“Here, you have these two ingredients, but you can choose two more random things.”
That’s how it started. Jeff Frost standing in my office. I handed him a piece of paper and two jars of acrylic. “Make something.”
I walked away, went about my business. When I came back the chairs in my office had been rearranged. The shades over my art table lowered. Jeff was motionless. Silent. Just sitting there. It was like he wasn’t the same person he was moments before I sprung this on him. He went somewhere else for a minute, mentally, and then then he came back and made this.
I was waiting in a parking lot outside a hotel. A bellhop was talking with hotel patrons, describing an encounter where he was photographed by a local press photographer as he was walking down the street.
The conversation went something like this….
“This person came up and said they had photographed me and that they worked for the paper. They asked if they could use my name.”
“But I said no way, I didn’t want to do that.”
“Oh no, don’t give them your name.”
“I mean a didn’t know what to do, but I just I wasn’t going to give them my name.”
“Oh no, you just don’t do that.” “What did they want?”
“They were going to run the picture in the paper”
“Oh.” (With Concern) “Did you make any money at least?”
“No, I didn’t even make any money.”
Now this might seem like an inconsequential event, but in my mind it speaks volumes about modern photography. Fear, suspicion and perhaps greed thrown in on top. What a strange and somewhat sad way to navigate the world. Having been a press photographer for several years it speaks to how things have changed in the modern world. People used to be excited about being in the paper.