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!

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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.