Since I left massart my photography has seen ebbs and flows. Right after leaving I photographed constantly all summer, went to Mississippi with Jenna Mac for 6 weeks, shooting 700 sheets of 4×5 there alone. After a month spent in the darkroom developing all the negatives I felt like a failure because I didn’t have the greatest photographs ever made. I was so depressed I didn’t take a picture for 6 months. Spring came and I bought a digital point and shoot and started photographing everyday again. As the summer came to a close I again got discouraged after a very strange shoot at a psychiatrists/sculptors home and again didn’t seriously try and shoot up until this April. With digital cameras all I have to do is look at my file dates or my flickr site to see my inspiration come and go and the fallow periods are stark in their absence.
A friend of mine, Dan the DJ, gave me a beat up rolleicord with a stuck shutter a while ago, and in April my friend Jair and me took the sucker apart and doused the stuck shutter with lighter fluid, and voila, diy cla and I got a great tlr for free. I’ve been shooting with my ugly rollei like crazy, I’ve probably ran close to 100 rolls through it in 2 months, and I’ve been taking the best photographs of my life.
I feel that the urge to make photographs siezes me in the springtime. Especially in New England when by Febuary I think at least 50% of the population is clinically depressed, stuck indoors, or getting soaking wet trying to brave the slippery streets. So when the white death finally melts away and everything comes back to life people freak out, that first warm day, even though its only 54 degrees out, every ones out in shorts and a t-shirt trying to get reacquainted with the outdoors, and its the BEST time to photograph people. Yesterday was the first day of summer and I’m hoping my photographic zeal can hold out till fall, but I’ve been thinking of making these spring pictures into their own portfolio. Several teachers at MassArt told me that all my portraits were self portraits, and for a while I thought that was artsy bullshit, but now I look back and I see my own happiness and manic drive to create in all these springtime pictures.
girl in AK's, roxbury crossing
girls laughing at me
airforce cadet outside of his damaged home in monson mass
couple reading on the boston common
museum of natural history employee on her first day
randy newman looking motherfucker
laughter is the best hangover cure
The last day of spring at Puffers Pond
About 2 years ago during finals at MassArt I was hanging my pictures for reviews. When you hang what you think are your strongest images, and see 3 -4 months of work on the wall all at once, things jump out at you that you didn’t notice when you were thinking about just one picture at a time. I looked up and I saw the elderly, homeless people, business men, blue collar guys, general wierdo’s etc. What kind of struck me was that there were no hot chicks. Women yes but no attractive women close to my age at all. So maybe hot chicks aren’t the majority in the general population but if I want to make a photographic survey akin to August Saunder there ought to be at least a few hot chicks in my portfolio. I have thought about this before and I always made excuses. Hot chicks are photographed adnauseum and airbrushed to a fake sheen and used to sell us all sorts of crap we don’t need. I want to show a ‘real’ unflinching look at the people around me, not some bullshit bud light ad full of beautiful women hanging around a keg. That is true, but to avoid beautiful women entirely is just tipping the scale in the other direction, towards the ugly and damaged.
So I had to really look at why there was no beautiful young women in my binders of negatives. The truth is that on the street, I am afraid of hot chicks. This may sound pathetic but I think alot of guys would agree that truly breathtaking women are somewhat intimidating. Now you might say “Eddy, Hot chicks are like snakes, they are so much more afraid of you than you are of them” which doesn’t help me at all.
I think along with the self admitted intimidation aspect, the fact that I might scare them is the most frightening of all. I watch alot of Law and Order SVU and it seems that every young women is found cut up in a dumpster because she interacted with a strange man. Forget SVU, all crime drama, hell alot of actual crime is based on young women trusting men that they shouldn’t. So if I look at it from their perspective a huge bearded weirdo with strange equipment is trying to flag them down on the street, it makes me feel like a creep. If I feel like a creep, I think I give off creepy vibes and that ruins all the interactions I have, if I even have the courage to try and talk to them. This is the same problem that I run into when photographing children (which I might talk about in a later post). If I think I come off creepy then I usually don’t bother trying. Which is in direct opposition to Nick Nixon’s (My former teacher/hero) golden rule “If you have a question, say yes” Which means to me (at least in the realm of photography) that if you think somebody or something will make a good picture you must try, otherwise all you will be left with is self doubt and a missed opportunity. Among his students and admirers that is probably his most famous quote, another one that I think pertains to this specific problem is something to the effect of “You can’t just photograph with your heart and your head, sometimes you have to photograph with your cock” which means that erotic impulses should be given equal weight to intellectual and emotional concerns when making pictures. With this in mind I made it a point to go out and photograph hot chicks where ever I could find them. At the same time Boston was having a spring heat wave so I headed off to Revere beach. If its one thing to ask a fully clothed woman in Copley square if you can take her picture its another one to walk up to one sunbathing in their bikini, but with Nixon’s mantra I tried. I did and it worked, amazingly, beautiful women are people too and like the attention of a photographer when they are feeling good.
Anyways so I photographed women I thought were beautiful for a while, not exclusively but I was trying to make up for lost time. I was a little troubled by my own and others reactions to the photographs, on flickr the hot chick pictures were viewed like 50x more than my non hot chick pictures (Who knew people liked pictures of hot chicks?) and I asked a great photographer (and hot chick herself) Irina Rozovsky what she thought of the new work
“I just got back from two months in spain and a little in france, where men are a totally different beast than here, and aren’t afraid to look a lady in the eyes. and then you get back here and no one helps you with your stupid suitcase. Im not bitter, I’m just trying to say that by my book you are allowed to look at beautiful women, photograph them, love them, whatever, it’s normal and only natural and it makes people feel good on both sides. don’t worry. in fact i liked the sexier photos more–they are edgier”
What do you think?
self portrait as hot chick
nice looking girl at friends picnic
A girl who can play the euk is any mans dream
Shot this handheld thats why the framing is terrible
Hello and Welcome to Karapture. I intend for this blog to showcase both my new work and older pictures I may have overlooked. I want to highlight recurring themes in my photography and try to make sense of the messy pile of negatives and jpegs I have been compulsively creating for the last five years. For the momentous first post the theme is
People and Dogs get along.
Why do I take pictures of people and their dogs?
1. Dogs are silly and cute
2. People always let you take a picture of them and their beloved Pet
3. Its a good ice breaker both for me and the subject, people can be weirded out by having some guy out of the blue ask to take their picture, if on the other hand I walk up and say “Can I take a picture of you and your awesome dog?” Not only will they let you take their picture but everybody around you notices, sometimes crowding around me, and will be more willing to let me take their picture even if they’re dogless. Photographing strangers is all about confidence, so if I get the ball rolling with some dopey dog pictures so be it.
I’ve noticed that photography books in big box stores (or even used book store art sections) break down into the following. Pictures of Celebrities (Ideally Marilyn Monroe), ‘Fine Art Nudes’ (Softcore Porn), National Geographic pictures you’ve seen a million times, and cutesy bullshit. Cutesy bullshit being baby pictures, dogs and cats. William Wegman (A fellow MassArt alum) always has a couple books in every photo section, and I think he should have his artist license revoked. This guy has been riding the same one trick pony for 30 fucking years and is both a celebrated fine artist and a guy who cranks out bullshit calenders and hallmark cards every year.
On the other hand I found in a big box clearance section a terrific book by Elliot Erwitt, ‘Dog Dogs’ put out as a special ‘Barnes and Noble’ edition. It has close to 1000 dog pictures taken all over the world over the last 60 years by Erwitt, I imagine while he was on more important Magnum assignments. The pictures are funny and touching, their not just cutesy dog pictures but pictures that show dogs as both a part of the ‘family’ and as bewildered on lookers in an absurd human world. I look through it all the time and I am always finding witty observations I overlooked before. You can find it used on Amazon for less than $5.
So anyways without further adieu, here’s some silly dog pictures.
This woman was a State Trooper, after her husband died suddenly she quit and opened a dog salon, she say's she's much happier now
This was the first dog picture I started to take a little more seriously. They just look so in love
I like this picture because both the dog and boyfriend look like evil pieces of shit
The Chihuahua's of Castle Island
Rosie and somebody elses dog
Bummed out dog in the Boston Commons
Tied up in Downtown LA
Frenchman trying to give his thirsty bulldog water from a special dog waterbottle, it didn't work
Right after I took this picture the Pitbull knocked me over and slobbered all over my lens
I say this alot but this is probably my most favorite picture ever