Category Archives: Affiliates

Katie Kerl: Backlash

 

 

Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2018

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BACKLASH, 34 What’s Normal?

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In today’s society the motto is “do what makes you happy”, until what makes you happy makes others uncomfortable. Growing up catholic in the suburbs it was ingrained that you cover up, go to college, get married, and you have kids. Pushing us all to be the same in that regard, and expecting a lot of someone by the time they are of a “certain age”. 

  I never wanted that conformed life.  I have always leaped head first into things regardless of what I am “supposed” to be doing. When Tony asked me to write a piece for his blog and take photos of course I said “YES”! That also led to a slew of negative remarks from my more cooperate friends who must keep up “appearances”. My more creative/fit friends thought it was an amazing opportunity for me to express myself on so many levels.

A few of the women that criticized me fight their own insecurities and the inability to communicate feelings through tight dresses & plastic surgery. Just to gain social acceptance.  I do not judge them either because at the end of the day, it is your life. The only regrets you will have are the chances you did not take.

Being comfortable in my own skin and communicating raw feeling through blogging seems to be worlds away from that zone of heavy judgment. Your job title does not make you a good person, the amount of money you make, or the level of education you have received. None of that has to do with your personality, or comfort in passing judgments on people you barely know.

My own mother thought she did something wrong in raising me because I chose to do something so far outside of her comfort zone that was the only explanation she had. Instead of her realizing she raised an opinionated self confident woman. 

At almost 35, I like to think I make good decisions in my own time. I have made enough wrong choices early on to know what I’m getting myself into, what I like, don’t ,  and will more than likely be vocalizing that regardless of what other people think. I’m always in disbelief when older women cast a look of horror on me when I tell them how old I am, I’m not married, and childless. I would love to see the look on some of their faces at the photos from these blog posts.

Moving to Philadelphia was the best choice I could have made. I have learned so much about myself here. Philly is such a melting pot of cultures, history, art, sexual acceptance, random nights, and fast paced life. You can go from black tie gala to save a playground, to an underground house music party that goes till 7am all in one night. Not to mention all the amazing food this city has to offer.

The people I met over the last 8 years that have stuck around for all of my head first antics completely blow my mind. Being accepted for who you are is an amazing feeling. That is why I keep my circle of friends small and grateful for every one of them.  I will continue to find that level of acceptance from people who I let into my life. One of my favorite quotes: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Einstein

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Katie Kerl

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About The Author

Katie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. 
Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology .
Occupation : commercial/ residential  design 
Philadelphia resident since 2011 . 
Hobbies include  : Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos , & house music lover . 
Instagram:  @beatz_eatz_n_freaks 
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To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here:http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-epidemic/
 
Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Bob Shell: Stone Walls Do Not a Prison Make

 

 

 Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #27

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Julie Chu, Aja Butane, Katherine Jania & Zoe, Copyright 2018

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Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage.

We’ve all heard that old saying, but where does it come from? It’s the beginning of the last stanza of the poem “To Althea, from Prison” written in 1642 by Richard Lovelace, while imprisoned in Gatehouse Prison. His crime? He had petitioned to have the 1640 Clergy Act annulled. Today, no one knows for certain who Althea was, or if she was even real, but she lives on in that romantic poem. BTW, the full stanza goes:

Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;

Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage;

If I have freedom in my love

And in my soul am free,

Angels alone, that soar above,

Enjoy such liberty.

If you want to read the whole poem, it’s on Wikipedia. Someone set the lyrics to music, and Dave Swarbrick does an excellent version on Fairport Convention’s album Nine. I was fortunate enough to be photographing Dave on stage during my music photographer days and lost all interest in photography when he launched into the fiddle intro to Althea (I say fiddle, but I believe Dave was playing a viola that night). I learned years later that Dave was struggling with hearing loss, probably from all those years on stage in front of giant amplifiers. I’m partially deaf today in my right ear, the one that was usually toward the amps when I was on stage right. Fairport was opening for Traffic on that early 70s tour, and, for my money put on a better show.

But back to poor Richard pining for Althea through his bars. Let me tell you something, Richard. Stone walls (or concrete today) do a pretty damned effective prison make!

Modern prisons are modular structures made of interlocking precast concrete slabs. The slabs are lifted into place with cranes during construction. You may find signs that the slabs were lying flat at one time in the form of muddy boot prints going across walls that no one bothered to clean off. These “build a prison kits” go together quickly, almost like building with Lego blocks. Once finished they generally are T-shaped buildings, with each arm of the T being a “pod” with cells on three sides, plus showers, and a flat concrete floor with stainless steel tables with attached seats anchored to the floor. Cells generally are about 8 x 12 feet on the inside with the door on one of the 8 foot walls and a small window on the other. Except that the designers of the prison I’m in right now decided to omit the windows. Inside each cell are two bunks attached to the walls, a very small table attached to a wall with one or two seats, also attached to the wall, and a one-piece stainless steel sink/toilet, also attached to a wall. Nothing movable! I’ve been in four different Virginia prisons in the last ten years, and they’re pretty much the same with minor variations. Storage space for personal belongings in cells is very limited, usually an under-bed locker, either welded to the bottom bunk or sliding on the floor so it can be pushed under the bottom bunk. Speaking of bunks, they’re steel slabs. We are given “mattresses” for comfort, two-inch thick foam pads that are more like yoga mats than real mattresses. I used to have a “medical mattress” prescribed by a DOC doctor, but the DOC eliminated them several years ago. It was about six inches thick and very comfortable. I guess they don’t want us to be comfortable. I’m certainly not. I’m writing this at four in the morning, unable to sleep, an all too common problem here. For towels or whatever there are two “hooks” on one wall. These are straight metal rods about three inches long with a ball on the end that fits into a socket attached to the wall. The ball is a friction fit into the socket, so if you put too much weight on it, it collapses. Why? “We don’t want no hangings.”

I really don’t understand what anyone thinks they’re accomplishing by warehousing people this way. They no longer call these places prisons. Now they’re “Correctional Centers.”. I guess the word “prison” has become non-PC. But I can tell you from personal experience that damn little correction takes place. Oh, they have programs and classes, they will tell you. I’ve “been down” ten years as of last September and have yet to be offered a seat in one of those programs or classes. I’ve certainly not been rehabilitated! Nor did I need to be. I was doing just fine, making a good living from photography and writing, and at the peak of my career. And the state brought my whole life crashing down over events that never even happened except in the imagination of an incompetent quack of a medical examiner. I’ve posted details at www.bobshelltruth.com under News Updates.

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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 herehttp://tonyward.com/bob-shell-whats-wrong-with-the-american-justice-system/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Art, Blog, Cameras, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, History, Men, News, Politics, Popular Culture, Science, Still Life

PSA: VOTE! November 6, 2018

Tony_Ward_Studio_Vote_November_midterm_election_democrat_not_my_president

Vote! November 6, 2018

Also posted in Advertising, Announcements, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Health Care, History, Models, News, Politics, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women

Ed Simmons: Jay Adams Local Hero

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Photography and Text by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2018
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JAY ADAMS LOCAL HERO
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This town, “Venice_90291”, is a tolerant town, a town that gives you room to grow.  I made my way to Venice, California for the first time in 1968.  Throughout the years I’ve gotten to know so many interesting people. At Jay Adams memorial service, what was so surprising, but really not, was that all of these old friends of mine, knew all these other old friends of mine. There I was back hanging with all these people, with all my old friends again, at a somber time. Ya know I ain’t seen most of these people in years, all these people here hanging for Jay at the Venice Pier.
 
I didn’t know Jay. Certainly knew of him, frankly: maybe just a little scared of him. Ya see, this guy Jay Adams was not some “Weeping Judge” kind of Local Hero, a man made from privilege, a man fed from a silver spoon,  oh no these streets of Venice were hard.  Jay stood up, yeah the man made mistakes, but just like a fine wine, he got better with time and age!
“PRAY FOR WAVES” I heard from his homies, hanging on a Mexican Beach was how he started his day.
 
A prayer, some waves, good food with close friends, then some rest. God Bless You Jay Adams. REST IN PEACE.
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Jay Adams Local Hero

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Portrait of Ed Simmons by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Ed Simmons by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Ed Simmons is a documentary photographer and assistant to Tony Ward, based in Los Angeles, California. 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Friends of TWS, History, Men, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel

Katie Kerl: Clothing & Tattoos

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Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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CLOTHING & TATTOOS

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When asked about clothing and personal style, I typically go against the grain. A 70s flower child mixed with, funky shoes, scarves, hats, & jewelry. One of my favorite things to do in Philadelphia is Vintage shop. Mixing old with the new pieces and being unique. My grandmother’s scarves are something I try to tie into a lot of my outfits. Accessories were her favorite. I have been lucky enough to come across some very similar souls in this city who are happy being in their own skin, and standing out in a crowd. Be it in Versace, homemade scarves, or their own clothing lines.

When it comes to dating, I have noticed you need to dress to attract the kind of man/ woman you want. If you’re looking for money throw on that little black dress, pumps, and sit at the bar in Rouge, Ashton, or Del Frisco’s in Philadelphia and just wait. Walk around the city in high tops, a dress, and a jacket with a hat, you may attract a few interesting characters.

  In 2018 where everyone is on dating apps the reality of that, it’s a crap shoot. There is nothing worse than going on an interview type first date. Starting off with what you do for a living, how much money you make, and the zip code you live in; that’s not being genuine.

I know within 10 minutes, which is enough time drink one whiskey on the rocks if there is a connection. That is why I’m attracted to creative minds that talk about life, experience, struggle, and strive for something greater than sitting confined to a desk. There is nothing sexier then confidence and passion in a person.

Another major part of my style is my tattoos. I battle with severe anxiety and depression, but at the end of the day I know what makes me happy. As a child I did not know what anxiety was, or why I did not feel normal all the time. Being an only child my parents kept me busy participating in every sport, club, and camp they could get me into.  Regardless of being socialized and having a great family, id get sick to my stomach before having to go to any large social situation. I would think people did not like me and have an occasional panic attack.

Later, I was in a pretty severe car accident. I almost lost my arm and had four surgeries to save it. It took two years out of my life recovering from it. The accident gave me PTSD it was a pretty dark time in my life. I’m very thankful for having such amazing parents who did everything they could to get me through it.  Being on medication for pain, depression, and anxiety left me feeling like a zombie. I got so frustrated with all the medications I threw it all away and decided it was time to feel life again.

Since about 15 years old, I found that getting tattooed pulled me out of whatever I was struggling with at the time. The needles combined with vibration distracted my mind, and the pain was concentrated elsewhere. It was instant relief and made me look unique.  I have 14 tattoos on my body, and of those I have two favorites.

Alice in wonderland was my favorite movie as a child. Alice was not looking for a prince. She was a daydreamer who pushed the limits of reality to find herself, experience vs. being saved by a man. The Caterpillar who is featured on my side actually taught Alice how to cope with the difficulties she experienced in Wonderland. He asked the all important life question “WHO ARE YOU”???? That is usually what every adult struggles to find out. That piece took about 17 hours and 4 sittings. Jason Goldberg at Olde City Tattoo brought my vision to life.

Most recently I had the chemical compound for happiness done on my forearms Serotonin and Dopamine. These are the only tattoos that when I have clothing on you can see. A daily reminder to do the best I can. On the side of a scar from a car accident sits serotonin, with a whiskey glass, and pills on the inside. Signifying what I go through when it’s depleted. On the dopamine side I have a music note. That is my happiness. House music takes me to another place and time. There is no greater escape than dancing to good music in an awesome outfit.

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Portrait of Katie Kerl. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Katie Kerl. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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About The Author

Katie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. 
Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology .
Occupation : commercial/ residential  design 
Philadelphia resident since 2011 . 
Hobbies include  : Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos , & house music lover . 

Instagram:  @beatz_eatz_n_freaks 

 
This is Katie Kerl’s first contribution to Tony Ward Studio.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Also posted in Accessories, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Nudes, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women