Friday, May 28, 2010

lion - lamb

here is a lion. here is a hero. here is a saint (of sorts.) this powerful woman has called upon her gentleness to create a yoga program for children with special needs. she could also probably scare a bear. i did not witness such a display of this power, but i could feel it swirling around her. she had just finished another one of her training series, designed to give pediatric therapists and individuals the required tools to teach yoga to children with special needs ... she was aglow. she has given this gift to people all over the world, and thousands of children have benefitted from her therapeutic yoga program. she trained my wife. she knew that i was going to come photograph her for this project, and to my surprise, she displayed a slight bit of nervousness at the beginning of the shoot. as quick as the shutter speed, she left nervousness behind, and she traded it in for a bit of pomp and theatrics. she laughed, gestured, sprawled out on the floor... i think she may have roared. anyways... she was a hoot to shoot, and it was surely a pleasure to have met such a human being. her presence is not easily forgotten, and her blessing upon me and this project will not wash. namaste.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

he's not dead

so, i had strolled around "the village," for an hour or so, looking for photos; looking at buildings and people. of course, i was highly interested in finding the portrait for the day. i think that i was heading north on 5th ave. when i passed this gentleman standing in a doorway. about fifteen feet later, it registered what i had just passed. i walked on for another half a block and then i stopped. i looked back, and he was there, and he was obviously not going anywhere soon; that was his place to stand. it took me a moment to commit to including such an icon in this collection of relatively "common" folks, but when i did, it quickly felt appropriate. so, i strolled back and asked him if i could take his picture for a portrait project.... he said, "For a dollar." and quickly joked about his request. he then asked what i was going to do with the project, and i said that i didn't know where this was going, but that in the end, a book seemed like a proper punctuation to this process... he then raised his price and said, "Let's make it five dollars." still joking. he told me that he is the "super" for the building, and that when he is not fixing something, that he stands at the door and opens it for the tenants and watches all the pretty girls walk by. he was extremely laid back about me taking his picture... i imagine that you already figured that out. "thankyouverymuch."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

i spied a model

sitting in a coffee shop in new york, i was writing and looking for a subject to photograph. hundreds of people on the street, and the lines on this face caught me as he crossed the street. he entered the coffee shop and idled for a while, and the lingering gave me just enough time to "get the nerve up" to, again, ask a stranger if i could shoot a portrait of them for my new project. as i began my sales pitch, he began complimenting my handwriting (he later confessed that that was not meant as a pick-up line... and i believe him.) anyways... upon hearing my request to take his picture, he said, "How did you know that I am a model?" well, i actually didn't, but, i did see his beauty, and that is what i want to document for this project; we are a beautiful lot of people. so, as a model, he understood the "contract" thing, so there was no problem at all with that... and then we proceeded to go across the street to the brick wall which i thought would backdrop him well. it had been raining all day... i think that he may have wanted to reveal the shirt under the raincoat, but i liked the coat, and i am hoping to document a little bit more of what we naturally present (at a precise moment.) anyway, he was a great subject and a wonderful spirit...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

day 3 of US365 ... in NYC

after an appropriate amount of hesitation (while working through the Resistance and Fear,)  i approached this news stand to encroach on this fellow human's space a little bit more than he was already (most likely) feeling.  he was very pleasant, and as willing as he could be to assist me in my project... as long as i did not need 30 minutes of his time... as a previous "interviewer" had asked of him.   i still don't understand how he fits in that booth.

Monday, May 24, 2010

thus begins a project

so... i started this on my 38th birthday; one photographic portrait a day for one year. there are few rules, if any... few expectations. i am following the Guide. after ten years painting interiors, i have come to a point where i feel done with that career. i need something more challenging, exciting, rewarding. i have been a photographer for years at the hobbyist level, and i have realized that i need to move on to the next level with this talent. painting interiors left me alone inside people's homes for 7-8 hours a day, 5 days a week... a lot of being alone. well, this project is about meeting people... seeing beauty in the everyday faces that i run across out in the world. we are a beautiful lot of folks. on the second day of this project i left town to visit new york city for the first time; a wonderful place to see people... maybe, a frightening place to approach strangers and ask if i can take their portrait for a project that i have just begun (and then proceed to ask them if they would fill out a small form that grants me "rights," to publish their image.) to my surprise, the people that i photographed were all more than willing to oblige. after my self portrait, the first person that i photographed was in new york by herself to see a jazz vocalist come out of retirement with a big show near washington square park... the shot was taken just before she went to the show; she was excited, friendly, and wide open, even though her eyes were not. i concluded that she mostly sees with her heart.