I've always been surrounded by photography. My grandfather was a small-town professional photographer (he specialized in gauzy, hand-tinted portraits of Gladiolus Festival Queens and beaming local brides). He had a shingle hung in front of his house announcing "E.Butterfield Photography," so I come by the name honestly. My great-uncle was an photo analyst in WWII, and my father is a photographer for a suburban Chicago newspaper.
So it's no surprise how I've gotten to this point.
For a while, I was obsessed with Steampunk (imagine a Jules Vernian/Charles Dickens mash-up world that runs on steam and practical magic, where gears and pistons and brass and iron take the place of plastics and microprocessors, and where Queen Victoria serenely rules a progressive empire of advanced thermal and aetherial technology). I took a strange delight in dressing up models in pseudo-Victorian clothing and equipping them with mostly hand-made eye-wear, props and weapons, along with real antique tools.
I enjoyed finding an element of darkness and creepiness and fantastical fun in this steamy anachronistic world I was making. I often processed the photos to look old and battered and time-worn, as if this world is being built backwards, reconstructed from its photographic relics. Add in a unique new "beefcake" approach to featuring attractive male models scantily-clad in steampunk gear, and I was three for three.
Over time, though, I learned that my aesthetic vision was not strictly anchored to the neo-Victorian, but was in fact simply...weird. I have thrown myself enthusiastically (and sometimes messily) into creating strange props, headgear, accessories, and eyewear with no discernable usefulness. Elaborate Steampunk goggles evolved into just strange facial appliances. And I finally acknowledged that the male form was what I was more interested in exploring than layers of 19th century woolens, and my work has become, over time, significantly odder, more interesting, and sexier than when I started. I've been fortunate, living in the LA region and now in Fabulous Las Vegas, to find models who are athletic, acrobatic, and frequently intrigued and inspired by my strange aesthetic vision.
Still, I remain more about the story behind the picture, even if it's just a vague story about once upon a time there was a naked guy who wore elaborate eyewear made out of chopsticks or random finds from the hardware store, along with fingernail decorations and the occasional feather boa.
In real life, I'm a recovering attorney and have held reasonably responsible and respectable jobs in education, publishing, and managing most of a nonprofit association. I’ve been fortunate to be able to retire early, and I’m now living with my husband near the mountains on the western edge of Las Vegas, and with a cat who sometimes supervises photo sessions. I’ve got more time for my odd photographic obsessions now, although I’m also teaching copyright classes online. My husband is the one who gave me my first Nikon, and who patiently encourages--or at least tolerates--all of this, so it's mostly his fault.