Barbara Morrison, jazz singer.This is part of a "Park" series I am working on. I've gotten the inspiration for this series because Joe and I have gone to the Long Beach Muncipal Band Concerts held free every year throughout Long Beach. There's such a wonderful sense of community and family that goes with this event. I've met people who have been going to these concerts for the last 30 years and have sat in the same locations all along. People bring their dogs, and even the dogs are on their best behavior during these evenings.
The woman above is Barbara Morrison, the guest singer who performed several weeks ago. She was an amazing singer, and she was just beautiful. With the evening sun hitting her just right, I just had to do some images.
My park series will end up being printed on tintype, a method of photography that was in use in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I am doing a modified version as the original chemicals are extremely caustic, but the end results are very similar. However, with Barbara, I just had to print them out in color as I felt her glow was exquisite.
The next two images I photographed of people with their dogs. These are regular prints at the moment, but I will be in the next couple days be printing them with my tintype series.
I ultimately shied away from this project. I was in a public park, and most of the people I shot I talked to before. However, I was seeing some wonderful spontaneous moments with families playing, and I started to try to capture the community feel I had. Unfortunately, one woman approached me and asked why was I taking pictures of her and her kids. I explained to her what I was doing and showed her images that I had taken; however, I came away from that encounter feeling "dirty" that someone was questioning my motives that I just couldn't continue the rest of the summer. Other photographers have told me I should have continued with the series, but I'm really not one for confrontation. I understand the extremely suspicious society we live in and street photography has become much more difficult. I just wish we didn't live with these fears though. But there are plenty of other things to shoot.