Revisiting a favorite portrait shot for Restaurant Business Magazine.

Vic's Dinner. At the "Y" in Oakhill, Texas.

Vic's is long gone. There's a bank building or something where the diner used to be. I was asked to photograph the owner by Restaurant Business Magazine to illustrate an article they were doing on how new smoking laws were effecting restaurants. Vic's was a last hold out for smokers. You could tell the minute you walked in the front door. It's odd to remember a time in the Austin area when there were ashtrays on every table and a gray-white cloud of smoke lingering almost invisibly around the upper corners of the room...

Shot note: Mamiya 6 camera with 75mm lens and color transparency film.


Carlo Santin said...

Your story about this photo reminds me of my youth. Not too long ago smoking was very pervasive in our culture. It seems like everyone smoked and it was allowed everywhere. I had a job as a youngster at this factory, cleaning up, sweeping, doing various errands. Early on Saturday mornings it was my job to fetch coffee and donuts, bagels, what have you, from the local donut shop. I hated going into that place because it would be packed with early morning smokers getting their caffeine fix. I would walk in the front door to a complete haze of cigarette smoke. When I left I absolutely reeked of it, especially my hair. The donuts I brought back to work smelled like cigarettes. I could never bring myself to eat one, they smelled so bad. And this was everywhere, every restaurant. My parents smoked in the car with me in the back seat. Amazing how we have moved away from that, and thank God.

The people in this donut shop always looked like the man in your portrait. Amazing how a photo can trigger such memories.

David Liang said...

I really like this image Kirk! Can you post more environmental portraits, especially ones done on film? I started with digital and only recently started shooting film, so it's really fantastic to see great film work as point of reference.