I feel very lucky to have had the privilege to work with so many incredible muses. Ones who brought out the best in me. Often helping me to develop and visualize my artistic goals. No matter how awful or uneducated my ideas may have, and may still be. These people nourished whatever artistic or photographic ideas I might have had. Even comforting me when they didn’t produce the best results. As time has passed, I’ve come to realize that this kind of chemistry and artistic vision will, most likely, never happen again. Still, I remain forever grateful to have had the opportunity to explore my creative ideas and and quench the thirst that often comes with them.
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,
Another month gone and I realize how much I’ve been neglecting this blog as of late. It’s not a case of nothing doing, nothing to talk about. I can assure you of that. This past month has given me it’s share of adventure, opportunities and challenges. My website UniteWebzine.com has kept me very busy. So much so I’m starting to look for contributors to lighten the load. I recently become the admistrator for SOHO Photo Galleries Facebook page and have become a contributer to Jersey Beat. Writing and photography have been my strong suits for some time now. As I find myself doing more and more of both I’m seeing a very strong connection. I’ve noticed that my approach to portraiture and interviewing musicans and such the same. Building a trust and slowly peeling away the layers. I know I won’t be able to get what I need unless I invest the time to really get to know the person inside. I see both my photography and interviewing style grow and evolve. I guess I’d like to become more of a story teller than just ask the random “So tell me about the new album and tour.” I find it easy gaining trust with the people I photograph. It’s a lot harder with bands and artists. I find the best interviews I’ve done were never at gigs. There’s just too much going on and everyone seems to be talking over one another. The times when I’ve really gotten to know the artist is when we were just relaxing over a beer, burger or burritto. Just as in my portaiture I’d rather do one in depth interview than ten random “What are your influences. What made you choose the bands goofy name?” That’s where I see myself and my work going. That’s my take on it.
Last week I attended my first event at B&H photo. I had stopped their a few days prior to purchase the Gary Fong Light Sphere II Cloud and a monopod. My bad of goodies included a calender of events ….. “Portraits with Conceptual and Emotional Significance” was right up my alley. As I sat there listening to Tom (the guest speaker) I felt both inspired and connected on a personal level. What I fully expected to be a short talk followed by a massive sales pitch turned out to be reenforcement of everything I believe in. Here was this guy who was an award winning photographer. Had traveled the world and shot for the Associated Press who I had shared so many of the same experiences with. All these accolades and awards yet he wasn’t there to speak about shutter speeds, apertures, or the latest product that will make you the greatest portrait photographer in the world. Here was a guy talking about relationships and building trust. Something I strive on. I’ve worked hard on learning lighting, proper exposure and getting the most out of the tools I work with. But I’ve worked a lot harder on building relationships and trust with the people I work with. How can I possibly get a telling image of someone if they don’t trust me? It’s not possible and I’ve experienced it first hand.
A few days later I worked with someone I met a little over a year ago. In a short time we built a trust and a friendship that has allowed me to take my photography to another level. I guess it goes both ways because I notice how at ease I am when I’m photographing her. She also has this uncanny ability to sometimes know what I’m going to ask her to do before I do it. I mentioned it to her and she just answered “It’s because I trust you.” To sum it all up. I learned a lot from that event. I learned that you can’t succeed without trust and a good working relationship with your clients. I learned that making mistakes is all part of the learning experience and making them does not doom you to failure. I also learned that you can never give up. I was also reminded why I love what i do.