drive-by shootings

a car. a camera. a vision.


with 8 comments

For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to do more street photography. I live in the perfect city to capture some pretty intense, real-life, gritty scenes. I’ve struggled to find the time, as well as assure Sara that I’ll be safe and no harm will come my way — that’s my plan anyway.

I live about 10 miles from my day job. Yes, to those who don’t know…photography is not my full time gig. Each morning and afternoon, I join the commuting world to make my way to the office. Back and forth. Back and forth again. When you do something repetitive enough, it can become very mindless. You can drift away…listening to morning talk radio or a favorite CD, sipping coffee or possibly finishing up breakfast…and then, poof, you’re at your desk. Back in the saddle again.

You can also take pause on your commute and notice the details. Familiar cars/drivers. Favorite parking places. There’s the guy who drives like an idiot, who I infuriate by driving slowly. There’s the woman I usually zip around. A nose picker. Someone putting their make-up on. People waiting for the bus. Tired faces. Angry faces. Blank faces. Few happy ones at the time I’m getting in.

You may also notice a familiar street person. Ahh…he’s working this corner today. New sign. New tactics — waving at cars with one hand, cigarette in the other hand. I see these faces day in and day out. Some days I’ll offer some change or a few dollars. Other days, I’ll sit in my car with my imaginary blinders on…staring forward as if I don’t realize there’s a person in need outside my window. It’s tough.

What caused this person to be on the streets? Where are their family and friends? Are they mentally ill and possibly in need of medication? Are their claims legitimate or are they con artists? Are they drug addicts? If they can come to this corner daily…why can’t they hold a job? I can’t answer any of these questions about the people that I see — but I hope to find out.

My concept is called Drive-by Shootings. I figured the name was appropriate for a city that usually carries one of the highest murder rates. A play on words — hopefully you don’t think it’s in poor taste — but I wanted something different.

On most days, I plan to have my camera on my lap as I commute to and from work. I’m going to document the random people/things that I encounter during my drive. If anything, you’ll get to experience what I see — good, bad, funny, gruesome….sad. I want to document it all. There are so many details around all of us. People we may never notice, or who we always notice and never fully acknowledge. We all live in our own worlds after all. Everyone now and again, we cross paths — sometimes every day.

This is my attempt at street photography. I hope you like it.


Written by john

August 17, 2008 at 8:17 pm

8 Responses

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  1. As your “Manager” but more importantly, your wife, I am very proud of everything that you do and what you are trying to do with this new concept. Good luck with the “drive bys!”


    August 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm

  2. I’m mom and very proud of how talented you are and your interest in life as we live it in Baltimore. I’m glad it was a photo shoot and not a real drive by shooting. I’ll continue to read everything that you write.


    August 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm

  3. JW
    Great name for a blog about street photography. If you find a way to maintain your website and two blogs, please let me know the secret to your madness. Looking forward to seeing where you can take this.

    Check out the work of Boogie in NY. He has shot for a few mags I have shot for and had a piece in the group show I was in last month. Killer stuff.



    August 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm

  4. Great stuff Jay. Thanks for the link and further inspiration. I really appreciate it. As far as the website and blog maintenance…we’ll see how far these two hands will take me πŸ™‚ Stay tuned!


    August 19, 2008 at 10:27 am

  5. J,
    Great concept and as usual, OUTSTANDING work. It’s time to turn this into your Day Job.
    Can’t wait for the next “Drive-by”. Good Luck with it.



    August 19, 2008 at 11:06 am

  6. Thanks Steve. Working every day to get there πŸ™‚ I appreciate you taking a peak.


    August 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm

  7. You turn out some interesting work! I would call it more documentary with a strong social message than street, and I mean that as a profound compliment. I enjoy what you are doing, and look forward to seeing more. Take care!

    Michael J Hoffman

    Michael J Hoffman

    August 27, 2008 at 1:39 am

  8. Thank you Michael. I tend to agree that this is more documentary; with hopes for some opportunities at personal photo essays.

    On a side note, your B&W photos are great!


    August 27, 2008 at 6:47 am

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