Black & White

Garage Haircut

Maya cuts hair in the garage, just inside the huge rolling door. There's something so compelling about the relationship between the cutter and the sitter. Fast fingers, smooth combing, gleaming tandem shears flicking in the sunlight. The feeling of soft and sharp feelings hands and tools on my head is so luxurious. 

When I call Maya and hairdresser, she demurs. She has worked professionally in three states, but life got in the way of her every making a strong, consistent career run. She cuts every so often now, for friends and family. She stopped cutting my hair last year sometime, when I foolishly objected to doing it in the bathtub. But I got some "free haircut" coupons from her recently as a present, so maybe I can be back in the chair soon.  

Olbrich Gardens Family Portraits in Madison, Wisconsin

This shoot was scheduled for Labor Day weekend, but it turns out the Navy does not predictably schedule leave for its sailors. Which was okay with me, considering I'm not the one with a family member in some unknown location in the Pacific Ocean most of the time. That brings some perspective. Thank you, thank you a thousand times to those who serve and protect us all over the world.

Before our session, I got to visit the home and see the wonderful collection (and implied appreciation) of black and white prints this family has in their home. Beautiful work all over the walls, both in-house from dad and daughter and from friends and colleagues as well. And they asked ME to photograph their family... I felt that was quite a compliment. And a little bit of pressure, but that's a good kind. Nice making work for folks with a deep appreciation for photography as a medium.

Interiors, John Muir Home, Martinez, CA

John Muir grew up in Wisconsin and studied at UW-Madison, just like me. But then he went on to change the world, which I haven't quite figured out yet. While he was helping America develop its environmental ethic, writing inspiring accounts of his wilderness adventures, and pushing for stewardship amongst state and national governments, he lived here, on a ranch in Martinez, California. The house is now the John Muir National Historic Site, open to the public for a glimpse of the sacred space Muir maintained for himself and his family. Wonderful for the Muir family and the National Parks Service to maintain the home as a public treasure. 

New Digs, New Dog

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It's pretty exciting to find a home that fits you just right, and Karen and Adam found their place last year after a long search. They followed up their move-in with a new addition to the family, an adorable, regal Bassett hound named Fannie, who pulls off some downright wilting looks with the grace of a queen. We hung out at the homestead for while while Fannie held court, then dashed off to a few local parks to catch the evening light.

Karen, whose sense of style far surpasses mine, loved the black and white images from the shoot and is evolving a gallery of them for a long hallway in her house. I thought I'd do a post in black and white only, in honor of our shared love of simple, classic monotone presentation.

Solstice at the Observatory

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The long days of summer create such great opportunities to have a reasonable adventure after a full work day, and we've been doing our best to take advantage lately. To celebrate the looooooongest day of the year, we drove up to Washburn Observatory on campus for a solstice picnic. The views from the Observatory are not particularly photographic, but it's nice to just sit on a high hill and watch the boats skim across the water. And when you're with a 1-year old, you have plenty to photograph already.