Friday, April 29, 2011

and Last but Not Least

Finally, the guilt is being lifted from my shoulders.  This is Steve Hoke and he is the last of the portraits I shot on location last summer.  Steve is the musical partner of David Eakin, seen in the previous post.

I am ashamed on two counts. 

One, it took me sooo long to finish out this project and that's just bad form and unprofessional, but it has happened more than I care to mention.  No sooner do I launch into a personal project and the phone begins to ring with real jobs. 

Two, it's been such a while, I don't have a great recollection of Steve and his life story. Unforgivable. 

Having said that, look at this face and tell me what you see.  I have already hinted that he is musician.  What else might you discern from this face?

Thank you to all those who have helped in this project, I truly appreciate it and Sallie, I'll give you plenty of notice the next time so we can sit down and have dinner with Sally Mann.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Over the last few years, I have created a wish list or maybe a hit list or a bucket list, something to set priorities for Portraits I'd like to do, people I'd like to photograph.  At the top of that list is Fidel Castro, because of the historic significance and he is of prime age for my technique.  Then would be my friend and mentor, and I assure you those descriptions are a bit of a stretch, Victor Skrebneski. When I say a stretch I mean, yes, I would call Victor a friend though I'm not sure he would call me one, especially since I have become a bit too persistent in asking for him to sit for me.  A mentor? Not so much directly but he was and still is a major influence. Then on that list, though I don't remember where he ranks, is Charles Manson. Again, a prime candidate for my style.  

Last summer while in Virginia I photographed Dave Eakin and if you were to believe us Portrait photographers when we go on about capturing the true essence of a man, you might think I had my Charles Manson.  Well, the fact is, Dave is as nice and sweet a man as you would ever hope to find. Not sweet as in unmanly but considerate, kind.

The story goes, as some of you may remember, I rented a store front that was air conditioned but it turns out the AC didn't work and in Virginia that time of year it was very warm. Dave came in very anxious about this ordeal and as you might know, anxiety builds on anxiety and he began to perspire and his hair absorbed some of it and the more we shot the more unhappy looking he became.  So what does a good photographer do?  Run with it. I asked Dave to let the uncomfortableness prevail and encouraged him to work the angst. We both loved it. He seem to thrive on acting the part and I just kept pushing.

Now should I get the opportunity to photograph the real Charles Manson, I'll have had a little previous experience in hand.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Better Off Ed

My friend Eddie has been on this blog before but it was last night that I was able to pry him away from his secure post inside of his house seated in his wheelchair.  

Ed's last 10 years have been something I wouldn't wish on anybody.  He is or was one of those people that everything he touched, turned to gold.  However some years back his wife suffered an injury playing tennis and never ever became functional again.  What was a seemingly minor neck strain became a surgical procedure that became another procedure and it only got worse as the days and years progressed.  She was in such pain that the hospital had to special order meds because they didn't carry anything strong enough for her need.  She eventually passed away a year or two ago and we all let out a sigh of relief.  Now Ed, who had been by her side for nearly every moment since that day, could now relax and pull his life back together.  Don't think for a second that any of us were glad she passed on but after years and years of searching for and trying anything that might help, it was obvious there was nothing in sight that could stop the downward march. The sigh of relief we all felt for Ed was short lived, as he was diagnosed with a variant of Lou Gehrig disease and his prognosis was almost as grim as his bride's. 

A couple of weeks ago several of us from the advertising community got a call to a reunion of sorts and Ed was at the top of the list.  I called and warned him that he had a few days to come to grips with leaving the house, because we were going. 

I called yesterday and as I expected he was quick with an excuse for not attending.  Luckily his housekeeper was as prepared as I and she would not take no for an answer.  She had him dressed and ready promptly at 5.

Skip over the boarding of the car and the drive, and picture this man sitting in his wheelchair, beaming with delight at seeing his old friends and comrades as they one by one came over to him and expressed their delight at his presence, chiding him, scolding him and even hugging him for being hesitant to attend the evening's program.  They doted over him, getting him first a sweater, then a hat and eventually a blanket and while he doesn't care to be waited on, he loved the way they were paying their homage.

Eventually the crispness of the night began to wear on him and he confessed he was tired and needed to go home, but not till the door of his house closed behind me did that smile on his face even think of relaxing.  God love you Eddie.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ah Spring

A couple of friends, good friends, and I were having lunch and we talked about going out and shooting the tulips or a recent snowfall and I think we all agreed that after all these years there's just not much to shoot that we haven't tried to shoot before.

Well, on the way out to pick up the morning paper, I couldn't help to be taken by the newly blossoming dogwood in the front yard.  

Yes, I have shot just about every possible scenario of the dogwood but the iPhone/Hipstamatic combination brings something quite painterly to the scene. 

It's another one of those feel good shots. I love it I hope somehow you're feeling a bit better as well.

Keyword search might be, Spring, Blossoms, Japanese, Wallpaper, Flora, Pillow cases and sheets, Dogwood and what else.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Old Friends New Music


Not long ago I ran into an old friend and former model, well not so former model, she still works when her family and career will allow. We talked and I mentioned that I got frustrated at times that when an inspiration hits, subjects are not always readily available.  Seeing as how we worked well together years ago, she seemed thrilled at the possibility we could collaborate on new projects together.  When her time allowed of course.

This time I was excited about a series of images to pitch to a client and she was ideally suited for the challenge. We shot for a couple of hours and in the process, I got sidetracked experimenting with video along with the stills.  The videos are definitely a work in progress but the stills turned out beautifully. The videos unfortunately ate up too much time, seeing as I am fairly inept with the process. We had many more ideas that we never even approached, so another day we'll forge ahead with those.

In this image you can see why I'm not a professional fashion stylist.  When show time comes, we'll have the right person there to make this sing.

Thanks Melissa.

We are experiencing a major metamerism issues on this post. The color really over saturates on some screen and settles in nicely on others.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I know, I know...

I know, my blog has slowed over the last month but that's one of the byproducts  of being busy.  This morning I had a wonderful meeting about some exciting opportunities and on the way back I drew my trusty iPhone and started recording the season. The Hipstamatic didn't exactly fullfil my visions but I certainly like the results of this overly systemed shot.

Easter, Easter Eggs, Japanese, Wallpaper, Upholstery, Lingerie and a few other key word search titles come to mind.