Admittedly, I feel a little guilty posting a blog while in India (isn’t there myriad more awesome things I could be doing here?), but it’s after dark and my body has no idea what time or what day it is and I am up and can’t sleep. And in any case, I’ve been meaning to post these photos for a few weeks now, so I’m just going to chalk this up to ‘being a little extra-special efficient.’ Here goes.
Shooting with Kara has become something of a yearly tradition. I’ve been taking photos of this woman almost since I’ve known what medium format was and I’ve come to regard our sessions together as benchmarks —a shoot with Kara for every year that I’ve been studying photography.
The first time I pointed a camera at Ms. Caldwell, I was using a Rollei SL66 with so many light leaks that every other photo was completely unusable. The few that did turn out, though, are still some of my favorites (this and this and this). The second time I shot with Kara was the first time I used studio lights ever. Our third session is now below. It was very laid back and shot mostly on her staircase. Here’s to another year and another shoot. May there be many, many more.
Of course, notes: all of these photos were shot using Kodak Portra 160 (except for the Polaroids, obviously). I used a Leica M3, a Contax 645, and a Polaroid 195 (just so you know).
At the risk of sounding broken-record-ish, I will say again that my favorite part of taking photos is having an excuse to meet people. I first learned of Vera Balyura through my friends at Industry of One, and a few months ago, while in New York shooting with Kinfolk Magazine, I was able to meet up with her in real life to take some photos. Vera gets a gold star for impressive multi-facetedness. The lady is a talented model-turned-painter-turned-photographer-turned-designer-turned-entrepreneur who makes eclectic jewelry pieces and dispenses them like so many gold-plated, delicious mentos through her own boutique chain named Verameat. Vera is energetic, affable, outgoing, and purposeful. In short, Vera gets it done.
We met at her apartment in the East Village and spent most of morning wandering around the neighborhood (which also happens to house Verameat’s flagship store), shooting and talking and trying not to sweat too much. Almost on a whim, by late afternoon, we had hopped a cab up to the Bronx, to visit Sylvia Plachy’s show at the Andrew Freedman Home. As the light was fading, and the staff was pushing us out the door, we snapped the last few photos of the day. Back in the East Village, we wrapped everything up with some thai food and Moonrise Kingdom — really of those sort of random days that I imagine people in New York have all the time.
In any case, the take-away here is that Vera is just impressively ambitious. She recently opened up a new store over in Brooklyn (which is brag-able), and has her eye on a west coast expansion. So as I said goodbye to her on my way to catch the subway, I couldn’t help but ask myself what the heck I’m doing with my own life. All in all, a good day.
Okay, just a quick little thing I need to bring to your collective attentions:
A good number of months ago, a lady by the name of Jackie Luo, editor of Ache Magazine, contacted me wondering if I’d like to be interviewed and featured for their sixth installment, and of course I said yes.
Now, the trixy thing with something like this is the fact that there’s usually a considerable lag between when I sumbit a contribution and when the publication is actually released. I am an old man, and I tend to forget things. Also, worse, I tend to rush my way through interview questions and end up wincing when I read my own words three months later in print. Luckily, this time at least, no wincing was necessary. In fact, I was met with the surprise realization that Jackie ended up running one of my photos as the cover. Bonus points!
So yes, a pleasant affair all-round. Please do give me the honor of reading through Ache No. 6. The issue is full of amazing artists (so it’ll be fun for you; I promise), and I’m proud to be amongst them. Also, as a postscript, I can tell you that Issue 6 also includes a few hitherto unpublished photos that I am very fond of. So go see now.
I am a firm believer in the idea that a photographer should always be filling the gaps between assignments with personal work — even if it’s something as simple and uninvolved as a walk-around photo session. One never can be too sure what will fill up that reserve of inspiration, or spark that new idea. If anything, it’s always good to stay disciplined.
That’s precisely where I found myself when Ms. Hele sent me an email saying that she and her manfriend were going to be in town for the weekend, and were wondering if I was interested in shooting something low key. The following photos are a result of walking around a few neighborhood blocks towards the end of spring (there may also be one or two shots of my house). In an hour and a half of walking and shooting, I was able to snap up more decent portraits than I can safely share with you now, here. It was a good day.
Amber was right there at the top of my “People to Visit in Austin” list. She and I have known each other online and by reputation for quite awhile now, and I was excited to meet her. The lady is a talented model and a great photographer in her own right, but it was just plain good to finally get together. I still hold that the best part of being a photographer is the opportunity to always be meeting awesome folk. Ms. McConnell is awesome folk.
Essentially though, for our shoot, we walked the neighborhood in which I was staying, trespassing through various people’s front yards. Quintessential run-and-gun type-stuff. As is almost always the case with things like this, I wish we had had more time to sit down and plan something out properly. For what it was, though, I think the shots came out quite nicely. I am especially fond of the Polaroids (although that is almost always the case). In any case, here’s to round two! I, for one, can’t wait.