GREETINGS FROM MONTAUK . . .

The latest & greatest images, excursions, missions, musings, projects, products . . . from Ric & the Hat Trick.

A Moment for Light Reflection

Adventures In the Map Room

The power and potential of memory is on full display in Alfonso Cuaron’s current film ROMA — my personal choice for Best Film this year. Perhaps it was finally having the opportunity to see that film this week that led me today in the #maproom towards some Light Reflection.

Reflecting is also a path to understanding, acknowledging, learning from and adapting those influences that have been encountered along the way into one’s own work. Certainly reading the review in yesterday’s NYTimes regarding the upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum took me back further to something I’d learned from the outstanding 2002 film FRIDA directed by Julie Taymor with a brilliant performance by Salma Hayek about the trailblazing artist: rather than be overcome by circumstances, she conquered them by such acts as treating her plaster torso corsets (necessary after a near-fatal bus crash) as canvases for beautiful art. This along with studying the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat taught me this: anything and EVERYthing can be a canvas. This approach has been influencing my process and approach in my recent personal projects, especially the collaborative work with my distant relative from Mississippi, who I’ve yet to even physically meet, R. A. Smith (more on R. A. at a later time).

A nod must also be made to the influence of a little book I read, STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST, by the ever interesting Austin Kleon

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Further Adventures in the #maproom: Employing a RAY GUN (or, an appreciation for David Carson)

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F is for FAKE:

Following my last blog post, one of my photos therein received a comment from a friend who, doing his usual bit of detective work, pointed out the following:

There is one genuine M and one fake M. Possibly also one genuine O and one fake O.

I’m sure my friend’s comment was written in a humorous vein. Indeed, I chuckled. Unfortunately, the word “fake” has become a fighting word in our sad times. “So,” I said to no one in particular (since no one was there) “instead of my solution to a problem being seen as a ‘sly-te’ application of a theory wherein necessity becomes the mother of invention, I am reminded that barely nowhere can I go to escape the scourge of our times.”

Yet, forget that. Instead, let me twist this situation around and pay my due to a true master of invention (and other “fake” characterization) none other than one of my cultural ‘heroes’, @DavidCarson.

There must have been something in the water, the air or something else back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s as there was a whole earth-shattering moment there with regard to creativity in the cultural sphere of the Western world. For perspective, Ronald Reagan was president . . . but I surely don’t think he had that much to do with it. More specifically, I’m speaking of touchstones like Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message”; the collaborations of Brian Eno with David Byrne and The Talking Heads; the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat; AND the aforementioned Mr. Carson. While the first two groupings were blowing up music, and JMB was blowing up art, the not-quite-as-household famous Mr. Carson was blowing up graphic design. In an almost trade-world-ish little publication called TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, he was breaking ground. To be totally honest, at that time I was trying to find gainful employment and, with the exception of “Bush of Ghosts,” most of this was flying way over my head & beyond my radar. I didn’t get up to speed with most of this work for years . . . in some cases, decades.

But forward into the past. As Brian Eno has said, the word “Genius” is really a bit of misguiding terminology. He prefers his own word: “Scenius.” He argues against the popular notion of a solitary soul slaving away in the dark, unnoticed and isolated from all around until, “Eureka!,” there comes a “Eureka!” “Scenius” properly refers back to a more accurate “something in the water” idea. I.E., there was much coming-together, cross-referencing, & historical/cultural funneling down. There was a group channeling of the spirits, as it were. For instance, in the case of Basquiat experts talk about how much-ignored was his education in the history of the arts via his mother’s influence, and how his style reflected his love of hip-hop (his close friend was Fab Five Freddy). Regardless, the flow comes to an apotheosis and Basquiat, along with the others mentioned above are examples of touchstones.

Regarding David Carson, I have no idea how the flow reached him but like the others his work remains standout. I first became aware of his work in a magazine in the ‘90s of which he was a founder: RAY GUN. It blew my mind & yet, not knowing anything about publishing or art/design, I had no idea how singular was his contribution. The impact was stunning. One didn’t so much read the magazine as LOOK at it. The only thing I can relate to what the experience of RAY GUN was like was via yet another Eno interview: his take on song lyrics. He ventured that, in pop/rock/contemporary music they really weren’t that important — that what made a song standout was the combination of the music/key lyric phrases/production/sound and their impact as a whole that amounted to a sum greater than the parts. When I thought about it, it was true: while my favorite songs were embedded in my brain and being I really had little clue as to a lot of what most of them were talking about. I FELT them more than I understood them. To me, Carson seemed to take that approach with magazine copy. After all, there were SO many magazines. Who really read them? In fact, in one famous instance, he apparently thought so little of the questions and answers in an interview with Bryan Ferry that he printed the entire piece in Zapf Dingbat font. Incredible. And from what I can deduce, none of his style was attributable to computers & software. His style preceded that development & instead came along organically from an analog manner of layout. Yet what he did wasn’t random. It was a method. It was a vision. Naturally, due to the strength of his labors, it became imitated. Sadly, therefore, it eventually was diluted and distilled until it was a fad that came and went. Of course, they shot the messenger.

Today, however, when I open up my copy of his THE END OF PRINT, like when I re-listen to “The Message”, or the Eno/Byrne “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” or stand at the Broad Museum in front of Basquiat’s Untitled (Skull) these works seems as fresh, new and as fully impactful today as in the ‘80s. The more I look/listen to all of this work, the deeper the waters run and the more complex they get. Yet another key ingredient to all this work, for me: the sheer attraction of them. On the surface all of this work is FUN. They pull you in. And then they let you go to town.

Now, how did I get onto this? Returning back to my humble little #maproom project, it initially was inspired one recent morning via my passing through my dining room and coincidentally noticing the winter light shining across my map-covered table. Collections of some of my ‘stuff’ was strewn there — one such set was a mish-mash of industrial era typewriter keys which I’d always wanted to incorporate into something, somehow. Out came the camera right then, & one thing led to another. Now, the light at this time of year moves VERY fast. Working alone and close up to these things means moving quickly, cutting some corners. But it’s fun. In a project of this nature, however, eventually I was bound to ‘paint’ myself into a corner. I wanted to use a word that had, “damn!,” multiple uses for a single character — something a set of typewriter keys does not have. I could have taken more time and put up my tripod and taken multiple exposures and then loaded the images into Photoshop and blah and blah and blah. And it would not have looked “fake.”

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Which leads us to understanding that this method is the biggest fake there is. Not to mention being a total kill-joy. After many years of that approach, experience hyper-sped me to leap-frog right over that “solution”. Instead, my mind recalled how I’d always gotten a kick out of Carson’s font substitutions — upside down 7s as Ls, backwards 3s for Es, etc — and, boom, I moved directly to what I learned from him: “who gives a damn? Let go & just have fun.” Therefore, I “faked” it. I employed a zero as the second “O” and an upside down "W” as the second “M.” No big whoop, just a subtle substitution and yet “Bonus”: It perhaps does make someone take a second, closer look. “Hey! That’s not a REAL “O”!

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Necessity is the mother of re-invention.

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Oh, one other thing. That word “fake.” It also recalled another of my cultural heroes, Orson Welles, and his abecedarian entitled film. Yes. “F is for Fake.” No matter what character you use.

Adventures In the Map Room
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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Adventures in the Map Room

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I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions but so far I’ve kept to mine: working every day in the #maproom” for the month of January, inspired by the #winterlight. That’s a good thing. Januarys can be bleak: The buzzing energy of the Holidays is over; the decorations get taken down; the trees tossed; my Hither Hills neighborhood in Montauk empties; and, dramatically, the brevity of daylight is matched only (in the Northeast) by the harshness of the weather. Yet now after two full years of living full-time here, I’m beginning to better adjust to the seasonal rhythms and take advantage of the opportunities. So, while it seems as if one’s main goal for January is merely to survive, this year I was able to turn that around. Coincidentally, this is exactly what @AustinKleon is discussing in his blog today “Beyond Survival Mode” . Once you can get beyond surviving & onto the part of living in the moment, it allows you to immerse yourself in what’s right in front of you — which, interestingly, leads to another Austin post on the great Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Mary Oliver, who recently passed, titled after one of her poems: “You Do Not Have to be Good”.

For instance, this is how I managed to switch my perception of an annual condition from a negative into a positive: on clear days, the winter sun, at its lowest position in the sky, pierces blindingly through my front windows, ESPECIALLY in what I call “The Map Room” (a smallish, supposed ‘dining’ room that I’ve hacked into a more colorful study space via the use of a lot of inexpensive nautical charts & some basic carpentryt skills.) This year, I recognized the bright beam-like rays of beautiful contrasts that appeared between the gaps of my curtains for the incredible eye-candy they offered. Rather than treating this as a condition to struggle against, it became a situation to dive into for what has become endless visual possibilities. The result? I’ve now been rewarded with a really fun and idea-generating Natural Light Lab. The dividends of advise proffered by the late Mary Oliver are many: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

It’s only January 18 and therefore still a work-in-progress. More to come. Stay tuned.

Adventures In the Map Room
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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Happy New Year, 2019!

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Happy New Year!

Into the Hat Cave with Art, Commerce & Wabi-Sabi

2019 has hatched & we are on our way — hopefully not IN our way. There’s much work to do (what else is new!); new plans to unfold; the road is stretched out ahead (though the destination is not always clear) and that’s part where fresh, unseen adventures are to be had. For me, a lot of the adventure TRAVELING will more metaphysical than actual: now that the “Hat Cave”, my home studio, is pretty much up & operational one big goal is to follow up on the notion to do more work with still life and motion capture in the service of both art AND commerce.

So, time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. “The Egg” is Project One. It’s an ostrich egg that for decades has been a prized “objet” of mine. Of course, that begs the question as to how & why do I continually find new ways to drop it, break it and, like with Humpty Dumpty, try to put it back together again. This time, though, rather than feel the tragedy I was able to see the opportunity. This ability was revealed to me a few years ago while doing some old-school analog reading (I’ve always found that I’m much more likely to find something interesting to learn simply by turning a page in a newspaper than is the case when flipping thru digital news feeds where we are spoon-fed whatever some algorithm determines we’ll be interested in.) In this instance, I stumbled upon the mention of an author, Leonard Koren, and his series of small books, in particular “WABI-SABI - for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” which I proceeded to acquire & read with eye-opening delight. Wabi-Sabi can most easily be correlated to ‘patina.’ It is the added value brought to something or someone by virtue of the visual physical transformation that occurs over time. Something invisible is added when there’s a story that can be seen lurking beneath the surface. And so, the broken egg became a story and a photograph because sometimes the broken thing is more interesting than the perfect thing.

Okay, now where’s the glue?

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

"I Don't Believe in Role Models, But . . . "

“I don’t believe in role models, but you’re mine!” Tori Murden McClure - 1st American/1st Woman to row across the Atlantic

“I don’t believe in role models, but you’re mine!” Tori Murden McClure - 1st American/1st Woman to row across the Atlantic

What do you do when you meet a true life action adventure hero? Here’s what happened.

One of the shows at this year’s NAMT Fest 30 was a musical by Dawn Landes & Danny Goldstein appropriately entitled “Row.” It presented the story of Tori Murden McClure the 1st American & 1st woman to ROW solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She accomplished this on her 2nd attempt as her first go came to an end when she came across a little thing called a hurricane. Tori might have stopped after that 1st try, but, from the age of 15, she had lived in Louisville &, as life would have it, she was introduced to a local by the name of Muhammed Ali. When asked what he thought about stopping or trying again, his response, as she tells it, was “Do you want to be known as the woman who ALMOST rowed across the ocean?” Yet finally succeeding wasn’t enough: she then decided to take up skiing & went on a little trip to Antartica & skied to the geographic South Pole. In case you’re counting that was about 700 miles. After the 81-day 2,962 mile trip across the ocean you could say the ski was nothing but a little jaunt -- except that she also became the 1st American and 1st woman to do that.

Her rowboat was named “Pearl” and she wrote a memoir called “A Pearl in the Storm.” She might’ve taken a much-deserved rest after that but having a BA in Psych from Smith; Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School; J.D. from the Univ of Louisville School of Law; & MFA in writing from Spalding Univ, she just steamed on ahead & became President of Spalding U. The what’s, the why’s & the wherefore’s are all laid out in the thrilling piece of musical theatre “Row” for which she & her husband volunteered to build the one single set piece required: a version of the “Pearl”. And Tori actually came to the NAMT performances which is how I met her. When that happened I could only think of what Sir Charles Barkley once said: “I don’t believe in role models. But you’re mine!” And of course I asked if I could get a couple of photos.

#montaukphotographer #celebrityphotography #performancephotography #theaterphotography #musicaltheatrelife #musicals

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Love and Happiness in the Fall

Love and Happiness in the Fall

For two weeks in October since 2009, I’ve documented the annual festival of new musicals for NAMT. When this year rolled around, the added dimension of the fest’s 30th Anniversary Gala - #NAMTFEST30 - brought the realization that I’ve been the official photographer for a full one-third of all of them. A bit daunting of a thought that’s been, and it proved motivation to take stock.

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For some background, each year the National Alliance for Musical Theatre receives about approximately 250 submissions for eight slots in its fest. The selected pieces get about 10 days of rehearsal with restrictions on the lengths of each, the amount of props that can be used (none), costuming (none) and length of the performances (50 minutes each)

During my tenure as the NAMT photographer, I’ve worked with three different and wonderful festival directors -- Kathy Evans, Branden Huldeen and Ciera Iveson -- all of whom were present. While each has brought their own individual stamp, the good news is that there is great focus on maintaining consistency and continuity. Every year builds and fosters the sense of tradition, and, as such, there is a very tight formula the festival dances to. For me, after ten years, the familiarity I’ve gained with the parameters makes the job much easier and that much more enjoyable. Agreed, as Chaucer said, familiarity can breed contempt, but, “Ladies and Gentlemen!” such is not the case with this Festival. Each year gathers its own infinitely surprising crop of 8 new musicals that never fail to entertain. Indeed, many go onto great success. For example, in 2013, I photographed an unknown couple from Canada, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who had entered their effort about a silver-lined side story of the tragic 911 events. It was entitled COME FROM AWAY. Today, that entry is a Broadway smash and Sankoff & Hein were back at NAMT to perform at the Gala.

Documenting the fest means that so many ‘familiar’ faces become friends from around the globe. They arrive every year either to participate or simply to enjoy. There are people like the incredible songwriting team of George Stiles and Anthony Drew from London who have had three shows at the Festival over the years, and who, as they are in NY rehearsing their own upcoming Broadway show, dropped in to perform at this year’s Gala VIP reception -- and somehow in the midst of all their activity they found time to mentor a team new to the festival. Rhys Jennings and Darren Clark also of the UK brought their fun, raucous and sexy yet thought-provoking THE WICKER HUSBAND ( @WickerMusical )-- a blend of English folk music and storytelling in service to a serious consideration of ‘the other.’

Additionally, even as I dash from rehearsal-to-rehearsal and show-to-show, the phenomenal energy of all the effort around me keeps me going without a thought. The shows always incorporate top theatrical talent in support of either novice or accomplished creative talents with an incredible amount of hard work, discipline and dedication. One extra key reason for looking forward to the Fest each year is that there is a tremendous abundance of love and happiness that resonates through the entire two weeks of rehearsals & performances.

While many shows are dedicated to the application of high craft for the sheer joy of entertainment, the Festival is devoted to a tradition of diversity, inclusion, open-mindedness, and the exploration of the full gamut of societal issues, not to mention inventiveness and imagination. Therefore, at least 50% of the shows work on a serious and challenging level both thematically and musically.

As a for instance, XY is a musical by Oliver Houser developed with Hunter Bird concerning the challenges and stigmatization faced by someone born with sexual anatomy that does not fit ‘normal’ gender definitions. What is discovered is still something that relates to timeless universal themes of dealing with our pasts no matter who we are thus stressing the sometimes forgotten fact: we are all human. The play was developed with the participation of InterACT, an advocacy group for intersex children, members of which were present and who I had the pleasure of meeting.

Regardless, whether participating or watching, everyone lifts the entire effort and all involved off the ground providing a unique spirit.

My tenth year, therefore, was elevated yet higher. Many thanx to all of the composers, writers, directors, actors and musicians, stage managers, tech crew members for the incredible and inspiring work; and thanx to New World Stages for the great facility within which to work. One key point: words cannot say enough for the great NAMT team. It’s always awesome to work with you.

For one last bit of perspective -- if I seem to be exaggerating the positive benefits of this event, let me just point out that during the ten days of my involvement this year, all festival participants walked by or were only a block away from the post office in Manhattan where it was revealed in the news one of the many pipe bombs sent by a Trump supporter was discovered; and I ended one day heading home to check the list of victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh to see if there would be anyone I knew having a past connection with the community of Squirrel Hill. These are terrible and dark times for our country and it’s efforts like those at the NAMT Fest that provide a much-needed counterbalance of peace, love and happiness.

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Above it All . . .

A “Make It Special” Event: the 40th Anniversary Symphony Space Gala at Capital

A “Make It Special” Event: the 40th Anniversary Symphony Space Gala at Capital

Concentrating these days on art, video and portraits, I no longer document events as much as in the past. While often fun and visually interesting too many planners overlook the long-term possibilities when it comes to visual documentation and therefore pay too little attention to the necessary details of preparation and execution, let alone the budget. However, when a significant event comes along that encompasses full-on portraits of key attendees it always captures my interest.

Such was the case earlier this year for the 40th Anniversary Gala for New York’s Symphony Space. I was contacted by the organization because, as I was told, my work for them in the past had made those occasions very special and, as such, they wanted my approach again for this year’s event. Well, flattery will get you everywhere. And as my work back then had always encompassed the opportunity not just for event documentation but performance & resulted in some of my favorite studio-like portraits it was even more enticement to say “yes.” Sweetening the mix was the fact that the event would be held at Capitale, one of the truly grand event spaces in the City.

Blind Boy Paxton

Blind Boy Paxton

There were outstanding, if too short, headline performances by the incomparable blues artist Blind Boy Paxton and the soulful powerhouse that is Liz Vice.

Liz Vice

Liz Vice

Above it all, the main floor that is, there is a bit of a catwalk/balcony that not only provides a special vantage point for “the wide shot” but also will lead you to a section of the building where there exists two, very grand rooms (probably once, in its initial incarnation, having been offices for the old bank’s officers). One of these with it’s red-velvet curtains, modern lounge chairs and gold walls was embodiment of dramatic. My assistant and I had a fun time setting up a 10-light array to portray the performers for the evening’s festivities.


Meanwhile, for film lovers, especially fans of the Coen Brothers, on the heels of yesterday’s dramatic hearings in the Senate, I greatly appreciated this note regarding Stephen King’s reaction, including as it did an astute reference to a favorite film of mine, worth noting.

https://mashable.com/article/stephen-king-brett-kavanaugh-tweets/#pOo_Gi.YBiqT


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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

"We now return you.."

“…to our program already in progress:”

Shadow Man

...as I was saying, it’s been a busy year. The most interesting part, though, was the . . . “interesting” part: the revelation of an off-the-grid distant relative from Mississippi, one R. A. Smith, who also happens to be an artist. This connection has led to an ongoing, very stimulating, and challenging mixed media collaboration. It has transported me to a variety creative zones -- some of them new, some of which have only been dormant. Communicating as we do via old-school processes might seem to slow things down yet with many concurrent pieces in the pipeline there’s actually an exciting amount of productivity going on. One of the early efforts is shown above.

Here’s a couple of things I’d like to pass along:

Probably the most influential cultural experience I so far in 2018 was a deep re-entry into the world of David Lynch this year. At some point in the winter I binged on TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks_(2017_TV_series). I’ve always been a fan but this collection exploded my thinking -- it has a very slow start (like 3 episodes worth) but it’s worth the wait. Several episodes feature some of the most incredibly original, cinematic expressions of the surreal I’ve ever witnessed. Naturally, this led me back to rewatch all of the original TWIN PEAKS tv series (and finally finish the second season which wasn’t as bad as recalled) as well as FIRE WALK WITH ME which has aged like a fine wine with layers previously unnoticed. Tumbling further down the rabbit hole I rewatched MULHOLLAND DRIVE (truly brilliant) as well as the incredibly visceral mobius strip that is LOST HIGHWAY. All of these are highly recommended. If I get started on BLUE VELVET or I’ll be here for days.

For all you artists out there, Lynch is also the subject of a documentary THE ART LIFE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Lynch:_The_Art_Life. If you’re someone like me who wonders why it can’t “just happen”, well, take heed: there are some good lessons here.

Speaking of the artists in documentaries: AMERICAN MASTERS http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/ has four new ones on Eva Hesse, Elizabeth Murray, Andrew Wyeth and the guy who gets my vote for one of the great geniuses of art in the 20th Centure, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Which circles me around to last September’s BDay when on a trip to LA and the Broad Museum I had my first real face-to-face encounter with the work of Basquiat. https://www.thebroad.org/art/jean%E2%80%90michel-basquiat/untitled. I checked to make sure there hadn’t been an earthquake or tremor because the ground shook under my feet. I’ve been gulping down all of the info I could get on him ever since. It’s taken this long because, probably like many, during his lifetime I was buried under the onslaught of absolutely racist BS that substituted for art criticism of him and his work during his lifetime. In truth, the man was an incredibly knowledgeable and deliberate artist of great depths and complexity whose output in such a short span continues to astonish. The only disappointment is that we’ll never know what he might have done in later years.

‘til next time, you can find me in the Black Lodge.

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

THE THRILLS, SPILLS & DAREDEVIL CHILLS OF (gasp) ORGANIZING, Pt 1:

Finding Buried Treasure

The Star Ferry Box

Butterflies in the stomach.  Nail-biting terror.  Gut wrenching anxiety that can often lead to head-in-the-sand, hide-under-the-covers panic attacks.  This is what many of us face when confronting the need to organize.  Actually, though, there is hope for our kind..

One sidebar of setting up my new website was facing the need to reorganize my photo library and the getting the thrill of rediscovering old favorites, some almost totally forgotten.  Given years of work as a professional photographer with thousands upon thousands of images to manage, it’s not that I wasn’t organized.  I couldn’t afford to not know where image files were.  Unfortunately, with software, imaging capabilities and output requirements constantly in flux, my system had been developed on the fly.  On the good side, as far as assignment work was concerned, a management system that I adapted from the method of Scott Elias back in my ‘80s music days, held up amazingly well.  In mere moments, I can track down the location of a client’s image from a decade ago.  

Locating my own work?  That’s been another story.  The problem was that I’ve always organized work in a calendar year system.  Along with my client projects, each year contained of set of my personal images.   Often captured on the fly, however, some really cool images were easily buried and forgotten.  I did have a separate Lightroom library for my “portfolio” work but my entries were haphazard.  The collection didn’t necessarily coincide with how I organized galleries on my old site.  This time around, when I couldn’t find images I knew I’d like to not only show but also SELL online and which, shall we say, were not easy to locate, I had no choice but to knuckle down and throw myself down into another rabbit hole.  It was frustrating, of course, as it could only delay progress on the site but I knew it would be worth it.   After all, when a purchase order comes in, the inventory had better be easy to locate!

Lo and behold, I rediscovered images from quite awhile ago, before I officially set out to be a professional photographer that brought on a rush of sensation.  One particular set was from my year as an expat living in Hong Kong in 1996/7 -- the period known as the Handover, when rule reverted from the British Empire back to China.  It was an exciting time to be there.  Then, I wasn’t so interested in ‘documentation’ (maybe in retrospect I wish I had been) as much as the art of photography.  As such, while I did some color work, my preference was infra-red 35mm film.  Infra-red is a challenging and difficult format & process but, to me, it was worth it.  The properties of that type of film produced photos that evoked an almost dream-like state that appealed to me quite a bit.  Finding myself living at that particular time in such a foreign place often seemed like a dream and so it all fit together nicely.  Seeing again, one of my favorite photos from that time, an image attempted almost as a lark since in the growing darkness that was present I never really expected any decent results to emerge, was particularly satisfying.  I went so far as to turn out a print to use on a box I made to store some inks and colored pencils. 

In the Bear Cave
Big Buddha
Hong Kong Star
The Scaffold Builders in Happy Valley
Travel - Landscape

So, if you need some exciting thrills in your life, try some organizing.  You might be surprised by what you uncover.

 

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

A CRAZY IDEA

We're experiencing yet another winter storm here in Montauk.  So, it seems like a good day to relate the story behind a recent photograph.

One day back in January, I received a phone call from a lady who had been referred to me by the Montauk. Chamber of Commerce.  Joan is an elderly woman who lives somewhere back towards the middle of Long Island and she had, as she put it, a “crazy idea” for a gift she would like to give to her son in celebration of his upcoming retirement.  She was wondering if I might be able to help.  Since she knew her son loved Montauk, her idea was this: would it be possible for me to go out to the point and get a photo of the Lighthouse just as the dawning sun peaked over the horizon, here’s the catch, on the exact first day of his new post-work life?  I could only smile as a I scratched my head at this wonderfully whimsical notion.  “Everyone thinks it’s kinda silly,” she said in her very cheery, optimistic voice, “but I really like it.  Don’t you think it’s a neat idea?”  Joan had no way of knowing that she was asking this question of a guy who, shall we say, has a lifetime of experience with pursuing crazy ideas.  I knew immediately that this commission was not going to be the job that would pay for my new ‘whatever’ but, just as immediately, I said, “YES!”  

Now, of course, I had to give Joan a few caveats.  “Joan, I have to remind you that, while the sun does still come up every day, we don’t always see it.  Especially in Montauk.  Especially in February.”  And, wow, this winter has been a doozy of drizzly days, storms, blizzards, etc.  We’ve had five days of overcast skies and rain, followed by a day of “mixed sunshine” followed by a fives days of overcast skies and rain.  I wondered if she wouldn’t just be as happy to take one of my photos from previous, fair weather dawns that I already had in my library of the sun coming up out at the point.  She liked what she saw, but, no, the idea was that it had to be THE day.  “Okay,” I said, “We will make it a date and cross our fingers.”

Then: the day of her son’s retirement shifted back a few days.  Oh, no!  That day and the next were “on hold” to photo a corporate event in the City.  I checked quickly with my corporate client to see if there had been an update.  A day later the news came back that . . . the corporate presentation to be photographed had been pushed back a week.  Whew!  Joan’s new date was free!  Bullet dodged.  

Of course, the weather on the run-up was the worst.  The original day that had been scheduled was a TOTAL washout, but . . .  the forecast was improving.  

And wouldn’t you know it?  February 27th, the Tuesday we had secured, dawned with mild temperatures and not a single cloud in the sky.  It was like magic.  Not only were the colors spectacular but with all the rain, they were also clear as a bell.  In addition to Joan’s requested composition, I was able to achieve four other keepers of my own, which of course I emailed her in case she wanted an option.  But she stuck true to her original notion -- the lighthouse with the sun just on top of the horizon line.  We also decided then to add a line of text on the image so that her son would know that the image was created, as Joan like to put it, “that exact first day of the rest of his life.”  The next day, the sky began to cloud over again and the forecast turned dim.  We quickly consulted with her local lab and delivered the image file which was immediately printed up as a giant poster and ready for Joan by Friday morning. By that afternoon, a northeastern storm began to rage through all of New England and the mid-Atlantic.

When Joan got home, though, she called me.  She said with a big smile that you could hear over the phone, “Oh, Ric, you should see your work.  It’s beautiful!”  And that brought my own big smile.  Sometimes there’s nothing like “a crazy idea.”

---

And here's another crazy idea -- you can have your very own image like this one if you head on over to "Hat Tricks For Sale" & check out the items I have for sale there.  Who knows?  You might even get a crazy idea of your own.

 

Lighthouse Dawn 022718
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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.