Body Language

Remember the photograph of the girl standing in the sand at the beach? It was actually one of four photographs focused on her and her boyfriend (not the guy in the first photograph). When I first saw them I felt there was a story I could tell. 

Now I'm going to the last photograph in the set of four because it really fits as a bookend to the first one. This time it's her boyfriend without her in the shot. And maybe my favorite.

Body Language #4 - 12/8/15 3:28pm

Body Language #4 - 12/8/15 3:28pm

Two minutes earlier, there was this photograph with the girlfriend in it.

Body Language #3 - 12/8/15 3:26pm

Body Language #3 - 12/8/15 3:26pm

Proof of who the couple is...

Body Language #2 - 12/8/15 2:58pm

Body Language #2 - 12/8/15 2:58pm

The first photograph of the series. The girlfriend in front of another man.

Body Language #1 - 12/8/15 2:57pm

Body Language #1 - 12/8/15 2:57pm

Did you also notice the changes of the dogs? For me, they are the spine of the story.


I was scrolling through a subfolder in my photography folder and decided to revisit some photographs I took in Malibu in the summer of 2008. I didn't expect to find anything I would want to post because I remembered the photos as not being very good.

The first one I noticed was this one of two girls on the beach. I was drawn to how their feet blended into the sand as if they were trees growing out of it. I also like the angle. And that I froze the moment in time where the hoodie girl is taking a polaroid of her friend blowing a bubble. I then made the decision that this would be the photograph I would post today. I was completely happy with this decision and thought that was that.


But then I saw another shot and opened it in Photoshop. I liked this one even more than the first one, while remembering I really thought this whole shoot was a pile of useless photos. I really didn't remember any of the photographs being worthy of an audience. 


So I kept checking out the photographs. I opened the next one. What is going on here? I am now loving these pictures that I thought were crap. I love the light, the quality of the water, the color, the wave, the textures and the moment...especially the kid on the left and almost out of the frame.


Here are two more from the series of these people playing in the ocean. 


And finally (only because I stopped looking) there was this one that I don't even remember taking.


My one-shot blog post turned into harvesting six pictures that I initially found disappointing. Now you know why I never throw my photographs away. The way we perceive our work can change from one day to the next. And it can really change when it's been several years since the images have been viewed. 

I think how we see and judge visual things, in this case photographs, is extremely dependent on mood. So hang onto what you shoot, even if you think it's crap. In seven years when you revisit those photographs, you might find something you love.

East vs. West

In the past six weeks I have been on the East Coast and the West Coast, and took two of my favorite landscape photographs. Neither of these photographs was planned. The West Coast was shot first, on November 8th when I picked the Huntington Beach Dog Park to meet up with a friend who was visiting from Britain. The East Coast was shot on December 27th, toward the end of a shoot I was doing with an actor.

I don't think photography has to be planned to legitimate. For me photography is my awareness of imagery. Paying attention to the visual world around me. Recording how I see the world and anything in it. Being open to what might happen and having the quickness and ability. And not being pigeon-holed into shooting one style. I'm a light and shadow and moment photographer. 

Here is my West Coast photograph:


And my East Coast photograph:


I realize these photographs are apples and oranges but I'm still going to ask the question. With regards to these photographs, are you West Coast or East Coast?

(hoping my comments section is finally working)