I found these photos in my drafts folder after neglecting this blog/photography far too long so I thought I should publish them anyway. I don’t remember much about this day except telling brooke she dressed like a child but not in a bad way and kelsey’s hair wild on the trampoline and how beautiful they both are when they laugh.
this is mady. she’s really beautiful and she takes really beautiful pictures and i love her because she thinks anthony raneri can do no wrong and just wants to write and be broke and drive across the country as well.
we met a very interesting family while taking pictures behind their workplace building.
the grandmother came out and asked us about school and our cameras and why did we want to take pictures in this ugly old alley.
“i like it. it’s pretty,” mady said.
she told us if we wanted to take pretty pictures we should take pictures of jasper because he’s so photogenic. and boy was she right.
“there’s four of them, you know, and they’re all so photogenic,” she said.
“do you wanna meet the rest of them?” she said.
we shrugged our shoulders and followed her into the print shop.
we met jasper’s two older brothers and sleeping baby sister and they are all so beautiful with pretty eyes and cut smiles.
their grandmother had an entire wall of pictures devoted to her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. she named them all and told us their stories. one was an artist, one had moved far away, one had played a lot of sports in high school.
the grandfather was a photographer before the digital age and he reminisced about his dark room and how much technology has changed.
i showed him the live view feature on my camera and he shook his head, impressed.
it was getting late and we wanted to get to the water front before the sun was all gone so mady and i ducked out, not quite sure what had just happened.
we had just spent almost an hour looking into a stranger’s life.
people are interesting.
water is just really pretty. really really pretty. and sky.
i can’t argue with that.
it was such an odd and beautiful day and i’m glad i got to share it with mady.
do you remember my friend alex?
i showed up late at her door to pick her up for our shoot feeling pretty crappy with no ideas or inspiration and she noticed immediately.
“baby, why don’t we go have some tea and talk it out and then we can figure out where to go.”
alex is rather good at taking care of people, just so you know.
and tipsy teapot peppermint tea has incredible healing properties.
and alex also has a really cool friend named jun who i will kidnapping and photographing in the somewhat near future.
we talked and sipped and photographed and she introduced me to her friend and i looked at books and we decided to explore jefferson’s because it’s fancy and it smells nice and it’s rather beautiful and i’d like to live there.
i really love the way she sees things and life and people.
she introduced me to her friend jun and described me and my band and the things she said were so accurate but they were things i never thought to notice or mention. she notices the little things that make people who they are and appreciates all their little quirks, their ways of talking and walking, signature facial expressions and catch phrases. hearing her talk about my friends made me see them and appreciate them in different ways.
my favorite favorite favorite part about alex is the way she just accepts people. exactly as they are. no exceptions.
i told her when i looked at her, i saw a really attractive person. not in looks, but as a package.
she’s beautiful, just look at her.
beautiful eyes, wildly curly hair, strong eyebrows and leopard print glasses to set off her face.
a gorgeous smile, a quirky sense of style (alex never matches, but strangely, she does).
even the way she talks and acts and carries herself.
she’s very attractive.
.i like to talk to her about people and art and music and culture and i love hearing her opinions on things.
i told her, “that’s my favorite thing about you. you just accept people, exactly how they are. they don’t have to like a certain band or dress a certain way or whatever. even people that aren’t very likable or who try too hard or anything. you just see them as people, exactly as they are and you accept them for that.”
she told me, “i guess i’ve just learned that people don’t have to do anything to be unique. they are unique as people. every person is completely unlike anyone else and it doesn’t matter what they do or like or how they act. they are exactly who they are and that makes them original.”
“i think people try too hard to be unique and they don’t realize that they don’t have to.”
i told her i was going to call this album The Condensed Quotable Alex Theus only i didn’t record or write down any of her quotes so it’s not so eloquently worded as she put it but i hope you see the point.
i just think alex is one of the most beautiful people i’ve ever met and i know she will do extraordinary things with her life.
we talked about other things about people and art and music and school but my favorite part of our conversation was when she reminded me what it meant to be human, to be a person, to be a friend, to be a member of a community, that there was always something more to learn.
she reminded me that there is beauty every where, you just have to learn to look for it and everyone has something to teach you.
she reminded me that i will never know everything or be perfect and that people will never see me exactly how i wish
but also that it’s okay.
i’m sure i had more to say but i’m a procrastinator and i’m afraid i’ve forgotten something since we photographed these.
but this visit will always stick with me and when i think of alex i will always picture her seated in her skirt on the bathroom floor at jefferson’s and the way she tilted her head and talked in a very non-know-it-all, calm and even way about the way she saw things and the way she found beauty.
she makes me look closely, notice the beauty and the little things that make people people, appreciate all aspects of life and my feelings about it, take advantage of every situation, and cherish being a human being with thoughts and ideas and feelings.
alex is pretty cool.
see more photos of alex here.
this is my new friend sarah. she just moved here from rhode island. kind of a big move.
she’s really pretty and quirky and quiet and fun and in a lot of ways, we’re basically the same person so i kinda think she’s pretty cool.
we did a little cemetery exploring which is always kind of sad and cool. this one was really small and very old. and also very sad.
sarah found a grave stone for a little boy who was only five years old when he died.
she read me the inscription and i thought for a moment she might cry but she didn’t.
but i could tell it sort of got to her and i like that. it’s human to let things get to you and i like people who are human.
she also has really pretty eyes but sometimes you have to look a little close to see them because she’s always wearing glasses.
she can be super intense
but she also has the most beautiful smile.
and her eyes, look at her eyes.
nikki is actually the first professional model i’ve ever worked with and she was amazing.
she knew how to work her hair, her face, her body, her wardrobe, her surroundings, and she did everything she could to help me get the shots i wanted.
i jokingly complained a couple times, high on my tiptoes that i wasn’t tall enough, that i should have worn heels or brought a step stool for the angle i wanted and she found a way to shrink herself down so i could get the shot.
nikki is striking, not just in the way she dresses or the way she does her hair. she really is strikingly beautiful.
i finally stepped up and ordered the canon 50mm f/1.4 USM (a huge step from my 50mm f/1.8) and it came about fifteen minutes into our shoot. my mommy is the best mommy because she called me as soon as it came and drove out to our location to give it to me. can you tell a difference?w
i really had fun on this shoot and i hope to be able to work with nikki again soon.
please go check out her facebook page and send her some love!
MM #2798437 yup, we had fun.
this is bethany. she’s gorgeous, has the prettiest hair, and i’m in love with her mask tattoo.
these amazing sculptures were done by jonathan bowling. they are seriously amazing and if you’re ever in downtown greenville, you should drive or walk down dickinson avenue to take a closer look.
i had so much fun working with bethany that day, i hope we’ll be able to work together again soon.