Monday, January 9, 2012


I’ve got plenty of very serious Photo Projects.  This is not that.  Welcome to Toppers, a project dedicated to the simple proposition that hats are fun!  And Photographing folks having fun with hats is even more so.   Join me, won’t you?

I’ve been shooting models a few years now, and I’ve enjoyed each & every session.  I count myself fortunate to have worked with so many talented individuals.  If any of my models are reading this now, I thank you directly.  You’ve brought a great deal of joy into my life. 

Sometimes there was a hat, either wardrobe or prop.  Not always, but with fair frequency.  As time passed I began to notice that those images with a hat seemed to strike me as “a bit more special” than those without.  While I always edit my model’s selected images first, when I got around to working on my selections, those with a hat involved started getting preferential treatment.

Then one day a light bulb burst into flame overhead & Toppers was born, fully fleshed & ready to dance.  A series of portraits – both fine & casual – featuring people wearing all manner of headgear seemed a good idea.  I decided to give it a go and see what came of it…

As far as my intentions, first and foremost I want to create some wonderful images and have fun doing it.  I’d love to shoot some baseball/football players, maybe a couple cowboys, a biker or perhaps the Garden Club ladies in their big floppy hats.  Private Eyes, femme fatales in their veiled caps, an erstwhile Rockette, a surgeon/nurse, Chef d’ Cuisine or an Indian Chief.  Imagination is the only limit I can see…

Will I publish the series?  I’d like to, but at this point, I simply don’t know whether I will or not.  If I do publish, it will most likely be in book form or perhaps a calendar.  Should the Series prove popular enough, other formats and opportunities may present themselves for consideration…

Model Requirements
This project is open to males, females, children, cats, dogs and other family members – in short anyone may participate so long as that individual has a hat of some kind.. 

Adult participants must sign my Model Release and provide a copy of their state issued photo ID for my records.  A similar Model Release for minors must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.  Also, a copy of said parent’s/guardian’s state issued photo ID must be provided for my records.

Parents/Legal guardians must accompany minor children under 15 years of age while shooting.  Parents/Guardians are welcome, but not required, to accompany minor children 16 years of age & older while shooting.

Wardrobe requirements are simple.  Participants must wear a hat.  It can be a fedora, bowler, cowboy hat, floppy brimmed sun hat, stocking cap, top hat, football/motorcycle helmet, ball cap, flap hat or beanie.  Style is unimportant.

As far as other wardrobe goes – you know, that part that’s worn below the hat – use your imagination.  Be as conservative or as outlandish as you like.  Want to wear a business suit with your Fedora, Top Hat or Motorcycle Helmet?  Go for it.  Jeans, shorts, dresses, slacks, miniskirt/blouse, swimwear – whatever LOOK you favor with your hat is welcome.

The "N" Word:  Nudity
If you’re comfortable shooting in the buff, I’m certainly willing.  I can visualize several tasteful implied shots in which all the “important” bits are hiding behind an appropriately placed Helmet, Floppy brimmed sunhat or Fedora. 

I am conducting Toppers  as a Trade Shoot:

Models will receive up to 10 fully edited image files of their choice in both full-size print ready & low resolution web display formats, to use as they see fit.

Non-models get the same deal, but may elect to schedule a family (or other) portrait session instead.

Location is a variable that will change from session to session.  Playgrounds, City Parks, State Parks, a back alley, the odd corn or bean field, your own home, a motel room – just depends on what specific “scene” we are working on when we shoot.

I am primarily an “Available Light” photographer, though I do occasionally use speed lights, light modifiers & the occasional reflector from time to time. 

My schedule is annoyingly open at present, so I am absolutely able to accommodate your busy schedule. 

Experienced and first time models both are welcome to participate.  You may be assured I will work with you to capture the best possible images and make the experience as fun as possible. 

Escort Policy

Models are welcome to bring a companion/escort along for moral support, costuming assistance, protection (whatever) as long as I’m told in advance.  Surprise me with an unexpected guest and the session will be cancelled immediately.  I hate surprises…

Please note:  I have zero tolerance for high school drama on my shoots.  I go into each and every session with the full expectation that I am working with adults fully capable of discussing any and all issues that may arise.  Name calling, threats of violence and similar nonsense will result in the session's immediate termination and the deletion of all images taken to that point.  If necessary, I will call the police and press charges to the full extent allowable under the law.

Got a question I didn’t cover here? Want to schedule your session? Hit me with a message.  I’m here, camera at the ready...

…and - - - Go!

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