People Who Need People – It’s Hip to be Square

I hate to be a “Funny Girl,” but this COVID lock down business has me missing some portraits. References to Babs aside, it’s been a really hard time for those of you who are extroverts (and you know who you are.) It’s also real hard for portrait photographers in general. While we are all under this wretched lock and key, they are mostly not able to work. So, I thought it be a good time to cull some of my portraits from the archives in an attempt at putting some “social” back into our collective “social distancing.” (Oh the humanity!) While not known entirely for my portraits, over the years I have probably had more than my fair share of people before my lens. There were some famous folks (Eric Clapton and BB King for example) some not so famous, even one guy fixing a broom. Truth be told, I’m just as likely to secure a grab shot of somebody in a funky hat as I am of a Kardashian. As the song goes, “the luckiest people in the world,” are perhaps those who get to travel the world to meet folks like this with a camera, no? Here’s a special shot out to all those who have been kind enough to pose for me, whether you were out in the wild, on location, at a model shoot, or just being yourself. Thanks for being you and letting me bring you into my little world to share.

Most of my portraits tend towards the environmental variety, although I’ve also been slowly amassing a series of square portraits, since I like that format for people (we tend to nicely fit into a square.) I thought I would start by sharing some of my favorite square portraits for this go round. This is a random assortment of favorites I have gathered over the years. I hope you find your new “friends” welcoming in this time of COVID. Perhaps more people coming your way as I can gather them but here are the square portraits for today: 

And the details for each one:

  1. April is a top model, having appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly and a few other notable magazines. I shot her in a model shoot in Austin, here striking a boxing pose with eyes closed (for some reason, I also like boxing poses a lot. Go figure.) 
  2. Next up we have a Calvin Klein model from a Santa Fe location shoot. The day before this shot, he was appearing in Times Square to unveil his new billboard for Calvin Klein and then the next day I shot him. Poor guy. This is him standing behind a screen door on location in rural New Mexico, outside of Santa Fe somewhere (maybe closer to Taos if memory serves, which it usually does not.) 
  3. Kayla and some funky lights. Pass the pocket wizard style photo shoot at Precision Camera, with Josh Baker. 
  4. Another from Santa Fe and that was actually his orb. He’s a photographer too and we were paired up as part of Elizabeth Opalenik’s wonderful workshop. Some great work coming out of that and lifelong friends. This is my orb shot. Yes, it’s real. 
  5. Perhaps my all time favorite title for an image ever. This one is called, “Red Lipstick Robs Banks, Doesn’t it?” Taken at the ghost town outside of Austin. Smoke bomb in the bank, hence the title. This was from a model shoot that was a lot of fun. 
  6. Geisha shot, actually she’s a Maiko. Yes, she’s real. I even had lunch with her. On location, Kyoto, Japan. A recent shot. 
  7. Restaurant owner, Kyoto, Japan. From the same trip, I stopped to ask this nice lady if I could take her portrait. There was a guy eating a squid on a stick who was kind enough to translate for me. 
  8. This is Libby, one of my favorite models, you can tell because she appears more than one time. This was also taken at the ghost town outside of Austin, standing in front of the Texas sign.
  9. Golden light, male model, strong arms, great tats. This was from a shoot in rural Austin. He’s a great model too. 
  10. Standing in the plaza in Venice back when they let the pigeons roam free, this was taken as a well-dressed business man stopped to feed the birds. Ah, those were the days. Taken in the plaza where lions fly and birds walk, here are some walking birds and stationary legs. 
  11. Rural China, somewhere near Guilin, this nice man stopped to “talk” to me, even though I know no Chinese. Turns out he was quite fluent in English and we had a chat while he was fixing his broom. 
  12. Ladies playing dress up, Kyoto, Japan. These are not real geisha but perhaps they did stay at a Holiday Inn last night, eh? Colorful portrait nevertheless. 
  13. Eric Tessmer live at Antone’s. I really enjoyed photographing him. I was there as an event photographer for one of the companies sponsoring the event. He does a great Jimi Hendrix, I tried to do a great Joe McNally. You be the judge. 
  14. Japanese warrior standing outside a Shinto shrine in Kyoto. I loved his face. I could tell he was bored from having his picture taken a lot but he was still nice to the tourists. Thank you, kind warrior, sir! 
  15. Rural lady from the mountain village in China where I spent my birthday that year. They wear those woolen hats, which are very distinctive. She had a wonderful smile and posed for me. She also appeared to be a great cook. 
  16. Model shoot, New Mexico. In the pool just before it started to downpour. Man, that desert weather can really get you bonkers. At least I got a couple of frames in before it got really wet. 
  17. “Riding with the King,” indeed, here are Eric Clapton and BB King playing live in Earl’s Court, London, England. I forgot what year but it might come back to me if I stop drinking beer long enough. Great show, that was, happy I could shoot it some.
  18. Libby back in the ghost town, rural Texas. I always loved how she looks like she doesn’t want to take any crap from anybody in this shot. Guessing she doesn’t but you can ask to be sure, eh?

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