Monday, July 18, 2011

Writers' Day #2

On Saturday morning, Elle and I held the second Writers' Day.  We hosted eight of the project's writers for portraits at the studio.

Saturday's weather was excellent so, rather than using our indoor studio and exclusively artificial lights, we used the outdoor setting outside the studio and limited artificial lighting to photograph each of our writers.

I continue to be amazed and delighted at the writing background and accomplishments of our wonderful volunteer writers!  As an example, Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW has written seven books on divorce and saving marriages.  She has made appearances on such shows as Oprah, 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNN and Bill O'Reilly.  Her work has been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day, Men's Health, New Woman, and McCalls.

Michele wrote about Cassie Gedbaw, the CU student that is so heavily involved with activities in support of the homeless.

Here is Michele's portrait from this Saturday's session.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Rainy Day for Photographs

On Thursday, July 14, I went to the Carriage House with Mary Beth Lagerborg, a new writer for the project.  We met Joy at about 10:45 am and almost immediately had people wanting to tell their stories of homelessness, resilience, recovery and redemption.  It was outstanding to have so many that wanted to participate.

Our parade was rained upon, though.  Quite literally, the skies opened with great deluge and, although I can photograph in most situations, asking people to stand in a downpour doesn't make for great portraiture.  This caused challenges with getting photographs and interviews together before people had to get to the bus for the ride to work, or off to other appointments.  And, as a result, we lost a couple of participants.

After photographing and interviewing one of our subjects on Thursday, she asked that her photograph not be used.  Since she is dealing with domestic violence and fears for her safety, her request is quite understandable. However, since this is a book of portrait photography it is difficult to reconcile including her compelling story into the book without a corresponding photograph.  We are still trying to sort this one out.

We have had a challenge finding a representative of that very important component the homeless population - the victim of domestic violence - to participate in this project.  If you know of anyone in this situation, or someone that has come through it and would be willing to be involved in the project, please let me know.

Of the six homeless people (including two people from one family) and one writer that I photographed on Thursday, here is the image of Dizzy Wind. Dizzy is a musician from Milwaukee who plays in the Boulder area. Marsha Perlman will reach out to Dizzy to write his story.