Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The best day in my (photographic) life

Today was another great day with Mom and Brittany. The first part of our day was spent at the Chamblin Book Mine in Jacksonville, FL and all I can say is what a place! With Mom being a librarian and me being a book lover this was the place to be. We could have spent HOURS there but unfortunately we had to get on with the rest of our day so we were only able to stay for a couple of hours. During that time I browsed through tons of amazing photography and law books and only managed to come home with 4 books (trust me it could have been much worse). I found an original copy (published 1957) of "Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in his own words", "The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court", "America On Trial" by: Alan Dershowitz, and finally "Ansel Adams: Letters and Images 1916-1984." Man, I absolutely can't wait to start reading! The book mine is a gem and I will be back before I know it.

After the book mine we headed to lunch in Avondale and looked at some amazing older houses during the drive and had a great lunch. After some walking in Avondale it was time to head home and get ready for the art show!

I was chosen to be the featured artist for the St. Johns Riverkeeper in conjunction with their display at the downtown Jacksonville Artwalk in The Open Gallery At The Library. The downtown artwalk is held the first Wednesday of every month and we were showing in the old Hayden Burns Library. I was following some very big footsteps - my friend and fellow photographer Paul G. was the featured artist in June. Please see his portfolio here his flickr page here and finally his blog here. He is multi-faceted and a very talented and inspiring photographer, writer, and musician so please check him out! Watching and talking with him during his exhibit in June helped immensely AND he let me borrow his easels and table which was a HUGE help.

The 30 minutes prior to leaving were very stressful and consisted of packing the car, protecting the prints, re-matting one of the large prints, and then finally getting changed and on our way. Once we got there, it was time to set up and that proved to be an additional challenge. The spot we had has very little light, fortunately we brought our own lights, but even more fortunately my lovely wife was in charge of lighting and wiring and I was very happy with the result. She did an amazing job considering the time constraints, stress level, and dealing with me all at the same time. She is such an amazing wife.

Once the show started it was time to relax. The hard part for us was over - everything was set up and the prints were up, now all we do is talk to people and watch them look. It was truly an amazing and unique experience for me. I am very private about my work for the most part, I usually only post on Flickr as a means for backing up my images, I very rarely show my work to others unless they ask, and I surely do not put my work up in a public gallery for all to look at. I am not sure if this is a lack of confidence in my ability, or if I just keep the things that I enjoy and care about close to me (I am a selfish only child you know...). Either way, me having large prints of my work on display for all to view was a VERY different experience for me but I enjoyed it. One of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences to me was to watch people be drawn in, or just simply walk up to my work and really take it in, look at it, think about it, think about what it means to them, maybe even think about what it means to me and why I photographed it, and then comment to themselves or their friend how much they liked the piece or other comments without knowing I was the photographer. It really gave me a chance to see what people are really thinking/feeling about my work and I loved it. Fortunately all the comments I heard were very positive, but it was just great to get this type of feedback from total strangers.

The night went very well, I did manage to sell some prints, and my first sale was to a federal Judge! The Judge will remain nameless because I doubt they want their name splattered on a blog out in cyberspace, and I doubt the transaction was as big a deal to them as it was to me. It was a VERY cool thing to me and I will never forget it! Later in the evening I had the chance to meet and speak with the director of the gallery and he gave very positive feedback about my work, so positive in fact, he invited me to show again in his gallery at a future Artwalk! This was one of the many elements that helped make my night – wow, just wow! I met so many wonderful people, got my name out there, gave out many cards to interested purchasers and all in all it was an amazing night! I absolutely cannot wait to show again in September! Special thanks to my amazing mom and my beautiful wife for their help setting up and the support they provided, thank you to Paul G for showing me the ropes and stopping by the show to provide his support, and all of my other friends who stopped by or sent their well wishes. Thank you all for contributing to one of the best and most exciting nights of my photographic life!

1 comment:

Barry L. Atkins said...

Good for you man! Sorry I missed it.