I have a love hate relationship with crowds of people. I love to hate them. I get anxious around large groups and begin to feel penned in as my personal space begins to shrink. I look for an escape route and a place of refuge.

I can speak with one or two people who I don’t know. Three tops. That’s when the camera comes in. It’s the perfect blind. Put a camera to your face and people stop talking to you. Sometimes, they’ll even run the other way. I’m fine with that. This feeling of discomfort is something that I think about at times when I’m shooting.

I know how to put people at ease around a camera when I want them to be relaxed. Every tutorial on portrait photography seems to want you to put your subject at ease. However, as a photographer, there are also moments when I want them to feel the same discomfort that I feel in a crowd. That’s the emotion that I sometimes want on their faces. Not all portraits are meant to be pretty. Some portraits are meant to stand out from the crowd.

Fancy Bahler and the Case of the Permanent Meh

Fancy Bahler wasn’t much of a looker. It’s not that she was homely or anything like that. It’s more that she never really liked anything that she looked at. As a result, Fancy generally wore a look of disdain every time she found herself gazing at something. Some people, I suppose, are just hard to impress.

Her husband, Bill, likes to tell his friends that there is only one occasion that Fancy failed to wear her patented unimpressed countenance and that was on their wedding night. I’ll have you know that Bill has been known to exaggerate from time to time. So, be your own judge. Look at Fancy’s face. Is that the look of a woman that’s ever seen anything that’s ever made her cry out in wonder and amazement? I rest my case.

All the Flowers Are for Me

Cincinnati Art Museum - 072817-08485

Saturday, My buddy friend and I spent the day in Cincinnati. First stop was the Museum Center where we saw a show of original Star Wars costumes. Second stop was lunch and last, but for me the best, was a stop at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Highlight of that stop was an art installation by artist Anila Quayyum Agha named All the Flowers Are for Me.

The immersive artwork was spectacular to see in person. For me, she took a simple concept, a light bulb placed in a suspended steel cube and and turned it into an amazing piece of art.

To give you a better understanding of the cube’s size, I’ve included a photo of Jim getting ready to take a photo of his own.

Cincinnati Art Museum - 072817-08483