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Author Topic: Annie Leibowitz  (Read 44752 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2009, 04:00:23 AM »
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Quote from: blansky
But that's the point.

Her success is due to her subject matter which is over managed, over marketed and over hyped celebrity. The saying "if you want to be a famous photographer, photograph famous people" applies.

However that does not make the work great, just over managed, over marketed and over hyped.


I think all of that is true, but I do think that she was excellent at what she did do earlier in her career; thatīs why I think that the point came for her where she felt she needed to try more than music, where she was drawn into fashion and movie people etc. and even that, from the little I know, seemed to be fine, just as long as a commercial style was adhered to, unlike with this set of nudes which looks to me to be a sort of statement flying in the face of any beauty that might have been associated with her work. And for me, again, it just doesnīt work. Nada mas.

Rob C
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Justan
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« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2009, 12:38:10 PM »
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« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2009, 08:42:12 PM »
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Who would like the rights, all rights, to Leibowitz's work? According to this article and this article she's trying to raise money by using her artwork as collateral. If she defaults on the loan, she loses all rights to certain works.

Regardless of what you think of her work, this is sad news.
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« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2009, 06:01:35 AM »
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Quote from: Chris_Brown
Regardless of what you think of her work, this is sad news.
Hmm: in these straitened times, I find it hard to feel too sorry for someone who has raised mortgages on several grand-sounding houses - most ordinary people are managing annually on a tiny fraction of her bills just for "a lighting company and stylist - about $700,000", in just the one modest property  

But sad to have to pawn one's life's work, indeed, however feckless, extravagant or ill-advised financially.

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jjj
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« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2009, 04:06:39 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Yes we have, jjj. We are both old enough to know that tastes can vary wildly. There's sometimes no accounting for taste. What I'm interested in is learning why something I find totally uninteresting, might actually be a valuable comment on something.

You have failed in your above post to inform us (or anyone else) why you think those nudes by Annie Leibovitz are interesting. Your response is no more than an ad hominem attack.
Someone posts images that they think are the some of the best stuff AL has produced, you think they are awful. Fundamentally it's personal taste that is at issue here. And your reply above where you say 'there is sometimes no accounting for taste', reinforces my point you think other's taste is not so good as your own. Everyone thinks they have good taste. I simply think people have different tastes and 'good' taste is an arbitrary concept. So my post was not ad hominen as it was directly about the argument itself.
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« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2009, 05:24:49 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Futt Futt, again you jump to conclusions about the desires of another. I am, if anything, less interrested in erotic images than I have ever been, but if you wish to include eroticism (implied by the suggestion of magazines) then Mz L fails utterly to produce it, by my measurements, and fails as utterly to provide any alternative emotional connect for me other than one of revulsion (of the images, not of herself).
If you read post more carefully, you would have realised the magazine comment was a tongue in cheek one, regarding Ray's post not yours.

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Should one wish to do nudes, then if not a celebration of beauty, what do we have - its opposite? Scenes from an abattoir come to mind in this instance. Quite seriously though, and not wishing to score points at all, what can be the purpose of doing nudes unless to create beauty?
Well that's a  closed minded view and exactly why I pointed out people have different tastes.  Plus this is exactly why you come across like a fuddy duddy and old fashioned. Some people like that sort of image, some don't. Personally, traditional glamour photography is something I find very boring/cheesy. Yet others love it. You seem to like 'pretty' [for lack of a better word] or traditional glamour imagery when it comes to naked women - nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with liking different stuff.
I like them as photographs, the fact that there is a naked female in them is not that relevant really.

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Can it be the buzz of the presence of a naked person when you are, presumably, not naked too? Is the buzz to do with physical presence and a sense of sexual power over another? Is it a need simply to look at a naked other? Of Ms Līs sexuality I know little other than what is implied in her sisterīs documentary, so perhaps itīs a sexual thing anyway, much as it often is between male photographer and female model on some levels.
Or simply different tastes. I like the shots, the person posting them liked them. You don't. I like gritty low key imagery, therefore there was a good chance I'd like the images more than if they were lit like a corporate mug shot, regardless of content
Do I assume those who photograph naked people always do so for sexual reasons? Certainly there will be an element of that at times, as people photograph what they like and many a famous artist has had cettainly had  affairs with models, but I know a straight male photographer that specializes in males simply as almost everyone else photographs women and he want to do something different and a friend is filminga video on how to do fancy bondage rope tying, but had to get someone else in to do the rope stuff as it isn't his thing.
I didn't think there was anything to hint at with regard to AL's sexuality. Susan Sontag was her partner for many years until her recent death.


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And the age references; what makes you think Ms Annie is some spring chicken? What makes you make the connection between age (your personal cutt-off number not mentioned) and having valid opinions? Do people older than you frighten you, shame you, embarrass you or just turn you off? What a mysterious concept hidden within there somewhere!
How old you are, Annie or myself is, is irrelevant. Actual age was not the point. I said you were like old people bemoaning the tastes of the young, who only make themselves look foolish in doing so. Particularly when they themselves wore clothes/listened to music their elders in their turn disapproved of. I am probably unusual in being unimpressed with today's music and fashion, because it is all a unimaginative rehash of stuff that went before, rather than trying to be different from the past. I like the shock of the new.
Speaking about music..
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Music? How far back does your taste go? I could have given you a run for your money with jazz, vintages New Orleans, Chicago, St Louis etc. through rīnīb and rīnīr and diversions into swing but what would that prove, other than I care little for much that happened post Stones, as I think you once declared - or was it post Beatles? Much the same time, anyway. But still eff-all to do with that series of abysmal naked corpses which is where we came in.
I have plenty of music from the 20's if we are talking 3-4 minute songs, earlier for orchestral stuff and alsonew stuff from today and from the years inbetween too. BTW I spend a lot of time in environments where Swing is the only music to be heard, as I do swing/Lindy dancing and that is not the Las Vegas Lounge stuff that many people erroneously describe as swing music and where you seemed to place it in your musical timeline.
Saying there was no decent music after a certain time simply dates you and says nothing about you 'superior' taste and is everything to do with your dislike of the images, as it's the same thing. People tend not to like music that came after their youth as it wa never as good as in their day, you seem to be the same with more contempary imagery. You simply come across as very old fashioned and non mainstream/traditional things do not appear to be to your taste, which is fine.
Interestingly all the music you list you like was shocking in it's time, yet now it's all so very acceptable and quotidian. Just as more recent punk style tunes or radical electronica from the Eighties from times gone by are now to be heard whilst on hold waiting for customer services to answer phone. Or the shocking impressionist paintings are now seen as bit twee or ballet being seen as a bit fuddy duddy, rather than the place where radical art and ideas were first seen. Times and tastes change, some people don't.
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Rob C
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« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2009, 04:18:29 AM »
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Ah Futt Futt, the interminable wheel once set in motion just keeps on rollinī...

Ciao

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2009, 12:07:51 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
Someone posts images that they think are the some of the best stuff AL has produced, you think they are awful. Fundamentally it's personal taste that is at issue here. And your reply above where you say 'there is sometimes no accounting for taste', reinforces my point you think other's taste is not so good as your own. Everyone thinks they have good taste. I simply think people have different tastes and 'good' taste is an arbitrary concept. So my post was not ad hominen as it was directly about the argument itself.

JJJ,
No, it's not personal taste which is at issue here. It's obvious to everyone above a certain age that tastes differ. There no point in bringing this into the argument, You are just stating the obvious,

The only interesting issue here is why you like or dislike, or are indifferent to a particular photo.

I happen to be indifferent to the nude shots from Annie Leibowitz. I don't particularly hate them. I just think they are dull and lifeless and simply uninteresting.

My reasons are, the lighting is deadeningly poor and the eroticism is nonexistent. That's my view. Rob used the metaphor of dead meat. I suggested that perhaps Annie's brief was to produce a seies of nudes which are literally stripped of all eroticism. If that was her goal, she has succeeded. Perhaps that's all that counts. A master photographer at work, using her skills to produce the desired result.

However, it's my view in general that the 'nude' is an erotic subject, just as a sunset is a spectacular display (to some degree) of colorful red hues.

There might be something to say for stripping the nude of all eroticism. Can you articulate it?
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jjj
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« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2009, 10:51:09 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
JJJ,
No, it's not personal taste which is at issue here.
It's obvious to everyone above a certain age that tastes differ. There no point in bringing this into the argument, You are just stating the obvious,
It so obviously is the fact that tastes differ, that is the nub of the discusion. And yet you are still completely ignoring that it is indeed taste that is the  issue here.

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The only interesting issue here is why you like or dislike, or are indifferent to a particular photo.
I happen to be indifferent to the nude shots from Annie Leibowitz. I don't particularly hate them. I just think they are dull and lifeless and simply uninteresting.
But others really like them. As they are to their taste.

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My reasons are, the lighting is deadeningly poor and the eroticism is nonexistent. That's my view.
 And you are now simply post rationalising why they are not to your taste. Personally I like that sort of lighting and not everyone thinks nudes have to be erotic. An image can simply be nice/attractive/beautiful...etc

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Rob used the metaphor of dead meat. I suggested that perhaps Annie's brief was to produce a seies of nudes which are literally stripped of all eroticism. If that was her goal, she has succeeded. Perhaps that's all that counts. A master photographer at work, using her skills to produce the desired result.
If that's what was intended, the pictures are a complete success. We don't know the intentions, so cannot really say for sure, so may have wanted them to be erotic and if AL finds nudes like that sexy, then they are a success.
This is why I find a lot of conjecture about artist's work somewhat risible as the comments that are usually forthcoming say far more about the critic, than the artist as they cannot see past their biased world view.

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However, it's my view in general that the 'nude' is an erotic subject, just as a sunset is a spectacular display (to some degree) of colorful red hues.
Seeing as some people find feet erotic, some find boobs a turn on, what is erotic will depend entirely on the viewer and their tastes. It is completely subjective. Neither right nor wrong. You think nudes are/should be erotic. That's just your view. I've done nude photography and despite having a  attractive naked body in front of me, it's simply not an erotic experience.
You are starting to sound worryingly to sound like a GWC - that's a Guy With Camera. It's a term used to describe men who use a camera to photograph naked women, just to see them naked.
Maybe you've just spent too much time photographing priapic rock formations!?  

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There might be something to say for stripping the nude of all eroticism. Can you articulate it?
As I've just said, eroticism depends on your taste. If you like PVC, then a nude shot will be less erotic than one of a PVC clad person. I find Page 3 photos completely unerotic, they are very dull with bland lighting, they are simply topless shots of a pretty young thing, yet somehow manage [my mind] to make them unerotic and bland. Much like a nude beach is not exactly erotic despite everyone being naked - it's made the naked body safe and unexciting. And regarding Page three and related photography - one of the least sexy things I can imagine is a naked women draped over a car/motorbike/boat/garden shed/lawnmover... in a sad attempt to make something boring, a bit more interesting.
Eroticism of an image is dependent entirely on who is viewing it.
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2009, 11:21:04 AM »
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Futt Futt

I think you are absolutely right about shooting nudes not being erotic. Thatīs what I found, and for a simple reason: I was trying to do work that would keep my client happy and myself with a repeat calendar. There is little less erotic to me than the thought of earning my living.

Now, were I simply your GWC, then I might well have found the nude to be an erotic experience. Sadly, I was never in the position of doing anything like that for free and so can neither confirm nor deny the idea. On balance, though, I think it would certainly lend itself to a little bit of tumescence, but as that can come for free (if you are still young) just by sitting in a bus on bumpy city roads, then having to go through the preamble of chatting somebody into taking off their kit seems hardly worth the candle. As for hiring a professional model to avoid the chatting up part, the bus ride is cheaper.

Rob C
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« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2009, 12:50:29 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I think you are absolutely right about shooting nudes not being erotic. Thatīs what I found, and for a simple reason: I was trying to do work that would keep my client happy and myself with a repeat calendar. There is little less erotic to me than the thought of earning my living.
On the other hand a man earning money is pretty erotic to some women!
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 12:51:03 PM by jjj » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2009, 02:41:56 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
On the other hand a man earning money is pretty erotic to some women!


NOW you tell me!

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2009, 01:53:17 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
It so obviously is the fact that tastes differ, that is the nub of the discusion. And yet you are still completely ignoring that it is indeed taste that is the  issue here.

Taste is an issue here, as it is everywhere. Taste is no more of an issue here than it is when discussing any photograph or painting.

I'm not ignoring the fact that taste is an issue here. I'm simply assuming that it cannot be otherwise. Perhaps you could give me an example of a preference, liking or disliking of any photo or painting that is not a matter of taste, so we know where we stand.

Edit: In order not to waste everyone's time, it's understood we talking about 'artistic taste' here (or taste about artistic matters) and not taste about the artistic merit of scientific images, the sole purpose of which is to provide data and information.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 02:29:02 AM by Ray » Logged
hermans
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« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2009, 03:43:23 PM »
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Quote from: blansky
I wrote this a few years ago for a post in APUG about this type of photography. I'm obviously not a writer.


Everyone knows the stories of Ansel Adams and how he camped out for hours and days to get the incredible photographs that he is famous for.

However, there is a hot new photographer named Ansel Liebowitz doing the same type of work. He has recently been commissioned by Landscape Incorporated to produce the covers for the magazine called Terra Faire.

The progression of this cover shot is as follows:

Day 1. Executive meeting in New York with editor, photo editor, art director, location director, 2 writers, Ansel Liebowitz and his assistant , the stylist, and two interns. The discussion, the cover for May, three months away. Apparently there is a movie coming out on May 5th that features a lot of locations shots in and around the Sierras.

Day 2. Meeting with Ansel, his four assistants, stylist, art director, location director and 2 location scouts and 2 interns. Find the perfect location, check on snow, moon location, time of day etc and report back to Ansel by early next week.

Day 9. Meeting. Same group as day 2. Location scouts report that they have helicoptered around the area and have 3 locations that could be perfect. They produce photographs showing the entire area and included are the position of the sun, moon and at what times. Snow may be a problem.

Day 11. Meeting. Same group. Location is decided upon. Two assistants are sent to the area to camp out and report back when conditions are perfect. The other assistant is sent to round up rental equipment for the shoot. The location manager is sent to arrange for transportation air and ground, for Ansel and his group as well as for equipment, for the day the shoot is decided upon.

Day 19. Sierras. Weather is perfect.

Using their satellite phone the assistants contact New York. The shoot is set for 5pm. The equipment has arrived and has been set up. Ansel jumps in a limo and heads to the private airport. After a grueling 4 hour flight which he sleeps through aboard the company jet, he arrives at the nearest airport, and jumps into a helicopter to take him 30 miles to the staging area.

 A Hummer picks him up and then deposits him at the site at exactly 4:30 PM. Unfortunately the driver, not used to the slick roads,  fails to stop in time and runs smack dab right into the catering truck. The doughnuts are OK but the capiccino machine and one intern is ruined. Oh well.

 Luckily the set decorator arrived yesterday, in time to hire 3 local Sikorskys to drop 500 tons of fresh snow in patchy areas to even out the flats before the mountains. The valley floor is alive with the rhymthic whine of the six semi trailer generator trucks pumping power to the 126 strategically placed strobes filling the valley with light as the assistants tweak the set up working on polaroids. Ansel, wearing his new trumpeter swan down jacket jumps out of the Hummer and looks at the polaroids and yes it's perfect.

He trips the shutter and just to be sure trips it twenty more times as his dutiful assistants skillfully switch the film holders in and out.  The shoot had to be interrupted once, while one of his assistants shot a pesky bear cub that kept edging into the shot. But right on schedule, ten minutes later, Ansel is back in the Hummer heading for the helicopter to take him to the airport. He has a gallery opening to attend later tonight.

Day 45. Executive meeting New York. Editor, photoeditor art director,
2 writers, Ansel Liebowitz and his assistant, 1 intern. Ansel, freshly tanned, back from the Bahamas, looks over the pictures which have been photoshopped and printed. They naturally, are admired all around. Ansel - another perfect shoot.

Day 90. The magazine hits the newstands to rave reviews and Ansel has done it again.

Another book is in the works. Just in time for Christmas.


Michael


Sorry way too true to be funny!

Ok, Ok...too true and very funny!
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JDClements
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« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2009, 05:23:33 PM »
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Quote from: blansky
The doughnuts are OK but the capiccino machine and one intern is ruined.
     
That line right there is worth the price of admission!
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Rob C
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« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2009, 04:48:29 AM »
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The original set of images.

If anyone is still interested, the bulk of this set of images is to be found in the Pirelli 2000 Calendar which is available for viewing at the eponymous site. There is a further image from this set printed on page 64 of the March/April 2000 edition of American Photo. Nothing improves at larger repro. Similar editorial comment is made in the magazine, so not a lot of opinion changed in eight or nine years...

And yes, only two are models and the rest variations on the celeb theme.

Rob C
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Chris_T
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« Reply #56 on: April 02, 2009, 07:41:25 AM »
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Quote from: Iron Flatline
Now I just got a belated Hanukkah present, a copy of her newest book "At Work."

I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. She takes one or two of her images, and spends a few paragraphs or pages discusses them with us (the reader). Sometimes it's just about the subject, or the setting, but also the image: composition, gear (digital and film, btw), or lighting. There's even a kind of FAQ as well. The book is really targeted at fellow photographers.

I've read all her books and watched the documentary. Like some of her work, and would not call myself a fan. But after reading this book, I have a rather different impression of her and her work. It appeared to be based on interview transcripts. Her sincerity, honesty, generosity and vulnerability all seem to come through, and without sounding artsy. Rarely found in a photo book, and tells me a lot more about her and her work than her other books.

The book covers her career evolution, and range of work. It certainly sheds light (from her perspective) on some of the images critiqued in this thread. (I was dumb founded to learn that some images were stitched!)
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MichaelAlanBielat
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« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2009, 09:51:47 AM »
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I too have her "At Work" book. It was sort of an impulse buy but boy I am glad that I purchased it.

I haven't chugged my way through the entire book yet but it is definitely a good read thus far.
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Rob C
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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2010, 03:24:13 PM »
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Sowaddyaknow! Yesterday I bought the Annie book: Annie Leibovitz, Vida de una fotógrafa, 1990-2005, edited by Mark Holborn, which ties up neatly with her sister's film Life through a Lens. At over €50, just as well it does! I now have the problem of trying to find a home for it somewhere where it won't bring a shelf crashing down. Just as well it ain't Sumo.

Have I solved her debt problems now?

Rob C
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JamiePeters
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« Reply #59 on: April 29, 2010, 10:26:48 AM »
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So did she actually shoot these or did she have the assistants set up everything and she walked in and clicked the shutter.  I have seen these shoots myself on set movies and shows and saw this happen.

Not to mention the assistants said this happens all the time.  I wonder did she hire a ghost writer.  JP
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