i believe in father christmas

Sometimes the greatest projects simply fall into your lap.

Several months ago some friends mentioned they would like to do a photoshoot for their Christmas cards. It was one of those hilarious projects that gets talked about, discussed, planned...and ultimately shuffled to the bottom of the priority list until it fades away from memory.

This had the potential to be one of those, except that it actually happened.

Chelsey (middle) and Jordan (left) are married, while Diana (right) lives in their basement. They wanted pictures for Christmas cards - and naturally wanted to look absolutely haggard.

Fortunately, my cheap lighting set up lends itself perfectly to a purposefully amateurish photoshoot. I brought a several of my construction lamps into their living room, and set them up to cast stupid shadows behind the subjects. I myself am quite partial to the star behind Jordan's shoulder.

While I enjoyed doing this shoot, the funniest part came in post-production. I knew they would look ridiculous, but I had no idea how funny the pictures would be; several times I had to actually walk away from the computer because I could no longer see through the tears of laughter.

And the funniest part? After these pics were posted on Facebook, I had FOUR separate people ask me to do family portraits for them. Seriously? Hundreds, thousands of pictures and these make you want me?

Sigh. I don't get it.

8.12.08. Cropped to 3X5, slight colour correction.
8.12.08. Slight colour correction.


walk on

My brother and I are building a house, and moving day is about 5 weeks away.

He and his wife are taking the upstairs, and I'm taking the basement. It's large, well laid out, and provides me the opportunity to design and decorate as I want to.

I'm excited to, for the first time, make prints of my photos to display on my walls. I spent an evening with my photogenic friend, going through my favorite pictures trying to figure out which would look best, and these are two that made the cut:

This was taken in New York during one of the few brief moments I could deke out and take pictures. This is near Lincoln Center, where there was a ton of construction going on. I like how the perspective is very sharp, with clean lines drawing your eyes to the center of the photograph, and how the walls, floor and ceiling are all sharply patterned and defined. I also like how the dark silhouette is slightly off-centered, which keeps the whole picture from becoming too symmetrical.

This shot came from the first wedding I participated in, and it remains one of my favorites. I like the patterns, how the bricks form expanding circles while the flower petals form a subtle triangle pointing up to the top of the frame. This was one of the first pictures that made me say 'hey, I can DO this!'; I think it deserves a place above my couch.

There are a number of similarities between the two pictures with the patterns and dark figures, which creates an interesting juxtaposition, especially if they are hung near each other.

There will likely be a few more, including this one and this one. I realize they are all black and white, but I haven't yet found one in colour I want to print and frame. Plus the monochrome will look really good with the paint scheme I have going on.

18.10.08. Cropped to 3X5, increased contrast, increased black clipping.
29.6.08. Cropped to 3X5, slightly increased contrast.