Archive for the ‘People’ Category

A Modern Boy

Monday, June 8th, 2015

I’ve been showing some people around Paris recently, thus have been in areas with a higher concentration of tourists, and I can’t stop photographing people photographing themselves; in front of anything, everything and nothing at all. The selfie stick is everywhere and it looks to be about as addictive as sugar.

What was the gesture before the iPhone? I’m trying to remember, when on vacation what were people doing? I always had a camera, but I remember often being the only one. I’m trying not to worry that the virtual is trumping real-life, but I am.

A Modern Boy in Versailles

A Modern Boy in Versailles

Behind the scenes with Benoit

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Thursday I was called last minute to come photograph on set. My friend Benoit Lelievre was shooting a clip for Max Arthur an Dezmond Meeks, it would be film-noir in style, a bit David-Lynchian. They were shooting at a club in my neighborhood, whose entrance is right next to one of my supermarkets, yet I had never noticed it.

More photos can be found here.

Make-up artist Juliette Veljovic documenting her work

Make-up artist Juliette Veljovic documenting her work

Florence, the assistant director, and one of the actresses

Florence, the assistant director, and one of the actresses

The extras wait in the wingbacks...

Extras waiting in the wingbacks

Dezmond Meeks mid-scene

Dezmond Meeks mid-scene

a kid walks through with a change of music...

Kid walks through with a change of music

Benoit Lelievre in action with Georgette, his camera rig

Benoit Lelievre in action with Georgette, his camera rig

Goodbye Coolin

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Sunday nights at the Coolin were a treat.
Like the ritual of a Sunday night dinner with family.

Ellen Berge Birath showing her affection for Paddy Sherlock.

Ellen Berge Birath showing her affection for Paddy Sherlock.

Once it’s renovated, it’ll be a dead space on Sunday nights, an Apple store on other days. Fabulous. We totally need another Apple store. I’ll probably never walk through those doors again. Nothing against Apple (I’m typing on a Mac, it’s my most important tool after my camera) but I buy online. You see one Apple store, you’ve seen them all. And the Coolin was just an Irish pub, but it wasn’t like any I’d known before.

Thomas Join-Lambert, Marten Ingle, and Ellen Birath.

Thomas Join-Lambert, Marten Ingle, and Ellen Birath.

The good news is the beat goes on, and the wonderfully talented people who created this special place, and their family of fans will continue in another neighborhood across the river and into the 8th.

These photos are from Saturday, March 21st,
the last gig at the Coolin. Marché St. Germain, Paris.
Additional photos of the mayhem can be found here.

Dancers behind the stage, between Marten Ingle and Yoshito Kiyono.

Dancers behind the stage, between Marten Ingle and Yoshito Kiyono.

The shadows of two people, who were together for at time

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.
Relationships are complex, fascinating,
beautiful intersections of two universes.
Here’s a photo of one.


Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

After looking through many photos, including ones from the protests in Paris, I decided on a photo for my New Year’s greeting that spoke to me of innocence, exploration, passage, sharing, quiet companionship. It was taken over the summer in the south of France. I saw those kids coming and wanted to get the shot before the adults behind them entered the picture. I like to imagine them traveling alone, in one of those magical children’s’ stories where there is almost always flying. There’s something Peter Pan or Christopher Robin in that boy’s profile.

Jazz Pas Grave III, Day 2

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Some highlights from day 2…

Antonin Fresson, Quadri-Cor

Antonin Fresson, Quadri-Cor

Yoann Godefroy and singer Kephny Eliacin

Yoann Godefroy and singer Kephny Eliacin

Balthazar Regea, from Soma Age

Balthazar Regea, from Soma Age

Antoine and Martin Beux, with Jungles Key

Antoine and Martin Beux, with Jungles Key

Maxime Bureau, with Soma Age

Maxime Bureau, with Soma Age

Mac, the funny front man of Funk Me Tender

Mac, the funny front man of Funk Me Tender

Beautiful profiles in the crowd, just because

Beautiful profiles in the crowd, just because

Rock star photographer

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

When I was a kid I thought our family photographer was the same guy I heard singing on the radio. His name was Ron Stewart. I was only 3 or 4 and I thought it was incredible that he had these two different jobs.

I loved going to see him because he had this vast space (for a toddler) with a bunch of odd things in it, like tiny bird cages, old stuffed animals, fancy kid-sized furniture, and soft lamplight on dark walls that made it very cozy.

His method was to let children wander in this cabinet de curiosités and photograph them while they did it. Distracting parents waited outside (in today’s paranoid times that probably doesn’t happen much). At some point he would pose you, I know because we have the photos, but in my memory it was the time I spent wandering and discovering that stayed with me. In one session I found a teensy toy chick that I held in my hand the entire time. It was so soft. I wanted to keep it forever. I don’t know if he let me take it with me. That must have happened a lot.

Decades later, I still remember this day.

Decades later, I still remember this day.

I thought about Ron Stewart recently when I was photographing children hiding in the studios at 59 rue de Rivoli here in Paris. They were participating in making a clip for the Pharrell Williams song Happy. Observing the boy below, and his reaction to the disco ball sparkling in the sun reminded me of that little chick. If it were my disco ball, I would let him take it home.

Discovery in Suisse Marrocain’s cabinet de curiosités.



Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Deep in the sea are riches beyond compare.
But if you seek safety, it is on the shore.
Saadi, Rose Garden

Self Portrait in Barry Jones' studio

Self Portrait in Barry Jones’ studio

Francesco at 59

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Francesco has such an expressive face,
and you never know what to expect when you photograph him.

Francesco draped in my backdrop

Francesco draped in my backdrop

Poetry from the evidence

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

This is the greeting card I’m sending out for 2014, taken at the Théâtre de la Pleine Lune this summer, on a full-moon night when Malavika Klein danced Bharata Natyam for us. It is a dance I had no experience with, a dance so rich in imagery, a real poetry expressed through the human body.

I look at it and think about what I want from my photography, what I want it to contribute to the world. Magic comes to mind. Moments of magic. Like when Robert Frank, in the November 1951 issue of Life said, “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

And when Jay Maisel said, “There was a phrase that Arthur Miller used – ‘I’m trying to create the poem from the evidence.’ I’m not trying to change anything that’s in front of me, I’m trying to give it respect and I’m trying to call attention to it.”

I want my photos to be a place you want to spend time. A space of grace and light. And if I see these qualities where someone else does not, I hope I can be an effective translator.


Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

It makes you see strange things
like a man taking out the garbage.

Des années

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Ten years have now passed, since I changed countries. I’m almost breathless, looking back, seeing who I was, who I think I was, and who and where I thought I would be today. People make ten-year plans, I never have. I have dreams but I don’t give them deadlines. I was impatient with the Paris dream. I tried once, it was all set up, seemingly perfect, and then fell through just after the Twin Towers. I let it go. And maybe it’s like they say about the people you love. Let them go and they may come back to you. I let the dream rest, though never stopped desiring it, never stopped saying out loud what the ideal situation would be.

I changed paths, out of necessity, and became reacquainted with another dream, one not linked to a particular city, one that could be initiated right where I was.

In looking for a starting point, I jumped through numerous hurdles to get to where I thought I should begin, and when it was my turn to sign up, all seats were taken. But it was vital for me to begin, so I found a second-string starting point, one I judged as inferior but at least put me into action. The new plan-B-point-A would take me far, to where I wanted to be, because the room where my plan B started was where another person had entered by mistake and then decided to stay.

A relationship began, one that would bring me to Paris and then dissolve. A person came into and out of my life, enabling “the ideal” situation in between, which I had so often described out loud.

But a dream is maybe like having a photo of a tarte au citron meringuée when the reality is eating one. Except reality also requires you to learn to make the thing first, then savor it. And those are the ones you don’t forget.

These years have been a lot of work, and sometimes a real pain in the ass, but equally delicious.

I’m still working on the meringue.

Paris Techno Parade

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Some moments from today’s Techno Parade in Paris.

Checking the up-do at the Techno Parade.

Checking the up-do at the Techno Parade.

Confetti over the crowd.

Confetti over the crowd.

Deep in the crowd, blvd des Filles du Calvaire, Paris.

Deep in the crowd.

Taking turns at sea

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

I’m editing a series of photos of people in landscapes. Quiet, psychological images talking of introversion and extroversion, contemplative encounters & confrontations. More to come.

St Maries de la Mer, France.

St Maries de la Mer, France.


Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

He is one of my favorite people. And he is in almost constant motion.

If he’s not biking through traffic with his hands in his pockets while talking on the phone, he’s reciting de Musset, quoting Guitry, or singing Les Noces de Figaro which he knows by heart. He shows you how to build giant moonlight reflectors for the Full Moon Theater, then teaches you to drive a tractor and jumps off to take your picture. He has big, beautiful ideas and all the energy and passion to make them manifest. On this night, I caught him motionless in the hallway, in the middle of stoking two separate fires.

Alexandre à Gourgoubès.  France, 2013.

Alexandre Camerlo à Gourgoubès. France, 2013.

A Reyna Aquarelle

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

For two very fun years I shared a big loft with two painters from Argentina. I lived upstairs on the mezzanine, and they worked downstairs. It was a pretty raw space. We had a tiny improvised kitchen in one corner, a very aged red sofa in another and wonderful floor-to ceiling windows. No door separated our spaces, just a half-wall, over which I took these time-lapse photos of Martin Reyna making watercolors. I love seeing the process behind a piece of art, and I got to witness Martin’s practice daily. In celebration of his birthday today, here’s a selection from those days.

Feliz cumple Martin!

Martin Reyna painting a watercolor.  Paris, 2007.

Martin Reyna. Paris, 2007.

Great place for a skateboard

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

It’s hard looking through old work sometimes. I groan, tear up some prints, light up at the sight of others, and travel back in time much more pronounced way than when looking at photos on a computer screen. Today I went back through rolls of film shot after first moving to Paris, and the contact sheets that had both Chicago and Paris on them. It’s interesting to see what I was focused on then, and how I was constructing my photos. The obsession with geometry was always there. This one I rather like. I think it was taken at Bercy. Great place for a skateboard.

Skater at Bercy.  Paris, 2003.

Skater at Bercy. Paris, 2003.

The Little Girl and The Pusher

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

A couple of today’s treasures from my weekly Wednesday in the dark room, and a new series of photos brewing.

Being led along the Seine.

Being led along the Seine.

The pusher.  8e arrondissement.

The pusher. 8e arrondissement.

My intro to alternative processes

Friday, March 8th, 2013

After a 2-day cyanotype & gum bichromate initiation workshop, these are a couple of my best results. I thought the gum was lost, but after 45 minutes and a lot of hot water, the image on my heavy-handedly-coated paper finally appeared out of pure black. This is the original photo, which I thought would be a decent one to test out these deliciously imperfect processes. It was printed out on transparency as a negative to then print by contact.

Gum bichromate on Canson watercolor paper

Gum bichromate on Canson watercolor paper

The best in a long line of cyanotype trials.

Cyanotype on Canson watercolor paper.

Cyanotype on Canson watercolor paper.

Thanks Jean Gabriel Lopez for being such a patient teacher!

John, after midnight

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

And sometimes at noon.

Jewelry designer John Agee, Paris.

Jewelry designer John Agee, Paris.

Doctor, my eyes

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

are slipping through cement,
reflecting the September Moon.

Published in Shots

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

I’m very pleased to have a photo featured in the current issue of Shots magazine, the portrait issue. The photo is of a talented young painter named Maria Kreyn, who was at the time living in a big old house about an hour outside of Paris, owned by Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum, with whom she was studying. Maria and I made many photos in Odd’s chateau of curiosities, where the Edvard Munch death mask floated above the fireplace.

Maria, Maisons Lafitte I

Keeping up with a young islander

Monday, September 10th, 2012

“Miriam, where’s the road? It’s getting a bit dark.”
“Um… I’m not sure…”

Guided by a wise & spirited 11-year-old girl, along the coast of Norway’s Halsnoy Island, the four of us, travelers from four different countries, ran, jumped and slipped along the rocks last night. Miriam’s playground.

“It’s more fun if you jump!” she says as she bounces away.

Tagging along with Brijesh Patel

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Or was he tagging along with me? When you travel with a photographer, you get photographed a lot. At least, if you travel with me you do. In this case, I was in residency and exploring a new place with another photographer, Brijesh Patel.

Tomorrow morning I’m returning to to the Halsnoy Kloster in Norway for a joint exhibition with Brijesh, of the work we each did there last year. It just occurred to me to collect all the photos I had taken of him and see what that might look like as a portrait.

Brij up close in the forest

Brij far away on a hill

Brij in the study, with a frozen Jonathan Livingston.

Brij and dog that wants to bite me

Brij in the tall grass, waiting for me to get out of his shot