Eulogy ………. “I read the news today, oh boy…” Beatles, Sgt. Pepper, 1967…….

The world of photography will turn a little more slowly when John Reuter shuts down his large Polaroid Camera shop. An article in today’s New York Times outlines what is and what will soon be. (Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/arts/design/champion-of-a-polaroid-behemoth-yields-to-the-digital-world.html )

My first experience with the Large Polaroid was in the late 1990s, Polaroid brought this massive camera to Seattle. I was asked, along with a few other photographers, if we’d care to explore its potential. After one frame, I was hooked.

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Since that time I’ve enlisted its use as often as possible. The last time was during the Seeds of Compassion gathering in Seattle, when I was privileged to work with the Dalai Lama and an array of international luminaries. John Reuter, who is the focus of the NY Times story, brought the camera out and we worked closely together for several days. John is a terrific person and great photographer in his own right.

 

In order to photograph  the Dalai Lama and others, I took over the hotel suite adjacent to his turning it into a  photography studio. The camera is very large, standing about 6 feet high and 8 feet long. We pulled out all the furniture from the bedroom to make space. Even so, there was barely enough breathing room for the camera, lights, backdrop, subject, John Reuter and me. As noted in the Times article, president Obama once had to leave his Secret Service contingent on the outside when this camera filled the room, in order to take such a special portrait.

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Native American Spiritual Leader

And then there’s the film. The unexposed film comes on an apparent endless roll around two feet wide. It’s pulled from the back of the camera at around 30 inches to provide a final image of about 20”x24”. Imagine the size of a large bath towel and you have the size of these Polaroids.

 

 

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Alvy Ray Smith, co-fonder PIXAR

Photographing with and being photographed by the camera is a spiritual experience. I rarely used more than two or three sheets of film per subject, and the images were always outstanding. Sitting in front of this camera inspires awe. For instance, I once used it for a family portrait, and the pre-teen/early teen children were marvelous to work with, showing emotions, deep thoughts, and humor, with beautiful results. A few months later, in a photo session with a standard 35mm camera, these same children were hellions. What a change from their earlier session – sitting before the behemoth camera earlier, in awe and respect – the magic of the huge camera.

I look back with fond remembrance on the time spent with the large Polaroid and its team. Knowing the difficulties of continuing his specialty studio, I was still very hopeful John would be able to manufacture the film and chemistry. I had hoped to bring it once more to Seattle and use it again. Now, sadly, that won’t happen.

Bon Voyage to John Reuter, his crew, and all the users. I feel fortunate to have experienced the magic of the Big Polaroid.

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“What me worry?” On the eve of Seeds of Compassion with my co-chair Matthew Felton (R). PHOTO BY: John Reuter, 2008.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Burlesque will be Burlesque

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The obvious approach would be to doll them up, apply a great deal of makeup, and then photograph them with deep rich colors. That’s the obvious.

Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Trixie Lane, Madisun Park, and Boom Boom L’Roux arrived at the studio full of smiles, kind words, and enthusiasm. I had asked them to stop by for a few hours of frolic. My idea was to create a triptych image.

My triptych compositions at their best convey a cinematic, kinetic feel. People are sliced down the middle, caught in the act, reaching through one frame to another. Sometimes mouth wide open, sometimes eyes closed. After the photo session, each finished triptych portrait takes a considerable amount of time to envision and then bring together.

Some people think the triptych is pulled from one or two overall shots then assembled to make a single three-piece portrait. No, the people interact as I photograph them one third of the group at a time. Later I select three images to paste and stitch into the three-image mosaic.

 As they arrived I was struck by their disparate personalities, yet when it came to performing they all bonded:

Trixie Lane was the grand dame of the group. At 42 she threw herself into burlesque and quickly became one of the centers of the re-emerging movement. She’s known as “Trixie Lane, Queen of Shame who has played all the best loading docks in town.” Don’t ask, I know it sounds lurid but it isn’t. Now in retirement she continues to teach but concentrates her time on her and her husband’s business, “Oldschool Pinups.”

A carnival lover with an effervescent personality, Madisun Avenue, bounced up my stairs into my studio. She was trained by Trixie Lane and is a marvelous spirit on stage. She spends her time between performing and stage productions.

Boom Boom L’Roux strolled confidently up my stairs with a smile and subtle wit. She’s a wily talent mixing burlesque and cabaret scenes. She also spends time behind the scenes as a producer.

Finally, Tamara the Trapeze Lady walked in quiet, a little shy, and very beautiful. Later I discovered she is fundamental to the resurrection of burlesque in the Seattle Burlesque-120-Editarea. On top of that she’s a world-class performer on the trapeze as well as the stage.

We had only a few hours to create. To warm things up and to get to know them better, I suggested individual portraits of the four. What a wonderful, creative quartet. It was difficult to keep them on the set as their natural energy had them bounding to and fro. By the close of the session, many great portraits had been created and a boat full of laughs exchanged.

They changed back to their street clothes and as they sauntered down my stairs I was reminded of Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out”. I have no roadies to pack it up and tear it down. So, I go inside, strike the set, grab my camera, and head to my office to see what images I’ll have to fashion my work of art.

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Posted in art installation, family portraits, Fine Art, General Interest, group portraits, Portrait education, portrait tips, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

You didn’t just make his day, you may have made his year! ~Middle School Instructor

His selfie was magnificent.

I projected it to the class and offered, “This is the best one I’ve seen all day.” The image expressed a young boy’s confidence and wisdom set behind glowing eyes. I thanked him and returned his iPhone. He walked away beaming from ear to ear.

His teacher stood to my right and close by. Glancing her way, I noted tears welling up in her eyes. “Are you okay?” I queried. “Yes. You have no idea what that meant to that student.”

A few weeks earlier I had attended a function at Town Hall. My creative friend, Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, was appointed the Hall’s first “artist-in-residence.” His premier gathering was an event, in his words, “The idea for this event is to bring audiences and artists of various disciplines together as well as introducing artists to many other resources in a casual atmosphere.”

After the presentation, I mingled through the crowd where I met a middle school teacher. After a few minutes of conversation, she asked if I might be interested in spending some time with her art class. In particular talking about my creative journey and perhaps giving a short “how to” lesson. These are always so enjoyable for me. Plus, I thought, I have not been up close and personal with a roomful of early teens, well,… since I was an early teen.

On the appointed day, I spoke to three consecutive classes, each with 25-35 students. I marveled as they rolled through the door. The quiet girl with streaked hair, head down, was a mirror image of Ally Sheedy, late of the Breakfast Club. Another young man, tall, extremely handsome, obviously the head of his crew, reminded me of Justin Bieber. I noted Justin Bieber pinned to the wall and yelled out “Justin B.” He stopped laughing, gave me the evil eye, and turned to his seat. It went on like this as all 35 rolled into the room.

The young man whose work I later applauded sat quietly by himself.

After about 30 minutes of show and tell, I launched into an introduction to selfies. The basic four steps to better selfie’s were discussed. I then asked them to explore on their own. What ensued for the next eight minutes, to my eyes, was pandemonium. Although I was assured it was controlled chaos and they were normal and well behaved. At the end of the class, I was able to review and comment on a dozen or so images. Most attempts were not remarkable. My young man’s was.

Then, the bell rang and they quickly piled out. So much chaos. So different from what I remember. I might add that the teachers were amazing to maintain calm, composure, and keep the class under control.

After class, the teacher pulled out some art projects, among them, this young man’s work. Compared to most of the other paintings/drawings, his was lacking spirit. Much of his year had been difficult and his self-esteem was fleeing. Being drawn to the creative arts, he was feeling down, that he “had no talent.” Then the selfie. As she wiped away a tear, the teacher concluded, “You didn’t just make his day, you may have made his year!” She added, ” It’s moments like these that remind me why I continue to teach.”

I thanked her for the opportunity, walked into the now quiet hallway, and smiled.

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Posted in General Interest Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~ Oscar Wilde

2014 was a strange photographic year for me.  I realized that I used my iPhone more than my Nikon when taking personal photographs. I never thought I’d get used to looking at a video screen instead of a viewfinder. But Truthfully, I enjoy the ease and convenience using the iPhone rather than carrying around the Nikon I use for my professional work. Here are some of my best  iPhone photos for the year.

Over the summer Beth and I spent a few days in Vancouver, B.C. Walking around the city we bumped into this fine little restaurant, Bin 941. Sitting in our window seat I noticed this shadow appear on the entryway. Before the shadow turned into a person, I captured this image with my iPhone,

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Summer is a time to get out o f the city and explore. Beth and I planned to drift down to Tacoma over the Narrows Bridge and drive north up the peninsula. I hadn’t been to Tacoma in years and I was surprised at the changes. We ended up spending our entire day there. Part of it was spent in the park where I saw this Hispanic woman celebrating Quinceañera. She was rushing up the stairs with her photographer. The light was perfect.

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We northwesterners always look forward to summer. For us these are the days  after July 4th and before Labor Day. The weather is more predictable, the days are long and the temp is usually shirt sleeve. During those days I saw some interesting sights.

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A dear young friend, Erin and her fiancé came up with the idea of announcing their engagement via a posting on the Guild 45th marquee. Brilliant idea!  They asked me to digitially capture the fulfillment of their dream.  The management at the Guild 45th were grand in putting the info on their marquee. Real pros these.Roberts0714-58-Edit

We all convened one late summer evening to catch this shot. My close friend, Bill, was visiting from New Zealand and I drafted him as my assistant. They’ve since been married.

 

In May, I received a call from KING-TV asking if I’d be interested in being interviewed and giving an on-air lesson in “Selfies”. Of course, I was flattered and accepted. Then I set out to come up with some good selfie techniques.  Here are a few of the results.IMG_2066 IMG_0892 IMG_0981 selfie_catherine

The year ended with a trip to my home state Louisiana and my adoptive home, New Orleans. Beth and I drove around for days and I’d point at a levee and say, “There’s the Mississippi.” Finally she said, “I don’t see the River, only  some hills.” I laughed when I realized the levee hides the actual river. To remedy my oversight, we walked through Audubon Park in New Orleans and found the River. Beth was over the moon. IMG_2532

The year came to a close with one of my favorite activities a walk around my neighborhood. I spotted a stunning sunset and captured some gorgeous light beaming on a bench that’s been dedicated to my late wife, Hattie.

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Posted in exhibit, Fine Art, General Interest

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” Frank Herbert

I find all of my clients to be immensely interesting and the images I create for them to be a true honor and a pleasure. However, every so often an image jumps out that speaks to me a little more intimately than another.  Here are a few of those, from my commissioned work,  from the past year.   I’ll post my personal work highlights from 2014 soon.

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I had the distinct pleasure of working with a terrific family to create a series of family portraits. As it turned out I worked several hours with them at and around their home. Among others, they selected two family portraits and then one each of their children. For the techies out there, nothing but a window cove and sunlight for these.

 

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Spring rolled around and I took a  a stroll with these twins. I’ve been photographing them for years and always enjoy their energy. This day, at this moment, they were in a self-reflective, Diane Arbus, way.  Love this one.

Bowles_0813-144-Edit  Heidi stopped by for a simple professional portrait. After the session, she slipped on the jacket to leave. I noted the high collar and couldn’t resist. A large print of this one now hangs on her wall. Heidi2014-44

 

I have been working for a while on a series for successful women (and success is defined by the individual), I refer to as “Inner | Style”. These images are designed to be a complete, involved experience. One of the subjects referred the sessions as a “Photo Spa”.  Briefly, Inner | Style starts when one of the fabulous stylists I work with visits your home and helps  choose a distinctive wardrobe for the photo session. At the studio the stylist adds a few final touches, then on to the session. After it’s wrapped I ask the sitter to express what this experience provided them. Finally I inscribe on their portraits their stories, add a frame, and provide them with a work of art. That’s the Inner | Style experience.

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This spring I was asked by Pratt Fine Art center to donate a work of my photographic art for their live auction. Additionally, I suggested I set up a “photo booth” to capture the spirit of the evening. It was a grand evening.

Here are a few of the attendees..Dressed to the nines.Pratt2014-21

 

This fall, I worked with a young man who will soon be graduating from circus school. His degree, if I recall correctly, will be in “rope”. Here is one from a series. We worked for almost two hours. He effortlessly climbed the rope as he twisted and turned to create the most awesome poses. At the end, I grabbed the rope and tried to climb, hand over hand. I made it, maybe, two inches! He is an amazing athlete and talent. Here’s one: Weill-120

 

 

 

 

Toward the end of the year, Sound Transit hired me to instruct some of their staff on the ins and outs of mastering the iPhone camera and a few apps. Among other things, I broke them into groups of three with the assignment being to photograph their group. This group was very creative in their approach. Their idea; my finger.STWorkshop

 

Happy New Year 2015!!

Posted in art installation, Business, exhibit, family portraits, Fine Art, General Interest, Uncategorized

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” -” ― Michael Altshuler

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Occasionally, I reflect on my past, I scratch my head and say, “Where did the time go?”

Recently I looked at the calendar and realized for over 15 years I participated in online dating. The prospects seemed so discouraging that at one point, in the late 90s, I came very close to starting my own dating site. I studied the sites, went to investor meetings, and even found one initial backer. Then my photography business took a dramatic upswing keeping me non-stop busy for six months. When I returned to launching a dating website, I had grown cold on the business of dating. I had also grown cold to the idea of online dating but it was the new vogue and I was determined to find a mate. Since then, many things have changed but at least one constant remains; that would be the uninformative, poorly selected pictures used by many, in the online dating pool to represent and support their profile

Now when I observe the online dating profiles, sunglasses that obscure the eyes distract me, a plethora of images retouched back to puberty, blurry, too dark, too light, too far away! If I see one more Maui sunset or Tequila sunrise I believe I may pass out. I think, “Something needs to be done.” I put a mirror to myself and ask, “What is compelling in an online portrait?” I believe for men, first and foremost is the primary photograph. This should be the head and shoulders, eyewear if you wear them (but no sunglasses), and a pleasant look on the face.

Recently I read when viewing an online dating profile image a person makes up his/her mind in less than seven seconds. In less than eight heartbeats a person decides whether to view a profile or click “next”. That puts tremendous weight on that one photo. Next I thought what poses are needed to convey some essence of the personality? For this I took a very informal survey among my female friends and it jibed with my male perspective that several good images are needed. They should include a full body, ¾ length and preferably engaged in some activity. The subject should always be close-up and easily recognizable. These are the minimum requirements. Beyond that it’s personal lifestyle and tastes.

With this information, I decided to offer my clients a dual photographic experience. First we would begin in the studio with a beautifully relaxed but traditional portrait. Next, with multiple clothing changes in mind, we would move to one of several natural light areas I offer in my space. Using window light and a reflector, I capture a very realized natural image. The subject is perhaps sitting at a kitchen table, lounging on a sofa, or leaning into a window frame.

In the end, my clients receive a small portfolio of 4-6 images, which provide the viewer with a selection of moods and looks.

Is this approach working? One client wrote and I paraphrase,

“ Before I came to your studio, I rarely had any interest in my profile. After uploading the new ‘me’ photos, my date card is full”.

Addendum:  Recently, I met two very lovely women who provide a terrific dating service. They operate Muse&Co. and they are dedicated to connecting quality, relationship-ready singles through matchmaking and dinner dates. As an alternative to the online minefield, you might give them a look.

A few images that could do the trick:

 

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Posted in family portraits, Fine Art, General Interest, online dating, Portrait education, portrait tips

Trains, Jets, and Life

The last thing I would have expected to find at a Seafair party was a bona fide miniature train engineer.

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It was Saturday noon and the Blue Angels were expected at any moment. The gang was perched on the deck near Lake Washington and the anticipation was palpable.

 

Our host, Leilani, was no were to be seen and I began to nose around in hopes of finding her. Peeking out the backdoor, I saw her perched on her neighbor’s garage deck. Grandchild in her lap, they were waiting for the show to begin. I climbed the stairs to the deck and was greeted by Al, a ninety-one year old, gentleman, husband, father of many, and retired Boeing engineer.

 

I arrived just in time to tag along for a tour of Al’s house. The house was a single story with full basement mid-century modern. Al explained that he had designed and built his house around 1950 and then as his family grew he added on a story. He described the handmade cabinets, his first fireplace and the yard where his children played. However, what was most fascinating was found in the basement.

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As we descended the stairs, a room filled with scale model locomotives greeted us. Each was 1/8 or 1/12 scale and built from scratch. No model kits here. As we wandered around, he proudly (and rightly so) showed me his machine shoppe. Lathes, drills, and all the tools needed to construct a train, or most any other mechanical device.SeaFair2014-29          SeaFair2014-30

 

Last stop was Al’s drafting table where he was designing and fabricating a valve. SeaFair2014-32I’ll have to return to understand where that valve will be placed. Al added, although 92, when he walked into his shoppe he was ageless. Working in his shoppe designing and creating gave him a youthful appearance and a sharp mind.

 

The tour ended and I reluctantly rushed back to see the Blue Angels. But I had already seen the highlight of that day – Al, his workshop, and his beloved trains.

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Posted in Boeing engineers, Fine Art, General Interest, minature trains, model trains, Senior Portraits

Wall Portraits, Fairies, and Bohemians

“ ‘Eight North Eighth Avenue’, strange address”, she said as she stamped my envelope for delivery. “Yes” I thought, but what goes on there is anything but strange. Ken Whitmire and his associates have been hosting an annual Wall Portrait Conference in Yakima, Washington for decades.

It was the mid 1980s, I was starting my career when a blimp appeared on my radar of a fellow in eastern Washington who was exploring very large-scale portrait prints. I took note and immediately looked into the creative and business value of crafting “wall portraits”. A few years later my business interest took a turn toward commercial corporate photography. I wouldn’t get back to the family portrait for a decade or more. The memory lingered; the details faded.

Last week, after my immersion in the conference, I truly understand what Ken and the Wall Portrait devotees (and they are rather evangelical) have been up to these past 30+ years.

Last October I was privileged to be one of the key presenters in a weekend conference for the Professional Photographers of Washington. One of the attendees was Ken. After the session, I introduced myself and related my story of my introduction to his ideas and how they’d affected my approach to retail portraits.

At the close of the session he extended an offer for me to be his guest at the next conference.

In 2014 the conference was held in early May. I was aware of the dates but a major exhibition of my own was looming and I didn’t think I could spare a week. Four days before the start of the conference Ken Whitmire gave me a call. He’s a delightfully energetic man, as he speaks one is carried away with his exuberance. “Davis, I’ve been meaning to call and see if you are attending our conference”, Ken exclaimed. “Can you make it?” With a tad of hesitation I said “Sure! See you in four days”. I discussed this with my assistant, Ana, who assured me we would meet our deadlines giving me the needed break.

 

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I expected to learn some business practices and discover how Ken defined a “wall portrait”. What I didn’t expect was the quality of presentations, the depth given to the subjects and the congeniality of the participants. The days were long starting at 8:30a.m. and going until 7 or 8 p.m. Each evening, I returned to my hotel room exhausted but full of ideas. Over the course of the week, I wrote a dozen pages of notes and shot a hundred lecture screen grabs.

The focus of the conference is the business of portrait photography. This itself was more than worth the time. I’ve been teaching the business of commercial photography for years; this group’s interest is primarily location retail portraits, e.g. families, seniors, weddings; an area I’ve invested little time pursuing. However, their business practices easily translate to the business model I currently pursue.

What most interested me was the idea behind the wall portrait. From a creative and business standpoint this was brilliant. Very simply, the wall portrait is an environmental portrait. When composing, the subjects should be integrated into the landscape to become an element of the overall composition. In the past, I gave my subject adequate space to “breathe”; now I would give them space to rest in a much larger environment.

The principles I’ve always applied to my personal environmental portraits I looked forward to bring to my location retail portraits. I don’t know why this had not occurred to me before, it’s as if a synapse had been reconnected.

The week was physically and mentally exhausting at the same time exhilarating. I returned to Seattle eager to utilize the techniques and creative ideas from the conference. The day after the conference, I incorporated several business practices that proved to be exceptionally effective. A few days after that, I revisited a recent project called “Fairies and Bohemians” recropping them to inhabit a wall portrait landscape. Here are a couple of examples of opening up the image to a larger reference.

A closing note, any professional looking to improve their business acumen and creative skills should take this weeklong workshop. Ken might say, “You’ll never regret it!”

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#kenwhitmire #wallportraits  #fairies  #bohemians  #davisfreeman  #davisfreemanphotography  #yakima

 

Posted in Business, exhibit, family portraits, Fine Art, General Interest, group portraits, Portrait education, portrait tips, Workshops

In Louisiana a landmass close to the size of the state of Rhode Island has disappeared below the water.

 

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(Everything in this photograph is dead or dying. In the past, when salt water from the Gulf of Mexico met the fresh waters from the wetlands it generated a diverse population of species found no where else on Earth.  However, as a result of extreme weather changes and man-made influences, the delicate harmony of the estuary has been grossly unbalanced causing brackish waters to pollute and suffocate the once bio diverse region. A vacant house with its roof  blown away in a storm, further expresses the decay of the areas’ inhabitants.)

Each year the waters of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico inch towards swallowing Southern Louisiana. Collectively this is known as the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary system.  In southern Louisiana, since the 1940’s, a landmass close to the size of the state of Rhode Island has disappeared below the water.

The destructive powers of hurricanes, tropical storms, and manmade construction, all combine to create a state that is literally sinking. However that’s only a small part of the story.

The area is also losing it’s diverse wildlife, marine, and human populations. It’s flora and fauna are rapidly disappearing.  People whose lives are enriched by the tranquil, sometimes wild, undeveloped beauty of the delta are losing their homes, cabins, their very ways of life to the ever destructive, creeping waters. Shrimpers and fisherman who depend on the abundance of the marine life are finding less and less to gather.

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(Near Cocodrie, LA home owners build 20’ above the ground in preparation for  floods)

When people build damns and levees to rope in the water they often cause as much damage to another area that goes undetected until the destruction is done. And I won’t speak of the constant and pervasive oil and gas drilling.

                                     (unknown woman returns to find her house flooded out)

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(After a flood, Jack Uhle surveys his property and water damage)

With all this in mind, about 8 years about I picked up a project I started in the early 70s, documenting the life and death of the delta.  My fascination with the people, bayous, swamps, and grasslands of the delta began in my teens and I started photographing in my early 20s. In the mid 1970s, I  moved to Seattle but have always kept close ties to friends, and the on going dramas of southern Louisiana.

These images were taken a few years ago. Not necessarily Katrina related but part of the unweaving fabric that tells the story of the Delta.

In the near future, I plan to extend my stay and continue to document the story.

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(South Louisiana, delta area)

And of course, the insurance companies are always there to lend a helping hand.  Here‘s a comment from Waverly, MS that probably holds true for the folks of the delta.

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However, regardless of my time, the Delta continues to disappear.

 

 

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If you are interested in learning more about the Louisiana Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary system I suggest checking out this site:

 

The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP).

(BTNEP) is one of 28 National Estuary Programs throughout the United States and its territories.

http://www.btnep.org/BTNEP/home.aspx

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The Symbiosis of Business and Art

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  ~Maya Angelou

I take pictures. It’s a compulsion. A close second is my desire to help others through community service or volunteering. If life were unencumbered, I would capture my world through my lens then share my experiences in a way that others would find helpful.

At the close of the day, however, no matter how passionate I may be about my art, I and photographers like me must pay our bills, put food on our tables and roofs over our heads. We must attend to that aspect of our lives that isn’t art. Others may call this a “job.” Being something of a realist, I choose not to be a starving artist and opened my commercial business in 1982.

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“Hieronymus Bosch inspired my family triptychs. I saw this image when I was in my late teens. 30 years later I re-­interpreted it to family art.”

 

 

And so, with a little luck but mostly having worked like a dog to make a successful career from my art, I am often asked to lecture, present, or offer workshops concerning the art and business of photography. I try to explain to others how I can separate my passion for my art from the business of making money at it. At times I’ve interwoven the two as they do indeed have a complicated partnership.

Recently, I was honored to have been invited to speak to the Professional Photographers of Washington at Lake Chelan. Providing an educational, entertaining presentation has been my goal as a speaker. Additionally, I’ve been impressed with the speaker who opens up to share a very personal experience that has affected them and by sharing, affects me.  As I’m shy by nature, a new challenge would be to share my journey by including a few deeply personal and professional experiences.  They are, after all, intertwined.

With that in mind, I combined two previous presentations into one: the history of photography as seen through portraits and my own journey through photography. Through sincere reflection, I chronicled my 30+ years in the business with how my life’s roadmap has informed many of my creative choices. I was in hopes that in some small way my experiences might inspire others to see a tad more clearly how their lives affect their art and their businesses.

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“I took all these years of self-exploration and took it to the market place. Working for Time/Warner, Newsweek, People, and numerous high tech magazines and companies.”

The day of my presentation, the house was comfortably filled.  I rolled through my three-hour presentation telling my personal story woven with what I have gleaned from studying the history of art and photography. At the end there was hearty  applause. Four people came up to me and expressed they had been inspired by my openness and forthrightness. That was incredibly gratifying.

The preparation of the presentation was a very rewarding experience. I grew by challenging myself to develop new material; I gained confidence by stepping out of my comfort zone to share experiences I’ve never shared before; and I reinforced my core belief that we receive by giving of ourselves.

I think I’ll use this approach more often.

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If you’d like to see a few slides from my presentation, click here. It doesn’t have the interactive benefit of the workshop, but it might give you a sense of what I was trying to accomplish.

Posted in Business, General Interest, Workshops