Self Assignments are Vital for Photographers and So,... Speakeasy Tattoo LA California by Colorado people photographer sean f boggs

Scott Glazier, Speakeasy Tattoo. In his studio at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, California.

Self assignments are a self fulfilling prophecy of what you will do next for your clients. If you get out and shoot what you're really interested in, The original reason that you became a Photographer, You will be the driving force behind what your company becomes. That's a philosophy that I strongly believe.

So, while in Los Angeles for a couple industrial architecture jobs, I produced three stock shoots. Below is an account of one that I found inspiring. I went their first for my soul as an artist but also to inspire my current and future clients to send me to another location just like it.

Here's the signature portrait. 55mm Nikon bayonet lens. 1/15th of a second at F3.5. ISO 125. Single profoto B1 with a soft round modifier. My goal was to make that shadow on the right side of the face be the defining feature of the photograph.

We went to Scott Glazier's Speakeasy Tattoo studio. Scott's an oil painting artist turned tattoo artist. He has a studio in Los Angeles that you can't go to without an invitation. Somehow through the grace of networking, my associate Mark Leffingwell got us an invite to visit. We found the location, a small rundown warehouse-ish looking building. We rang the bell and were met by Nicole, Scott's assistant. She showed us into a hallway that felt something like a junkyard, art, sick motorcycle museum. After emerging into the back studio of this art lair, we saw Scott working on a tattoo, a cool space rune forearm thing. There was no guaranty of me getting to photograph anything but it was already super interesting.

In Scott's hands is a Micky Sharps tattoo machines. Shot with a Nikon 55mm manual/bayonet lens from the 1970s. ISO 200, 1/10th of a second at F3.5. Single profoto B1 with a soft round modifier from camera right.

We used our portfolios, the Bulliet Rye that we brought and some philosophy to win Scott's trust. He generously gave us 45 minutes. Four hours later we wound up our shoot with the image of his hands above. This shoot fills me with satisfaction and gratitude becauseI I love to make environmental portraits, ( a portrait that shows someone's occupation or culture). That's what I love to shoot and it's what want my clients to hire me for most.

Four hand made tattoo machines, ( prison guns). 1/50th at F3.5, ISO 800, Scott in his work space, part of the studio with an original painting by Scott.

I shot Speakeasy Tattoo as a self assignment because I'm inspired by Scott Glazier. He's his own boss, and a lifelong artist. He chose to be what he is, win or loose, success or failure. Funny how success follows a bunch of hard work and everyone knows hard work is much easier to do if you love your work. Whatever you shoot, have a manifest destiny, make it your own. I shoot self assignments regularly because I want my clients and potential clients to be inspired by my adventures. You should too. Self assignments drive the culture of your company. and I know this because I shot 4 environmental portraits in October for four different magazines.

In a note that shows the transient nature of life, Scott said that he had to make his tattoos now because his hands would not last forever. I asked why, and he said " arthritis".

Thanks for looking at my photographs and reading my blog. Love you dudes, stay strong and go be rad.

Email to say Hi or with questions via my website at seanfboggs.com


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