What happened in 2006?
At a certain point toward the end of the year, I got my first DSLR. I also built my own lightbox, got a collection of clamplights and extension cords, and met a bunch of photographers and artists and started collaborating with them. The lightbox was made out of paper and cardboard and clamplights. I used it till I broke it.
This was the year when I started to be able to imagine an image in my head and then pick up the camera and make that image happen. I wasn’t always successful, and I was throwing darts at the wall in a great many cases, but I was also doing a lot more with composition.
I began doing a lot of self portraits. I loved photographing people, and the most dependable person I had, the one who was always around, was me. I felt odd subjecting models to weird experiments when I didn’t know how they were going to turn out. But I felt fine subjecting myself to weird lighting experiments, makeup experiments, costume experiments.
The things I learned in this year are still with me, in the way I position lights, models, and compose my photos.
I also began seriously working with photoshop during this time. As a tool, it overwhelmed me at first, but more and more I figured out how to get what I wanted out of it.
I also met a woman named Jennifer Rodgers who becomes one of my closest friends and collaborators. This year, we worked together on a project called Velociraptor! Canniablism! but back in the day we met on a forum run by Warren Ellis when I was asking for models. I do not take her photo for another year, but we become great friends.