I’ve written in years past of the importance—nay, the necessity—of counting among one’s friends top-notch photographers. Not only do they generally make for stimulating conversation, it’s always very handy to have someone around with the ability to document one’s activities beyond what we mere mortals are capable of with our point 'n’ shoots.
What you see below I shall call “Exhibit A.” Beth Schneck is a friend and fellow NYC expatriate who, among other things, used to photograph all the big time art exhibits at Sotheby’s in New York. The stories of being alone in the studio with gazillion dollar artworks are thrilling. My favorite Beth Schneck/Sotheby’s story involves a photograph she took for the cover of the Sotheby’s catalog of Jeff Koon’s “Hanging Heart.” The story of getting a good shot of the metallic sculpture is interesting in its own right, but what intrigued me is that—due to its reflective surface—Beth herself is in the shot. And not only was it the cover of the catalog, it was reproduced on a huge banner hanging outside of Sotheby’s for the auction. The image was reproduced ad infinitum. You may even have seen it yourself. And if you have, you’ve seen Beth.
Her website is here, and it’s terrific.
This particular shoot came about because Beth likes to make portraits of people in their homes. It was she who suggested the slight variation of doing my picture not in my house, but in the Canned Ham. I had to think long and hard about that one. For about two seconds. What a great idea, I thought, and what a nice way to cap off the restoration project. We got out the props and the wardrobe and Beth brought over a lighting setup which floored me, but which, as you'll see, really leant a quality to the pictures that instantly clues the viewer in to what-the-heck this "Canned Ham" thing is really all about. It was terribly difficult for me to choose two pictures for this entry. I more or less put my hand over my eyes and pointed, knowing that whichever image I chose would be great. Mickey was not having it that afternoon, but Beth managed to get a couple that make my feline menace look engaged. There is one particular shot that really sums up the entire vibe of the “Canned Ham” project in toto, but I think I’ll save that one for a special event.
In other Ham news, well, she’s done. I’m sure, come fall, I’ll find one or two things I want to add, but I’m saying finis on my part of this reno project. I got a new jack and caster wheel yesterday at the local RV place (where they are very patient with novices, by the way) and Monday AM my mechanic will come over, replace the wheels and tires and haul ‘er off for the—I’ve gotta say it—important restoration work. Sure, glowing wood paneling and a surround sound TV are all well and good, but if the thing slides off the chassis going through the Great Smokey Mountains, nobody’s really gonna care.
There will probably be one more entry here before I direct your undivided summer attention to…