burn is an online feature for emerging photographers worldwide. burn is curated by magnum photographer david alan harvey.
My youngest son Erin appears to be enjoying the dance music along with my daughter in law Michelle ( now engaged to my other son Bryan). 4 days of family wedding wasn’t enough. We all wished the buzzing good vibes would last forever at the official bonding of my nephew Seth and his soul mate wife sharing life special Ahlam (see previous post). When not partying or kiteboarding Erin makes films. Next up this fall is “Belief” a mini series on the Oprah Channel where he and Bryan were both part of the ensemble. Michelle is a yogi, a video editor, and workshop producer and oh yes mostly a new mom. So yes I’m proud of the whole bunch. We all work on projects together. Outside my family I can set it up so I appear to be held in some regard. Inside the family they know the truth about me so I have little power. So for family gatherings I play it smart and stay focused on them. I started out in life as the family staff photographer. I’m often a pain in the ass to be sure, yet finally I only get please send the pictures you promised. I will be editing for days the Seth and Ahlam wedding book to be. Family staff photographer is still my most elite position in my career. A job not to be taken lightly. @harveye @bryanharveyfilms @sethbharv @ahlambchehabi
Is there anything better than a family wedding? Ahlam and Seth just crossed the line in one of those afternoons where nobody could soak it all up fast enough. Where time slides by so fast that you just can’t keep up. This is the last in a series of 4 weddings I photographed starting in 1971 of my brother Gary and his bride Becky and their three children Josh, Hannah and Seth. I love anybody’s wedding and find the moments to be rather universal and timeless and always a day symbolizing love and family. For me there’s no greater celebration. Congrats Ahlam and Seth. Big love.
Wedding day warm up snapshot. Otter, left, and Lyla of course are invited guests at my nephew Seth and bride to be Ahlam’s marriage ceremony at an old Manchester Mass. mansion. My pro colleagues are always telling me I shouldn’t put family snaps on my Instagram account. Yet my family snapshots comprised my original work and family in general I care about more than anything. So a few wedding posts are inevitable.
Michelle’s jeans. Manchester By The Sea, Massachusettes. We are gathered for a family wedding tomorrow. Relaxed attire today, dress up tomorrow.#jeans
Last days of summer. Warm water and spectacular weather always marks the now subtle change from summer to just a twinge of fall air. Wind direction is the big topic here in the outer banks. An offshore breeze and it’s time to surf and an onshore wind kills the shape of the waves and is best for kiteboarding as here. Either way using wind and water energy for art and for sport is an exhilarating way to live. It’s free. Just a board and the wind and the sea. I can’t do any of it. I’m a poor bodysurfer. But who cares? I can take great pleasure in just watching. No two waves alike. Unpredictable. I’m totally mesmerized by the sea in both calm and violent storm. Summer is over yet summer is on the way.#outerbanks #kiteboarding
This is the last of my series of three fiction/fantasy pictures I am posting on Instagram Actually it was the first one I ever made. Shot about three years ago on my rooftop in New York as part of a Magnum Nudes portfolio originally sold at a Christies art auction in Paris. It is still the one picture that is key to this project. This series won’t ever be a book. I cannot make enough like this to fill a book. Too hard to do. So I’m just hoping i can get maybe five or six. One thing I’ve learned is that not everything makes a book. A book is not just a bunch of good pictures from a place. At least not anymore. Books should be books. They should have their own visual literacy. There are some amazing new books out there and a whole lot more that simply are collections, yet not books on the highest order. Same as with films. Lots get made somehow, yet we all must look long and hard for the really good ones. So the same truth applies to photo books. My fiction portfolio may end soon or take on a new life. I will find out this year. All part of the adventure of exploration. All part of sticking your neck out. All part of risk taking. It would be easy for me to shoot “popular” pictures. I see what people “like”. I know how to do it. Yet working the edge is the only way to grow and working the edge is the only way to really be alive. #newyork#magnumnudes #nudedude
Masks intrigue all of us. This one from Venice, Italy. Every culture has masks and I have a small collection from various cultures around the world. This photograph continues my non documentary fantasy/fiction series. I am in the “playing” stages of both shooting and choosing. Oftentimes I start a project and then drop it or it may segue into something else. Only by photo sketching and working do long term concepts evolve in my case. I can’t be sitting around waiting for something to pop in my head. Ideas jump at me when I work. No matter what the work. When shooting pure documentary I am an interpreter of the reality before me, yet there are parameters of discourse. If shooting fiction as here, there are no boundaries. No rules. The story is in my head. All photography is exploration in its best forms. As a language it is the newest and least known although most spoken by the most people. Pictures are primitive. Yet in our modern high tech world still photographs dominate our daily life. I think this comes as a surprise to many. For sure new forms of photo expression evolve daily. If I watch TV news I must escape the horror that seems to bombard. The underbelly of mankind. Yet through art we can at least discover the snippets of imagination that allow us to continue. Masks hide and masks reveal. #venice #masks
While I have earned my living as a straight documentary photographer, I was influenced as a young boy by fiction writers. Even on documentary shoots for National Geographic I would read fiction to get a real feel for a culture. Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabelle Allende and Carlos Fuentes shaped my psyche for Central and South America work as much as the factual research I had to do. Fiction always gave me a layer of the tactile and the essence of a story. Twain’s line from Huckleberry Finn ” It was late and it smelt late” always stuck with me as a “picture”. So for the last two or three years I’ve become very interested in “writing” fiction with my photography. So far I only have a handful of fiction pictures as here. Although my fiction is still documentary in a way. Real people in real time in real places no makeup no actors yet with a visual twist of fantasy. All coming out of my head of course. I’ll publish here about three of these in the next few days. Some controversy is inevitable. Yet all of us must explore new ground all the time. Anything consistently repeatable and popular just isn’t the “edge” I love as both a viewer and a creator. This was shot on the Nags Head Fishing Pier. No props no lights. Part of my upcoming book of fiction BeachGames out whenever I can finish. #obx #beachgames #nagshead