Friday, September 26, 2014

As we all spread ourselves thinner on social media, I'm finding I'm increasingly forgetting to share my work here. The writing and photography and filming are all interconnected, yet they all have their own separate sites, and I'm thinking I need to do some serious culling down of the landing pages. In the meantime, this is my latest music video for Archer Records, "Rabbit" by Amy Lavere, starring the lovely Harlow Sweazy.

1-240 Construction BINGO!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wherein I detail the highs and lows of navigating the nightmare that is interstate/highway construction at the I-40/240 junction and how the existence of the Zipper Method may have broken my brain. 
In bingo format.

From the photographer at your party

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The two sisters were dancing at the anniversary party. You couldn't help but notice them as they were the only two people dancing in the crowd of seated, largely silver-haired set. I put them in their late forties early fifties, their faces lit up with giddy smiles. Catnip to the lady with the camera.  I snapped a few candids of them dancing, and then approached them with my camera and asked to take their portraits. Their smiles vanished. The older sister said no. No? I repeated. I was confused as she had stopped me not twenty minutes earlier to ask me to photograph her sister. Here they were together. It was the 50th anniversary party for a lovely couple, and it was my job to document the festivities.  The husband had wandered by earlier and looked at me, a bit dazed. "So many people to try and talk to," he mumbled as he passed by. "Not enough time to see them all."

I knew how important it was to the hosts to make sure I capture as many people there as possible. These women were family. So I tried again.

No, the other sister said. My wattle. She pointed to her neck. My hair, the other one said. I look awful. 

And so it was all night. Several generations of women trying to make themselves invisible when I approached, trying to hide body parts they found hideous, calling out to me that their stomachs were too fat, they weren't wearing enough makeup.

I ultimately begged the sisters for a photo. They reluctantly complied. 

I came home from the party sad and deflated, and I wrote a letter. I'm reposting it here.

Dear women,

Please stop telling me you are too ugly to be photographed. Please stop glaring at me when I approach you with my camera so that I can document you at your friend's celebration. Or trot out the standard "You brought the lens that's going to make me look less fat/hideous/jowly, right? - your laundry list of self-hatred that you will say out loud as if to beat me to the punch. I'm sorry I got a little angry at you last night when you told me not to take your picture because of your "wattle" because I hear this every. single. time. And you are hurting my heart. You are at this party because you are loved, because you were deemed important and necessary to make this celebration happen. And I get it - I DO. I'm a woman. I've been told that we are all beautiful and then shown - repeatedly - that beauty is a narrowly defined, specific set of traits helpfully detailed on the cover of magazines and in our media. I flinch if a camera phone comes my way and I wasn't ready with my mask of concealer and mascara. But if I always flinched, if I always gave into that desire to hide my face, I would not exist in photographs with my children. The bride, your father, those friends who chose YOU to celebrate a major milestone in their lives will not be able to look back at those photographs when the memories of that night are all fuzzy and see you celebrating with them. I don't have answers. I don't expect to break hundreds of years of biology and aesthetics and shame with a post on Facebook. But take it from the photographer - there's a tiny fraction of the population who are paid to be photographed. The rest of us? We're just here for the party. Don't be afraid to show us you were here. 


the photographer.


The Department of Signs Teaser Trailer

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The teaser trailer is live! 100% guaranteed teasing.

DEPT. OF SIGNS AND MAGICAL INTERVENTION TRAILER from oddly buoyant productions on Vimeo.