An Old/Young Friend

Fun Alert:

You might recognize this one, as I have photographed her many times in the past. Often times people ask me what I like about photographing kids, and the answer can be complicated, mostly because there are many things I like.

In this particular case, I had not seen this little one for some time, and the best part of the shoot was the first five minutes, when I wasn’t shooting, but rather was just talking with her.

I must have been sleeping for the past 40 years because I’m still shocked at how fast kids grow.

Just spending five minutes, not shooting, just catching up,hearing about her side of life is, for me, really fascinating. She has a sister as well, so I’ll be posting some pictures of her in the coming days.

These images are with the new Sony Camera, the A900, which is a very nice camera, with a fantastic assortment of lenses. But in the end, the best equipment is the gear you never have to think about, the equipment that simply allows you to connect with what you are doing. If you are thinking about, or looking at……….your equipment, you are not thinking about or looking about, what you SHOULD be thinking about and looking about. Know what I mean?

These were all shot with fixed lenses. I don’t use zooms. Although if I did use zooms, there are few stellar options in the Sony lineup, including a Zeiss or two.

This shoot was so much fun for me, and I hope it was fun for the girls. I feel being able to do this is a complete luxury, one which I never take for granted. Being allowed in to see these little people becoming big people, and just listening to what they have to say.

It never gets old. Only we do.

A Morning Of Men

Okay ladies, for those of you who don’t know, consider this post a public service announcement regarding us men. It doesn’t matter if we are 36.5 pounds or 165 pounds. We are all the same.

We like stink.

We are guys. When we look at things like trees, yes we see green things and bark, but our inner DNA tells us we must climb, and not just the bottom notch, but to the top, and if it costs us a punctured lung or fractured femur the so be it. Clear a path.

Oh ya, that stick in the yard, that’s not a stick, it’s a bat, and look, I just found a red ball in the bushes. Guess what, game on. First pitch, HIGH and TIGHT, right near his melon. “But he’s three and half!” Perfect, great time to learn, never dig in too deep. Uncle Dan has him down 0-2 and busts him again with a knuckleball! Lesson learned, swing at Uncle Dan’s first pitch, it will be the best you see.

We move through this world with the idea that everyone else and everything else is behind us, trees, hygiene, other species.

The beach too. We just can’t simply go to the beach. We need to wear the beach, to smell it, to have it in our hair and ears hours, days, weeks after the engagement. Bury us? Sure, why not. Bring it on. And next time deep the hole even deeper so I can barely breath.

And what do we do after we go to the beach? We eat Mexican food. Cause that is just what we do. Hats on backwards, finger popping, sit near the window, back to wall, and eat massive quantities of comida mexicana, that has our heart sagging and our central nervous system, well, frankly, nervous. And for good measure, we “accidentally” break a Tabasco bottle. “Wink, wink.”

Want beans?

Ya, why not. “Your going to be in the car for five hours!” Really, make that a double serving. That car ride is just another challenge.

Men+stink+sloth+food=life. (Write this down.)

At some point in our lives, us men, we all looked at that evolutionary chart and said, “I think I wanna be that guy in the middle.” You know the one, sloped shoulders, club in hand, the guy with the simple job; hunt/gather.

And yet despite all this we have a tender side. Bubbles. Ya okay, I’ll blow a few just to appease the ladies. We don’t really like bubbles, but know we are bound by sacred duties and this just happens to be one of these.

As night falls we find our fire and sit atop the highest hills, looking down on our lives with a clear sense of our place in the world, confident in the path ahead, but never losing track of the wariness of our prey.

A New York Family State Of Mind

It has been a while since I posted about my kids work, so after being encouraged by the folks in these snaps I thought I would post up about this little scene before you. These images are from my “family photo-essay” work, which I do more and more these days. I’ve begun to do these all over the country, and this was my first New York shoot, but if all goes as planned, there will be many more of these New York contributions coming along very shortly.

As many of you know, I’ve been doing documentary work for years, so shooting in this style is something I’m very comfortable with, and in fact, is my favorite way to shoot. This is just a tiny taste, but hopefully it will give you an idea of how a shoot like this works.

In short, I spend the day, or days with the family, sorta like the long, lost uncle who emerges from nowhere to reengage with the family, only I’m not related, but I AM an uncle!! Actually, one of my “regular” kids I photograph three or four times a year recently asked his mom, “Is Dan my uncle?” Love that.

Anyway, back to the story.

A New York day, Brooklyn, subway, Chinatown. I prefer to do a real day, or gathering or event in someone’s life, as opposed to a “fictional” day of photo-ops. You can never substitute for real, and you can really see when snaps are faked.

These shoots are so much fun for me because I feel like I’m back working at a newspaper, assigned to follow a mayor, a politician, an athlete, or police officer.

My Leica(Zeiss/Contax) in one hand, my Blad in the other, a bag of film, and the opportunity to just follow and watch.