Forrest Black & Amelia G
(Sets: 810 Images: 50885)
I never intended to be a photographer. I created Blue Blood because I wanted both to provide a venue for wonderful work of all sorts which would otherwise languish in obscurity and to inspire creative people to tap their own talents and create more work. The magazine always had writers and photographic subjects and illustrators who were all terrific. But I started publishing at a time before digital cameras were viable for print production and photographers in the community were few and far between. As the magazine’s editor, I was finding the people to photograph. They were almost never models at the time or at least would not have regarded themselves as such. They were my friends, people I met out at night, people who mailed their photos to the magazine wanting to strut their stuff in its glossy pages. I worried about setting these people I cared about up to shoot with photographers who wouldn’t necessary behave as nicely as I thought they should. Forrest, who was the magazine’s art director at the time, was not really enjoying all the post production he was having to do on photo layouts which didn’t entirely meet his design requirements. So we figured how hard could it be, when we knew what we wanted the pictures to be like. As it turned out, pretty hard, but we hugely enjoyed the new additional creative outlet.
Pretty soon, Forrest and I found we were shooting prolifically far more than we could publish in Blue Blood and we sometimes wanted to shoot subjects which did not fit Blue Blood’s couples-oriented format. The internet is a great way to reach one’s true audience without too many middlemen in the way, but magazines will always be my first love when it comes to media. Forrest’s and my list of magazine credits reflects this. I’m pretty sure it is longer than that of anyone else I know. An incomplete list of folks who have published our photographic work includes Alternative Press, Ascension, AVN, AVN Online, Barely Legal, Blue Blood, Burrn!, Celebrity Sleuth, Chic, Dirty, Draculina, Extreme Fetish, Fetish, Ghastly, Girlfriends, Gothic Beauty, Gothic Magazine, Juggernaut, Kaleidoscope, Leg World, Lollipop, Marquis, Metal Edge, Meltdown, Movement, MTV, New Grave, New Rave, On Our Backs, Orkus, Penthouse, Permission, Playboy, Secret, Skin Two, Sonic Seducer, $pread Magazine, SWAG Magazine, Taboo, Tattoo Savage, Women in Power, and Zillo. This includes dozens of magazine covers. We have photographed members of more than one hundred bands and shot dozens of clothing designers' lines.
We started out shooting medium format film, eventually moving to mostly 35mm largely because I like doing guerrilla shoots in naughty places and it was easier to run with a 35. We learned how to do our own color darkroom work because the photo labs always tried to change the colors on our prints to make our subjects look tan. This would make the walls look sort of burnt sienna, yet the photo printing professionals would attempt it anyway. We loved pale skin and, even when we worked with fantasy colors, it felt really nice to have artistic control over what those fantasy colors would be.
In a digital medium like the internet, it makes sense for us to incorporate digital photographic work now, but our experience with film still informs everything about Blue Blood. Very few sites make the extra effort to feature magazine quality photography, but, to me, having the highest possible quality of images is vitally important. I’m very proud of Blue Blood’s photography, not just because a lot of it is shot by yours truly and Forrest Black, but because I love being able to share the work of so many great talents with the world. –Amelia G, Los Angeles, November 2005