A couple of years ago I did a one-off side gig that involved making a few pictures with a few off kilter props. Specifically a number of the collars seen here as well as that crop and moronically large whip. I've mentioned on a few occasions if any of those collars just happens to be laying around there's an 80% chance people will pick it up, play with it, try it on — or want to.

The same goes for that riding crop. In fact I've had three of them disappear since the original. Don't know where they went. As for the collars, there's a 50/50 chance whoever is playing with it, or I happen to make some pictures with will want to keep whichever one they were playing with. Sure, why not …

In any case I think some of the pictures I made on a lark with Anastasia where really the spark that caused me to pursue the Black/White project in the first place. While I did see a few interesting and curious things with pictures I made for that one-off, it was the ones I made with Anastasia that got me curious as to how to go about attempting to photograph what I hope will ultimately be a larger scale print project and if at all successful a social commentary.

Of course Anastasia kept that collar. The one you see in these pictures with Kami happened to be the last one of that type that was from the original batch of five I had just like it. Why five? Honestly I don't know, that's the way they came for that original side gig. In any case Kami kept that one and now those are gone. After taking a lot of my experiments to date out on the road last week, starting to play with backdrops I have in mind for the project I definitely know that's the direct I'm heading towards. Diverse backdrops and context. At this point I need to seriously get the mix of wardrobe, normal, bizarre, and props together for the first time instead of using placeholders and various mix/match combinations that to be blunt have been a bit random.

Before I decided to explore this as a project in any formal sense I fooled around with making some pictures with all the props left over. Some had regular-old street clothes mixed in just out of convenience, laziness, or happenstance. On a few occasions there was zero wardrobe and just some props chucked in. Again pure happenstance based on laziness such as the afterwards of a fine art figure workshop that had wrapped up and I was just fooling around with whoever was the model that particular day. Making a couple of pictures mostly driven by what they felt like making at the moment.

The pictures here with Kami are sort of cast-offs. Just a few shots that she wanted to make modeled after a small print plastered on the studio refrigerator that she liked. Specifically the one below made as an exposure test / example during a workshop a long time ago. Yep, same chair.

I chucked all these with Kami aside as I chalked them up to just something I did on a whim for her mostly. Here's the thing. I went back and looked at them again today entirely due to a thought that crossed my mind. The reason I became curious about a lot of this project in the first place was driven by other peoples desire to mess around with a few props. The reason I'm going to mix bits and pieces of the bizarre with the mundane were accidents driven by fooling around with this stuff and it just happened to be what we did.

I've sort of chucked out the more static kinds of things like these with no real thought process or reason to do so. Sure I've messed around with some abstract impressions both static and in motion and relegated those to something off to the side. I'm thinking that some of the more static things such as these might deserve exploration as I switch up backdrops and context. I don't know if they'll go anywhere, or work but curiosity is what lead down this road as a project in the first place. Why not.

End Notes

All pictures of Kami with collar made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55mm XF. The darker picture of Sheba made with the Fuji X100S. All images processed with Lightroom CC VSCO FILM05 BW400CN applied on import.