December 22, 2011

My Upper Room

When I was a kid, my mother used to read a small religious publication called "The Upper Room." Thinner than a Readers Digest but about the same dimensions. There were always one or two on the coffee table
in the living room. It always had a photo on the cover of a bearded, Caucasian Jesus in a soft tan robe, looking up at a sky of parted clouds, sun rays streaming down, hands clasped, perhaps a moment just after a storm. Odd note: that's what photographers now call "God Rays," sun rays that appear while shooting a landscape.

My father has taken up reading "The Upper Room," which is now in a larger format, more like the size of a regular magazine. As a kid, I didn't want to think of heaven as "a room." It sounded too claustrophobic. I was once told by someone it was a vast, endless place, a place you could run barefoot for miles through huge fields of grass in the summer sun, without any fear of stepping on a bumble bee or a shard of glass. Heaven was the place the old people go on that movie "Cocoon." You never get old, you never get sick, you never die and every single day is sunny and beautiful.

Yesterday, while surfing the Web, I found my ideal of "The Upper Room." I can't imagine a more wonderful place. Small and quaint, filled with art books, a small bed covered with fine linens, a few thrift store decorations, a stuffed rodent or two.... Yes, this is my heaven. This is my "Upper Room."

December 20, 2011


The other night I was looking at eyewear in a store off West Broadway. The young woman waiting on me was a tall, striking, model-type with obvious mixed ethnicity. I asked her why she was helping people choose eyewear instead of modeling. After all these years of being a photographer, I'm still concerned about coming off as some lecherous creep when I meet someone I'd like to photograph. She explained that she had recently moved to NYC from California and hadn't started her modeling career here yet. I gave her my card and told her to call me if she was interested in doing a test.

Fast forward to today. My friend Todd was kind enough to let us invade his eclectic, art-filled apartment for the shoot. My friend Kristi did her makeup and helped with styling. We spent four hours snapping away. Sophie was amazing. Fun, energetic and didn't complain about my continuous shooting and adjusting the lighting.

What a great afternoon I had.

All test shoots are not created equal.

December 14, 2011

Junk Mail

I have this ongoing mission of returning junk mail to the senders with a note: "Take me off your mailing list." I've been doing this for a few years and have gotten my junk mail reduced to a few pieces a month. Most of that comes from various galleries I've attended. It ends the hassle of recycling and obviously helps the environment. Not to mention that I've always wondered if all that paper actually is recycled.

A few weeks ago I gathered up all the crap that AARP has sent me for the past few months and sent it back to them in a large envelope with a stern note about their constant, annoying offers, as well as the obvious waste. Being just slightly over 40 (cough) I don't even know if I qualify to be a member of AARP.

Well, my letter was answered. I do applaud AARP for responding. I suggest everyone do the same to anyone who sends out constant junk mail. The only person who will care is your mailman... And, fuck him.

December 11, 2011

Are We in Montana?

Odd scene at the BBQ restaurant in Chelsea. I wonder what interior decorator thought this was a great idea? Chelsea doesn't exactly have that Montana vibe, even with some random deer head hanging below the air vent next to the bathrooms. I also wonder who shot this deer and where?

Walking through the Village, I glanced over to see a coyote staring back at me through a closed store window. Maybe Manhattan is more like Montana than I thought.

I remember watching large flocks of birds flying around the cathedral at Notre-Dame in Paris. I've posted similar photos like these before but I find birds flying in formation both beautiful and fascinating.

December 9, 2011

Beats Digging a Ditch

Tuesday I spent the day in a beautiful studio with a great crew taking photos of pretty girls in bathing suits and sunglasses. All this while snacking on gourmet catered food. I'm sure this wouldn't appeal to everyone (yes it would) but for me, life doesn't get much better than this. I have truly been blessed.

December 5, 2011

Just a Regular Joe

I'm obviously not the paparazzi type, nor a stalker, nor enamoured of famous people, but I've seen John Currin and his artist wife Rachel Feinstein at my favorite little dive Mexican restaurant, Lupe's, on more than one occasion. While eating lunch with my friend Iris I secretly snapped this shot. They're just regular people like everyone else... well, except for being rich famous artists with gallery shows all over the world... and...

...The next day I was on the subway and sitting directly across from me was Michael Stipe of REM. I waited until I was off the train and then snapped a shot of him (in white hat) through the window with my crappy point-and-shoot camera. Just a regular Joe... well, except for performing for millions of people at concerts around the globe and many number one hits, and...

...I just find it odd when people like them go to regular places like people like me. One would think they'd be eating at Balthazar or Babbo or taking a limo instead of a subway.

December 1, 2011

Mr. Fashion

While surfing the web this morning, I ran across this photo I took of the lovely Kardashian sisters for Women's Wear Daily. I never knew whether the photo was published until today. It ran a half page on October 10th.
Today was a bit out of the ordinary. I did a model go-see (audition) for a job I'm doing next Tuesday. The shoot will consist of 3 girls in bathing suits wearing sunglasses. Today a steady stream of models came into a conference room where I had them lying on the floor in bikinis (or, the ones who didn't receive the memo, in bras). I photographed them in a similar position to the way we'll be shooting next week. This made for a very interesting afternoon.