On the Roof

I’m up on my roof and I’ve just completed writing a profusion of recommendation letters for various friends of mine. It’s always a pleasure to write those for people I’ve worked with over the years and hopefully I’ll help them move forward in their careers.

It’s a beautiful night again up here. I never get tired of the beautiful view of the city from the roof. It’s getting to be almost 2am, but I’m not quite in the mood to turn in for the night just yet.

A few random thoughts on my mind tonight…

I’ve been doing a serious amount of cleaning out and organizing everything in the studio. Trying to be pretty merciless as far as, “Have I used this in the last year? No? Well then out it goes.” But tonight I found a beautiful little Leica 35mm camera that I think I’m going to start carrying with me. It’s small enough that it won’t add too much weight to my backpack, but since it’s a Leica, it takes really beautiful images.

I had a wonderful party at my studio about a week and a half ago. I love filling up my place with people, having a good time, enjoying some amazing wine, courtesy of my wine expert friend Robert, and talking about my photography. I sold about ten pieces that night and a few people back asked to come back for a private viewing when we can really go through the photographs in a more focused manner when I’m not hosting and entertaining.

A lot of people have been asking me what I’m shooting these days and sadly I have to say I’ve been in a bit of a model drought again lately. I have some great ideas ready to go, but finding the right subjects for them has been proving a little more elusive than I’d like. It’s a bit frustrating at the moment, but I’ve been talking to a model friend of mine who I haven’t shot in a while and I think we may collaborate again on a few of them. It’s always nice to shoot someone who I’m that familiar with. Kinda like riding a bike. We just pick up again and it’s usually pretty spectacular.

I’m thinking about creating a new show in the near future. It’s always a challenge to find a way to fund the expense of printing and displaying a new collection, but I have been working on a new way to do that and I’m pretty excited about it. The prints will be fairly large. I always like the impact of larger prints and it’s a bit of a joy to see them all displayed in a gallery setting that way.

Two weeks ago, I got to meet and talk with probably the most famous fashion and art photographer living in Chicago these days, Victor Skrebneski. He’s got a new book coming out this winter and is having a major exhibition in a gallery right down the street from me this coming October. I always enjoy hearing photographers who inspire me talk about their work. I asked him if it he would consider looking at my portfolio to get some feedback on it and he invited me to come by his studio. I’ve been walking by his place for years wondering if I’d ever get to see the inside of it. Looks like I finally will. Very exciting.

I’m planing another trip to Paris next spring so I’ve been breaking out the French books again to brush up on my language skills. After a pretty intense year of French language classes last year, I was getting pretty good. I felt very comfortable speaking in Paris last summer and my accent has apparently gotten pretty good, so it’s been nice to review again.

I had a lovely dinner by myself one Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago at Marché, one of my favorite restaurants near my studio. I brought one of my favorite French language study books and spent three hours enjoying some amazing food and re-learning all the tricky rules of the French language. I’m always treated very well at Marché and I have fond memories of an exhibit I had in a huge beautiful space behind the restaurant years ago. It feels like home there.

Yesterday I was invited to an Alfred Hitchcock film festival at the Music Box Theatre with some friends of mine. We saw Strangers on a Train and Rope. What made it more special was between films, once of the stars of both of them, Farley Granger was in attendance and between films he got up on stage and talked about what it was like to work with Hitchcock on the films. He talked about the casting, his fellow actors in the films and had a few funny stories. Granger is probably in his 80s by now, but his voice still sounded remarkably familiar. It was a rare treat to hear him reminisce about that era of filmmaking.

It’s been an interesting summer. I feel pretty good these days about what I’m doing and my plans for the future. I feel like I’m on the brink of something big on the horizon. It’s just a feeling I have. It’s a nice feeling.

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