I thought our lovely Jen Bekman had tipped the top of the chain letter hype and put all this meme-ness to rest. Then I saw that Hot Shot Shen Wei tagged me. While I was planning on ignoring it, I do usually try to talk about you rather than myself, so perhaps a proper introduction is in order. I'll take this as an opportunity to let you in on how and why exactly I'm the one bringing you such fascinating daily posts. Here we go: 5 things about your Hey, Hot Shot! Guide you probably didn't know.
1. My roots : still a southern belle at heart
I was born and bred in the Delta, or Memphis if you will—the home of Elvis, rock-n-roll, and I'm banking 96% of readers' favorite photographer. I attended the Hutchison School for Girls where I had ballet, etiquette, and impeccable grammar ingrained into me. I participated in cotillion, but got out right in time to avoid my debutante years. And while I can perform a rather intricate table setting, I consciously shed my drawl years ago.
2. Pre-digital days : a photographer is born
I used to take disposable cameras to school on almost a daily basis to snap pictures of my classmates (paying extra careful attention to the males I was lusting after). Then I'd have a lucky parent rush me to the nearest drug store for one-hour processing, allowing me to drool over the glossy snapshots all evening long. This was a terribly rewarding habit of mine for many, many years; in fact, I would venture to say one I still haven't quite shaken.
3. The quintessential teenage girl + her camera
On any given night between the age of 15 and my high school graduation, I could be found in a small steamy shed in my backyard in Arizona, standing in front of my enlarger with a bag of ice and a fan behind my back. Here I printed hundreds of black and white images (many a macro) of eyes, nudes, dead birds, anything mildly gooey or disgusting, and, of course, my feet. [Not exactly a surprising fact, but just thought I'd verify it for you.]
4. Paying my dues and barely a penny to show
It began with a summer under Leslie Calmes in the research department at The Center for Creative Photography in Tucson where I spent hours trying to make sense of John Gutmann's archives. I went on to intern for a photographer of many trades in New York—Gigi Stoll. A bit later, I found myself assistant to everyone's favorite Chicagrapher, Brian Ulrich. I had a brief interlude with Chelsea, only to realize running errands was not my cup of tea—which led me to the fabulous Jen Bekman, where you find me now.
5. Going on 4 years, the complex has set in.
A student after my BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I have spent an entire undergraduate career fixated on my stature. And it all started with a documentary on the human growth hormone which I dubbed The Last of a Dying Breed: ten action packed minutes of statistics, Randy Newman, and a brief shot of me secretly standing next to Steven Tyler.
Although I continue to have my curiosity humored as I watch this spread, I'll follow suit and try to wrap it up. I'll spare some lucky 5 the tags and instead prod some confidential meme-ness from our Ultras, whose show is up through March 3 and who will also be reviewing your submissions.