It was an early morning drive down to the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas, that brought me to my first meeting with Robin Macy. Our communication up to that point had been brief, but her lyricism had already woven its way through her messages to let me know I wasn’t photographing any ordinary woman.
The vast majority of my test shoots are with agency models, but once in awhile, a model catches my attention that I just have to work with. Sidney’s Instagram posts and stories sold me on her, not only from her unique and beautiful look, but from her enthusiasm to model and the ideas for shoots she was always posting. The tipping point was her fascination with 90s supermodels – Cindy Crawford, Gisele, Heidi Klum, etc. – and wanting to make images in their styles. Speaking my language!
In late October, Christina (my wife) and I were driving through the worn down mountains and coal towns of southern Pennsylvania, and it hit me that just a few miles back, we’d passed through a perfect metaphor for the year: Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. It was almost foreign from our perspective, a little rough around the edges, and – being only 15 miles wide at the point we drove through – passed by in the blink of an eye.
It’s taken awhile to get past the sting of losing one of my favorite gigs. When VIP Wichita Magazine’s parent company pulled the plug on us, it blindsided me and I spent a few days touring the local watering holes with my editor in a mix of reminiscence and mourning the loss of a publication he built from the ground up.
Black and white, blurry, grainy images have been on my mind for the past year. The imperfection of it makes it feel like action is happening, and the camera just barely caught it. Perfection is overrated.