2014.08.09 Bad Decisions with Lizzy Modink
I lived in Philadelphia for a few years before I moved to California. I was fortunate enough to get back to Philly twice in the fall of 2013. The first time was for pleasure - I mostly hung out with friends. I shot with Shawna Lynn. I shot these three sets of Lucy Jaye. The second time was to defend myself in court against a lawsuit filed by my ex-girlfriend. It’s complicated.
I needed food after my day in court so I started walking along Chestnut Street until I hit 7th and walked into Jones, a restaurant that I love. I had texted with Lizzy Modink earlier and she was on her way to meet me. Eventually she appeared, a tiny creature eternally covered in leather and metal.
We ate, I had a drink, she had a dessert, then we went back to my hotel to shoot. As always, the lighting wasn’t ideal, but as always, I adapted. A lot of my more interesting shoots involve a clash of styles - shooting glamour with art models (they hate it), shooting fashion with glamour models (it confuses them), or, with Lizzy, trying to grind out a middle ground between her goth metal horror style and my simple, grimy aesthetic.
One of the common criticisms of my work is that it doesn’t look polished enough. But I’ve never strived for my photos to look polished. I want my photos to feel accessible, so that anyone looking at them feels as if they could have taken them. I want my photos to capture what was really happening, and nothing more - in this case, it was a crazy goth girl gyrating in a hotel room.
People who say that they live with no regrets are usually idiots. Never thinking about the past is worse than thinking about it too much. I’ve made some bad choices in my life - for example, the types of choices that result in me flying across the country to defend myself in court. But some of these choices also resulted in me walking down Chestnut Street on a beautiful night in November, eating at a restaurant that I love, and taking strange, sexy photos in an expensive hotel room. I hope to make more horrible decisions in the near future.