Here are a few of my older portraits. I’ve been organizing them to do something with them. What? I don’t know. I keep saying an addition to my website would be good, or a real old school print portfolio but it seems that I don’t have the time, the place or the energy to get it done. I guess I’ll have to get going.
Anyway. These picture were made in New Mexico and New Orleans, before the storm. The cowboy is Archie. He owns a huge junkyard in Moriarty, New Mexico. The American Indian (or Native American, if you prefer) is an artist who shows his work in Santa Fe. And, the guy singing is a Mardi Gras Indian who I photographed during a second line parade in New Orleans.
So, I took my friend and writing partner to Cafe Reconcile in Central City. I could write reams about it, but he’s better than I am at that, so I’ll let him tell you about it on his blog once it’s written. I’ll post his blog site address then. But, in a nutshell it’s a restaurant that was started to teach youth who are at risk a viable skill. They can learn to cook, run the front of a restaurant, and — in general — learn all the skills that it takes to run or be employed at a successful restaurant. If you’d like to learn more, go here http://reconcileneworleans.org Even better yet, if you happen to be in New Orleans, go there. The food is excellent. It’s Southern Soul Food. It will fill you up and make you smile at in one go.
This picture is just one of many that I made there a few days ago. This is Chef Harold.
I thought I would post the tight portrait of Harold. I had a hard time selecting yesterday, so maybe you should see both images. I’ve got some more reporting to do on Central City, so I’ll leave you with that for today.
I thought that I would give you a look at some of the places where I’m working on my Central City project. There are some pretty good overalls, but I really wanted to show you yet another person who lives in the area while combining that with the place. This is Harold. Working with him was sort of funny since we’d been eyeing each other from a distance before we actually started talking. I learned something from him that I’m not sure many New Orleans people know. Well, wait. I knew there were neighborhoods within the general area called Central City. But, I didn’t know that there were historical names as well. Some people call part of it Faubourg Lafayette. I knew that. That’s the closest area to the Central Business District. But, wait. There are two more that border St. Charles Avenue. They are Faubourg DeLassize and Faubourg Livavdais. These are old French names. I doubt very many people ever refer to them these days. Both DeLassize and Livavdais are areas that are a little more quiet and apparently a lot less violent. I made this picture in Faubourg Livavdais. It’s still not paradise, but my internal bells did not ring. So… this picture is just me taking some time to talk with my subject. I made some very tight portraits that I like as well. But, this one gives you a nice sense of place.
Despite its bad reputation, there is a huge population of people who have lived in Central City, New Orleans, for most of their lives. They, too are worried about the violent crime and what will become of them if Ventral City is actually turned around as many folks are hoping and planning. This is one of those long time residents. Meet Arthur Lee. I met him while I was photographing an abandoned Catholic church. He told me a bit about the neighborhood, what it was like, what it is like today and what it could become.
I never thought that I would say this, but for the month of April I made too many pictures. As I was starting to “curate” — old guys like me call it edit — my April picture a day project, I realized that I made way more images than I needed for the 30 day month. Of course, this came from assignments, commissions and a very few stock productions as well as a few days when I actually made an image specifically for the PAD project.
For those of you who are new to following Storyteller. I started shooting a picture a day four years ago. Every time that I reach a year anniversary I think to myself, “that’s it, I’m done.” A week or so passes and I start getting a bit nervous. Then I start looking for something like a birthday, or beginning of a new month, or anything that I think would be a good starting time and off I go again. I took about a
five-week break between last years PAD project, which ended on my birthday. and this years project which began on New Year Day.
For those of you who have read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a big fan of street food. I especially like it in Asin countries where food courts are built around existing outdoor vendors. In the same vein, I also like street music. Today, in New Orleans, French Quarter Fest began on a very pleasantly warm and breezy day. Plenty of great music. Plenty of great food. Pick your music. Pick your food. It’s all good.
But, on this first day of the fest, I like walking down Royal Street and listening to the musicians who play for tips. There are some truly great players there who you’ve never heard of, and probably never will. Oh, and I always tip them if I photograph them. A pocket full of dollar bills makes a lot of friends.
Over the next few days, these musicians will be moved off of Royal Street as the smaller stages are added to the musical venues of the overall festival.
I’ve been reviewing portraits. Since my newest portfolio is portrait-based, I have a lot of choices to make. What stays in? What goes out? Which picture is a hero picture? Which images support it? Lot’s of thinking to do. A lot of instinct too. But, it doesn’t stop there. There is a lot of data to study in an effort to further identify my intended market.
What does this all mean? It’s yet another version of the old 80-20 Rule. Usually, in business that means 20% of the people do 80% of the work. But, there are other applications. Many other applications. For instance, in most working photographers cases, it means that you spend 20% of the time doing that you really love — making pictures. The other 80% of time is spent doing other stuff. Accounting. Marketing, Writing blog posts. Meetings. Testing. More Marketing. You get it. Very little in the way of actually making a picture.
So. Over the past few days, I’ve been working on portraits. Not photographing them. Editing them. So I can get more work and make more pictures. It’s a circle. It never ends. For those who have followed me for a little while, forgive me on this one. You probably seen it twice — in color and reworked in black and white. But, the picture is part of the editing process. And, some of the newer folks haven’t seen it yet.