It’s 9 a.m. at Charles de Gaulle airport. A man in his early thirties has just extinguished the butt of his sixth cigarette. He’s a driver for Success Model Management, sent to pick up a model flying in from America. Her flight arrived at 8 a.m., but she’s nowhere to be found. It’s Sunday; there’s no one at the agency he can contact. He resigns himself to wait another hour.
Nineteen-ninety-one, my girlfriend Michelle and I were asked to house-sit her parent's place in a remote part of Morgan Hill, south of San Jose, California. One had to drive for two miles on a dirt road through a running creek to get to the house deep in the woods. It was magical. The place ran on generators and a massive array of batteries.
Let’s say you’re a photojournalist in a war zone. You come upon a bombed out home with a charred teddy bear in front of it. To visually tell the story well, you have to move the stuffed animal so it's situated in the foreground of your shot. But, if you do, you’ve altered the scene. Does your photograph lose its journalistic integrity as a result of your tampering? I don’t think it does. Moving the teddy bear doesn’t change the story, it allows it to be told.
I'm on another writing gig based on interviews which are consuming a lot of time. It was my intention to write a short post about filters and photography to fill this space until next week, but, as often happens, what appeared to be a simple piece turned out to have much more depth than anticipated. So I'm leaving you with an image.
At the height of my photography career, when most of my social interactions were with people in the fashion and entertainment industries, I'd get calls about three times a year that started with the phrase, “I've quit drinking, we need to talk.”
One day in the mid 2000s I got an ambitious notion to co-write an article with Christy Turlington about how photographers could safely and respectfully approach young women who had the potential to be a model. My magazine editor at the time thought my chances of connecting with the supermodel were zero. Indeed when I contacted Christy's agent the answer was a kind decline. Nevertheless, I asked the agent if she would pass on an email to try to change the model's mind. In the short email I mentioned that Christy and I started under the same agent in San Francisco at about the same time. The response came back a very enthusiastic yes.