Leo McGarry: He’s been a good friend to me.
President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet: In good times Leo. It’s not hard to like a guy when he’s doing well. The measure of a man is how does he behave when things are otherwise?
- The West Wing, “Take Out the Trash Day” Season 1, Episode 13
I mentioned in the last photo set about friendship that this had turned into an accidental series. That’s true, however it’s become a slightly more fleshed out idea now. I’ve decided I’ll shoot my close friends against a white wall as just themselves.
Useless trivia about me? The West Wing is my all time favorite TV show. Aaron Sorkin is on to something on the subject of friendship with that quote from the first season. This installation in the series I’ve decided to call Neighboring Forestation is of a wonderful human being named Ryan. He is a friend who is there in good times, and when things are otherwise.
Our friendship was born of both of us living through times that might have been deemed “otherwise”. We found that during the hard times we were able to show up for one another and make each other laugh when needed most. We’re also really good at eating comfort food with each other when it’s needed.
Ryan is also one of my roommates, I’m lucky indeed to be able to say such a thing. We shot these the other night when we found out we were both awake at 3:00AM. I keep odd hours, so does Ryan. This is a person that I can call on when things are bad at any hour of the day and for whom I’d answer a similar call. He’s also a lot of fun and really entertaining in social situations. He’s one of the more recent additions to my life, but I couldn’t be happier that he stumbled into this neighborhood of friend trees.
I decided that these shoots should be about the essence of these people, what makes them tick. I’m fine with a prop or two in the shots, if it is related to what they love and/or love to do most. Ryan is all about skating, he loves it. I recently needed someone that I could direct to be skating in the background of my shots for an album package - fortunately someone who’s equipped with this skill lives just down the hall. I thought it’d be fun to shoot him with his board for his Forestation shoot. Remind me that there’s a reason parents don’t let kids skateboard in the house. When he does a trick and the board hits the floor - loud doesn’t cover it.
There’s also a few shots of Ryan without his glasses, that’s something most of our mutual friends probably haven’t seen. Ryan is an optician, and genuinely has a passion for glasses. He talks about glasses the way I talk about Disney. It’s impressive. He is of the variety of vision impaired person who doesn’t wear contacts. So, even living with him I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this guy without glasses. It was a fun thing to shoot a different side of him.
I’m having a lot of fun with this series, and it’s a great experience to document the folks that I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by. Until you meet the next unique tree in my neighborhood I wish you a life full of the same caliber of folks I’ve been lucky enough to call my friends.
Ryan and I being quite silly at my birthday celebration: