types of film.  The first narrative is told in Colour, and follows the story of a young woman who returns to her hotel room and enters into a hyper-realistic lucid dream.  The second narrative is told in Black & White, and is the dream itself, where the character's thoughts and emotions begin to take on a physical form as she explores the depths of her fantasy.  

This was such a fun concept to shoot, and has given me a lot to think about in exploring similar themes with my photography in the future.  As always, Brianna was wonderful to work with and did an excellent job as the lead character in this play of pictures.  

For the full series, see below...

THE DREAMSCAPE

Two Happy Customers

Two Happy Customers

Meet Adam and Alex, the lovely couple you may remember from Barany & Burnett last year:

They recently became the proud owners of two new prints from the print store, selecting some city-level street shots from my NY series to compliment the cityscape currently hanging on their wall.  Their selection included La Fonda and a one of a kind printing of Message from my 2014 series.  Thanks for the order guys, I hope you enjoy the art!

Have you made a purchase from the Print Store?  Send in a photo of how you've displayed the print for a feature here on the blog!

Film, Photography, and Following My Dreams

Film, Photography, and Following My Dreams

Intergalactic Expedition

It's official, radio is out and the podcast is in!  This apparently being the season of firsts (beginning of course with the RAW Showcase), I recently got invited to participate in my first podcast, cleverly titled Intergalactic Expedition.  Their mission is to provide inspiration for all to follow their passions by featuring people who are living out their dreams.  And believe me, there's nobody living in more of a dream state than me at the moment...

podcast1

Last night I joined host Vazrik to talk about how I got started in my filmmaking career, the influences behind my photography, and how I knew it was time to take the leap, leave Florida, and come follow my dreams out here in LA.  Check it out below: 

With my only prior experience in podcasts being three seasons of Maron, I'd have to say Vazrik hosts a pretty good show and knows how to make his guests feel comfortable and welcomed.  As someone who hates the sound of his own voice, I have to admit I did very much enjoy listening to this.  

podcast2

Check it out on Facebook as well and give it a share.  This came with somewhat awkward timing for me as I'd decided to stay away from Facebook for a while, deactivating my profile only two days before recording this.  But there are many people there who I would have otherwise shared this with, not just for the exposure, but for the inspiration.  So I'm asking you all to share this in my absence.  

Somewhere, there's somebody out there who I think could greatly benefit from hearing how someone else was able to make their dreams a reality.  Someone is toiling away the days at work, living check to check, mind full of what if's, just wondering what happened to that dream they had as a child.  If I can inspire at least one person with this podcast to go and get what they want out of life, then it would have all been worth it. 

Follow your dreams people, the time is now.

RAW:Hollywood Presents Futures

RAW:Hollywood Presents Futures

My First Photography Exhibit

"Instagram?  You mean the place where people take pictures of their food and put dramatic filters on their bathroom selfies?  Yeah, no thanks." - Corey Deshon, circa 2010

Okay, I'll admit it, I was never an early pioneer of the emerging social networking trends, despite studying Information Technology for nine years.  Even as of today, I don't have a Snapchat, I don't have a Vine, I'm still not really sure what Periscope is, I've retired from Facebook, and literally the only reason why my Twitter account exists is because I figured I might as well claim the name @CoreyDeshon, because who knows what I might need it for one day.  (I will say I am actively trying to use it now.  We'll see how that goes).

But Instagram, I must say,  has certainly pulled its weight.  I finally joined in 2014 after my shoot with Ama, who convinced me that it would be well worth it to promote my work.  After all, I was really only shooting because I loved it, so why market?  Well, this is why...

FuturesBanner

After a year and a half working up a pretty decent following (hoping to cross the 9k followers mark next month), my photos began getting some attention in places I'd never think to find them.  One of those such places was an event in San Diego, that if I remember correctly had something to do with women's empowerment.  I really have no idea what the event actually was, because they didn't exactly ask if they could use my photos.  But no harm done, as they did their due diligence by ensuring to credit my name as the photographer and link back to my Instagram.  And to be honest, I'm actually quite proud of this, since I do try to ensure that when photographing women, I do so in a way that is respectful, empowering, and unexploitative.  So for this event to receive my photos that way must mean I'm doing something right haha.  But anyway...

A few weeks after this event I get a call from one of the Showcase Directors of RAW Artists, inviting me to come display my work their upcoming showcase in Hollywood.  It turns out, someone saw my work at this event, traced the photo back to Instagram and eventually my old website, found my contact information, and asked if I'd want to exhibit.  And that, my friends, is why every photographer should have an Instagram.

Well, the RAW Showcase was tonight, and it was one of the best experiences I've had in my photographic journey to date.  Check out some photos below:

(RAW Showcase photos courtesy of Jeffrey SmallwoodFlip Cassidy, and Gil Riego).

Not only was this my first time ever exhibiting my work in print, but it was my first time ever printing photos as well.  (Read more about the series I chose to print in my interview with Pixel Magazine here).  Naturally, I chose to go with all darkroom printing methods, to ensure the heart of analogue still remained a key factor of my exhibit.  I can't wait to showcase again with RAW, and to continue printing my photos for display.  Making prints has been a long time coming for me, and this was certainly the jump start I needed to begin the new year strong.

Prints from the showcase and more are available for purchase now in the store!

Renae

Renae

For Colored Girls

The beautiful, talented, and beautifully talented Renae is a painter and model in North Hollywood, so it was only fitting that our collaboration feature paint.  I've been wanting to try a concept like this for quite some time, and Renae turned out to be the perfect canvas.

 For Colored Girls, 2015 - Pentax 67

For Colored Girls, 2015 - Pentax 67

This photo won me /r/analog's Photographer of the Week, so I already knew we were off to a good start!

There will certainly be more to come between Renae and I, stay tuned for 2016...