Focus on my community of Jackson, Michigan. Leaders, makers, progressives, business owners, people doing good stuff in and around town.
Keep it a old school, noir-ish, late night vibe – like Letterman in a smoky tavern, shooting the shit with his guests, cocktail in hand.
But less of the promotional, I’m-here-to-promote-something late night TV stuff (we have a show in town for that). No, I’d want to talk with the person as a person, talk about our city, and talk about what keeps them going.
I’d start small, and tap into my acquaintances – people I’ve covered while doing my portrait projects, and people who are doing creative things in town. Then, build out from there.
The Hot Air Jubilee is one of Jackson’s big annual events. Photos of hot air balloons are all over the Chamber of Commerce’s promotional materials, and for good reason: thousands of people head to Ella Sharp Park each July to watch the liftoffs.
For me, it never gets old. There’s magic in these giant sacks of hot air slowly inflating, and then leaving the ground, heading to Oz – or the outskirts of the county. It’s not just the balloons, either. The Hot Air Jubilee is like a small county fair, with junk food and rides and games of chance.
Tons of local photographers fight for the chance to get inside the launch grounds. I’ve been there, but it’s just as fun to sit on the sidelines and watch the show as a spectator.
A week ago, I kicked off the project at my studio open house. But this project has been in the works for almost a year now. I’ve thought and thought about it for so long, and now it’s a real thing in the world that I’m working on.
It involves capturing local Jackson, Michigan musicians on black and white medium format film through the summer. I’ll capture our conversations, make portraits, and share the creative love in my hometown.
Why Kickstarter? There are film costs, and the studio space to rent, and photographic prints to produce. It’s also a way to preorder prints or the book when it’s released this holiday season. Really, it’s a way to support creative endeavors like these community portrait projects.
Tomorrow night I’m hosting a studio open house in downtown Jackson.
It’s partly to kick off my next portrait project, partly to test out the new space, and partly as a big “thank you” to folks around town who have supported my projects. Plus I have a few people whose portrait I’ve wanted to make for a while now. So, bonus.