I am always amused by what I hear and see on New Year’s Eve. In addition to all the lists of “best of …” and “worst of …” and in the midst of making resolutions which I’m beginning to think one is required to not keep, somewhere in all that mix, we get sentimental. I find this interesting because, every year, without fail, I hear more people saying something along the lines of “this was a horrible year” much more often than I hear anything positive. We look back, but so many times all we see is the negative.
Granted, the past three or four years have not been easy for the majority of people. With economies around the world lingering in the dumpster, more people have found themselves closely associated with poverty now than at any time since the Great Depression. Life has been, and continues to be, quite difficult for a very, very large number of people. So, to look back and see all that has gone wrong this past year is quite natural.
Yet, for all the bad, there has also been good. Perhaps not the earth-shattering, life-altering actions of which we dream, but smaller, single acts of kindness, generosity, and just plain friendliness that brighten a specific moment, giving us some respite from the heaviness of attempting to survive. It is very easy for someone to do something bad that hurts millions of people. Good, however, pretty much requires a more hands-on, individual approach. Therefore, the acts, at the time, seem smaller, but they have far greater capability to change the world.
I want to take this moment to say Thank You to everyone who has been or contributed to a bright spot in the past year. To all the models, especially those who endured 5:00 AM call times and drove for dozens of miles to shoot on location, your spirit, willingness, and ability to somehow find a smile before the sun is even up is a large part of what keeps me going from week to week. To those who have come in for interviews but not yet shot, please keep yourself on my radar. There are many great opportunities coming up!
To all the hair stylists and make-up artists, who not once this year have responded with, “are you fucking crazy,” thank you for enduring conditions frequently less than ideal for the exercise of your craft, for somehow finding the way to make concepts become reality, for putting up with the occasional model with a bad attitude, as well as those who “forget” their foundation or whose hair is impossible, and for not killing me when, after two hours of work, my response is, “well, what if we went a slightly different direction …”
Designers and stylists deserve a huge thank you for not only sharing their incredible work but for exhibiting great patience when we have to make last-minute model changes, models are late for fittings, or cause seams to bulge and zippers to break. Thank you for the hours you spend hemming and fixing and for lugging around a lot of extra things, “just in case its needed.”
Colleagues deserve thanks not only for their friendship and camaraderie, but for continuing to provide inspiration, motivation, and occasionally even that warm feeling that lets me know the future of photography is not yet dead. As passionate as I am about my own work, I am equally concerned that what we do does not become lost in a sea of changing technologies. Thank you for your commitment to assuring our longevity through excellence.
Special thanks to my closest friends, the ones who consistently check on my well being, who pick me up in the middle of the night when my ride disappears, who let me vent, who buy me scotch, who endure my stories, who sometimes act as impromptu models because I just had an idea I have to try out right now, who encourage my more insane and unrealistic endeavors, who help me up when I’m stuck on the floor and can’t stand, and who know I’m crazy but still hang out. You are the ones who keep me alive, who keep me from snatching my hair out, and who know how to make me smile.
Of course, there are still others. My three sons: Zach, Ben, and Gabe, my baby brother, my favorite niece, former classmates, and a host of on-line friends and acquaintances I’ve yet to meet. My thanks to all of you for the unique roles you play in making days brighter.
Now, I leave you, and this year, with the images from 2011′s last shoot. Dave Fulton, owner of the Spark Art Studio, graciously invited us to give his facility a try. So, since we were working with new space, we chose a new model, and new stylist, Jantina, as well. I hope you enjoy the results and that there is a smile on your lips as this year passes into the next.