Tomorrow, I’m going to prison.
For those of you who don’t know, the prison in Santa Fe is an odd place. Back in the 1980’s they had massive riots resulting in the prison being burnt and many people getting killed. After the riots and things settled down a bit, they built a new prison, right behind the old prison. That new prison, no, that’s not the one I’m going to-I’ll be photographing in the old prison, the one that almost burnt to the ground.
Think busted, burnt out cages, long hallways, dark alleys, ruins with a roof, and you’re pretty much there. It might not sound like much, but it’s a photographer’s dream. Seriously. It’s the epitome of busted, burnt out, wrecked, broken down palaces. It’s a high point in lows, in so many ways, that the contradiction alone makes for good images, let alone the visuals, not to mention the metaphor of just the prison itself. It’s the kind of place where you could just stand there, not even have to look around, not even have to look through your camera’s peep hole, and just *snap* your way blindly into a good photo. Image what a gifted photographer could do with such a place?
Well, I don’t consider myself gifted, but I have been wanting to visit that prison for about four years now. It’s very hard to get into-you have to be let in and escorted, not to mention the environment is just a bit rough-as you can imagine, with all the dirt, grime, ash, and so on.
Tomorrow I’m doing models in the prison. I can hardly wait.
Sometimes, getting to peek behind locked doors is all that you think it will be. Sometimes, what’s hidden, tucked neatly away, is, in fact, hidden away for a reason-it really is all that good. Such is the case with the prison. I can’t wait to shoot it. It’s one of those “bucket list” items photographers dream about.
Yeah, tomorrow I’ll be going to prison. Sorry to say, I might not have time to write either but look for posts to come.
I saw an interview with “Wild Man Joe” where he talks about how being a photographer is a responsibility as well as a gift. Sure, we get to go to all of these cool places, and do wild, wonderful things, but we have to, we just have to make great images. It’s for people like you, people that don’t get to go-we represent you while we are there-we take pictures so that all the people can see those things, can live that life, can share in that experience. So tomorrow? Hopefully, you’ll be right there with me, right in that prison, right next to those models. I promise to do the best I can to make things happen for you, so that you can share in my delight. That’s the best we can all do really.
Until next time…