Richard Billard and I were to photograph at Tompkins square park this past Sunday. Leftover Crack, Witch Hunt and some other bands I may have known 5 years ago were performing. As the shoot approached questions about my safety arose. I am naturally awkward, unable to censor myself and am thoroughly repulsed by self abuse and loud noises. I was unable to make both meetings with the stylist prior to the shoot. Things seemed shaky but my interest in being a subject of Richard's was still alive.
After ditching out on the stylist twice (and being forgiven on both occasions) I ended up getting booked for a catalogue job. No matter how dedicated to producing images you are money is priority.
The possibility of this shoot made me realize there was potential for a story based on reflection of youth and all that goes with it.
Those born in Jersey own a certain amount of pride towards the state, as if they have to justify why their family stays there. Some get tattoos or wear t-shirts, no matter the amount of pride none I know visit (excluding myself, my best friend is an infectious disease doctor in southern/central jersey). It takes a death in the family, but not a birth. Even when in Dublin I ran into someone born in the state. A natural collision happens to people from here. I still go to the shooting range every few weeks.
Both Richard and I were born and raised in Jersey. He went to school with bands I followed in my teens, including members of Leftover Crack. He skipped school with my once favorite front man. He partied, married, unmarried and avoids caffeinated beverages. It's rare to find a photographer so well composed and even more true to the X than myself (I drink green tea). Some of his old friends are still in bands, renamed themselves "Terrycloth" and are still doing what they did 25 years ago. There's something attractive about leaving adolescence where it belongs without being aware of what you've done.