Lois Liggins in 1967 on the front porch in Norfolk, Va. and 3 days ago on mine in the outer banks. Lois was a charmer back when I photographed her 9 member family for my book “Tell It Like It Is” and she’s a charmer now. Lois drove down to my home for a holiday Corona and we both remember our time in 1967 like it was yesterday. See my Highlights. Many thanks to those of you who purchased the skateboard photograph, 5 posts back on my IG of her brother David. We had a successful time limit print sale and we were able to send funds to the Bronx Documentary Center immediately .. From now on any print sale I do will have a significant percentage go to a worthy non profit. The original goal of “Tell It Like It Is” was to inform and the book profits went back to the community as Lois says in Highlights. Now I will set up a new fund in the name of the Liggins family to aid emerging photographers who just would not see their talents realized without a financial boost at an early age. So my dream would be the Liggins Grant. I’m still trying to work it all out yet both Lois and I are on the same page. She’s an altruistic person. A giver. So again I think in life it’s the little things we can do that count most. I’m all for those who take on the crazy challenge of public service and make it work. Yet for most of us we only have a vote and our daily actions. Those of us with cameras are morally obligated to use those talents to at least try to build bridges. Either through art or documentary imagery. Both work. I’ve always felt this since my youth, yet the struggle is clearly never over. Constant maintenance required. Common sense and decency required. Lois Liggins, that 7 yr old I met 50 years ago, is one beautiful human being. I’m honored to be a friend.
WORKSHOPS in 2019. Join me in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico - February 17-23 . See link in my IG profile OR see our 3 month online mentoring program for 2019...Please also check out the work of my students for the 2018 mentoring program
475 Kent. I didn’t actually live in New York for 12 years. I was only married to this building. I had little relationship with “the city” except to go to openings etc.. Zero bar hangs. My entire NYC social scene was at home. A building chock full of interesting characters. A true artist loft building. Of the type no more in NY. Go to the roof at sunset and it was like meeting friends in a small town. An eclectic artistic bunch and a view to die for. At one point I think there were 6 Magnum photographers and 2 VII photographers and a host of pro commercial shooters, sculptors, painters, musicians, set designers, models, actors living at “The Kibbutz” ...and yes even a software programmer who lived across the hall and would stop by for a beer and tell me all about computer software languages.. all good stuff...yes I did my one week workshops in my loft , and jam packed slide shows and fiestas following... yet everyday was a workshop.. If I was doing a book layout there’d be a steady stream of people coming and going .. every afternoon I was looking at somebody’s portfolio and an old friend was showing up from out of town to say hello and show new work. So much talent went in and out of my loft. So sure I miss the place and my good neighbors. Yet my whole life of getting moved around a lot as a kid and then traveling the world as a pro photog , I’m just absolutely going to create an environment for creativity/bonding wherever I am. I need it. So I find others who need it too. The way I do workshops is the way I do assignments. Making pictures the result, yet not spilling any wine on the ground..see link in my profile if you are someone who may benefit. 🎈
Please purchase this print! Link in profile. I’m serious. Telling you why. An investment for you and also helping others. This is a special one time only let’s all get along print sale until midnight EST November 26. I made this picture when I was 22 and photographing the Liggins family in Norfolk, Va. This became my first book “Tell It Like It Is” 1967. Freedom is what this picture says. You can’t argue with this picture. Bi-partisan. Yet this moment of freedom didn’t last for David Liggins riding his plywood hand made rollerskatesboard. I lived with the Liggins for a month but in the end I went back to grad school. They stayed. I’m friends with the Liggins family today. 50 years since I made this photograph. Now this one-time limited edition archival pigment print made by my long time collector edition printer Michael Courvoisier. 6x9 image size on 8.5x11 museum quality paper. Signed en verso in pencil. See it NOW on my IG Stories. Prints shipped free by Dec 15. You invest $150. and 30% goes immediately to @bronxdocumentarycenter to support their efforts to aid young minds who might want to use a camera to explore the freedom photography may bring . What goes around...Our original goal with doing “Tell It Like It Is” was to take the book profit back to the community . So too with the current version and now the print. Anyway I just dreamed up this print idea today. Ideas sometimes just POP.We must all fight negativity wherever it is. One way is to do some little thing that might help only one other person. Think small. Anyway let’s all chill please. Breathe in breathe out. I wish all here a warm holiday season. Most of us really do get along most of the time. Freedom.See link in profile and help support a young photographer in the Bronx. Yes I too appreciate the support so I can keep shooting. Thank you . Link in profile 🎈
Join me in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico for an intense photo workshop February 17-23. See link in profile. Portfolio review and FaceTime interview required. 10 student limit. It’s been 2 years since I’ve done a workshop in PR and it’s one of my favorite places to shoot and an ideal workshop location. I see so many photographers out there with a passion and yet needing to unlock their personality in a visual way. My job is to give you those keys. This workshop is for serious photographers who realize they need to lock down a look,a style, a mission. Daily critique and long shooting days are what it takes to develop a photo essay of either journalistic import or conceptual realizations. It’s for those who seek commissions or simply want to publish a meaningful book. My former students are rocking it in every way, which is the ONLY real benchmark for a mentor. This is not a tour workshop. This is a hard work workshop. Not for the feint of heart. I know that pushing those I mentor to their limits just flat out works. A simple camera (or phone), good walking shoes, and an open mind is all you need. I’ll help with all the rest. All work and no fun? Ha! When I work the hardest I’m also having the most fun. See link in profile. 🎈🇵🇷
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. All of the islands in the Caribbean draw me in. Each with its own character. I’ve immersed myself most especially in Trinidad/Tobago, Grenada, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. I think I could easily go from island to island and never want to leave any of them. Yet Puerto Rico brings me back most often. We will announce soon details for our photo workshop in Old San Juan in February 2019. The wind picks up and a storm rolls in as I explore here the ruins of an old fortress and lighthouse. Waves crash against cliffs just yards away. Soon it will be dark. I pop a small $20. strobe to pick up detail. Minimalist. A palm bends. My mind is nowhere else but here. Obsessed with a wall. The photographer’s life.
Civil War games. The bloodiest day in American history left 23,000 dead. One day! Sept 17, 1862. Deep in the hearts of many even now has actor/soldiers almost toe to toe shooting to simulate a kill. My magazine assignment was to cover one of these Civil War re enactments. The Battle of Antietam, Sharpsburg, Md. I played “soldier” when i was 9, and I got a bit too into the one and only paintball game of my life. Yet I’m one of those 70’s hippie peace doves. So watching these simulated war re enactments was a bit disturbing. Everyone was friendly and courteous to each other “backstage” yet out on the battlefield it truly seemed real. What a war. Often brother against brother and friend against friend. Yup I also ask the cliché old school question from Rodney King, “why can’t we just all get along?”. Truth is from my personal observations internationally and nationally, most people really do get along most of the time. Only when fired up by a voice they believe do things start to go dark. I’m for a handshake, direct eye contact, and let’s have a beer. Listen. A hug goodbye. A new friend.