I've been making a point this year to venture out of my comfort zone of just photographing events and occasions. I started realizing it last year, and then it was driven home in the fall when I attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in upstate New York: I don't have to be at an "event" or "happening" to make interesting images of people, and who we are in public is only half the story. But the rest requires patience, focus, and trust. Because what draws us all in further are the everyday lives of others who are - or may seem at first - unlike us. That's when we start to realize our similarities - from the stuff that's not always out in the open. The things we find mundane and normal about ourselves and our daily lives, they can be incredibly worthwhile and influential to others. I think it's important that that be captured in a way that's more LIFE magazine photo essay than reality television. Out and about these past three years, I've met and connected with so many folks who are incredibly unique and photogenic. I'm curious to know them beyond that public persona, and to see what their personal spaces are like. To share the experiences I get to be let in on.
I'm finally learning to have patience - with myself and with others - but, at the same time, for it to be a proactive patience: to start zeroing in and supplementing my "here, there and everywhere" work with longer form and more focused threads and images; ones which require more context.
Some people have asked about my "At Home at Amy's" images. They're in the Recent category of this website (which I'll probably be taking down soon because that's what this blog is for!). So I met Amy Colbert at a memorial service in Tacoma in the summer of 2012, and then again at her home for Thanksgiving that fall, when I didn't have anything going on that day except for editing, and her roommate Lonness invited me to join their family-style dinner with friends and roommates. It was great, and I was amazed by their situation - so many trans* women living under one roof. For the next year, Lonness would reach out and urge me to swing by anytime. I wish I'd taken her up on it, but the preoccupation and learning process that comes along with owning a new business got the best of me. Now that I'm in a much better place, I'm glad to have reconnected with the girls every so often since April.
Anyway, for now, I'll let Amy tell their story in her own words, as featured in the UK's Frock Magazine, "aimed at the transgender and drag communities". I'm not very familiar with Frock, but it has nearly 18K followers on Facebook, which is a respectable reach. It also features the cover work of Magnus Hastings, a heavy hitter in the world of drag photography. My only reservation is that the online publication reversed the intro image of Lonness to fit the layout, which is a no-no. Otherwise, it's a nice feature and I sympathize with what Amy has to say, and I hope my images can eventually add more to the narrative.
In other news, today I made a portrait of Seattle City Council member Sally Clark for the SGN, and am excited to be meeting up with seven more council members tomorrow morning. On Wednesday I'm photographing Hillary Clinton at her book signing at University Book Store. Then on to more drag queens and Pride festivities!