Photographed more than 100 families and made 300 photos at UW on a hot sunny day in August.
And a test shot that turned out nice...
Every year at Hempfest is a new adventure. Unable to find my vision this year, this is what I resorted to. Also, that Bernie cutout for the win.
My absolute dream job would be to travel cross country with a presidential candidate. All the people, the energy, and new places, from one to the next - I'd be in heaven. I knew this by the end of 2011, my first year with a camera, and even made sure I was the first to let Barb Kinney, who lives in my neighborhood and was one of Bill Clinton's White House photographers for six years and Hillary's campaign photographer in 2008, know I'd be thrilled to assist her when Hillary ran again in a couple years. This past Saturday, I would at least get to pretend for a day. Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign was headed for Seattle, and I determined I'd follow him from a Social Security anniversary celebration downtown to a $200 fundraiser and then to a rally in front of thousands at UW's Alaska Airlines Arena. It was a long day - one that left me and many others with a lot to process.
BLACK LIVES MATTER ACTIVISTS GREET BERNIE SANDERS IN SEATTLE
A lot's been written in national news about what happened at Sanders' first stop. (The piece that sums it up best for me is Pramila Jayapal's editorial in The Stranger: Why Saturday's Bernie Sanders Rally Left Me Feeling Heartbroken. It's a truly wonderful editorial. Also, Jayapal is pictured with Sanders in the fourth image below.) But anyway, as soon as the senator from Vermont took the stage, activists fighting for black lives interrupted him and, after a back and forth with the event organizer, were reluctantly given the mic. The two women antagonized the booing crowd before requesting a four-and-a-half-minute-long moment of silence in honor of Michael Brown. Sanders went and stood in the corner of the stage. All the while, I wondered what he could've done that would've made me proud of the man. Pockets of people (mostly white, but not all) wearing Bernie shirts were yelling disgusting, shameful things throughout. I wanted it to stop. Why didn't Bernie have the answer? I don't remember if it was before or afterwards (I don't want to watch the video again), but at some point Marissa Janae Johnson, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Seattle, quipped from the podium: "I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is, filled with its progressives, but you already did it for me - Thank you." After witnessing so many angry, rage-filled Bernie supporters, I couldn't argue with her, and it made me cringe. What she was saying was necessary. Suddenly I was making photos I hadn't planned on making - images unsympathetic of a crowd I'd assumed myself to be pretty aligned with. It was ugly. We'd waited hours in the sun just to see two bullies get their way. We also got to see two brave women put pressure on a candidacy which already perceives itself to be allied with Black Lives Matter, yet for months has ignored black organizers' critiques of the campaign's colorblindness. That's why this happened Saturday. It's already made and is making a difference for the better. Someone put it pretty well on facebook earlier today: "Political organizing 101: If your resources and capacity are precious and limited, you challenge those who can best give you what you want. Hi, Bernie." What a moment to get to document. It's almost a new day and time for a nap, so stay tuned for the rest of Saturday's images later in the afternoon!
Inadvertenty one of the hardest gigs I've ever worked. Early Sunday morning, it coincided with my worst hangover in a long, long time, after going out late after Capitol Hill Block Party with The Stranger's Kelly O as she searched for her weekly "Drunk of the Week" and we became contenders. Slugged it out, had fun, and delivered a batch of 130 images.
After years of admiring my friend Aleksa Manila's Instagram posts of Drag Queen Story Time at Cal Anderson and even more years since I used to making my living as a preschool teacher, I finally got to mark it off my bucket list! Caught her and Sparkle Leigh and they were both great with the kids and got some good jokes in for the adults, too.
Trans* Pride, put on by Gender Justice League, is one of my absolute favorite events to cover every year (which is why I included more selects in this post than my usual). Special guest Bamby Salcedo (pictured below) was absolutely amazing, and I had fun catching up with a lot of friends I hadn't seen for quite awhile now. Unfortunately, because the Supreme Court's historic marriage ruling landed on the same day and there was that rally beforehand downtown, I was bummed to miss the march which kicks off this event. Oh well- so it goes...
Leaving for Sasquatch in the morning! Last year when Dru Dinero and I went to photograph and review the festival on behalf of Seattle Gay News, I was broke, hadn't booked that many gigs for the upcoming summer, and was feeling pretty sorry for myself. The weekend really helped to turn the year -- and my attitude -- around. Was a much needed break from the office and chance to unwind with a good friend. I've been in a much better place since, and am really looking forward to doing it again.
I've gotten behind on posting everything that's been going on lately, but will gradually be catching up this blog (as well as the "4 years ago today" blog). So many images I can't wait to share, but have to, because: three shoots later today (and a meeting with my CPA, too!), one Friday and another Saturday, and then two more next week to round out the month. This season's been so much busier than I'd counted on, and much much much steadier than one year ago. I'm in a good place; just really busy, which - I shouldn't have to remind myself but I do when I'm needing a break - is a good thing.
Went around town with Titus and his mom on two separate mornings to get shots for a photo book. It's mocked up and includes a sequence of 76 photos, but isn't printed yet. Once it is, I'll post the spreads first thing! We've had a lot of fun with this.