Monday, April 30, 2012

three's company

so, i've only eight more days of posting on this blog, and though it will be great to move on to the next phase of this project that began almost two years ago, i will miss sharing the stories here. the people that i encountered were usually a joy to share a moment with, and these three were no exception. the lady with the dog was slightly frightened by me when i approached. i saw her out of a front window at my house, and the blue of her scrubs caught the late light just right. so, i quickly grabbed my camera and i walked out of my front door and tried to play it casual as i strolled down the driveway... trying not to look like some sort of stalking creep. unfortunately, i did resemble such a sort, and i could tell she was less than willing to be confronted. oh, well, we aren't always ready, but life comes anyways. she was a sport after i tore down several of the walls that she had built for protection... i did it gently and honestly. i intentionally spoke of my daughters who were inside getting ready for bed, and spoke of my wife and anything i could think of to paint me in a favorable light. evidently, she agreed to the terms of my proposal, and here she is, as she was, where she was... and it is good. the next gentleman was much easier to sell my bag of goods, as he is the father of a girl in my daughter's preschool. he was at the school at the same time in a misty drizzle, and the photos were quick and to the point. he also is the owner of a fairly new leather goods store in town that is the real deal. the last portraits were snapped at a nearby baseball park where throughout the spring and summer, hundreds upon hundreds of games are played and memories are made. the fur-lined hat is a classic addition to this collection. after i took several photos of this guy by himself, his girlfriend asked if they could get some pictures of them together, and though it is/was against the code of this project, i conceded... but they will not be included here. and with that, i bid farewell with under a dozen more people to post.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the little green straw that could

so, when i was looking over the portraits of this young man, i found myself spinning on a mental tangent about the power of certain visuals. there is such marketing genius in such things as simple as a green straw. i noticed the green straw in the color photo, and i immediately thought about how it instantly makes me think about a particular coffee shop. i don't know if this straw works on the average person the same way that it does me, but it is a super powered "subtle" marketing monster.

Friday, April 27, 2012

on any given sunday, one might find a fellow human dressed in their sunday's best. this is not just a southern thing, but, for some reason, i like to think that we can do it better here than others in other regions. here is a leader of a congregation that actually surprised his wife and daughter on this particular morning by donning this outfit. evidently, he is usually quite reserved in his choice of suits for sunday, but, not on this spring day. i think that he said he was having a moment of reflection on his childhood, when his mom would dress him for sunday school, and every week was an exciting ensemble like the one presented here. i am quite sure that he was honored to be chosen to be a part of this project, which would officially document his tip of the hat to his days of yore. all the while, his wife giggled and snickered at the chance encounter that put he and his fashion statement in the spotlight.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

not girls, boys

i am raising two girls, not two boys. so far, it seems like a great fit. i do, however, wish that they would be more willing to grab some paper, make a paper airplane, stab it with a stick, and then set it on fire. i will have to work on that. it is wonderful to see the natural differences between boys and girls surface in such young kids; it speaks volumes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

not a ghost, a neighbor

this nearby neighbor reminds me of my father... the silver hair, the skin, the teeth, the cigarettes. his lawn is one to behold.

thesis statement

so, i spent a year taking photos of one person a day in an attempt to share a message about humanity... she did it in one day with a t-shirt.

pardon the interruption

during this project, i interrupted hundreds of moments that people were having while going about their business. i did my best to not force myself upon anyone who appeared to be "unavailable" in any sort of way. with this young man, i crossed a bit of a barrier, as he was experiencing a very quiet moment in a park, by himself, and probably his higher power. it seemed intrusive of me, but i went for it this time, partially because i was about to go home for the evening, and i did not necessarily want to get out again. also, the scene was perfectly lit by late afternoon light, and it was well composed by the elements of this particular park... and a sack full of something. he was genial and quietly responsive as i went about explaining my mission, and as you can see, he kept his calm composure, and i finished my job quickly and gave him back to his solitude.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

on the wings of dreams

this place is not just a music club, it is an institution, and it is sometimes the ultimate stepping stone for those musicians/songwriters trying to make their way into an extremely competitive industry. it has helped launch the careers of garth brooks, taylor swift, and many others in it's thirty year history. thousands more have made their way to nashville, stood in the infamous line, and given their all to try to get noticed by the right person in the evening's crowd. i caught this woman at the front of the line on an evening when someone's dream was up for grabs... i'm not sure if it was her night or not... i am honestly not sure if she was even singing that evening. i am eternally mystified at the synchronicity that is sometimes required to manifest a simple dream... and, then sometimes it is just dumb luck. first, though, you've got to have a dream.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

on his way

there is no doubt about it, it does take a village to raise a child well. mostly, though, it takes a mom and a dad who give love constantly, and hopefully that love does not have conditions. this does not happen often enough, in my humble opinion, and most of us end up with a big wound that takes decades to understand, and sometimes a lifetime to heal. anyways, of what i know of this young boy, he is off to a great start.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

green and green

a couple of years ago, my sister and a friend wrote a book about a caterpillar and it's journey. it is a children's book with a message for all ages (like many a good children's book.) my sister and her friend have done readings in many different places, and this wonderful woman runs one of the stores that hosted a reading last year. the reading is more of an event, as there is dancing, drumming, singing, and a bit of yoga. the store is an environmental store that sells all sorts of "friendly" goods for the home... and a children's book or two.

Monday, April 16, 2012

waiting, fingernail painting

during this project, there have been certain folks who had to be included... they are the people that sort-of magically look the perfect way in the perfect place. out of the three hundred and sixty -four people that i photographed, there were no more than two dozen of these people. here, at the bus stop is one of those top tier subjects. i was in the flow of traffic after having picked up my daughter from school, and i was fifty yards from the entrance ramp to the interstate. i was picking up speed to keep up with the stream, and there, at the bus stop... BOOM! colors galore... unfamiliar colors in combination, and i was caught. there was one second to decide, and i decided and pulled out of the swift current of cars and made my way to the side of the road, and then i proceeded to reverse a bit to get nearer the destination. as i approached, i could tell that she was extremely occupied with the task of painting her fingernails while standing, waiting for the bus. i was an unexpected guest in that moment, but she conceded, paused from the task, and let me capture her and all the colors. there is a beaming from within... i will not use simile or metaphor... they would fail.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

second nature to some

here in Musi City, guitars are part of the process.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

filling shoes

growing up here in nashville, my mom had a favorite chinese restaurant. as many know, nashville is not particularly stocked with good, authentic chinese restaurants... it never has been. so, we would call in carry out from this place from time to time, and we became quite familiar with the food and the owner. this subject here is the gentleman who took over the reins from the extremely hospitable former owner. so far, from what i have experienced, he shows much promise to be just as warm as the old guard... still serving the same lo mein, beef and broccoli, and general's chicken. when i was sixteen or so, i would like to go pick up the food for the family, and i thought i was so sneaky keeping the change for myself... selfish and deceitful is more likely what i was.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

caffeinated community

coffee shops are not just for coffee, they are for community. it has been this way for centuries with establishments of this variety. there is a deep need within humankind (well, at least with some of us,) to commune with each other in public, shared spaces. getting "jacked-up" on caffeine is a thrill for many, and a powerful addiction for some. luckily for us, the addicts and thrill-seekers, over the past two decades, coffee shops have become easy to stumble upon, and easier to get exactly what you want when you get there. if there is not enough caffeine in your coffee, add a shot of espresso... still not enough, add another shot. you want your joe to taste like caramel, just add a shot of syrup. light roast, dark roast, yes, medium roast. you want a french press, get one. you want one inch for creamer, ask for it. you want your cappuccino one hundred and sixty degrees? that's possible. you don't want caffeine? get decaf. individualism abounds at your local coffee shop... a caffeinated freedom of expression.

the man behind the curtain

he is an ambassador of the art scene in this city, and his energy, intelligence, and passion for this business is honed with careful precision and a dose of creative abandon. i sometimes call him, "governor." (he is also a damn good painter and as kind as he could be.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

beware of the buffet

"In a 1922 housekeeping book entitled How to Prepare and Serve a Meal, Lillian B. Lansdown wrote:
The concept of eating a buffet arose in mid 17th century France, when gentleman callers would arrive at the homes of ladies they wanted to woo unexpectedly. Their surprise arrival would throw the kitchen staff in to a panic and the only food that could be served was a selection of what was found in the cold room.
The informal luncheon or lunch—originally the light meal eaten between breakfast and dinner, but now often taking the place of dinner, the fashionable hour being one (or half after if cards are to follow) —is of two kinds. The "buffet" luncheon, at which the guests eat standing; and the luncheon served at small tables, at which the guests are seated....
The knife is tabooed at the “buffet” lunch, hence all the food must be such as can be eaten with fork or spoon. As a rule, friends of the hostess serve... The following dishes cover the essentials of a “buffet” luncheon. Beverages: punch, coffee, chocolate (poured from urn, or filled cups brought from pantry on tray); hot entrées of various sorts (served from chafing dish or platter) preceded by hot bouillon; cold entrées, salads, lobster, potatoes, chicken, shrimp, with heavy dressings; hot rolls, wafer-cut sandwiches (lettuce, tomato, deviled ham, etc.); small cakes, frozen creams and ices.
The informal luncheon at small tables calls for service by a number of maids, hence the “buffet” plan is preferable.

The "all-you-can-eat" buffet has been ascribed to Herb Macdonald, a hotel manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota who introduced the idea in 1946. In his 1965 novel The Muses of Ruin, William Pearson wrote, of the buffet:
At midnight every self-respecting casino premières its buffet—the eighth wonder of the world, the one true art form this androgynous harlot of cities has delivered herself of.... We marvel at the Great Pyramids, but they were built over decades; the midnight buffet is built daily. Crushed-ice castles and grottoes chill the shrimp and lobster. Sculptured aspic is scrolled with Paisley arabesques. They are, laid out with reverent artistry: hors d'oeuvres, relish, salads, and sauces; crab, herring oyster, sturgeon, octopus, and salmon; turkey, ham, roast beef, casseroles, fondues, and curries; cheeses, fruits and pastries. How many times you go through the line is a private matter between you and your capacity, and then between your capacity and the chef's evil eye."