Shooting skateboarding definitely fuels anxiety and excitement. It becomes common to watch your friends reel in pain on the pavement of a random street after attempting to overcome architecture and head-height drops. Alex repeatedly jumped down this big 4-block in Chicago, but got robbed from riding away with this kickflip.
This week I attended a photo workshop with Marc Hauser as the featured guest. I was struck with surprise as a pirate dressed in overalls arrived at the front of the conference room and began explaining his journeys through life and how he obtained success in his 45 year career. This pirate was Marc, and proved to be quite the captivating character.
Marc is a renowned portrait photographer, born and based in Chicago, and has worked with some of the most iconic figures in modern times. Given his reputation and celebrity, he was an intriguing presenter.
While referring his tales, cautions, and wisdom within the context of photographic career, Marc was sharing information that was abstract from strictly photographic practice. Through exposure of his flaws, faults, failures, successes, triumphs, and giving insight towards the ups and downs of his personal life, he alluded to a hidden importance of photography that many struggle to capture and overcome within their own lives. As technical forte and execution is always relevant for image making, Marc was trying to impart a broader lesson on his audience.
Despite our endeavors within photography, our own discoveries of personal truths and coming to terms with the importance of our own work can become meddled by expectations and sacrifices we make for ourselves. These were themes that proved invaluable from Marc’s stories. Ranging from childhood dreams to adult drug addiction, and borderlining hopelessness from disastrous injuries from a 40-foot scaffolding fall, Marc continued to share his intrinsic drives and how he continued to produce incredible work.
Although I do not necessarily agree with Marc’s mantras and strained importance of monetary worth, I believe that he is a thoroughly genuine persona that embodies elemental aspects of photography: honesty and transparency. Sharing his stories, even the ones that most people would take to the grave, showed that he does not wish to sugarcoat reality or misrepresent his subjects, but allow the viewer to have a real look at a real person.
Despite his slightly inappropriate demeanor and sparing amount of politically incorrect statements, Marc was still able to hold his audience’s attention and leave them with thoughts to consider. After all, it is our thoughts and experiences that shape our identities and the work that we produce.