Portraits of Adam Varga that were completed during some downtime between productions. Simple and stylish was the perfect way to capture Adam in these images – I love reducing things to their simplest elements and creating images like these that both encapsulate the subject’s personality and make simple but profound statements about their style. Simplicity and a sense of minimalist style are very important to me in my work, especially now that I have been creating black and white images more often. There is something delightful I find in the reduction of extraneous information from an image that is much more satisfying than adding too much to a shot and diluting its impact.
To live and die as a fan in a city whose sports history has earned inclusion on a Wikipedia page devoted to sports curses is no easy task, but vital fan dedication to the teams in Buffalo, NY is palpable in the city, regardless of which sport you follow. Most sport fanatics know the rundown – four consecutive Superbowl losses for the Bills, zero Stanley Cup wins, and innumerable playoff letdowns for Sabres fans. But if you look below the surface you see start to see the high points – Amazingly dedicated (often fanatical) fans, a city that is regularly in contention for the best tailgating city in the NFL, multiple championship wins by the Buffalo Bandits (and the only perfect season in NLL history), home of the best team in the WPS (The Western NY Flash) and a sports tradition that stretches far back into the city’s rich history. Fans in Buffalo are always chasing those championships, their emotions shifting with every goal, win, loss, and BS bad call.
This ebb and flow of emotions – hope, anger, joy, disappointment, elation, disbelief, shock, and every subtle variation in between – was a driving factor in telling the story of Buffalo’s sports for Block Club Magazine when they gave me the challenge of capturing what it means to be a fan in Buffalo for their Winter 2012 issue. It was a fascinating look at a community whose ravenous enthusiasm for sports has given it a resilient pride – not just in the triumphs of its team, but its failures as well. It was summed up well in the article itself with a quote from Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses (One of my favorites, I love anything that quotes some Cormac McCarthy) “Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real”
I shot these images right at the end of 2011, but I wanted to hold off on sharing them with you until today to kick off the new year with some style. I was introduced to Adam through my friend and client, WGRZ television host Lydia Dominick, when he was in Buffalo recently as part of a production I had been working with Lydia on. Adam is a fellow Canadian and one of those subjects that you develop a rapport with instantly (much like Lydia). After working with him on one project (which will debut in a couple of weeks) I ended up having him back in the studio later that same week to create this elegantly simple series of portraits.
And it looks like he broke out that fur hat just in time, as the first real winter storm might be rolling in tonight after weeks of mild winter weather. I am excited to get out and shoot in the snow soon.
Lots of projects getting wrapped up, and lots of new ones starting. I have some new work in this month’s issue of Black Enterprise Magazine covering SLR Contracting and its President, Sundra Ryce, as a follow up to the company’s presence in the Black Enterprise 100 issue last month.
In addition to the images that ran in the feature, here are a few added portraits from that day’s shoot.