Sunday, November 30, 2008

Up at Dawn

Shooting... I am not sure what.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quick Editorial Shoot Before Turkey Meets His Maker


Today we shot a quick editorial job before Thanksgiving. I asked the subject to wear dark clothing and the PR woman said she would go shopping. I figured she would just go to the employee gift shop and pick up a black t-shirt. Instead she and an assistant went on a Pailin like shopping spree. The subject liked none of it for the photograph and insisted on wearing his own grey suit. As we were starting to pack he threw on a sports coat she had bought for him. We all agreed it fit perfectly and hung on him like Corinthian Leather . We shot a few frames and sent him on his way. He packed up the jacket and sweaters she bought and headed out ladened down with swag. It was like that last day Woolworth's was in business and people grabbed what they could off the shelves. It turns out the jacket was made with baby cashmere and cost $7000.

There is a whole world out there I know nothing about.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Riding the Queen:The Butler

I have been hiding in my bathroom from my butler. He won't leave me alone and is always asking me if I need anything. Because I am by myself I think he is worried I may be lonely. He and his five foot tall assistant , Armando, are all over like a couple Filipino Jehovah's Witnesses who have hit the motherlode:a captive audience.

In the past I have stayed below in  coffin class but for some reason on this crossing they have given me a giant suite with two bathrooms, a double balcony and Claudio, my butler.

I miss my coffin. Down there it is dog eat dog. More like a floating Motel 6 than the upscale digs I have. We photographers are the Goldilocks of the working world. 

Riding the Queen:Day 1

Riding the Queen: Getting there

Flying over the country in a blackened box the stewardess all have 20 years in and talk about bidding for the best routes. The food is more terrible than can be imagined. The food carts are all banged up like roadie cases and you get the feeling of an empire in decline. If this was a German airline someone would have changed them out. Or the Saudis. The Gulf states are keeping Boeing in business.

Everyone on the plane seems to be reading magazines featuring our new president. There he is in a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up. The Black Brando. More beautiful than any woman. Last week I ran into a friend waiting in line for coffee at Pete's in Oakland and I called out to her, "Too bad about the election." 20 people whipped their head in my direction, "Just kidding", I reply.

There is one McCain lawn sign in my zip code and my kids always insist on driving out of our way to see it. In the spring during primary season they had a mock election in my daughter's class. On the ballot were Hillary and Obama. No McCain. No Romney. Not even a Huckabee or Paul.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Calling suicide prevention

I went to a big photo party sponsored by a couple vendors this week. The place was packed with reps, photographers and a bunch of people I didn't know. I ended up outside talking to  guy who has been shooting since the Carter administration. After we both established what geniuses we were he went off on a jag about how much this economy sucked and how much worse it was than 1981, 1992 and 2001. I didn't have the heart to tell him that '81 wasn't that bad for me because I was  promoted to head baby pool life guard that summer but  '92 was pretty rough because I had to live on $144/week unemployment because I had been fired again. '01 was a little shaky but I think I made it through the whole year without getting my wife pregnant which was kind of a miracle during those years. So before hitting suicide prevention  speed dial on my cell phone I begged off and made my way inside. 

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Office Project

I have been shooting  a new body of work and having way too much fun in the process. I have long been a fan of photo illustration. I think Geof Kern is the father of them all and then it seemed like John Sharpe represented a ton of really great photographers back in the '90s working in this space. Now fellow Santa Fe Review participant Philip Toledando and Oakland resident Sue Tallon are cranking out great work.

I have shot about five of these illustrations so far and will post them after I get back from riding the Queen. One of the advantages of going "rogue" and not having  a rep is the ability to explore ideas and other ways of looking at things. Any agent worth his/her salt is going to steer their photographers toward having a single recognized style and dissuade them from taking any of these side trips. Businesswise that probably makes a lot of sense but if I wanted to be a businessman I would have studied accounting.  

We are all winners

These two images were selected for the upcoming APA show. While the contest is not as hard to get in to as CA or American Photography it is a couple steps above the cornucopia of contests cranked out by PDN.

It is great to be a winner again!