Category Archives: Affiliates

Katie Kerl: Modern Mom

 

Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

.

Modern Mom

.

Life is complicated it takes real work to sustain a marriage, social life, and kids. At 35 I am not sure how some women literally do it all. I think life gives you what you can handle in your own time. I never felt the pressure to get married and have kids. I want that one day, but it took 33 years to come to that conclusion. As I got older I realized children keep you young. It is basically reliving your childhood as an adult and keeps you from becoming bitter. You learn greater patience than you ever thought you had. You also get the opportunity to mold a mind to be self-confident, kind, and resilient. That is actually a greater accomplishment; being good parents rather than just acquiring things with another person. Things do not take care of you when you are sick in the end of life. 

My friend Amy who I have known since nursery school seems to stand out as a go getter stay at home mom. Most people down women for selling beauty products at home, but Amy found the time to turn it into a real business winning a free tropical trip. She even had the fairy tale Cinderella inspired wedding that had a few interesting moments. Her Instagram: @rosegoldamy promotes easy time saving, organic, beauty, home, and child care products. Ones she actually uses in her daily life at home with her husband and two boys. The beauty short cut article I did has nothing on the information Amy puts out there.

I decided I wanted to know how she had the time to do it all, what life was like with two busy boys, and a husband with his own business.

1. How old were you when you met Dan?

I was 19. We met at a hotel party on New Year’s Eve (2003, going into 2004) that my friend and I threw. We actually didn’t hit it off when we first met. We didn’t like each other at all actually. He for some reason asked for my phone number any way, and I gave him the wrong one. He eventually got the right one, and things just seemed to just fit in place.

2.  Did Dan go to college, or did he just go right into self employment? 

Dan didn’t go to college, but seemed to learn a lot by going right into his own business… 

3. I remember your Disney Cinderella themed wedding. What is the fairy tale you hoped for?

We were engaged on Christmas in 2007. 
Then, we were married on November 11, 2011.
I wore a Cinderella inspired dress. Our wedding cake shimmered it had Hello Kitty/ Dear Daniel as the topper. The groom’s cake was super Mario themed. 


I only had about 3 break downs that day, so I was happy with myself. Let’s start at the beginning… I woke up with crest whitening strips on that I had put on the night before and forgot to take off. My whole mouth was insanely sensitive. I cried on the way to get my makeup done with my mom. We were arguing because I was running late. Fast forward into the afternoon Dan calls to let me know he took Damien to the creek to throw rocks. This may had started breakdown number two. Then, when we’re (bridesmaids, my mom, & I) leaving for the church about 40 minutes late mind you. We pulled up to the church and my mom remembers the programs were left at home. Since I was the last one in the limo bus I made the driver loop back home to get them for the ceremony.

The harpist was playing, all the guests are seated, and I’m in the front of the church trying not to pass out! My dad is calmly trying to get me down the aisle,  but I guess with the craziness of the day I  forgot to eat (and my mouth was still super sensitive from the crest strips) I felt super light headed and I needed the cold air to get my adrenaline going. After a few minutes (more like 20). I walked down the aisle and everything was perfect!

Since I was running so late we ran out of time to get lots of church pictures after the ceremony. The reception was a dream! Damien unbeknownst to anyone somehow hurt his shoulder and was fussy (in pain) the whole time. After our reception we took a mini honeymoon to Miami. As we are in a cab on the way to our hotel my parents call to let us know they took Damien to DuPont Hospital. His shoulder ended up being dislocated, and he was to remain in a sling until it was healed.

4. Now the two of you have two busy boys. How old were you when you had them and what age are they now?

 Damien is 11; I had him when I was 23 years old.
Paxton is 6; I had him when I was 28 years old.

5. How do you make being a stay at home mom work for you?

I help my dad with his work a few days a week, but I’m home mostly all the time.  I’m a complete homebody so I love it.

6.  What do you like to do for yourself besides being mother and a wife?

I love to go to the casino, shop, and sleep. Being a mom the sleep part is important.  

7.  What made you want to start your own home beauty business selling Posh products? 

I saw it as a challenge plus I loved the products. Some recent changes in the cooperation made me distance myself a bit. Once I earned the incentive trip; I knew that was what I wanted to achieve. It was time to move on.

8. Tieks seem to be your staple footwear. Stylish flats for moms on the go. How did you come across them?

Tieks are just fun. My mom introduced me to them.

9. What are your top three favorite best bang for your buck beauty boxes you subscribe to?


        1. Boxycharm is my one and only beauty box. I’ve had them all and this is the only one I will stand by. It’s definitely the best value for your money. 
        2. Monobox is not beauty products, but it is accessories and I love it! You get a monogrammed clothing item and 2 coordinating accessories monthly for $25
        3.  Can’t Clutch this is amazing! You get a unique adorable clutch every month. Pricing range $20-$40 depending on what you add on to your bag.

10. How do you have time to do it all through the day?

 I don’t, if I get one thing done I fell like something was accomplished. 

11. Tell me a few funny mom moments that even surprised you?

The whole Damien issue at the wedding; I never thought he could so easily dislocated his shoulder. My Parents are amazing, and made sure he was well taken care of while we were away.Then there was Paxton telling his teachers he’s moving to China, and changing his name to Optimus Prime.

12. What do you and Dan do to keep the spark alive with two little guys?

We still go on date night! Yes I am a mother; but I am also a wife. You should never stop dating your husband.

13. What were two major things that you both have overcome that brought you closer together?

Major medical issues with both boys. Both have needed medical procedures and both have IEP’s which means:

Kids that have developmental/ learning disabilities.

Paxton’s IEP is for speech/language/ and his bilateral hearing loss.

Damien’s IEP is for speech/language/ and comprehension.

We go to DuPont  for everything. They have been so helpful, and the doctors are wonderful! We never had an issue with our insurance so far; knock on wood lol. 
We have been super grateful to have such amazing resources basically in our backyard ! 
 

14. What are your favorite parts of being a modern mom?

Watching the boys become cool little dudes. Seeing them act like good hearted humans in situations is all I could want/ask for as a mother.I think the best part about asking these questions is I received honest answers. There was no sugar coating her responses. I have known Amy for a long time, and am glad I started with her perspective of being a modern stay at home mom.

The reality is no one will have the perfect romance, wedding, and children. We all still stumble through life riding out the good and bad times with the ones we love. Family to me is the most important thing we have. Growing through problems when you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as a couple; just might be the perfect part.

To all my busy moms out there; do yourself a favor and follow Amy. She might just give you the home advice you are looking for.

.

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://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-atlantic-city-fun-guide/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, Gifts, Glamour, Health Care, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Mikala Mikrut: Romance With Horror

.

.

Text by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2019

.

Photography by Sabrina Galaviz and Alexandria Romain, Copyright 2019

.

ROMANCE WITH HORROR

.

  I, among many others, absolutely love horror movies. In fact, that is my genre of choice. I once screamed in a theater and had a 7 year old girl in front of me, no parents insight, turn around and give the most judgemental look. No shame. Many people I know claim to like it because they “like being scared,” but then when I jump out from behind a partially closed door on their way to the bathroom, I’m met with profanity rather than laughter of delight. So what is it really that draws us to watch gore and jump scares while also never venturing further from modern suburbia?

    Perhaps the answer is more obvious than we think. Søren Birkvad, film scholar of Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, says it’s simply an activity to avoid boredom. There is a trait called “sensation seeking” in which people with personalities that get bored easily score high on. Those are the types of people that typically like horror films. So if you find yourself easily bored and happen to enjoy scary movies, there you go. You can now add sensation seeker to your resume, with caution of course. The term could take an interesting turn.

    Another possible explanation can be found in the elements that make up the films themselves. Dr. Glenn Walters has defined the ingredients as: tension, relevance, and unrealism. I think this is the case for most exciting life situations. Horror films need tension to build, relevance to captivate an audience, and unrealism so said audience can fall asleep without salt lines or cuddling up next to their bedside handgun. In parallel, romance needs tension for heat, relevance for conversation, and unrealism to keep you wanting more. The same could be said for many more experiences, but I think for intensity purposes those three things make up only the best of situations.

    The most common answer found as to why we crave scary movies is to satisfy the “beast within.” It’s easy to say that we all have some measure of sicko. Maybe you like watching peoples’ heads getting bashed in, or the jump scare is what reminds you what it feels like to truly be alive, or maybe you don’t button and iron the back pockets on your khaki shorts. No matter how disgusting you are, horror films will always be there to comfort and remind you that there are freaks worse off than you. That’s all we long to know, right? That we aren’t the ones at rock bottom.

    I like scary movies. To others they may seem cliché or niche, but to me they are a reminder of how truly pleasant my life is. I have the privilege to not go about my day wondering if I’ll stay alive despite of a masked man or being held captive in a foreign country without the comfort of my family. The truth is that our world already has the scariest realities. Those happy endings in flicks aren’t conclusions. They are reminders that if we take action against our monsters from personal health to daunting tasks of speaking up and acting for those who are living their nightmares, then there is still hope. 

.

Mikala Mikrut 2019

.

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

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Exhibitions, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Katie Kerl: Atlantic City Fun Guide

 
.

Atlantic City Fun Guide

.

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!

.

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

.

Objectifying and Exploiting Women?

.

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!

.

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

.

Minimalism – A Modern Luxury

.

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.

.

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