Billy Sheahan Photography December 2008 Postcard

In the early 90s, I remember spending hours in Barnes and Noble Books pouring over the work by photographers who inspired me. I would examine the images like I was studying for finals. They were
huge and beautiful and full of secrets. The lighting, the ideas, the sheer beauty of each photograph.

Once in a while I would have saved up enough money to buy one of them to take home and pour over every frame. That was my photography school. I deconstructed the images of George Hurrell, Herb Ritts, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other great artists. I would take what I had learned and began to try to make photographs that had the same qualities that I admired in those books.

So when a model who calls herself tinypixie approached me recently and began talking about how much she loved the old Hollywood photographs of George Hurrell, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. It had been years since I had tried to make an image in the style of my old book teachers. But in the time since then, my eye for what I found compelling about those photos was finally able to be realized.

I tip my hat to the old masters… and the bookstore employees who allowed a boy to spend a little too much time in the photography aisle. And RIP Bettie Page.


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