I have always resisted holding up my work and saying, “check this out!” I have never wanted to hang prints in a gallery – too static. Never wanted to publish a retrospective of greatest hits –still growing too fast. Never wanted to share the personal work – thought it was personal. Never wanted to show the commercial work – it is made for a specific context. Never wanted to look back, always wanted to look ahead. My ego never needed the spotlight.
Portfolios have never worked for me. 20 or 30 still images that told my story? Our shootings are too much about rhythm, discovery, improvisation – too much fun to whittle it down to single images. Categories all seemed random – corporate, celebrity, kids – so so boring.
Then the ipad came out. The first time I held it and saw my images glow it was a real “aha” moment. Then came two necessary bits of luck.
First – I called Subalehka Udayasankar. She had designed a lovely ipad app for another photographer, that was very much like a web site retooled for the ipad. At our first meeting, just as Sub was about to tell me she could not replicate what she had done, I told her I wanted something that was completely different. An app that took advantage of the ipad navigation, it’s closed environment, it’s touch and glow. I wanted something that was fun and could mix it up. I wanted something that both felt familiar and was completely new.
Second – We had a second child pregnancy situation. The baby was due in mid October, but I was warned by the mid-wives that it would come much faster than Jackson. “It might come so fast you could go to the market and come home to a new baby!!!”
I wound up with three weeks in September clinging very close to home. I decided to create an exercise playing with my images. I made up a bunch of random categories with my crew and Stephie. I then stayed up late many nights dumping images from every part of my work into the buckets.
I found the threads that ran through everything – the commercial work, the personal work – and everything in between. It was a revelation. This was much more interesting than organizing work by shootings or events. It allowed me to edit much more like my life is, and how my work actually evolves. It felt freeing and it was fun.
Then Asher was born. He came fast, but we did make it to the hospital. Over the next two months we pushed and tweaked the app. The ipad is a very specific device that is still relatively new. We needed to invent a way of navigating that was intuitive. Sub kept updating my ipad from the developers software and we tested it on strangers sitting next to us on the plane, our mothers, friends, clents….strangers were best.
Finally, we pulled the app out of the oven and let it cool in the window. We then packed it up and sent it to Apple for approval. When we were flying out to LA this week we got the word. It is live in the itunes store.