Posts tagged street photography
Left Coast: Hollywood Farmers Market
It's been a month since I've been back from my west coast trek and it's taken me this long to organize my photos and process the trip as a whole. We accomplished and saw so much in that two and a half week span. There was a lot to think about. There also was look through and edit and I'm only a quarter of the way through the work. I needed to leave Boston to realign my chakras and figure out what my priorities were again. I needed to immerse myself in LA and relax with my best friend. I needed to let go and when I did, strangely and magically it made me feel more in control. Finding words to capture a strongly visual and visceral experience for me is incredibly difficult, so I'm finding, and I'm trying to get comfortable with the prospect of writing it out again. I used to keep a journal and did so for years and years but I'm just now starting to shake off the rust and get back on that bike.

Sunday 17 05 15
The idea for the day was to go to Hollywood Boulevard for lunch, decompress, and hang out by A's roofdeck pool. We had walked past these apartments the day before and I admired the sleek and polished design. In real life I played it cool but in my head I was impressed by how swanky this all sounded. This was such a step away from my idea of normal, and I felt no friction at the prospect of dedicating an entire day of my vacation for that. I had been in Hollywood twice before and long enough by this point to have a vague sense of familiarity with the area. I started to understand where we could find the best parking and how to get there. We found the same open parking spot on a residential side street (the spot under the tree and in front of the kooky house with the stenciled graffiti PBR logo on the uneven sidewalk) and walked to our destination like natives. The apartment's windowed wall overlooked the walk of stars and it made me slightly depressed. I couldn't explain why. I met their cross-eyed cat and watched as he took a shit while staring seriously and deadpan out the same window onto the boulevard below. I had a good laugh at that one. We talked about lunch and goat cheese and jars of pickles at the farmers market and the food lust I had at that moment was dangerous, which made exploring the treasures I found all the sweeter.

We walked a couple blocks and it was obvious where we were once we arrived. The smells of foods and meat-smokers and spices wafted through thick air and in the heat, everything felt much closer and heavier. Tent space was tight and limited and people were floating everywhere. Plates of curry and chicken flimsily grasped in hands, friends and families moving slowly in packs, flowers and potted greens strewn in partitioned areas, dogs and children on leashes. I was startled and thrilled by the mass of people and kindled energy covering every square of the block. It was all so enchanting. Admittedly, I have a hard time staying present when I find myself in a such an active environment, and whether it stems from always people watching or training as a street photographer, my overwhelming instinct is to step back, wait, and photograph. But even then, sometimes I slip. For whatever reason I didn't bring my 35mm with me, so I pushed my overworked iPhone to try to capture and get a sense of what I was seeing. I was surrounded by exquisite people, places, sounds, and smells and I was on alert. I was watching and listening to the most diverse and comfortable crowd interact and share and embrace the culture around them. I was entranced by everyone. I fell away from our group and stared for too long. I ordered a grilled breakfast burrito like a naughty girl and ate it very slowly despite being a bit dazed and probably hangry. I lingered. J had to remind me that we had planned to go back and chill and I complied. What a beautiful sight.

To see what's up at the Hollywood Farmers Market, which is open year round and just generally a kick ass thing to visit, check out http://hollywoodfarmersmarket.org/ for a roster of the wonderful vendors.




























And then, of course, we happen to stumble upon Mad Men Farewell red carpet event while walking back. We didn't have the opportunity to stay (we were hurried along by security) but I did get to see how on fleek Kiernan Shipka's eyebrows were when I peeked behind the gate. It was a pretty perfect way to end such a stimulating experience. Lesson learned: always expect the unexpected when you're traipsing around Hollywood. And always bring your camera.






Dogs of Hope Street
One of the greatest things I love about Providence is how much everyone loves their pets. Dogs, cats, birds, you name it. People love their animal friends. If you're taking a stroll along Hope Street, you'll most likely see decorative dishes of water outside of shops and hand-painted jars of treats adorned on checkout counters. Some bakeries even have the spoils of gourmet pet food menus.

Seeing so many happy dogs at the Hope Street Block Party not only made my heart swell, but led me to taking an ungodly amount of photos of the pups I encountered. Here are a few of my favorites.















Hope Street Spring Block Party
I've been wanting to go for years and this weekend, I finally got the chance to experience the annual Hope Street Spring Block Party. My best friend grew up living in an adjacent neighborhood of the Hope Street area, so I spent many a weekend enjoying ice cream and tasty food from the local eateries. Back a few years ago after I graduated college, I moved to a beautiful apartment on the East Side of Providence and cozied up once again to the comforts of having such a treat. Looking back on that time, I realize how spoiled I was to live in and near such a cool place.

The block party was nothing short of a blast. Music, art, shops, food trucks, open mics, a rock wall, a brass band, a pie eating contest, costumes, dogs, monsters... Everywhere you turned there was something awesome and intriguing to look at. There was a great energy in the air as well. A common experience of just plain "fun". Kids were laughing, parents were hanging out, dogs were enjoying the sun and everyone was drinking Del's. I can't think of anything more indicative of kicking off a Rhode Island summer than this.

To find out more about how cool Hope Street is, check out hopestreetprov.com.


































Dirty Water
Back in September, I was asked to take part in a pro bono project for the Downtown Boston Improvement District. Myself and a team of creatives split up a shot list and roamed around the city for a few hours. A lot of cool things came out of this shoot, including a two-page mash-up ad in the December 10-24, 2014 issue of The Improper Bostonian. Some of these were more in line with what my eye wanted but I was impressed with how much of its quirky self Downtown Crossing wanted to show me.

#ThisIsDTB










Hands up. Don't Shoot.
As I went for a walk at lunch today, I stumbled upon a protest downtown. All opinions of the current state of affairs aside, I was utterly entranced by what was going on around me. The unraveling chaos. The tension of all parties questioning who was going to strike first. The brief snippits of conversation as onlookers quieted themselves to watch and hear the messages echoing between the brick buildings. It was days like this that I had the discipline to carry around my 35mm again.  My photography senses sharpened and I chose to stay and hang back and watch, listen. I became aware of everyone and their movements and their shapes. I could have gone back inside my office and avoided the situation but the gravitation pull to stay was overwhelming. My eventually caught myself shaking (from curious fear or excitement?). In my time as a photographer, I've experienced that high as I am engrossed in my work. I get in the zone. But the selfish seduction to stay was what gripped me this time. I wanted to observe the scene, take it as mine and create my art. It was a lustful feeling, like I needed to indulge myself.












#Latergram: Laconia Bike Week 2013
It took about a year and a half to actually look at these photos without a skewed perspective. I wasn't sure how any of these photos would stand up to what I actually wanted to produce. I had to step away and forget what I had taken without even knowing I had done so. It's hard to describe in photographs the dizzying feeling of gazing upon miles and miles of bikes and people without losing some of the effect. There's a lot to take in.

Laconia Bike Week 2013 was a week's worth of over-stimulation crammed into one day in June but all I want to do is go back and explore more.

Laconia Bike Week
2013 June
Laconia, New Hampshire