Thursday, July 23, 2009

Santa Fe Photographic Workshop

I got back last Sunday from the workshop with Keith Carter. I had a great time! Keith is a great guy and an amazing teacher—fun, passionate, imaginative, always encouraging us to experiment, take risks, and find our own voice.

This image is of Cassie, one of my classmates.

The title of the workshop was "Visual Poetry," and Keith emphasized the importance of allowing images to tell stories, and to raise questions rather than answer them.

This image was made at a movie set a few miles outside of Santa Fe, where Gunsmoke, Lonesome Dove, Lone Ranger, and other films were made. It was so cool. It was also the first time I'd worked with professional models.

We learned about an "implied narrative"— there is a story being told, but each person can bring their own interpretation of what the story is.

Keith also encouraged us to be ruthless with space, cropping out anything not essential to the story. I love how the light picks up all the details in this image.

Several of us got lost trying to find some Spanish ruins, so we ended up just pulling off the road and using each other as models.

Tara was posing for the class when I noticed that every few minutes she'd bend down to straighten her hair.

I learned that all horses have "chestnuts": a dark circular scar on their legs, thought to be vestigial pads that were under the toes of their early ancestors. I love the way that the model has a spot of mud on her leg that looks like a chestnut.

I love the timelessness of this image. Is it 1909 or 2009?

This is one of my favorite images of the week. It's a picture of my roommate, Alex, who grew up in Brazil, and now lives in Australia. He is a lot of fun and an amazing photographer.

What's your story for this implied narrative?

Thanks for taking the time to look at these images! I hope you have an opportunity to fly today.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Personal Work

“Nonfiction is about facts.
Fiction is about truth.”
Ron Hansen, author

I leave tomorrow for a week-long photographic workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico with photographer Keith Carter (

Keith's work is more about truth than facts, and his style has influenced me greatly. I have a lot to learn from him, and am looking forward to (that is, I am having a difficult time sleeping, and am not particularly focused at work this week) my week at the workshop.

Each participant is asked to bring a portfolio of images for Keith to review at the beginning of the week. These images don't reflect my client work so much as my personal aesthetic. Which, of course, informs all my work, whether it is a wedding, a college botany class, or a piano recital.

It would be great to know if you have a favorite image. (You can click on each image to enlarge them.)

This is one of a series of images I made as I reflected on my relationship with my dad, who died of cancer when I was 16.

This actually was from a shoot for a client, when we were developing a series of brochures and posters for the local Boys & Girls Club.

You may notice that I love hands and feet. They can be so intricate and expressive. I find that faces tend to draw our attention, and can sometimes distract us from the important things going on in an image. Many of my images are face optional.

But not all! This girl was visiting the "cat room" at a local humane shelter, and I asked her which one was her favorite. She picked up this one.

I'll send a portfolio of images from the workshop when I get back. I'm excited to see how my work will evolve.

Thanks for taking a look at these!