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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