Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This post has nothing to do with Halloween

First off, none of you got my Monty Python reference. Shame on you.

I'm on my way out the door to take my sixth and last of the masturbation portraits. I'm surprised by how hard it's been finding models, but everything seems to have worked out. I'll let you know when the magazine is out.

Also, My interview with SexTV is tomorrow. I still don't have a couple lined up, officially, but I think I have two prospects. Maybe. Maybe maybe. I'm actually hoping that the producer and his crew won't be too disappointed if I bake them brownies.

I also have a shoot on Saturday.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My Secret Eye

My two copies of "My Secret Eye" ("Mein heimliches Auge") arrived in the mail today! They look awesome. Claudia, the editor, used about 12 photos, including five or so in a two-page spread. According to the contributor pages, I also seem to be the youngest person in there. The whole book is in German, so I'm missing out on all the text, but there are lots of photos, drawings, and paintings. Yay!

If you felt like ordering a copy, you could go to Konkursbuch's website. I'm in Erotic Yearbook XXI (21)


According to amazon.com, Best Women's Erotica '07, the first of my three book covers, seems to have been published and is ready for purchase. Even if you don't give a rat's patoot about the art, buy it anyway because:

1. Cleis Press is a local, very cool erotica publisher who gave me a shot when no one else would.

2. Violet Blue is fantabulous in a major way.

3. What's wrong with erotica?

I think I may go buy a few copies and give them to my cousins at Thanksgiving. Because nothing says "family bonding" like the distribution of literary porn at wholesome family gatherings.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Response to "Scotsman" (are you on a horse?)

Ok, I couldn't actually find where you had commented, so I couldn't post my response, and it would be rude of me to not answer your questions, so you get your very own blog post. :)

I LOVE the D200. I wouldn't say it's idiot-proof, but it's fairly easy to use. It's an incredible machine, and it fit my needs perfectly. However, my needs may not be the same as yours. Because of the photojournalistic element and how many pictures I take during a shoot (my record is the equiv. of 37 36-exposure rolls of film), I needed something that could take lots of rapid-fire shots without getting "tired", I could easily modify the ISO speed to accomodate light changes from different locales during the same shoot, and I needed it to be able to make really nice, large prints (it's 12.9 megapixels.) It's a sexy, sexy machine. If you already have a Nikon, it will also fit some of your old lenses, but if I remember correctly, macro lenses might develop a slight fisheye look. It's also fairly expensive. As far as I'm concered, the camera paid for itself after my second shoot, but I use cameras more often than a lot of people. It's a pro camera, and as much as I love it, I wouldn't recommend it as a gadget to play around with--WAY too expensive. I'm not sure where you're located, but some equipment stores (like Penn Camera in the DC area) offer rental services so you can test out the equipment. So, rent the D200, try it out, marinate, then decide if you're comfy with it. I feel like cameras should "fit" like a pair of jeans or shoes. I know that sounds crazy, but using it should feel really comfortable. When I graduated from junior high and really started to show interest/promise in photography, my parents got me a Nikon N70, and I really liked it. When I graduated from HS, and was REALLY interested in photography, I asked for a second camera as a present, the idea being I could have one for color film and one for black and white so I could play around during shoots. That was 2002, and digital cameras really weren't what they were today, and I wasn't interested in a hefty digital camera at that point. So, my mom took me to the camera store, and they had recommended the N80, a step up from the N70 (which had since been discontinued, I think), and supposedly much better in many respects. I took it home, but it didn't feel right. So I brought it back and got a second N70.

The D200 is right for me, but it might not be right for you. If you're nervous about digital SLRs, getting the D200 would be like learning to drive on a Ferarri. Try before you buy. Do you're homework, ask around, find a reputable retailer with informed, educated, trustworthy salespeople and tell them what you need. Find someone who rents equipment, and test as many cameras as you need to in order find the one that feels right to you. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any other questions: samantha at his dot com. Hope that helped!


1. There's a story circulating in the art world about a Holocaust survivor who wants the works she made for Dr. Mengele back, and the museum at Auschwitz won't give them to her. The story is, Dr. Mengele needed to illustrate his "theories" about Gypsies, and the photographs he had weren't good enough. He approached this woman to make a series of paintings for him. She agreed, but in exchange, he had to protect her and her mother from the gas chamber. He agreed. They lived, and he got his paintings. They are on display at the museum in Auschwitz. She wants them back. They won't give them to her. Now, if it were any other situation, I might be siding with the museum. Technically, those paintings were commissioned works, and thus the ownership lies with Dr. Mengele (or at least his estate.) However, THIS WAS NOT VOLUNTARY. She could either make these paintings, or die. As my boyfriend so aptly put it, "if you get mugged, and they catch the person who robbed you, you get the money back. Yes, you gave them your stuff, but it wasn't voluntary." The curators are arguing that her paintings are helping to illustrate Auschwitz, that these paintings are a part of Auschwitz history. Auschwitz was not a fucking children's book! It doesn't need illustrations! To use these paintings to "illustrate" life at Auschwitz is no better than how Dr. Mengele wanted to use them in the first place. Those paintings tell a story that, while I think it should be told, it should be told at the discretion of the artist. Simply tacking those on a wall could never come close to revealing their true meaning than if she were to present them herself, if she chose to show them. And if she decided to keep them, hide them, burn them, or somehow prevent anyone from ever seeing them again, that's fine too. Can you just imagine what those paintings might mean to her? What they represent? Good or bad, they must be incredibly intense. Now, in situations like this, emotion and sentiment rarely play a role. I appreciate that the curators are loyal to the stories their museum is trying to tell, but their lack of sensitivity to the circumstances, and more importantly, their blatent stupidity with the lack of realization that, you know, maybe she didn't actually want to make these paintings because, you know, they were terribly hateful and she would DIE otherwise, just baffles me. Goddamn it.

2. My shoots on Friday averaged out to be only so-so. One was good, one was bad, there was lots of exhausting travel and that bus accident, but I got a good shot for the magazine, which I desperately needed. I have a lot of mixed feelings, but I think it'll make for a good story. A good story that will be included in the book....

3. The book is going well. A little slow, a little directionless, but right now, I'm more concerned about just getting it all out on paper. I'm thinking it will be divided into two sections, one section on stories about actual shoots and pictures, and one section on thoughts and essays regarding erotic art.

4. I've received about 15 emailes from people about modeling, but I haven't actually scheduled anything yet, including anything for my interview. My fingers are crossed.

5. I have five masturbation portraits done, and I'm looking for a few more. My deadline is Tuesday, but I should be fine. They look good.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pregnancy photos, as promised

Hooray for pretty pictures! And in color, too....

On pause, oh so briefly

I'm exhausted. I had two shoots today (er, yesterday?) for the masturbation project, one of which involved over five hours of travel, round trip (the pictures were a bust), and the bus I was on this morning got into a minor accident, and a few people got hurt. Yeah, I was one of them. We were lucky, and everyone was OK, just either a little shaken up, a little bruised, or both. I'm OK, but my knees are fairly bruised and sore. You know how the front half of the bus has the seats lined on against the sides to make room for wheelchairs, then the have seats that are perpendicular to the wall right after them? I was in one of the perpendicular seats. When we lunged forward, I got thrown forward fairly hard, but I was stopped when my knees smashed into the side of the seats in front of me. I really am OK. I'm just really tired at this point, which means PLEASE let me take care of some photo updates tomorrow or Sunday. I'll show off the pregnancy photos, talk about the masturbation shoots, everything. Right now, I'm taking my legs to bed.

Oddly enough, I was too short for anything really bad to have happened (I'm 5'10"). If I were 4-6" taller (or if I were my boyfriend, which would be odd), the seats would have hit the softish part of the knee where the joint is, and I could have done something serious. As it is, I have these two two bruises that look like thinnish stripes on my knees. They look kinda cute, actually. Blueish purple always was my color....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blog Update

Look! I changed my links! I've only been meaning to do it for about a year.....

More new things

1. I've decided to write a book. Nothing too complicated, but given that I have so many stories and essays surrounding erotic art or being an erotic artist, I thought it might be nice to document everything (my mom has been trying to get me to do this for a while.) We'll see what happens. At least it gives me something to do.

2. My new business cards came! Black and white, minimalist, oh so sexy.

3. I swear, there are pregnancy pictures coming. As I said before, the couple sees them first, then I show them off publicly. Though I have to admit, I'm not sure how I feel about how fervently people want to see them.....I'm going to pretend it's because people can't wait to see more work...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pregnant Sex

Fabbo erotica writer Rachel Kramer Bussel at Lusty Lady (lustylady.blogspot.com) weighs in on this myopic article on sex during pregnancy. $50 bucks says when I'm pregnant, my husband will WANT to fuck me, and not out of pity. Why? Because he will be infinitely more of a man than Mr. Mudede.

Dear Mr. Simms

I received your email the other day, and unfortunately, my email responses keep bouncing, so hopefully, this note will reach you.

I just wanted to thank you for the very kind note you sent me. I'm very pleased to hear I helped you somehow. It made my day!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Goodness, goodness, goodness, busy, busy, busy. Here's the scoop:

1. Had some short shoots a few weeks ago for the masturbation project. I met C and L in Oakland, where they informed me they would be having the shoot in the Berkeley Rose Gardens. OK. So we take the BART to Berkeley, then walk to the gardens. Now, I'm usually game for lots of walking. But that day, I was sick with flu-like symptoms, having "woman trouble" (really, this band of little old ladies kept following me around--REALLY annoying), and carried my monster of a camera bag uphill for what seemed like forever (it was probably only two miles or so, but ick.) Seriously, I have never sweated so much with a non-workout activity EVER. So, so gross. So then we get to the gardens, and we find this tiny, out-of-the-way woodsy area next to a creek at the bottom of a ravine. C is supposed to be the lookout while L and I go hide in the woods. L is lying on the ground, head in a big patch of ivy with who knows what in it, I'm standing, straddling him, trying to focus in the cloud of gnats we were in, and he just starts jerking off. That was picture #1. We started to walk back to prepare for the second shoot when we realized we had just been about 30 ft. away from a kid's pirate-themed birthday party. Arrgh, nothing says "erotic" like a band of little people with eyepatches and silly hats. OK, shoot #2. We get to his apartment, set up the backdrop, which was fabric that needed to be hung from a shelf. Given that he was standing, and not lying down, I had some concerns:
Sam: Are you a shooter?
J: What?
S: Are you a shooter? Or does it just sort of....come out?
J: I don't know, sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not.
S: Ok, see, I'm going to be standing in front of you, like, less than a foot away, and, see....
J: OHHHHH......I'll be careful of your clothes, don't worry.
S: I appreciate that, but I'm more worried about my camera.
J: OHHHHH....That makes sense. I'll be really careful, don't worry.
S: Thanks.

So we have the shoot. And he's standing, doing his thing, and I'm standing right in front of him, getting him in frame, focusing, you know, doing my job, then all of a sudden, BAM! He drops to the floor. I asked why, and he told me he was so worried about getting anything on me, that when it "came" down to it (har har), he had to aim elsewhere, so he dropped and aimed downwards. That was nice of him. Until....
J: Oh man, I'm so sorry!
S: What?
J: Oh jeez, I'm really sorry!
S: What?!

Ladies and gentleman, I got jizzed on. On my pants leg. The right one. It wasn't a lot, and it wasn't too weird for me or anything (occupational hazard), and he was really sweet about cleaning me off, but that's what happened. At least there weren't any pirates involved.

2. Had another masturbation shoot today. Very nice. Met another Box editor, took some pictures of a very nice girl who, if in bad, bad lighting, kind of looks like Haley Joel Osment (in reality, she's much cuter), and played Carcasonne with Ivy Guy and Jizz Master J.

3. Had the shoot with the pregnant couple! Good lord, these people are great. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about them. I've done the preliminary editing on them, but now I have to go through and make sure they're done. "Duh" comment of the day: Pregnancy changes how you have sex. You're big, you're not as nimble as you once were, and squishing your child is generally frowned upon. But you can still have amazing sex. The pictures themselves are sweet. Pretty, still a little graphic, but not the raw and animalistic I'm hoping to get back to. But you know what? I'm very happy with these pictures. These two people obviously love each other very, very much. They're sweet and tender with each other, and those are often elements that are eschewed in erotica for something that's more immediately arousing. They're nice pictures. I like them a lot. You'll see them soon and know why.

4. I had an epiphany: The people who post ads in the "Casual Encounters" section on CL seem open enough with their sexuality that they might make good models. So I've been busy looking for models there. So far, no responses. I'm also a little wary of meeting some of them. I can handle the couples. It's a different dynamic. But given that I only have three shots completed for the masturbation project, I'm apprehensive about contacting men who say they really want to masturbate in front of a woman. I mean, it would be a great way to get models, but still. So, J doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to bribe him with brownies so he'll be my chaperone at these shoots.

5. I had a job interview for a company you wouldn't expect me to work for, but I really wanted the job. I don't want to get into the details, but something has happened that needs to be worked out.

6. Happy belated birthday to Kim! Kim is the uber-sexy blond who I shot at Caltech making out in my boyfriend's bathroom and on the roof of the Physics building. She is the awesome.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Crunch time: Models for Canadian TV

OK, I don't like getting into specifics when it comes to new opps that haven't been finalized or fleshed out yet (pun not entirely intended), but I have more details on the Canadian TV show thing.

Who: SexTV through CHUM television, Canada
What: 6-7 minute artist profile. Interview, footage of me taking pictures, sexy fun all around.
Where: San Francisco. My apartment? Good God, this means I have to decorate, doesn't it?
When: Sometime during Monday-Wednesday, October 30-November 1.
Why: Why not?

Very exciting. They know I've been having trouble finding a couple who is comfortable being seen on Canadian TV. They understand it's a question of maintaining anonymity, and that ensuring the comfort of my models is my first priority. They wish they could guarantee anonymity, but they can't. So I'm still looking for a VERY open couple in the SF area to be filmed with. If you don't want to volunteer, that's fine, but if you happen to know anyone who might be interested, please let me know. I've talked with the producer, and can assure you he's very nice, so you'd be surrounded by very nice people. Plus, I'm going to bake brownies for all of us, so you have gooey chocolate yumness as an extra incentive!

(I'm also looking for models aged 18-40 to model for the masturbation project. Same thing: if you know anyone who could do it, let me know.)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Question: Portfolios

I've never really been happy with my print portfolio. I love my prints, but I've never figured out the best way to show them off to clients, gallery directors, etc. As of right now, I have the prints in sleeves in a zipper-bound notebook. Lightweight, portable, the prints are protected, but the plastic sleeves don't really show off the crispness of the images or the quality of the prints. I want to protect the prints themselves and guard them as best I can from smudges, stains, and scratches--in essence, I don't want them to look "tired". I also want to be able to present a good number at once (at least 20), and it needs to be portable; not too heavy, not too delicate. This seems to be a perennial question with me. So, any ideas?

Pretty Picture

I meet some fantastic couples....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Perhaps there's hope for me yet

The Good:
- I have a shoot on Saturday to take two portraits for the Masturbation Project.
- Not photo-related at all, but I really like my new haircut. Short(er) and sassy. Half like me.
- The Canadian TV show is sending down a producer around "the end of October or early November". Good to know.

The Bad:
- It's quite possible that, despite my abilities/talents/experience, the SF region has unanimously agreed that I am unhirable. It's a shame, really. I like this city. It would be terribly inconvenient if I had to enact my world domination plan this soon.

The Ugly:
- I'm becoming obsessed with my job hunt to the point where I suspect I'm going batty.
- I think my photos are losing their edge, and they're just "pretty" now. I want to take a picture of someone getting fucked.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Scratch that...

Remember the 10% chance I mentioned? The chance that would prevent me from coming to DC? Yeah, there's a really good chance I may have to cancel the trip due to personal reasons. So, um, hold off on the emails for right now. Merci.

The bit about the Canadian TV show is still true, but I may need to find a couple in SF, not DC.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

More info on DC trip

Ok, so I'm 90% sure I'm coming back to DC for a week, from Friday, Oct. 13 (oooooh...) until Friday, Oct. 20. This obviously includes only one weekend (I need to be back by the 21st for another shoot. See? Good excuse.)

Now, a Canadian TV show is very interested in running an artist profile on me. They would really, really, REALLY like to get footage of me during an actual shoot. Anyone who has worked with me knows these aren't terribly exciting, and I look far from attractive, nor is my "creative process" ("uuuh, ok, go have sex now") all that interesting, but I'm tempted to oblige nonetheless. The producer with whom I've been talking understands it may be difficult for me to find a couple who wants to be filmed, photographed, AND seen by kinky Canadians.

I know I just asked all of you to email me if you were interested in a shoot in DC, but I'm modifying this a little. I know weekends are usually best for people, but obviously, I don't have a lot of weekend time. Perhaps two each morning, two each afternoon? That's four potential shoots, one of which I would like to reserve for a couple who is comfortable being filmed for Canada. During the week is a little trickier. I like using natural light, so it needs to be early enough in the day for me to be able to use sunlight. Problem is, you all probably work during the day. Worst case, even if I can't do any shoots during the week, I still have four potential slots on the weekend. It makes things a bit rushed, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice :).

Ok, so now that you know my needs and schedule a bit better, bring on the emails!

(also, I absolutely won't do anything work-wise on the evening of Oct. 18. It's my mom's birthday.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

This is a big, fat "if"

IF (if, if, if) I flew back to DC for a few days, like, from Oct. 16-20 (M-F), would anyone be free to model for either the couple shoots or the masturbation project? Or at least know anyone who would be? I still haven't decided if I'm coming out or not, but I just wanted to see if it might be a viable option for shooting. I know a few people volunteered, but I can't remember who specifically.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Three things

1. Craigslist stole my soul.
2. I'm sick (probably not related to the craigslist thing)
3. Framing is a pain in the tush and super-expensive, but hot damn, if it's done right, it looks AMAZING.

I'm going to pretend to sleep for the next 209832974 hours. I'll be back when I have something interesting and photo/sex-related.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm back, sort of....

For the record, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth or anything. This is a thoroughly un-artsy post. The weekend was fun. Given that my family, my boyfriend and I are all major bibliophiles (some women collect shoes, I buy books), we had a blast at the closing of Acorn Books (fab place, sorry to see it go) and the Friends of the SF Public Library sale. Made out like bandits.

Also, here are my hearty recs for local food fare: Fresca (Peruvian) is FANTASTIC, the Cliff House is dreamy, and my mom's spousal-equivalent only wants me to get a job at Bittersweet so I can get their secret recipes. If you know SF well, I may have inadvertently just told you where I live....

Also, today marks the submission of my 25th job application. You know, I kinda feel like I deserve a prize for that. You know, a prize like....a job...

OK, because I'd feel guilty if there wasn't any art stuff, here is some art stuff:
I got some prints back from my original printer, and OHMYGOODNESS are they gorgeous. I got a print of "69", and it's stunning, if I do say so myself. I'm kinda surprised I could take pictures like that. Printed on velvety Chromira paper. Lovely.

I may have a quickie shoot with my favorite pregnant couple sometime soon, assuming I can get my schedule in order.

I'm still looking for models for the Box masturbation shoot. One of their editors has been nice enough to try to round up some kinky people for me, and I posted a CL ad. Anyone wanna start taking bets on how many creepy emails I get? I get plenty of nice ones, but given that I've just asked complete strangers to jerk off in front of me, there's bound to be the rogue, gross email.