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December 29, 2016

2016 Top 10

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At the end of every year, I go through the images I published throughout the previous 12 months – trying to pick my favorite image of the year. It is always hard, but this year seemed to be one of the hardest for me. There were a lot of milestones this year and my first pass had a couple dozen candidates… but here I’ve narrowed it down to a top 10 with a couple of honorable mentions. So in no particular order… the candidates plus my favorite of the year.

The Honorable Mentions…

I could not narrow it down to just 10 without eliminating two images that mean so much to me personally, so I decided to put them in as honorable mentions. My grandson was born on Valentine’s Day of 2015 and these two images are about 8 months apart – one on his first birthday and the other in October… It shows just how fast they grow up…

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End Of Days was an image originally envisioned two Halloweens ago and finished last summer in time for International Photographic Competition with the Professional Photographers of America. It received a merit score – something that is very hard to do in the artist category, but even more than that, caught the eye of a composite artist I really look up to for his work. He gave me some fantastic pointers because of this image that I intend to carry into new projects.

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Another artist category image that merited at IPC last summer, Your Future is in the Cards was a long time in the making as well. With it, I received my first ever entry into the Showcase book – meaning one of the judges really liked it and felt it needed recognition even though it fell short of being added to the “Loan Collection.”

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I meet some of the coolest people in this business, and 2016 was no exception. One of the standouts was this incredibly talented singer – Gabbie Rae. She has an amazing vocal range and her song, Scream, has become one of my favorites.

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Of course, there has to be some cosplay in my top picks of the year – its one of my favorite things to photograph. This amazing cosplay of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas was created by my makeup artist, Kristin. She raided my prop cabinet and found this old string of Christmas lights for this photo.

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As we start talking about my favorite pinup images from the year, I’ll share one that crosses over from cosplay to pinup. Every now and then, I’ll see a cosplay on Facebook that inspires me and this Black Cat from Marvel Comics was one such image. Black Cat was originally introduced as a cat burglar – Marvel’s answer to DC’s Catwoman – and like her DC counterpart’s relationship with Batman, eventually ends up romantically involved with Spiderman as she tries to navigate the gray area between hero and villain.

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Stephanie first came to my studio at the end of 2015, a friend of Kristin (Jack Skellington, above), and has quickly become one of my favorite subjects. She created these great elf ear prosthetics, so we photographed her not only as an elf, but as a fairy. This was one of my first attempts to scale something large (a human) down to something small (the spool) and was very happy with the final result.

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Paint Me Like One of Your French Girls is another image that was photographed in 2015, but was not finished until 2016 – just in time for IPC. It merited in the open category and while it did not make it to the Loan Collection, it still is one of my favorite images. Erin wasn’t even ready when this image was made – it was actually intended to be a light test – but sometimes the light tests are magic.

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I had another incredible opportunity this year to photograph a 2017 Calendar for the Dallas Sidekicks Dancers. With twelve images in the calendar, choosing a favorite was like choosing a favorite child, so instead I chose one that I felt summed up this amazing day – of the absolutely lovely Isabelle. It’s not too late, either… you can still order a calendar by clicking this link.

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When I first started my studio more than 10 years ago, I photographed a beautiful 19 year old red head named Erin. She quickly became on of my favorite subjects and the first person to gain the title of “Muse” to my artist. She’s graced my top images of the year almost every year – and even been my favorite image of the year twice (including the mermaid image from last year). She is an amazing woman and a dear friend – and the camera absolutely loves her.

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As I gathered this year’s images to pick a favorite, I realized without a doubt, it had to be this one. This image was made when Stephanie first came to my studio at the end of 2015 (December 28, to be exact) and was published in 2016… and in this case by published, I mean it was published as the cover for my first book from Amherst Media. You can read more about the book and how to order it here: http://bradbarton.us/book

For more on my Pinup and Boudoir photography, please visit Intimatography.com

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