Act one, Scene one: At the top of Mount Lofty.
'So you're Snappy Don?'
(pause, and then in slightly incredulous tones)......'Really?'
The rider may have already asked me who I was before we'd started to climb Lofty. It's likely he was simply checking that he'd heard correctly, having reasoned that snappy was analogous to fast. In his head I'll bet he was already re-christening me Sluggish Don.
And before you guess again, I can tell you that Snappy has little to do with sartorial elegance. Some of you may have seen me in a pub, or in street clothes, and won't find that surprising either.
Nor does it reference shortness of temper, or my being the one handed rhythm section in an acapella choir (which I'm not).
I'm a photographer.
According to the new advert on the Adelaide Cyclists home page I'm a CIA photographer, which is an acronym I didn't even notice until it was too late. Ahh well, that's what you get when you write your own publicity. Being a business of one, I can't even sack the marketing manager. So here's my elevator statement* of what I do.
*If you've never heard of an Elevator Statement then congratulations- you must know even less business jargon and self actualization BS than I do! An Elevator Statement is when you imagine you're in a lift traveling between two floors and the person next to you asks ''So what do you do?'' and you know you only have about 15 seconds to sum it all up and win their eternal admiration before the doors open and they walk away. Anyway, I'd tell them:
I photograph a lot of mundane things and unglamorous people and make them look a lot a hell of a lot better than they really are.
I don't think I'm very good at elevator statements yet. That one's OK as long as the person I'm talking to isn't already a client of mine, in which case I'd have to say something like:
I photograph only the most gorgeous things and glamorous people, oh- just like you, and make them look even better if that's humanly possible.
You see my problem with elevator statements so far? I'll keep working on it. Anyway, back to my point.
Shout out for models- Portraits of Cyclists with their Bikes
As well as the CIA stuff which puts food on my family, to borrow a phrase from George Bush, I photograph personal projects simply for the sake of art. I like to hold a low key exhibition somewhere about once a year. Art certainly doesn't turn a dollar, but it's an important part of what I do. It keeps the creative juices flowing and reminds me why I love my job. It helps position me in the marketplace. My clients like it that their photographer is also an exhibiting artist. It helps make them feel special, even if they never actually come to any of my shows (grrr), and it helps keep me the best I can be for them.
But recently cycling has taken up so much of my life, the art stuff seems to have been squeezed out between the spokes. I haven't had the drive to dream up new work and start new projects. Hell- if I did that I'd hardly have time to ride! The solution is to combine the two passions. And I don't mean snapping pictures while I ride. I've tried that and nearly dropped the iphone so many times it's not funny.
I'm planning a series of portraits of Adelaide Cyclists with their bicycles. The pictures would be made in a studio environment and the ones that make the cut could be used in an exhibition or published, in print or online, in some photographic or cycling related way.
Who do I want to hear from?
I want to see the range of cycling passions and disciplines, from the lycra roadies, trackies, fixies, commuters, MTB's, BMXers, Polo players, urban hipsters, the lot. I've got a feeling that deep down, you'll know if you're the right stuff. You'll have the bike that looks better than any other like it, perhaps that you've worked or modded, or simply ridden to death. You might have all the matching kit. You might pride yourself on being urban-snappy in just the way I'm not.. You might be a clubbie, who wears the colours with pride. You might commute 12 months of the year, and display all the winter survival gear. You might have a vintage machine and the coolest tweed. Penny Farthing anybody?? Or, you're a friend of the toughest, gnarliest rider ever who you'll nominate, coz you know how good they'll look. You may have the filthiest downhill body armour in Adelaide- I wanna see! Can you put me in touch with a pro/ ex pro around Adelaide who might enjoy the shoot?
Don't be embarrassed, I won't knock anyone back (tell 'im he's dreamin'). If your shot doesn't end up being so remarkable, it might not make the final selection but at least I can send you pictures to thank you for participating.
How? Where? When?
If you're interested, get in touch. The shoot would be in the Adelaide CBD. The time is flexible. I won't nominate a certain day or weekend because that won't suit everyone. We'll work out times on a case by case basis. Also I have no idea how vain er, enthusiastic you'll all be and how many shoots I'll need to do. No, seriously- Don't be shy- say g'day and tell me about you and your bike. Payment? Sorry, this is a "TFP" only- Time For Photos. You donate your time to me (20min to an hour) and I donate pictures back to you. See my portfolio if you want to check me over first. It's at donbrice.com. Then email snappy_don(at)yahoo.com.au, or throw questions back at me here in the comments.
I'd love to meet you and your bike.