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Katie Kerl: Atlantic City Fun Guide

 
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Atlantic City Fun Guide

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Living in Philadelphia gives you easy access to the Jersey shore on the weekends. Atlantic City being the closest shore point for me is the easiest with my work schedule. It is about an hour away with no traffic. Atlantic City has a little bit of everything. Large casino hotels, spas, indoor and outdoor pools, marina, boat charters, jet skiing, beach bars, night clubs, and boardwalk with rides for the kids.

These are 10 of my favorite things to do in Atlantic City.

  1. Ocean Casino Resort which sits at the end of the strip. It is the most Instagram worthy spot in the town. There are pretty art instillations throughout, large rooms, chaise lounges and towels on the beach, exhale spa which is amazing, luxury shopping, multiple pools and cabanas, top golf, blow out bar, American Cut Steak House, Ovation Concert Hall, and my favorites HQ2 nightclub and pool. HQ2 outdoor pool has day parties that are sure to satisfy your house music needs.
  2. Borgata/Water Club Casinos that are part of the same entity. It is not directly on the beach, but they do offer a shuttle to transport you there. The immersion spa is a perfect place to relax after a long week. The Borgata offers high end retail, and a laundry list of amazing restaurants. I have tried almost all of them and have yet to be disappointed. Izakaya by Michael Schulson, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay Steak House, Old Homestead, and let’s not forget about the buffet. After all of the sun and mouthwatering eats, nightlife at the Borgata is always buzzing. Premier Night Club is the best place to dance off those vacation calories. Gypsy Bar and the beer garden are both excellent choices as well.
  3. The Golden Nugget to me offers the largest deluxe king rooms with sectional sofas and views of the roof top pool and marina at a reasonable price. Staying in the hotel gives you access to the H2O Pool and bar that also serves food. The pool has hot tubs, waiting pool section with lounges in the water, towels, cabanas, pool side spa services, and overlooks the marina. I think the hotel could do better in the restaurant department because I would not waste my money on their buffet, or actual restaurants. Get room service; it is a way better experience. They also offer shuttles to the neighboring beaches and hotels.
  4. I will always be a kid at heart and love the Steel Pier Ferris Wheel. What makes this a nice romantic adult thing to do is the bar situated next to it with the Adirondack chairs overlooking the ocean, and the Landmark Beach Bar. The frozen Pina Colada is the way to go for your trip around the wheel. It is really a pretty thing to do at sunset.
  5. Bungalow Beach Bar always has music thumping day and night. There is a pool for the VIP/bottle service area, hookah, cabanas, and lounge chairs. If you are looking to feel like you are somewhere tropical this is the beach bar in AC to hit for sure.
  6. The Bungalow Beach Bistro located on the boardwalk just above the beach bar is a fantastic in/outdoor lunch spot. The crab cakes are amazing along with the Ahi Tuna, and watermelon feta salad. The Mermaid water & Ibiza cocktails will compliment your meal perfectly. They also offer $5 margaritas at their inside bar.
  7. The Chelsea Beach Bar is a more toned down Bungalow style bar to me. There is still a DJ, full bar, and lounges. It is just a quieter place to relax if you are not quite ready to be in club mode. It sits at the opposite end of the strip from Ocean by the Tropicana.
  8. Frank S. Farley State Marina situated next to the Golden Nugget offers Jet Ski rentals and boat charters. The charters can go on fishing excursions and sunset cruises. They also take out larger parties for the day. If you are looking for something more personable this might be the thing to try here. Walking around the marina feels like you are not in New Jersey anymore. Everyone is so friendly that actually docks there. It makes me want a boat every time I walk through. I grew up doing all of that on the Chesapeake River as a kid, and are some of my fondest memories.
  9. Tanger outlets located in the middle of town are excellent. Let’s be real who does not like a good deal after winning, or losing money in the casinos ha-ha! A few of my favorites are J Crew, Loft, Banana Republic, Aldo, and White house Black Market.

    10. Lastly, the Landmark Beach Bar. It has two floors that over look the ocean and Steel Pier. Catch it on the right                       day and you may just find a sand castle building contest. After, walk right out of the bar onto the beach for a                           relaxing day in the sun; after putting SPF on of course.    

          To all of my Atlantic City lovers have fun this summer!

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Education: Drexel University studied Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateEmail: Kate.Kerl32@gmail.com. To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-summer-beauty-short-cuts/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, lifestyle, News, Philadelphia, Popular Culture, Travel

Bob Shell: Objectifying and Exploiting Women

Photo: Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Objectifying and Exploiting Women?

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An English friend once gave me a really hard time; she said I was objectifying and exploiting women in my photography. That disagreement caused me to spend some time thinking about this issue. Don’t all photographers objectify their subjects and exploit them? Did Ansel Adams objectify and exploit Halfdome? Did Edward Weston objectify and exploit bell peppers? Is the whole argument ridiculous?

Let’s look at both prongs of this argument. Objectifying is a somewhat strange concept, since it means turning something into an object. But, when you think about it, everything we photograph is already an object, or we couldn’t photograph it in the first place. When we photograph something, we’re. taking a three dimensional object and converting it into a two dimensional representation of itself. So in a sense, we’re de-objectifying it. Hmmmm.

No, that’s not what she was talking about. When she argued that I was “objectifying” women, she meant that I was looking at them as objects, specifically as sex objects. Was I? I’d have to say yes to that. After all, the intent of many of my photographs was to create a sexual frisson in the viewer, be that viewer male or female. If I punched the viewer in the libido, I felt that the photograph was a success. So, was I turning my model into a sex object? I’d argue no, that she was already a sex object before I ever clicked the shutter. I didn’t make her into a sex object, God or evolution did; take your pick. Either way, women are shaped the way they are to arouse interest in men. That’s simply a fact. Her rounded form is designed/evolved to attract men. We even say of a pretty woman that she is “attractive,” usually without really thinking of the implications of that statement.

Let me put on my biologist hat for a moment. Whether we like it or not, we are animals, mammals to be a bit more precise. We are advanced apes. Jared Diamond even says we’re the third species of chimpanzee, after the common chimp and bonobo.. If that offends you, skip on to the next paragraph. In our cousins, the gorillas, chimps, and bonobos sexual attraction is a matter primarily of scent. Females have nipples up high on their chests, practically in their armpits. They have no breasts and wouldn’t know what to do with a bra. There is nothing about their chests to arouse or attract the male. At the other end, they have narrow flat asses without bulging buttocks. We humans, on the other hand, are almost totally visual in our sex cues and have de-emphasized our sense of smell, so much so that our females borrow scents from other animals and plants when they want to send a scent signal. The perfume industry has gotten rich off of that.

But what first gets a man’s attention? Its two rounded areas of protruding fatty tissue, either in front or in back. What Americans call T & A (the English say T & B, “tits and bums.”) This fact keeps “cosmetic surgeons” busy, adding breasts where there are none, or those nature provided are considered inadequate, and reshaping behinds, to produce the “perfect” rounded shape. I’ve always counseled my models against “cosmetic surgery” at either end, preferring their natural shape.

But, back to our argument. Do women objectify themselves when they augment their tops and/or bottoms? I’d argue yes, they do. Do I objectify them? No! One of my models was a former Playboy model. To reach her goal of being a Playboy featured model, she had most of her body reworked. She got there, but who objectified her? Basically I consider that part of the argument silly. How can I objectify someone who has already done it to herself?

Now, on to the second point. Did I exploit my models? Damn well, yes, I did! Did they complain about it? No! Why? Because I paid them well for posing with the thought that I’d someday make money from the pictures. Did I always profit? No!!! And sometimes pictures sat in my files and my agents’ files for years before finding a buyer. Some never did. From a business perspective, my images were my stock, and no business person wants stock sitting in a warehouse for years. At the same time, unlike the warehouse stock of most businesses, my photos don’t lose value from sitting there. My overhead is minimal; some filing cabinets and some digital storage devices. I’ve had substantial sales from images many years old. Most of what I shoot never goes out of fashion.

So on the question of objectifying and exploiting women, I plead innocent to the first and guilty to the second.

As I have said before, I photographed my first nudes in 1969 in the woods at Roanoke’s water reservoir. Looking back at those many years later it was clear that I didn’t have a clue about posing a model, but the results weren’t awful. By 1973-4 when I photographed Kathy G. at the old farm/apple orchard where we lived, I’d spent time reading books on posing, and got some pretty good images, images I’d not be embarrassed to show today. It helped that she was a natural at graceful posing. In those early days I found my models by running ads in the school newspaper at Hollins College, a woman’s school (It’s now Hollins University and co-ed), and in the Roanoke Times classified ads. Later, when I had my camera shop just blocks from Roanoke College, I never had a problem coming up with good models, because word of mouth, the best advertising, spread that I was fun to pose for and treated my models respectfully. Was I attracted to these beautiful young women? Absolutely! After all, I was young myself with a full. complement of raging hormones. Did I come on to them? No way! Photographers as a group already had a dodgy reputation, and I cared to set myself apart from the crowd. I’d have no qualms today about facing any of the women who modeled for me from 1969 to 2007. Of course there were none past 2007 because I was in prison!

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/studio-news-bob-shells-new-book/

 

 

 

Also posted in Blog, Documentary, Friends of TWS, Glamour, lifestyle, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Mikala Mikrut: Minimilism – A Modern Luxury

Apartment by Tony Ward Studio. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Text by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2019

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Minimalism – A Modern Luxury

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Growing up a fan of Vogue and stalking Pinterest for spectacular oddities I could never afford, I’ve come to realize that big fancy mansions aren’t filled with memories and trinkets. They’re filled with artistic, bold pieces to take the spotlight one room at a time. All the big houses, even mansions, I’ve entered felt empty to me. There were clearly furniture and decorations, so why did it feel like something was missing? With this on my mind, I analyzed the homes I was more familiar with. Something in these middle class, well lived, well loved homes was always filled. Whether it be the garage, the attic, a closet, or even a drawer, something was always designated as junk space.

I began to wonder why that is. Grand pictures of impersonal, simplistic decor was somehow more beautiful than the collections people have introduced to me over the years. They could have shared all of the glorious memories attached to them. Still, all I would see was a bunch of vintage spoons I wasn’t allowed to use or dolls that would never break eye contact, teasing me with perfect, dusty curls I wasn’t allowed to brush. These memories that others attach don’t enlighten a sense of appreciation for the inanimate objects. In fact, they have a better chance of making me feel guilty.

In a completely hyperbolized example, I would much rather take John List’s signed Tiffany original skylight than my grandmother’s prized angel figurines. Isn’t that awful? To prefer a mass murderer’s window, for all intents and purposes, over what a loved family member has spent a lifetime to collect? But I would love to walk under dazzling colors from the morning sun, warm mug in my hand, fuzzy blanket as a shawl, making my own memories with the glass. I never met John, so making what was his my own would be cake. I will always have the memory of how much my grandma loved her angels, but taking them on as my own would leave me with the constant reminder of her connections with them. Filling my space with memories that aren’t even mine.

My point is, I believe the majority of us are hanging onto clutter. Whether it’s because we are entirely too sentimental or haven’t carved out the time to purge. For the love of yourself, make your home a safe place for your mind and soul. If something isn’t serving a purpose or bringing you joy, get rid of it! If there’s a big empty wall in your home and a piece from a local artist you can’t get out of your head, buy it! Life is too short to not serve yourself. Why are you hanging on to that ugly knick knack from your mother in law, because it’ll hurt her feelings that she got you something you don’t like? Why won’t you let yourself spend a little extra on the all natural cleaning product that you like the smell of, because you feel you only deserve to spend as little as possible?

Whether it’s because they have the space or lack of unresolved mental trauma, rich people wear minimalism beautifully and I personally drool at the aesthetic of having only what I need and really desperately love. We have this sense to hoard and give things. I propose we shift our mindset to seeking and giving experiences. One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received were trapeze lessons, my favorite summers were spent on lakes. Memories are my souvenirs, and that’s the best part. If that’s not enough, take pictures! Those store neatly in the cloud, or make your photos the decor of your home. Let’s all avoid becoming the next episode on Hoarders.

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a junior enrolled at Southern Utah University. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mikala-mikrut-red/

Also posted in Architecture, Art, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, lifestyle, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel, Women

Bob Shell: Female Nudes

Portrait of Marion Franklin by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

 

Photography and Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Female Nudes

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Why did I choose to specialize in photographing female nudes? That’s a question I was often asked at my lectures and workshops. My answer is that I know of nothing in nature more beautiful than the human body, particularly lithe young bodies unashamed to be naked for my camera. That’s why Marion appealed to me so much as a model; she was a natural nudist. Whenever we were in private places, off would come her clothes!

Some of my best models were referred to me by my late friend Ed Harper. Ed and his wife were both regulars at a nudest retreat near Richmond, and Ed was an avid photographer who often photographed women he met there. He’d refer the best of them to me, sometimes coming to my studio to photograph them with me. These young women were all completely comfortable posing nude, and since they were nudists, they didn’t have tan lines. Tan lines are the bane of photographers. Yes, they can be Photoshopped out, but that’s a lot of work. I once had a policewoman who wanted to model for me, The only problem was that she spent a lot of time outdoors directing traffic, so her arms where they weren’t covered by her short sleeves were much darker than the rest of her, which was relatively pale. I had to give up on her, because my Photoshop skills just weren’t up to fixing that!

Tattoos can also cause problems. One of my favorite models, who modeled under the name Elkie Cooper, had a bunch of tattoos, and I don’t know how many hours I spent in Photoshop when I wanted them out of a particular picture. In most cases I would not have gone to all that trouble, but Elkie had a magnificent body, and a wonderful personality, and brought my photo’s of her to life. Of course, when they fit the mood of the photo I’d leave the tattoos alone.

Skin blemishes are also a problem for photography as are scars. And I once had a model show up for a shoot with a real shiner of a black eye. She gave me the old “walked into a door” line, but I didn’t believe a word of it. We did what we could with makeup, and I posed her with her good eye toward the camera, and I don’t think any of the magazine’s readers saw anything amiss. When you’re on deadline you make things work.

My biggest peeve was when a model would make some drastic change in her look and not tell me when I contacted her to set up a shoot. I’ve had models cut off all their hair, change it to a weird color, put it in dreadlocks, get breast enlargement, gain a lot of weight, and so on, so that the person who showed up at my door looked nothing like the person I thought I was booking.

Why I chose to photograph women is simply that I don’t do well photographing men. Oh, I’ve tried, but I find the angularity of the male body much harder to pose. Of course, when I was running a portrait and wedding studio I photographed anyone who came in and wanted their picture taken (very few wanted nude photos!) I realized pretty quickly that I really didn’t like that type of photography, so I cut way down on the amount of this work by raising my prices until I was the most expensive photographer in the area. I worked a lot less but ended up taking in about the same amount of money. By the end of the 80s I was making more money from magazine work and the books I was writing than from photography, so I sold the business and moved on, only photographing things I wanted to photograph. I never looked back.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-meditations-on-cameras-and-the-state-of-the-photo-industry-today/

Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Erotica, Film, Friends of TWS, Glamour, History, Models, Nudes, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Katie Kerl: Flooded With Love

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Text and Photography by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019
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Flooded With Love

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When life hands you lemons; zest them and add some flavor to your life. Not surprising to me, my life sure did balance itself out after my last post. 

My apartment flooded the night before Easter, the drain pipe cracked. Imagine you’re getting ready for bed. Have all of your family stuff together for the holiday. Then, all of a sudden you hear a waterfall streaming behind your walls. Water was rising then up from my floors ready to damage all of my things. 

I spent the better part of that night soaking up water, drying towels, wiping it up over and over. Had I not, my furniture would have been under three inches of water. My landlord came the next morning on Easter Eve to attempt to take care of it. He had no real success.

Upon my return from the holiday, I walked into a completely ripped up apartment. The floors taken up, all my things pushed to the “dry side “, and me standing there in disbelief. I dropped my phone, and just sat on the ground for a bit. 

While I am good with sudden change, I was not anticipating an uninhabitable apartment. Tears rolled down my face for a good ten minutes before calling anyone. Then I got it the fuck together. I was upset, there was nothing my landlord or I could do at that point. We had to wait until the next rain fall to see if it would leak again (which it did). 

The Airbnb he got me for the week was deceiving. The photos were great, but it was an actual shit hole once I got there. It had a lovely brown stained couch and bed. At this point I was exhausted.

Its funny how people show up for you when you need them no questions asked. I was in the middle of my emotional breakdown, and my on again boyfriend tried to help me. At first I said no,  I wanted to deal with it on my own. I feel like I’m very fortunate to have many people help me in bad situations, but I do like to handle my own problems, or at least try first. 

In this circumstance, I was just too upset at what my place looked like to think about anything else. I did accept his help after going to see the damage. We went to the Airbnb together. He took one look at that space and said, “There’s no way you’re staying here.” We stayed at The Le Meridien in center city that night. 

One day I’m living in Queen Village. The next day, half of my things are moved into his place in Northern Liberties. To say I was feeling displaced was an understatement. 

My landlord let me know that it was going to be at least a month, if I could even go back there. “A FUCKING MONTH?!” More feelings of panic arose, feeling like I didn’t really belong in his house after we were trying to work things out. I didn’t want to force something we hadn’t discussed, or freak us both out. He asked me to stay anyway. 

It is a great experience so far. Part of me wonders if my flood was the universe pushing us together like, shit or get off the pot. 

I guess we will just have to see about that part. 

He cleared out an office he never used to give me a Closet/ dressing room, and my own terrace. That’s really an important thing when you’re staying / living with someone to have your own area to be yourself, whether it is for yoga & house music, or video games and watching John Oliver. If you let things go you both like to do it just is not going to work out.

Is this the best circumstance to move in with someone? I am not sure yet, but is there ever really a right time? He shows up at all of my best /worst moments, and reassures me it’s going to be ok. I think it actually just might just be this time. I feel lucky to have that kind of person in my life. 

If living together works out great, if not at least we gave it a shot. Being too afraid to move forward with someone often times is what breaks you apart, and can bring you back together. It feels good to have someone wanting that next step. 

I did have other options. I could have moved home for a month, stayed at an Airbnb, friends’ houses, or got a new place immediately. It wouldn’t have been the same though.

We spent a sunny Saturday in Atlantic City doing a little shopping and rode the Ferris wheel. Taking our minds off both of our life stresses, my flooded apartment and his new growing business. Making time to experience new things together was always a road block that seems to have been cleared. Both realizing the importance of down time and relaxing.

If someone wants to be your umbrella when they are still fighting their own storms; that just might be real LOVE. 

You’re going to have a lot of what if’s in life. I didn’t want this to be one of mine. The apartment flood was upsetting sure; none of my stuff got ruined though. My whole life changed in 24 hours. I’m surprisingly ok with the change. I had posted this on April 9th on my Instagram. Boy if my intuition was ever spot on this time. 

“When you start to feel uncomfortable with your day to day, change is coming. Embrace it until you get exactly what you want. “

                           – Kerl up with Kate 

Cheers to change friends! 

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Katie Kerl

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Education: Drexel University studied Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateEmail: Kate.Kerl32@gmail.com. To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-balance-your-life/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Women