Category Archives: women

Katie Kerl: Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

 

Text and Photos by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

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Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! It smacks you in the face at every turn. This year I urge you to put the phone down and stop swiping in dating apps. I was doing a little research and downloaded everyone I could find. Be very careful when on them. It seems as though at least 50% of men are on dating, hookup, and seeking arrangement apps. That is not my idea of a good time. Cross reference your picks that way. If not you could end up with a disease meeting a sex addict who is using all of the apps.

This led me to wonder why we so desperate for acceptance and mediocre dates on a Hallmark holiday? It is filled with awful pre-fix menus, cheaply made jewelry, drug store boxes of candy, & flowers that DIE. Why have we let the media make us think we have to have a date, or do anything on this day?

When I am in a relationship I make it special by surprising the person I am with. I make dinner, buy cool gifts, and usually some fun sex gag gift to be used later; haha! Going out for a few drinks and dessert is a very nice alternative the whole over reserved pre-fixed meal. I think it is one of the worst days of the year to eat out.

This year I am completely single, and will be spending it with a few friends. I’ll probably get a manicure, make dinner, and we will go dance somewhere. That is what makes me happy. If you are single celebrate that! If you are involved do not let that day be the only one you get off your ass to show appreciation to your loved ones. Self care is love, for men and women. Take that $300 you were going to waste and invest in yourself. After all, you are worth it!

I have compiled a few lists of perfect self care services around the city, and places to have cocktails and small bites that I enjoy. I’m going to start off with the men, let’s face it ladies they feel like they get left out a lot on this holiday. If your man treats you well appreciate that too!!  

 Masculine self care Ideas:

The Blind Barber just opened in the Gayborhood. They have locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, and now Philadelphia. It will not be a place to miss. Get your hair cut, and have a drink in their restaurant/club and relax.

Sulimay’s Barber Shop in Fishtown specializes in haircuts and straight shaves. This barber shop has been around since 1922! If that does not give you an idea of the quality here I am not sure what will. After, check out Suraya for a few cocktails and great people watching.

Blokes Barber Shop & Gentlemen Emporium in Old City. This unique barber also has a slew of gifts that are perfect for a self care splurge. They carry cufflinks, books, shave sets, socks, flasks, jewelry, and funny gag gifts as well.

Ashton Cigar Bar in center city is a very nice place to relax if you love your smoke and whiskey. The servers are all pretty, and they have a wide variety of drinks and cigars to choose from.

Art in the Age located in, Old City is a liquor tasting boutique. It is a unique spot to gather a group of friends, and start day drinking. They offer tastings, cocktail classes, sell bar accessories, bitters, mixers, & recipe books for the at home bartender that likes to entertain.

Follow it up with some sushi around the corner at Tuna Bar.

Reserve a table at Rec & Royal, for their weekend brunch party, Saturday and Sunday from 11-5. There is a food buffet, mimosa bar, and cool arcade games to keep you fully entertained.  

Treat yourself to a pair of new shoes or sneakers at Lapstone & Hammer.

The Suit Supply Is also a great place for the trendy go getter to add to their wardrobe.

Noto will be having a weekend full of parties to go dance the night away at.

The Ritz Carlton Spa offers lovely massage packages.

You can follow it up with their smoked mescal drink in the beautiful marble lobby.

Finally, treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

 For the men who say Valentine’s Day is a women’s day; I think my laundry list of things to do may challenge that statement. Sometimes it just takes a little more than last minute planning.

Some gender neutral ideas:

Treat yourself to the gym membership you have been putting off, and get sexy for summer!

Luxury: The Sporting club at The Bellevue is a full gym/spa club equipped with pool, massage, food, meeting rooms, and personal training. Follow up your work out with a drink at XIX and try the seafood platter. It is located in the top of the hotel.

Mid level: City Fitness has multiple locations throughout the city. I recently joined the Northern Liberties location. They offer a wide range of classes, sauna, tanning, personal training, and a juice bar.

When you are finished walk a few blocks down Second Street and pop into Spuntino Wood Fired Pizza, and grab a heart shaped pizza. Bring your favorite wine because they are a BYOB, they have private parties, and pizza making classes!!

Basic: Planet Fitness has all of the equipment you would need to get cut for summer. They also have a few locations around the city.

Treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

Revive Med Philly Is located in Northern Liberties. They are a non surgical cosmetics boutique. Offering a wide variety of services: facials, Botox, fillers, laser hair removal, EMsculpt, skin care products, finally IVs for hangovers & to boost immunity. I have been there a few times, and you will not find a more welcoming staff in the city. They will not over do it and tell you NO if you are being ridiculous. That is important! Patient continuity of care! Stop in and check out their V-Day specials, and guess the number of hearts in the glass jar to win a free service. You must be present to enter.

Take a photo in front of their beautiful wall for the gram, after they get you glowing in the right direction! They just started a monthly membership call for inquires.

Now for a few Feminine self care options:

Lacquer Lounge in old City is so cute for a mani/pedi. They have all white interior, and pops of pink spread around. Sip a glass of wine and relax while they take care of you.

Rescue Spa is a very tranquil space that you immediately feel at ease upon walking in. Great for a girl’s day, this spa offers a wide variety of services that are sure to please anyone. Call and see what works best for you, and your budget.

The Dandelion in Rittenhouse offers a fantastic afternoon tea. I actually took my mother there and it was quite the experience. You get a tower of tea sandwiches, sweet treats, and a pot of tea. There is a mimosa add on option that is very reasonable. The interior makes you think you have left Philly, and are sipping high tea in England.

 KAWAII KITTY CAFÉ in Queen Village, order your favorite coffee or tea. Then you are taken into a room to play with adoptable kitties. It is very cute to do if you have children as well. All of the cats were very friendly.

The Smak Parlor, located in Old City is a cute clothing and accessory shop that has yet to disappoint me.  They have very trendy reasonably priced pieces.

Book a Photo shoot session. Grab a bunch of outfits, go to a cool spot, and have fun! There is no better self esteem boost than amazing photos taken of you.

Have a Galantines’ brunch! Grab some friends and decorate your place. Make cute heart themed food, Valentines’ notes as place settings, and pomegranate mimosas.  Toss in a berry or two for garnish.

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While love is not always in the air in a romantic sense; we absolutely can enjoy Valentine’s Day in our own way. Appreciate the people in your life. After all, when your relationships end your friends are still there for you.

If you are happily involved I wish that REAL DEEP LOVE for all of you.

These suggestions work if you are single, taken, or for any gender if you identify differently.

I wanted the singles out there to know;

IT IS OK TO BE SINGLE and LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!

I hope everyone has a fun Valentines’ day no matter how you choose to celebrate.

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Katie Kerl

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-dating-guide-2020/

 

Also posted in Blog, lifestyle, Popular Culture, Travel

Vibe Rouvet: Opera News From France

Vibe Rouvet

 

STUDIO NEWS

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On the 18th of January, 2020 French opera singer Vibe Rouvet continues to impress audiences at the New Year’s concert she performed at Pau’s conservatory in Lescar’s Cathedral, located in Pau, France.  She sang Mein Herr Marquis from Strauss’s opera Die Fledemaus, and the Flower Duet from Leo Delibes’ opera Lakme’.

 

 

Vibe Rouvet at Pau’s Conservatory in France

Vibe is a 19 year old student in Pau’s conservatory. The orchestra Chief is Guy Brunschwig a renowned director at the conservatory who performed with the students. 

Vibe had another concert at the Chapelle conservatory and sung the same song but with a higher end note (contre sol) higher than in the air of the Queen of the Night!

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For additional articles about this rising star in Opera, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/vibe-rouvet-the-latest-from-france/

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Glamour, lifestyle, Music, Popular Culture

Bob Shell: Does Photography Have a Future?

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2020

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

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Does Photography Have a Future?

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about that question. The industry I devoted my life to studying and writing about is a ghost of what it once was. Every year for as long as I can remember the Photo Marketing Association was very important to the world of photography. Their annual trade show was one of the biggest, filling up two floors of the giant Las Vegas Convention Center. Now the PMA no longer holds a trade show at all, and they sold their office building in Jackson, Michigan, and operate with a skeleton crew out of rented offices. Why did this happen? The PMA membership was made up of independent camera stores, and how long has it been since you’ve seen one of those? People used to come to camera shops, like the ones I ran in the 70s and 80s not just to buy cameras, lenses, film, etc., but to talk photography. Many of my regular customers would just stop in to chat, even when they didn’t need anything. And I didn’t mind. That was how camera shops operated. But, already in the 70s we small independent dealers were under pressure from discounters. In those days K-Mart, J.C. Penny, Sears, Woolco, and others all had camera departments in their stores. And there were the mail order dealers that advertised very low prices in photo magazines. Often they were retailing cameras for less than my wholesale prices. How could they do that? Volume. While I might buy three or four cameras at a time, they would buy 144 or more. Of course a company that buys in volume like that has negotiating power to haggle the price down.

There was actually a lawsuit against the Pentax distributor over this, and the small dealers won to force the distributor to sell to all at the same price. Did this help the small dealer? Not really. The camera distributors got around it by offering the discount houses special camera models minus a feature or two (like having a top shutter speed of 1/500 second instead of 1/1000) at a lower price, special models that were only sold in large quantities. We small dealers had to offer services that the discounters didn’t offer, like knowing our stuff and taking time to chat with the customers. In my case, I also took the National Camera course and learned to repair cameras. I could offer in-house repairs, often on a while-you-wait basis. The discounters, if they offered repairs at all, had to ship cameras to repair services in big cities, which took weeks. I could repair things in a few hours or days unless I had to order parts. But I still faced the problem of maybe spending hours with someone showing them the features and functions of a camera, only to have them leave my shop and go straight to K-Mart and buy it. My time was worth nothing to people like that. I even had people buy the camera at a discounter and bring it to me when they had questions about its operation! What did I do? I patiently helped them, hoping that they would come back for film or accessories that the discounter didn’t keep in stock. It was a tough business to make a living in, but I loved it.

Today the few independent dealers that are left face new challenges. Offering in-house repair of digital cameras is not practical for the small dealer. The specialized equipment (often brand specific) is just too expensive. When I repaired cameras, I was a mechanic. I worked on gears, levers, and springs. The tools were small, but essentially no different from those of a car mechanic (I also did all my own car work, but with larger tools!) Today cameras have become “camputers,” as Bert Keppler called them. You need to be an electronics/computer technician, not a mechanic, to fix them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love digital cameras, and was an early and enthusiastic adopter of digital imaging. It has taken many burdens from the photographer’s shoulders, but it has hurt the small dealer, whose bread and butter was selling film and providing photo processing. That’s gone, leaving the dealer to survive on hardware sales, cameras, lenses, filters, flash units, tripods, etc. I would not try to make it today as an independent camera shop, and neither would most people, which is why the independent dealers have largely vanished.

Now, those few that remain face a whole new threat. My old friend Jack King, who used to own Camera World in Charlotte, N.C., got a patent years ago on the idea of putting a camera into a telephone. He tried in vain to get any company interested in the idea. “Nobody would want a camera in their telephone!” they all said. Well, they were all wrong! Nowadays everybody wants a camera in their telephone. Unfortunately for Jack, his patent expired years before the first camera was put into a cellphone. Otherwise he’d be fabulously wealthy today.

But now everyone’s a photographer, snapping away at anything and everything. And the quality of some of these tiny cameras is better with every generation. Last year Rolling Stone and Traveler ran covers taken with cellphone cameras.

But, do we need to photograph anything and everything? Much of what is photographed with cellphone would be better left undocumented, particularly when the person holding the phone is drunk or high. We face a glut of largely worthless images. Is this lowering the perceived value of serious photography? And will there even be a profession in the future known as “photographer?”. I don’t have the answers to these questions, but they deserve serious thought from anyone contemplating a career in photography.

What’s next for photography? I recently saw some images in a science magazine made by tapping into a person’s brain waves. They were somewhat blurry, but you could tell what they were. Will we have direct capture from a person’s visual cortex? I suspect, like many things, this technology will be here sooner rather than later. People can then dispense with cameras altogether. Prepare for future shock!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 11th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/offense/

Editor’s Note: If you like Bob Shell’s blog posts, you’re sure to like his new book, COSMIC DANCE by Bob Shell (ISBN: 9781799224747, $ 12.95 book, $ 5.99 eBook) available now on Amazon.com . The book, his 26th, is a collection of essays written over the last twelve years in prison, none published anywhere before. It is subtitled, “A biologist’s reflections on space, time, reality, evolution, and the nature of consciousness,” which describes it pretty well. You can read a sample section and reviews on Amazon.com.

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, commentary, Documentary, Fetish, Film, lifestyle, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel

Repost: Charles Gatewood Interview

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Unfortunately, I never got a chance to meet Charles Gatewood in person. I was familiar with his subcultural work from his books, magazine assignments, and exhibitions. I admired his anthropologic curiosity and his  significant contributions to the medium of photography and its history. We got to know each other on social media and began corresponding via email until his untimely death on April 29, 2016,  a result of a fall from his third floor apartment in San Francisco. He left several suicide notes.  This is a repost of an interview I conducted with Mr. Gatewood in 2011. His legend continues to live on.

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TW: What do you find most compelling about the medium of Photography?

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CG: I’m a card-carrying voyeur, and my exotic subjects excite me. My camera is a passport to adventure and creative fun. I am my own boss. I have never had a “job.” I travel the world, do whatever I please, photograph famous people, and have kinky sex with beautiful punkettes. ‘Nuff said!

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TW: You have covered a variety of  subject areas in your involvement in Photography.  Which of these subject areas to you find the most compelling and  worthy of further exploration?

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CG: I’ve been photographing almost fifty years, and I’ve covered lots of subjects. Most of my work is about people and behavior, and I’ve spent many years documenting alternative culture in all its ragged glory. My extended photo essays include 60s counterculture, rock and roll (I shot for Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy), the radical sex community, and tattooing, piercing and body art (I helped launch the “new tribalism” movement by sparking the RE/Search book Modern Primitives). I also did lots of traditional photojournalism in the 60s and 70s.

One of my favorite extended photo essays is Wall Street, shot between 1972-1976. This work is more formal, and more about social conditioning, societal control, corporate excess, and fascist architecture. Which subjects do I find most compelling today? Barely-legal girls, ha ha.

TW: How do you think the medium of photography has impacted popular culture at large?

Are you serious?

CG: What was it like to encounter William  S. Burroughs as a subject in your work?

In January, 1972, Rolling Stone sent me and writer Bob Palmer to London to do a feature article on William Burroughs. Talk about a dream assignment. We spent a week with Burroughs, smoked hash, stared into the Dream Machine, played with the E-meter, and dug all Burroughs’ best rants and stories. Rolling Stone liked the story so much they asked me to be their New York photographer.

I shot Burroughs again in NYC, 1975, for Crawdaddy. He and musician Jimmy Page met for tea and chat before a Led Zeppelin concert. I got great shots from that shoot too.

TW: Are you equally compelled to photograph men and women.  If not,  which gender do you prefer to photograph and why?

CG: For most of my career, I’ve photographed everyone. Today, I mostly photograph gorgeous women. Wouldn’t you?

TW: How has photography broadened or defined your view of today’s world?

Like totally!

TW: If you could turn back the hands of time, would you have chosen another profession?

No, no, no. I do enjoy creative writing, but at heart I’m a picture guy.

TW: Describe the feeling of taking a great picture?  What happens at that moment?

CG: Well, for me the creative act is a wonderful high, especially if the subject is exotic or sexy. I go into what I call “magic space.” Psychologists call it “flow.” Athletes call it “being in the zone.” It’s an exhilarating feeling. Time stands still, there is total communion with the subject, and the creative process (right framing, angle, moment) is like a beautiful zen dance. I work it, work it, work it—and suddenly there it is, my shot!

TW: How do you define Photography as Art?

CG: Andy Warhol said, “Art is anything you can get away with.” I agree!

Also posted in Art, Blog, Books, Documentary, Fetish, Film, interview, lifestyle, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Travel

Picture of the Day: Ike’s Study

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

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Ike’s Study

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I visited Ike Hay at his home on many occasions.  He was a great teacher of art and design at Millersville University where we first met when I was an undergraduate student from 1974 to 1977. I took several classes with him as he was a great teacher of art and design.  Ike’s first love was sculpture, but he had other interests as well.  Ike was a collector of Empire furniture and a significant amount of his scholarship was defined by his love for French culture, especially French antiquities and an emphasis on the history of Napoleon Bonaparte, the great French military leader and emperor of France. Ike’s study was a place where we often chatted about art and also life. He became a lifelong friend and confidant until his untimely passing in 2014 at the age of 69.  When I began the project of a book of Tableaux Vivants,  I selected Ike’s study as one of the nostalgic places I wanted to photograph because of my longstanding friendship with Ike and his family. So one summer day in 1994, I packed up my gear with models in tow and traveled from Philadelphia to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he lived with his wife Teri and his daughters Miraya and Mistral. On this particular occasion I decided to shoot in black and white and in color, an unusual departure for me at the time. 

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To see selected works from the book of Tableaux Vivants, click herehttps://tonyward.com/early-work/tableaux-vivants-1993-2000/

 

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Books, Cameras, Diary, Documentary, Early Work, Erotica, Film, lifestyle, Men, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Travel