Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Istria, Bonn, Epiros

We're off on a summer shoot adventure: first to Croatia to photograph the Istrian penisula, then a weekend with James's brother Michael and his wife Rebecca in Bonn, Germany, and then an adventure in northern Greece (where Byron once lost a pair of slippers).

I'll be posting updates on our our adventures here. I feel I know what to expect, since we've been to Albania, right next to Greece, and on the same coast as Istria.

I should know better than to try to visualize a shoot before it is in front of me. Everywhere has its surprises.

Here's our dates:

In bookstores now!

Remember that lifestyle book we styled and photographed with Robyn Moreno last year? Practically Posh is now available from Harper Collins. We're going to miss the release party, but can't wait to see the final product. Browse the book:

Robyn writes that her style guide is for "daring dames who refuse to be slowed down by life's practicalities," who "let ingenuity and attitude be your currency." Is this you? Get a copy on Amazon.

And yes, on the first of our 9 shoot days together, we did get her naked. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Art Networks update

This is a current map of our ART NETWORK. I've talked about the project here as we went along with this work in progress. We've designed a central location to access pictures of each of the subjects and their connections to one another. At the site, click on each image to access a few selects from these shoots.

We begin by photographing an artist in their studio preparing for a show. At the end of each session we ask our subjects: Who should we photograph next? In other words, who inspires you, collaborates with you, and influences your work? In this way we hope to document a network of art practice and admiration, and to document the creative flow that keeps us all going.

Shaun El C Leonardo is performing his latest piece "Bull in the Ring" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in October as part of the show Hard Targets-Masculinity and American Sports. For more information, or to RSVP for the private performance on the 8th, get in touch with him through his website.

Shaun recommended earlier this spring that we should go to Athens to photograph an artist in residence there. At that time we had no plans to go there, but James turned to me and said, "Well, it looks like we've got to go to Greece." And here we are a few months later, packing for a trip with a few extra days in Athens! I sure hope this new artist's schedule accommodates two strangers pointing lights in his face two weekends from now.

Makes you think those "positive thinking" folks might be on to something, right?

Friday, July 11, 2008

On newsstands now!

Last September we photographed Travers at Saratoga, one of the lead up horse races to the Derby. We'd never been to a horse race before--our first time out there, having press passes that got you right up along the rails was pretty awesome. This is the jockey that won the Kentucky Derby last year! We had a lot of comments from the regular horserace photogs with their big rigs, but by the end of the day we had made some brothers-in-arms (it was hot!!) earned a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T and we certainly learned a few things. I can still hear the thundering and smell the horses when I look at these pictures again.

Check "A Day at the Races" out in the August issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray or on our tearsheets page. Thanks to Gina, Rachel, and the ladies in the photo department for a great assignment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Families and Photography

Both of us have had the opportunity this month to shoot in front of our families, James with his dad in Kansas, and the both of us in Monroe, Louisiana at a slew of family events: birthdays, a baptism, and a wedding.

I'm not the only shooter in my family: my stepfather Tim (that's him with my mom) gave me my first camera, a Pentax K-1000, and took the time to show me how to shoot, develop, and print in the darkroom he maintained in the hall closet. My cousin Sarah shoots for the Army. A friend of the family, Mey-ling is just starting her love affair with the camera. Our Mamiya always draws a crowd of admirers, though not as big a crowd as my baby niece Emma.

In both of our families, we are the only professional artists. But we are not the only ones to run our own business, or even run our own businesses as a couple (my parents taught me all about that too), or take risks on earning a living doing what you want to do with your days. Our family's collective resumes are testament to at least trying to define work as play (i.e.: fly-fishing store, scuba-diving shop, restaurants on St. John and at a ranch in Arizona, the boomerang man, and at least 4 employees of the girl scouts). Right now, among my cousins, there's a few band members making their first cd, a pilot giving lessons, and quite a few dreams in drawers waiting for the right moment and real estate. We've come a long way from the pioneers in South Dakota my grandmother grew up with but we're keeping alive their penchant for big moves.

So there were a number of around the table conversations about what we do for a living, how we survive in New York, how it "works."

"Do they really just email you a shootlist like on Charlie's Angels?"
"Can you pitch a story on _____?
"You still use film?"
"Are you going to give up teaching?"
"Does the magazine pay your expenses?"
"How do you get jobs?"
"Does this mean you can never leave New York?"
"How will you have children?"
"Don't you ever wish you could write the stories too?"
"How much does it pay?"
"Can you shoot X's wedding?"

I wish I could say I have answers for all of these questions. Some of them, we do have pat answers for. Yes, it is like Charlie's Angels, yes, we use film, but do digital too when we need to, I'm taking a year off teaching, but I love it and will definitely return to the classroom when the time is right. We only shoot for the weddings we love.

The questions I don't have a ready answer for really get me thinking and talking over the iced tea. Creative careers, parenthood, technology, the economy: these don't seem to have road maps. Every time I visit my grandmother (who turned 80 this weekend!) pats me on the hand and reminds me that what we're doing with our lives always turns out to be the right thing to be doing.

So thanks for all your advice. I'm forever all ears!

Monday, July 7, 2008

In NYC one week

We've had a wonderful time here in Louisiana, but it's time to come home and pack for Croatia. So we're flying back to Brooklyn tomorrow, and we want to see everyone before we head out!