Wednesday, February 29, 2012

she changed the world one child at a time

... and don't even get me started on the difference in salary between the top athlete's and the top preschool teachers.

the negotiator

we should all be so blessed as to have a daughter... they are small fountains of enormous joy, and they might likely be capable of establishing peace in the middle east.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

art > $$

please expose your children to art... it's often free, and the long-term payoff will be so much greater than money.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

a chance meeting

i ran across this guy in chattanooga when i was in that town for an art opening... he was fully caffeinated.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


may the celebration of life continue indefinitely.

everything in it's right place

these were taken for a magazine spread i was shooting for a.... no, they weren't. i was meeting my sister at a local used record store, and there was going to be a performance by a duo that, one year later (a couple of weeks ago,) won a grammy or two. this guy was there, and he could have easily have been one of those folks that denied me my request for photos, but he was exactly not that type. as you can tell, he knows what he is doing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


in the south, we have a particular way of doing things... this is one of the things that we do.

how to save a project

it took a nation to make this project possible, and this woman, in particular, saved the nation on this windy day that her portrait was made (one year ago today). i had spotted her walking through a parking lot in one of the busiest areas of town. she walked with strength and poise, and her hair was magnificent in the afternoon light. i made a slightly dangerous move in traffic to pull quickly into the parking lot to cut her off before she disappeared into thin air. i surprised her a bit in my hustling, but she was easy-going and willing, and we were then on our way to some quick pics. on the curb, near a column, i put down my notebook that contained the release form that i needed her to sign to give me the rights to publish the photos. in that notebook were probably close to fifty other forms, most of them signed, none of them secured in the notebook with any type of fastener or pocket. as i said, it was windy... and BOOM! i heard the flopping open of my notebook and the flapping sound of all those forms taking flight. it was now a moment of panic. with my nice camera in hand i began chasing down each very important form. without these signed sheets, i could not have any idea who the people were that i had photographed, and i surely couldn't publish their images. i scurried... i simultaneously glanced quickly and often around the lot to take note of what was happening. mostly, the sheets were somehow sticking to the pavement... occasionally, a gust would get one, two, or three, and carry them several feet or so and then slam them back down. in the meantime, my subject here was hustling like an olympian in and out of parked cars, under them, whatever... she was saving my ass one sheet at a time. what force kept the bustling winds from carrying these sheets up, up, and away? i have no idea. i do know that this woman was a magical force of human nature, and i can not thank her enough. she jumped in with nothing to gain, and then a couple who had exited one of the nearby stores even joined in on the escapades. needless to say, with the two of us scrambling under, behind, and around their car, they couldn't leave if they wanted to. it was a disaster clean-up party that took about four minutes but seemed like so much more. i am fairly sure that we retrieved every one of the papers that had taken flight, but i am still not 100% sure. it was one of those moments that i will always remember about this project. it was touching to have someone with no "connection" to me prove through a simple action that they are connected to me... we are humans on earth who need some help.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

glamour - noun

glamour: the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special. i would imagine that we have a preconceived idea of what glamour looks like... usually built upon the fabricated reality of celebrity and media. when i read the definition here, i can not help but to describe this photographed subject as glamourous. she vocalized her self-conscious thoughts to me as i took the photos, and i did my part to ease her fears. with an excessive amount of dolled-up, make-up faced, high-brow, designer outfitted, hipster, deception amongst us in the general public, i would consider special and appealing anyone who shows up to life looking real. i would consider them glamourous.

key employee

as i have mentioned at least once before, my grandfather's restaurant has been in business in west virginia for almost seventy-five years. it is a landmark establishment... i refer to it as an upscale diner. there, it is referred to as a steak and spaghetti house. their spaghetti has been served to JFK and countless other "celebrities", and it is slightly world famous. anyways, the staff there has had some loyalty that is stronger than many marriages. there have been waitresses that have put in forty-plus years, simply serving the community delicious food and a smile. this young man has put in over twenty-five years, even though he may appear to only be thirty or so. his job description now is "key employee." this basically means that he has reached the apex of the employment ladder in that restaurant, unless he is somehow promoted to owner. he has probably done a little bit of everything to help keep the business afloat over the years. i can not begin to imagine what all he has seen there. i am grateful for the countless hours and years that he has devoted to helping my family's restaurant. that business has taught me more than college.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

what have you done for me lately?

only seven minutes lapsed between the screaming and the sleeping...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

and the award goes to....

i painted houses for about twelve years, and this woman (and her husband,) hold the record for changing their minds about a chosen color to paint the walls. and, first, let me say that there is nothing at all wrong with this. one should live in the midst of the "right" color, because the vibe(ration) will effect the living. the only unfortunate about this for them was that it took much longer and cost more than it could have. it is easy to get the "wrong" color, and between she and her husband and me and a designer, we missed the mark three times... so, i painted the room four times, i believe. there may have been a time or two where i just put one coat on to let them live with it, but we tried four different schemes, and finally settled on one. the color in this photo was not the final hue, though i must say that it is a great color in this photograph. i think that i first painted her husband's condo when he was single, then she moved to town, got my number from him, and i painted her apartment. then she moved in with him in the condo, and i did for them in the condo. then, they got married and bought a house, and i have painted there several times. just last month, i had the opportunity to paint the nursery for their daughter who will be born next month. this scenario was one of the benefits of my old job. i was a part of their lives in a slightly intimate way... so much so, that after not seeing them for months, he walked into a coffee shop where i was and moved directly towards me to give me a hug... it was touching. and then he told me they were pregnant. they are a wonderful young couple, and though i am leaving the business of painting houses, it might be that i hold on to clients like this. i think that we settled on Comfort Gray and Sea Salt for their walls... i think.

Friday, February 17, 2012


having grown up eating my grandmother's home-cooked mediterranean food, i am a bit spoiled when it comes to such fare. this gentleman generally offers a wonderful array of middle-eastern food, so much so that he now has three locations of his restaurant here in nashville. when i got married, he housed and catered the rehearsal dinner, and it was thoroughly enjoyed... and there was belly-dancing. he, like so many from the "old country," is the most genial of people, hospitable beyond compare, and that has surely helped him corner the market when it comes to our kind of food. it is hard to choose between the many options when i dine with him, but today i am thinking about the spinach pie plate. Alhumdulilah.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

right place

i am an extremely fortunate individual. i have a large art studio fifteen minutes from my house. it is my second home. for it, i am eternally grateful. it has provided me with over ten years of service, and it has done it with abundant character and warmth. this gentleman and his dogs live near there... he too exudes character and warmth. i see him often... he seems to be outside more than the average neighbor. oftentimes, he is just assuming this position, sitting in his chair, content as the porch itself... in the "right" place. we should all be so blessed to find the right place to spend our time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


most likely on the busiest day of the year at this flower shop, this focussed florist gave me thirty-nine seconds to shoot three photos... notice the heart shaped bloom on his heart, if you want. much love to all of you on this Valentin's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

here for the party

last year, i threw a 202nd birthday party for abe lincoln. it was a great idea, i thought. those who were there agreed. i will do it again someday. the woman in the scarf in the studio hall was there. she took advantage of my solicitation for a portrait, as she has done some modeling in her life, and it was an easy opportunity to strike a pose. she asked that i photoshop out any wrinkles, but i told her that i don't participate in that practice. i am glad that she conceded and allowed me to continue with my job. the next subject was dressed as a nurse of love at a valentine's party with a medical costume theme... strange, but true. again, i am almost in disbelief at the variety of everything that exists on this plane. it is a joy to be a photographer/artist in this day and age, but it is also quite disheartening knowing that so much of the world passes me by unexperienced. geeez.