Sometimes I think I am a very lucky guy. I chose a career, vocation, that probably would not make me rich but would allow me to meet people and go places I would otherwise have not if I had chosen differently. I have been invited into inner corporate sanctums to do portraits of bank presidents. Judges chambers to do portraits. Even farms and industrial sites.
Every one of these opportunities were terrific unique experiences.
Another way I am lucky is in who I get to meet and photograph.
Being even a semi-competent photographer allows one to ask or be asked to take portraits of a wide variety of people. It also provides a pretext for asking interesting people to sit for a portrait.
I met Rachael Olson when I was asked by City Pages to do a picture of her band – The Blue Up?, with whom she often performed shirtless. She was pretty fearless.
After that shoot we ran into each other, kept in touch and developed a friendship. At some point I asked her to sit for a portrait. She was game.
I don’t remember too much about the session except it was just her and me. She did her own make up, which was preferable because she knew her look better than anyone I would hire. I didn’t know this at the time, but in talking to her recently, this was one of her first professional photo shoots. True to her character she was fearless and generous, giving me signature Rachael Olson experience.
Rachael is now known as Ana Voog, an internet celeb and artist. From wkipedia: On 22 August 1997, Voog began a webcam project named anacam. Besides a view into Ana Voog’s personal life, anacam also incorporated performance art and visual experimentation. Daily activities such as cooking dinner, vacuuming, and hosting visitors fill out the non-interactive periods on anacam. Other activities on the webcam range from chatting with cam-watchers, playing music, and ornate performance pieces involving household items.
About the Images
There isn’t much to say about these photos except that they were shot on film and I used a black background and a medium softbox on the light coming from camera left. This simple set up allows me to not have to think about light technicalities and concentrate on my subject.