Taking a photograph is my attempt to capture something that captures me. I accept that not every impression I absorb with my eyes can be captured with a mechanical lens. At some sights, I choose not to take a picture but rather take time to reflect on the force of what I see. My brief practical study of the medium was part of layout design when editing my high school’s literary arts magazine and a unit on Adobe Photoshop during a graduate course in electronic media. Over the past several years, however, I have spent many hours in the company of professional and semi-professional photographers whose visions I have admired.
When I lived on Long Island, I crossed paths with Jesse, who introduced me to B&H in New York City, cast some mutual friends in short video projects, and took crisp photos of the beach in all seasons. As I embarked on publicizing myself as a musician, I asked Jesse to do some portraits of me at the piano with my composition notebook.
With the goal of regularly maintaining my website came the desire for updated portraits. I knew the moving, still, and sound work of Jon Little through the youth ministry at Three Village Church. Plus, my friends broke their family tradition of a stressful self-made photo shoot for their Christmas card by hiring Jon, and they marveled at their children’s cheer throughout the process with him. During my session with Jon on the bank of East River, I laughed heartily as he joked about Star Wars.
In Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, I shared tables with two photographers whose long-term projects I consider as monumental as my dissertation. Kerwin Williams has developed an international community of visual artists through his perspective on the new/old and natural/artificial of metropolitan landscapes and architecture. The exhibition of their work he curated at Spectrum triggered vivid discussions about space in New York City and what it means to be a photographer. I watched Tom Wilkinson harness the talents and beauty of apartment tenants, restaurant owners, and fellow performing and visual artists when I lived in walking distance of several locations he chose for his sequential staged narrative photography project. I wish I had been free to experience his production firsthand.
Tonight, I witnessed the installation of the art for April at Square One Coffee. As I spoke with the current curator, I found myself mentioning these photographers as I thrived again at the intersection of artists and artistic media.