Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chris Mann pt II

New photos of Sony recording artist Chris Mann from his rehearsal and subsequent performance at the Cutting Room in NYC on November 10th.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 Lead Image

On Friday I had the lead image on It was replaced after a few hours by a story on how people are eating more spam in the down economy, but it was there!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hope in the Streets of New York

NEWS: go to for a recently published photo essay from this blog post

My Bloomberg assignment was to shoot a Young Republicans party at 7pm, a Young Democrats party at 8:30 pm and file my pictures by 11. The Young Republicans party was predictably dour and square and the Young Democrats event was not surprisingly raucous and hip. I dashed to a Starbucks at 10:15 and left only as they were closing up shop.

I walked onto the streets of Times Square just as the clock struck midnight. Times Square itself was packed beyond my ability to even enter. So I turned east on 46th St, hoping to walk across to a less crowded avenue and catch a cab back to Gramercy. It had been a long day.

As I walked down the street, I saw small crowds gathering around cars that had pulled over to the side. The car owners had their windows and sun roofs open and were blasting Obama's acceptance speech. Barack's voice, projected from so many car stereos, echoed off the office buildings. I stopped alongside a silver BMW owned by a black couple who were smiling as they listened.

A homeless black man approached the front of the car, lay an American flag down on the street, knelt and began kissing it, tears streaming down his face. The man was visibly drunk, and just as the crowd was preparing to shoo him out of the street, a young Latino man put his arm around him and declared, "Respect this man! He has waited a long time for this!" The couple in the BMW waited patiently.

Most photographers would criticize me for this, but I didn't shoot any photos of that scene. For better or worse, I just decided to be fully present for myself and soak in the moment.

I continued east before hailing a cab on Sixth Avenue. I implored the cabbie to turn up the radio as soon as I got in. Obama's speech was ending. The cabbie and I traded "Amen!" and "That's Right!" from the back seat to the front as President Elect Barack addressed the nation.

When the speech ended, I asked the cabbie his name. "Mamadou". Mamadou was born in Guinea. He immediately informed that I would not be paying the fare. "I even just took a man to New Jersey and didn't let him pay either. This is the greatest country on earth that you could elect a black man president! You know, a president never make me cry before in my life. It is my honor to drive you Americans tonight."

The windows down, Mamadou and I rode on in quiet with satisfied grins as the radio reported a major celebration underway in Harlem.

Sony recording artist Chris Mann in studio


So as I'm riding the bus to come shoot you in the studio the other day, I'm reading this photography article about Fidel Castro and his thoughts on photography.

He said, "We are very sorry that we didn't have a photographer with us during the revolutionary war or during the first years of struggle, while we were underground... There are a few pictures of those days, but there should have been more. We would now be able to write the history of our revolution with those pictures alone. On those occasions, as on so many others, it is only after time passes that people realize that they have been through historical moments that will never be repeated, and that the memory fades. We must preserve these moments through photography."

And while we're no socialist revolutionaries, you get the point. Its the early days that are interesting! Let's keep doing this whenever we get the chance. Next shoot: your NYC show?