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Sarah Souther: The Girl with the Infectious Laugh

Posted: March 3rd, 2011 | Filed under: artist, feature, food, great face, retail, yoga | 8 Comments »

I kept hearing about this Sarah Souther girl. Everyone saying, “You’ve got to include her in your project!”. But I didn’t get it about the marshmallow thing; what’s so interesting about that? But then I got to know her, and she’s just a joy to be with. She spent her first 24 years in Ireland, then followed a man here to Nashville. Now she’s here, teaching yoga, and running a designer marshmallow company in East Nashville. She’s also an artist that works with silk. I think the plan is for her to soon move to the Marathon Building, and expand her business. Watch the video, below, and tell me you can’t be with her without smiling.

(Added later: Sarah's sweet daughter, Anja).

This man’s name is Gary Gray

Posted: March 1st, 2011 | Filed under: great face, mini-feature | 3 Comments »

I was shooting today, at The Springwater; doing a feature on the legendary Dave Cloud, to be published later. It was a gorgeous day, and we were all hanging out back, under that covered deck. Dave introduced me to his friend Gary Gray. (They’ve called him Gravy Train since high school). Anyway, I just made friends with this guy. Tough story — when Gary was 25, (he’s now 54), he worked downtown at Chilton’s Engines. He drove a new Camero SS, midnight blue. One day, he and his buddy decided to go to a Harley rally in the Midwest. So off they go. Somewhere in Wyoming, they hit a car head-on at 85mph, and Gary’s buddy was killed instantly, but they cut Gary out of the car. He died twice in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital. He was in a coma for 105 days, then one day, he just woke up.

I could bullshit you, and tell you that I’ve spent a lot of time with guys who live on the street, but that would just be me lying. I have not. Of course Gary “had a hand” in what happened to him, but still, there sits a man — a nice, warm man — who now walks very slowly, with a cane, and as I write this at 10:20pm, he’s trying to find a place to sleep tonight, maybe in Centennial Park or somewhere nearby. I’m just saying it affected me pretty deeply — me knowing that I was going to drive home to a warm home, and me realizing that come sundown, Gary was going to be looking for a place for his sleeping bag. I had offered him one of the 4×5 Polaroids to keep, but he told me he didn’t have any place for it; that’s what started the conversation.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say, but when you spend an afternoon with someone, talking about cars, and adventures, and travels, you just make friends. You have things in common. And then you realize they’re going to be searching for a place to sleep that night.

Zack Maddox and Booger: Skateboarding fun

Posted: February 27th, 2011 | Filed under: chef, dog, great face, mini-feature | 11 Comments »

This is a crazy story — so last summer, I’m on my road bike, on Russell Street in East Nashville, and out of the corner of my eye, I see this guy on a skateboard round a corner, being pulled by a dog on a rope. I did a double-take, turned around, and tried to catch them. They were gone. Poof. Thin air. Like an apparition. For days after that, I went to every bike shop and skate shop in East Nashville inquiring about this mystery couple. No one knew a thing.

Fast forward to a week ago — I’m in Antioch, photographing Gillian St. Clair and her husband. As I’m packing the car to leave, she casually says, “Oh, you ought to photograph my brother; he has a dog that pulls him on a skateboard”. My jaw dropped. I’d finally found him.

So today, we knocked on the door of Zack Maddox, a chef at The Boundry, and we met his wife Lindsey, and his dog Booger. Booger is a boxer, age ten. Watch the video below, and let Zack tell you how Booger got started in the business. He sees a skateboard, and he goes nuts — grabs the rope in his jaws, and takes off, pulling Zack down the street. Happy as a clam.

Zack also told me about his buddy, who has a Blue Heeler that climbs trees to chase down frisbees. I can’t wait to photograph that.

International Market: Bell and Kont

Posted: February 24th, 2011 | Filed under: great face, mini-feature, restaurant, retail | 3 Comments »

We had a very productive day today with this project. This morning, Jon and I photographed performance artist Tom Mason in Shelby Park (to be published later, with video), then grabbed some fine lunch at Turnip Truck in the Gulch, then made our way over to photograph Mike Grimes at Grimeys (to be published later). Then out to Trader Joes to try to convince this guy that works there to allow us to photograph him; “Please say yes, you have a great face”. Then back to International Market to buy a rice cooker for a party; while we were there, we saw Kont and Bell behind the counter, and asked if we could photograph them.

I’ve eaten a thousand meals at International Market over the years; (Tom Yum and Ka Pow). Whenever I order from the kitchen, Kont usually brings me the meal out, and we have this ritual where I thank her, and we look at each other and smile, and she says, “You’re welcome”. It’s just a nice little dance we do; so sweet and kind. I found out today that Bell is from Thailand, and Kont is from Laos. Kont doesn’t speak much English, so Bell stayed with us and translated. (Mostly, I just waved my arms, smiled, and talked louder than normal, as if that would help). We photographed them both out on the sidewalk in front, on Belmont. We got off about six or seven sheets of each one, before they had to go back in to work.

Was a very good day.

Bell grew up in Thailand.

Kont grew up in Laos.