East Nashville Tornado, March 3rd, 2020
The morning after tornadoes ripped through Tennessee in early-2020, I was in East Nashville checking on a rental property I own, and making sure my tenants were ok. Other than a couple of big trees that came down on my property, everything was alright. About two blocks north, It was a different story. There was a line of destruction that stretched for miles in both directions. I had grabbed my camera right before leaving my house, and I started documenting the devastation. Everyone was wandering around in a daze surveying the damage, including this young woman. The white flecks in the trees are bits of insulation torn from buildings, and the streets were covered in mud. It was devastating to see this beautiful neighborhood destroyed, but I felt the need to document what had happened.
Angel of the Arcade, Downtown Nashville, 2022
I was walking through the Arcade, a historic enclosed shopping promenade first opened in downtown Nashville in 1903. I passed the front window of a dressmaker’s shop, where the owner, Semra, was busy at work on her sewing machine. Just as I snapped the photo, she looked up. It wasn’t until later that I noticed that her work light looked like a halo. I dubbed her the “Angel of the Arcade.”
Running in the Rain, Lucca, 2018
I was in Lucca, Italy, wandering around taking photos on a drizzly day. I heard a commotion behind me, and saw a group of kids running up the street, laughing and yelling to each other, and I immediately tried to chronicle the moment. The wet paving stones lent a great reflectivity to the light, and I was glad to be able to capture the kids’ sense of joy and freedom. My photos are influenced by B&W film noir and foreign films, and this reminded me of a scene from the Italian classic, “The Bicycle Thief.”
Young Woman in a Cafe, Florence 2015
This is the photo that made me start to take my own photography seriously, the photo that told me I was onto something. I was sitting in a café in Florence on an early November afternoon, and this beautiful young woman and her friend came in and sat down about ten feet away from me. She was remarkable-looking, with one blue and one green eye, and was very fashionably dressed. As she and her friend chatted over espresso and cigarettes (you can see her friend’s hand in the lower left of the photo), I pretended to take photos of anything but her. But when she looked at her friend and put the cigarette to her lips, I took a chance and got this shot of her, capturing the bicyclist in the process. It was definitely what Cartier-Bresson called “the decisive moment.”
Beale St Jumpers, Memphis, TN
I was strolling down Beale St in Memphis and saw a group of young men lining up volunteers. They had the volunteers crouch down, and one of the men started running toward them. To my amazement, he executed a perfect flip over them, sticking the landing on the other side. I continued wandering down the street, and on my way back, I saw another group of volunteers lined up. This time, I had my camera ready and caught the jumper in mid-air. Once again, he stuck the landing like an Olympic gymnast. I found out there’s a tradition of jumpers, or Flippers, in Memphis dating back 30 years. They raise money for children’s services in the city, as well as provide astonishing entertainment.