“You Owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at.” W. H. Auden
In June, Angela Southern and I launched a monthly collaboration project. We start the month by giving each other a prompt, then, I spend the first 15 days working on a photo and Angela takes the second half of the month to letter. Here is the second photo in our series and I am in love with it. We decided to work with a one world prompt: work. Instead of the obvious imagery that is associated with work, I wanted to explore how beauty and toughness can communicate the same thing. I think this W.H. Auden quote goes along with the image perfectly.
I can’t believe how well Angela worked with the busy background and was able to give both the subject and the quote equal attention. I am feeling pretty thankful for being surrounded by such creative minds.
Lastly, a huge thanks to Mallory Goldman for dusting off her ballet shoes.
The axe was made from guitar strings. The creative direction required these photos to be “edgy.” Luckily, we found a bathroom wall that was perfect for the look.
Terry, Traction, and Eat Pomegranate
Terry made this blade with film and the hand lettering showcases all the films that were playing at the film festival.
The lettering for the chair poster paid homage to the venues that make this festival awesome..
We finished up this shoot a day before I was leaving for Malawi and here are a few pictures of us exhausted from a long night of shooting. I love that Traction devotes this much time to making projects come out perfectly.
Did you know, these dresses were made for twirling? Watch a Bollywood movie and you will know what I mean.
Ummehaany works on Aysha’s eyelashes.
Hair, Makeup and Magic
Models: Fariya Fatima, Aysha Riaz
Hair: Ayesha Riaz
Makeup: Ummehaany Jameel
About a month ago, Fariya, Aysha, Ummehaany, and I got together for a shoot. Every time I see any of these ladies, they are dressed perfectly. Ummehaany is especially good at makeup and knows exactly how to make people look good for the camera. I am blown away by her work especially because I got to be there throughout the process. Here workflow is seriously magical.
We decided to bring together these formal dresses with yellow leaves. Autumn was on it’s last leg and it was the perfect day for a shoot.
Some of the best shots happen when the subject doesn’t really know I am taking a picture. This is a perfect example. I could have explored these woods for hours. We kept finding new places to shoot until we finally called it a day.
Annie Leibovitz has shot some of the most famous personalities in the world. When I hear her name, cover images of vanity fair; Lance Armstrong riding his bike; and Yoko Ono and John Lennon splash across my mind. Some of her images have drawn attention though controversy, namely the photo of the young Miley Cyrus photographed semi nude. Other photographs have become visual milestones to remind us of the past. Photographers at all levels of their careers have been inspired by Annie’s photographs.
I was just listening to a very interesting review of her latest book, Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage. Surprisingly, this book isn’t a collection of celebrity portraits, in fact, it doesn’t have any people at all. I had just checked out the book from my library and as soon as I opened it I was literally transported to a different time an space. Instead of portraits of our favorite celebrities, Leibovitz has captured the environment in a way that it gives you intimate details about her absent subjects. These images evoke emotion and tell stories beyond words.
In a New York Times article, Leibovitz is quoted saying “I needed to remind myself of what I like to do, what I can do.” It is so important for artists of all sorts to venture outside of their comfort zone, ultimately people like your art because of your perspective and there are so many ways to present that perspective. It is fun to work on commissioned projects but I have always been taught to give time to personal projects.
A few weeks ago me and a few of my friends went for a walk around Grand Rapids, MI, for ArtPrize. The High Five venue was by far my favorite venue and the highlight of my trip. The art at High Five was curated by Brant Raterink and the aesthetic of the whole venue were exactly what I was hoping to see at ArtPrize. Towards the back of this venue, I saw these hanging lights. The piece is called “Waves of waves” by Scott Naylor. Even though I try not to take pictures of other people’s art, maybe I can bend the rules a little by showing how we interacted with Naylor’ piece.
The artist describes “Waves of waves” as:
A sculptural representation of a wave cresting over you. The waves of sound and lighting blend together with a tangible sculpture element. Hidden inside the lighting arrangement is a network of overlapping mathematical spirals. Let this piece envelope you and experience nuances as well as the grandeur.