My Secret Ingredient

A huge part of what I do involves my partner in life and art, Liz Dungate. We have worked together since 1998 and been together as a couple since about 2000. I say about because neither of us can really remember when we got started.

We take turns art directing each other. We take turns listening to each other’s ideas … and saying, “what?!?, that won’t work!”. But really, over the years we have learned to trust each other when it comes to the vision of a project in the planning. I had to talk her into “Make and Create” – the paper dresses, and in turn, she had to convince me that her idea for “Tent in the Sand” and “Whatnot” would fly.

Liz does spectacular hair and makeup, makes beautiful, whimsical, crazy outfits, creates creepy masks, paints murals, makes clothes, bakes the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever taste, laughs at the drop of a hat (tried and tested), makes wonderful photographs of her own and just generally makes everything I do look amazing.

What follows are some bts videos from the past few years that will give you a small taste for what Liz gets up to … that I benefit from. Below that, a little collection from my big collection of Liz photos.

(click the thumbnail to launch the video)

Into the Ring (click here for the photos)

Make and Create (click here for the photos)

Make and Create II (click here for the photos)

Painting with Grace (click here for the photos)

Blue Blood – just to prove she can do it all on her own (click here for the photos).

Accidental Beauty

Due to a bellows extension miscalculation this portrait came up a little more moody than I had intended. I’m ok with it. Christina, you’re beautiful!


Fire Truck

Mr. Calvin Soo and his 1989 Toyota firetruck.

Yes, it’s backwards. All lenses project an image that’s upside and backwards. Modern cameras use mirrors to correct the image vertically and laterally so this is a quirk that takes some people by surprise. The ambrotype images I make are positive images created in the camera and there is no facility for correcting the image laterally after the fact. So, every image you see in my collection is backwards!