I know, I know. You're wondering what happened to the August Assault.
It's reborn as the result of meeting a brilliant local artist whose work had caught my eye. For decades one person had taken all my photos. The time had come, however, to find a new photographer and a new approach.
At the start I'd thought only of whipping myself into superior shape and letting my shape do the talking. Along the way, though, I started to think of the brilliant work Jean Schweikhard had done in branding my Boss MacTavin covers. I'd paid her fairly for that work and had been thrilled with the results. Yet here I was planning to engineer a photo that blended with that branding...and to do it on the cheap.
I emailed the artist, outlining my basic ideas and the timeline that I hoped to meet. I proposed that we meet today--as we did--to talk about his fee and a string of 3 payments. He was not to start work until he'd received the downpayment in August. At that time we'd meet again to brainstorm again re the shoot, which would take place in early September,
The meeting today went beautifully. And the artist--Edd--proved himself to be of the same school as Jean Schweikhard. He began to grill me in a quiet, friendly way about what I hoped to accomplish...why I felt so adamant about doing a beefcake photo...what props we might use to suggest a fusion of my character, Boss MacTavin, and his creator, Reb MacRath. We disagreed from time to time. At other times, we weren't sure how to resolve things that I still feel are essential: the absolute imperative that the photo must possess a sense of kinetic energy.
We spoke about color--I insist on black and white, but agree that the colors I wear for the shoot are partial keys to our success.
So, you might sensibly wonder, can a photo be all that important? Well, a great photo can't make a great book, that's for sure. But there are certain photos that do such justice to the spirits found within their authors' works that readers simply can't resist. A few examples?
Lawrence Sanders Ernest Hemingway
Donna Tartt Tom Wolfe
Mark Twain Mickey Spillane
We've got our work cut out for us. With the exception of Donna Tartt, the writers above are not lookers. But in every photo there's that undefinable something that commands attention and respect.
So the extra month will be well spent. The devil's in the details...and I'm hell-bent on making sure this shot is full of the devil.