When We Don’t Know the Way Forward

The Budz Bridge In the Snow (from 18th St.)

When we don’t know the way forward, when we lack certainty, but push ahead anyway, thinking or maybe screaming, WTF! the way opens; we learn from failure, take those losses as a blessing however much we may truly hate it at the time.

The sheer force of doing something/anything propels us to discover and learn – perhaps we might even see that that place of not knowing is the best place ever.

Certainty is just another name for bullshit island. And who really wants to live there?

The Best Way to Support Artists

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Do you know that the best way to support an artist is to buy their work or support them as a patron?
 
TRUTH.
 
This lets us stop doing all the things that take us away from art making, (which takes A LOT of time,) not only to make the actual thing, but also time to do all the reflection, research, reading, sometimes traveling, sometimes needing to get things, machines like in my case cameras, a computer build more recently that 2009, connecting, cross-pollinating, writing, writing, digging, digging, digging down into that creative well.
 
Support means we can make more work and focus on bringing beauty and goodness into the world, which helps us all manage the inevitable struggles with a bit more grace. Being exposed to art helps us navigate, connects us through moments of “me too!” and savoring the beautiful even when they world feels it gone completely off the rails.
 
So, dear ones, unknown ones, friends, if you are into what I’m doing let’s talk.
 
We can arrange a studio visit if you’re local or want to come in from where ever; you can purchase a print (maybe you fell in love with a picture you saw online and live far away. No problem! I ship anywhere in the world someone will deliver.
Maybe you have a company or work for one that loves to support the arts which gets you all kinds on insider treats before anyone else and discounts on future purchases. Plus the warm and fuzzy feeling that you get from supporting the pitched battle of the artist. 
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 LET’S TALK:

A History of Staring at Ceilings

For my entire life reaching as far back as I can remember, which varies at times in range, from perhaps the age of three or four and up, and occasionally even earlier, to those times before the acquisition of language, before the capacity to name.

I have distinct and specific memories of lying on the couch, or a bed for one reason or another: perhaps having been told to take a nap, or as an adult choosing to take a break, perhaps feeling depressed or sick, and other times savoring the beauty, the simple beauty of light as it fell through the window, or from a light on the ceiling, as it met the corner of the room, and sometimes the window.

These moments have always and still do contain an entire universe of possible emotions, a sense of deep connection to all that is; this deep feeling of potential, and at the same time a deep anxiety at the possibility of missed potential, missed opportunity.

I realize I still have that same exact set of feelings now.

The feelings vary; sometimes anxiety, sometimes joy, sometimes anticipation, the full range of human emotions.

My work arises from a desire to understand the ongoing stream of felt experiences along the full emotional continuum. This occurs via direct experiential processing, an ongoing , intuitive development of a visual photographic vocabulary.

This lexicon seeks to make visible the invisible: what do we see and how does it impact us and how are we in relationship to it?

It confronts the fundamental reality of suffering; our confusions about connection and disconnection.

My work seeks meet our experiences of suffering with an authentic wrestling with the right kind of problems; that is, those which ask questions, the asking of which and the attempts at answering have deep and consequential meaning that continue to generate profound meaning in our lives.

The work seeks to alleviate existential suffering by offering moments of contemplation of beauty and connection even in some of the most unusual places.

It’s seeks to help us turn and face our fears rather than run from them. The images arrive from a desire to find places of connection rather than being caught and confused by apparent separations encountered in every day reality.

Photography of Invisible Things

My work arises from a desire to understand the ongoing stream of felt experiences along the full emotional continuum. This occurs via direct experiential processing, an ongoing , intuitive development of a visual photographic vocabulary.

This lexicon seeks to make visible the invisible: what do we see and how does it impact us and how are we in relationship to it?

It confronts the fundamental reality of suffering; our confusions about connection and disconnection.

My work seeks meet our experiences of suffering with an authentic wrestling with the right kind of problems; that is, those which ask questions, the asking of which and the attempts at answering have deep and consequential meaning that continue to generate profound meaning in our lives.

The work seeks to alleviate existential suffering by offering moments of contemplation of beauty and connection even in some of the most unusual places.

It’s seeks to help us turn and face our fears rather than run from them. The images arrive from a desire to find places of connection rather than being caught and confused by apparent separations encountered in every day reality.

Relationship to and Experience of Urban Landscape

More Thoughts on “The Persistence of Vanishing Things”

As this project develops, there’s a need to concretize while at the same time remaining open and flexible to new discoveries, flashes of insight. I keep following the trail. Finding that balance between effort and ease to find the way to the work at it’s fullest expression.

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I think that one of the main questions is this: how are we in relationship to the landscape? In the same way in mindfulness practice that we learn to ask, how are we in relationship to whatever is going on. We do our best in this practice to keep an open, curious, non-judgmental mind.

How do we even define landscape?

I know that I tend to think nature when I hear the word landscape but what about the built landscape that we create? And the way we do it? How we build what we do and with what intent?

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The Conversation

Do we feel connected to the landscape or separate? And how much does it matter how our relationship with natural or built landscape is? What synergy is there? Do our environs support or deny us? And to what extent are we complicit when things go awry and we harm ourselves and the landscape? And conversely, how do we support positive change, or nurture the landscape whether natural or built?

Part of the work is in photographing the various landscape types as well as the people in them.

Further, conducting interviews and asking people where I find them about their connection to the landscape.

How is this relationship related to happiness? Are people more or less happy in various kinds of landscape settings?

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And what of the stories, the mythologies found in the landscapes of different places and people? What forms the sensibilities of the people who dwell in these places? In what do they believe and what is the alchemy between people, landscape and the narrative enframing their experience and sensibilities?

Further, how is the passage of time perceived in each place and how does that inform/impact not only their relationship to the landscape but their happiness or sense of contentment? When we feel rushed along how does this inform our relationship to the land, the planet? When we have a slowing of time, does this mean we relate differently and how?

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Pop Up Pet Photo Booth 12/17

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Join us Sunday December 17th for a fun and festive holiday photo booth for you and your beloved fur family! I’ll be making portraits in classic black and white that will become your treasured mementos for years to come.
These fun mini sittings will give you plenty of options to choose from. You’ll receive a hand-made print on fine art paper of the very best one sent to your address after the shoot.
We give back in two ways!
1. For every photo we make, we donate the same service to One Tail at a Time dog rescue in Chicago!
AND
2. Helping local homeless people with some winter essentials. Bring one pair (or more if you like!) of clean winter socks (adult and child sizes) brand new and still with the tags on for our holiday sock drive for local homeless people. The socks will be distributed during Christmas week.
Free street parking.
Thanks!
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It’s better together

It’s so much better when we remember that we’re in this together, isn’t it?

And really, that’s the whole idea behind the way I work: improvisational photography.

One of the first rules, or so-called rules of improv, is to say “yes – and” this is an act of generosity. It means implicitly, I got your back. It means that the reality we’re creating together in a scene, or in this case in a photograph, is something we both completely believe in 100%.

Lots of people are uncomfortable being photographed for all kinds of reasons. That’s why when you work with me together we say yes and, and I will always have your back.

Helping you prepare for the shoot, answering your questions, knowing what to expect talking about clothing and want to wear, and helping you move in a way that helps you find your own comfortable place inside your own heart and body so that the amazing authentic self that is you can shine through in every single picture.

Available for bookings and fine art prints.

Stop by our photo booth tonight, Dec. 8th, for Second Friday! 6-10pm 1839 S Halsted St.

#yesandphoto #yesandphotography #chicagogrammers #chicagophotography #dogsofinstagram #blackandwhitephoto #blackandwhitephotography #bandw #love

Holiday Pet Pop-Up Photo Booth

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Join us for a fun and festive holiday photo booth for you and your beloved fur family! I’ll be making portraits in classic black and white that will become your treasured mementos for years to come.
WHEN: Dec 16th
HOURS: 11-am-2pm
WHERE: 1839 S Halsted St
These fun mini sittings will give you plenty of options to choose from. You’ll receive a hand-made print on fine art paper of the very best one sent to your address after the shoot.
We give back in two ways!
1. For every photo we make, we donate the same service to One Tail at a Time dog rescue in Chicago!
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AND
2. Helping local homeless people with some winter essentials. Bring one pair of clean winter socks (either men’s or women’s size) brand new and still with the tags on for our holiday sock drive for local homeless people. The socks will be distributed during Christmas week.
Free street parking.
Thanks!
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Some Dogs of Chicago

I’ve been around dogs my whole life. Growing up I was raised and bottle fed with an Old English Sheepdog, named Duffy. Somewhere supposedly there’s a picture of us, plopped down one on each of my mother’s knees, her arms around us; child and puppy sucking down bottles of formula. I have this vague sense that I may have seen this photo sometime, I can’t tell if’s just the memory I’ve been told about so many times, that it feels real. I want it to be true with it’s tinge of happiness and domestic serenity.

Duffy was born practically the same day as me. He became my guardian, playmate, best friend, confidante in a house of adults: complex, occasionally violent, always enmeshed, fits of rage and love, passed like squall fronts.

And the hours of silence. Gleaming silent floors, tables. Whispers behind doors. So despite all that, I knew, loved and deeply understood that dog. And he me.

***

Every dog has its own personality. Some way that they inhabit the world. The soul that shines through their eyes. The many years and past lives of their experiences, how they have been treated. Lessons learned.

***

Some of the dogs in these photos are rescues. Some not. I try to allow the spirit of the dog to shine through. Gently these beasts allow themselves to be revealed much as a person might allow. It seems to me though, these four legged friends open their hearts more easily. All they want is that most basic of things, as E.M. Forster had it, “Only connect.” Don’t we all?

Perhaps that’s it. The dogs are a mirror. A gift with their open hearted natures, which hold nothing back.