Worm Moon March 2019
One of our finest citizens passed away this month. I shot this image at the funeral. I guess if I chose to I could publish funeral images every month.
This image was shot for a story for Texas Monthly. I was shooting Huck statically on the horse when Marci says "move around some, ride." Who says art directors aren't helpful!
**The Fine Line Of Art and Commerce**
When I was 21 years old I read Andrea Feininger's book "The Complete Photographer." Then I quit my job at the machine shop and went searching for my life's work. Just like that. There was a sense of urgency even then. A biological clock ticking like a womb. At that time, my only goal was to make a living using my camera. Copywork, portraits, weddings, dog photos, if I didn't have to get a real job I was winning. Mostly I did drag racing. I frequented several drag strips on the east coast and sold photos to the drivers of their cars launching from the starting line. Every emotion is at a drag strip, mixed in with mechanical ability, teamwork, talent, money and a healthy dose of luck. I learned timing and to never care about what the other photographers were doing.
I've had my own commercial studio, assisted several great photographers, I should say mentors till one day I finally found it. I went to Big Bend. I fell in love with the land. On my third visit I found the Gage Hotel. They were looking for a cook, and after being in the park a few days and befriending some locals, it hit me straight in the face. Here it is. Your chance at starting your life's work. I was 33 years old and the clock was loud. All I had to do is convince the manager that I could cook. But I didn't. I went with honesty. "I don't know how to cook, but I know what taste good." That's how I pitched it. "I am willing to shut down my studio, move here, and work for whatever you will pay me." All I saw was opportunity. I would have a little food, a little money, and my future in front of me. The photo books I'd seen of the area were mostly tourist intended. Pretty pictures. I didn't want to do that. My heroes were Arnold Newman. Duane Michals, Emmet Gowin, Eugene Smith, Andre' Kertesz, to name a few. How could I live up to that? For the first six months I just hiked and watched the light. The people and landscape were, and are still, my inspiration. I lived here, so I didn't have to force the work. I could let it come to me, slowly and purely. I could watch the light and wait for it. If it didn't work out I could come back the next day, the day after that, or maybe in May when the sun would be in the right spot. I've learned to see the nuances in the mountain ranges, and how they differ every day. I've witnessed young children in this town become adults, then parents, and some pass on. No one escapes the human condition.
My intention has never been to promote the area. I've never done a magazine assignment to promote tourism. My goal still, is to make a body of photographs that will justify my time on the planet, and hopefully show others that are living in my time, what they only get a glimpse of. For those just being born, and not born yet, what it was like then. It is a self imposed demand of my responsibility. It's my religion, my reason for being. It is the flame that lights my path.
Thank you all for giving me love and support for the work I am doing and have done. Happy Full Moon. Get outside.