Instant Karma

It’s funny how things work out. Because my postcard mailing list got so huge (expensive), I switched to free monthly email postcards and began charging a small fee for those who liked to get the physical ones.

It made be a bit sad to do it, but it made good business sense.

However, three months into the email versions, I’m finding a nice little unexpected pleasure in them.

Instant feedback.

It used to be that I’d run into someone on the postcard list and they’d say, “Oh man, I loved the one from May,” or something like that. Now, people can tell me instantly with the click of the reply key. It’s been a really nice surprise.

For example, my friend Jill from California just wrote and told me about something she noticed in the Roberto Cavalli image.

“I also like that the heel section of the shoe is nearly flat on its side, because it clues you into the fact that the woman wearing the show is gazing at it from above and wants to see how the heel looks from her vantage point so she is twisting her foot in order to see it. It’s indicative of her appreciation of them, like she’s not really “posing” the shoe for the viewer, but rather, has been caught in the act of her own enjoyment. Nice subliminal bit, Billy.”

She’s incredibly observant. Always has been. And she’s right about everything except one thing. The model is not looking at the shoes from above, she’s looking at them from below!

Yes, she’s actually on her back on a velvet covered chair and her feet are up on the wall. I was standing over her with the camera and even though we made some images that included more of her instead of just the Cavallis, we both decided that less was more in this case.

I think we were right. And as Jill so perfectly observed, sometimes you can tell a lot about what’s happening outside of the framing of an image if you look close enough.

Well played, Jill.

And nothing like moving to change your perspective on things. The film editing company I also do work at, after 25 years at the same location has moved to a new space. Well actually I should say is moving. It’s such a big company that it will probably take two weeks to completely move everyone from two and a half floors of one Michigan Avenue high rise, down the street two blocks to another Michigan Avenue high rise.

But the funny thing is that I already feel like I’ve lived there for a while.

You see, as the interior started to get decorated over the past month or so, but before the furniture began to move in it was really a very interesting space photographically. I knew I would have a small window to get in there and shoot between when it looked cool and empty and when there would be too many people there to get away with anything photographically that I wanted to try.

So twice last week, me and a different, but equally fun model, went up to the 25th floor and pretty much shot all night. We started at 6pm and shot until 5am both nights. It was great fun and it was an incredible space to shoot in. And even though the company will be all moved in in short order, I think we may have to sneak back in late some night and finish shooting a few ideas we just didn’t have time to shoot.

We shot thousands of pictures in those two nights and it’s (I know I always say this) going to be a while before we get through and edit them all, but our first looks have yielded quite a few favorites so far.

Also it’s time to begin planning for another show. I have lots of new work these days to choose from and more to come in the next couple of months, so it’s been in my mind to pick a theme or something that will work with what I’ve been shooting.

And I think I’m going to have at least one of the shows in a vacant space again, rather than a gallery or my studio. I did that with another artist friend of mine a few years ago in a vacant raw space behind the Marché restaurant. It was one of my favorite exhibitions. Something about a raw space begin turned into something amazing for one night. I loved it.

So I think I’m going to do it again.

It’s good to work in new spaces… literally and figuratively.

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