I could sit here and tell you all about the esoteric elements that contribute to a photograph. I can talk about light, and texture, and your energy, and the timing of all those things as if they were some magical alchemic process. I could pretend I know what I’m doing but really I don’t. It’s that you trust me to do it that enables it to be so. You place yourself in my hands and mostly I rise to the occasion, but not all the time. What I show you are the base hits and the homeruns and not the photos where people do not appear as their best, confident selves.
The other day I took some photos of someone who was not happy with the results (not the gentleman above). This person was older, and was shocked to see how they look. Age can sneak up on us. Time can be cruel to the body. Our fragility can become glaringly apparent, Suddenly we are ephemeral.
I don’t like to disappoint people. I want them to be happy when they see themselves in my portraits. Sometimes beautiful people react as if the...
It begins with an image. And the location we choose is almost always an intuitive guess. In my mind it has to have some thematic relevance but also offer an opportunity for interesting curves, texture, shadows, light. The photograph I ultimately select says something about the person, but it also acts as a palette that will contain a story.
Taft here had just graduated high school and was going off to college back east. And we wanted this to be a tribute to her spirit and to her life. Just below the surface we see more. And only through one’s willingness to explore, to want to know, can we truly absorb a story. Here she stands, exuberant, above the city that helped make her who she is. She’s wearing the cool pants she made. And she’s ready to take on the world.
This ODE is dense. There’s a lot to explore here. Some words are large and thus easy to read upon first glance, others are small, requiring further exploration. This is intentional. I have always imagined ODEs as interactive maps...
This man came into my life through a friend who has since passed on and he is but one of her many gifts to me. I have long wished to do an ODE for him. He’s fascinating, and genuine, and one of the rare ones - a talented human being who walks his talk. Everett Harper is the CEO of Truss (https://truss.works/) the company that saved Healthcare.gov and that builds the foundational infrastructure of so many prominent web brands. But he’s also a father, a chef, a writer, a champion soccer player. When you’re with him you feel like the most important person in the room. He listens, He holds space. And that’s what we need in our leaders. That and a healthy dose of humility. That James Baldwin quote says it all.