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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 04:36am on 23/04/2009 under , , , ,
I often forget that there are people who read my blog who don't read Amanda's.

This is a photo I took at Coachella:

We were at some fancy house in a fancy gated community near the site doing press. It was surreal.

My life is frequently very surreal.

I remember at some point this weekend, and god knows when it was, I looked at Katrina and I said, "Life is pretty amazing."

She agreed.

It is, actually. I saw Leonard Cohen play. He sang First We Take Manhattan and he got to my favorite verse and I cried a little.

I don't like your fashion business mister
I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan... then we take Berlin

Those words were written on a scrap of paper and pinned to my bedroom door all through college. I carefully unpinned the paper, which by that point was yellowing around the edges, when I moved. It's in a book somewhere, pressed between the pages to avoid wrinkles. And I got to see and hear the man SING IT LIVE. I closed my eyes and imagined that he knew that I was standing there and really feeling what he said.

I opened them and I was surrounded by a crush of thousands who were feeling it too. We sang the chorus of Hallelujah together.

The man is 74 years old. He spent five years in seclusion in a Buddist monastery. Leonard Cohen is an honest-to-god MONK. He radiated sheer JOY during his performance, joy and incredible grace. Seeing him play was transcendent.

Life is pretty amazing.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:18am on 12/04/2009 under , ,
So. I borrowed a Diana from Amanda, Katrina gave me a Holga and I stole Sean's Polaroid for a few shots.

Solangel by Holga:

Analog is fun. )

If only film and processing wasn't so expensiiiiive. But it's so worth it to have the unpredictability, the delayed gratification and the ART.

Also, I would have shoved Sean's Polaroid down my pants and run off with it if I thought I could have gotten away with it. The sound it makes, the film popping out into your hands, watching it develop... that's as close as we get to magic.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 05:23pm on 06/04/2009 under ,
Epic Art-Out Day #1 was a success. I love analog.

Read more... )

I will probably do this again, with more advance notice. Next weekend is Easter and the following is Coachella, so it would likely be May before I get around to it. I would probably stick with film... I love the way it looks. Processing is expensive ($7 a roll, $10 for the HOLGA that Katrina gave me) so may have to limit how often I do it, but there is something so rad about analog.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:40pm on 24/03/2009 under ,
So tour happened. Five days in Austin for SXSW, two nights with a day in between in Houston and two days and two nights in New Orleans.

The night we drove to Houston I had so many brilliant ideas in the quiet after Amanda fell asleep, but I was driving and couldn't blog. Better probably. I had an incredible moment as I drove past miles and miles of flat lands and scrub in silence: silence does not exist in my life. My brain went in to hyperdrive almost as soon as we were out of town, flashing random thoughts and going on epic tangents and spinning itself in circles. It was uncomfortable. But then, 20 miles in to the silence, it stilled and opened. I felt like a human being again.

I think more silence in my life is called for. I was surprised at how fast and hard the neurons started firing as soon as the quiet settled in. They'd been built up a long time and as soon as they had room they went nuts. My brain is a mouse that lives in a cage the size of your hand. It escapes into the middle of a field and runs in circles. It goes nuts from the expanse of freedom and the lack of noise.

Amanda says she doesn't want to be a human camera, documenting every moment of life. I'm a little guilty of that... blog, Twitter, the ever-present camera.

Except the camera is no longer ever-present. I lost it in the venue in New Orleans. The camera, two lenses and an 8 gig memory card half full of shots from Austin.

Maybe that's life's way of pointing out to me that I shouldn't always view the world through the safe confines of a viewfinder. Put the camera down, Beth. Oh, wait, you won't? Then I'll put it down for you.

I'm sad. Eventually I'll scrape together the money to replace the camera, but the photos that were lost... some were really beautiful.

During my angsty college years, I listened to the Rent soundtrack over and over. There was one particular line that always panged and dug deep into my torso:

Why am I the witness-- and when I capture it on film, will it mean that it's the end and I'm alone?

I am, for the first time in six years, without camera.

I am a camera.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 03:52am on 01/03/2009 under , ,
Tried to make art. Felt like I was seriously fucking failing. Took a silly picture (sillier if you know that I just finished designing the Neil Gaiman/Amanda Palmer/Kyle Cassidy book). I do not LOVE it, but I did it, and sometimes doing it is enough.

I am still off Redbull. I dug those cans out of the recycling.

And, a meme:
Ask me to take a picture of any aspect of my life that you're interested in. Leave your choice here as a comment, and I will reciprocate by taking the pictures and posting them as an LJ entry. That way you get to know a little bit about my life, if you're interested in it.

Note: I reserve the right to reject any request for photos of things that I'd be uncomfortable posting to the internet.

There is very little I won't put on the internet, but I figured I'd leave that clause in.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:28am on 06/02/2009 under ,
I am feeling complicated tonight.

I worked much of the day perfecting a Project for work. It's something I've worked on for more than six months and it's been a long journey, but the finish line is in sight. I am really proud of it.

My brain got fried, so I took a break from work that turned into two hours of playing the ukulele. It made me miss having a guitar, because it's really hard to play a slow, sad, emo song on the ukulele. I told Katrina this and she said that she'd loan me her guitar.

Then I sang acapella in my bathroom and recorded it and showed it to people on the internet. This made me feel extremely vulnerable so I also did it naked. That was good.

Then I made some art, and that was good, too. Things went awry, like they tend to, but in a good way. I'll post photos tomorrow.

Then I answered some emails and sent some things to some people that they needed and remembered that there are new photos to go in Amanda's press section on Flickr.

This is one of them:

I think this is possibly one of the best photos I've ever taken. It is certainly one of my favorites.

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So. Went to DC and worked the Dolls show at the 9:30 Club. Bought a Bling-Bama shirt on the street (Barak, all in bling, it's amazing and says HOPE on it.)

It was a really beautiful night. I met a musician named Ari Gold who rocked the uke, keyboard, drums AND danced his ass off and was actually a really nice guy backstage too. And then I walked past Grace Potter a bunch of times while she was practicing backstage and every time thought, "Damn, that chick in the boots with the electric guitar is HOT." But we had to leave before her set was done to get the 2AM Chinatown bus back, which ended up not leaving until nearly three but which got us to NYC before 6. Daaaaaaaaaamn.

Highlights of the trip:
- War Pigs (AMAZING)
- An empty Chinatown bus on the way down... because we missed the one we had tickets for.
- Buying the BLING BAMA shirts with Katrina.
- The sense in the air of togetherness.
- Obama on my Metro ticket.
- Ending up at a restaurant in DC, randomly sitting next to the cousin of a girl I know through Amanda.
- Eating lo mein with my hands on the bus ride home.
- This photo:

Oh... and the fact that "President Barack Obama" isn't just a nice idea, but a reality.

So. Got back Wednesday EARLY morning, slept a few hours, worked for the rest of the night. Thursday we shot some material for an electronic press kit (EPK) for Amanda and then Friday we had the What's the Use of Wonderin' shoot.

Video shoots are hard. Crew members and space rentals are expensive, so you try to cram as much as you can into one day.

I've now done.... ten? Ten music videos. Wow. That's what happens when you work for an artist who decides to make a video for EVERY SONG ON THE RECORD. Anyway, every single time, I'm in awe of the quantity and quality of work that gets done in the course of a day.

Yesterday was a strange one... some of our usual crew wasn't there (since we were shooting in NYC) and there were a few new people filling in for them. It also felt exceptionally long, along I suppose it was about the same as all the others.

I did what I do, which is to say I took stills and pinned dresses and went on soda runs and made inappropriate comments to Pope and tried to stay out of the way. We also ran a Party on the Internet ( which was fun but there was really too much chaos. An experiment, we'll know for next time. I really want to do another Party on the Internet like the first one, which was on release night, at the Cloud Club. We drank a bottle of wine and Amanda talked for two hours.

I like video shoots because I feel very useful and I get to use my body in my work. So much of what I do takes place behind a computer screen, I start to feel disconnected. Must get back to doing yoga regularly.

Art. Let's talk about art in this rambly entry.

That is from a short (ten minute) shoot I did with Amanda before the EPK shoot. A friend looked at a larger set (about 20 images) and declared that a few of them were the best photos I'd ever taken. At some point, I'll release them and you'll see.

That's from the What's the Use shoot. I love it and I'm not precisely sure why.

Hillary, the director of photography. One of the things I love about Michael Pope is that he puts women in power. He's smart enough to pick the right ones, too--- Hillary is awesome, as is Bri Olsen, Pope's producer, and Casey Long, art director and reluctant music video star.

This is Casey:

Pope manning the monitor:

This entry has really meandered. So much going on, both within and without. Yesterday was the first day since New Year's that I didn't feel sick. Amazing feeling.

Paparazzi (photo by Bri Olsen):

I everything about that picture. The handsome fellow next to me is Desi and you can see AFP's profile in the shadow on the reflector. Also, BELLY.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:04am on 27/12/2008 under , , , ,
I did an interview of sorts with Upstream of Consciousness.

It was a lot of fun.

I actually don't even remember writing this line: I find often that the more complicated my feelings for someone are, the more interesting the photographs I take of them.

I answered that one on the train, on my Blackberry. I think I had been drinking.

Nonetheless, it's very very true.

Cut for complications. )

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I came home to wonderful things in my mailbox. Prints to send out to y'all (YAY!) A beautiful key story, probably the best one yet, from Amara. It made me cry.

And these:

Favorite new shirt courtesy MJ. Ridiculously awesome art courtesy of friend in the UK who declined to give their name.

I love it. So much. You can't tell from the photo, but it's different layers of cut material. There was a pencil drawing on transparent paper as well, that had layers that made up the whole. Fucking awesome. Am I totally narcissistic if I get it framed and hang it on my wall?

Okay, y'all. Thanks to MJ and our anonymous friend, I'm going to pay it forward.

Comments are screened. (I will unscreen anything that doesn't have personal information in it.) The first five people to comment with addresses get free 8x10 surprise art prints. The next fifteen get 5x7. Everybody else--and if 300 people comment, I'll a little screwed but totally stoked-- get 4x6s.

Here's the catch--- you have to give me someone else's address to send it to. So you're not asking for you. You're asking for someone else who'll then go to their mailbox and have random art waiting for them, and who will hopefully smile.

You can warn them, or not. I think not would probably be more fun. And, as always, if it's for your Nana I can make sure it's not a nudie, just tell me. Alternately, if your Nana would LOVE a nudie, tell me that too.

Why am I doing this when I'm six weeks behind in keys? Because the love's gotta spread somehow.

Hit me, darlings.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:02pm on 05/12/2008 under , ,
Working... breathing... trying to rationalize that at some point soon I will feel BETTER.

I had something to say but I forgot it. Sometimes there is only energy for pictures. These are the last ones of the lovely Kim and Zoe from Vermillion Lies. How weird is it that, within the space of a month, they went from being a band I was geeking out on to being real people who crashed at my apartment? I mean, how often does THAT happen?

... wait... don't answer that.

More... )

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 04:17am on 01/12/2008 under ,
For me, tour is over. Ten shows, nine cities, new experiences, new friends, lots of Redbull.

I like tour but it's tiring. A lot about this tour made me think, "Amanda was right about ___________." She's right that it's hard to get everything done when on the road. She's right that the temptation to party is huge. She's right that 11 people living in a bus is a complicated, intense situation.

I still like it, though, even if it's no basis for a system of government.

Kyle said that touring at my age destroys a part of you, and that I should make sure that the part that takes its place is as good or better. I think I'm doing that. I am learning to breathe and to police myself. These are good things, even if I am still sometimes an impulsive, mean girl.

It's late (early) and I should sleep while I can. This entry is too thin, so here's a photo of Zoe Vermillion (of Vermillion Lies) and Tora Hylands (of the Danger Ensemble.) It's one of my favorites from tour:

And here's a picture of me driving Malcolm, the Vermillion's van, with the help of Mister Le Turk:

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:25am on 28/11/2008 under , ,
Let's talk art.

I've shot five commissions. There are a few that are proving problematic--- the ideas in my head are too clear to let it be "almost right." But they are coming.

For those of you who ordered 8x10 prints, my huge apologies for the delay. I ordered them before tour and then got home to find that the place I ordered from had inexplicably canceled the order. They're re-ordered, and they'll soon be here and I'll package them up for you and send them away.

If you ordered a surprise print, you should have it already, unless you ordered in the past four days, in which case it's on its way. Let me know if you didn't get it.

The hardest part about doing these commissions is that I want to SHOW THE WORLD the art I'm making. But it's yours and you're the only one who can give me permission to go, "Look, look! ART!"

For now, I'll give you a few outtakes:

And if these are the rejects, imagine what the real thing looks like. )

So... I'm going to keep doing commissions at $50 for a while longer, but since I've been putting a LOT of time into some, I may need to bump that up. Or maybe not. We'll see how it all rolls.

In case you're new, here are the details (also note that prints are no longer mounted, because it was brought up to me by several people that they don't WANT them mounted):

1.) For those of you who want something totally unique, for $50 I will go out and MAKE ART for you. You can give me general guidelines (a topic, a mood, a color) or not. I will take a photograph for you, retouch it, have it printed, sign and send it to you. It will be numbered 1/2. You will have one print, I will keep the other. No others will ever exist. I won't even share it on the internet unless you give me permission.

2.) Below the cut are twelve of my favorite photos ever. I am selling signed 8x10 prints of these images for $25 (including shipping).

3.) Send me $5 and I will send a surprise 4x6 or 5x7 print to you. You'll have no idea what it will be until it arrives.

Prints Available, or, arrrrrgh, be warned, here be nipples! )


Option 2 - Choose an 8x10:
Name of Desired Print

Option 3 - Surprise Print!:

If you want to give someone a commission for any of the exciting upcoming winter holidays, and let them pick the subject, then note that in the Paypal comments field and I'll send you a pretty gift certificate to put under the tree/menorah/mantle/car. If you'd rather they unwrap actual art, that's cool too--- just get your orders in ASAP and note that you need it before the holidays.

All in all... this experiment is going well. I'm making art (and I was BONE DRY for a while).

And I'm going to New Orleans in early 2009.

So thank you.


ps - Yesterday Kim Vermillion smiled at me from the couch and said, "I know what song you need to hear." And then she played me a song she wrote about New Orleans. It was one of the most epically beautiful moments I've had in months.

This is Kim right after she played that song for me. Art for art.
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:02pm on 07/11/2008 under , , ,
Um... wow.

So a week ago, I tossed up a few Paypal buttons and an idea, half expecting to get laughed off the internet.

That is not what happened.

THANK YOU, all of you, who have supported my art. In every way. From the commissions to the prints to the encouraging comments to the random email I got the other day from someone who read about this project and loved it and wanted to send me homemade jam-- you are awesome.

I wanted to give you some updates.

1.) COMMISSIONS. I love commissions. For those of you who requested commissions, I am SO STOKED to make art for you. I've realized that art making will take a little time (I am plotting out specific shoots for each of you, several of which require people who I'll have to wrangle) so your pieces may take up to a month to create. Some will be faster. If it's going to take longer than a month (ie, I need a little pink haired fairy for a shoot and [ profile] fairytalevegas is away in Aruba until mid-December), I will email you and ask nicely if you are willing to wait.

2.) NUDITY. Some of you were worried about buying the surprise prints because your parents/roommates/significant others/children might not dig surprise nudity or other adult images. I understand that. Therefore, if you want "clean" surprise prints, just put that in the comments field and I will oblige.

3.) PRINTS. For those of you who ordered prints, I have ordered them from my printer and they're on their way to me. Soon after that, they will be on their way to you. Yay! Also, I find it fun that I've sold SEVEN copies of "Kitchen". Y'all love kissing girls. This is cool, because I also love kissing girls. Ahem.

4.) TIME. Many of you asked how long I'll continue to accept commissions/sell prints. The answer is "I hope for a long time."

5.) LIFE. Is good and full of love.


ps - Here is FREE ART for you.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:36am on 01/11/2008 under , , ,
I had the urge, the other night, to get on a plane and go somewhere.

I can't, because all my credit cards are maxed out from the last time I got on a plane and went somewhere.

I don't regret London. Going to London on a moment's notice was one of the best decisions I ever made. But my financial instability has started to weigh heavily on me.

So, I give you:

The Romantic Travel Fund(raiser)

1.) For those of you who want something totally unique, I have a proposition. For a limited time, for $50 I will go out and MAKE ART for you. You can give me general guidelines (a topic, a mood, a color) or not. I will take a photograph for you, retouch it, have it printed and mounted on matboard, sign and send it to you. It will be numbered 1/2. You will have one print, I will keep the other. No others will ever exist. This seems cool to me.

2.) Below the cut are ten of my favorite photos ever. I am selling signed 8x10 prints of these images, mounted on matboard, for $25 (including shipping).

3.) Send me $5 and I will send a surprise 4x6 or 5x7 print to you. You'll have no idea what it will be until it arrives.

I have no idea if this is going to work, but I know one thing: I want to click the shutter in New Orleans soon. So let's try.

Prints Available, or, arrrrrgh, be warned, here be nipples! )

So, to recap:


Option 2 - Choose an 8x10:
Name of Desired Print

Option 3 - Surprise Print!:

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:38pm on 06/09/2008 under ,
Here is a photo of my boss holding her new album while wearing a ridiculous hat. Please note the photo on the back cover:

It's an alternate cover on

And while I'm at it, here's the September cover of The Noise, a popular Boston music magazine:

(Click for another photo and the associated article.)

bethofalltrades: (Default)
Back in January, before we knew each other, Amanda posted a blog entry that contained two important things:

1.) A photo I took at the New Year's Eve show
2.) A list of t-shirt slogans she and her companions on tour had come up with.

This caused two things to happen.

1.) I bought a plane ticket to fly to The Dresden Dolls' last show of tour in Virginia, the photograph being a Sign From The Universe.
2.) I decided that Amanda Palmer's wish should be my command.

I'd never silk-screened anything in my life. I found directions online and went to Pearl Paint and spent an evening teaching myself how to do it.

My roommates thought I was crazy.

Thanks to the long signing line at the NorVa concert, I worked up the courage to ACTUALLY GIVE IT TO HER.

She liked it:

She posted it in her blog a few days later:

More recently, she died in it:

And, when fate conspired to give me the opportunity to offer my services to her, I attached the below photo, so she'd put it all together:

(Photo by Fairytale Vegas)

When I was looking for a photo to use with my bio on Post-War Trade, Amanda said I should use that one.

"Because you look hot in it! I hired you because of that photo."
"You're impossible."
"You look confident. Confidence is sexy."


So that is the tale of how the "Text Me" t-shirt came to be, and how it helped me open the door to my New Life, where I get to take photos at concerts all the time and where Amanda Palmer's wish is truly my command.


ps - The shirt will be on sale on Post-War Trade as soon I as print 100 of them. Hopefully mid-next week!
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 03:38am on 01/08/2008 under
Everyone should read [ profile] kylecassidy's blog.

... not only because he posts stuff like this:

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:49pm on 28/07/2008 under ,
Oh, hi, what's this?

My bathtub photo on

Life... is good. I'm in Boston. We held the premiere of the music videos on Friday and Saturday nights. I sold merch, which was way fun. The fans seemed to love it. I love the fans.

I was up until 8:30 this morning working on Post-War Trade. It looks like it finally might launch in the next week or two. Thank god.

More later... now to the Post Office.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 03:42pm on 17/07/2008 under
I took that.

If nothing else (and there is EVERYTHING ELSE), working with Amanda means that my photos are seeing the light of day beyond this blog. Which makes me happy.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:57pm on 17/06/2008 under , ,
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:04am on 02/05/2008 under , ,
We Killed Amanda Palmer )

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:19pm on 15/03/2008 under
I had a shoot with the lovely the rockin' Lauren West today and it was RAD.

This shoot made possible by the OMG amazing learningz of [ profile] kylecassidy. Without him, I never would have thought to strip and solder the wires of my eBay radio triggers so that they'd work with my flash. In fact, I probably never would have known the glory of the off-camera flash if it weren't for the great Kyle. So this is thanks to him and, of course, lovely Lauren.

Lauren West003web

Lauren West029

More underneath the cut. )

bethofalltrades: (ani sanity)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:25pm on 14/01/2008 under , , ,
I am awesome and insane and so wickedly blessed.

I am also stranded for the next six hours in the Richmond airport.

Last minute plane ticket: $142
Hotel room for five hours of sleep and a cold shower: $40
Ticket to the last Dolls show of this tour: $25
Hearing Amanda Palmer utter the words "Beth, you're fucking amazing": Fucking priceless

Photos and a ful recap to follow when I'm not using my PDA.




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