July 14, 2014

When A Good Girl is Bad She is Very Very Bad Part I and II

I have removed the two posts noted above reluctantly. Here is my response:

The posting of these two blogs has caused great distress among many people. I have been called entitled, arrogant, insensitive, dishonorable, and mean-spirited, along with being told that I’m a very difficult person, and I am not a writer. Perhaps all of this is true. In these postings I never once implied that I was an easy person to live with. I have always been wracked with terrible anxieties, hypochondria, and a very critical nature. My sister once told me that I come across as very sensitive in the blogs, which is not perhaps the case in real life. I am no angel. That is for sure. I am definitely a fallen person. I could only hope that I have some redeeming qualities, and that I am not all bad.

Now to the postings. It was never my intent to invade the privacy of my ex-wife. It all seems like such ancient history to me as it occurred over twenty-five years ago, but obviously as I should be aware, emotions do not seem to have the same timeline as history. The reason I posted these two blogs in the beginning was not to hurt anybody, but to explain the often asked question of how my work has changed so much over the years. I went from one style of photography to another in a relatively short time, and the questions has often been. How did this occur? What prompted this?

It was as always, the pictures that drive these posts. I was trying to explain the terrible trauma that occurred in my life that was so profound, and so deep that its affects caused a drastic break in my pictures. It is my belief that if these events had not occurred my pictures would not have changed, at least to the extent that they did, and I owe a lot of this to my wife Leslie for the last twenty-five years.

Again I am sorry to have offended people but quite honestly I am also very disappointed in some of my friends, and associates. They should know me better. These are only my impressions of the events that happened, and how they affected me. My ex-wife I am sure has a completely different interpretation. That is the way of the world. Two sides to every event.

I seem to be done in for awhile by this whole affair, and I think I need to take a small respite from writing. I will start again in September. Thank you for your support.





  1. “The narrative momentum forward is ‘countersprung by
    references backwards in time giving the impression
    of a book which is not traveling from a to b but
    standing above time and turning slowly on its own
    axis to comprehend the whole pattern. Things do
    not all lead forward to other things; some lead
    backwards to things which have passed. A marriage
    of past and future racing towards one. Anyway that was my idea…” -Alexandria’s Quartet

    Comment by Safi — July 14, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  2. I think you are a most excellent writer Rodney. I’m sorry to hear you’ve gotten into some trouble recently over what you’ve written. But I selfishly look forward to more of your writing in the future.

    Comment by Rob — July 14, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

  3. I always look forward to your post hurrying to my ipad to see if you posted anything Monday morning. I have read just about every post (sometimes twice). I never thought of your stories as mean spirited or insensitive. I believe your stories are true to life and have ultimately created the man, the father, the photographer you are.
    You are an inspiration and have influenced my process and the way I see. Thank you for all you do and I look forward to many post in September.

    Comment by Kevin Pazmino — July 14, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

  4. i thought the two pieces were sympathetic.
    It was not an easy write..
    i too, have had failed relationships, one very similar.
    i am basically kind and sympathetic to others, but can come across often, as arrogant, self-centered, mean and very success driven.
    i am a Capricorn.
    Photographers and writers have to break eggs to make omlettes..
    Strangely my ex and i are best friends.
    i stayed the last few days with her, on my recent trip to South Africa.
    It was always amiable, main reason the kids.
    Your photographs are what brings me here.
    The background and details, keeps me coming for more.
    If the truth bothers some, well let it be.
    Enjoy the respite.
    You do good!

    Comment by jason gold — July 15, 2014 @ 7:21 am

  5. I really hope to see you back and I hope this event hasn’t put you off. I adore you’re insights and would be devastated if they were to go. Thank you.

    Comment by Jim — July 15, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  6. Rodney, the two posts mentioned above were beautifully written, emotional and, above all, empathetic.

    I can only pity someone who can claim you’ve been dishonest or malicious.

    Hoping this is not The End,

    (your former intern and friend from the other side of the world)

    Comment by Anastas — July 15, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

  7. Your writing has been a pleasure to read – I appreciate the honesty, the perspective, the context to your work, and insight into your artistic journey. As an adult, I can read your writings knowing it is your perspective – that’s what a blog is about, and I commend you for always sharing it thoughtfully and respectfully. I look forward to learning more from your stories in the future.

    Comment by Rebecca — July 15, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

  8. A another new begining, I look forward to that!

    Comment by Terry — July 16, 2014 @ 5:15 am

  9. Write the book…I’ll buy it. At least it’s honest and transparent, very few can be that way.

    Comment by fred — July 18, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

  10. It seems strange to have to censored your own insights and emotions. But I guess it’s done when caring about the perceptions and opinions and others…which to me isn’t a sign of a “fallen man.” Besides we’re all fallen…all made up of stars and star dust. It’s how we choose to get up that matters—especially when “terrible trauma” hits. Cheers for taking a step back and regrouping. Here’s to another beginning! (what ever that may be)

    Comment by stephey baker — July 20, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  11. Rodney- As I take a break from cleaning on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I was excited to see a post from you. My heart sank when I read it. Neither of those post came across as mean spirited in my eyes. My marriage ended over 20 years ago due to infidelity on my former husband’s part so as I read them I wondered how his side of the story would read. Your post have great insight as you relay events of your colorful life- the good and the not so good. Everyone’s life has them. Looking forward to September- don’t let this change the way you do what you do

    Comment by b* — July 20, 2014 @ 4:32 pm

  12. http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/db/76/95/db7695a448114a2a623de8839866ef7f.jpg

    I hope this link will allow you to see he words that are perfect for this situation

    Comment by b* — July 21, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

  13. I remember you telling me in your workshop, that sometimes you just have to be yourself, regardless of others, and stand up for yourself. I happen to think you are a great writer and I look forward to your blog. You are a very inspiring artist and thinker. I don’t claim to understand the situation, but I know that whatever the case, you should never stop being yourself. Those are words to live by.

    Comment by Matthew Smith — July 29, 2014 @ 2:43 am

  14. As a woman, reading the words of a man with his feelings put out there, makes me appreciate your gender. Your blog is truly a gift. I spread the word to my friends to please read your posts. Your feelings of your home and your love of it resonates with me. Your gift of photography is #1 but the writing is right there also. See you in September and believe me ~can not wait~!

    Comment by Bobbie — August 13, 2014 @ 10:17 am

  15. Mr Smith,

    I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for being so open on your blog. And for being so insightful.

    I talk to my friends about your photographic work and your honesty . It is a credit to you.

    I look forward very much to hearing of how you’ve been in your next post,

    And The Hat Book is a constant inspiration .

    With very best regards

    Greg Clements

    Comment by Gregory Clements — September 3, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

  16. I stumbled upon your blog about two years ago as I was entering university. I read all your posts at once—your writing, as mentioned by others, is refreshing and tastefully uninhibited. I have become more of a moderate reader of your blog over the last year, but find myself turning to it when I require commentary and thoughts that provoke artistic progression. I admire your photographic style and its noticeable development. The most remarkable of your work is the dialogue you participate in with your photos through this blog. Hearing an artist speak on their work is a luxury—so often we are encouraged to reap only what we as an audience perceive. And it is my opinion that this can sometimes cloud a more crystal, and straightforward beauty, that hides in most artistic intention. So keep writing.

    Comment by Kira Klubnikin — September 5, 2014 @ 10:34 am

  17. Dear Mr. Smith,

    I hope you return from your hiatus soon. Your words in the removed posts seemed honest and made no pretense at conveying anything other than your perspective on a very difficult time in your life. Telling our stories is part of growing from our mistakes while soothing and healing the bruises we have incurred. Your choice to share this process is a thought provoking aspect of your art. That others see their demons emerging from your work is a reflection of their story rebounding off of yours. I look forward to new posts soon!

    Comment by TaraLee — September 17, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

  18. we all miss you.
    Please continue!
    When friends have negative thoughts and statements, they are often not real friends. In my case, a fellow photographer never, ever, made a comment about my photos.
    He did twice say “they” would do nicely on a chocolate box,
    or surrounded by a yellow border of Nat Geo.
    A magazine he hated..
    One day through events not of my doing, he withdrew his friendship..
    Your real friends await your return.

    Comment by jason gold — September 30, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

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