When you hear people talk about Alternative Portraits…it can mean many things. Everyone has their own idea of what one is. Here is my take on it. I make it simple. Non-traditional processing, posing and wardrobe.
This is a portrait of one of my best friends in the world. Her name is Amy Stiner. She and I were in art school together, in Pittsburgh. She was a photographer, organic farmer, barista, traveler and all around wonderful person. This is an image I made of her at the Natchez Trace Bridge in Nashville in 2005. It was her third visit to Nashville to visit me. It turned out to be the last time I would photograph her and the last time I would ever see Amy again. She and her unborn child and a friend lost their lives in June of 2013 in a freak car accident off the coast of Maine. I think about her often. I think about what a great friend she was to me and what a tremendously talented person she was…but most of all I think about and remember all the people she touched in her life and travels and especially what a great mother she would have been. I miss you Amy!
I've ressurected a decade old project recently. I started a portrait project in art school, shooting classmates in an old blue shirt of mine. After school ended, I moved to Nashville, got a job, got married and I forgot about the blue shirt series until a few months ago. Now it's back :-)
I have added another facet to my business shooting subjects that have become a little more exciting than dudes in suits. And I think, as they say it will help keep me young. The high school senior portrait has evolved quite a bit since I was forced to do it when I was young impressionable photographer. Schools still require the tuxedo jacket for boys and the drape for girls, but the kids themselves have created a much hipper spin-off. It feeds their social media fix and amplifies their personalities. In short, the 'kids" have taken control of their own image and how they want their friends to see them and share experiences. Under the parents supervision of course :) Below is one of my first senior portrait sessions (that isn't quite finished yet). It's Evie Viol. She is a ball of fire that never stops smiling. Her mother is a dear friend of mine, local business owner and great role model. If you are interested in learning more about my senior portrait sessions click here.
We have all been to a local coffee house and seen local art hanging on the walls. My question is...When did the bathroom wall become gallery space?! And...why do you put a price on the piece(s) that hang on said walls? Because you know, nobody is gonna buy art that has spent weeks hanging above the can. It might as well be called a permanent piece in that establishment's collection. Furthermore, if that's my work, I am certainly not taking that it back home...just saying.
For the past 6 months my son Jack has been enjoying everything trains, especially Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is a steam engine that's powered by coal and the other day Jack asked me "what's coal Dada"? That question took me back to my childhood. I grew up in West Virgina and for nearly 5 decades my home state was the leading producer of the country's major energy source. The town I grew up in was the hub for coal distribution. Many of our family friends were coal miners, my grandfather was a miner and my mom grew up in a coal camp. In movies, media and music, the coal industry has been dipicted as a negative part of American history. Coal camps were compared to slums, company store to loan sharks and mine owners were painted as evil dictators who didn't care about their employee's well being or saftey. I think it's fair to say that all corporations have had evidence of dispicable behavior. It's unfair to label an entire industry as sinister. Stories I was told by my family were that the coal camps were neighborhoods with schools and playgrounds and drive-ins. A great place to grow up. The coal mine was an advocate for family and success. So that's what I know...there is good and bad in everything. Just sayin'
Lately I have expanded my business menu to include some aspects of real estate photography. I already photograph simple architecture, such as; commercial buildings, warehouses, big boxes and cityscapes. The images below are of my friend's home in the rustic location of Kingston Springs, TN. I photographed it for the real estate listing and website. Let me know if you're interested in seeing their home in person...also give me a call if you need a similar service
© 2012 Todd Stringer photographer
I had a photo shoot recently that took me back to my Photo J days here in Nashville. My friend Anita Bailey at Bailey Marketing Strategies, connected me with a couple guys that were with a firm that I had as a regular client for a few years. Coincidentally Anita Bailey is the person responsible for me meeting and hanging out with my boyhood idol Magic Johnson :-) Anyway...I photographed Ronn Stewart and Burgin Dossett (pictured below) for Anita's PR firm. The two men have formed Stewart + Dossett, LLC, a development, construction and real estate services firm that offers a wide range of experience in the commercial, hospitality, mixed-use applications.
To read more about what they are doing, you'll find a more in-depth article here.
I am lucky to have continued a good relationship with my former employer, Nashville Business Journal. Having them as a client helps me to stay informed of local current happenings. It's not as exciting as having insider knowledge like when I was their shooter, but It's next best thing. I also enjoy maintaining contacts that made while there. I recently had the opportunity to photograph a CEO of an international company that is based here, Marty Reed of Randa Solutions.
Please take a minute to visit the links to learn more about this interesting guy and his successes at Randa. Also check out the piece in NBJ in which he was featured. Thanks! Todd Hey! and check my image of Marty below. :)
Images from a recent interior shoot of the new office space for Dye Van Mol & Lawrence in The Gulch in Nashville, TN
© 2011 Todd Stringer
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Todd Stringer• photographer