Conversations with my Dad

I’m lucky enough to have a Mom and a Dad who are both healthy and alive. And while I seldom give my Mother a break about her considerably bad taste in music. Both have played a major part in influencing and supporting my never ending obsession for so long. While I’ve learned to avoid conversations about religion, politics or any sociological topics. A good bull session about music is a great way to pass the time while helping to avoid any bloodletting during any visit or phone call. Though his love of the blues and New Orleans jazz can never be questioned. A conversation regarding Tom Waits, Frank Zappa or the Night Tripper, Dr. John (Gris-Gris) can go on for days. Some of my earliest memories revolve around sitting among my parents combined record collections. Strange how it remains one of the very few memories of my parents being together. Sitting within a pile of my parents record collection. 07d0e554e09b932edadfb0d22ea101ceNo more than four, maybe five years old. Completely freaked out by the cover art of records like Leon Russell’s “Stop All That Jazz” Frank Zappa’s “200 Motels” or Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”. Album covers that told stories I might not be quite ready to read. One’s that might have me checking the closet or under the bed that night.  A few years later, as my ear for music began to form. My Dad would sit me down and play Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton’s Blues Breakers, and for me, the most painful torture a nine year old can suffer, Frank Zappa’s 79′ release “Joe’s Garage.” Years later though, many of the records and artists my parents introduced me to reside in my own record collection. Artists such as Frank Zappa, Hendrix and especially Tom Waits get countless play on the turntable and all my other modes of music enjoyment. I pick up just about every Leon Russell and Frank Zappa I see and being drawn to record based on it’s cover art  remains crucial to many of my crate digging adventures. Still, I can recall sitting in my pajamas among those piles of records, How each cover either told a story or inspired me to create one,

 

Got Ink?

After attending a rather disappointing open house in the area. I had to navigate a number of side streets in order to get to the nearest interstate. The combination of hunger and resentment towards over priced real estate. My mindset seemed to be wandering through dark territory. That was until we came upon a cool little tattoo shop with a big ass tattoo mural on the backside of the building. The sight brought mindest back to a respectable level. With no hesitation, I stopped the car, grabbed my camera and jumped out of the for a quick capture. Before you know it, we wre back on the road in search of some much needed lunch.

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Happy Returns

Last night I received a heads up that the print I had mailed to a friend had arrived. Just a week before, Cindi stopped in at the loft for a fun, laid back photo session that would hopefully allow me to test some new gear and experiment with high key lighting. I style I had just learned from a friend and fellow photographer. Looking at older studio sessions I often shot a darker, low key side that tended to produce, moody yet stark results. Hoping to bing light to both my work and mood. I enlisted one of my favorite musicians. The image below, her showing off my box set of The Replacements first four albums. Was a personal favorite. In the past we’ve shared our mutual love for the band. Sending her an enlargement was just my way of thanking her for helping me to try some new things while returning to the type of work that inspires me the most. Thanks Cindi.

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Where the Day Takes You

The warm weather is the perfect tonic to awaken the adventurist inside me. It harkens me to start the day early and end it late. The longer days motivate me to turn that “To Do” list into a “Got it Did”. Though the Spring has yet to  show itself in all it’s blazing glory. It has already inspired me to embrace every day like a new adventure. Though most people have their traditional “New Years Resolutions”, mine always come in the Spring. To revisit favorite places and find new adventures. I’m really looking forward to the season and the creative energy that “springing ahead” brings me year in and year out. This is my favorite time of the year and I hope to take advantage of every opportunity. To live in the moment and fully embrace the fact that it is the little things in life that bring me the most joy. I hope you meet you on the way.

The Complete Package.

It’s been  a garish week of freezing cold weather, sleet, snow and cancellations that have left me looking over my shoulder for the four horsemen of the apocalypse. As the cancellations grew in numbers my inspiration  flourished. Giving me new ideas and energy. I had scheduled a Friday morning session with Audrey earlier in the week but as I crawled out of my coma like state this morning I was less than inspired and more than ready for yet another last minute phone call lamenting yet another “I’m so sorry but this snow……” All I could think of was indulging in one last hour of hibernation. Maybe I’d call her to let her off the hook.  Luckily for me I don’t make any hard decisions before a shower and coffee because working with Audrey is always such an incredible high. Our artistic collaboration started back in the Spring of 2008. Since then we’ve worked together numerous times and she’s helped me grow tremendously. It’s also given me an opportunity to watch her  grow as a person and artist. Audrey is what you would describe as the complete package. She’s smart, funny and beautiful. The girl has a heart of gold and is a true person of content. We got a lot done in a short period of time and I got to put some of those ideas to work. I’ll be posting those shots later. For now I leave you with my favorites. Thanks Audrey, I look froward to more in the future,

The core of my heart.

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IMG_3344IMG_3438IMG_3462Sebastianne came into my life at the age of three. At the time I had become close friends with her mom KC. Through the years KC and I remained good friends and I watched Sebastianne grow and mature. Even as a baby I was impressed and even amazed at what a smart and well behaved kid she was. She always seemed mature beyond her age. She was very special to me and along with her mom was there for some of the most important times in my life. As the years went by both KC and I moved out of Manhattan and saw less of one another. There were holidays and the occasional get together. They remained very special and loved throughout. A few years back I was having a special dinner with some friends on the lower east side and invited KC to join us. We were already in mid celebration when KC arrived with a friend. As I stood up to give her a hug I asked “Who’s your friend?” It turned out to be Sebastianne. In a short time she had morphed from  a cute child to a woman. She was the same sweet, beautiful kid. I couldn’t get over how much she had sprouted. Fast forward to last week. I was in the middle of a session when the phone rang. I didn’t pick it up due to the fact I was in midst of photographing a beautiful woman. Later that night I checked my phone and didn’t notice the 914 area code. Once I checked the message I was still a little unsure. The message was very basic just mentioning her name and to call her back when I got the chance. When I did call back I realized  right away who it was. My sweetheart Sebastianne. We talked and made plans to get together before she was set to start high school today. So yesterday I went up to Harlem and picked her up from the train. We went out for lunch at Gobo in the village and had a chance to catch up. She filled me in on her Summer and what she’s been up to. There are a handful of people in my life that occupy space in my heart. People you would do anything for at the drop of a hat without any questions asked. She is without a doubt one them. After lunch we headed back to Hoboken and did a laid back , impromptu photo session. Sebastianne is a really smart gifted kid. She loves to read, learn, writes, including her own songs. She’s beautiful but not the least bit self involved. A lot of kids her age hit that rough patch where they think everything is lame and stupid but she’s so balanced I don’t have the least bit of worry about it. Later that night we watched the movies I let her pick out at Blockbuster (Pink Panther I and II) and laughed ’til it hurt. This morning I drove her home and to her first day of High School. Sebastianne, I’d wish you luck but I know you’re going to synch it. Love you always.