Archive for the ‘Art’ Category


Photo Inspiration : Howard Schatz

March 29, 2016

In my need for boldness and contrast, Howard Schatz quickly caught my attention as inspiration. Schatz is a New York photographer well know for his various portraits of athletes, dancers, fashion and other models. With the help of his wife and editor, Beverly Ornstein, Schatz has more than 20 published books of his extremely detailed, powerful and creative photographs. [Read more on Howard Schatz from Gallery M.]

Kaillie Humphries, Gold Medal Olympic Bobsledder | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2011

Kaillie Humphries, Gold Medal Olympic Bobsledder | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2011



It’s quite obvious when browsing Schatz’s portfolio, he loves black and white. Can you blame him? Not only does black and white make beautiful contrast on any subject matter, but it allows the focus to be on the details rather than any color distractions.

NBN #559 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

NBN #559 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007


Duomo di Siena, photographed in Siena, Italy, June 2002. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013

Duomo di Siena, photographed in Siena, Italy, June 2002. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013



While many of his works are in black and white, he doesn’t shy away from color. In fact, when his images are in color, they are bold, crisp and completely stunning! Which is exactly what color should be. {In my opinion.} 🙂

Powder Study #1025 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

Powder Study #1025 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

Beauty Study #1221, Zhanna, photographed in New York City, April 2011. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013

Beauty Study #1221, Zhanna, photographed in New York City, April 2011. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013


Photography is very much about composition and the “big picture.” While I never want to take away from images that focus on a bigger picture, what about the little things in life? Schatz has made an effort in various areas of his work, including a study titled “Folds,” to focus in on the interesting details of his subject. Doing so can be so refreshing and breathtaking.

Human Body Study 1130 Chrissie Wellington, 3-Time Iron Man Champion | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2010

Human Body Study 1130 Chrissie Wellington, 3-Time Iron Man Champion | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2010

Folds Study #1383 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007

Folds Study #1383 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2007



Lastly, his work is not in any way “put in a box.” Schatz portfolio has a wide variety of styles, subject matter and ideas. I relate to this well, as I enjoy many types of photography. It’s mentally and visually stimulating to have such diversity in one’s portfolio. Even his portrait work is extremely different from series to series. What a breath of fresh air!

Newborn Study #1563 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016

Newborn Study #1563 | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016

Underwater Study #3093, Amanda Cobb, photographed in Sherman, CT, August 2006. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016

Underwater Study #3093, Amanda Cobb, photographed in Sherman, CT, August 2006. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2016


Golden Gate Bridge, photographed in San Francisco, January 2003. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013

Golden Gate Bridge, photographed in San Francisco, January 2003. | Image © Schatz\Ornstein 2013


I could probably spend HOURS browsing his work, and finding things I love. It’s strongly encouraged for everyone to visit his portfolio website at, where the images here were found! Some viewer discretion may be advised, as many of his works contain nudity and sexual related content. For those with an open mind, I promise you won’t be disappointed with this photographer’s stunning works! Enjoy.

Once again, thank you all for reading! To get more updates from Noel Photography and Design, follow me here on WordPress by email or blog. Don’t forget to also hit that LIKE button on Facebook. 🙂

Happy Creating!



Want To Do It For Free?

September 17, 2014

Yes, the title is as bad as it sounds! We sadly live in a society, who not only wants us to do our work for free, but they EXPECT it. Many clients see [art-based services] as just a hobby, merely because artists love passionately what they do! And clearly, you shouldn’t charge for doing what you love. *Insert hint of sarcasm*

Despite whether someone is in love with their job or not, I still have to ask those with this point-of-view, “Would YOU want to put hours of hard work in for someone else and get absolutely nothing out of it?” When you call a repair man, you not only pay for parts, but you pay for services, as well. Why should a product and service related to art be any different?


As I have been working hard the last few weeks on a freelance career, along with finding the right full time position, I have come across this issue personally, and several times recently in social media. So naturally…I figured I should write about it.

Society is definitely a part of the problem for “expecting” it, and we can point many fingers towards them for it. However, as artists, designers, and creators, we have to remember there are still three fingers pointing back. Unfortunately, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, often times we add to the problem. We think nothing of a “free job here and there,” when in reality we are helping to make the “starving artist” persona.


“If you don’t respect your own creative skills, others won’t either.” – Stephen Silver


So today’s blog post isn’t about pointing the finger and b*tching about society (despite how annoying they can be.) It’s about educating how we can help ourselves and our fellow artists break the cycle. If we happen to educate society along the way, then two bird with one stone I say. However, until we all start respecting our creative skills, people will always have room to “expect.”


In one sentence, what can we do? STOP GIVING IT AWAY FOR FREE! Know your worth and be willing to stand up for that. It’s ok to tell somebody no. If they’re not paying you, it’s not like you’re really missing out anyway. To further explain, “stop giving it away for free,” these are a few red flags to watch for:



Many companies and organizations will ask you to do them a “favor” by letting them use your [image, artwork or design.] In return they say they are helping to give you exposure, that might lead to more jobs. Sounds like a fair trade right? IT’S NOT. If you work out a service for service trade that you find satisfactory, fine, but “exposure” is not a fair trade. Most companies won’t even give proper credits after they take your work. So you’ve gained nothing and they’ve gained a free piece. In most scenarios, companies should be giving credit to the artist even if they’ve bought it! Don’t let them fool you into thinking they are doing you a favor. Let’s face it, with social media, websites, and making a strong, positive reputation, there are far better ways to gain exposure than doing work for free. Just rely on your skills!



Clients will sometimes bargain on price by giving hope they will contact you for future jobs.  This can be very enticing to an artist for many reasons. Including, more experience, more work, more money and gaining a long term client. When a client says, “If you will do it well for ‘this price’ instead of ‘your price,’ I may just have to use you for some of my upcoming projects!” It’s usually a red flag they are trying to just get you to your bottom dollar. However, unless physically contracted for future work, you are guaranteed nothing! They get an immediate price cut and you get hopes and dreams of more work. If you’re not careful with this tactic, you may find yourself cheated on pay. After getting the price cut, you realize later the time going into the project for what they expect, exceeds the amount of time you charged for. Just remember, unless contracted, they have no obligation to call you for “future work.”  It seems everyone now-a-days is looking to squeeze others down to their final dollar. But in this industry- YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!



This is not to say we should never be flexible, but be HONEST with people. Don’t be afraid to nicely explain that in order to do what they need, ensure a quality and timely result, you will need to charge “X-amount.” Feel free to turn it around and encourage that if after the first project they continue to use your business regularly, perhaps you can find a way to help them out on cost as well. (i.e… package deals, X% off a project of $100+, etc.) Just be careful to under promise and over deliver!



Whether its a job that takes 30 minutes or one that lasts all week, time is money. If you’re putting full efforts in it, you should be getting full payment. Have you ever visited the doctor, and spent 5 minutes in the office, but you still have to pay a good sum for an “office visit,” plus your medication? Patients in a scenario like this, pay for product and service, and part of that service is experience and knowledge. Remind clients, the reason we can finish a quality project so quickly is because of our education, experience, and expertise on the subject. Like any other profession, you get paid for that!

One of my biggest pet peeves is how employers want years of experience, but want to pay you the absolute minimum. On the flip side, if you have little experience, again they feel it should be done for free. Notice in the previous paragraph I bolded ‘education.’ Just because you may not have 5+ years experience, doesn’t mean you don’t have the talent or necessary skills they need. EDUCATION IS EXPERIENCE! They’re just looking for a reason to get free work. So whether it’s $20 or $200, make sure you’re charging for your time and expertise. Be fair and be reasonable to both them and YOURSELF. Obviously if you are a new-bee, charging a professional rate is unethical, but being entry level doesn’t justify them not paying you.


(I came across this post recently of a company wanting to pay an experienced employee for entry level. The response is great!)

Craigslist Ad



One of the biggest red flags is if a client, or business won’t sign a creative service contract. Something that specifically ties both parties to: what was discussed, pricing agreements, and list of what services will be included. If they roll their eyes, say its not necessary, or tell you that you can trust them– you probably can’t. This is an easy way for businesses to get free work by coming back with the excuse, “that’s not what we agreed on at the start of the project.” Too quickly it can become “he said, she said,” and you’ll be once again fooled into working for free, or a fraction of the cost. If your client won’t sign any sort of agreement, it’s best to thank them for their time and walk out. Whether they believe it or not, most successful businesses that have integrity, were built on contracts. Not having a contract is shady!



While it’s important to stand your ground,  yes, there is a place and time to offer free work. They key is to choose wisely. Maybe you have a charity or cause you strongly support- help them out! I firmly believe it’s important to help others when we can. Just be sure to set boundaries and stick to them (because takers never do.) For example, perhaps you limit yourself to help with an annual event for a cause you support. In a nutshell, be wise in choosing people who NEED help, and not those who are just taking advantage. Once you have found someone in need, make sure your limitations are clear. After that, it’s simple.


As a closing note, society will continue to walk all over artists, designers and creators, IF we let them. Know your skills, know your worth, and don’t be afraid to stand by your work. It’s OK to say no!

“Someone, somewhere will love what you do, (AND PAY FOR IT). Find them.”– Unknown

We don’t have to make society believe artists are “a dime a dozen,” when really we’re one-of-a-kind!

Thanks for reading & be sure to ‘LIKE’ Noel Photography & Design on Facebook. Get blog updates by following me here on WordPress, or sign up for email subscriptions!

Happy Creating 🙂



Frame Up-Cycling: Repainting and Backing (2 of 2)

July 8, 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed the first section of this tutorial Frame Up-Cycling: Repainting and Backing (1 of 2). So, now that we have the frame painted, its time to go through the steps of fast and simple backing. On this particular piece, I am framing a chalkboard, but I will insert specific changes for framing photography\artwork.



1. Your frame & the item you’ll be framing (Remember to take accurate measurements of the size of the frame.)

2a. IF YOU ARE FRAMING ART WORK- You’ll need a piece of glass cut to the proper size. I suggest a regular piece of glass from Lowes, Home Depot or Menards. Non-glare glass is really the best which can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. A cheaper option is clear acrylic.

2b. The chalkboard I will be using is glass spray painted with chalkboard paint.

3. Two to three ACID FREE foam core boards. You can find these at Michaels\Hobby Lobby. The size depends on your frame, but it should fit as close as possible.

4. White\black Poster board

5. Staple gun

What you'll need.

What you’ll need.



Artwork Related Steps:

1. Clean glass with either rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or hot water and mild soap.

2. Make sure the glass has dried well, then insert your photograph\artwork. If you are using a matte on the picture, again be sure its acid free.

3. In this tutorial, I am simply inserting my chalkboard.

Insert artwork or item to frame.

Insert artwork or item into frame.



Next, using the acid free foam core boards, stack 2-3 boards behind the artwork\subject matter. Most average frames will only require 2 boards. The over all goal here is to make sure that the boards fill at least to the top edge or slightly above the frame opening. This will hold everything tightly for the final cover.

Stack boards behind artwork.

Stack boards behind artwork.



Using the poster board, you will now cover the filler boards. The poster board must be cut large enough to sit on the frame edges. By having the poster board sitting on the frame edges, and then stapling the poster board to the edges you will hold the glass, artwork and filler boards tight and secure in the frame.

Poster Board Placement

Poster Board Placement

Staple Poster Board to the Frame Edge

Staple Poster Board to the Frame Edge



After you are finished stapling, YOU’RE DONE BACKING! The last thing to do is to add the hanging hook of your choice. Here is my finished project!







Good luck on step two of up-cycling a frame. Please share and comment with any questions. Remember to follow Noel Photography & Design here on WordPress and click here to find me on Facebook!



Frame Up-Cycling: Repainting and Backing (1 of 2)

April 23, 2014

There are so many ways to be creative in photography- including when it comes to framing. If you’re like me, you enjoy having creative projects, and you know that framing can be expensive. Therefore, in this [two part] tutorial, I will first be giving instruction on how to antique a flea market frame. In a later post, I will follow this with a tutorial on how to easily back an older frame. So let’s get started!


1. Two-Three paint colors of your choice. (This particular frame works well with 3 colors because of its layered look. Most other frames will only need 2 colors, the base and antiquing color. Not pictured is the antiquing color: Martha Stewart, Black nickel in metallic.)

2. Medium size paint brush

3. Light-Medium weight sanding block

4. Paper towels & Newspaper\cardboard

Americana Acrylic Paint (Colors: Sea Glass & Lt. Buttermilk)

Americana Acrylic Paint
(Colors: Sea Glass & Lt. Buttermilk)



As previously mentioned in Trash or Treasure?: Flea Markets & Up-cycling, its important to make sure the frame you choose can handle any work you will be doing to it. (Unless you’re prepared to fix it!) The frame should be structurally sound to take stapling for re-backing, and strong enough to hold for wall hanging. (No rotting wood, nails falling out, or old glue likely to come apart.)

In addition, the wood\texture should be strong enough to with stand some light sanding. Occasionally, older frames have soft wood, which is fine. In fact, it can often add character to your project. However, avoid overly soft wood that crumbles to the touch or brush. Here is the frame I have chosen:

Flea Market Frame

Now that you’ve found the right frame, it’s time to prepare it for paint. As I mentioned, older frames are fragile overall because of just that- they’re old! Therefore, you will want to use a fine to medium weight sand paper. All you’re really trying to do is mildly “rough up” the surface so the paint can grab hold. Do NOT use powered sanders. Most sanders are so powerful they will sand any designs right off or ruin the older frame!

After you’ve finished sanding, using a wet paper towel wipe down all surfaces of the frame. This will allow your paint to apply and stick easier by removing dirt from sanding and being in storage.

Light Sanding & Wipe clean

Light Sanding & Wipe clean



First apply the base coats. Since this frame is actually consistent of two frames layered, I chose to paint the inner frame with the Sea Glass and the outer frame with the Buttermilk (ivory) color. Be sure to use two coats to eliminate streaking and inconsistent color.

1 Coat vs. 2 Coats

1 Coat vs. 2 Coats



Next, using the black metallic color, we will do the antiquing. The easiest way to get an antiqued look is to use  a “dry brushing” technique. That means using minimal paint (or a basically dry brush) and a light hand movement over the surface. This technique tends to be easier on textured surfaces, but it can be done on either textured or flat. Here is what both may look like:

Flat Frame vs. Textured Frame

Flat Frame vs. Textured Frame



TA DA! Here is it looks like after everything’s done!

Finish1 Finish2



Good luck and please ask any questions you may have! This is a two part tutorial, so get started on your frame painting project and be ready for the follow up of how to back an old frame. Remember to find me on Facebook and follow me here on WordPress. Until next time!



Trash or Treasure? Flea Markets and Up-cycling.

August 5, 2013

Hello friends and Bloggers!

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for a new artsy project or cool decor, while saving a little green.  My way of doing that is heading out to local flea markets and antique shops to search for awesome finds! But if you’ve ever been to a second hand store, you know that there is a lot of just plain junk. So here are some helpful ways to find useful items and things you can refurbish for your own home, without becoming a hoarder or having an up-cycle project blow up in your face!


1. HAVE SOMETHING IN MIND BEFORE YOU GO. Before even leaving your house have things in mind that you are looking for. Maybe you need a cool old frame, an interesting vase or a new dresser to repaint. Whatever it may be, remember what you’re going for and don’t pick up random stuff.  Many people look at stuff and say ‘I’ll think of something to use this for later.” That’s when hoarding starts! 🙂 So remember what you need and stick to it.

2. ASK YOURSELF THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. Where will I put it? What will I use it for? Can I buy it new for the same price? If you don’t have useful answers for the first two questions, and you can buy it new for the same cost, this is a bad purchase. When we find interesting things we don’t have a plan for, once again it’s hoarding. This would be my only exception to rule #1. If you find something not on your list, but you REALLY DO have a plan or idea for it, then buy it for “someday,” otherwise leave it on the shelf.  Your, “I’ll think of something later,” box is full enough. We can’t always plan for what we find, but we can ALWAYS know what we’ll do with them before we buy.

3. MAKE SURE ITS DURABLE. This is an important rule to follow when you are buying items or furniture with plans to refurbish. NEVER buy an item without making sure its stable, durable and can handle whatever beating it will be taking when you are redoing it. If an item’s foundation isn’t strong, its a BAD purchase. You’ll end up putting more into remodeling it, then if you would just go to the store and buy exactly what you want. Not to mention, your project will quickly turn from fun to a terrible disaster.

4. THINK ABOUT IT. If you come across something you like but you can’t answer those three questions correctly, LEAVE AND THINK ABOUT IT. The nice thing about flea markets and antique stores is you can walk away from something and it will be there a couple days later. If you are unsure about your purchase, go home, do some research. If you decide it’s a useful, good buy then go get it later. Nine times out of ten, it will still be there or another booth has the exact same thing.

5. SHOP FOR YOURSELF ONLY. Remember not everyone enjoys second hand finds. Don’t buy things for people unless you know they really will take it and use it. Otherwise you just end up with more stuff you don’t need, or force your friends to keep stuff they don’t need!


I hope this will help you keep your junk to a minimum and help make the most out of your treasures. I always love a good craft project, and cool finds. But when our creativity outruns reality, we need these simple rules to keep us in check. Happy hunting! 🙂



Eclectic Infusion: Alternative Process Photography

May 23, 2013

I realized too much time has passed since I posted some more stuff from my show. So today I wanted to share my alternative process work that I created. The first image is a set called Cyanotypes. The images after that are called Lumitypes.










Lumitypes: This series is dedicated to my mom, Michele, who pasted away in 2010. This was a completely new process to me, and I decided to dedicate it to her because she was always pushing me to try new things.






























Hope you enjoyed, comments and questions are always welcome. Be sure to follow me on WordPress AND Facebook to keep up with me!



Eclectic Infusion Photography

April 15, 2013

After a VERY long wait for all of you- here is a recap on my senior show! The first set of images are a few from my Dance series, followed by  a select few from the Abandoned Series. Enjoy!













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