Ed Kashi put out a book a few years back where he picked three images to put together. These three images could've been taken at different times and different places throughout his career. That was a very interesting notion to show similarities and differences over years of working. Last year when my friend Craig came to visit he was making these photos with his cell phone and he mentioned--'gotta have three'---which meant he thought of these cell phone sessions as needing three pictures to complete it. I think about this a lot. The idea of the triptych has been around for ages--why? Is there something special in the relationship of three. Father, son and holy ghost. Earth, wind and fire. Three seems to hold a power. I've often thought of my work as two pictures or more. I love to explore more than just the one aspect of a story(though one single great moment is also very powerful!) I made these three records of faces today--one was myself shot in the wee hours of morning before going to sleep as I was testing out a new film and lens combo on my iphone, the middle one was a mask that caught my eye at Maplewood high school as I was heading to photograph volleyball and the drawing of Dylan was done mostly by my friend Jim who didn't like it and gave to me to try to make something different out of it--which I did a little tonight before coming home. I felt these three separate sketches seemed to be begging to be put together... so I did. I was thinking about other threes as well as I think Craig is right...'gotta have three!' Its at least a good goal! Photographs by Richard Sayer
I love you mom! Thanks for you comment on yesterdays post--you got it exactly. Start with something simple and you find surprises!!!!! What I've liked about this business of just making photos for fun with my phone is that I get to calm down for a few minutes and just look around and find something neat to make a picture of. I think pictures are everywhere if we just take the time to look! Photographs by Richard Sayer taken in a parking lot at Meadville Medical Center while waiting for about a half hour.
I've always thought I was awful at shooting landscapes. Always need a person in it!!! But because of this I've decided to work on it a bit....maybe because the cell phone pictures seem more experimental that I feel I can play a little and see where it leads. but over the last week or so I've been thinking about this new project I'm doing for the paper called 'Scenes.' In this I'm focussing on a place...not a story per se , but just a place that has a story that I may or may not know...and all places have a story if you look for them. So I'm working on developing this eye in me and am not sure where it will lead. I've taken a few that people seem to respond to--though I'm not happy yet(but then again--when am I happy truly about my work--I always see something I could do better!) So there will be some landscape experimentation going on for a little while as I drive around. Photographs by Richard Sayer
I photographed Joelle and her son, Colton yesterday. It got me thinking about mothers and babies. I stumbled upon this quote and liked it....
"Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers, and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world."
-- Kate Douglas Wiggin
SayerMotter Photos By: Harmony Motter
I photographed the Carter family this afternoon...Justin, Joelle and Baby Colton. Colton is 4 months-old and Joelle wanted to have him photographed while he still looks like a baby. I like capturing moments that families will treasure for years to come and I think that the image above just might be one of those moments.
SayerMotter Photo By: Harmony motter
Today I photographed the MASH baseball team. As I was driving over to Eldred Glen where they practice I got to thinking about using my iphone somehow in the mix of the design for the memory mate---not sure if I will, but I did use it to make pictures of the guys that I photographed individually. I'll see next week if I can fit them into the designs. Its at least a sneak peak of the pictures--though they will look a lot different with my 'real' camera. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
"Hey Ben, how do you do this....?' "hey Ben, how do you do that?" A bunch of years ago we used to use this stuff called film. It took us twice to four times longer to do what we do---and most of it was after taking the picture. Then digital came along and we could spend more time making pictures because it was going to take us less time to process the images. Then learning digital processes slowly we were able to make illustrations for feature article. This was slow at first because we really didn't know how to do any of it. Photoshop in the newsroom was a delicate ethical maneuver to navigate and come to grips with. W at the Tribune developed pretty sound ethical platforms that clearly doesn't allow us to alter news images. But illustrations for stories that are not something we can visually tell allow us to use photoshop much like the graphic artist uses it or used a brush and pen. So for some feature article like 'how computers are affecting children's eyes' we were able to make an illustration. But I had only done one thing ever in photoshop before this and all it entailed was putting numbers on top of a picture---simple. This was a little more complex. I found this the other day looking through some old disc for something else entirely and realized how much more I know today about making use of photoshop. I laughed at this because its a bit crudely done and even though it did win an award(I think we were all pretty new at it!) I just wouldn't be satisfied with it today and would've been able to make this.... well way cooler. It is a quick read though and therefore affective I guess. Its fun to have it in my backlog of images...if for nothing else to show how much fun we can have making something...even when we really don't know what we're doing yet! Meadville Tribune photographic illustration from the archives or Richard Sayer.
When I think about what it means to be an artist the only thing that really comes to mind is work. Artist live their work. They wake up and make a commitment to what they do. They don't turn it on and off--they don't work eight hour shifts and then shut it off until the next day. Discipline is the key to success in art. We don't think about the finished product, we don't think about fame or we don't really think about making money---we think about the work. I was looking at these pictures of my friend Jen thinking about how working out is much the same thing. It takes discipline and commitment and work.....even when she isn't lifting or running--she is making life choices to maintain her health standard. Its like being an artist. One of the best lessons I've learned in life came from Cootie Harris when he talked about Tai Chi being a state of mind that is in harmony with the body. He referred to creating something as Tai Chi---the act of balance of body and breath to an end. Brilliant! I think the key to life is to explore....endlessly explore...even if its is self contained exploration it is vitally important to growth. I feel if I'm never satisfied with my work that I'm doing it right...we should always be striving for the next level. SayerMotter photographs by Richard Sayer
I got a visit from some friends the other day at the studio and it led to this sort of impromptu little fun session of making some pictures and playing around with the collected props we have sitting around. I love the exploration and creativity of young people. As I sat talking about boring photo stuff with her mom, McKenna just started finding things and playing with them. I was impressed at how she transformed herself in front of the camera and didn't just start smiling goofy and posing like we mostly do do a camera---she seemed to be channelling some sort of emotion. At first I thought it was just chance that I caught her between expressions, but then she held a pose almost as if she became this other person entirely. This really took me back to when I was in art school--these sort of impromptu sessions happened all the time. We were making pictures for no other reason but exploring what was possible both as subject and as a piece of art. Some of my favorite images from back them were these spontaneous portraits and character pieces. I think I need more of this. Even though my professional approach is often the same, the intent does constrain the creative process somewhat and that willingness to just make photos for the sheer enjoyment of making something cool....now those of you who have worked with me might be scratching your head at my using the word 'constrained' - you're right--I don't really constrain myself much--if I think something will look cool I usually go for it--- but its within the scope of working with a client who needs or wants pictures. In this case we were just playing and that was somehow..... well just plain fun! And what a great subject! Afterwards her mom and I went back to talking about boring photo stuff----well we're adults and photographers so we really didn't notice it was boring stuff! Photograph by Richard Sayer.
I don't live anywhere near family(except my wife and dogs)... I grew up in RI and my brother and his family are still there, my folks moved to Florida, all my grandparents are gone, my sister and her family are in Mass. and another brother is in one of the Carolinas. When I photograph a family i see how close they are and how much they get on each others nerves and how much they will defend each other and and and all that stuff that is family. You can't pick your family! You can pick your friends. I like the people I photograph and its fun getting to know them and in the case of young folks--getting to watch them grow and change. Family portraits are hard to pull off--each individual is...well just that an individual. I think it is important to show that...yet in a family picture everyone wants to look just so. I don't mind it...in fact I tend to like it actually when the people aren't really paying attention to me. I think these are the best pictures. I've been disappointed when I've shown some family pictures that I really like to hear 'oh to bad so and so isn't looking at the camera'. Usually its a baby who is more interested in looking at mommy or cousin Petey or something. And I understand, we always want our portraits to be perfect, but I also want them to be real. So its a tough balance to try to find. I've made a half dozen or so family portraits in the last year and each one I've learned from. My favorites are the ones with the unexpected happening. SayerMotter photograph by Richard Sayer.