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.


kpannabecker said...

I don't think Charles Manson would be anxious about sitting for a mugshot.

Jerry Tovo said...

You just never know, maybe had someone been there on that hellish night with a camera, maybe, just maybe, stage fright might have given him pause.