Thursday, November 20, 2008

Brooklynites: A Review in Miniature

Brooklyn is famous for lots of things, among my favorites is ADORABLE BABIES (or, "big kids" for those little ones who protest: "I'M NOT A BABY!"). As Nora's trusty apprentice, I had the glamorous job of sifting through, labeling and e-mailing thousands of photos. As I chipped away at my mountainous task I could not help but notice that every single baby I reviewed was probably the cutest baby I had ever seen. Don't believe me? Check out these Brooklyn bunnies. I will be posting new photos every couple of days, so be on the look-out! Mostly they will feature babies, but some are just kids who were way too cute to pass up. Just what is it that makes them so adorable? You tell me!

"a photo? yes, but quickly, please. i've much to do."

photoshopping around this baby's hair was quite the learning experience.
P.S.-how jealous are you of those chanel baby bunny slippers?

those hip sunglasses actually belong to the baby and were exchanged for the free ride.

"this is my new look."

November 26th, 2008



when's the last time you got to act this silly?
don't answer that.

"mom, you aren't focusing. check out that cute three year old in the pink floyd t-shirt."

Soccer at McCarren Park

This morning the official temperature in Central Park was "freezing", but looking at the final portraits from the shoot at McCarren Park on September 6ths reminds me of the sweltering humidity of an impending storm from hurricane Ike.

Brooklynites who were unphased by the weather included a number of young soccer players who had games on the field near Driggs and Lorimer.
Along with many players, was pleased to photograph Dewey and Katherine Thompson, who started the youth soccer league who were playing at the park.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coney Island Highlights

I am happy to report that all 57 of Coney Island residents and patrons who had their portraits made have been uploaded to the Face of Brooklyn Flickr page account. To view individual pictures click here.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I desperately wanted to take Louie's portrait as soon as I spotted him getting out of his black SUV, but I made the assumption that he wouldn't be approachable. In fact, Louie, whose car keys were attached to a "World's Greatest Dad" keychain was happy to stop and pose for me on his way to a baby shower in Prospect Park.

One for me and one for you

As an artist and photographer I am always fascinated by the impact the presence of a camera has on people. I opted not to pose or direct people for the hundreds of portraits I took for this project. Usually this was unnecessary, as we are conditioned at a very early age to behave in front of the camera a very specific way.

In early projects involving portraiture that called for me to direct my subjects much more I had a tactic for working with young subjects. I would promise them that if they let me take the picture I wanted to make I would also take a picture that they wanted to make. Usually this was called the "crazy" picture.

This group of kids, who are a some combination of siblings and cousin's and neighbors, took my description of a "serious picture" and a "crazy" picture to heart.

Crazy Picture

Crown Heights November 2, 2008

The portraits from the final Face of Brooklyn shoot at Crown Heights on November 2 are now posted to Flickr, as well as in this slideshow below.

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 4th Message

Today is the day so many people of all political persuasions, age, race and gender have been looking towards.

Back in August, these young men were registering voters at the West Indie Day parade in Crown Heights when they posed for their portraits.

I would like to thank them and everyone else who have volunteered their time to promote democracy.

Get out the Vote

The Final Shoot

We set up shop on the side of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, coincidentally right in front of the home and synagogue of “his majesty, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the real King” Rebbe Menachem M. Schneerson. After shooting at eight different locations around Brooklyn, this was Nora’s final shoot and last opportunity to really capture the diverse culture that defines this densely populated borough. The Jewish community in Brooklyn is a hard one to engage with as an outsider but when one thinks of the true “face of Brooklyn,” there’s no denying the Jewish presence, specifically that of the Jewish man. The day started out slow, with much curiosity but little participation from passerby’s. Eventually we drew the attention of a group of young boys, most of whom were living in the area, studying the Talmud and worshiping at Rebbe M. M. Schneerson’s synagogue. After much persuasion and convincing, some agreed to have their portrait snapped and little by little others followed suit. Unfortunately we could not enlist many women to participate, though in a way, many religious Jewish women in the area are rarely seen in the public sphere anyway, a face of Brooklyn hardly seen. By the end of a long and cold November day, we walked away with about twelve strong portraits, a great success in our minds as we started the day with expectations on the low side.

Here is Nora, snapping away at our biggest fan and most enthusiastic model, Shuki.

After shooting this group of teenage boys, they insisted that we be in a photograph with them so that they could later brag to their friends back home in Israel about the fantastic American women they met.

(left) As we were closing up shop, this group of youngsters came cruising by on their bicycles and enticed by the chance to have their picture taken (and obtain some left over Halloween candy) they turned their bikes around, jumped in front of the camera and struck a wonderfully silly pose for Nora (our favorite facial expression is the girl's in the pink). (right) Here I am, hard at work, making sure to get all of their information down before they devoured the candy and sped away.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Last Shoot

The beautiful Indian summer weather has prompted an encore shoot for the Face of Brooklyn Project. Tomorrow Nancy and I will be in Crown Heights on Eastern Parkway between Kingston and Rochester Avenue between 12 and 3.

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