I was once told by a man whose name I cannot remember that “One never really knows how an event or series of events will affect your life. No matter how small or insignificant an event, it will affect your life.” Recently those sage words have come to pass.
When my eldest was in middle school, she participated in the theatre program as a crew member. Like me, she prefers to work ‘behind the scenes’ rather than in front of an audience. Like any father I was proud of her involvement and offered to take some performance photos of the production with my Casio point and shoot. To thank the teacher who mentored so many students on theatre, I printed the best images and framed them as a gift to both the school and her as an individual.
As my daughter continued her interest into high school, I began to shoot their productions on a regular basis. Joseph and the Technicolor Raincoat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bat Boy, Oklahoma – the list goes on and on. I would process and print the images the very next day so that they could be utilized for the lobby shots where the audience and more importantly the kids could view their work. I also gave all of the shots to the school’s drama department historian who would arduously labor over books she would produce for each performance.
That woman, Leigh was also the set designer and art curator for what was then known as ArtShare 25 now known as Avenue 25 Gallery. After looking through my work, she offered me a solo photographic exhibit which I held from November to December 2007.
I had also gone to see a live performance of Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango! in late 2006 and marveled at the movement and power of tango. I was the webmaster for the theatre where they performed and joked to the General Manager Roxanne, “I will sneak my camera into the theatre and take some photos of the dancers.” She was horrified and told me that her house manager Judy would throw me out so to prevent that, she asked Luis if I could photograph a live performance. He agreed and from January 20-22 2007 I photographed three live performances of Forever Tango and produced a book of the images I titled “Moments of Passion.”
Upon their return to the Bay Area, I was contacted by their PR company about the use of one of the images for their 2008 tour. They decided to utilize one of the images from my 2007 collection which can be seen here.
As I have stated countless times in this blog the people I have come to know through a simple photograph is what truly astounds me about this craft. People I once knew only through a digital file are now lifelong friends and from all over the world. The love of my life came to me through a simple photograph.
What was once a hobby I was able to perform in isolation to keep me busy and out of trouble has become a passion and I finally consider what I do to be art. Paul McGuire, a co worker who became a close friend is the one who encouraged me to pursue photography and online blogging. Had it not been for that small interaction, none of this would have occurred. Paul went on to also pursue his dream of art as the lead singer and creator of Karate High School. Paul, wherever you are in whatever city where you are performing I owe you more than you will ever realize.
To Tracy, Vernon, Mal, Jarrett, George, Thelma, Leigh, Francis, Diane, Bob, Craig, Kyla, Rod, Addy, Judy, Barry, Alexandre and the countless others who I have yet to meet face to face, thank you. Our connection and friendships mean more than you will ever know.