This past Saturday, May 4, I drove west to Albany, Texas (that’s pronounced All-bany) to attend the Sampler (preview) of the 75th Fort Griffin Fandangle. The whole show took place north of town out at Fort Griffin on Cliff Teinert’s place where Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp met.
The Sampler is a preview of the upcoming Fort Griffin Fandangle that takes place on two weekends: June 20, 21, 22, and June 27, 28 and 29.
Any day now the June issue of Texas Highways magazine will hit the stands with photos I made at last year’s Fandangle.
Typically, pressers are run-and-gun affairs and my time with Ms. Acker was no different.
I had 48 minutes on my parking meter because as anyone who’s unfortunate enough to live or work or shop in downtown Dallas knows, there is NO on-street parking. It’s all been given over to restaurant valet services. Clearly, Downtown Dallas, like it’s younger, more hipster-driven (if that’s possible) sibling, Uptown, doesn’t want ANYONE parking on its streets.
So, after a two-block dash to the Hotel Joule I meet up with my editor, Mark Lowry, publisher of www.theaterjones.com in the lobby. We’re here to photograph and interview Dallas-raised actress, Amy Acker, who is cast as Beatrice in Joss Whedon’s new spin-up of Much Ado About Nothing. Ten minutes later we’re greeted by Carole Smith who asks us if the pool deck will work for photos. I say, “Absolutely.” It’s overcast and I’ve been on the pool deck before, so I figure nobody’s gonna be sunning and we’ll have some space and privacy.
Carole escorts us to the deck and runs to fetch Ms. Acker. Meanwhile I start looking for the right place and the right light to photograph Ms. Acker. The overcast sky is actually working in my favor by creating a soft, low contrast light on the deck. Had the sun been shining I’d have skipped the deck and opted for any available window light.
Ms. Acker shows up and she’s like, waaaay pretty: Great hair, great skin, beautiful eyes. All that translates into a great subject. We shake hands and I shoot her sitting, standing and in about three minutes I’m done. I comment, “I think you’ve done this before,” and she smiles and says, “Yep, a few times.” Turns out that in addition to her acting career, Ms. Acker modeled while in college and was in the 1999 J. Crew catalog.
I thanked her and Carole and beat it back to my car with six minutes left on the meter. I sped west, toward home and the land of ample parking.
I spent April 19 and 20 in Boquillas photographing life in the village after the 11-year absence of U.S. tourist money. The people of Boquillas are glad to have visitors once again and despite our absence, the village is still home to a friendly, hard-working populace. After dwindling to 90 residents during the past 11 years, some villagers are returning.
I just learned that these two images and the accompanying news item posted to Facebook about the opening of the Boquillas border crossing set new page view records for the Texas Highways magazine website on Thursday (April 12, 2013).
I’m always ecstatic when my efforts pay off for my clients. These were self-assigned images I made back on Dec. 21, 2012 when I approached the Big Bend National Park officials about shooting the new facility.
Prior to last week’s opening I was the only journalist allowed access to the new Border crossing facility. I’m returning this Friday, April 19, to spend three days in Boquillas to shoot stills, video and gather audio.
One of the best things about personal projects like this one is that I get to tell stories the way I want to tell them. I can spend time with my subjects and that always means better photos, videos and quotes. In short: Better stories.
But the real icing comes when I can impact my clients’ page views, marketability and visibility.
The much-awaited opening of the new Customs and Border Patrol crossing and point of entry in Big Bend National Park happened today, Wednesday April 10, 2013. For the first time in more than a decade, since the days shortly after 9/11, Mexican and U.S. citizens can cross the border legally between the U.S. and the tiny Mexican village of Boquillas del Carmen.
The Fort Worth Weekly published my photos from three Texas drought-stricken ranches this week. I’ll be making periodic posts here as I continue this long-term personal project.
For information on my Texas drought photos, contact email@example.com>
This Texas thunderstrom rolled across Shackleford County in October while I was in Albany wrapping up a story for Texas Highways magazine. I started visiting Albany in the late 80s while quail hunting in Roby. In all my Texas travels, Albany rates at or near the top for friendly and sophisticated. The town’s Old Jail Art Center is home to works by Picasso, Modigliani and Rembrandt. The restaurants in this town all serve excellent fare.
It’s a mere two-hours from Fort Worth. Hop in the car or get on your Harley and head west!
For more photos depicting the energy industry in Texas, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any time I’m in NYC I make it a point to spend a few hours enjoying a cigar and fine company at Velvet Cigars Lounge on New York’s Lower East Side. The shop is located at 80 East 7th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. I discovered the shop four years ago and I wouldn’t dream of visiting the city without spending time chatting with Arthur and the other regulars.
It’s a rare gem of a place.
My recent trip to NYC and the east coast took me to D.C. for three days to see my friends at The National Academy of Sciences and National Geographic Magazine. J.D. Talasek took me to his favorite cigar hangout, Signature Cigars, at 4835 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, where we spent an afternoon visiting and enjoying fine smokes. It’s a big two-story space with plenty of seating, a poker room and an excellent humidor. It’s JD’s favorite shop and I look forward to my next visit.