ChrisMaverick dotcom

The Maverick Tarot (in progress)

I started working on my photographic Tarot deck back in 2007… Eight years ago. The idea seemed simple, 78 different shots. Stylistically linked. Most of them I did in studio, so it shouldn’t be too hard. What was I thinking. The hard part is that the more of them I do, the harder it becomes. When I first started, pretty much any model I ran into I could just find a spot for. Now, with 68 of them done, it’s hard because I need specific “types” to fill the remainders.

So now it’s 2015, and I only have ten more to go. I’ve been trying to work on it more lately (I’ve taken lots of breaks from it over the years). But I never really got around to looking at them all in once place.

So that’s what I figured I’d do here. I’d love to know what people like and don’t like. And if you feel like volunteering, I still have ten more to go so let me know. (Fair warning, as you click through the images, some may be NSFW)


36 comments for “The Maverick Tarot (in progress)

  1. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Will be wanting a deck. Are you done yet? How bout now?

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Hah! Thanks. I swear if I could just fast forward and make those last 10 done, I would.

    2. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Rushing rarely produces ideal results, just try not to pull a Harper Lee.

  2. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Which ones do you still have to do?

  3. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Yeah what do you need for the last ten? I always think of this project i really want to see it completed

  4. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Bill, Miaa: Hah… I meant to say that in the post but forgot….

    All the Major Arcana are done.

    From the Minor, I still need:

    Three of Cups
    Jack(Knight) of Cups
    Three of Staffs
    Four of Staffs
    Seven of Staffs
    Six of Coins
    Seven of Coins
    Eight of Coins
    Nine of Coins
    Jack(Knight) of Coins

    There’s actually a couple that I’ve never been 100% happy with that I’ve considered reshooting, but I don’t want to say what they are because I’m kinda curious what other people like and don’t like. But those are the ones I absolutely need to do still.

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:27 am

      I don’t know the tarot … what are the qualities associated with those? You can shoot me if you like, but I have a strict “no dong” clause in all my modelling contracts … think of the children, after all.

    2. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:39 am

      well, I didn’t actually match the traditional tarot, sort of intentionally. I wanted to build the ideas myself entirely.

      There’s actually a theme for each suit. The nude cards are all in the major arcana, which I thought would be the hardest to complete, but it’s the only one I have done…

      The others, I have specific looks I’m going for.

      Three of Cups – Either gender, clone/magic mirror shot elegant/formal evening attire vs. hipster

      Jack(Knight) of Cups – Male, hipster or hiphop, shirtless, buff.

      Three of Staffs – Female – clone/mirror, Abercrombie/AE trendy vs. punk/goth (I have someone in mind here… April, this is you)

      Four of Staffs – Female Abercrombie/AE trendy with an umbrella (I have someone in mind here…. Jane, this is you)

      Seven of Staffs – Two people, either gender, fighting with staffs Abercrombie/AE trendy

      Six of Coins – Either gender, elegant/formal, needs to have a musical instrument in it… never have been able to figure out what I want here.

      Seven of Coins – Two people, either gender, elegant/formal, never been able to figure out what I want here.

      Eight of Coins – Male (probably, really either), elegant/formal

      Nine of Coins – Either gender, elegant/formal, burning money

      Jack(Knight) of Coins – Male, elegant/ but shirtless except for necktie… (I have someone in minder here… April, this is your bf)

    3. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      We still need to do this! And I gotta get you some girls lol

    4. avatar
      July 16, 2015 at 3:02 am

      I have a music room with 31 instruments if you’d like to see if any could be used for the 6 of coins.

  5. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:23 am

    If you can use me again lets. I look completely different now than i did then lol

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Hmmm… maybe. I had specifically tried not you use anyone twice (Except the Aces and tens being the same shots). But you do look totally different now than then.

    2. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Different body shape different hair different weight.

  6. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I have a levitating wand as a staff?

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

      what’s a levitating wand?

    2. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:57 am

      oh… just looked it up… that cool. Not sure how to shoot it to make it look like not a camera trick. :-/

  7. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:37 am

    I remember you said you need children for some. I have 4 you can use, 17 and 16 year-old boys, and 6 and 5 year-old girls. The 17 year-old has modeled once before.

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:42 am

      the ones I was thinking of using kids for were the eight (or maybe nine) of coins (see above), but in my head I thought of them as like 9 year old boys….

    2. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      I have a 10 year old boy!

  8. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Mind if I tag them in a comment? They can see if they want to do this or you can see if you could use them. Btw, they both have and play instruments.

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 11:56 am


  9. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Axel James Markle Zac Markle

  10. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Scrolls through to see Doc as the king of swords

  11. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I actually just recently refound your deck after a Google search, I had almost forgotten about it. The progress has been AMAZING! Thank you again for the chance to be the Hanged Man. Still in MY top ten coolest adventures, and that’s saying a whole lot. You don’t mind if I link the card in a post, right?

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      heh…. the “progress” is another hard part.

      Over the years, I’ve changed my shooting style. How I light stuff… how I process stuff…

      So for consistency, whenever I do another one I always have to think about how I “used to do things” in order to make them look right.

    2. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Your passion for your art has always fascinated me, Mav. Keep it up!

  12. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I would LOVE to volunteer! Just wish we were closer. You can come to Baltimore, though and we can do it! ?

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      the biggest problem is lugging all the gear I need.

  13. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Man, I remember when you started those. If I lived in the area I would volunteer. Alas.

  14. avatar
    July 15, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Oh man, I didn’t have a single tattoo yet in mine…

    1. avatar
      July 15, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      hah… I’m half-tempted to reshoot the reflection you so that the tattoos are there, but you can’t see that they’re not on the live you.

      But yeah… that’s how long this stupid thing is taking me!

  15. avatar
    July 16, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Carol PH Hunter check these out…

  16. avatar
    July 16, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I think I remember volunteering myself when you first started, but I will raise my hand again eight years later.

    How did you choose your keyword for each card? Is it based on traditional interpretations of the card or did it arise independently?

    I find Staves to be a more pleasant plural of Staff.

    I have some issues with a few cards that don’t seem processed or lit in keeping with their set. I like that there’s stylistic consistency across the suits in terms of cups having just a splash of color, swords having lens flare (I don’t like lens flare really ever, but you are clearly consistent with it), clothing choices, etc. But the lighting seems off for a couple cards – Strength with the arm curl and jack of Staffs are the two that stand out. The lighting, color balance, or editing seem off.

    Innocence/Fool doesn’t seem young or unknowing.

    The digital flag behind Interference is very distracting.

    Obviously this was a big project and still in progress, so I hate to nitpick, but those are the things that stood out to me. Overall I think you made some interesting and coherent design choices and I hope you finish this project to your satisfaction!

    1. avatar
      July 16, 2015 at 8:20 am

      By all means, nitpick away. That’s why I posted them.

      The fool and the 8 of swords are two of the ones that I hinted at not being totally happy with. The fool because the environment is too “real” even though I like the idea of it and the lighting isn’t quite right because I couldn’t control it.

      The 8 because the flag looks distracting. I’m not sure what to do there. The 8s all have the symbol incorporated and the swords all have the flat posterized processing so that’s what happens.

      *most* of the card meanings are adopted from the Röhrig Tarot. But that doesn’t have them for the majors or court cards. Those mostly came from specific readings of the Waite Ryder tarot that I adapted to fit in stylistically with the ones I cribbed from Röhrig.

    2. avatar
      July 16, 2015 at 9:19 am

      The Fool is such an important card that I would reshoot to your liking. (And I volunteer if you want a new model because it is probably my fave card, though I don’t look exactly young or innocent either)

      If the flag were in grayscale instead of color that might help it be less distracting.

      Strength pumping iron is a great shot, by the way, it just seemed to have more grainy detail, like it was processed differently than the others, and the skin tone seemed almost too realistic compared to the others in the set.

    3. avatar
      July 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

      It’s not like you exactly look old….

      The real trick with the fool is that I wanted it to be different and environmental. The idea was to evoke innoccence more through the playfulness… hence the waterfall, but doing it in the water like that is obviously tricky and gives me less lighting control.

      But obviously, I’m not sure it comes across either. And that’s maybe an issue because despite the order I have them displayed in here, it’s traditionally the first card in the deck.

      I may think about some of my other options. Since it’s a major, I can pretty much use any nude that I’ve ever shot on a black background. If I decide to reshoot it, I’ll certainly keep you in mind. Though, obviously, like the other majors, it’s a nude card.

      I see what you mean about strength. Yes, that isn’t quite processed the same way. it’s both a later shot, and a little grainier intentionally because it gives the feeling of more of a struggle. Maybe I’ll soften it later.

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