Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This week is one of those weeks where all just seems ok with the world, as long as you don't stare at the news for too long. Spring is threatening to come on full bore and the wedding season is starting to get revved up. This year's first wedding is this weekend back at a great venue of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. I was there last fall and can't wait to be back on Saturday for Colleen and Brian's event. It won't rain, it won't rain, it won't rain....

In addition to seeing the sun shine and wanting to be outside to enjoy it, I got two wonderful gifts from old and somewhat new friends. The first is from my friend Stacia Spragg-Braude who just saw her 10-year-long project on a Navaho family's attempt to keep with their culture and traditions alive through the role of the sacred Churro sheep. It's a beautiful story that's told in stunning black and white images and accompanied by oral histories from the family. Stacia is a friend from my grad school days and we've shared a lot over the years. She lives on a small ranch outside of Albuquerque and was kind enough to include me in the acknowledgments of the book. I've been conversing with Stacia it seems every few days for these past ten years about this project. I've helped edit it at various stages and it's been a joy and a privilege to be a part of it all.

Yes, it's a bit self-indulgent of me to post this here but it's quite likely that I won't ever get such an honor again so I want to soak it all in, and suggest that you check out the site and possibly buy the book, which is goregous. Scott Lewis, my favorite verb, for the iambic pentameter of his eye in helping to edit the photographs and for his muse-soul that has helped turn all the neurosis into a rich, bubbly stew.

This quote is pretty representative of how Stacia sees the world. Pictures have sounds and smells and all kinds of unexpected adjectives. I've only been a sideline supporter of this project and it's a humbling honor to be recognized at all.

The other set of words come from my friend Doug Menuez. Doug's a top-notch advertising / documentary photographer. I contacted Doug a few years ago when I left newspapers as just a fan of his work. We've gotten together a few times since but more importantly we've exchanged lots and lots of thoughts about working as a creative professional and the journey that is life as an artist. See, most of the professional photography world doesn't respect wedding photography, largely because of it's history as a cheesy low-end, unsophisticated exercise. Well, that's changed in the past 10 years and I'm happy to be a part of this business even if certain industry folks don't think so highly of what we do. Screw 'em. Doug's a great guy who has no snobbery about him when it comes to working as a photographer in any gener so I show him my wedding work every now and then. I recently updated the site and just love what he had to share

This is some good &*@#. these are just awesome pictures, weddings? they are @%^&*ing life, raw, real, hot. i @%^&*ing HATE YOU!!

What I love about these two thoughts are the way they're so personal to the person giving them. At a certain point as a professional image maker, you look for more than someone saying they like your work. You look for a connection that it's more than just a guy with a camera doing what a camera does. You hope that your relationship with your work and your colleagues, and clients, transcends the everyday into something magical that forces people to come up with new expressions overflowing with excitement. It's part of the blend of fuel that keeps the whole thing moving.

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About Me

I'm a veteran photojournalist with 20 years of experience telling stories with pictures.