Tuesday, August 31, 2010

rows of heaven

behind this charming woman grow the best blueberries in the land... about 14 rows (forty yards long,) of sweetly aged bushes. every year, from mid-july to mid-august, the farm owners open up the bushes to the public to share their fruit, and this year, the berries were abundant (they reduced the number of days per week that they opened, and that made the picking much more "fruitful.") this particular day was one of the many typical mid-summer days in middle tennessee... high 90's and 80-90% humidity. by the end of the day's picking, this woman and i both looked as though we had be tossed into the nearby pond. for seven and a half pound of these blueberries, the bushes would have to be on fire before i would resist entering their rows. it is seriously one of the most glorious moments of the year. if you have never been, and you enjoy blueberries, i insist that you find your way there next year. as i was making my pitch to this fellow picker, she was about to leave, and she first denied my request to take her photo, because she believed that when i said that i was taking a portrait a day for a year, that she would have to be available to me every day for the following year. she said something like, "well.... i just can't be available to do something like that every day." i laughed good. she also told me a story about how she, in 1988, drove the mother of the coach of the women's olympic basketball team to oklahoma city because she was afraid to fly. silly me, i totally forgot that oklahoma city had held the olympics. anyways... her fingers tell the tale of a seasoned picker.

Monday, August 30, 2010

soldier of sorts

there is just something about this first photo that i enjoy thoroughly... it is a nice example (in my opinion,) of taking a very direct approach to a portrait, and subtly adding an abstract element by incorporating various pieces of the surroundings. strangely enough, of what i know of this young woman, she is a bit like my description of why i am drawn to that particular photo... very direct, but accompanied by a pleasant mixture of wonderful extras (a camouflage army hat, for example.) she is a big hearted soldier of sorts.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the light of Fate

this guy here is the lucky gentleman that i chose to sell me a new car... and he was extra-lucky, because it was the last hour of the last day of the month, and the lot needed to sell one more car to reach their quota... 110 cars in the month. they were at 109, and this salesman was one of two outside as i randomly pulled into the dealership one night on my way out to dinner (my wife had left with the kids that day to visit my in-laws at the lake house.) the lot was right around the corner from my favorite indian restaurant, and we had been intending to stop by there to see if they had the color and model of the car that we had decided to purchase. i was not at all trying to buy a car that night; i was hungry. well, the salesman did not really need to do much to sell me that car (besides bend over backwards to try to help me get the right price.) he did hint at the fact that they really needed to sell another car to meet their quota, and i took it from there that they would likely be up for negotiating. it is not something that i have ever done much of, nor do i really care to do... and this car was for my wife, and she was not there, and it felt so wrong, but then it seemed so Divine, so i went with the flow. next thing i know, after a quick test drive, we are playing with the numbers to see if we can "make it work." over the course of the next hour (i grew very hungry,) we found a way to make it work. it was a very long process to get to manageable numbers, but several calls to my lake house wife, and some well positioned emoting (along with a very wise sales manager,) and it all fell into place. we would buy that car at a price we could afford, and, evidently, the staff at the dealership would all receive bonuses and celebrate with a party thrown by upper management for selling over one hundred cars in a month for the first time in three and a half years. my lovely wife and i showed up two days later to pick up the car, and i have a feeling that they love/hate us... i believe that they lost some money on that car, but, reaching the quota took precedence that saturday night... and you just can't stop the light of Fate when it shines down upon you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

monkey; boss

the little boy in the tree has a twin brother, and i think that they already have a reputation...
the little girl's parents both work from home; i think i know who the boss is.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Nashville... parking lot... 10:00pm... Musician.

and i'm betting that he can play the brass off his sax.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


not only is this neighbor not afraid of dinosaurs, he adopted twin boys... on purpose. i conclude that that officially makes him a superhero of sorts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

handicap parking portrait

near where i live is a bowling alley that appears to still be holding onto the paint job that it received in 1976. as i set out seeking a portrait on this particular night, i quickly found two women backdropped by said bowling alley, beautifully lit by the ambient parking lot light. there was one woman standing, and she was the one that i first spotted, and above her was a giant sign... BOWL. i was excited to quickly have found the night's subject, so, i pulled into the parking lot expecting to snap her photo... and then i saw this... a "handicapped" friend parked so perfectly next to the other woman. i approached them both (which has proven to be a very successful method... that is, when there are two, because one or the other will strongly volunteer the other with some meaningful reason (and a chuckle) why they would be perfect for the project,) but my pitch singled out the sitting subject as the ideal candidate for the evening. they laughed when they realized the irony that i had spotted and shared with them. the "handicapped" woman in the handicapped parking space was game for my game... especially when i told her that she didn't have to move a bit. and, the rest is portrait history.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

rock star mulch mover

i received word today from an inside source that the subject shown here has been getting anxious about when his photos would be posted on this silly blog. well... here you go. he was a rock star in the 90's, i think, but i know him mostly as the father of one of my daughter's preschool pals, and most notably, the chair of the building and grounds committee for the preschool (a co-op.) these photos were taken on one of the high 90 degree/90% humidity days after we transferred the displaced rubber mulch on the playground to spots that had been worn thin by the 40, or so kids who use the facility. he has been an excellent chairperson for the committee... leading countless adventures in this very act of shoveling displaced mulch (and gravel.) as his son is no longer at the preschool, this legend will be sadly missed, and i can only hope that the new chair is as noble and hardworking as he. after two years of studying under his leadership, it is possible that i am up for the position... it would be such an honor... and what a great addition to my resume.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


this little jewel lives nearby, and i have had the pleasure of watching her grow into a handful (or two or four) over the last two years. her mom (and i too,) was a bit surprised to see how her little girl could quickly begin to look like the 22 year old version of the two year old when her hair was down and framing her face. for the five minutes that i was shooting photos, mom and dad sat behind me trying to coax the best looks out of her. when they stopped, i captured my favorite image... just her relaxing in the chair with her snack... perfectly at ease on a sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


within this project there are most likely some themes that we could list if we wanted... i don't really want to, but, i will say that this happy guy is part of the group of "birthday portraits." he was blissfully romping through his surprise/not surprised party when i roped him into taking part in this project... i don't feel/it doesn't look like i took any of the bliss away from his moment. --- i have found that most people are generally (if only internally,) flattered when i ask if i can photograph them. it is a beautiful thing to watch someone transform themselves into their photo-ready-self on the spot. thinking about this sort-of pulls at my heart and mind... does this project instill some tiny sense of "worthiness" to the subjects? that would be a huge bonus. --- this birthday friend gives a lot of himself, and the joy that seems to return to him glows on his countenance.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

retired and never retired

well... the young man in the polo shirt went to the same high school as i did, and from what i remember, he did not get most likely to succeed... but, he has already retired once (on the tons of money that he made during the real estate boom - flipping houses, selling farms, etc.) now, he is in the process of coming out of retirement in the form of another business that he is starting. he also owns a farm in williamson county and about 47 animals, buffalo included, and he and his girlfriend (maybe, just his girlfriend,) want to get a camel. he lives on a piece of property where seeing a camel with some buffalo would surely draw an investigative eye. he seems to have plenty of success so far. the other portrait is of a gentleman who was in town from new york for an art opening of his work... as an artist, i imaging he will not retire. what i know of the truly creative people, they do not retire; they die doing what they love, which hopefully at some point in their life, becomes their paying work. this artist is involved in a lot of teaching, curating, and creating... and for this show, he turned yarn into fine art; quite an accomplishment... a success.

Monday, August 16, 2010

fireman; happy vegetable lady

he wants to be a firefighter. she is quite happy helping one of the local farms distribute their delicious product. i love people.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

a man, a motor, and a cause

this is one of the best finds yet for this project. i had to pick up a mirror for a client in east nashville, and as i drove up to the storefront that looked as though it had become one with the surroundings, there beside it was another similar "shop"... and this man sat on guard in front of it... like he was one with his surroundings. there is a train track that runs right above the shop (up, and to his left.) this small engine repair shop has been inherited by this man because his buddy passed away about a year ago, and two daughters were left behind as well, and needed help. he doesn't live in nashville, but he comes here often enough to make sure that the store and the girls are keeping afloat; he is a kind-hearted man out there taking care of as much as he can. again, it pleases me deeply to know that this kind of sacrifice is taking place out there in the world (so close to home.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

again... "parking lot hero"

this guy is one of my "parking lot heroes." if nighttime comes, and i have yet found my portrait of the day, things can get a little challenging (of course, in this challenge is where the personal growth occurs, so it is good, even if it doesn't feel so.) going out at night to find a willing participant for this project sort-of reminds me of my bachelor evenings out on the town... those were nights full of several varieties of pain and hopelessness... these days, the barriers built between me and those that i don't know sometimes feels like a fear filled chasm of unbridgeable silence... (whoa. deep.) anyways, i would much rather have my portrait of the day before the darkness comes, so, that is why this subject is a "parking lot hero." i caught him at sunset with his shirt aglow as he was walking towards his car that was very near this crape myrtle. he was as willing and as pleasant as a human could be. he has just recently been involved in his first professional photo shoot for his first solo album. i think that his recent experience set him at ease with little ole me in the parking lot. he is a backup singer for one of nashville's big stars, and he was just about to hit the road on some tour dates; glad that i caught him in the light.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

twitch, sweat, shine

i had the pleasure of escorting this young man through the rings that he had to jump to pull off his first "one-man show." he put together an art exhibit of large-scale expressive graphite portrait "paintings" at my studio/gallery threesquared several weeks ago, and he succeeded in all ways. he was extra successful at the pre-show anxiety, and it was a thrill to watch him twitch and sweat his way through the mire. he postponed the show once, and he knocked at the door of doing it again, but i helped pull him out of the standard self-doubt, and he, at the latest moment possible, shone like a professional art star.