The Conception
The Plan
Shooting the Project
The Controversy
The Media
The Media
The Participants and Project Photographs
Final Notes
The Project Poster
 
the back story revealed

The project "Old Towne Exposed" simply started out like this. After yet another underwhelming “Friday for the Arts” in March, Kimberly Ann Calos started talking about us joining together for a new project. We previously did "Faces of Old Towne".

Kimberly Ann wanted to shake up the status quo. She had lamented (a polite way of saying "bitched and moaned") about the decline, in terms of people traffic, of the once popular “Friday for the Arts” as well as a general slowing of foot traffic around "Old Towne". Business was slow for everyone. Her focus was to come up with something that would attract people down to "Old Towne" and spend their money.

Having some pretty messed up corneas that needed transplants, I had surgery on both eyes over the previous year and a half. This slowed me down a bit photography wise. It had been a while since I have done any serious shooting so I was ready to take on a new project. It had been even longer since I have done an exhibit. Although I was ready to shoot again, I was only interested in shooting/exhibiting a project that I found challenging, interesting and different. Like Kimberly Ann, I was ready to do some shaking up of things as well with my new store bought eyes. Little did we know back in March how much shaking we would ultimately do.

While our motivations differed (business vs. creative), our goals meshed together. Both wanted to create something "different" that would be a catalyst to draw people from the surrounding communities down to "Old Towne". If we gave people a reason to make "Old Towne" a destination, they would also discover the unique restaurant, shopping and entertainment offerings as well. The planets had aligned and the timing was right for the two of us to come together for yet another extravaganza of sorts. Simply put, Kimberly Ann and I would do what we are best at. I would shoot an exhibit and Kimberly Ann would make an event out of it.  The only thing left was to figure out what the heck we were going to do.

Over about a week, Kimberly Ann passed a couple of ideas by me that didn't really catch my interest. She then reminded me of an idea I brought up to her a year or so earlier. I wanted to take photographs of everyday local people appearing nude within their element or surroundings. I was inspired by a fundraising calendar ("Nekkid Men from the Center of the Universe") done up in Ashland a couple of years ago which included fourteen local men.

Now taking photographs of common everyday folks that includes strategic nudity (i.e. some parts are kept hidden) is hardly neither new nor original. Examples of this are all around with the creation of calendars, etc but such a project had never been done in Petersburg. Usually the projects are smaller in scope and lacked a true diversity of people. I wanted to take this concept to the next level. I wanted this project to include men and women of differing ages, races and body types. Kimberly Ann reminding me of this project idea sparked my interest.

We decided to portray the diversity of personalities and people of “Old Towne”. The area's historic and architecturally rich buildings would be the setting. Getting people, let alone a "variety" of people, to do such a project would certainly be a challenge in itself. The reason I brought this idea up originally to Kimberly Ann was simple. While I could shoot such a project, I knew I would need her unique power of persuasion and enthusiasm to get people to join us in the madness and participate.

Now that a concept was figured out with a target date set for May's "Friday for the Arts" on 5/14/2010, it was time to "plan" (sort of) this beast of a project.

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