An interesting morning playing photojournalist. On most days life in Frederick is bucolic, a small historic town buzzing with vibrancy and character. When it was announced at short notice that a Presidential Candidate would be visiting and speaking at the Weinberg had many scratching their heads, it is at moments like this there is the recollection that despite appearances Frederick is Maryland's 3rd largest city (depending which Silver Spring suburbs you count).
With my studio only being a block away the opportunity to visit the campaign trail was too much to resist, all a little bit of a circus, albeit not quite the full three ring affair that might have accompanied one or two of the other candidates.
I've already seen much written about the event in the press and on social media, and don't feel any motivation to throw my thoughts into the ring. I saw many civil, tolerant conversations between people willing to listen to one another, but sadly more from ingrained opposing viewpoints. This explains my choice of thumbnail image for this gallery, combined with me listening to a live Stevie Ray Vaughan recording this morning, during "Life without you" he proclaims "We should really love one another, love is everything, without it we have nothing"
Being a professional photographer can often become isolating. You are working hard, delivering images your clients are happy with but often alone, even with your own team and the work it creates almost a vacuum of outside influences, those conversations with like minded people who see things slightly differently.
There is a good case for sucking up the ego and going to assist another photographer on their shoot, whether it is second shooting a wedding or just putting out there that you are struggling and need some help.
Last week I was offered exactly that opportunity at exactly the right time. To head up to Baltimore to work with ridiculously talented Sam Levitan, be part pack sherpa, part light stand, stand in model and assist in shooting a corporate CEO for an alumni magazine. It's an interesting experience to watch someone work whilst keeping mouth firmly zipped, watching how someone else sees their vision for the shot and how they interact very differently with a subject. Yes there is even a tinge of jealousy over it not being my gig, and loving the resulting images, so very different than I would have taken, but admiring them for exactly that reason at the same time.
Part of the afternoon was then spent talking at the studio with the stupidly talented global nomad - Erick Gibson. I met Erick a few years ago on a video shoot and remember at the time seeing his work and thinking "there is just no way I will ever be this good", honestly if I had other options I would probably have quit on the spot. I avidly attended exhibitions at his old studio and standing in front of pictures staring at the details, soaking up how far the gap was between our work. To sit and chat as almost equals, of life, clients, travel and expereince of doing what we do, while watching him standing staring at pictures hanging on the wall was incredibly cool. He's still stupidly good, an eye and vision for delivering an image that I'm not quite there with, but the gap is smaller than it once was. It was good to see him, to spend that time listening to someone that you once, and still do look up to, in your own studio.
Those days are good for the soul, to not be so isolated and sharing with others, talking freely.
This is Tony Amos, former restaurant owner who experienced medical issues and found himself homeless.
We met with Tony last week, that he has found his voice through photography, a way to express his feelings on life today. Through the support and encouragement of On Our Own and the Frederick Rescue Mission he will be exhibiting at Artomatic on May 7th - June 10th on the top floor to show his work.
It was great to spend some time with Tony, to share his vision and the strength he finds through creating art, and we are tickled pink to have an opportunity of service to help him put together the exhibit.
In the meantime if you want to follow along with his story, he often posts here
It was our first visit to The Purple Fiddle, it will not be our last !!
A needed few days of getting away from work, and the stresses of life in Blackwater Falls, one of our favorite places on earth, a place where we both feel completely at home spiritually. On the recommendation of many friends we paid a visit to the Purple Fiddle this trip, Bobbi being particularly enamored by anywhere that sells good wine in mason jars !.
It's rather a special place, attracting an incredible variety of bands across genres that could all be loosely be described as Americana. Saturday night being great, opened by a new band out of Richmond, VA, The Trongone Band, a really great organic sounding band, plying a trade somewhere between the Allmans with some gospel, funk and soul thrown in, never quite veering into self indulgent jam band territory but a warm set with an incredibly moving version of Amazing Grace, definitely a fan.
I'm not sure the David Mayfield Parade can really be described, if you like your folk singers standing on a stage and singing earnest ballads of strife, then you are barking up the wrong tree here. If on the other hand an entertainer veering between a psychotic break and social awkwardness, with amazing playing, the occasional rock pose and Pete Townsend leaps and never quite sure what he is going to do next, then this is your man !.
The songs veer from bluegrasss to folk to comedy, soulful to funny to heartfelt openness, the many shows of non stop touring hewing a show that will not only feed your ears, but slap you round the face with a wet kipper.
Good stuff !!.
I've photographed many of the homeless in Frederick over the last few years, here is someone from the other side of the fence.
Tommy is the Director of Development at The Frederick Rescue Mission, one of the non profits in town serving the homeless through education, food banks, shelters and lunches, not only for those without a roof but with the attitude that if someone is hungry enough to walk through the door, they should be given grace to eat.
I have been blessed to attend an event where Tommy told his story of how he arrived at the Mission as a resident having been a finance high flyer in Baltimore, it is a powerful story of experience, strength and hope. From having everything to having nothing, recovery and dedicating his life and spirituality to helping others transition through traumatic life changes.
It was great to spend a little time with Tommy in the studio, his comment being "There's some hard living in those pictures"...maybe, but there is something else in the eyes - a peace, spirituality and grace for life very well lived in service since those years.