. . . and I’m really OK with that! As a photographer of literally thousands of other people, I am simply not accustomed to being positioned in front of the camera instead of behind it. When the opportunity arose to appear on the local television weekly show, Twin Cities Live, I happily accepted the invitation to speak about my work on The Smooch! Project. If you would like to see the July 13, 2009 interview, just click here. I watched it later that day and was shocked. Who WAS that person sitting there on the couch? Jeepers, did I REALLY look like that? After viewing it a few times, the strangeness wore off and I could watch the interview with more balance. I concluded that I did pretty well, considering that this was my first appearance on live television. But a nagging visual sense of deja vu remained. I had seen this person alien to me before: that triangular mound of seated flesh, those baggy eyes, wrinkles, and multiple chins. But where did that memory come from? Then, suddenly, I KNEW and the remaining angst I had been feeling disappeared in the ensuing mirth. I was happy to discover that comparing my personal appearance to that of an alien Star Wars animated movie character removed the last of my body self-consciousness — at least as it related to this interview! After all, the Buddha taught, all is transitory, including these bodies of ours, which in a very real sense are as impermanent as that of a flickering character seen on a movie screen. What a relief! Don’t know what Jabba the Hutt looks like? Just clickhere to see!
On the July 4 weekend, we held a Smooch! shoot at a very unique convention annually held here in the Twin Cities. CONvergence is a quirky “celebration of the funny side of science fiction and fantasy. We had loads of fun and captured several unique images, including Kristina luvs Kate, a new archive image found in the category The Best of Friends. In all, 58 new images for the archive were captured that day. A good haul for The Smooch! Project. My next task tonight is to get them all uploaded to the website archive. Interested in seeing them? To go to the archive page the first image appears on, just click here.
A few days ago, I had the privilege of photographing more than 125 people during an annual science fiction / science fantasy convention held here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I collected almost 1,300 images. The sorting, editing and prepping for upload part of the job has just begun (tasks collectively referred to as “The Smooch! Shoot Aftermath”) so there are no photos to display here as yet. I had been looking forward to the shoot for months. A former Star Trek fan, I was eagerly anticipating encounters with Klingons, Vulcans, and Borg. What I didn’t consider was how much effort, commitment — and discomfort — costumes like those would involve. Would you really want to spend hours applying makeup and hang out at a conference with 3,000 friends for four days? Most of the people I photographed that day wore comfortable fantasy costumes: Swashbuckling adventurers, historical aviators, elves and angels. Plenty of colorful hair extensions, flowing robes, feathers and — surprisingly to me — a lot of visible cleavage on the part of several female participants. No Klingons, I’m sorry to say, but loads of very interesting people who decided to pause for a moment to participate in the Smooch! shoot. I was very pleased, both with the shoot and the resulting pics. Look for them soon on The Smooch Project website!
. . . since my last post to this blog. I’ve certainly been busy working on the needs of The Smooch! Project but somehow writing a post to its blog kept getting put on the back burner. I’m glad to be back to the task of sharing the stories behind this epic effort to collect 10,000 photographs of the affectionately-inclined from around the world. Thanks for your patience!
Photos can be really nice escapes, especially the ones found in The Smooch! Project Archive. The image shown, Raven luvs Jen, from the All In The Family: Kids luv Moms category, is a favorite of mine. When I look at this image, I can’t decide who’s happier — Raven or Jen. This particular image was captured almost a year ago, during the 2008 Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But it really could have been taken almost anywhere in the world. This is a primary goal of mine for this effort: To bring The Smooch! Project to places outside of our beautiful state of Minnesota. The 2010 itinerary is being planned. Your input is welcome. Contact the photographer if you know of smoochy places we should be sure to add to our list!
I love that what you are doing is so fun and simple, yet so profound — the best ideas are! What you are doing is really lovely and brings so much joy. Cody and I were only too happy to participate because what you were asking for was so sweet.