Kathy K. In the old studio.

Not very hard to guess the camera.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Clients keep calling me to do portraits but mostly they want me to shoot against white so they can drop out the background and paste the image of the person into some other background. I get it. I lived in advertising world for years and my spouse still heads into an agency everyday to ply her art direction and design skills. But really....what happened to the idea of a holistic portrait?

Well, I figured I could either sit around a bitch about it or I could do what we have always done; get off my ass and self assign. I sent around some messages to a couple actors I've seen lately and nailed down three portrait shoots this week that should be interesting. Each of the people I've chosen is quite different from the other two. All are wonderfully talented actors. One is from Boston, another from NYC and the third is a person who tours nationally but happens to be in town to rehearse for an upcoming holiday production.

There's no client, just me and my collaborators. We'll attempt to do these portraits exactly the way they should be. I've got my gear picked out and my batteries charged up. One shoot tomorrow, two on Friday. Hope to have images post processed and ready to show next week.

A re-learned lesson: If you have pretensions of being an artist you sure as hell can't wait for people to throw inspiration into your lap...

The image above is of a musician from Austin, circa 1994. She was dating a friend and we arranged a shoot in the studio. The background reminded me of two things: Our studio downtown was huge! We could set up three or four portrait areas at a time, or back up nearly 50 feet from the background to drop everything out of focus. Second, the place was always a mess ---- even when we cleaned it up. There was always a pile in one corner or another that we called "transitional piles." Stuff that we weren't finished with yet...

Some stuff never gets done.

By the way, just listened to Bob Dylan's Album, Blood on the Tracks. The track,  A Simple Twist of Fate, should have been enough to qualify him for that Nobel Prize.

Mr. Tuck will be taking Thurs. off from blogging and rational thoughts ---- he will be writing in the third person only in order to celebrate yet another birthday. My big plan? Ask the swim coach if we can swim 61 X 100 yards on the 1:30 to celebrate. Then nap. Better take my vitamins.


  1. Wonderful portrait, Kirk.
    At the introduction of 'Simple twist of fate' on the '"At Budokan" album, Mr. Dylan says "here's a simple love story..."

    Pretty much like your portraits I feel.

    Simple love stories, each and every one.

    Ain't that the way it ought to be.


  2. 1: Pre-birthday greetings. Salute to you!

    2: Enjoy the swim and the nap. Say doesn't the CFO of the Visual Science Labs team take out the CEO of the Visual Science Lab for a nice birthday dinner, glass of wine (or two) and some warm smiles? Just sayin'...

    3: Damn...I could have sworn I had just seen that "Like" button somewhere...
    Oh!... Wait a minute...



  3. Happy birthday, Kirk!

    Old joke from Hollywood days:

    Hollywood reporter, in a telegraph to his agent: HOW OLD CARY GRANT?

    Cary Grant happened to be in the agents office, saw the telegraph and responded:


  4. Hi Kirk,

    I'm enjoying your portraits! Love the direct, intimate quality, with simple lighting techniques.
    Congrats on your Birthday tomorrow! I'm envious of your schedule for the day, doing everything you love.
    That's as it should be. Also looking forward to your new work in the coming days

    Best Regards,

  5. Happy birthday! I urge you to indulge in just the right amount of folly.

  6. Happy birthday Kirk. And yes, the two notches on the left of the frame remove all doubt as to what the camera is.

  7. Happy Birthday Kirk. Enjoy your swimming and portraits.

  8. Keep the portraits coming, it's why I'm here. GAS be damned.

  9. Happy birthday Kirk,
    Thanks for the blog.
    Your writing about the process, chairs, conversation, assigning yourself work etc. is why I keep coming back.
    God bless, James.

  10. Happy Birthday Kirk. Have a groovy day!


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