Outer Banks NC 2-9-17. This photo only makes sense if you have a good neighbor named Frank who has creative control over many things around my place. Things I’m throwing out, he will make yard art. Frank and his wife Dawn look out for my house, cats, etc when I travel. Good neighbors to be sure, and that makes sense. @obxhomepage
“BeachGames”. Playa del Carmen. Fact or fiction? I’m at home now going through all that I shot recently in Mexico. Assembling a sequence. Writing a novella with pictures. It’s the same as writing a song or short story. It’s not simply about each single picture, but how they all come together as a photo essay. How to tweak the imagination? I stopped my BeachGames zine over a year ago thinking I was finished. I thought since it was a zine I’d do it fast. Yet after I made a layout/dummy, I saw that even though BG was only going to be about 25 pictures, it was going to be harder than if it was a book of 100. Shorter does not mean easier. Quite the contrary. E.B. White’s ” Elements of Style” always in my head. Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” and “A Clean Well Lighted Place” always hanging over me. Sofia Cuppola’s ” Lost in Translation” and Nan Goldin’s “Ballad of Sexual Dependency” always benchmarks. While pure documentary has been a big part of my life and work, in recent years I’ve put high value and effort into “fiction” storytelling as the only way to really tell the truth. Yet in the freedom of fiction there can’t be one single note off key. No editors to blame if it’s not right. No gatekeepers. It’s weird. I may wish for “acceptance” as we all do, yet I am not trying to appease anyone. Take it or leave it. Yet I still must get it right. I’m editing in the opposite environment of the shooting. Home alone. No party. Winter. Bliss. Fire in the belly.
During the recent electronic music fest in Playa del Carmen, México revelers would dance all night and into the morning. As many of you know, I lived in a small condo with 5 young Mexicans who were spending a couple of weeks here in celebration of their graduation from Activa photo school where we’d all met and become friends. They were my primary focus for continued shooting on my BeachGames zine to be published this fall by BurnBooks. I too am hypnotized by the electronic beats and the “spring break” atmosphere. All perfect for shooting the game. The game everyone plays, yet symbolized on the beach as a stage. I’m missing my Mexican amigos. We bonded. Again, family. Bonding is about intensity not about the amount of time spent together. One of the things I love most about my life in photography is the ability to immerse myself into situations I just wouldn’t be in at all if I were not a photographer. I don’t feel comfortable photographing people I don’t know. Eye contact is the real first handshake. The beat, it’s all about the beat.
Family. My number one favorite photo subject since I was 12. Immediate family the priority as here, yet when I travel I tend to create new “families” or take my immediate family with me. My cinematographer son Bryan here shoots Michelle and Lyla and he started going on assignments with me worldwide when he was about 8. This whole crew will be on the photo workshop scene upcoming in March in Puerto Rico. See link in my IG profile. Michelle runs my workshop program and Bryan has produced two docs on me for NatGeo TV as well as projects like Oprah’s BELIEF series. Happy Birthday Bryan! @bryanharveyfilms . Join my photo workshop in Puerto Rico if intense mentoring is for you. I’ll also be shooting on my BeachGames book as I critique 12 students working on individual photo essays. Portfolio review required and FT call interview. I always select an international eclectic group. I have a hard time leaving this porch to travel, yet it’s easier if I take everybody with me! It’s a family affair. See link in profile.