“Falling Into Place”

Many moons ago, I met Patricia Lay-Dorsey. We actually met online. (No, not a dating service.) We met at David Alan Harvey’s original web-place called Road Trips. It was a tight, groovy little community. We chatted and shared imagery and critiques and David dispensed serious photographic wisdom.

One day Patricia shared 12 photos. Twelve deeply personal and moving images. Portraits of the day-to-day life of a woman with MS. Self portraits.

It was clear there was something happening here. A deeply personal story. An evolving story that would one day end up in a book. It had to.

Fast forward a few years…. This past weekend I took a trip to Beacon, NY with my wife to meet Patricia — finally in person!–  as she launched her book, Falling Into Place. It is a well constructed and nicely laid out work of art. The images are compelling, intense, passionate and simply beautiful. Like the woman who made them.

The event was quite a hit. The hosts, Fovea Exhibitions, really know how to put on a launch party! DJ Illich Mujica kept the place pumping and jumping. The wife and I danced as if we were 20 years younger than reality says we are… and the next morning I felt it. It was as if I’d run a marathon, quads aburnin’. Felt great.

Patricia signed books and danced and gave a great presentation and signed more books and danced some more and made sure everyone there knew she knew they were there. Hugs and kisses, well wishes. Much laughter, congrats, well dones. Met some new friends and made a few photographs.

Congratulations, Patricia. It is well deserved.


Falling Into Place. Self Portraits by Patricia Lay-Dorsey.


Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place. DJ Illich Mujica.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place. Kate Hofmann.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Falling Into Place.

iphone 5, creative lighting

Trying a little “studio” lighting with the iPhone 5. The flash on the iPhone is fairly ridiculous, unless you’re going to use it in the daytime and then only as fill light. So I turn it off completely until I need it.

For this shot I used a flashlight with some tissue over the head and my old iPhone 3Gs (I brought up the “Reminders” app which has a mostly white background so it’s like a tiny softbox.). I laid the 3Gs flat in front of the tiki idol and then shined the flashlight on the back wall from underneath the stool the tiki was sitting on. Got some groovy shadows going and ended up with the photo below.

Of course, this is all for giggles. I don’t see doing this for actual paying gigs. But for the purpose of exercising that little creative corner of my brain, why the hell not?


Tiki idol cup. Lit with flashlight, shot with iPhone 5.

iPhone 5, iPhone 3Gs, Surfire flashlight, tissue paper, Tiki idol cup.

Friday Photo Tip: “Keep the Sun Over Your Shoulder.”

This is a wonderful, timeless lesson. That high school photography teacher (who also happened to be the basketball coach) really knew his stuff.

I mean, really, think about it. With the sun behind you everything in front of you is so fully and flatly lit. You can see it all. No annoying shadows adding drama or depth. No highlights in the model’s hair. And with family portraits you get the added benefit of squinting eyes! What’s not to love?

And don’t even get me started on silhouettes or soft window light!

little girl with window light.

Window light #1

woman drinking water at national airport, whashington DC

Window light #2