Friday, March 30, 2012

be prepared

not too long after i took this photograph of my wonderful neighbor, her husband had a stroke in the night, and their lives were forever changed. it can happen so fast... you might go to bed tonight and wake up tomorrow with an entirely different heart and mind. express your love to those you love, for no tomorrow is promised.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

so much cheese

as i have said before, i love seeing clocks in photos. this happy gentleman sold my family eight pizzas, and he was extra-extremely pleased to be a part of this portrait project. i am very pleased that his pizzeria is now in the neighborhood of my mom's house. this restaurant has taken over the duties (from a sub-par establishment,) of baking us pies when the whole family convenes... and wants pizza. i think that he wanted to talk a lot about what i was going to with these photos, but i really wanted to get back to the house to eat hot pizza, and he seemed to understand my needs.


this kind woman ended a short streak of two rejections in a row. my lovely and patient wife and i hunted this portrait in a particular parking lot after having a late dinner date... very patient. eventually, as it has time and time again during this project, someone came through in the end to make a portrait a day possible. how will i ever repay these wonderful people?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


yesterday, upon arriving at my home after the day's duties, i had a wonderful dinner outside on the picnic table with my lovely family and this sweet friend. and, she's not only a friend, but a neighbor too, and that makes for convenience in times of need for both families. as they say, "it takes a village." my oldest daughter went to pre-school with this girl, and now my other daughter is in the same class with the younger brother of the "birthday girl." they all get along extremely well, and that makes for easy babysitting whenever the opportunity presents itself. sometimes, having two extra kids in the house at night makes a parents job easier, because, if the children get along with each other, they will play for hours at a time with no need of parents. not that we don't keep an eye and an ear on them, for that's just plain dumb. anyways, these photos from last year are her sixth birthday photos, and she was as happy as expected. how/why do some of us eventually allow birthdays to become this negative experience? what a waste of happiness opportunity.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the stare of an under-appreciated artist

do not be fooled... not all artists were created equal. with the tools of trickery, vocabulary, and color, many phonies will fool worldwide audiences. they apply paint to canvas, and then they conclude that that makes them an artist; i disagree. there are artists, and there are painters... some painters are artists, some artists paint, but not all that paint are artists. i don't really like to argue this point, so i will leave it at this: this gentleman here, with the stare, he is an artist.

Monday, March 26, 2012

the ages

this blog is in the final stretch of a long road, and it has been wonderful. i have just returned (in real time) from a five day trip to LA, and i did not blog while i was out there, so i need to catch up a bit to get back in sync with the photos that i took one year ago. here are three varieties of people that stumbled across last year. the gentleman in the trees was doing some early spring pruning on his trees... a very content moment in his front yard. the young girl is happily drinking hard after an evening event at the pre-school, and the teen is looking every bit the sullen version of that age. here is a tiny cross section of life stages, and it is surely open for plenty of storytelling here about growing older, but i am tired from my long journey and ready to retire for the night.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

i'll have the pad thai

as of last november, i have been posting nearly every day to try to keep in sync with the photos that i took exactly a year ago... and i have been relatively successful. i have realized that i slipped several days behind, and that would eventually lead to weeks if i don't act now to stop the backslide. so, here is one of the staff of a local thai restaurant that i frequent with my family... it is one of my daughters' favorite places to go. the food is good, but the staff raises the experience to one that is very much like walking into a family's home where they happen to serve food to others. we are also lucky because it happens to be in our part of town. delicious and efficient.

super moon

you might remember the "super moon" that graced our little region of the galaxy last march... well, i drove around trying to find the magnificent photo opportunity, and nolenseville road was not really that magnificent place. regardless of my failed attempt to get the national geographic shot of the week, i did succeed in another day of finding someone to let me take their portrait. this woman, and her friend who is off to the side, had stopped in the parking lot where i was sitting, hoping, and waiting for the next available person to include in this project; they were surprised. they also seemed quite thrilled with the notion that they were chosen to be in this series. well, if you forget what a "super moon" looks like, here is a look at a slightly hazy version of it... enjoy.

what are we going to do when....?

the world is not making a lot of people like this anymore, and it might destroy us in the end. here is a young man that can fix a tractor on a whim. he can orchestrate the planting of a farm large enough to feed numerous families. he can live without email for long periods of time. of course, there are others like him, but they have become fewer and fewer over the recent past. we never really conducted a fifty year study about the effects of texting on a generation.

Monday, March 19, 2012

pot o' gold

like countless others, i am part irish... and like many of those others, i am enormously proud of that fact. this young woman's shirt states it simply.

he has my sister's heart

my younger sister has dated at least half a dozen guys in her life, and this is the latest one, and, i believe and hope that he is the last. she spent time with some wonderful people, but not "partner for life" kind of people for her. he is not the type of guy that she has dated in the past, and from the get-go, that was a positive in my book. i feel a bit (o.k., a lot,) strange writing about this, so i will add one thing and leave it at that... if it comes to pass that he is the "one" for my sister, i will owe him something.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

what difficulty?

countless people have remarked about how difficult it must have been to shoot a portrait a day of a different person for a year. well, this example here is one of the testaments to how easy it was at times. i left my house on this particular night with the mission of finding another unsuspecting person for this project, and i didn't get any further than the end of my driveway. as i pulled down the driveway, there in the light of my headlights, was a neighbor... unsuspecting. i did pull out of the driveway, but immediately pulled to the side of the road to accost him, gently. he was ready, willing, and able, and after a handful of photos, i freed him to continue on his way, and i was quick to get back to the evening at home with my wife. now, that was easy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

what has this world come to?

where are his safety goggles? don't worry, as i have reported the infraction to the authorities.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


there is something about being four that is simply like nothing else in the world. three is still about learning some of the basics of communicating, and it too is a world unto itself. but four, with a greater sense of sentence structure and a deeper grasp of personal ideas, is the blooming garden of beautiful character. i am blessed to still have a four year old, and this girl here is one of my daughter's dear friends... they are changing the world.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

on the cursed earth, toiling

"Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life." for some reason, this is one of those bible verses that has stuck with me since childhood, and i think about it fairly often as conversation whirls around about work related issues. we work a lot. of our waking hours, work gets most of our energy; it quite owns us. but, "painful toil"... i think that is going a bit to far.

Monday, March 12, 2012

somewhat vulnerable

this young woman's response to this project was mixed. she obviously took to the camera without too much hesitation... here, she seems as open and vulnerable as any of the many that are included in this collection. But, when it came to filling out the release form, she wanted to withhold as much information as possible. personally, i don't blame her. i expected that to happen much more than it did. giving a complete stranger your contact info, and complete freedom to do whatever they want to the photos is almost inconceivable. time and time again nobody questioned my motives... they trusted me. it really was an amazing experience to watch such a thing take place. again, i thank all of you who took that chance with me and this project... i will repay you in some way, someday. for now, i will simply continue to post un-altered photos on this blog, and do my best to remain trustworthy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

she popped the question

as you can guess, there's a story here...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

what do we need?

there's something about barfly's... i know this because i was one. i had a bar, i had a bartender, i had "the usual," i had my seat, etc. i knew the other barfly's, and they were a substitute sort of family for years... it was better than home at the time. i ran away from that substitute home over a decade ago, and i never went back. thankfully, i have a new home with a family, and i think that that is all we really want/need, even if we don't want to admit it... and, that does not mean a traditional family or home, just a real place where we are loved and accepted as we are. it sounds so simple; it is not.