Too few people read this blog (yes, I check everyday and thank you for reading my blog, Mom) for anyone now clicking on this to not have heard of, known, seen the work of, or pretended to once be best friends with JonyRose Filip. I am not going to gush about how much she meant to me or make up some story about what buds we were. We were colleagues who shared love for dramatic and unconventional light schemes, vibrant colors softened by muting filters, sexy and provocative subjects and highly stylized sets. Twice we tried to collaborate on my Dias De Los Muertos project, but hectic shooting scheduling and the assumption that we would always have time to one day come together and create some awe-inspired mash up of my out of the world concept and her unmistakable style.
Losing JonyRose before I ever had the chance to work with her has always sort of haunted me, and in a way made me feel a bit separated from small clique of people with whom she often worked. There was sort of a missing bridge between me and some of the West Austin shooters who have begun making names for themselves in the local markets. I am not saying that I haven’t been networking because of our loss. Simply that such a butterfly effect from never working with JonyRose is evident that I am often curious if these tiny “misses” are to blame for my more and more frequently occurring creative draught.
Ashley Filip’s invitation to the Art of the Rose Benefit hit me differently than the other 10-15 requests for donations I receive every month from people who must think photography is some uber-lucrative profession that can tolerate constant philanthropy. I was immediately interested and jumped at the opportunity to submit work to the benefit which is aimed at Sepsis Awareness and recognizing JonyRose as a victim. Almost immediately I felt the connection between my series celebrating the lives of those before us with the Silvia Ji inspired sugar skull compositions, Dias de los Muertos. It was nothing short of an emotional epiphany. I scheduled a shoot within the week with Dana Ricks and my favorite make up miracle worker, Tavia Williams. So now I present the first image of my project to be auctioned off at the event on April 2nd, 2011 at Enzo, Austin, Texas. I hope you approve.
I want to thank Dana Ricks, Tavia Williams, Bethany Weigl, Suzie Jurado, Andrew Miller, and for those of you who continue to inspire me, coax the next great idea from my thick skull, and celebrate my tiny successes until the big ones finally arrive.