At the Window

Ms James Window

 

My lovely friend Ms James again, I do owe her a debt as a friend, and as an artist in trouble. About 2 years after my stroke, I was wondering if I still had it in me to do my art anymore. She came down to work with me to give me the chance to have a live model working with me. I was rusty as hell, and the issues with my hand control was not what I wanted it to be. But, I was a gracious host plying her with wine in abundance, and food so she wouldn’t have any unfortunate meeting with law. Friend to friend she was there for me, and that meant the world to me. Thanks Ms James.

Elemental Man

Man Against the Elements

When I lived in Manhattan, some days I’d take the train down to WTC,and watch the sun set.  Across the street was the World Financial  Center, beyond that was a broad concourse to the waterside, and to the ferry docks.  When I shot this I’d love to say I got the guy to stand in place, however the magic of photography I got what I needed without asking.  But when I saw my film a day later I sure thanked my lucky Angel.  That was the magic about film in the not so long ago past.  We had to wait for film to be processed, and then walked back to the studio, and seen for the first time.

Trees

Valley Forge Logo

One of the pleasures of working in a big city, if you are very lucky is to meet someone of the opposite sex who is from nearby.  While living in NYC I was dating a woman who lived in Pennsylvanian with her then sixteen (16) year old daughter.  In midwinter morning I’d leave with them for work and to school except I had my camera to keep me busy.  Got this shot of trees in Valley Forge, the reverence of a sense of history combine to take one’s breath away.  Taken with a high speed film probably Agfa 1000, then scanned and run through Photoshop, gives more of the impression I was feeling thinking about all those lives.

The Lovely Ms. James

Ms. James

 

After the stroke in 2005, I found out quite quickly that I could not longer shoot the commercial grip & grins anymore. I just didn’t have the stamina to stand for two (2) hours plus. While reloading at a political shoot, I had to squat down, and if there hadn’t been a piano so I could pull myself up, I was in trouble. When it came to my art, I was very worried that I didn’t have the eye anymore, and I worried that the stamina was going to be an issues.

Late in the 2004 I met a model who was very interesting, she was marching to the beat of a different drummer only she could hear, so we became fast friend’s. She offer to pose for me, and in 2007 I took her up on her offer, to see what I could or couldn’t do. Though there were limitations to my shooting, things I should have remembered, but didn’t…, the session went really well and among others I got this lovely image.

When Things Go Horribly Amiss

Several years ago I realized that I was getting older and I needed to start transitioning from the commercial work I was currently doing to work that spoke to my passion. I went after work shooting for a local art gallery which also might provided me with the opportunity to display my work and to generate some feedback. I interviewed with the executive director and we came to an understanding that worked for both of us. I started documenting the installations, the artists and the programs; all worked so well I was given great latitude in what I wanted to accomplish and being trusted with the gallery camera.

Then one night I was shooting an event of mine for another nonprofit. I got extremely careless and put the camera down for a moment. A group of professional thieves were working the hotel, caused a diversionary rucks, dropped a coat over the camera and in that moment of carelessness the camera was stolen. I was sick to my stomach the police came and took a statement, told me that they usually find pawned somewhere and not to worry. That night in bed I came up with a plan to make good on having lost the camera by forgoing my pay for a couple of projects that were in the works.

Well the best laid plans came to naught as the director was really pissed, so pissed in fact that I was let go without being able to tell him about my plan on restitution. There was nothing I could do to make things better, when I ran into him at different functions he wouldn’t even recognize my existence. After my stroke and the years of recovery and slowly getting back into the arts community he still wouldn’t acknowledge me.

Then one day on FaceBook I figured I had nothing to lose and I ask him to be my friend. At the next function he was there opening his own gallery and he was very cordial to me and said that he saw we were friends on FaceBook. I replied that we always were friends only he didn’t know it and gave him a relieved smile. While maybe not the best of friend’s at least he now speaks to me and one day I hope to explain how I did have a plan to pay for the camera that I so carelessly lost.

So while using and losing someone’s equipment is not recommended for helping make or keep a friendship maybe just maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have that someone speak to you again. One can only try the best that you can, acknowledge you made a mistake and hope. Just figure out a way to maybe make things right as best you can. Don’t get mad yourself and cop an attitude and be prepared for the injury to heal itself and hopefully things will work out.

Trust in Photography

Black Panties Michael Vasquez Photo

From a young age I realized that I was attracted not to necessarily the pretties girls, but the cooler ones who never fit a mold.  I wanted to try and capture an image of them at this moment in time and to generate interest in who they were at this moment of their lives.  Of course once they said yes I had to talk and listen to them so they’d relax, share with me part of their lives.  Very hard to do as an eighteen year old male with raging hormones, but once I mastered this trick the knowledge I received was priceless.

That is the bases for my photography, my art if you will.  I want you to know my girls, what it is that makes them tick, to carve out a space for them to be them.  To invite you into their lives and minds at this particular time and place.  The fact that they are unclothed should matter as a afterthought and not the primary emotion. A final word on the term “my girls”, its not meant in a paternal fashion nor does it imply any sort of ownership.  These young women trust me to do right by them and I am very protective of their rights.

So we invite you to view these images and to make polite comments on the images you see.  Thank you.