Kathleen, Asheville. March 2018

March 23, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Some pho­to­shoots are fun, some are stress­ful, some are for learn­ing from mis­takes and some are for teach­ing. Some are for­ma­tional, and a very rare few are those which you know — even mid-work — there will be a “before” and “after” against which every­thing else is created.

Both times I’ve worked solo with Kath­leen Hahn of idodances.com and Dance­club Asheville have been those last types. Her abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate not just through dance but in the dia­logue before and after a piece is unique and I’m all the bet­ter a pho­tog­ra­pher for it. Our first ses­sion was a time lapse of sorts, her danc­ing in var­i­ous places and com­bin­ing them in post­pro­duc­tion. The rep­re­sen­ta­tive piece of that ses­sion is “Ten­nis Courts”.

This ses­sion, indoors at her stu­dio in Asheville, was entirely dif­fer­ent. We were look­ing for indi­vid­ual moments where Kath­leen was mov­ing much less delib­er­ately, with quicker move­ments but with more com­mu­ni­ca­tion between us. It was also a ses­sion where she was using a pole, which sur­faced a num­ber of lay­ers to the work.

As a male pho­tog­ra­pher, it’s easy to be in the posi­tion of power in a pho­to­shoot. Ooften the pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dio is intim­i­dat­ing itself, and one is work­ing with a sub­ject who can­not eas­ily stop and say “show me what you have so far”. There are often dis­crep­an­cies in vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and also the inher­ent prob­lem of “male gaze” that must be addressed in every shoot. Put all of the above together along­side a ses­sion in a dance stu­dio where a main impe­tus is to reclaim all dance forms from patri­archy (if not too strong a phrase here) and impart con­fi­dence, my emo­tions were all over the place. “Should I be here with my cam­era? Should I be here at all? What is my role, what is Kathleen’s role? Why can I do this with Kath­leen as a friend, and is that dif­fer­ent than a pro­fes­sional? Can I pub­lish these? Should I even con­sider sell­ing prints of these?”

For­tu­nately, Kath­leen was more than up for the con­ver­sa­tion before, dur­ing, and after the shoot. And just as before, I came away a lit­tle wiser and grate­ful for all those I encounter in my photography.

Self Portrait, September 2017

November 9, 2017 at 11:57 pm


Leica M3, HP5+ at 1600.

Lizard Walker, November 2015

November 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Lizard Walker and I are col­lab­o­rat­ing on a long term project, and part of the process is spend­ing time sim­ply talk­ing. No agen­das or plan­ning, just time to refill the well that col­lab­o­ra­tion draws from.

That said, I will still have my cam­era in those quiet ses­sions and thank you to Lizard for these candids.

Lizard Walker, November 2015

Lizard Walker, Novem­ber 2015

Fuji Neopan Acros 100 in the Leica M3, 50mm f/2 and devel­oped in microphen.

Color Self Portraits, February 2015

February 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm

I do shoot color some­times! These are two dig­i­tal images made while test­ing bat­ter­ies and con­fig­u­ra­tions for off cam­era flash setups. 50mm f/1.4 on the 5dmk2

Britt Byrd, Portrait. September 2014

September 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Por­trait head shots are always an inter­est­ing expe­ri­ence. My goals and the client’s goals start from dif­fer­ent places and we both work to meet in the mid­dle. It’s a bit of a dance, espe­cially at the begin­ning of the ses­sion. I am grate­ful when I have mul­ti­ple oppor­tu­ni­ties to work with a client as that gives us time to step away and come back to add to the work already com­plete. And some­times in that sec­ond ses­sion, I can play a bit more with the work and try for more than just the explicit goal. The can­did imagery that arises from the amenable feel­ings can offer treasure.

The image below is one of those riches.

Britt Byrd, September 2014

Britt Byrd, Sep­tem­ber 2014

Britt Byrd is a local actress and we worked on two ses­sions together ear­lier this month. While the tra­di­tional head shots are cer­tainly win­ners on their own, this one can­did is one of my favorites from the sets. It was a moment of intro­spec­tion between looks, and I am grate­ful I was able to catch the image. And, not least, thanks to Britt and her active engage­ment as a pho­to­graphic subject.

Photo Exploration: The Lost Fashion Shoot

August 28, 2014 at 2:05 am

I had worked with Bone­yard Cloth­ing in early 2012, and loved every­thing they did. When another oppor­tu­nity came up in May 2012, I was thrilled for a stu­dio shoot.

It was lots of fun with a vari­ety of looks among three mod­els, and I was excited to get BYC the work. I slipped the mem­ory card in my bag and went home to process the pho­tos. And at home, I opened the bag and looked for the card. And looked, and looked, and looked. And pan­icked. I had never phys­i­cally lost a card before (and haven’t since), and wasn’t really sure what to do. I did the only thing I could do — call BYC, apol­o­gize, and accept that I had let them down.

Until this past week.

Bone Yard Clothing, May 2012

 

As I was dig­ging around in a long-repurposed bag for some­thing else, I felt what could be a mem­ory card. Lo and behold, there was a lit­tle sleeve inside a zip­pered pocket. When exam­ined, it was the lost card! I was greatly relieved to get the ses­sion back (although two years late) and was sur­prised at how much my style has changed, at least in what I was tak­ing for the major­ity of the shots. Although my per­sonal favorite picks from that ses­sion are still (roughly) in line with what I would shoot today, I liked see­ing a lit­tle bit of pro­gres­sion here and there.

My sen­ti­men­tal­ity gauge is pretty unbal­anced with this work, as I believed for years that it was com­pletely gone. The redis­cov­ery of these images has been a great boon, not least of which for the free­dom that I see in the work. There are many ele­ments in much of the rest of the series that I would be sure to clean up now in the stu­dio rather than in post, and even in the above I see a few bits that I would try and adjust in the moment. But isn’t that a lit­tle bit of what makes nos­tal­gia nos­tal­gic? That we can’t go back and relive the past, but we can at least learn and laugh a lit­tle at the experience?

Thanks to Bone­yard Cloth­ing for set­ting up the shoot, and Justin of The Go Dev­ils for being the model in the above photograph.

Brittany, June 2011.

August 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I worked with Brit­tany as part of my Back series in 2011. She mod­eled for a cou­ple of ses­sions, in dig­i­tal and film.

I recently found the instant film set and res­canned the work. I’m still blown away by the tonal­ity of the “print” in these scans. Using the FP-3000b offers a high speed expe­ri­ence that is really unique, and I hope to con­tinue using the media for a long long time.

Photo Exploration: Theo in the Backyard, June 2014.

June 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Theo, June 2014

Theo play­ing in the back­yard as we do a lit­tle lawn main­te­nance. He really loves his “dig­gers and dumpers.”

When you play with expired film, some­times you get a mash of spotty color and weak con­trast. This roll turned out fine, and I’m grate­ful. There are some other shots of Theo, but this is the one I really took as a favorite. There aren’t any par­tic­u­larly amaz­ing mes­sages com­ing from this, but it is still a nice “day in the life” work.

I’m spend­ing more of my time work­ing on series for show, get­ting gallery work together and really striv­ing for a more “fine art” pre­sen­ta­tion. It’s a bit exhaust­ing, and it doesn’t always give me the space to just shoot. I’ve got­ten more hes­i­tant about shar­ing work on social media, as if the responses won’t be hon­est enough. I want to just work with shar­ing­prints these days, but even that has become a block and I’m not print­ing as much as I was ear­lier this year. I feel that if I bring this work out into the world, I need a wor­thy place to present and dis­cuss. And that’s still being searched for.…maybe indefinitely.

All that said, I like this photo as it takes me away from all that navel gaz­ing and is just a nice time hang­ing out with Theo.