I finally met Sarah in person this summer when I got to take her portrait: up till then I’d gotten to know her as a very active and participant in the online community comprised by my friends in Denver. She is intelligent and funny and uses her brain in a way that makes me embarrassed that I don’t: she has a very active intellectual life that she writes about consistently while I struggle to even write the most basic descriptions of my subjects. Then again maybe that’s why I like photographs better: I feel more well versed in their language than the written word. I look forward to her feedback about her portrait and the discussion that could follow. I know she’s asked several times in comments about my subjects responses to their portraits this seems like a good time to ask you (who are reading this and have had their photos published so far) what have your responses been? I know that several people have been hesitant to participate and that I used social capital and peer pressure as bludgeons to get participation (maybe once or twice anyway). Have your portraits allowed you to see yourself differently? Ultimately I hope to have folks more comfortable with the idea of being photographed: even after I show people the collection I still hear that “while those are all wonderful surely you don’t want my photograph…”
Beemer is a geophysicist and all around brilliant person. The kind that never makes you feel like you’ll never understand anything thankfully, in fact one of his many strengths would be explaining crazy complex things in a way that not only makes sense but go “Wow, that is really interesting.” Of course then the next day when I try to tell someone else about this really cool interesting thing and I sound like a deranged lunatic (I swear it makes sense, it was explained to me and it was crystal clear). He is also secretly working on a doomsday earthquake machine with which he will show us all (mwa hahahahahahaha) but until then he’s pretty safe to be around. Although to give credit where credit is due: once it is complete nowhere will be safe (mwa hahahahahahha).
I must admit I don’t know Robb very well, we’ve met a handful of times over the last couple of years as I’ve gone back to visit Denver. He has pretty good geek cred (even beyond what one garners hanging out with geophysicists and game design nerds) and beyond that was willing to sit for me without any cajoling at all which counts for a lot with me.
Kate was one of my first roommates when I moved to Denver and is one of the kindest and most generous people I know. She is currently working to create a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving Colorado cemeteries. She is also the quintessential “geek of all trades.” Well most trades. I am pretty sure she has not been a narwhale trainer, she’s still got a pretty broad range of knowledge though…
I was especially glad to be able to shoot Justice’s senior photos since I still have the collection of wallet photos that include her baby picture. Justice has grown into a vivacious and funny young woman who was a real joy to photograph. Gallery's don't come through very well so a link would work best here.
Neal was my very first college room mate right up until I the realization that (a) living in a college dorm was the single most disgusting experience I had ever had (at least our dorm) and (b) I still had time to escape. All in all he was my cellie for a mere three weeks before I secured a room in an apartment where folks could be held more accountable for the results of their binge drinking. Neal is now a writer and QA specialist in Denver, CO, partner to Rhonda and father to two charming children.
Rhonda is wife and partner to my first college room mate. She is mother to the very sweet Zanon and Adelaide and was QA’d more of my code than is probably fair in one lifetime back in my programming days. I’ll apologize now for never offering the opportunity to hear a duck quack in any of my IVRs.
Greg, despite his reservations, still agreed to participate even if it was for a discrete number of shots (I think we negotiated five but I might have sneaked one or two extra in there). I get the most worried about those portraits: what if I am minutely out of focus enough that it throws the whole thing off and I have nothing to show, proving the subjects claim that they are un-photogenic? Fortunately that didn’t happen this time (actually it’s only happened to me once and thankfully she’s family so I just made her come back and take some more).
Jeff is partner to Alice, the father of two adorable little boys, and part of my network of friends in Denver. I spent over two years there writing code, living far away from my wife and learning to love quality board games. I’m very happy to present these folks to you all, a week at a time, as they’re all pretty awesome.
One of my primary motivations (I may have mentioned this before) for this project came out of the large number of people who, when told I was a photographer, would immediately inform me of how un-photogenic they were. I set out to prove them all wrong no matter how many friends and family I had to harangue into sitting still in chair for five minutes. (Strangers, unfortunately, I do not have enough social capital to bully.) I’d like to take this moment to thank (again) everyone who has let me bully them and I am very happy with the results. I hope you are too.
Today is the first of the portraits I took this summer during my (all too brief) stop in Denver this summer. Jerry was the first to sit for me and thus gets pride of place in this portion of the series for his willingness. One of the many things I hope to get out of this series is photos of folks that they are happy with. So many times when I ask to take someone’s photo they can’t understand why as they are convinced that nothing good can come of it, that they are “not photogenic.” Poppycock! I say: we’re not all super models (thank goodness because these airbrushed faux beauties aren’t particularly interesting in my book anyway. The short version is of course that when I asked to get started Jerry let me without hesitation or complaint. I hope the results speak for themselves…
Happy Fourth, be safe out there! Today wraps up the Gachet family unit photos with Kelly, yet another computer wizard creating math out whole fabric as she creates magical handheld computers for talking long distance to each other without wires! Magical! I am always happy to discover that the gulf between a windows developer and a Mac enthusiast isn’t really ever that far to cross.
Ryan was one of my first college roommates. He brews the most delicious (and best named: his Caulfield Rye was my favorite to drink and tell folks about). He is now some kind of computer wizard in Seattle although I can’t understand why I have not heard anything about master brewing robots in the news…