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  • Last login about 3 hours ago

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Overview

  • 222 references 180 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English; learning Russian, Spanish
  • 38, Male
  • Member since 2013
  • Photographer
  • Self Taught
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

Follow me:
http://instagram.com/toddwshaffer

My most extensive travel was a seven-month journey all over the United States and Canada. I quit my job, packed my car and drew some lines on a map. 24,000 miles (or 38,000km), 28 states, 3 Canadian territories, one car crash, many mountains, valleys and beautiful people later I ended up doing a big circle, ending where I began in Brooklyn, NY.

NYC has been my home for the past 16 years. At this point it will be challenging to get me to Times Square, Statue of Liberty or the World Trade Center, but I'll show you how to get there. Once you're finished with the tourist spots I'll show you my favorite French-inspired oyster spot, that secret bar hidden behind a phone booth, a place the size of a shoe box with a great jazz act playing on a Sunday night, the swanky hotel rooftop with the view of the city, tricks on scoring the best cheap food and the art of sneaking onto roof decks with tasty bottles of wine. I'll show you how a smart local lives and loves in this city. (note, I have a pretty busy schedule most days, so I'm more free in the evenings/weekends for hanging)

I am a photographer. My home is one of my studios. I photograph fashion, lingerie, implied and nude for artistic and professional purposes. There's a decent chance a model will be hanging out in little to no clothing for some creative project or brand assignment at some point during your stay. If that kind of thing would bother you, my home is likely not the place for you! Again, I do this for a living, you're not being asked to participate, I just want to be clear that my house is very liberal.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

For me I really enjoy hosting. I've been in the city for a long time and it's good to see the wonder of NYC through the eyes of a traveler. Give me some idea about the experience you want while you're here, and if it's within my abilities, I'll make it happen. Having hosted hundreds of people from ~50 countries, I do have a fantasy of selling off my entire life, jumping on a motorcycle, and circumnavigating the world, revisiting all the beautiful people I've hosted.

My place is for those traveling by themselves. It's the way I travel and it's the type of person I like hosting. You made a plan, you didn't care if anyone joined you, you're doing it for you, and that's that. That's an amazing energy. That's my energy.

Most of the time you will overlap with another traveler, most of the time from a country different than yours. I think some of the best travel memories are made by _who_ you meet and spend time with rather than _what_ you see. I love it when I get pictures from halfway around the world of two people that met in my home that were able to meet up elsewhere on the planet.

Interests

Photography is my first and foremost interest. Street photography was my first love and landed my first gallery shows in NYC. Landscapes that I discovered while traveling to some of the most incredibly visually striking places in the US. Now I'm primarily a lingerie/swim/fashion/nude photographer.

There's an amazing relationship that occurs between photographer and model, one that defies explanation. It requires a lot of trust, understanding, empathy, patience, and willingness to experiment on both sides of the lens. I fly to location for shoots, spend time in studios in the city, and travel with models that are now dear friends globally.

I primarily work with professional models, but if you're curious about being photographed and I have the time I'd be happy to work with you. I admire the work of Helmut Newton, Richard Kerr, Richard Avedon, Justin Macala, Ellen von Unwerth, Russell James, Frank de Mulder, Marc LaGrange, Vincent Peters among many others.

Outside of that, hiking, climbing, art, cooking, concerts, high end cocktail bars... On weeknights I have to go to sleep around midnight and work during the day. On weekends I'll stay out until the sun rises if the night is right.

  • arts
  • fashion
  • photography
  • breakfast
  • wine
  • beer
  • wine tasting
  • modeling
  • nightlife
  • camping
  • art
  • museums
  • new cultures
  • new experiences
  • new friends
  • beers
  • new places
  • beer and wine
  • beer brewing
  • nyc
  • art galleries
  • new york
  • wine and cheese
  • new york city
  • fashion photography

Music, Movies, and Books

On the upstairs bookshelf there's a shelf full of large format photography and art books. Koons, David LaChapelle, Steve McCurry, Ellen von Unwerth, Chris Burkhard... On the lower shelves, books on cooking, cocktail making and wine.

Music is all over the place, one minute I'm playing hip hop from the south, the next jazz by Dave Brubeck, then music with banjos, then some trippy downtempo electronic... Really depends on my mood. Feel free to introduce new stuff to me, the radio is almost always playing.

Downstairs there's a couple bookshelves full of travel, fiction, and business. Some of my favorites are:
Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Hells Angels, Fear & Loathing Vegas, 72 Campaign Trail all by Hunter S. Thomspon
A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson
Fight Club by Chuck Pahlaniuk.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Hosting hundreds of amazing travelers like you.

Sunrise at Lake Trillium underneath Mount Hood was pretty amazing. But so was bandit-camping on the cliffs of Big Sur. Climbing to the top of Pikes Peak and Mount St. Helens was nice too. The fog burning off in the Smokies was beautiful. Sunset over the black water lakes and cypress trees of my home in Florida, another I can't forget. Surviving an accident where I flipped a car end over end a few times when I was 15, also pretty grateful for surviving that.

I guess I've been lucky to see a lot of beautiful things.

Teach, Learn, Share

I'm a talented cook, wine/beer enthusiast and cocktail shaker. So if you want to cook, drink wine or make drinks with me, it would be my pleasure. When I was younger I went to massage school for a season, figured out although I like the practice, I wouldn't want to do it full time for a living.

I've lived a few lifetimes already. I escaped my small home town in Florida and made it in NYC. I've become quite successful up here in the city, and was able to start practicing art. Now I run a successful art business, still run a technology practice, and manage one other venture. So if there's something in all that experience you'd like to learn from, let me know.

What I Can Share with Hosts

One of these days I'll be the surfer!

Countries I’ve Visited

Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, Denmark, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

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