Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hands: Tim

A decent number of my favorite photos from the session with Tim involve his hands in some way or another.

Which is certainly not to say that I didn't enjoy shooting his face, or body shots, or any of it. But I kept coming back to his hands, maybe even more than usual.

I have to remember, in future shoots, to make this sort of space to do hands shots like I used to. It's clearly something I enjoy capturing and it amazes me that I let myself get distracted sometimes to the point that I forget to get what I really want. The hands speak for themselves.

November 21th: Photo Walk

I went out with Richard again last Sunday, November 21st. I don't even really remember what we went out for, but whatever it was, I remember that we debated even bringing our cameras. But we did, and I think we both felt more "on" than we had the day before. Even though we didn't shoot for as long, and so we didn't end up with nearly as many shots, I think we were both very pleased with the decision to bring the cameras after all.

The truth is, I almost never regret having brought my camera somewhere, but I almost always regret it when I don't.

November 20th: Photo Walk

I've been so focused on taking pictures of people that I may have been neglecting the type of image-making that got me so enthused to really start pursuing some sort of career in photography: the random images of objects and buildings that catch my eye as I wander somewhat aimlessly.

Last Saturday, November 20th, Richard and I went out for a walk with our cameras. It felt good to get back to this.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How I Met Tim

I shot some pictures of my friend Tim today.

Funny story. I met Tim online in 2007. He was (and still is) living in NYC and I was in SF, and in September of that year, he came out for a visit. I met him on a Saturday afternoon at his hotel room and we went to a party together. I blew off the possibility to meet another guy to go meet Tim, but ended up meeting that guy the next day instead, and that other guy was Marcio who was my boyfriend for over a year. The part I find especially funny is that an hour or so before meeting me, Tim also met another guy who would end up being his boyfriend for a few years.

Maybe it's only funny to me. Anyway, it was a fun shoot today. Not as high concept as some of my recent shoots but I tend not to go that far out on a limb on my first session with a new person. And while I took some candid pics of Tim at a party we were both at this summer, this was out first official session.

But I'm hoping not our last.

All these photos were taken today, November 23, 2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shoot #4

I think it probably goes without saying that I like working with Joey. We had our fourth shoot together yesterday, which is kind of a lot of sessions to have with one person in a single month.

We started with an idea that I'd played with in an earlier shoot, involving the draping of black sheets to cut out some body parts while exposing others.

Joey brought a piece of netting -- from the back of a truck maybe -- and considering I didn't even know he was bringing it, I had a lot of fun with it.

After spending an hour or so shooting entirely experimental stuff, I instinctively went for some more traditional set ups.

And then I thought it would be fun to try playing with these chains that happen to be lying around in the studio. I'd had some ideas involving draping or wrapping, but the metal was so cold I couldn't bring myself to do that to Joey even though he said he could handle it. I suspended them from the ceiling instead.

It will be interesting to see how much of this experimental spirit surfaces in my future shoots with models other than Joey. (Though I do like working with Joey. Did I mention that already?)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I had another studio shoot with Joey today. He approached me with an idea for some shots, and I like the idea of collaborating with the model, like I did with Lara a month ago. While I did throw in some more standard shots to be safe, I wanted to keep the focus of the shoot to be even more experimental than the previous one. I've just started working my way through what I shot, but here's a few that I like so far.

These photos were taken on November 21, 2010.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

February, 2009, San Francisco

I always took pictures. Especially once I got a digital camera, it was pretty common to see me with a camera, out wandering by myself, usually. But it wasn't until January of 2009 that I accepted a concept that I had previously rejected: it is acceptable to post-process. I don't know why I'd clung to this antiquated notion that I needed to preserve every image exactly as my camera recorded it, I really don't. But after I let that idea go, everything changed. It was so freeing to think that I could shoot whatever I wanted and that I could edit it later -- in writing we call that revising -- to shape it however I wished. And with that freedom, new voices came out of me, and once they came out, it's been almost impossible for me to silence them. In January of 2009, if asked what my passion was, I would have said fiction writing, but a month later, the photographer who was always waiting inside me finally found his voice, or the beginnings of it, and since then, I really haven't written much, but I've taken maybe 15 thousand photographs.

Here are five. These are all taken within days of each other on some of my first outings with my previously underutilized Canon Rebel, taken finally with the knowledge that I could bring their dull voices home and teach them to sing. They were all shot in February of 2009, and one was taken on my birthday. Most were taken in my neighborhood in San Francisco, and one was taken near the Golden Gate Bridge.

A lot has changed since February of 2009.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where I Came From

I've spent the last few days in upstate NY, visiting family and, to my surprise, attending my high school reunion. Being up here always puts me in a contemplative space, being up here in autumn compounds that, and re-living events from over twenty years ago all weekend long has only put me over the pensive edge. Because of reunion activities and some less than ideal weather, I haven't taken that many pictures, but I did take some in my parents' yard the other day.

This one pretty much sums it up. I'm pointing the camera at the front door of the house where I grew up, catching a reflection of the yard and the house across the street. None of this is how it was back then. The door itself (which lends the blue cast to the whole image) is brand new, as is the mailbox. The house across the way used to be yellow, and its yard used to be dominated by old pines. It's been a long time since I moved away from here, and I've moved a half dozen times in the dozen years since that happened, but most of the changes to the landscape depicted here have occurred just in the past year or so. You can't go home again, the saying goes, but you can, if you are willing to accept that home might not be where you left it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Joey: Free (part 2)

More of the same, more of the not same...

Joey: Free (part 1)

I learned something about myself this past weekend. Despite the fact that I'm feeling generally good about my photographs, I still get nervous every time I have a shoot, particularly with a new person, and my nerves may cause me to go for some very basic shots, not necessarily as creative as I could be. I learned this in contrast to my most recent shoot with Joey. Because we've shot three times in three weeks, and twice now in the studio, I was not just forced but also freed to experiment in ways that maybe I wouldn't have thought to during that first shoot, or my first shoot with any new model.

It is not for me to say whether these images are good or bad, but ... I think some of them go places that I haven't necessarily been before. I like it. Note to self: get over it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Joey: Studies (I mean it this time!)

I probably should have saved the last post until I had gotten through this part of the shoot.

These kinda remind me of these cookies I used to buy in San Francisco at Halloween time, and the line on the package that used to crack em up: "Now with SPOOKY SHAPES."

Ok, so maybe these shapes aren't spooky, but I can't believe I've gone the entire Halloween season without talking about SPOOKY SHAPES, so maybe I was just looking for an excuse.