Monday, February 28, 2011

Serendipitous Spring-like Day

One of the great things about the Hampton Roads area is that from time to time the dreary days of winter can be broken up by spring-like warmth. Another nice thing about this area is that there are a variety of beaches close by.
The day before this image was shot I was planning to go shoot something because the weather was forecast to be 75 degrees and sunny. Then I received a phone call from Pamela. She wanted to do some photos to submit for consideration by a corporate restaurant chain (I'm not going to plug them they already make a ton of money selling wings...oops) doing a model search for their calendar. I called her back to tell her that the next day was going to be perfect to do a location shoot on the beach. As it turns out the day was gorgeous and just right for a bikini...and it was February! The day after the shoot the temps dropped back into 40's and we were back to our typical late winter weather. It's always nice when things fall neatly into place.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The winter months can be cold and dreary. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, things slow down a bit and I get an itch to get out and shoot something. Typically I like to wander through a few local parks in search of wildlife to photograph, yet during the winter months most wildlife await the return of spring. So I tend to turn inward to fulfill the need to shoot.
The image above is called "Paths." The photo was inspired by a number of different things that were going on both internally and externally before I shot this photo. The drug cartel violence along the U.S. and Mexico border was just starting to be reported in the media. Then there was the day to day violence that plagues much of the world whether it is in the name of religion, love, drugs, or the lust for money. Next was the layering of the things that people will often turn to in order to fulfill their "needs" during these long winter months (violence, shopping sprees, self-medication, etc or a combination of these things).
Internally I was asking "Why? Why do people do these things?" It was a question that was child-like and simplistic and had an astoundingly complex answer. At that point I thought, "Somewhere along the way, a person had a decision to make. A path to choose." That was when this image popped into my head.
As I planned this shot and arranged the items, a sort of "6 degrees of separation" started to take shape for me. I also began to think about the individual components of the image and depending on the path chosen aren't necessarily "bad." Derivatives of illicit drugs (the ones in the image are not real) are used as medication for patients, firearms and religion save countless lives every year, alcohol is often used to celebrate some of the most important days of our lives, and so on...
As a note, one of the things I struggled to incorporate was "love." The Bible is associated with love, yet I wanted love to stand out a bit more and a heart or ring were just too obvious nor would they mesh well. I came across a book of matches and it just clicked. A phone number on a book of matches, love, spark, flame, and burn just felt right for what I was wanting to get across and linked to the other components of the image. I substituted the word "Love" in the area where a phone number would be and it was complete.
There is a connection that can be made between all of the components in the image, both good and bad. When faced with decisions to make in your life, which path will you choose?

You can view my "Melangé" gallery for additional photos.