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Melyssa Ford at Event Prior to BET Awards

Hit Melyssa up on Twitter here social---twitter_16x16


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Andrea Bordeaux - Sexy and Commercial

You guys remember actress/model Andrea Bordeaux, right? She did that great interview for my blog about getting into the business. Well, today she sent me a link to this new CBS produced web series she is in called "Stay At Home Dad." This is an episode called "The Stare Master," which I feel, on some level, I can relate to. Ha! Anyway, check Andrea out being subtly sexy in this episode. Clip is below graphic and candid shot...

Additional BTS pic added 6/22 thanks to Andrea:

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Jessica Burciaga -SHOW Mag Black Lingerie

I've never posted her on the blog before, but I liked these shots in the new SHOW. I finally got the descreening issue worked out (it's a setting in the scanning software), so these scans are better than the Kim Kardashian batch - right click and open in new window to see at full size. Reach Jessica on Twitter here (not that she needs any extra followers at 71,000, lol)


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Why We See Fewer High Quality Women in The Industry & The Ones Who Remain Won’t Show as Much


Today someone on a message board asked why Sabrina Hunter won’t do any straight-on back shots. My answer: we’re lucky women like Sabrina are even willing to do this at all anymore, let alone give up back shots. What we are witnessing now is literally the manifestation of the saying, “you reap what you sow.” The industry, a shadow of what it was 10 years ago, is downright disreputable. So it’s no wonder it no longer attracts quality women, or that the ones who remain aren't willing to stake as much on it.

People are quick to forget, so I’ll just give a quick reminder. Ten years ago – let’s call it “the Melyssa Ford era” – we had quality celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Jennifer Freeman and Tyra on the cover of KING magazine, in swimsuits no less! Melyssa Ford hosted an entertainment news show similar to Access Hollywood on BET. It was the golden era of urban modeling, when it still had a specter of respectability and was not so far removed in public perception from its white counterpart of glamour modeling (e.g., Maxim, Sport’s Illustrated, etc.). During that period up-and-coming actresses, college students, and women with proper jobs were all willing to don a bikini (maybe even a thong) because to tell someone you were an urban model was not so bad.

Cut to 10 years later. Virtually no notable actresses do this anymore. Instead, what we have are mainly strippers with lots of tattoos and bad Photoshop repeatedly featured in the same rags. There are no more female grad students (see Candace Smith) willing to try this on a lark, or even college students. At best, the business has been reduced to street-smart hustlers* willing to parlay magazine spreads into hosting opportunities.

So given this change in climate, is it any wonder that the few respectable women still willing to dip their toe in this cesspool won’t give it their all and do thong shots? Context and stakes are what women gauge these things by. Who else is doing this? Is anyone I respect doing it? What can I gain by doing this? Both context and stakes are in the toilet for urban modeling. The context is strippers and the stakes are nothing. You reap what you sow. We the consumers didn’t demand more. We let this thing come off the rails and rode the Buffie trend into the ground. So now a woman with a college degree who looks like Melyssa Ford won’t come anywhere near this, and you can’t blame her.

*See V. Veasley's quote: "So yeah, the spoils then go to the hustlers..."

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Sabrina Hunter - Up Close and Personal

New pic added 6/18:

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Kim Kardashian - FHM Australia 2011

So it turns out one of the cooler things about having this new scanner is that I get to concentrate on the images that I think are really good... Even if it means buying a $15 copy of Australia's FHM. I checked the net, and these pics are not available in good quality anywhere, so this is truly an Indosplace exclusive. This isn't so much about Kim Kardashian, but the fact that I think these swimsuit images are the way it should be done.

However, one thing I have to note about Kim that I really like, is that when she was on her way up she was very open minded in her choices. She was in KING, J'Adore, Complex... many magazines that a lot of up-and-coming models would turn away because they don't believe those publications are high brow enough. It just goes to prove, those opportunities are what you make of them. Kim took them and turned them in $10,000 per Tweet.


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What's Jessica Lucas Been Up To?

Well, it looks like this ex-Melrose Place 2.0 star is on an NBC show called Friend's With Benefits. But Friends has had a storied past. First, it was going to be a midseason replacement, but it never appeared on the NBC line-up. Then it sat in limbo for a while and only recently, in May, was it actually picked up. It's slated to air in early August 2011. Meanwhile, Jessica Lucas has been pretty quiet in terms of public appearances. No press junkets and magazine articles for her like when Melrose was on the air. I wonder why?


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The Cindy Crawford 1990 Swimsuit Calendar - Inspiration

There were a couple of things that directly contributed to my wanting to get involved with swimsuit photography. The 1991 (or '92) issue of Ebony Man Swimsuit Edition, with model Daphne Duvernay on the cover. Jet Magazine Beauty of the Week. And The 1990 Cindy Crawford Swimsuit Calendar photographed by Marco Glaviano. That list should probably be in reverse order, because this calendar had a really big impact on me. It was one of the first times I saw something that was truly tasteful and sexy at the same time, in print. To this day, I still think a lot of these images are better than what is being done in the urban market. (Just look at these images compared to the Smooth shots directly below)

I remember they interviewed Marco for Cindy's 1991 calendar on MTV and he said something to the effect of "People look down on swimsuit photography, but because of its simplicity it is more likely to look good years from now than fashion photography." I think he was right. (Scans from my copy of the calendar, which used to fetch about $100 on eBay)

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Monthly Magazine Review

In light of Black Jack Skanz inexplicable disappearance, I'll pick up the slack some with magazine offerings. But be warned: I'm more grumpy than BJS about what I scan. As I used to the tell Black Jack, anytime you scan a model's photos and put them on the web, you're actually doing them a huge favor. With the gradual demise of print media, getting a feature in an urban magazine is not what it once was. It's almost like that saying about a tree falling in a remote forest somewhere... In other words, if it doesn't exist on the net it's like it never happened. Interestingly though, most of these models will not even so much as thank you or follow you on Twitter for making the effort. BJS didn't care about that - he was more of a gentleman than I am, lol. With that said, I will only be scanning models that: (1) are so hot they need to be seen at any cost, courtesy to me notwithstanding, and 2) hold up to the ridiculous retouched version of them presented in the magazine in their candids (bye bye BlackMen mag). Call me petty, but until BJS returns, that's how it's gonna be, lol. (All pics enlargeable by clicking. The best bet is to open each image in a new window)

SMOOTH MAG - YONCEE (add'l scans added 6/14/11)






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