Cincinnati Portrait of three young men

A couple of months ago I had the honour of being invited to assist David Ziser with one of his mega-wedding events.   The wedding was a large Jewish affair, at least a quarter mill, maybe a half – spectacular doesn’t begin to describe it.  It was my first exposure to a Jewish ceremony, and lemme just say – what a wonderful ceremony and celebration.

But that’s not what this story is about.  Seeing as the last time I was in Cincinnati, this past spring for David’s week long Master Class on portrait photography, I didn’t get much of a chance to see any of Cincinnati, I decided to go a couple of days before the wedding and do a little exploring.

I nearly didn’t get to do that, as I tried to kill myself on the Friday when I got there.  Well, not intentionally, but that was the effect.  A very o’dark early wake up, breakfast, drive to the airport, fly to Cinci, skip lunch, not much to drink through the day, decided to go for a 10k run at 5pm, 30+ degrees and 85% humidity.  Can you see the disaster coming here?  Yeah, heart rate monitor was through the roof for the whole run, couldn’t get heart rate under control, then suddenly noticed that I was starting to shiver and was covered in goose bumps….  uh oh – heat stroke coming on fast.  Managed to drag myself back to the hotel, guzzled a whole lot of water and then warmed up in the jacuzzi…

Anyway, that’s not what this story is about either.  Ha.  Really building up to this one.

So, Saturday morning I hopped on Google and searched for some walking routes of downtown Cinci.  Found an interesting looking one, loaded it into my iPhone and headed into town.  My walk took me past many very interesting buildings and parks and at one point I found myself in area a bit more run down, crossing a vacant lot when I was hailed by three young men.  “Hey mister, can you take our picture?”

Uh oh, I thought.  I’ve had the camera out seeing as I was photo-walking my way around down town, I hope I haven’t just been targeted to get jacked.  We’ll just be cool here.  The lads came in close and we started chatting about creating a portrait of them.

Sure enough, one of Cincinnati’s finest rolled by in her squad car, stopped in the middle of the street and called out “everything fine here?”.  “yeah, no worries, we’re all good” I called back.  She didn’t look too convinced.  Stayed stopped there in the middle of the street for a bit looking at me questioningly.  “sure sure, I’m fine” as I waved her on.

As she rolled away one of the guys grumbled “friggin’ racial profiling right there”.  I gotta say, I felt bad for the guys.  Is this what they have to put up with on a regular basis?  Every time they stop to talk to someone, the authorities stop to see if everything’s on the up-and-up?  Then I realised that I had profiled them when they approached me in the first place.  Though my concern was more to do with being approached by three young men fanned out across the street approaching me because I had the camera out, than that they were black.

Moving right along, I quickly scanned the street and identified an interesting building with some stairs up to the front door and most importantly, in the shade.  I arranged the guys on the stairs, asked them to throw some signs and created the portrait in this post.  We exchanged emails and went on our way.

Cool guys.  Cool Portrait.  I decided to process it a bit more heavily than I would in my usual portrait style.  Unfortunately, the email address they gave me bounced so I haven’t been able to deliver this portrait.  And that’s too bad, because I really like how this one turned out.

Right o then, we’ll catch up with you all again soon enough!