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This project will explore impulsive human behavior.  This project will illustrate the kind of behavior that usually sits behind the veil of what is socially acceptable.  Each image will answer the following question:  What happens when impulse leads to over-indulgence?

The photographs proposed are loosely based on real people who I know and/or have met.  The project will be presented as a series of short surreal stories that all take place in a high-rise apartment building.  Each image will have a strong concept created by:

  • Design
  • Narrative
  • Texture
  • Color
  • Contrast

The photographs will convey a strong sense of design through the use of shapes, linear perspective, implied and psychic lines.  Design, texture, color and contrast will be used to move the viewer’s eyes throughout each image.

The inspiration for this project come from the building that I live in and the following:

Starting Mood Board for the Project

Starting Mood Board for the Project

Here is a proposed list of pictures.  Attached to each photo idea are descriptive words defining the basic infrastructure of the image.

  1. “Colorful Insanity”  |  Eclectic  |  Tattoo  |  Swinger  |  Nude
  2. “Perfect Couple”  |  Dramatic  |  Minimal  |  Beautiful  |  Psychopath
  3. “The Beast”   |  Deranged  |  Mysterious  |  Giant  |  Human
  4. “Twins”  |  Opposites  |  Creepy  |  Female  |  Enticing
  5. “The Old Lady”  |  Stale  |  Clutter  |  Knitting  |  Enchanting
  6. “The Scream”  |  Bondage  |  Extreme |  Pleasure
  7. “The Gentleman”  |  Proper  |  Polite  |  Honest  |  Cheerful
  8. “Fabulous”  |  Androgynous  |  Shameless  |  Happy
  9. “The Smoker”  |  Emaciated  |  Gray  |  Leathery  |  Waiting

I would love to collaborate with:

  • Models and/or Actors (Male & Female)
  • Hair & Makeup Stylists
  • Wardrobe stylists
  • Set Designers
  • Creative/Art Directors

If you would like to collaborate with me on this project, please email me at  sean@seandufrene.com

This project is a work in progress.  It will be captured and printed digitally.

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Big Dick of the House | ©2008, Sean DuFrene, All Rights Reserved

The “JACK” series is a project I created that visually illustrates my father’s personality.  My dad was the primary model.   The location of the project was the house I grew up in Huntington Beach, California.  Images from the series will be on exhibit at the KONA Gallery starting January 25, 2014.  Please come out to view all the debauchery and drink a few at the opening reception!

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, January 25, 2014

TIME: 6:00PM – 11:00PM

LOCATION: KONA Gallery 412 N El Camino Real, San Clemente, CA 92672

ATTIRE: Mostly classy, a little bit trashy

Exhibit will run for approximately two months

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I’m very honored to have one of my images hanging in the Hahnemühle booth, representing the paper company at the Salon de la Photo Expo in Paris, France.  This is serendipitous considering that I  recently switched to their paper for my portfolio.  You can read about the back-story to this image here.  Here is what the Hahnemühle booth looks like:

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Food is important here. Eating in Brac is like an athlete training for a sport. The day is centered around the preparation and consumption of food.
Wake up, eat a snack. Then, put pants on and walk down to the local farmer’s market to buy fish and produce for dinner. On the walk back, stop to have coffee and a pastry. Once back at home, make a proper breakfast. Today’s breakfast was scrambled eggs, a tomato, pepper & cucumber salad, prosciutto, ham and three varieties of local cheese. All of this dipped in mayonnaise, which is dispensed from what looks like a toothpaste tube.
After breakfast, head out to the beach for a bit, then go for an afternoon coffee and gelato. Walk home and take a nap.
Wake up and prepare dinner. Tonight’s dinner included muscles steamed in white wine & garlic. Scampi sauted in diced tomatoes, white wine and garlic. Leaf fish baked with rosemary. All of that served with steamed potatoes and chard tossed in olive oil. Homemade red and white wine, dispensed from recycled plastic water bottles, washed down the meal.
After dinner, walk down to the cafe for dessert. Tonight, it was gelato with sparkling water. Walk up the hill to the apartment and go to bed. Wake up and do it all over again.

PS: It was all delicious!

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Bangkok Market

“Thailand is a country that will make you sweat without moving, it has bugs the size of a man’s hand and lot’s of women with penises (or so I’m told).  The locals are friendly and the food is delicious.  All in all, it’s an amazing country to visit.”  This was from an essay I wrote about my travels in Thailand.  It pretty much sums up the trip I took last August (2012).  You can read more about my trip here.

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Train Merchant Selling Food

Two of my photographs (above) were recently selected to be in The U.S. Embassy’s 180th Photography exhibition in Thailand.

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The exhibit has traveled from Bangkok’s Central World to the Central Airport Plaza mall in Chiang Mai.  Now it’s headed off to Chulalongkorn University’s Arts and Cultural Center from now until September 13th, 2013.  If you’re traipsing through Thailand, stop in and check out the exhibit.  Here are some added dates and locations:

  • Khon Kaen – September 27-29, 2013 (opening ceremony Friday, September 27)
  • Surat Thani – November 15-17, 2013 (opening ceremony Friday, November 15)

It’s an honor to be in this exhibit.  A big thank you goes out to the U.S. Embassy for included me in the exhibit.  Also a big thank you goes out to Florian Trettenbach for sending me photos from the exhibit.

“Don’t be dumb!”  My dad would sling that doozy at me a lot when I was a kid.

I was staring at a jug of coolant being carried around by a lug covered in muscles, moving from one workout to another inside the gym, when my dad’s words of wisdom shot into my head.  An incident had occurred earlier that day and somehow this jug of red workout juice was forcing me to think about it.

Back in 2008 I had been dumb once again, this time in my professional adult life.  A colleague recently reminded me of this when I was trying to connect with him on LinkedIn.  He kindly accepted my advances to connect, but not without reminding me of an embarrassing exchange of words, forever captured in the forum section of a rather popular sports photography website.  Until the other day, I had selectively forgotten about my dumb remarks.

I used to shoot pictures for a large picture agency.  Over the summer of 2008, some of my invoices started to become extremely past due.  The people who handled the invoice process kept dropping the ball.  When I tried to discuss the issue, they would blow me off.  This made me feel of minor importance to them, which is ironic considering how much they rely on their freelance base for content.

At that time, I was fresh off a layoff in an industry that had (and apparently still has) a heavy case of the flu (metaphorically speaking).  A lot of the other newspapers were laying Photographers off as well, thus, I was freaked out about my future.  Money was tight and I needed to pay my bills.

I posted a query on this popular sports photography website, asking if other freelance photographers had received the same treatment from this company.  The feedback started to get heated, in my favor.  I got caught up in the online mayhem and started to type inappropriate comments.  That’s when the momentum changed direction.  Comments like “I smell a bridge burning!” started to appear.  This combined with all kinds of professionals reprimanding me for my choice of words.  My initial point was fair, however, the direction I took it in was a total idiot move.

“Embarrassing” is the word that completely describes how I felt when I re-read this old forum.  I know I burnt a bridge with this company due to my words.  Who knows how many other jobs I missed out on, due to the way I handled myself.

The message of this tale my friends is think about what you type, think about it some more and then one more time for good measure.  Carelessness can live on forever in the Internet, causing embarrassing items to pop up and haunt you.  Think before you hit “send.”

in San Francisco, Calif., Wednesday, on May 6, 2009.

“I come here every Wednesday for Art, to be Art,” said Jeremy Boatman, also known as “Little Orphan Tranny.”  Like a famous exhibit at a big-time gallery, Jeremy was certainly getting attention that night I followed him around the club scene in San Francisco’s Castro (Gay) District.

The idea for this project appeared in my mind back in 2009, while in graduate school.  Someone showed up to class one day with a picture from the “Sunday’s A Drag Brunch” show.  That’s a drag show that entertains people every Sunday inside the Starlight room located atop the Sir Francis Drake hotel in San Francisco, California.  I am a huge fan of observing human behavior.  So being the curious type that I am, questions started bubbling up.  Simply put, I wanted to document a day in the life of a cross-dresser, complete with the transformation process.  Then create a short video slideshow and set the images to music.  Once I gathered all the content, I spent half-a-second trying to learn video editing software.  Life happened and I shelved the project.  It kept gnawing at me all these years to finish, especially when I would pass by the project folder in my archives.  So, last week I made it my priority to learn Final Cut Pro X and finish the Drag Queen project.

I met Jeremy through a friend at school.  He agreed to let me photograph his process and then follow him around the Castro club scene on a random Wednesday night.  I have to admit, it was a little abrasive to watch a guy morph into a girl.  In addition, there’s the Gay club scene in the Castro District.  Being heterosexual, the whole night was a bit awkward for me.  I felt like that one girl, surrounded by a group of guys at the keg-party back in High School.  I’m going to assume most of you have witnessed this kind of hunt.  Six-to-seven young, puberty-charged teenagers, all trying to jockey into position for a shot at the one chick at the less-than-popular High School keg party.  I’m guessing she felt a bit like a piece of meat.  Allow me to back up; there weren’t a lot of homosexuals where I grew up.  So at that time, I was a little foreign to Gay culture.  That’s likely the reason I was so curious about cross-dressing.  That’s also why I felt like a piece of sexual meat that night photographing Jeremy in the Castro.  There were a couple of times while shooting pictures, I suddenly felt a hand caress my back in a loving way, followed by a dude suddenly appearing before me with an ear-to-ear, flirty grin.  I couldn’t have launched the words “I’m not Gay” fast enough.

Looking back, I laugh at how skittish I was that night.  I was in their club, thus, the guys obviously thought I was Gay.  Everyone was really cool.  Plus, the clubs weren’t really all that different from heterosexual clubs.  I compare the two because while at the clubs that night, there was a pretty thick sexual vibe in the air.  At the time I thought this was a “Gay” thing.  Then after a few years of continuing my quest to maturity and further experience shooting inside other, heterosexual nightclubs, I realized what I observed that night in the Castro wasn’t any different than any other big-city club.  I’ve seen some pretty seedy shit while on assignment photographing hotels night clubs in Las Vegas.

I’m stoked I got to experience the process.  It helps shed light a subculture I normally don’t hang out in.

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