Bruce (#784) 02-18-15

Eating a pastry with his coffee, Bruce made a striking image. Curly blonde hair and a beige sport jacket set him apart from the usual patrons. And I told him so as I explained the project. He smiled, and immediately 'got it'. Bruce is a film actor in New York and showed me images of performances on his phone. His expression when playing a cop made me think, “I wouldn't want to piss off THAT guy.” He said that he was playing a gritty cop, the Sam Spade type. These websites are illustrative”:

Bruce is checking out the area. He likes Sarasota, but it's a little 'sleepy.' He lives next to Columbia University, and compared to New York, everywhere is sleepy. “Yeah, it's hard to compare New York to anything but itself.”

While shooting, I tried to get my usual look with the subject making eye contact. As the consummate pro, he had his own ideas, and glanced to the side. Using burst mode I got one accidental image looking at me. I saw him a couple of days later and he mentioned how important it was to get the look “doing something”, not just staring ahead. Hmmm, makes me think.

A few years ago, Michelle Tricca, a Naples FL professional photographer, captured a large series of portraits of locals making eye contact, and published them without captions. The local newspaper had an article about this and published two photos: one was a man who owned a ten million dollar house on the Gulf, the other cleaned his pool. It was impossible to tell who was who. I thought that this was a powerful message and have always tried to take an egalitarian approach, making us all equal. The poorest, mentally challenged person is totally equal for at least 1/100 of a second in my series. Bruce's comments bother me – maybe I'm missing something by not capturing other expressions.