2014 was the 3rd year I shot MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati. This year I had the opportunity to photograph MidPoint Music Festival for both my CityBeat assignment, but also for Billboard. Here are a few of the photos from the three day festival.
Since I’m almost always looking for models for something I figured keeping an up-to-date call on my blog was the best way to go. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message to facebook.com/jessefoxart if you are interested in any of them.
Here are some projects I currently need faces (& bodies) for:
• People who are going to be turning 21 sometime before 2016. This is open to anyone in North America.
• People who actively use the app Tinder to meet (and hook up with) people.
• A pregnant woman who plans to do an open adoption (and the adoptive family).
• Single parent families with multiple children
• Individuals with lung cancer/emphysema due to smoking.
• Families who have one member of the family who is very different than the rest
•Transgender individuals/those in the process of transitioning
• Poly families
• Web cam models
• Individuals comfortable with modeling fully nude [all ages/sizes/genders/etc]• African American albino individuals
• Blonde, pale children
I started writing this as my plane leaving New York City was heading back to Cincinnati. I started and stopped writing my thoughts about the Eddie Adams Workshop a number of times because on one hand “dear god I cannot fit anymore photography thoughts into my brain” – but on the other “dear god I don’t want to stop fitting photography thoughts into my brain.”
To understand the EAW and its impact on my heart, soul and well-being you need to place yourself in your own dream world. What are you passionate about? What would you talk about on end if you knew your friends would be equally as excited to listen and talk with you about it?
For me, that is photography. I eat, sleep, sweat and breathe photography. There is absolutely nothing in my life that gives me as much joy, purpose, hope and a sense of being as photography. It’s not just what I do, it’s who I am. This isn’t true for my family and friends 99.9% of the time with their chosen careers and since much of the company I keep doesn’t share the ambition and wild love I have for this art, it slowly started taking a backseat in my life.
I lost interest in the “boring” assignments I got at work instead of making them exciting. I started preferring going out over staying at home and working on old projects or thinking of new ones. I started questioning if I should give up my personal work because of being broke. I got anxious sometimes when I was on shoots because I felt like I had lost some of my ability due to lack of practice. And worst of all– I became stagnant. I quit working on my five year plan. I was slow to reply to emails. I let my studio go to shit because it was easier to watch tv all night instead of clean it. I realized I was doing this and as much as I wanted to crawl out of this hole– I really couldn’t make myself.
I applied for the EAW with 100% of my brain telling me the whole time that this was a total waste of $50. One– I don’t do photojournalism. At all. Two– I never get accepted to things or in galleries I submit to. But that little dying candle inside of me didn’t listen to my logic and did anyways. Thank God our decision making process isn’t solely based on factual information. Sometimes the best decisions are made from pure emotion and wishful thinking.
Flash forward a couple months. I come home to my tiny, awful apartment one night after drinking way too much and did my nightly ritual: Take the dogs out to pee. Facebook. Check my CityBeat email. Load “The League” on some streaming website. Check my personal email. There I see an email from EAW. I knew what it would say. I figured it would be better to get the rejection out of the way and then crash rather than in the morning and start my day off badly… but somehow the email didn’t start off with “we regret to inform you…” but instead a congratulations for being accepted for the 27th Eddie Adams Workshop.
Tears instantly began streaming down my face and I decided to call my mom. She answered the phone at 3 am to her daughter sobbing– one who had only been living alone in the city for a few months and told her a few days before about a shooting just down the street while walking the dogs. Ooops. As I tried to tell her “I’m not crying cuz I’m sad, I’m happy” my brain told me “don’t get too excited. It might have come to you by accident…” Maybe they meant to send to Jesse Ford or they copy and pasted the acceptance letter on accident. This thought loosely stuck with me until the second I stepped foot onto the barn. It wasn’t until I found myself running up a giant red carpet at the farm with the 99 other students being cheered on, hugged and giving high fives that I realized they REALLY did pick me and I just about started crying all over again. Everything about this experience was inspiring and extremely motivating. It’s one that I am honored to have been a part of and so thankful to everyone who helped me get there. All of the stagnant emotions I had been feeling went away in only the first 24 hours of being there because of the amazing energy from everyone around me and inspiring words from the speakers. It was just what I had been needing and I feel revitalized and excited for all the new work I’m going to create.
Now that the workshop has been over for about a week, I’m feeling a mixture of emotions. I think some of that is largely due to lack of sleep and not feeling entirely “myself.” If you want to apply for the workshop, here are some pointers I’d recommend following:
• Seriously, be prepared to not sleep. I took it easy the week before and loaded by body full of probiotics, vitamin c, zinc and tried to sleep more than usual. I still kind of shrugged off the idea of it being a big deal that there would be little sleep because I don’t sleep that much normally. However, I didn’t take into account the fact that it would be cold, my emotions would be running high, I would be working a lot and that I would need to be social and not a tired blob for interacting with new friends and mentors. And on that note– be aware that your mentality will be different when you sleep less. On the second night toward 2 a.m. or so of the 11:30 Club my sleepless brain started getting really insecure and I missed out on several reviews I could have had because I felt like no one would want to see my work since I focus on conceptual portraiture and not photojournalism.
• Don’t have an ego, but don’t be self conscious. This was a problem for me that I didn’t really expect to have. I know I tend to be a little quiet when I first meet people, but I felt like I really blew it by being too shy. I over thought everything and it made it hard for me to talk to people. If I could do anything over again at the workshop it would be talking to people more. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with a group of people who have at least one of the same passions as you. I wish I would have taken advantage of this networking and new friend opportunity more.
• Think outside the box when you do your assignment. As a portrait photographer in a group of primarily photojournalists, I was very anxious about doing my assignment. While I love looking at documentary photography, I’ve never really done it. When I photographed my assignment I had a certain idea in my head of what it was supposed to look like and while I’m glad I did something that was different from my normal work, I wish I would have tried to do more “my style” when I was there rather than just trying to do what I thought documentary photography was.
• When you’re doing your portfolio review, tell your reviewer what you are looking for. I wanted my reviewers to be hard on me and some “where do I go from here?” advice. They want to help you, so if you tell them what you’re looking for they can give you better advice.
• If your assignment involves you photographing a bunch of kids and you don’t have much experience with children– in the words of my leader, Gregory Heisler: BE BORING. That was something I discovered way too late. I figured they would be more comfortable with me if I showed them I was interesting and fun… wrong. All they wanted to do was play the entire time and I got a lot of cute pictures and some great laughs with these awesome kids– but not as many pictures that worked for my story.
• PRINT YOUR PORTFOLIO. An iPad is easy and cheap, but several of my reviewers wanted to see print work. It shows that you care about your images and stand behind your work.
• You are going to want every Nikon and Profoto thing in existence after being able to use what they have. Be thinking now of fundraisers you can throw yourself to buy it all, because it physically hurts when you have to go back to your own equipment.