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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Diane Arbus

I have confession to make: I am in love with Diane Arbus. Anybody who was in my photo history class or has ever heard me talk about her is quite aware of this I'm sure. I was introduced to her work about a year ago by my roommate, Charla. I had seen her work before, but never really seen it, you know? And thus the infatuation began. It was small at first, but then once I started researching her for my photo history paper, I really became obsessed with her theory. She was so facinating and completely strange. If you ever get a chance, read this introduction that she wrote that opens up her Aperature Monograph. It is really interesting and kind of sums it all up. So I think what I'm getting at is that I love her, and I feel a lot like her in the sense that I collect people. She once said that she is in a way making her own personal Noah's Ark and that she "can't bear to keep anyone out". I think about this everytime I proof images of the interesting people I meet on a daily basis and just can't seem to delete their images because in a weird way they are mine because I have them in a moment. When Arbus died a book with contact sheets with thousands of different people was found, it was the catologue she used, photographing people and then later she would flip through it and go back and make portraits of the most interesting from her own personal collection of people.

Anyways, I dedicate this photograph to Diane Arbus. Not because I think these children are freaks much like those she photographed, but because I feel like this is a very Arbus-inspired image. Or maybe not. Maybe I just really want to rant about my love for Arbus and I'm using this as an excuse. Who knows, all I know is I love her and here is a photograph I took of children living in a coffee plantation.

Self Portrait: Week 7 and then some

So I am back from the Dominican Republic after my slightly over 7 week solo adventure there. It was amazing. I still have a million photos to post, so get ready for the next month or so you'll still be seeing images from the DR. I missed my self portrait this last Monday to finish the series and so this will be my final self portrait, of my UV filter while cleaning it the night I got back. I once heard that you can tell how experienced a photographer is by how dirty their UV filter is. Or perhaps how hardcore. Nonetheless, whatever you decide a dirty filter means (even if it's lazy..which I swear I clean this weekly) you can decide and label me as it, because this is mine.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Portraits: Bill Delano

Having one of the most envied jobs, Bill gets to travel all over the world--and get paid for it. He's a filmmaker, hosting a show for the Travel Channel (check out his site here). I got the lucky opportunity to travel around the Dominican Republic with him and another friend, Chad, and while in Punta Cana we shot a series of portraits. He was extremely easy to photograph and the best resort in the country isn't a bad location either, so here are a few of my favorites.

check out the rest here!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Because you can never go wrong with Samana, not only the most primitive but the most northeastern part of the island, Hispaniola. If you were to imagine the Caribbean, you would imagine Samana.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Interiors of an Extended Family

Walking through the market filled allies near my house in Santo Domingo, there was a woman I wanted to photograph who insisted on only being photographed while holding an eggplant. Her name was Rosa Santana. As I got her to put down the eggplant for at least one frame, we began to talk as she grabbed my arm and started pushing me through people and under dripping clotheslines into what I did not realize were homes. These homes were behind service counters, through other homes, and up cracked pavement. These were the homes of her entire extended family. She was showing me each member of her family that lived in the area, asking me to please photograph them. I tried to explain that I was leaving and had no way of getting the pictures to her, but it did not matter, she wanted each member documented in somebody's history. This is one of her daughters who I met. Her name is long gone now, but this is her wall of portraits of her children. An actual photograph of her son, and two dolls representing each of her daughters. Perhaps this is why the pictures were so important, because this is all they have, and at least someone will have an actual image of their children.

These images are of two of her daughters (Maria is the seated woman in the first photograph).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Dominican Shower

So I thought I posted this blog a while back, but after looking through recent posts, it's not looking like I did. And while I have only one more week here (as of today, sad day!) I figure it's only appropriate to post some things I should have done months ago, little vignettes about life here.

So, this is the Dominican Shower: a bucket and some water. We frequently have running water although it is never warm, which is fine because it is so hot in the city. However, even when we do have the running water they opt to shower this way, which I think is the best way to shower. And, surprisingly enough, you only really need 1/2 the bucket. Go team Earth and the Dominican Republic.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturdays in the Dominican Republic

It is Saturday in Santo Domingo which means we head over to la peluquería owned by my Dominican mother's sister, Marcia. We get our hair washed in the little converted garage underneath their home by the different members of the family that run the little shop. They wash and style our hair for us because many people here don't have what they need to do it themselves. This is the only time that hair gets washed. I cheat, however, and wash mine one day mid-week so I don't look so homeless. Here are some photographs I took while Ivis was getting her hair washed three weeks back.