It’s All Happening

One of my favorite lines from the movie Almost Famous is “it’s all happening” and the excitement that comes with it.  Well, it’s all happening here too!  I’ve got so many projects coming to an end and finally ready for publication and have finally finished my book on The Seduction Sessions!  The first copies will be arriving the first week of November!  Naked Travels will be wrapping up very soon too!  By the first week of December that project should be totally finished!  And then I might have to start Naked Travels 2.0 the first of next year.

But I have another new project I am working on!  It is a series of books.  Each book is a different part of the series, I will share some of the images here on this site but the majority will only be available in the book.  The whole reason I am doing this is because I really believe in having tangible pieces of my work out there and not just floating around out on the web.  The series is based on my Playground and the different sets I have shot over the past few years.  Some of the books will be from editorials I have shot for magazines but with many more images!

When I shoot editorials, there are usually so many great shots to choose from, but we have to narrow it down to 10-12 images for publication.  I figure, why not take these shoots and show the entire story, not edited down to so few images, but enough to have a small book made just from the session!  I have many sessions where there are 50-100 keepers easy.  And There are some models where I have shot multiple sessions with them so why not show this work?  I didn’t shoot these images to leave them hiding on my hard drive, I shot them so the world could see them!

I will be trying to edit at least one book every two weeks or less!  I am almost finished with the first book.  Once it is ready I will be posting it here and on my shop for people to purchase it at a very reasonable price!

Here is one of the images from the first book, it is from my editorial shoot with Kara, and just remember, it’s all happening!

Kara by The Average Jim

All About The Feels

I think one thing that has always given me success in my career is the simple fact that I don’t try to be like anyone else.  Sometimes my work will look something like somebody else’s work, I’m not claiming to be the only one who does what I do at all.  But I definitely go into each session wanting a certain style out of what I do.

I really like that raw look.  Imperfection is definitely perfection in my book.  I think the reason I really like 60’s fashion is because they were still experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what they could do with the film they had and the cameras they had.  You didn’t have nearly unlimited ISO like you do today, and they didn’t always have the sharpest lenses either!  So you would get this amazing film grain and just enough softness to give it some mystery.

There is also a nostalgia to it for me.  When I am shooting and then editing, I don’t usually think of the technical, I think of how the images make me feel.  Do they give me that sense of nostalgia from when I was a kid in high school, working in the yearbook darkroom, wanting to work in fashion one day?  Do my images inspire me to keep doing what I am doing?  This is when I love what I do.  I can dig through my archives of images and pull out some from years ago and I still get that feeling!

If you want to know my trick to my photography it is pretty simple.  I don’t shoot for the technical aspects of it at all.  I shoot for the mood and the way the images make me feel.  It is the way I shoot boudoir, fashion and weddings.  I have to feel what is happening in order to see what is happening.  This might not make sense to everyone, but it does to me and that is why I will continue to do things the way I have been doing them for years.  Because I love the way I feel about it all.

Here is one from over 5 years ago.

Brittany by The Average Jim

Just in time for Star Wars and Christmas!

I will be offering a limited edition, metal print of two of my favorite people!  Roarie and Lola!  This is a signed, limited to only 25 prints total, metal print of Roarie and Lola as my interpretation of Darth Vader and Princess Leia!  These are numbered 1/25 – 25/25 and are 12″ x 12″ (this size of a record album) and come with either a wall hanger or easel back.  Each one is signed by myself and will ship within 5 business days!

The price for this limited edition print is only $299.00 plus actual shipping.

Get an original piece of art just in time for the new Star Wars Movie premier!  :)  This is something for the Star Wars perv, I mean nerd in all of us! ;)

Lola and Roarie by The Average Jim

The Interactive Jim

I really like working with clients in many different kinds of ways.  And when I say “client” I mean anyone who is willing to pay for a photo shoot, mentoring or even a one-on-one workshop.  I really like the creative process and being able to work together with others to make it happen.

One of my latest creations is taking workshops to a different level.  Some people charge $1200 for a one day workshop where you are in a group of several photographers and working with a few different models and you don’t really get a lot of shooting time with the model.  I want to offer something different.  I wish to offer the solo workshop.  This is where you get the full attention of a workshop but you are the only one shooting.  This way you get my full attention, help with the direction of the model and how I would shoot and edit an entire session.

To me I don’t want to make a living out of teaching workshops but I really enjoy working with other photographers and I don’t want to work with large groups.  My last workshop was a small group and it really worked well.  It really made me want to do more things like this.  I’ll be making a page on this site soon with rates and what they include, but the individual workshops will probably be around $1200 and include a magazine quality model, one on one mentoring and shooting along with hair and make up, wardrobe and a stylized shoot.  Of course this would be how I style my shoots and come up with my ideas.  This is why I need to write it all out, otherwise I get lost in my own description!

The other thing I have been doing lately is kind of a “collector’s circle” where people get to see my work before anyone else.  There is a small monthly fee for this, but depending on what package you would like you have the ability to see all the photos from a shoot or the “director’s cut” and just the final images I choose before narrowing it down for magazine submission.  This also comes with up to 50% off of art prints, including my collection of Polaroid and Fuji Instax instant one of a kind prints.  This is just one way of being able to offer savings to those who like my work and who wish to purchase art for themselves!  There are also some gifts which come along with these packages, if you’d like to know what they are send me an email.  These packages start at just $49.00 a month!  I will be talking a little more about these packages in the days and weeks to come, including a really cool one where you get to help in the selection process from picking the model all the way to the final edits!

Life is good here at The Average Jim’s Playground, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon!

Here is one more Fuji Instax print which will be on by the end of the week, in fact there is a whole series of Jessamyne which will be up for sale!

Jessamyne by The Average Jim


Cult Classic Freedom

We live in an interesting world.  I am starting to realize that, if I were to compare myself to the movie industry, I am not an Oscar Award winning movie.  I am more of a cult classic.  The jury is still out if I am Attack of The Killer Tomatoes or Night of The Living Dead but I am kind of hoping more for The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

I do not think I was ever meant to be main stream in anything I have ever done.  I think my censor has always been a little off from the norm.  I like weird things, I like taking photos that are not quite the typical fashion or glamour type of images.  This is why I will do things completely differently from other photographers.  I like the freedom of expression that comes with what I do.  There are no rules, just a different point of view.

It really seems that the only trouble I have ever had in this business is when I have tried to do things the way you are supposed to.  When I follow the rules is when people seem to get upset, or when they call the cops!  But when I do some weird stuff or travel to places I probably should not be, there is never an issue.  Not that I’m doing anything that bad at all, but when you follow the rules you tend to be open to more eyes who assume you are doing something wrong.

I think I like my cult status.  It allows me to be me without regret, without responsibility!  I have no guidelines or preconceived notions to follow.  I’m the quarterback who gets to call his own plays.  This is freedom, this is fun!  I think I want to keep it this way for as long as possible!

Here is an outtake from my editorial shoot with Chelsea for Cake-Mag, still one of my favorite shoots and I’m still finding confetti everywhere!

Chelsea by The Average Jim


Lighting the Fire

Funny story.  I am in the process of finally finishing up my long awaited book on The Seduction Sessions.  I started this project many years ago and the whole reason I never finished the book is, if I am being honest, I wanted to keep shooting it!  It is a fun project and can be taken into some pretty cool directions.  But the funny part is why I am wrapping it all up.  My mom wants a copy of the book!

Yes, The Average Mother is the one who is lighting a fire under my ass to get this book printed and ordered!  I find it funny because so many people in the past have questioned me about shooting nudes and some erotic type of work.  Some have said I just want to see nude women, some have said I must do this type of work for sexual gratification or because I want to have an affair with the models.  Nope, I grew up in a home where nudity was not taboo and sexuality was not a sin.

So while so many have condemned my work, granted there have been many more who like what I do and have encouraged it, but I think my biggest fan is my own mother.  So she will be getting the very first copy of The Seduction Sessions.  I think she deserves it, after all, she raised The Average Jim as a child, I think she is happy to just have lived through that!

Here is one that I have probably published on this site before, or at least a version of it, but oh well.  Here is Kendra.

Kendra by The Average Jim

The Real Thing

I have to admit, some days I have no clue what I am doing.  Sometimes I look at my work and have absolutely no idea where I fit in.  There is a little bit of fashion, a dash of glamour, some hints of portraiture and a few other odds and ends mixed in there.  And I don’t think I am the only photographer who thinks this way.  I know many who struggle to figure out their own little niche, where their work will sell and who their clients will be.

I remember watching an interview with Dave Gahan, the lead singer of Depeche Mode.  He went through a huge depression in the middle of his career, he was actually suicidal.  There was one thing he talked about which really hit home with me.  For years he didn’t think he was good enough.  He would watch other performers and see how charismatic they were on stage, and they sang differently and he thought he had to try to emulate them to continue his success in the music industry.  He had no idea how many people loved him for who he was and that is why he had success.  But even with success he wanted to be somebody else.  This is a very common insecurity of many artists in all different genres.

We put work out there and we do want people to like it.  Anyone who puts work out there and says the don’t care if people like it is lying.  I don’t give two shits about what people think of me, but that has also come with time because I know there are people out there who like my work.  There are those who hate it too, but that just comes with the territory.

Now in this age of social media we all want “likes”, gotta get those likes to prove we are good.  Well, I hate to be the one to say this but, getting likes doesn’t mean you’re good.  It just means you have some form of internet popularity.  Unless those likes directly result in you pushing your product, they really don’t mean anything.  I have had a lot of people tell me they like my work, but the ones who actually open their wallet and buy it from me, well that means a lot!

Back to my point, sorry drifted away for a bit.  When you put yourself (or your work) out there it is going to be criticized, like it or not.  Some people will hate it out of jealousy, some will just hate it.  Some will like it because they know your work and just kind of like what you do.  Others will actually love it.  Focus on them.  These are the people who may not click the like button every single time, but when they do, they actually like the work.  If you can figure out what it is they like and repeat it, then you know you’re on to something.  But on this path, don’t try to be someone else, you really need to stay true to who you are.  This is hard sometimes, but you have to stay true to yourself.  Above and beyond all other things you do, this is the heart of your work.  This is where the life of your art begins and ends.  If someone is going to hate you for your work, then let them hate the real you and tough shit.  Because the ones who love what you do will appreciate you and your work so much more if you put your soul into it.  Think about it this way, would you rather see your favorite band live or a cover band playing your favorite band’s music live?  Both are filled with talented musicians, but if you’re given the option you will probably want the real thing.  Be true, be real, be bold.

Here is one from the archives… Jordan

Jordan by The Average Jim


House Guests at The Average Jim’s Playground

A few weeks ago my friend Roarie came out to visit us in Palm Springs.  She is a traveling model, literally just travels the world modeling for photographers and artists.  We met her years ago when she was just starting out and have been friends ever since!  This is the cool side of the industry, or I should say the good side.  When you get to meet like minded people who just want to create fun images, sometimes artistic sometimes just silly!

This time she brought some friends with her, another model and a photographer from Australia.  I made us tacos, we had some drinks, hung out in the pool and hot tub later on and just had a good time.  These are the days I really like.  Good times with good people.  This is what I love about The Average Jim’s Playground, fun just seems to happen here!  That and people tend to run around naked a lot.

Of course I had to shoot with Roarie when she was here!  We did some different styles, and we also shot some Fuji Instax instant film.  We also shot for my Naked Travels project!  Some of these photos you can see on my tumblr and some you will be able to purchase on my online store very soon and some you will only be able to see in the Naked Travels book!  But for now, here is one of Roarie and Brittany just hanging out in the pool!

Roarie and Brittany by The Average Jim

The Fun-Loving, Beer Drinking, Making Sexy Happen Average Jim

If there is one thing I am not good at in life it would be taking anything seriously.  I have a deep passion for photography and art and the whole creative process, but I just can’t be super serious about it.  If I’m not having fun and enjoying it then I am doing something wrong!  And I don’t mean the cheesy way photographers are always prancing around in their designer jeans, fancy shirt and talking about how cool their job is type of fun.  I mean, I just like to shoot what I like to shoot!  Which just so happens to be fun editorial styles for weddings, boudoir photography and every now and then I will still shoot a fun magazine editorial.

Here is a little bit about me, and maybe you can see where I’m heading with my work right now.  I like cars, motorcycles, guitars, living life to the fullest and a cold beer!  I don’t mix words, I’ll tell you how I feel about something and you will definitely know if I don’t like something.  The Average Jim’s Playground is a no bullshit zone.

I’ve seen other photographers write about how boudoir is such a great experience and how it empowers women.  I will agree with this 100%, but it is also about embracing the sexier side of yourself!  I have shot for several magazines over the years and the idea is always about creating a mood which is sexy, powerful and a total tease.  Leave them wanting more!  Even if it is a nude shoot, leave them wanting more!

From now on my boudoir sessions will probably be my focus, more than the editorials.  But these sessions will not be normal boudoir sessions as I was to bring my editorial, crazy, fun styles to all of my boudoir sessions!  These sessions will take longer, and no mini sessions will be available as I will be putting the same type of pre-production work into a boudoir session as I would for a magazine editorial.  Mood boards, discussing the shoot beforehand and prepping the sets and props.

I’m not the guy who will have a stupid little hairdo and squiggly patterns on his designer shirt.  I’m a t-shirt and jeans, cowboy hat or baseball cap wearing, beer drinking, fun-loving, hard rock loving, guy who just wants to create beautiful images with awesome people.  As I have always said, I make sexy happen, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

Here is one from a recent shoot at my new playground in Palm Springs!

Jessamyne by The Average Jim

The Original Average Jim’s Playground

A week ago today I spent the very last day at my original playground.  After 17 years and two months, I said goodbye to my studio in Ventura, CA.  I know it is for the best and I absolutely love my new playground in Palm Springs, CA, but it was a little sad saying goodbye after all of these years.

I photographed numerous clients in this space, everything from boudoir photography, look books, portraits, commercial jobs, and the list goes on and on.  If I listed everyone who I photographed at this studio (which I would probably forget many names to put on the list) it would be the longest blog post ever!

I find myself trying to figure out what is next?  I already have a great place to shoot, but what will I be photographing next?  I’m two hours outside of LA so I won’t be doing much agency model work at all, at least not for the agencies.  The population out this way is not as big as where I was so I can’t count on the number of boudoir sessions as before.  But what do I want to do?

Honestly, I want to do whatever I want to do!  This is a new chapter in my photographic life.  I honestly don’t care if I get published, if I become tumblr famous or if people stop following me because I’m not the “coolest” photographer on Instagram.  I don’t care about fake followers and I am smart enough to know I’m a big enough asshole to never win a popularity contest.

Now I just wish to shoot what I wish to shoot.  I like shooting weddings and photographing women.  I think for now I will just keep on doing that.  Some jobs will pay better than others, but that is fine with me.

It is hard to say goodbye, but that is what happens when you rent, they can raise the rent, you can choose not to renew the lease, and the building can change ownership, or all of the above!  It was fun while it lasted, I will probably never have a space quite like this again.  But my new space needs to be photographed more.  I need to push forward and find my new thing.

So be ready for new images coming very soon!  I have many new ideas and I can’t wait to start shooting again!  But for now, I just want to say goodbye old friend.  Thank you for many years of wonderful craziness and adventures!  You will never be forgotten and the memories will last a lifetime.

I honestly could not pick out one photo to put on the blog for this, so I decided to put up many photos, all taken at The Average Jim’s Playground in Ventura.  ;)

Amanda by The Average Jim Robyn by The Average Jim Casey by The Average Jim Kayle and Parris by The Average Jim Roarie and Lola by The Average Jim Roarie by The Average Jim Kara by The Average Jim Chelsea by The Average Jim Desirey by The Average Jim Lucy by The Average Jim Jessica by The Average Jim Tori by The Average Jim Jillian by The Average Jim Olivia Jordan by The Average Jim Danielle and Louie by The Average Jim Hope by The Average Jim Amanda by The Average Jim


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