Bob Shell: Letters From Prison 2018 #4


Shutterbug Magazine


Letters From Prison: Partt 4, 2018


Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018


Let me talk a bit about what happened to me, particularly because something similar could happen to almost anyone in today’s America. The year was 2003 and I was at the top of my game. In 2001 I had been “retired” from my long-time job as Editor of the photography magazine Shutterbug. Rather than force me out altogether, which would have looked bad to the photo industry, they made me Editor At Large, cut my pay to less than half, but on the bright side they freed me from my contractual obligation to write articles only for them. So I began writing regularly for Rangefinder (edited then by my old friend Bill Hurter), Professional Photographer, Photo Electronic Imaging, Photo Techniques, Digital Camera, Zoom, and several others domestically. I continued to do product reviews for (who also put together the Gadget Guru segments for NBC’s Today Show). Plus I was writing photo books for Lark Books, a division of Barnes & Noble, working as a consultant for National Geographic on their photo guides, and writing some product instructions for Kodak (if you have a Kodak Gray Card, those are my instructions). I also wrote a section of a book on how to use light meters for Sekonic.

I was happy, working on personal photo projects in my studio in Radford, Virginia. People used to ask why I lived in a small town, and I always answered that it was the lower cost of everything. I was able to have a large studio for peanuts, and since I very rarely did anything for local clients I did not have to scrounge for local business to support myself.

Everything was going great and I was working on photos for a book that was a departure for me, a book of photos of erotic bondage. The book was the idea of Marion Franklin, my girlfriend and chief model. She had the idea and I sold it to a publisher. (The book, Erotic Bondage: Art of Rope came out in 2004 under my pseudonym Edward Lee, a pseudonym I’d used since 1993 for my overseas work — Not really so much a pseudonym, since my full name is Robert Edward Lee Shell).

I’d never really done any bondage photography prior to the summer of 2002 when I did a shoot with bondage pro Maria Shadoes and a friend of hers who was also heavily into bondage, and we played at it a bit. Later I did some with Elkie Cooper, one of my favorite models that I’d photographed for years, ever since she turned 18. She’d gotten onto bondage and had worked for some very fine photographers, including Lee Higgs, whose book Generation Fetish was a favorite of mine.

On June 3, 2003 my world came crashing down. Marion and I had worked all day with Maria Shadoes and her boyfriend Lew Rubens, both bondage pros who spent the day teaching me ties and safety procedures. I’d never had a model injured during a photo shoot and wanted to make sure it never happened. Maria and Marion were our subjects and Lew did some elaborate ties and suspensions with them. I wanted a record of everything, so I took many still photos and also set a video camera up on a tripod to record everything. I’d developed a habit of setting up a video camera and recording all studio shoots.

After we finished for the day we were all bushed. Marion went to sleep on the studio bed, Maria and Lew left for the day, and I walked down the block to the Sonic to get some food, since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I was gone maybe half an hour and came back to the studio to set things up for a shoot planned for the next day. After a while when I walked by the bed I couldn’t hear Marion snoring (she always snored softly) and tried to wake her up. She would not respond, so I freaked out and ran to the phone and called 911. That’s when my nightmare began. To be continued…….


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th years of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here


Posted in Blog, Fashion, Glamour, Models, News, Photography, Politics

I Wear: Tony Ward Erotica


I Wear Tony Ward Erotica




To browse the Store or make a purchase, click here


About The Model: Summer Thompkins is from Philadelphia, a 21 year old model, writer, feminist, and new contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To see additional pictures of Summer, click here



Posted in Advertising, Art, Blog, Erotica, Fashion, Fetish, Gifts, Models, Obsessions, Photography, Portraits, T-Shirts, Women

Emily Cheng: Objects of Desire




Photography and Text by Emily Cheng, Copyright 2018




Last year, I discovered the Minimalism movement after watching a documentary on Netflix. Ridden with anxiety over school and recruiting among other things, I embraced Minimalism as a way to banish the physical and mental clutter in my life. This entailed taking a good, hard look at all of my belongings, including my beloved collection of over 50 pairs of shoes.

Minimalism teaches that you should love people, not things. But for so many of us, breaking up with the objects in our life is no easy task. When we’re exposed to over 5,000 advertisements a day, we’re conditioned to lust after material goods, to see the continuous attainment of things as success. We are constantly compelled to buy more and more clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, with the false notion that every next purchase will change our lives for the better.

Millennials are slowly dispelling the myth that material wealth is the path to happiness. As the generation struggling with crippling student debt, a difficult job market and lack of access to home ownership, we have a different definition of success than our predecessors, one that is not defined by having more stuff. Certainly, there is a tension between these beliefs and the obsession with buying that advertising imbues in us. This photo series, “Objects of Desire,” explores the complex relationship that we have with our belongings. It aims to depict the lust we feel towards these status symbols, how we place them on a pedestal as the solution to a better self, a better life.

I am by no means finished with my minimalism journey – even with my decluttering efforts, my closets are still plentiful and my shoe racks filled. However, I believe that unpacking the feelings we have towards our belongings, these objects of desire, is a good start.



About The Author: Wing Hei Emily Cheng is a Senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Ms. Cheng, click here


Posted in Erotica, Fashion, Fetish, Glamour, Models, Obsessions, Women

Summer Thompkins: Men Are a Joke

Portrait of Summer Thompkins by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Summer Thompkins by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018


Text by Summer Thompkins, Copyright 2018




All these dudes that friended me on FB keep posting about slut shaming, shaming sex workers, etc. I’m just in awe at how they managed to find me, friend me, and expect to stay here long – lmao

Y’all realize men are the weakest of the humans for these things right? Like dead ass, you will all go watch porn and then see a girl in a bikini on ya timeline and have the audacity to shame her despite you loving to look at naked women when it’s most convenient to you.

Women are not supposed to be convenient, we do not get dressed or undressed for you, we do things for ourselves be it sex or nudity or pictures or videos or work or pleasure.

We don’t care to be “wife” material because a real man doesn’t have to refer to the bible or a list when it comes to his woman.

Men will act like literally trash bags and then go online after cheating on their girl and talk about “if you a girl you a hoe”

Strong women hold so little value to anything good or bad a man has to say about a woman its shocking, y’all keep thinking you can open your mouths about us like we give a shit.

AND to the idiots who complain about girls who always have boyfriends, or girls who always post half naked pics:

At least the girl is trying for something, most of y’all can’t even get a response in ya DM’s let alone a first date, let alone a girlfriend. And then when y’all get a girlfriend you cheat on her with a sack of potatoes that looks like your great aunts big toe, and get mad when your original girl realizes her worth and leaves you on the curbside where you belong (every tuesday its trash day, beep beep).

You men complain about getting what you want, just because it was offering to give it to you.

You men complain all day about women, get a woman, and then act like the women you complain about.

You men, are a joke.


About The Author: Summer Thompkins is from Philadelphia, a 21 year old model, writer, feminist, and new contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To see additional pictures of Summer, click here


Editor’s Note: Summer is wearing a scarf by K Vaughn. Makeup by Emily Dimant. Jewelry: J Rudy Lewis. Production Assistant: Anthony Colagreco


Posted in Blog, Erotica, Glamour, Models, Obsessions, Photography, Portraits, The Tease, Women