I’ve been so busy and backlogged with work that it’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted… As I mentioned I was with the Harris family who now lives in New Mexico for nearly two weeks until they had their third child. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Often I’m photographing intense moments of sadness or grief, but this was the most intense moment of joy. I’m still working on an edit of the photos, but am happy I was able to shoot and participate in the birth.
I immediately after I got back from NM I produced the Slideluck Potshow multimedia event with Lance Rosenfeld and Kelly Lynn James. Thanks to Brandon Wilde of Austin Multimedia Group for helping us so much and letting us invade his space for days leading up to SLPS Austin II. The show was stacked with talent and an outstanding night overall; 500 people came out and we had a in/out line at the door. I even sold one of my Zulu books!
On Friday and Saturday I got to hang out in the rain with Statesman writer Pam Leblanc and photograph disabled rowers participating in a paralympic mini camp. Many of them were Veterans or associated with the military and others were born disabled. It will be an amazing story when i comes out. I was so excited about these folks I went back Saturday morning to shoot portraits of them all… the story hasn’t run yet, so I’ll have to wait to update the photos.
You may noticed some changes here, thanks to Drew Tieken for working hard to bring a fresh look to the website and adding new batches of work. I also worked my email to be Ben@BenSklar.com, so email me.
Thanksgiving was outstanding. My sister came in from LA and mom from BR. I made pumpkin pie from scratch with basic ideas i had from the Harris. No sugar! My mom called in Pumpkin Mousse, thanks Aimee and Jeff…
Back to work, on Thanksgiving I got a very considerate email from a NYT sports editor asking about my availability on Monday (this week). I said I was free and turns out I was going to meet and shoot Marion Jones. No details, just shoot Marion Jones. So I thought I was shooting a portrait until I arrived to a very nice community church gym in northeast San Antonio. Turned out she was getting back to her roots and going try and make a comeback as a WNBA basketball player. I was there with Bill Rhoden, NYT sports writer, to bring the news to the world. I was privileged to be a part of this story. She was super nice and a good person. Hard to imagine the things she did in her Olympic days, steroids and accomplishments. After photographing her in working out then shooting hoops for 4 hours or so, I finally got a few minutes to do a portrait next to a window. I told her representative that I wanted to shoot her outside on the street with some nice lighting set up. He thought it was a good idea. As she wrapped up her interviews with an ESPN crew and said good byes to Kevin Blackistone, who was writing for AOL, and Bill, I set up my lights one block away on a neighborhood street with a clean back ground. She came over with Rich, her rep., and I shot for probably a minute and a half. She was soaked from head to toe and exhausted from her workout. Not to mention she had to drive back to Austin to pick up her kids from school and daycare. Despite the 40 degree weather, she stepped up and let me make some portraits. Thanks Marion, good luck with hoops.
The story ran on the front of Tuesday sports with two photos, if you didn’t see it you can read Bill’s story here.