The more I get into this idea of a photography business and trying to find new ways to make pictures for my clients the more I want to make things and try things out. This recently led me to look at some of my old drawing and paintings that I did on large canvas and old curtains etc.... I found this drawing/painting of Santa and the Easter bunny that I made in undergraduate school that I thought I could use to paint over and make a background. I laid it out and before committing to destroying something I made years ago and haven't really looked at in years in order to make something I could use now, I decided to makes some record of it by photographing it. While looking for a picture to post today(my photo shoot got cancelled and I had planned on a shot from that being the featured picture) I stumbled on them and realized that I really am drawing much the same as I did then and decided to combine my most recent self portrait done this summer with the two mythological beings. Looking at these really makes me want to draw more--I always loved to draw, even though I'm not overly skilled at it, there is something I can say with it I know. I'm pushing for legislation to create a 9 day week. Everyone still only works 40 hours over five days, but gets a 4 day weekend each week. Then I could draw more!
Every once in awhile you have days that when you look at the pictures you took you realize how bizarre sometimes working for a small newspaper can be. I had to cover a funeral this morning for a prison guard killed in the line of duty. It was a sad day for many people and a very solemn event for others who weren't as close to the story, but respectful and connected in someway whether it was the brotherhood of law enforcement or public servants or just community people who felt for the family and friends of the victim. I left this very quiet assignment and went to cover a festival of trees where people could walk around looking at decorated trees all done by charitable organizations. The people here, in a community only about 8 miles away might not even be aware of the funeral just up the road with hundreds of law-enforcement officers in attendance. At this event was a Santa posing for photos with peoples pets brought in for christmas cards or just a holiday picture. There was this funny little Shih tzu who just didn't care for Santa until he began giving her doggy treats. It was funny and mundane and much different than the funeral. Then I went to a basketball game about 10 miles away and I noticed right away that most, if not all the people there were completely disconnected from what I was covering just a couple hours before. Days like this make me realize even more how distant we are from each other in such a small place, but at the same time watching all these law enforcement people show up from all over the state made me realize how close we are too in this big place. It is pretty surreal sometimes. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer
One of my oldest friends Chris Theiss has started a blog on the creative process and he is interviewing people who make things and asking them the why's and hows of their pursuits. I was honored to be asked and, even though I know my approach lacks the sophistication of many other artists/photographers I know, I do still manage to get to do what I love to do. I think thats why Chris asked me to do this. You can read the interview by clicking on the picture above which will send you to his blog. You can also see pictures of his lovely son Sayer who was given my families name which will always be one of the highest honors in my life, and you can see how he can turn old scraps into some pretty cool halloween costumes. And I'm pretty sure this blog will be worth checking in on over and over again.
Some days are just too busy to think. You react as best as you can to the story at hand and move on. Today I had six assignments and various other tasks that my job at the newspaper required I at least put a little attention toward. I managed to get a little time to dedicate to two assignments and got lucky in a third to get a decent frame. The top photo was an out-take from a chorus and percussion group rehearsal. I noticed these tambourine girls were having a good time being animated with their playing and then they just made each other laugh. The picture below was an out-take from the second harvest food bank drive of one of the volunteers. Neither told enough of the story to be leads or even secondary photos(the tambourines could be argued for a secondary) but there were elements in both that I really liked. Pure captured moment in one and a picture that brings up more questions than answers in the second. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer
What started really as something I did editorially years ago for the athletes of the year illustrations for The Meadville Tribune. I had to learn how to design using text and images. Some of these were a little rough and some I was quite surprised at what I was able to come up with in limited time. This fall I began taking some of that knowledge and applying it to creating 'poster' prints of athletes to see what I could come up with. I find each picture I work with needs its own design and usually the picture ends up sort of telling me what to do. Here are a few of the ones so far. I've been happy that they seem to be popular with several orders for more coming in. I can design a poster with virtually any picture, though I'm finding that I can't really have one design that fits all, so each one takes on a life of its own. SayerMotter Photography posters by Richard Sayer.
One of the photographs of Sara that I took earlier this week reminded me of my early days in drawing class. My instructor Nick Palermo tacked a couple sheets to a wall and lit them. He then gave us a drawing demonstration. It was one of my first experiences of watching truly beautiful drawing take place. I realized that, though it is somewhat magical to watch, that it isn't 'magic' that makes beautiful...its work and observation of life and understanding the materials we use to draw. From this I learned the same about photography--it isn't just the luck of being in the right place at the right time, its work and understanding how to put yourself in those right places and at the right times. None of this really has anything to do with this image of Sara, but it has been making me think a great deal about drawing again. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.