Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tai Chi Practitioner in Midwood

Last Sunday I was joined by Kelly Saxton and Mindy McDaniel, a friend who came down from Troy, New York to help with the photo shoots in Fort Greene and Midwood. We set up the photostudio and table on the parkway on Ocean Parkway and Avenue J. This man was practicing what appeared to be Tai Chai right in the middle of the sidewalk. When he stopped about an hour later, I urged him for his picture. He performed some moves in front of my camera. He was very kind, but our conversation didn't go far as he didn't speak much English. Shortly after, I had a conversation with another man who told me he had seen him doing Tai Chi everyday of the year for over 10 years, in all that time they had never spoke.

Little helper

I won't be able to send this man a copy of this picture as his son filled out the email section of the questionnaire with some very expressive scribbling. In reaction to boy's interpretation of his email address, the man said "We will just have to come to the exhibition." I hope he does.


I was happy to call it a day last Saturday when the women on the right finally agreed to pose in the picture with her girlfriend. She was the first person to stop at our booth when we set up at Fort Greene park. She passed on getting her picture taken, explaining that she had just played tennis and wasn't made up but promised to bring her girlfriend back " who looks great in pictures." The couple told me that the live just down the block from the tennis courts and have been coming to play for over ten years.

Fort Greene Tennis courts

Last week, we set up the portrait studio next to the Fort Greene park tennis courts. We met some serious practitioners of the sport. Right before I was about to make this man's portrait, he exclaimed " I am taking a picture with my favorite thing."

Monday, September 22, 2008


Redhook Faces

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San Jeronima

Water Balloon

Sunday Portrait Location

Meet us in Midwood on the Ocean Parkway Boulevard

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Portrait Location

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Meet us in Fort Greene Park

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prospect Park Faces

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Colors of Your Country

Jamaica appeared to be the most represented flag during the West Indian Carnival on Labor day

Caribbean Flags

I am hoping a reader will post and identify this flag for me. It did not appear on websites on Caribbean flags.

Jon Check

"One day soon, I am sure, I am going to get a notice on my door that I am being evicted from my loft because the guy who owns the building will have sold it to a developer to turn into luxury condos. I am consider myself very lucky to have experienced Williamsburg before it turns into something else. "

Regardless if it is Coney Island, or Williamsburg, gentrification is an issue that many people in the Borough face.

Shirley and Bernie Rosenberg

"I remember when the trolley cars ran on Coney Island Ave. We went to Steeple Chase in the summer time. "

Some thoughts on the new and old Brooklyn

Gilbert Henderson

"Lookng for the new and old Coney Island to once again be the heart of Brooklyn. "

Daniel T Quinn Intern Extraordinaire

From the very inception of this project, I have been fortunate to have support of many talented and helpful people who have found time amongst their own busy schedules and projects to help out or share ideas and supplies. It is necessary to have several hands during the photo shoots to help not only with lighting, but to inform people about the project, answer questions, keep track of the questionnaires. I am very fortunate to have found Dan Quinn, a fellow artist and curator, who just moved to New York from Atlanta. Besides helping out along with Ryan Roth and Kelly Rio Saxton at last weekend's shoots at McCarren Park and Redhook Park, he is also helping with processing and archiving the more than 700 photographs I have taken so far! You can see Dan's mobile exhibition space at

Processing and data entry

We ask for your patience for those of you who have visited this site from previous shoots and have yet to see your photo. This week Dan and I began the very tedious task of keying in all the information on the questionaires that accompany each participant. It is difficult to arrive at an accurate number as some photographs contain families, but there are over 200 completed questionaires. Each participants photograph is matched up with their information and that information is entered into Lightroom, an image adjusting and managing software. After that, I will begin making any exposure or cropping adjustments to the images. Once that is done then the process of uploading the photos to Flickr, posting them to the blog, and mailing or emailing them out can be completed.

There won't be any location shoots this weekend as I am flying to Chicago for my sister's wedding ( Congratulations Amanda and Abe!). Look for us the following weekend at Forte Green Park and Ocean Parkway in Midwood.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


"I think Brooklyn is the best place we can live"

Three Friends

Photo Libre!

At the Redhook ball fields we set up between a soccer field and a baseball diamond. Most people were very involved in watching or playing the games, but Kelly, Dan and I did meet a number of curious children. Some took a break from zipping around on scooters to visit and pose for the camera.

I was fortunate to have Kelly along for the shoot in a location that is popular with Hispanic immigrants. She took careful crib notes for translating the relevant information into Spanish. However, toward the end of the day she realized that the much uttered phrase "Photo Libre" translates to "Freedom Photo." Viva La Photography!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday stroll in the park

Most people in the park at 11 am were using the track or racketball courts. We were so pleased that this couple posed in their party attire.

The Striems

Writer, Curator

" I am a Brooklyn Russian, like so many others from the last wave of Jewish refuges form the USSR."

Columbia PHD Student

I am so curious, because he omitted it on his questionnaire, what will his PHD be in?

Soccer Players

McCarren Park

I was undeterred by the ominous forecast. Daniel Quinn and Ryan Roth joined me to help out at McCarren Park in Williamsburg this Saturday. Ryan and Dan literally chased down subjects as we raced the storm. Despite the extreme humidity and black clouds, the park was full of Little League Soccer, shoppers on their way back from the Green Market, bikers and dog walkers.

Portrait Shoot Location in Redhook

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We will be set up at the soccer fields in Redhook park. I can't wait to try all the vendor's samplings for lunch.

Face of Brooklyn Love Connection

After watching her pose with her friend, the men in this picture asked the girl if she would take a picture with them. I was behind the camera, but it was still clear to me that there was some chemistry.

The next day, Kelly found this on the "missed connections" section of Craigslist.

I hope the two of you make your way to this blog and tell us how your date went.

Three friends at the Carnival


This man is self-described graffiti artist. I was very impressed with his color coordination and wanted to show off his attention to detail from his laces, to his jeans, and t-shirt.

Portraits from West Indian Carnival in Crown Heights

West Indian Carnival on Eastern Parkway

View from the outdoor portrait studio on Eastern Parkway. Many thanks to Heather Willems, Liam O'Brien, Kellly Rio Saxton, and Liam Kimball for their help.

Breaking down the studio

Nora and Liam O'Brien breakdown the studio before embarking on a search for ginger beer.

Caribbean Parade in Crown Heights

Heather attempts to collapse the backdrop after the shoot at the corner of Washington and Eastern Parkway

Brooklyn Family at the Beach

What a beautiful family. We were all happy that they stopped by during their day at the beach to be photographed.

Life Long Brooklyn Resident

Coney Island Portraits

Thanks again to the Liam Kimball, Heather Klar, and Kelly Rio Saxton for their instrumental help during the Coney Island portrait shoot. Here are few of the portraits.

Bike Cops on the Boardwalk Beat

Bathing Beauties

These girls were a bit shy, I am glad they over came it. The shoot at Coney Island wouldn't be complete without girls in bathing suits.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Young Marriage

The man in this photo offered a title for their portrait: Young Marriage. The newly weds were married just a week before I took their picture at Coney Island

McCarren Park

The rain has let up. We will be at McCarren Park from 10:30 until the rain returns.

Friday, September 5, 2008

McCarren Park

If Hanna doesn't keep us in. We will be at McCarren Park tomorrow. Look for our studio near Driggs and Union. If you are going to come out to the shoot, check back tomorrow morning for weather updates.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Coney Island August 31, 2008

On the last day of summer, Face of Brooklyn headed to the Coney Island Boardwalk to take the portraits of beach goers.

Four Generations

I was pleased to capture four generations in this family portrait. Is it possible that the color coordination might just reflect the harmony in this family?


This young couple stayed to chat with Kelly for awhile. The woman, originally from Indonesia, said that she loves the magic of New York in winter. The two of them seemed very much in love. I took several pictures of them. While this one is not the most composed of them, I feel like it reflects the happiness and mutual focus of two people who are very in love.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Newest Residents

Newest Residents

_MG_1879, originally uploaded by Face of Brooklyn.

While we did meet several participants who were born and raised just blocks from where we were, these two roommates had just moved to Brooklyn in the past week. They were so excited about Brooklyn and the upcoming semester at NYU. I found out that the girl 's T-shirt was her first purchase in the borough.

The first Face of Brooklyn

First Participant

_MG_1807, originally uploaded by Face of Brooklyn.

This little boy became the first of my subject for Face of Brooklyn.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Location One: Prospect Park, August 30, 2008

The first location for Face of Brooklyn was in one of my favorite place in the borough, Prospect Park. Any concerns I had about the willingness of passersby to participate quickly vanished as curious passers by approached me as soon as we had set up the table and hang the "Who is Brooklyn Banner." With the expert help of my amazing volunteers, I had managed to photograph over 40 separate groups or individuals in 4 hours. Somehow, between telling people about the project, assisting with the paperwork, bouncing light with the reflector, and charming children and dogs, Kelly Rio Saxton and Heather Willems also snapped these pictures on location.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Prospect Heights/Crown Heights West Indian Carnival

Today Face of Brooklyn will be in Prospect Heights for the West Indian Carnival Parade to take portraits of both parade watchers and participants.

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Coney Island

Thanks to everyone we met yesterday at the boardwalk and 24th St in Coney Island. Check back soon to see images from the event.

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A Successful First Day

Thank you to everyone who participated today. The first portrait event of the project was a great success with over 60 participants. Please check back after the weekend to see more information and the results of the Prospect Park installment.