Every Tuesday, savor Catherine’s evocative joie de vivre and mysterious lightness of being through subjects as diverse as Appalachian inhabitants, Tasmanian farmers, tribal people and celebrities.
Photo of the Week
Every year, thousands travel from all over the world to Black Rock City to rejoice in the freedom of expression at Burning Man. In the desert, your bike is pretty much your best friend. I took this photograph during my first year at the festival and I wanted to capture the great vibe of the place – how it’s more about the lived experience, than the colorful individuals who inhabit the Playa. The bike and the mirror allow us to experience this woman’s creative self-expression and spontaneity, but they are also a channel through which we experience the nonconformist and alternate reality of a harmonious gathering of free and creative spirits.
In the little town of Bramwell, West Virginia, there once lived millionaires and coal-mining landowners. Today, it is a land that reminds locals little of its glorious past. Yet – people are still proud of their hometown and routines. As I drove around town consuming sights and sounds foreign to my own, I was stopped in my tracks by this woman – who was bigger than life – I just had to photograph her.
It was a challenge to convince her to agree to it as she was in the midst of Sunday choir practice and didn’t have much time. I usually like to spend some time to seek out suitable backgrounds to match the character and outfit of my subject – in this case, I had to make do with our immediate background. The miracle was, it worked out great and I made her day. She was flattered to be photographed wearing her best Sunday choir outfit and beamed with pride.
Joshua Stedman has been labeled “Stevie Wonder meets Seal with the voice of Sting.” I also know him as my Ex. We remained good friends and this is my favorite photograph of him. This image illustrates the magnetic burst of energy you feel when you are around Josh. We were at a friend’s apartment and we thought it would be fun to do a test shoot. Josh is a musician and promotional photographs are so important to helping an artiste connect with his audience. My goal as a portrait photographer is to capture the inner aura and character of a person, not just his outer shell – and this photograph emanates such positivity and captures the essence of Josh – generous, kind and just full of light.
Is he really smoking – a cigar? That’s what everyone who sees this photograph asks me. Well, no – but he is chewing on it. A lot of good photographers depend on mad artistic skills, but what nobody tells you is that a lot of it depends on luck as well. My trip to Havana years ago was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I wanted to do a portrait series of Cuba’s gorgeous sights and its people before it opened up to the U.S. Americans are not allowed to travel to Cuba, and I was fortunate to obtain an educational licence visa. I was also extremely lucky to chance into this boy on the streets of Havana – with a cigar. Now, that’s priceless.
Canon EOS 5D | 33mm | 1/50 | f/20
Living in an urban area – and being used to machination and industrial products, we can often take our wonderful natural resources for granted. When Adobe sent me and a few other photographers to Tasmania a while back, the simple ways of the people opened my eyes to a way of life that was organically integrated with its natural environment. In this photograph, Phil the fisherman sits on a plateau of rock, gazing out into the ocean with no specific goal in mind. Many Tasmanians depend on their gorgeous surroundings directly for their survival and livelihood and I wanted to capture the lifestyle of a fisherman, a simple life not distracted by noise and the palpitations of human traffic.