Riding A Bike

June 21, 2012

I was scheduled this week for a shoot with the performer K’Naan and as soon as I found out, I started researching him. I originally thought he was a rapper but after reading up on this Somalian musician, he didn’t quite fit that mold. He seemed to be a combination of Bob Marley, Drake and Nelson Mandela all rolled in to one – a performer, a poet and seemingly all around great guy. I wanted to do something a bit different and decided to rebirth a project I started a few years ago where I shoot 4×5 polaroid and then have the subjects graffiti on it. Seemed like a good idea (and it was) but I didn’t know that Polaroid had REALLY been discontinued! It has – save your phone calls. I unearthed the 4×5 camera from my garage and miraculously discovered that everything I needed was still in the case (even a sync cord!). My box of 5 year old polaroid still seemed to be functional so I gave it a go.

Using the 4×5 was like riding a bike but in this age of instantaneous gratification, it was like going for the greatest bike ride ever when you haven’t been in 5 years! It was so wonderful to shoot with it and I am definitely going to be hunting for Polaroid on ebay. What made the shoot so great was K’Naan’s willingness to partake. As I didn’t have many sheets of polaroid, I was only able to do a few frames but love what we came away with. When I asked K’Naan to “graffiti” his polaroid, he sat down and just started writing without hesitation. “I am trying to prove to my self the kind of a man that I am, while the world is trying to prove to me, the kind of a man that Im not.” WOW! I assumed that the words were lyrics to a song but whenI asked him, he said – “No, its just sort of what Im thinking today.”  We decided that maybe that will become lyrics soon!

Thanks K’Naan. It was an honor!


Take It Easy

June 15, 2012

Its been a music sort of month and I have been having a great time shooting with Shelby and Emily both of whom work their asses off. I was asked to shoot one of the all time greats in the music world and I was looking forward to the opportunity. I would be working with Joe Walsh of the Eagles on the eve of his new album release. We worked together to make some portraits and we had a great shoot. I couldn’t help but notice that he was wearing a MIchael Jordan Jumpman wristband. I assumed that he was a hardcore MJ fan or maybe a Bulls fan from way back but it was a strange accessory for his otherwise all black outfit. When I asked him about hit, he looked at it inquisitively and said, “MJ – no, Im not a fan. I just needed a wrist band and this one was on sale at the Nike store next to my hotel.” I loved it! From the portrait session, we went to the album launch and while I am not a Joe Walsh fan, I did know just about every song he performed. Some beautiful portraits and an outstanding concert – it’s easy to recognize greatness when you’re that close to it.