Friday, June 26, 2009


The Pez display is in place in the new space, which is an indicator that I am now "officially moved". The Pez have really become a focal point within the space. It results in many questions/comments which vary depending on the age of inquirer.


How long have you been collecting pez?
about 20 years

How many do you have?
about 350

Are any of them worth a lot of money?
I only buy them when they are introduced, so I have usually paid about $1.29 or so for each. Over the years, people have given me some that are actually worth much more (they usually are the ones without the feet)

I never knew there were so many?
there are well over 1000

What are those?
asked by someone from a deprived childhood


Do you have all of them?

Can I have (fill in character)?
I do have extras I give away, although I chose

Who ate all that candy?
(this is my favorite, which is usually asked by an 8-10 year boy. I get to say, "I did" and I gain their respect, not because I have all the dispensers, but because I ate all the candy)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good Samaritan

I have started to do portraits of the elderly in assisted care and long term care facilities. It is my hope that the photos will benefit the families of the residents who might not otherwise have a photo done.

Yesterday, I went to the Good Samaritan in Inver Grove to continue the project. In addition to the portrait we took, I began to notice the hands and how interesting they look....the way they are held together, the experience in the lines...the stories they must be able to tell.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Unique" Nate

Nate was one of the first to respond to the craiglsit ad "Looking for unique people for personal photo project" when I began the series at the beginning of last year.

To date I have photographed over 90 different people and have learned much. Everyone is indeed unique, but the interesting thing to me is what each individual thinks that might be. It isn't always the same thing that is the most obvious. It often times lies deep within each person and isn't externally noticeable. There seems to be an inverse relationship to how outwardly unique someone looks to how inwardly unique they are. It is as if the individualism factor is 100%. If 80% is shown on the outside, there only needs to be 20% held on the inside and vice versa which can really leave you speculating.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The New Studio Is Ready

We've begun the move into the new studio and the filling of it has begun. There is something so nice about a big empty space. So much possibility and potential. Not enough weight is placed on empty space. Instead, we tend to think "what can I put in can I fill it?" This space will never look better than it does in this photo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lifetime Portrait Update

Sadly, less than one week after I took this this photo at Presbyterian Homes, Lois Terhaar, has died. She is pictured with Jerry, her husband of 60 years. I want to thank Ellen Capecchi and Presbyterian Homes for allowing me to come and make this photo.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Portraits of a Lifetime

There seems to be a disproportionate emphasis placed on portrait photography at the beginning of life compared to the end, although both are very important.

Over the years, I intermittently receive calls from people, looking for an old photo I had previously taken of their now deceased relative. It might have come from a wedding or a commercial shoot that I had done years ago. The sudden "new" importance this portrait has taken on is huge and I am so glad that I can produce the photo. It is one of the reasons, I am unable to depart with negatives dating back to 1982.

Today I spent a few hours at Presbyterian Homes which provides assisted care for the elderly. My goal was to produce portraits of people who need to be remembered, but normally would not have their portraits taken because of logistics or finances. I did quick simple portraits of the residents and will deliver a print along with a cd to them. I did not charge for this. It was a rewarding way to spend a few hours. After being there just 20 minutes I had already photographed two people over 100. One 90 year old man wants to use his photo for his obituary. Another couple had been married for 68 years!

The portraits had a secondary affect of making everyone feel good about the process. I also began to feel a certain weight of responsibility, thinking this may be their last photo taken.