8.19.2021

After a certain type of project is completed I tend to re-group and become nostalgic for something completely different. Then I look through my archives for inspiration...


 This is a portrait of my favorite human. 
It was taken about 35 years ago with a Canon
135mm lens that featured variable soft focus.

I loved the recent  wine project I just completed. It was fun to be outside, to be constantly moving and constantly learning new stuff. There was a thrill to rotating through four different cameras over the course of the job and seeing that nearly every camera choice did almost nothing to change my basic style of photographing. It was like being on an extended vacation. And getting paid for it. 

But once that project was wrapped I found that I was ready to go in the opposite direction and do a different type of photography. When I get in a mood like that I tend to spend a bit of time casually going through an archive folder of my favorite images. This image (above) is one I keep coming back to mostly because I am still enthralled by the subject. B. and I were working at an ad agency when I made this casual snap at my old apartment on Elm St. many, many years ago. I was working as a creative director at the time and B. was the agency's art director. But I was still addicted to making photographs. And B. tolerated my endless photography experiments. 

It's funny how stuff works. I was thinking of slowing down the business and giving quasi-retirement a lot of thought this Summer until the wine project hit. It was a wake up call that made me think maybe what I had been reacting to was all the drama and trauma of the Covid pandemic and that I might not be ready at all to give up on my profession. That I hadn't hit the end of the line.

Anyway, I was looking through the archive yesterday and I got interrupted by a phone call. An actual phone call. It was from a national accounting firm that I'd photographed for many times over the previous five years. I generally got called in then to do headshots of their associates and officers for web and public relations uses. 

I thought the phone call might be one of those periodic requests for an additional file copy of some executive whose photo file might have been misplaced. But it wasn't. 

The person calling first asked if I was still in the business of making portraits. I said that I was. She asked if I could make portraits in my studio instead of coming to their offices. I guess the reason being that the whole Austin staff is currently working from home. I said that was actually the way I preferred to work. She asked for a bit more detail and I provided it. I asked that she send me an e-mail with her parameters for the job spelled out. She did.

They would like for each staffer to have an individual appointment to have their headshot done and then have an individual gallery for selecting the "winning" photo. Sounded good to me so I kept reading. I expected to see that they might have 8 or 10 people to photograph, which would match up with what they had done in the past. But the last line of the request indicated that they have 50 people that need portraits and also that they'd like to complete the entire project by the end of September. 

I guess that means that I'm still in the imaging business. 

That call was followed by an e-mail from an advertising agency I used to work with fairly routinely. They wanted me to bid on an ad campaign for a medical product company. I guess when it rains it pours. Makes me think that the work drought of the last year was more or less completely caused by the jarring shift of priorities pursuant to the pandemic. People are now exploring and acting on their work around strategies. It seems okay to me. Now stocking in a new supply of N-95 masks. No sense taking chances. 

Now, where's that third dose of Moderna? 


Here's a nice coda to my adventures in the Texas Hill Country wine "district."

 



I have not paid enough attention over the years to the wine industry in Texas but my forays out to the vineyards and wineries since late July have certainly opened my eyes. There's some really great stuff going on just west of my town. And it appears that central Texas, Hill Country wines and vineyards are also capturing the attention of industry experts as well. I'm happy to be part of a team working to promote this delicious industry in our state. 

Just sayin'....