Putting together a new website is an exercise in editing madness. I've tried to maintain a simple interface and have gone back to using my logo identity created by Burney Design ...back in the day... with just a slight modification. The new site allows us to upload portfolios much more easily and we'll be able to utilize private and password protected portfolios as well. We'll also continue to offer ftp services as well. Please enjoy flipping through the site. I will probably be making changes for quite a while, but I've always told my clients that it's better to have something up and running rather than trying to make it absolutely perfect. Please check it out at http://www.simong.com
Well, it's been a while, but we decided to revamp our website. If you are finding yourself here, then you have been redirected to our blog site. It gives you an idea of what we do and will give us the time necessary to design our site and get it working correctly without any issues. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we're excited about the new look.
The Carousel Farm Rodeo has been hosting it's Tuesday night summer Rodeo for years. I attended with Gillian once when she was about 8 years old and I remember her chasing around a calf in the ring. I thought it was pretty dangerous at the time and wasn't surprised that they didn't perform that ritual last night. The Barrel Racers and Bull Riders were out showing off their stuff in front of several hundred fans. It still looks mighty dangerous riding bulls, but I was impressed that out of the 10 or 12 bull riders there was a young woman that bested many of them by the end of the night. 54 year old Darrell Jordan thought he could still get out there and show the young kids how it's done. I think the only bull I would attempt to ride would be the mechanical bull on the little kids setting.
Our visit to Carousel Farms was inspired by our participation in the August gallery show of the same name at Gallery C in downtown Raleigh. Go check out the show website!
Matt Hudson is the head ranger at the Obed Wild and Scenic River, operated by the National Park Service about an hour outside of Knoxville, TN. It was great fun getting to spend the day with Matt who enjoyed getting out of the administrative duties he now handles and back to what he really loves to do and that is sharing the beauty of the park with visitors. Today we joined kids from the county learning how to climb rock faces and raft the river. It's the goal of the Obed programs to get every kid in the county to have a wonderful and exciting experience in the park. Matt is certainly more than just a teacher and guide, as he is also part of the law enforcement and rescue operations and recently received an award for a night rescue of a unprepared boater stuck on a rock for 5 hours at night without any life jacket or other gear. He downplayed the rescue somewhat, but it's obvious that if you are in need of rescue, Matt is the one you would want looking for you. A Harvard Law graduate, Matt realized that his true calling was the outdoors and that the best job would be a park ranger. Perhaps a 40 day solo canoe trip down the Yukon in his early 20's planted the seed of adventure that drove his desire for the ranger career. He also participated in a Tall Ship adventure at 16 years old touring around parts of the world with other kids his age from Russia and Poland.
Writer and friend Dan Howe and I are profiling Park Rangers from around the United States in order to illustrate how these individuals have dedicated their lives to protecting our National treasures. The goal is to photograph the rangers within the landscapes that may or may not be familiar, but also to tell the stories that only Rangers can tell. Based on this first experience, it's going to be an interesting journey.
Between Springmoor and Mayview, two of Raleigh's retirement centers and nursing homes, I've spent a lot of time recently around a lot of caregivers. One of those is Jean over at Mayview who does everything from hair to toenails. She works hard obviously and provides a caring service to those that can no longer take care of themselves. I knew right away I had to add her to my "Working for a Living" Series. Seems like I've been shooting a number of portraits lately related to hair. Maybe another series will come out of it.
Stacey was my mother's attending nursing assistant at the Emergency room on Monday night. She was so caring and helpful with mom who was nervous and scared that she potentially had a stroke. No stroke...just a pinched nerve allowed us to take her back to her room in rehab versus getting admitted. I thought Stacey's hair was fantastic. I've been wanting to watch Chris Rock's movie call "Good Hair" for a while now and never got to, but I asked politely if I could perhaps photograph her this week. Stacey I'm sure was initially a little apprehensive. There are plenty of crazy people in Emergency Rooms. However, after looking at my website, she agreed and seemed excited. It turns out Stacey had never had a real photograph made before. It is really too bad. At least now she has.
This Friday night is the opening of my first solo show since I sold my studio in 2005. 311 Gallery at 311 W. Martin Street in Raleigh is hosting a show of over 30 photographs and 10 of my paintings all produced in the last few years...most since 2012. It is billed as a father-daughter show and I am proud to have Gillian participate as well with over 30 of her sketch book drawings on display and also for sale. Her goal is to raise enough money to buy a new computer for her animation at which she is becoming quite proficient. For those of you who don't know my daughter, she is only 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. All of the photography in the show is local in nature and includes both images from my Working for a Living Series as well as a selection of BW Portraits of Success Series. Large prints abound with many over 36" in width. It was quite the challenge to get it all matted and framed, but as of Saturday it was finally hung.
Show hours start run Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm. Opening Reception this weekend on Friday from 6pm-9pm. Hope to see you there!