I photographed the Melrose Leadership Academy kindergarten classes again. This year, I asked principal Moyra Contreras to join our portrait session. This is Moyra’s last year as the MLA principal.
If not for Ms. Contreras, I would not have had access the last ten years to document the school’s growth. As a photographer, I am continually grateful to Ms. Contreras and the rest of the school community for allowing me to work on this project. I would probably thank everyone more, but I don’t want to draw too much attention to my good fortune.
If not for Ms. Contreras, the dual immersion district school may not have become a reality. Navigating OUSD and the community requires emotional intelligence that I will never develop.
The first class of kindergarteners that I photographed are now in high school. This year’s kindergarten students have just begun their journey. In education, we don’t measure much of what is learned in school… we don’t measure what I can see in the photos, and how the young students have learned to represent themselves.… Read the rest
This is my last post for 2015. I have included some words and images from my December 2015 photo shoot with Christine and her daughter. I took all the good photos and gathered them into an entire photo gallery from our time in Point Richmond, California. (I know they never match my sweet imagination, but the images are still pretty good.) I also considered beginning this post with another Oscar Wilde quote, as I did for last year’s post, but “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.”
I have added notes on a blog about my last four blog posts. I include the notes, because sometimes “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word I am saying.” (or I wildly steal quotes and I want to credit the author) You can read those notes at my More Than Kids site after you read last year’s blog post about photographing Christine on Christmas Day in Clayton, California.… Read the rest
Last week I photographed my friend’s daughter Haylie. Haylie is a high school senior. I was a high school senior when her mother Kimberley started 9th grade. We had met several years earlier when we were just kids, but we did not become friends until high school. Even then, I could have been a better friend.
I have always considered myself a good friend, but I had a selective short term memory. After I graduated, I stayed in touch with Kimberley for a few years, but then I became busy with … I don’t know. Kimberley started a family and I went in another direction. All the time I thought that I was being a good friend.
Eventually I married and had my first child. Shortly after my daughter was born, I received a phone call that changed my life. Then, as Tim McGraw sings, “I became a friend a friend would like to have,” but not before suffering.… Read the rest
The Presidio is a historical military fort that guarded the Golden Gate. Although the fort did not protect us from the wind, it provided many places to shoot. I especially enjoyed shooting next to The Walt Disney Family Museum. I have mentioned a rumor about Walt Disney having epilepsy; I feel more part of the family.
The museum started a new exhibit with Disney and the surrealist (Salvador) Dali. The exhibit, “Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination” discusses how the visionaries became friends. They were innovators who found new ways to tell stories. The world found new ways to see. As advocates, we have similar challenges, but not necessarily the skill of Walt Disney.
Last month I started teaching photography at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California. I love teaching, but I miss being a photographer. Fortunately, I was able to be a photographer last weekend when a friend asked me to photograph her family. We met at Mills College in Oakland, California for a portrait session with her husband and three children.
When Libertad (Libby) Rivera asked me if I were still available to take family portraits, I had just started my new teaching position. At the time, I did not realize that I needed to take pictures more than Libby needed to have her picture taken. I did not need the money. I needed to know that I could still take a decent picture.
Sometimes I know if I have taken a good picture before I see it on my monitor. Last Sunday, I did not know if I had any good pictures, but as soon as I saw the first photograph uploaded to my screen I felt alright.… Read the rest
As part of my WordPress continuing education, I am posting a few outtakes from a portrait shoot this week. You can learn a little about how I approach shooting portraits while I learn how to use WordPress widgets and plugins. If you happen to find my new blog while I am still developing the blog’s basic structure, you can compare my progress to the Graph Paper Press Modularity demo theme.
For this post, I created the new category “Children and Families.” Eventually, I will have about five categories.
The first gallery is a collection of outtakes. When I shoot portraits, I shoot photos that I never expect to be part of the final gallery. Sometimes, I take a few photos just so I can adjust to seeing with the camera. Other times I take a few to help the subject relax. Many people become self conscious and uncomfortable when having their portrait taken, so I use this time to check the light and look for better location.… Read the rest