Real life can just be so totally messy. If I had a crew like these folks to manage my normal life as well as they manage these photo shoots, it all would just be so easy.
Who are they? We got Veronica Sjoen, Suzy Poling, Erik Pawassar, and Shannon Amos, shown with talent Andre Tell in the plastic tube. These people have my back. We get together to do a shoot and everyone is working hard, bringing all of their sensibilities and talents to the shoot, and it really is just so much fun. Doesn't mean I'm not drinking too much coffee, getting stressed out, second guessing myself and getting frazzled. But that is me. Everyone else seems to have reached this harmony, and they just move it all forward with confidence and grace. m At the end of the day, the shoot is done, and I'm just so very thankfull for what everyone has brought to the table. I say it everytime, and I never feel like I'm saying it enough.
With this project I'm doing on my son, with the pictures and the scans, I like to keep alot of the details to myself. Is he autistic, does he have asperger's or something...or is he nothing? What is up? Are these pictures really of him...is this what he is like, or is he an actor in your own personal fantasy or something? Is this project about him or you? I never really answer these things, but probably because I don't really have it all figured out. m
A couple of pictures came out of the last week that were more cause and effect...they kind of seemed to come out of the week and what has been going on. I thought it would be interesting to write it down:
Upon starting the week I realized we were begining this program in which my son takes an enormous quantity of herbal supplements each morning in an attempt to help him with his situation and avoid going on hardcore pharmaceutical medication that seems to freak all of us out. Images of pills have surfaced in this project previously, but they always seemed to play a different role in the series...they were more about the need to control things in my own life or other adult's lives. They've appeared in this project in various forms since I started it, often standing for different things.
So, we have one vitamin c, one multi vitamin, 2 fish oil capsules, one detox remedy, one digestion aid, two stimulant oriented supplements called "Learner's Edge" that is supposed to help him stay focused at school. It's a struggle to get a kid to take the stuff, try to hide it in food, try to get a kid to swallow a capsule...oh, its late and we still need to brush teeth and get dressed and make sure we eat breakfast, but there are 2 more capsules to take. Let's try to open them up and mix them in with the food, how about trying that?
By Friday there is a problem. Eli is hyper and manic at school and the teacher is wondering what is going on and everything seems to have gone backwards. He is being sent out of the classroom multiple times a day and taking all of the teacher's energy and resources to keep him from disrupting the whole scene. Could it be the new pills? I dunno... with these supplements you just can't call a doctor to find out what is up, there is no doctor monitoring it all...we just gotta pull the plug. Friday night he seems to have landed and is grounded, all of the stuff has burned out of his system, just him and a stick sitting in the backyard at peace.
Earlier that week I lined up all the pills on my scanner. They looked interesting, but there were just too many. Adult pills at a child's dose, broken in half, kids pills with smiley faces on them, happy animal shapes. I found some curious robotic creatures around the house that seemed to be more nefarious looking than the smiling hippo on the pill, scanned them and changed their size until they were pill size. Can you put one in your mouth? Can you digest it? I liked that idea...and eventually edited it down and put together the piece below. I kind of liked it, I thought it looked like a mathematical equation. I sent it to a friend who said she felt it looked like egyptian hieroglyphics written in domestic code. I can accept that.
I am just a guy who went to Med School instead of Film School. My parents told me I would regret it. I wished I would have listened. -Alexandre d’Audiffret
Think the blogosphere is all about photographers promoting themselves? Tired of seeing shots of the motor home and the catering from the last big ad shoot by a photographer, such as myself? Spend time on the young blog Precarious and see what its all about.
I always had some difficulties explaining the out of control feeling that a surgeon endures when facing a patient suffering from a ruptured aneurysm. Literally watching the life drains out of his body. The bleeding is audible. Can you hear the sound of your faucet? Now close you eyes and imagine it is the aorta. You have to reach deep, squeeze the mighty vessel with your hands to save a life. Unfortunately the odds are against the patient. I am often surprised how understanding and resolved family members are with this dramatic outcome. They find solace in their religion and reassure me that it was God’s will. I just wish, if God had a plan, he would leave me out of it.
Good discussion on Heather Morton's An Art Buyer blog about topics that we wrestle with on this site all the time: raising kids while being a photographer and taboo subject matter in the commercial arena.
Max Gerber's book "My Heart Vs. The Real World" has been in the works for years now. I was fortunate to see some of the images mocked up in a book format a few years back and though I was attracted to the images, I was less thrilled with the subject matter, fearing that it could easily fall into Life Magazine/ People Magazine territory: sick kids. We've all seen this story a trillion times, so why again? Why now?
When I got my hands on the book last week I was leafing thru it, a superfast 30 second view of the book and got stopped on the image of Max in the mirror with the 2 kids. I've taken this shot a million times of myself, but this one carries an emotional wallop. What is up? I started over and put the time into the book.
Woven into this book is Max's story. He is in the book, in words and pictures, telling his story of being a kid, like the kids in the book, growing up with heart disease. He tells us, his parents tell us, about his childhood with words and pictures and then gets into the stories of the kids in the book.
After reading Gerber's chapter on himself, one can't really look at the images of the kids the same. At it's best it seems like he is channelling the kids, finding aspects of himself in each kid to focus in on, which gives the photographs this kind of psychic power. When Gerber photographs a bunch of boys ripping open a present at a birthday party, it just seems to transcend the subject matter into a picture about wanting to have a normal life with small normal thrills.
The photographer isn't really just connecting with his subjects in this book, it seems like he is trying to figure something out thru them... and we are just here witnessing it all. By the time you get to the end of the book and see the shot of Gerber photographing himself in the mirror with two of the kids, the book kind of hits this emotional crescendo and you see what this is about. MG is using photography to understand his own life, thru these kids. The book was a document of this kind of personal fact-finding mission.
In case you are wondering...of course he is a bud of mine. But that doesn't mean this stuff is not all true. Learn more about it HERE. Buy it HERE.