Sunday, December 13, 2009

Coming of Age-Loss of Innocence

Last night, into the morning I listened to the sound of the rain...pitter patter, as it bounced off my car roof. Had a lot on my mind, just had seen the film 'Me and Orson Wells'. Before leaving the movie theater parking lot, I was texting with this "gay kid"...he's 16, wants desperately to be in my documentary. It's difficult to know what relationships to maintain...with all my years in social work I know better than to sever these delicate relationships abruptly.

The loss of Bray, barely 20 still weighs heavily on my mind, affecting my emotions deeply.
So, this 'youngen', he's just 16 and very sexually active...he texts me the other night about these three "straight" 18 year old boys coming over with alcohol...then he texts me when everyone is fully drunk saying he's "going to bottom with them tonight, he's in the mood".

Now, after the deeds have been done, he texts me saying, " Yea, I found that 4sums with 3 aggressive drunk str8 men after your ass can be pleasurable until they try to put two in me at once".

Then he texts, "Well, me was very drunk and they were all curious and good friends. Plus hott, so I did not care really. It was a new experience."
So...this kid, as with Bray is a "Cutter"...I feel it's important to allow communication to remain...though he's completely in another State...if just talking with this kid keeps him "safer"...alive ya know, then I've done my part.

Bray was going to get paid $5000 (so he told me when still living) be the Sex Object, "Toy" in a gay ritual, an "initiation" of sorts with 80 gay men in San Francisco...after a long discussion with him, I was finally able to talk him out of it. I told him being raped over and over again and with all the body fluids, no rules or laws upheld to keep him safe...that he'd need 5K just to repair the physical not to mention mental damage done. As I've blogged before, he did finally jump off the Golden Gate Bridge in August...I think of him hitting his head on the way down, floating in the Bay for 3 days before his body was's still a disturbing and frightening picture I can't get out of my mind...

Some people say that I should just make the film 100 % sensual and artistic, not to put out there my heart and that I've got such a rich history of social service...I'm like, WHY?...I'm not just another Photographer shooting this 'edgy genre'! I'm uniquely my own person; can't be fake or unreal like the 'book' or 'cookie cutter' says I'm supposed to be. I'm a proud, creative American Photographer...I plan to "rock the World" with my presence, my creations, statements, commentary and social justice, breathing, affecting, changing, growing and making a lot of money through inventive process and teaching young Artists how to achieve their goals/dreams/vision!!!

So, what to do about these troubled or curious at least gay, bi, str8 boys becoming men...well, just perpetuate life...let's just keep on perpetuating life!



Friday, November 13, 2009

It's been awhile...

For those of you following this blog, it's been I thought I'd better check in. Just as soon as I picked up my cameras again, I put them back down. In about 2, 3 weeks I plan on doing another photo shoot...with this young man that's really cool, we've been planning for several months now. (This photo-set is Zander, by the way.)

Tonight I saw the documentary called: Horse Boy
A truly lovely story of this family with an autistic son, they travel to Mongolia and meet with several Shamans...miraculously he's much better once they return to their home in Texas.
Also tonight I got text messages from a young Model on a Greyhound Bus, headed to California with no money, no place to search of his dream. He wants so very much to do a shoot with me, wants to be in my documentary as well. Wow, I need an 'Artists Commune' or something I guess.

It's such a beautiful day, now evening...good food, movie and now sitting at LeStat's...watching all this 'humanity'. Two beautiful teenage boys, obviously attracted to each other, visiting in a safe environment, others on their laptop computers, people in motorised wheelchairs, goths, nerds, a variety of races, body types etc, etc, etc.

It's been difficult, this year for sure...losing Bray in August, was a real blow to my emotions and how I view the World. I so much need to finish this film, my documentary...hopefully we'll have enough funding soon to be able to go into post-production by Spring of 2010...not very far away. I can promise, you've never, ever seen a bio-pic/art documentary like this ain't your average Picture, people!
Enough saying hello and checking in with the WorldWideWeb community...carry on!


Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm 'Back In The Saddle'

It was truly alarming, learning of Bray's death recently...wasn't sure, didn't feel like taking anymore pictures or finishing my documentary. Meeting and getting to know and in a way, falling in love with these young, vibrant and dangerous's a tax on the mind and emotions are in full play.

So, the past 3 weekends I've taken up my camera and recorded and celebrated new friends' life, love and expression. Irving came from Guadalajara 3 weeks ago, I picked him up downtown and he spent the night with me here in San Diego...we photographed and he talked with me on-camera in the Hotel room, reminiscent of my time with Bray...but this time this young man joined together with me in a brief conversation about someone I loved dearly, lost to the ages.

These past two weekends I've photographed and interviewed Zander, an 18yr old boy from the UK. I so love to hear him talk, it's music to my full of life and enjoying his California Dreaming! Friday, August 28th I picked him up at the Train Station in Oceanside. We had so much fun, shooting in various planned and random locations throughout the city. We enjoyed listening to Hendrix on cd as we drove home to his cousins in Santa Clarita...

Then, a week later he receives the cd of images we'd taken and he Facebook messaged me and said he wanted to be in my documentary, to be interviewed. So, though it was labor day weekend, I drove up to meet with him at Zuma Beach in Malibu. We again were so happy to be together, soaking up the sun and enjoying a brief time of relaxing and lounging on the sand. The interview took place under a near by bridge and we also shot a roll of B & W dirty and dangerous was our location, we both loved refreshing and spontaneous!

Again it was time to say goodbye, a slight embrace of my beautiful friend...then to the car and another long drive on the Pacific Coast Highway...then the 10 to the 405. I was happy,, I feel as though I am truly, "Back in the Saddle" once again to enjoy life, to freely express, embrace, engage in living this gift of my life.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

R.I.P. Alexander "Bray" Baxter lll (april 8, 1989 - august 3, 2009)

Not too long ago I was blogging about my trip to San Francisco, my weekend with Bray. This time, it's about his suicide of this Monday. Wednesday I got a call from his Mom named Joy. She asked me if I'd heard from him, that he's been missing since Monday. She found my card in his bag...when she said that, I just had this strange feeling. My worst fears were realized this morning. It was about 1:30am, just about to go asleep on Matt's couch...but I wanted to check Bray's facebook page one more time. When I signed on...saw the 'Memorial' and 'Tributes'...I thought Oh no, Oh my, no, no...not again. I couldn't even read them completely through. I've been invited to a Memorial...I can't even decline the RSVP. It's the last thing I want to do, to cry with all these people, though I feel the pain of loss...I've had so much loss...emotionally I just can't handle it. When I see Bray's picture from out photo shoot, when I see all the dozens of emails...still in my heart just shakes and trembles...I can still hear his voice, feel his soft skin, feel him breath in and out...telling me all about his life, his dreams of fame and fortune. Words can't do very much...honestly...I can't deal with all this stuff...I mean, I've had so many friends today loving me...telling me not to give up my photo essay and they've encouraged me to finish my documentary...but in a way...I really don't care to...but then, I need to I suppose. When I got in my car to leave Matt's and go to LeStat's for coffee before going to work...turning on the radio to FM 94.9...these lyrics to some song played...then I turned off the radio.

"you can't put your arms around a memory"....SELAH


Saturday, July 18, 2009

proud A M E R I C A N

One week ago today, I was on my way to Balboa Park to play Frisbee with Josh and Shane. Who's got the skills? I gots'tha skizzles. . . . . fo sho!
...anywhoo o o o, Art, making liberating. 14 hours I spent with Josh...we became good friends by the end of the day.
It's so beautiful, fabulous, wonderful to make new friends with really cool, fun and funky people!
Freedom of Expression...that's what it's all about. We Americans are a proud people, we have rights to say, do just about any damn thing we want...within reason. Stand up tall, acknowledge your, love, make art. Show people in daWorld how much you care, we care, I, love, make art!!!
Peace 2 daWorld,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

born FREE

It's July 4th 2009 here in America's Finest City! This is my second attempt to publish this post...damn computer problems...anyway, it's 1:38 am, here at LeStat's coffee shop.

The young man in this photo is Alex from Orange's his first photo shoot of this type. He's an American with Vietnamese ancestry.

Now that it's morning, I'll have to talk "about last night"...I went to see the movie, Public Enemies. As I watched, the period piece really spoke to me...reminded me of growing up in Oklahoma and my trips to visit my Grandparents in Kansas. Grandpa Smith at one time was a Sheriff and later worked for the county, building bridges throughout Kansas.

I'm thinking a lot about all the money needed to finish this film...and I don't like that. My focus should be on the Art, not on money. I hope and pray that I'll start to meet people that believe in me and this timely Project. People need to know that most of my life has been dedicated to social service; working for years with the Juvenile Justice System, the past three years doing elder care...just two days ago, this Mexican family took a lot of money from my Client/Patient I take care's a complicated mess. That's partly what's wrong in California...the State has basically bent over and is getting screwed by all these Illegal Aliens here...they drain our welfare system and's ridiculous...our great country is being raped by corrupt and cowardly politicians that only have their own interest in mind.

True social service and activism isn't safe or comfortable. My life has been dedicated to public service, taking on "The System"...standing up for justice. My art is a liberal expression of my creative side. It is my hope that people will see in my film, how important it is to express oneself freely and also be a Social Servant as well.

At the movies, prior to the film...a LEVIS commercial about America was was beautiful...I think of the Indian boys on the Reservation in Canada that so desperately want to be in front of my get off the Reservation and live their life freely as fashion Models.

So, America's Finest Kids is more than provocative images and footage, it's about dreams coming true, it's about America...even "North America" and FREEDOM!

After the movie, I walked to Barnes & Noble and looked at and eventually purchased the magazine, Aperture. Topics: NOT-SO-FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, EDWARD HOPPER'S LEGACY, DIALOGUE WITH DON McCULLIN.

I so enjoyed every page as it turned, I was fascinated with what I beheld...wonderful images and stories...such vision and inspiration... Between the movie, my own memories flooding my conscience and this magazine...I wanted to shout! To Scream out to the World!

Freedom comes with a price, freedom of expression...even in 2009 is being restricted with new laws of social norm and so called morality...the government is perverting the very thing so many people have fought and died to establish and project.

Art can not be canned, packaged in a pre-approved format to please all who witness it's revelation. Art must be freely expressed without fear of retribution...IS ANYONE LISTENING THAT BELIEVES IN THE UNIQUE QUALITY OF EXPRESSIVE FREEDOM??




Thursday, May 28, 2009


I just finished watching the film, SILK STOCKINGS on TCM. It's a lovely and political film from 1957. As I watched Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dance across the was impossible to ignore the power of the storyline. We can learn much from the artistic relevant this picture is for our modern times.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back from New York & Massachusetts

Traveling is very draining, I'm still tired from flying across the Country and back in 5 days. The last two days of editing I slept 3 hours each night. Working with Eric Marciano in his beautiful western Massachusetts home was an incredibly creative experience. We were able to make a 20 minute demo-tape of AMERICA'S FINEST KIDS.

The film is now taking on it's own identity as a creative 'work of art'. It is indeed an 'art doc'. For a moment, early on in this was difficult to let go of some of the creative and narrative line of thought I've held onto for some time. When working with an experienced Filmmaker such as Eric, one finds it refreshing and invigorating to let go of some aspects of control and then embrace the newly revealed creative release made possible by walking on a different path. That said, quickly we joined together in thought and process and the 'fruit of our labor' has borne out a brilliantly crafted introduction into my life and that of this film. Post production has now begun, some elements of production do remain, as this is a creative Indie project. Patrons and friends, please join with me over these next several weeks and months to raise the finishing funding to complete this amazing documentary film!

Thanks for your love, support and patronage!

Terry Smith

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Check it out:WWW.CHAOS-MAG.COM, it begins on page 272- (Spring issue 2009)

a day with Tyler the "Hobbo Folk Singer"

It was sort of random, but Gaby...she says, "I think you should photograph this Kid that's staying with us". So, the next day...I did. It was fun...we roamed all over San Diego looking for cool spots to shoot. I filmed him playing is folk songs down by the Sante Fe appropriate as this young Canadian (North American, LOL)...spends much of his life, hopping trains all across North America. At the end of the day, I interviewed the 'whole gang' back at the apartment. The dogs were trying to take over the show, they were fun...then before I left, I filmed/documented their 'dumpster diving' collection in the refrigerator. A feast was to be had!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Exhausted, but I've gotta talk about Bray, etc...

Well, it's 1:15pm here in Sunny San Diego...and, finally I'm blogging about my trip on March 6th to San Francisco to photograph and film my 19yr old Model friend...Alexander Baxter III, otherwise known as "BRAY".

In retrospect I wish I would have recorded our conversation as we both relaxed in bed. However, my concern was not to come off as much in film making, even in documentary story telling is border-line reality.

Bray was and may still be suicidal...for a few weeks we have been communicating in long emails and talking on the cell phone as he walked around the streets of San Francisco. His Mom and Step-Dad kicked him out of the house when they discovered he was doing escort work to earn money. He's been kicking his heroine habit the past few years...his medication to help him stay off of it is $600 a month.

On April 8th, Bray will have his 2oth Birthday...hopefully!! I don't know what I'll do if I lose another youth I care so much about. Life is a crazy ride, everyone with their own belief systems and's crazy...people are controlled by MONEY, holy Shit!!! I don't understand how humanity can be so fucking callas.

My dream to have an Art Commune and Movement...birthed out of my San Diego and American experience is still underway...I'm constantly networking, meeting is a little, maybe a lot strange.

Back to Bray, I love this Kid...he has some unique beliefs...I was able to feel the tension and then release of tension from his body as I held him in my arms... he was gonna come back with me to San Diego...but when we pulled up to his Mom's house...she was busy conducting a Yoga class...I could see a child in his eyes. So, we left...and went back into the city and took some color photos...the scars on his chest and arms were being highlighted by the warmth of the sun.

The many hours I drove to get to him and then the 9 hours or so to leave him and get back to my social service's intense. My life is INTENSE!!!

Surely there is someone out there that cares about human life, cares about these beautiful and sometimes... damaged souls that I am so passionately embracing. Why are we controlled by money, why?? Fear controls people, keeps them from accepting other people's reality, art, life. Money seems to be more precious than life itself. Money,'s a processed object/product from a formerly living...TREE!

I love you Bray!!!


Sunday, February 8, 2009


Originally I was going to title this blog, "Raped & 120"...because those were my emotional words a few hours ago as I lay in my car, trying to get some sleep. The sound of the rain hitting the metal roof eventually affected me deeply, almost like torture! The day before and into this new morning was full of intense emotion. Early Saturday morning it was a peaceful experience with the rain. Matt's leather sofa was my bed, instead of my front car seat as of this day. It was refreshing in an actuall home. Saturday I left LeStat's (which is where I am now at 6:06am)...and drove by Little Jed's Dad's house. The front door was open, so I stopped by. It was only Jed there...he welcomed me in. His Dad and gf were getting some mexican food. He began to show me all the things they'd just purchased at the garage sales. We read together, each our own new/used book. Then when the 'big people' arrived, we had fun was relaxing and very enjoyable. The time slipped away, it was becoming evening and Jed's Mom was outside, there to pick him up...his weekend with Dad had come to an end.

Ed and I talked for awhile about life, parenting etc...I was honored to give advice to this, my good friend. Gormet pizza was for dinner, at my favorite spot on adams avenue. Then to LeStat's once again as I was to meet with an art Patron. He never showed, I waited nearly 4 hours...furious I was; that's when the mental anguish began...So, off to Poway to check my PO Box. Finally, Bray...a beautiful and fragile 19 year old Model in San Francisco returned my call. We talked for 1 1/2 hours. OMG, I felt drained...we poured our hearts out to each other...I was dealing with a recovering heroine addict. He told me his life story in great detail. Captivated, totally drawn in...I couldn't escape this conversation, nor did I want to. Though it was incredibly draining, it was a good experience for us both. We traveled to many dangerous places in our conversation...the past is what it is and it takes courage to deal with it and the present; they are intertwined. Now, well after midnight, it was time to find a safe spot to park and try get some rest. As I parked and tried to get didn't take long for the fear to pay me a visit. My mind was being tormented with my own reality. I wanted to cry, but the tears couldn't fully form in my eyes...shaking, looking and listening to the approaching cars... Each time the car came near, it struck fear in me! I felt as though, once again in my life, my emotions were being raped! As I told Bray a little earlier, that "Life is all about RELATIONSHIPS...AND MONEY"

Thus my PASSION at 46, but who cares?

120 people with a thousand dollars each, could change my life forever and help launch an Art Movement in San Diego, California that in time...would generate Millions of dollars made from sold Artwork! Kids, young adults would be employed, films, photography, various works of art would be made and sold.

My life of social service has meaning. I am an Artist, I am a human being...I have value. PERPETUATE LIFE. Let's make ART, Let's save LIVES...embrace me, love me and I will love and embrace you!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I am so sad...Ian Vuitton is dead @ 19

I am so sad, I've just learned that Ian aspiring Model kid from Long Beach, dead. When I signed onto myspace...I saw the it, could not...did not want to believe what I was reading...they're not sure yet, the toxicology report should be in soon. Apparently it may be an over-dose. His friends said he'd use meth and other stuff... I just can't believe these beautiful kids are just waisting away like flowers under a steam-roller. Dear God, when is this shit gonna change!!! I'm so sad...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just hAng'N out with MiChAeL...

Here's a photo from Saturday. Michael is a Model friend of mine here in San Diego. We were gonna shoot color film, because I wanted to go to some specific location and capture the dramatic clouds in the sky. But, by the time we got there...the clouds were gone and it was another "sunny day" in America's Finest City. I'm not sure which image of the 36 on the roll I'm gonna, let me wrap this up and go take a gander again at the stuff we did. Everyone in the whole wide World, have a beautiful day!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The Human Canvas project to benefit a worthy local Charity/Organization is progressing quite well. Many of my Model friends are re-arranging their schedules already to accommodate the mid-March Event date. I thank in advance the property Owners that are making their space available as a temporary Studio for the public to view and appreciate Art, in the making. This image I've posted is my dear and late friend, Shane Dull. He took his life 4 months after our last group show in 2003, here in San Diego. I love and respect my young Artist friends...I have many good memories. Shane's story will be told in my documentary film. Be strong and courageous...I too suffer from depression and sometimes use this Blog to vent my emotional distress, however, I'm a living testament to being one that's a fighter. Art is sometimes the "savior of our souls". Let's Make Art!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Human Canvas, Suicide & Money...

Maybe it's not the quantity, but the quality of those involved in creating what is art. I am not a business man, I hate having to talk about money. Art breathed life into my existence many years ago, now it seems that the trials of expressing what's inside of me is draining that same life from my very being.
We try so very hard to say something, people listen and then they move onto the next stimulating noise or visual experience.
Why do we humans even bother at all with life, really...what do we wish to accomplish by living it out? Does our mere existence somehow affect the system of the World, it's worth and value? There is no more value in's ideology has consumed our own peace... and civility is over rated...perhaps.
Money and the love of it...brings us all to our knees...and then-----------then we break! Tell me, what is "worthiness" worth? People are so fucking shallow, if they only knew the value of burns the chaff away from the statues of mediocrity... Why do we celebrate that which we have created...that which has come from our own ambitious and self absorbed propaganda buffet of thought and reason... Fuck it! How profound and worthless is the "Human Canvas".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Living in a pLaStIc WoRld

This is the first blog of the new year, whoopie!!! So, I just did a shoot last Saturday with a new Model Kid named Dylan. He's a cool Character from Ventura, California. Dylan says he "loves his body"...he wants to be famous!!! So, this should be an interesting year. His friend, Cat...came down with him and was a lot of fun to have on the photo shoot! This pic is a random artistic expression...