FRICTION/MOTION (the extended version)


friction: the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact.
motion: an impulse or inclination of the mind or will.

story by duston todd + phillip istomin
photography duston todd
starring keely king + phillip istomin
hair, make up, wardrobe, and assistance jillyn leone and vanessa alder
car provided by olivier raunier

my many thanks to such an incredible creative team.
you turned words and ideas into a breath.

dead duck

dead duck. noun. a person or thing that is beyond help, redemption, or hope.

colors are flying. characters are painted. and ships are sailing.
i am thankful that i have been true to my heart and true to my soul, true to myself, and that i will continue to be and do so.
to live in a colorless world, sucked of vibrance and warmth, where sincerity and originality and authenticity are removed, would be a sad, hollow, dead duck.


getting real.
facing myself, my real reflection.
tearing down my walls.

this is my chest. this is my heart. and it is open. it is open to the licks of life’s salty tongue.
this is truth at its vulnerable core.
this is life changing.
this is empowering.

so what moves me to create such an image?
i have been shaken by several forces. i have realized i need to change. this is my journey to healing and understanding. perhaps through my art will come the answers.
not typical of my other work? i know.
recently watching “water for elephants”, a line in the movie is stated that life is “nothing but talent and illusion”. i have consciously known for years i have nearly perfected this thought. take my website as an example, what does it speak to you? order, reason, balance, harmony, cleanliness?…i can tell you my life, as well as all others is never this ideal. life is chaotic, it gets messy, it is cold, it punches you when you’re asleep. (yes, for professionalism sake i will continue to offer plate fulls of healthy portions of talent and all mixed with illusions)…but briefly i share with you a doorway. this image is about getting real, honesty, and opening up. “to know thyself”. “this above all; to thine own self be true.” …”own now”.

i sincerely thank those in my life that embrace me for who i am.
i thank those that help me to be a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better friend.
also, i sincerely thank Mark Andersen of Andersen Studios for seeing my potential, opening a doorway, providing all the toys necessary to bring heart, mind, and work together (yes, the fake blood is even at my fingertips whenever i need it.) a very sincere thank you again….now, i got this image out, time to get back to work, and shoot some lighter material. 🙂
lastly, many thanks to Matt McDaniel for racing to the studio to help me whip this image out, very much appreciated.

snakes and bunnies

the difference of cats and dogs…my daughters are as different as bunnies and snakes, and not just in looks but in personalities – the animals they hold are an incredible reflection of that.

many thanks to rockstar pets in tooele, utah for letting us work with these amazing creatures.
thanks to my gorgeous daughters for providing the talent.
and thanks to ashlee brooke carroll for assisting.

sleep is the cousin to death

“to die: to sleep;
no more; and by a sleep to say we end‚
the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks‚ that flesh is heir to.
to die, to sleep;
to sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
for in that sleep of death what dreams may come”

to cover myself with the earth
to descend deeper into the dark
to close the final curtain on the day
and wade into a faceless sea
to fall
to fly
to sleep

whose hand cradles us, molds us, transforms us,
into the strange creatures we become in the morning?
who cuts the creases, punches the swollen, sucks the dry of us?
who mashes the hair, works it’s fingers, pulls at it like smoke, spinning and turning,
cutting it like jagged teeth, or glueing it like spider’s silk?
whose breath blows a stench into our mouths? a kiss of death.
who ties our limbs, pulls on them awkwardly like a marionette puppet?
who covers our eyelids to sew them shut, our active eyes that remain shut, eyes that are burning underneath and have elephants sitting on the tops of them?
who paints on our mind, steals it, sucks it down, spits it out, pushes it, laughs at it, comforts it, speaks to it, haunts it, opens it, loves it?

it is sleep, the cousin to death.

sleep is the cousin to death is a study of the hand of sleep.
how it plays with us throughout the night and transforms us to the morning creatures we are.
to study the subtleties; the fragile marks that fade off the skin as it is met by the morning light.
the hair, and all it’s forms, shapes, textures, and personalities.
the eyes, as they drag life back into them, eyes that slowly blow life into the glowing embers from yesterday, a fire that is only snuffed by death.
we awake.
it is a new day, and our cousin has left us.
this is the portrait and the moment that i chose to photograph.

this is the study of the coming back to life…and more.
i chose for this project to focus on women only. i am fascinated by what we as a society choose to expose to the world and what it is we choose to hide behind. portraits of women in the morning perhaps help us remove the masks we hold, open our venerability, and thus find common ground amongst one another.
all the portraits from this series were taken immediately after the subjects have crawled out of bed after a full nights sleep. unlike the death portraits (my previous portrait series) where i meticulously controlled ever detail – the portraits of these women are authentic expressions and without my control, my focus being to record the transformation from sleep to life as accurately as i could.

in order of appearance:
sarah, jaime, ruby, kate, meghan, ashley, katy, sam, kerissa, and megan.
a very heart felt thank you to you all.
without you and your participation, my art, and therefore myself, would not exist.

sleep is the cousin to death :: opening 3.18.11

i am excited to share with you my new exhibit and companion to the death portraits…

Friday, March 18 · 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Saans Fine Art Photography Gallery and Studio
173 E Broadway (300 south)

death portraits was a study of the removal of life, this is now a study of the coming back to life.

the portraits from this series were taken IMMEDIATELY after the subjects have crawled out of their bed after a full nights sleep – to study and witness the spirit of the person rise from it’s descended layers of sleephood.

i chose for this project to focus on women only. i am fascinated by what we as a society choose to expose to the world and what it is that we choose to hide behind. portraits of women in the morning perhaps help us remove the masks we hold, open our vulnerability, and thus find common ground amongst one another.

in addition to the SLEEP IS THE COUSIN TO DEATH exhibit, i will rehang and reshow my past exhibit, death portraits as a duo show. – if you missed the one night only show last year, now is your chance to see it.
as many of you may recall, this project was a study of the connection of the soul and the body of an individual. what is communicated if we try to remove that vital element we call that “spark of life” away from the eyes, what remains? this simply started as a question and observation and developed into truly one of the most personal experiences i have encountered through my own art.

nuff said!
come to the exhibits and see the work.
bring a friend. make it a date.
look forward to seeing you there!