Arsenic Visuals: Black Tape Malibu

How did the production come about?

The theme here is timing. I had actually just seen Joel's work on the explore page of Instagram and was thinking how cool it would be to work together. I didn't really consider it a serious option as Joel was based in Miami. It wasn't more than two days later Joel messaged me about coming to SoCal to work together. We were both on the same page from the get go. His art with my style of photography would go perfectly together. I was craving a new project to work on and this was exactly what I needed. 

What was the vibe?

Once we got the logistics out of the way, we met up in LA with Eden to shoot. The vibe initially was filled with curiosity and eagerness. Eden and I had never seen or worked with any type of body art like this so the taping process was really fascinating for both of us. And although I was really intrigued by the whole process, as the photographer I was eager to get to Malibu to shoot. I had a vision for what I wanted to capture, but until you're on location to see what light you have to work with, all you can do is hope. Lucky for us, we had an amazing sunset and we were able to shoot some epic images.

One concern I had leading up to the shoot was: how are we going to find a secluded enough of a location to shoot? Obviously, there is very minimal coverage so I wasn't sure how that was going to play out with other beach-goers. We shot at Lechuza Beach, which is more of a neighborhood beach, but there were still plenty of other people enjoying their weekend. We definitely turned some heads, but most people were complimentary and amazed with Joel's art.


I had a vision for what I wanted to capture, but until you're on location to see what light you have to work with, all you can do is hope. Lucky for us, we had an amazing sunset..

Our vibe on shoot was very focused. Everyone was comfortable and relax, but we were definitely on a mission to get the images we wanted. Only thing to mention, poor Eden was absolutely freezing (hence the music choice). So much credit for her for being a trooper and putting up with the wind & water without a single complaint. 

Do you recognize @AlexWill1ams work? He won one of our Instagram contests, #20KTuesday. This is what he has to say about creatives on Instagram:

Dear models, photographers, artists, entrepreneurs: here is the unfortunate reality you live in. There is a positive correlation between your growth and the amount of people who will try to bring you down. I'm going to lay out why it happens and what you can do about it. 

Simply put, there are two types of people.

1) People with vision and ambition, and 2) People who lack vision and wait for things to happen. People who fall in the first bucket are willing to work to achieve their goals. They create plans and then attack them. They are willing to sacrifice the easier wrong (being lazy, being mean) for the more difficult right (work ethic, being nice). People who fall in the second bucket lack the work ethic to do the necessary tasks to achieve success. They settle for mediocrity. 

But why does nastiness on social media manifest itself? The truth is, people who have procrastinated hard work develop, over time, insecurities about their identify. The right thing to do would be to self-evaluate, reflect and then get started on the path towards success. But we have already established that it's easier to be mean than to work hard. The predictable outcome is then to spew hate, insults, anything to bring someone else down to their level.

So what can you do about it? I'm not going to tell you to brush it aside, because the truth is, that stuff hurts. If you feel hurt, then congrats, you are human. You have a soul. You have a conscience. Here's what you can do: Write down your core values, things you believe in, things that make up your identity. It's important to put this in writing. When you get attacked, it's easy to feel alone and isolated. How many of you have wanted to quit Instagram, modeling, or whatever it is you do after someone attacks you? I know I have at times. Take a deep breath and refer to your core values. These values are UNDENIABLE TRUTHS and serve as a compass to guide you forward. 

Don't quit. Don't give up. Put your head down and work harder. Be RELENTLESS. Leave the haters behind in your dust and don't look back.

Photographer: @AlexWill1ams

Model @EdenRambo

Artist @BlackTapeProject