The Lens-Artists photography group is celebrating their first anniversary. Hosts Tina, Amy, Patti, and Ann-Christine have invited us to choose our favorite photo subject. They chose Friendship, Connection, Imagination, and Discovery as the themes for their respective posts. I have chosen Steve, an undeniable person in my life who has taught me much about friendship, connection, imagination and discovery during the ten years we’ve known each other.
I really do grapple with the balance between these two elements of my consciousness, the thinker and the feeler, the heart and the head. The dance between the two is where good work is done. –Steve (forthelastwolverine.com)
Steve is the owner of Scholar and Poet Books, an online bookstore with listings on Amazon, eBay, A Libris, and ABE Books.
He is an English major, a philosopher, an anthropologist, an environmentalist, a musician, a conversationalist, a film fan, a student and teacher of spiritual psychology, a practitioner of Buddhism, a brother, a son, my housemate, and my friend.
He comes from Polish-German stock and thinks of himself as Slavic and moody.
There are three ideas that I make sure to spend time with every day. If pressed to reduce these ideas to a single word each, I might pick WILD, BEAUTY and ENOUGH. — Steve (forthelastwolverine.com)
I have photographed Steve over the last ten years from many different perspectives. In the span of that time, we’ve related as co-workers, trail buddies, string quartet members, lovers, exes, best friends, classmates, tent mates, housemates, and temporary step-parents to a fur baby named Pinkle.
We share so many memories. (Well, maybe not. My memory is much better than his.) And I have SO many photos. Several albums worth…that aren’t in albums yet. There could be a Steve’s Trail Shot Album, full of photos taken while we were out exploring somewhere. This would be the biggest album.
There could be an album’s worth of photos that might be called Black & White Author Headshots.
There could be a small album of Sleeping Steve…
And Couple Selfies…
And goofy Leftovers.
Here’s what I’ve learned: once you choose to let someone into your life, into your camera, there is so much to know about that person. That choice can have a lasting impact on you and your photo files.
Choose wisely, friends. And choose friends wisely. I think Steve’s been an excellent choice as a photo subject…and a friend.
When my son asked me to do a photo shoot with his fiancee, and casually mentioned that they had already gotten the marriage license, I was (1) elated and (2) terrified that I would disappoint them. Without a ceremony, the photo shoot was likely to be the most public and enduring record of this important milestone. I wanted it to be very special. And I was totally unqualified. I have never done portrait photography. This was one grand experiment – and turned out to be a ton of fun and very successful by all opinions gathered. Whew!
To start, I practiced trying out portrait settings. I knew we’d be outdoors. I live on 56 acres of conservation property, so my front yard was a great stage. My test subject was Jimmy Bear, appropriately clad in his concert tuxedo. He made a fine and very patient groom, but he’s a little short. My music stand gave him a boost.
I learned a lot about fill-in flash, back lighting and bokeh. The wedding entourage of 7 people helped with carrying in props and equipment and providing support of all kinds…and were great photo subjects as family. Here are a few of my favorite results of this joyful experiment.