I shoot people for fun.
Eugh… as a photographer, I know how cliché that statement is… Ah! I shoot people on the street as a hobby.
No – not getting any better…
It’s fascinating how joy, seriousness, comprehension, and innocence can all exist in one person, in the same instant.
I photographed the graduation ceremony of the most recent graduating class of the Detroit Emergency Medical Service Academy. These cadets officially became EMTs for the city of Detroit. In the same moment, you could feel their joy at their accomplishment, while watching the seriousness in their faces – a respect for the ceremony and their newly-earned responsibilities. They had the fresh, innocent look of any new graduate in any industry while, in the back of their minds, they knew what they would see in the line of duty.
On the way to a friend’s house in Southfield, MI, I drove over an intersection with good visibility and saw a plume of smoke on the horizon. Thinking it would be something close, small, and insignificant, I picked up my buddy and we went to check it out. (We are photographers after all).
Well, as we were heading in the direction of the smoke, we realized it must be bigger than I thought because we didn’t seem to be getting closer. Turns out it was actually 20 miles away.
From what I gather, it was an abandoned factory complex on Detroit’s West Side and the PD have no idea what happened.
To reiterate the scale, we met up with a volunteer firefighter from a northern suburb. He was there because he saw the fire from Auburn hills – almost 40 miles away.
Here are some of the shots.
A friend of mine has a golden retriever. His name is Mondego (after the character in Alexander Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo). He also happens to be the smallest fully-grown male golden I’ve ever met, tipping the scales at something like 40 pounds.
But that’s beside the point.
This dog is a member of an extended family that also loves goldens. Parents and siblings included, there are 6 golden retrievers… and I got to photograph them.
Oh, and there’s a cockatoo as well.
Here are a few of my favorites.
It was about 10ish years ago, but I remember it rather clearly. I was sitting in my room with headphones on (quite loudly) and I could still hear these thumps. It was probably more “felt.” With the music off and standing on the back porch, the remote wail of sirens filled the evening. The thumps continued.
So, my father and I piled in the van and drove through neighborhoods around us trying to see what happened.
Through the trees we saw the sky glowing, but the color was coming from the ground. As we rounded the K-Mart, we saw what was causing the commotion. There was a blaze we could feel from a quarter mile away. Jets of fire were shooting 50 or 60 feet into the air.
Clearly there was too much hullabaloo for us to really understand what happened, but from the crowd that had gathered, we deduced that a shop owned by a hydroplane boat racer had caught fire. We tried to get closer but were dutifully turned back. The following day, we found out that the tanks of racing fuel had somehow combusted and compromised the acetylene equipment. When I walked down to see the building, I saw that an entire wall had been blown outward as though The Hulk was inside.
A decade later and well into a career in photography, I still think about the pictures I would have gotten had I had a camera with me.
This also brings up the “photo journalism argument.” Is is OK to profit from taking pictures of things or events that destroyed someone’s life or income? I suppose I still haven’t decided which mindset I have. So until that point, I’ll continue to take pictures of things that intrigue me.
As you can probably guess, there was a fire. It was at a tree maintenance company about 3 miles from my house.
So, you see that big star-looking thing over there on the right, sticking out of the button that says “CLASSES?” Well, I’ll betcha you’ve already figured out what’s going on.
I’M TEACHING COURSES!!
There are currently 6 courses being offered at 5 venues in the metro area. The site is chock-full of all kinds of handy info, like course descriptions, info about all the venues, links to super-talented photographers, and lists of local and digital photo stores!
In the next few weeks, I’ll be adding…. well heck! All this stuff is over THERE. Go check it out.
And if you’re interested, join the mailing list and be the first in line for info on all the new developments!
On an occasional basis, I do some work with Third Estate Design, a graphic media company out of Tecumseh, Michigan.
In October, they forwarded me to a client who needed some imagery of their keynote speaker.
Vital Skills Intl. Is a unique and interesting company based in Rochester, Michigan. They essentially teach companies and employees how to achieve consistent results through an understanding of proper confrontation and conversation management. As an added bonus to the job, I’m picking up quite a few tips and tricks.
The job is 3 stages long and I’ve just finished up the first part – Candid Event Coverage.
Stay tuned for updates featuring portraits and video spots. And be sure to check out their site!