He had two pit-bulls on a chain, wearing frumpy clothes and a scowl. I crossed to the other side of the street as he already owned this side. In my gentrified neighborhood of manicured lawns and hipster pretense, he represented a completely alternative persona: tough, intimidating, fierce. He belonged in a portrait, on a billboard, or perhaps in his own movie. In fear, I failed to act and the opportunity was lost. I entered a few weeks of creative fog. "God," I imagined, "if you let me see him again, I will be bold and introduce myself.”
Weeks later, while unloading the car, I saw him pass by. Again, I was seized with fear of the man and his pit-bulls, telling myself that he did not wish to be bothered. It was a strange a re-occurrence. I shied away from the immediate opportunity to walk after him and began to wrestle with my former determination. Perhaps God was giving me my chance and I was breaking the deal. Coward! I dropped the things I carried and left the car’s hatch open. There he was around the corner and up the hill, alarmed at my pace and directness.
“Sir! You’ve got the toughest mug in this town and I’m a photographer. Would you let me make your picture?"
He answered affirmatively. His voice was soft and his demeanor was disarmingly kind. His face lifted, and he seemed to appreciate the request. His name was Gary. We set a time to shoot the following day.
The final image is above. With great dignity, Gary and his dog 'Puck' stand out against a polluted urban landscape. Not sure of her behavior in the studio, he decided to leave the other dog, 'Lady', at home. I think that Puck did perfectly fine covering for her, however.
A special thanks belongs to Adam Agin of the rock band Neulore, who produced the opportunity for me to make the image of the car which we photographed in the outskirts of a junkyard in Shelbyville, Tn. You can see how the car has been used in their promotions here.
Below is a ‘behind the scenes’ picture of the set after removing the paper versions of Gary, Puck, and the car.
Here are some other images of Gary from our time together:
Finally, no RORSHAK adventure is complete without a little share and tell video:
Thank you SO much for spending time with my blog! I wish you the very best. -Rory