Back in May, my dear friend Shakti was back in the U.S. and came to visit for a few days. It had been years since we had last seen each other, and even longer since we’d worked together.

It had also been five years since I’d done a “real” shoot. I changed jobs - and careers - shortly after moving to DC, and the new job didn’t leave me much room for creative photography. My camera is pretty old by today’s standards, my batteries were all dead, a lot of my wardrobe collection has fallen apart - particularly the latex and vinyl pieces.

So I rented a camera, ordered a bunch of clothes from AliExpress, and set a date for Shakti and I to make some new work. There’s an incredible sense of comfort that comes from collaborating with friends, and more so with folks you’ve been creating with for fifteen years(!). The ideas just come pouring out, bouncing around between multiple minds intent on making something interesting.

I rented a Fujifilm X-T4 which features really nice film simulation, and paired it with a 50mm f/1 lens that just absorbs shadows and turns them into magic. I wanted a look that would enhance the mesh outfits we’d selected, and leaned towards a simulation in the vein of Wong Kar Wai’s vibrant-but-flat color palettes, deep reds and yellows and greens while reducing the blues. (The name of the set is a reference to his film 2046.)

And so we shot. For hours, days, outfit after outfit – with lots of breaks and conversations and eating good food along the way. And the results! Certainly this is my favorite work I’ve done with Shakti, and I think it’s some of the strongest work in my portfolio.

I loved these new photos. But what to do with them?

Most of the interest in alt-photography (the simplest label I can think of for what I do) has moved to apps like Instagram. And, well, social media these days is mostly consumed on phones and that’s not really a great way to view impactful photography IMHO, it’s both a small screen and you’re also vying for 0.001 second of a person’s attention while they’re in line to get their coffee. Not to mention the fact that IG is a walled garden, from which I am currently shadowbanned for the horrible offense of using the hashtag #latex. And, studies show that these apps are causing all sorts of negative mental health impacts.

I will admit, I am nostalgic for the old days of Livejournal and Tumblr, where you’d actually meet like-minded individuals and have real conversations. Many of the artists I knew from those days I still engage with regularly today. Interestingly, a lot of them have moved over to Patreon - but I don’t think that’s necessarily the best platform for two-way conversations either; it’s definitely a “fan page” sort of setup.

So, while we wait for something better to come along, I’m putting these photos here, on my own website, free to view. (How innovative!) If you’re reading this, somehow you’ve found them, and I’m glad you’re here. And if you want to stay in touch, please feel free to drop a line.

Click the pretty photo of Shakti above or the one just below here that says “Unfathomable Night” to view the whole set.