“James Bond”

Canon 5D MarkII f1.4 50mm Lens f1.8@ 1/250th ISO 5000 handheld existing light: “James Bond” on Congress St.

I first met “James” about a year ago teaching a Street Portraiture workshop. He asked to speak with me but I was helping a workshop participant one on one and I asked him if he could wait. And he did…..for about twenty minutes…. which considering the context was startling. What was even more startling is the beginning of our conversation once the wait was over. With a conviction that unnerved me “James Bond” walked right up to me and speaking in a rushed but hushed voice told me he was an interdimensional being from another planet, that we had known each other in a prior life and that he had an extremely urgent message for me. Is he crazy? No… on the contrary…..he is a great street performer. Because I was teaching a workshop I didn’t get a chance to photograph him that night but last night I did. I chose this shot out of a bunch of images because to me it captures at least some of his amazing charisma and ability to connect with people on a very deep level in an extremely short period of time. If there was only one thing I could encourage you to do as a photographer it would be to meet and photograph “strangers”.

I also wanted to share a poem that “James” recorded for me and my friends last night. Hysterical and profound.

All My Children by “James Bond”

As the world turns
some of us are rich and famous
and there are some of us young and restless
but some of us are bold and beautiful
in our family matters
as the wheel of fortune turns
some of us are living in jeopardy
and some of us are living outdoors
but some of us had time for life
only because of our wonder years
some of us have little houses on the prairie
most of us are in deep space nine
in search of another world being guided by the light
and if the price is right
some of us can come back home again in the heat of the night.

This entry was written by Craig , posted on Friday October 05 2012at 08:10 am , filed under Night Photography, People, Savannah, Street Portraits and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

6 Responses to ““James Bond””

  • wnor says:

    What an amazing shot, Craig. I think this portrait tells a story of a totally wonderful human being. I was at the workshop when you told all of us about this particular encounter with “James” so I listened to you and let the story leave my thoughts. Now that I see the man behind the story, I have a totally different feeling about this young man. He has a kind and warm aura about him and it would nice to get to know him better. As for the composition, you couldn’t have picked a better location for getting this portrait and separating it from the very active background. The blue car that moved into your image added just the right blur to the picture and it goes so well with the rest of the background. For me, what a difference a portrait can make in how one sees another person.


  • Craig says:

    Thank you Wes… When we make up stories about other people we almost always lose… the number one best way to become a better street photographer is to get out of your own way by getting out of your head…. I want to get to know “James” better myself as well.

  • Sam Gray says:

    Wonderful portrait and back-story…I hope you realize that you also have “amazing charisma and ability to connect with people on a very deep level in an extremely short period of time” sooooo your photo session with James must have been magical. Reminds me of a portrait I took of you in Savannah…


  • Craig says:

    Hey Sam

    Thank you for being here and thank you for the very kind words of support and all of your generous support over the years. I am such a classic introvert and naturally shy…people that meet me in the context of my workshops never believe that but those closest to me are painfully aware of it being true. Its been a long road working through that to become a photographer who does cold approach on the street. 15 years ago if someone told me I would one day help people get over their fear of photographing strangers I would have scoffed at the idea… I always see myself as awkward and nervous… and that has been one of the great things for me about getting into street portraits….its helped me to work through some limits and walls I put up to protect myself from people (which of course just turns into a self fulfilling behavior loop that feels terrible). The funny thing about last night and meeting “James” again was that it happened all of a sudden. He just showed up on the street and I instantly remembered him and we just jumped right in where we left off a year ago. I was with my two best friends in the world and all four of us had this brief but amazing encounter. “James” read a poem into one of our phones that I am going to share in a few minutes on the blog. Its both hysterical and profound….hysterical in that it uses the titles of TV shows as a literary construction device and profound in that it shines a light on some painful truths about the society in which we live…. Craig

  • tonebytone says:

    Wonderful portrait, even without any kind of backstory. There are no coincidences. I have a feeling that you and James will have other encounters soon and that you’ll both benefit greatly.

    Thanks for sharing these unusual experiences.


  • Craig says:

    Thank you Flo…. I hope you are right ;)….. Craig

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