Daily Dozen – Tough Guys

I’ve taken a lot of people’s pictures – probably more than 20,000 at this point. When I ask most people they say “yes.” If people don’t want me to I don’t. It’s all good with me. Sometimes people get angry with me for asking. I don’t really understand that reaction but to each their own I suppose. One of the stranger things I’ve noticed in photographing faces is a certain look guys put on. We might be talking, laughing together and having a beer but as soon as the camera comes up it’s like WHAM, they need to look tough. No smiling allowed. Once I’ve taken their pictures they go back to being themselves. I don’t get it. Any ideas would be welcome.

Anyway, here they are, the tough guys.

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I’ll let you in on a secret. One of these guys actually was tough. I’ll let you try to figure out which one it is.

Daily Dozen – People Singing

People can look so different when they sing versus when they do other things. They can look impassioned, silly, angry, happy, hurt – you name it. Today, thanks to a suggestion from Scott Damgaard, I’ve pulled together a dozen faces of people as they sing. I hope you enjoy them. Many of them are from the Bone – a bar in Framingham that I go to every week. It’s where I met Scott actually and a bunch of other people who are now good friends.

I ended up going there kind of by accident. Matt Searles and I were looking for a place to have a beer and I suggested we meet at the Bone. It’s pretty close to both of our houses so it seemed like a good idea. It happened to be a Wednesday night which is pretty critical to what ended up happening. The two of us were sitting at the bar drinking Dogfish. I’d just come back from Austin where I’d taken photographs of strangers in bars. It had been a lot of fun and I was telling him about it and thinking I’d like to keep working on it. (I ended up taking pictures of two women at the bar, Mel and Fallon, whom I still see here and there.)

The music was bar music – stuff everyone knows. I noticed though that while the band stayed the same different people were singing. It turned out that Wednesday night was “Bone-e-okee” a live band karaoke. A lot of people were getting up and singing and everyone was having a pretty good time. I ended up talking to a bunch of people, taking a lot of pictures and deciding it was worth checking out again. I don’t think I went every week at the beginning but I went often enough that I got to know several of the regulars and the next thing I knew I was one myself.

Over the years things have changed. Old faces have disappeared and new ones have shown up. No matter what there are two things I know – first is that there’ll be someone I know and will be glad to see and the second is that people will be taking turns getting up on stage to sing. Sometimes people are better than you’d guess and other times – well, other times they’re not. Whether they’re good or bad people have a good time when they get up there. And it’s not just there – people like to sing. I like to sing (though I’ve never really done it at the Bone). These 12 photos are examples of how people can forget themselves on stage, share something, sing a song that’s special to them, celebrate a friend and just have fun. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

And if you’re near Framingham on a Wednesday night, come to the Bone. Don’t come too early and be prepared to stay late. Find me. You’ll have a good time.

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This is Scott Damgaard, the host of Bone-e-oke on the first night I went to the Bone. He is great. There’s not a mean bone in his body and he makes everyone feel welcome on stage.

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This is Brendan. His band is Shotgun Wedding. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them play but I’ve seen another band he’s been in Metallaham – a few times. This is an uncharacteristically mellow photograph of him.

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This is Pete. His band is The Peasants. He’s awesome and a very wonderful guy. Pete started playing at the Bone a couple of years ago and became a regular band member on Wednesday nights.

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This is Karyn. She looks like a nut. She’s someone that went from a face in a bar to being on of my closest friends (even though she’s moved to Nebraska now). Karyn loves singing Tom Petty and does a nice job of it – she also loves being up on stage. Over the years she’s sung less and less but still from time-to-time.

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This is Eric Andersen. I did a tweetup at the Bone a few years ago and Eric was one of dozen of so of my social media pals who came and got up on stage to sing. I wish I could recall what he sang but it escapes me.

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This is Chuck. Also, as it turns out, a member of Shotgun Wedding. I clearly could have used this photograph in my recent hat or rectangular glasses sets. Chuck is great fun to watch on stage. He throws himself around, dancing and singing and sweating. He’s a maniacal drummer as well.

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This is Mel. It took a while for her to get up on stage if I remember correctly – a lot of encouragement. She doesn’t sing very often and is shy up there – but in a very sweet and appealing way.

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Not every singing face has to be from the Bone. This is Jonathan Richman. Wendy and I saw him at the Somerville Theater in March ’11. I’ve been a fan for a couple of decades and it was fun to see him on stage. He is very tentative up there and very appealing.

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I don’t remember this woman’s name. She took singing very seriously and has a beautiful face.

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This is Jen, who also takes singing seriously. For many years she was a regular but moved a bit too far away for the Bone to be her regular. She would often sing “Me and Bobby McGee” or “Angel from Montgomery.” I played fiddle on that a few times with her. She got married this year and asked me to photograph the wedding. It was a lot of fun.

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Another non-Bone singer. This beautiful woman was a backup singer for Stephen Marley. It was a good show and it was great watching her move and sing. The lighting was really cool – from red to blue to gold – and each color changed her appearance as she sang.

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Pete up there used to be in a band here in Boston called Beefy DC. A year ago I guess the lead singer died and to help out his family a bunch of friends and local bands did a benefit in Boston. Here’s Chris Cote, a pro singer who is in many, many bands including The Giant Kings w/ Duke Levine and The Upper Crust.

Maybe I haven’t done justice to this set with my personal notes and digressions but what can I say? All I know is that I like watching people sing. I like the ways their faces change and do things they’d never do if you were just talking to them. I like seeing the singing side of someone’s face. It’s different and good and interesting. Check it out next time you watch someone sing.

Daily Dozen – Not Exactly Hats

The set of hats was fun but while I was putting it together I came across a handful of photos of people wearing other things on their heads or in their hair. Some of these things were hard to pass up when I did that set so I’ve decided to share them today. Headbands, flowers, feathers, etc. – all of them manage to find their ways onto people’s heads. See what you think.

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Here’s Kate wearing a shawl of some sort. And looking beatific.

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Just a headband – not that exciting but it still counts.

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This pillow might have been comfortable but I can’t imagine it would stay in place very well.

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A faux floral headband as part of a Hawaiian Halloween costume.

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This is a barrette (I think) but it’s big enough to warrant inclusion.

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Glasses are always a popular head topper.

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Is a hood a hat?

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A bandana?

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Snow is only temporary but it’s still on his head.

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This seems more like a kerchief to me.

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A classic napkin noggin cover.

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A profusion of purple feathers.

There you have it. Fancy! Hope you liked them.

Daily Dozen – Smoking (only 11)

Maybe it’s that I take most pictures inside, or maybe it’s that fewer people smoke these days – but whatever the reason, I have only 11 photographs of people smoking. That’s a good thing. As you can see, based on a completely non-scientific sampling, men are more likely to smoke from women. Go figure.

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One thing I noticed in looking at smokers’ photos is that a lot of them look kind of out of it.

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He doesn’t look out of it. But then he isn’t actually smoking either.

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Another smoking poser – but to be honest, he lit up seconds later.

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I didn’t say anything but he should probably put that cigarette out.

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The fact that this photo was taken in January means it shows a dedication to the act of smoking.

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This is Samuel. I haven’t seen him around for a long time. Hopefully his habit hasn’t caught up with him.

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Thumbs up for cigarettes! He seems to be saying.

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This fellow wanted to sell me a watch. I wasn’t buying.

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This is Mel. She’s prolly smoking a clove.

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Another example of the wasted smoker stare.

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Taken on a cold night in April.

There you have it for the day. Apologies for no dozen yesterday. That happens.

Daily Dozen – A Touch of Grey

Still hoping to get the singing set done soon – it will have to be over the weekend when I have time on my hands. Today I’ve decided to go with people with enough grey to look distinguished but not enough to make them feel old. I’m on the cusp myself (though I’m as far from distinguished as Nome from Borneo).

When I started the 1000faces project I had a full beard. It was awesome. But as time went by my beard got whiter and whiter. As that happened I noticed that the number of people saying “yes” when I asked for their photos went down. Right or wrong I shaved it off and the numbers started going back up. Now I’ve split the difference with a marshmallow-like beard on the end of my chin.

Anyway, here are twelve people sporting the grey.

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Taken at a birthday party in Canton.

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In Hell’s Kitchen in New York.

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At the Cambridge Brewing Company.

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In Philadelphia.

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At a party in Natick.

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At Revolution Rock in Boston.

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At a party in Boston.

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At a WebInno event in Cambridge.

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At a MegaTweetUp event in Cambridge.

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At a party in Cambridge.

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At a WebInno event in Cambridge.

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Outside a bar in Framingham.

One thing I noticed when I put this set together (and you probably did just by looking at the set) is that there are WAY more men with grey hair than women. Hmmmmmm, I wonder how that could be?

Fresh Faces 29 – Rectangular Glasses

I had bigger plans for today’s Faces but I’m too busy to pull it together. It will be coming over the weekend I think and is going to be a set of people singing. That will have to wait though. For now, I’m showing a dozen people wearing rectangular glasses. I’ve had a pair for a few years and see them everywhere these day.

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I like the corn background on this one.

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This woman was at PodCamp Boston 3. It was the first event where I really went to town photographing faces (I think 150 people that day). She’s pretty and her glasses look good.

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I don’t know how I feel about the white edge on this pair. It makes them look a little “future is now.”

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I took this picture outside Kinsale in Boston on night. I thought this woman was really attractive.

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This is Brian. I see him around Boston at various technology and social media events. I’ll bet if I really looked I’ve got at least a few pictures of him. He’s a nice looking guy.

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This is my old colleague and total pal Sheila. You’ve seen her in a paper hat, now you see her in rectangular glasses.

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Here’s Geoff Livingston at the old MIT Media Lab sportin’ the recs.

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This is Carissa. I’ve taken her picture a few times over the years. At some point I should do a set of the first photos I’ve taken of people (assuming there’s more than one of course).

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This is my brother-in-law Matt. He’s got a different take on rectangle with the rimless top thing going on.

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This woman is at PodCamp Boston 5. PodCamp Boston 6 is this weekend but for the first time in years I won’t be there. Bummer.

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This is Dan Kennedy from Northeastern speaking at MIT. I’ll be photographing him at MIT again later today.

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This woman just has the loveliest blue eyes. I should probably do a blue eye set soon. Her frames are another take on rectangles with the lower edge missing. It looks good.

There you have today’s dozen. Rectangular glasses. What will I think of next? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

Fresh Face 28 – 12 People with Piercings

I know I did hoop earrings just the other day but I got a request for this set and don’t want to let anyone down. Piercings have gotten a lot popular over the past ten or twenty years. I’ve taken a lot of pictures of people only to realize, “hey, that person has a piercing in their face.” Piercing pics also turn out to be pretty popular. I went through a ton of photos and have picked a dozen that I hope everyone will dig. Feast your eyes on these guys and gals with metal moles, protrusions, studs and more.

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This is a slightly unusual configuration – a nose stud and a Monroe. I guess it’s a nice look.

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Maybe I shouldn’t be posting this one but I am. It’s not a face (obviously) but I like it a lot. This woman was a waitress in LA. I was there for work and we kept going to this bar and wondering about the studs on her sternum. To be it was obvious that it was a piercing but some of the people I was with were sure they were magnets. Magnets. Have you ever heard anything so silly in your life? I asked her if I could take her picture and she give me the thumbs up – as long as I didn’t show her face . . .

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Why does this guy have a beard? Because shaving with the stud in his soul patch would be tougher than leather, that’s why.

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Yeah, I did hoop earrings the other day but these ears are pretty cool. So was this girl. It was a Saturday night at the Corner at the Middle East in Central Square. Her tattoos and big ol’ ear thing were great.

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Ah it’s wonderful little Wendy, my dear and darling wife.

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This little missy is Ginger Buttons. Notice the small black Monroe? I accosted this woman on the street in New York and told her she looked like my friend Ginger Buttons. After we established that she wasn’t Ginger I wandered away. Then I came running back and asked to take her picture because anyone who saw her would swear she was Ginger Buttons. Don’t you think she looks like her?

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This is Elizabeth from the Cambridge Brewing Company. I’ve photographed her three times over three years. She’s adorable.

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There’s a lot going on on this face. First the studs up on the bridge and then the lower lip. The lower lip is the one I don’t understand. Doesn’t it mean stuff dribbles out?

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The combination of nose and all the piercings on the her ear make this a photo I like a lot. It was taken at my friend Sheila’s birthday (or was it her going away party).

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There’s something kind of sloppy looking about this tongue piercing.

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This woman has a great smile. She also has two studs in her nose. It was the first time I’d seen that particular piercing and I have to say I like it a lot.

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There’s a lot going on with this face as well – lower lip, upper ear, enlarged lobe. I didn’t get shots of her right ear but I have to imagine there’s more happening there as well.

There’s today’s dozen for everyone. Just as I found that men wear more hats than women (at least in my photos) so I discovered that more women have piercings than men. Is that something you’ve notices as well? Let me know if you have anything you’d like to see tomorrow!

Fresh Faces 27 – People in Hats

Is there a season when hats don’t make sense? In the winter they keep your head warm, in the spring dry, in the summer they keep the sun out of your eyes and in the fall . . . well, in the fall they just look good. Here are a dozen people wearing hats for you to enjoy.

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This is Tara. We worked together at Weber Shandwick. One year for our summer outing we went on a harbor cruise. It was a lovely sunny day. Tara went for double strength sun protection for her eyes with a pair of sunglasses and this big broad-brimmed hat.

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I often come up with some pretty silly ideas. One day I was walking from the subway to work and it started to rain. I wished I’d had a hat and thought that making one out of newspaper – while certain to get soggy – might suffice. When I got to work I set about making a paper hat. My colleague Sheila was bitten by the haberdashery bug too and crafted this stunning piece.

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For a time GM was one of my clients. We were doing events all around New England to show people a range of GM cars in unexpected places. One was a festival in Beverly. The day was dreary and gray. We’d hired a magician to come to entertain the kids. This woman was the magician’s friend/assistant. Her hat is pink felt and very fetching.

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Here in New England, Red Sox head ware is de rigeuer. Of course there’s the ubiquitous “B” hat but Ishi opted for the more pride-inspired 2007 World Series Champions model. I myself and the proud owner of the 2004 version of this hat and hope that there will be more and newer ones to choose from in my lifetime.

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Out in Harvard Square one night I spotted this fellow walking down the street. It was a chilly January night and he was in an overcoat and this fancy hat. It’s a style you don’t see too often.

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There are utilitarian uses for a hat, and fashion purposes as well – but in this picture the hat is functioning as a prop or a costume. This is the lead singer from the Hixx. They present themselves as something out of Deliverance. The fact is Metro Boston has a pretty low redneck count so it’s more of an act (and maybe a lifestyle) than a fact of life.

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There are some things that are easier to explain than others. This isn’t one of them.

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This is Jim. I worked for Jim back in the mid-80s at Mississippi’s in Kenmore Square. A few years ago Jim was over at our house for a visit and I snapped this shot of him in a nice red beret. He’s been a beret fan for a long time. They’re good hats that are too often overlooked.

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The tricorn has been a New England favorite for centuries. It’s true that you don’t see them around as much as you might have in 1776 but that doesn’t mean they’ve gone out of style! You’re most likely to see them in Lexington or Concord on April 19th – or at a Patriot’s home game.

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The cowboy hat. Certainly a popular hat in many places. It’s one you don’t see as often around Boston or New Enland in general. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the absence of cows here in the city.

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Most hats are just hats. Bits of cloth that sit on your head. There are hats though that are endowed with special powers. These are magical hats. They can take many forms. The most recognizable, of course, is the magician’s top hat; but there are others. This is a hat from Nepal. It is magic.

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Here’s a great example of a hat being used for warmth. It was taken on a chilly October night outside a BC football game. Even though it was still only fall the air was really crisp and damp and so everyone was feeling cold. Except this woman who was bundled up.

Well there are a dozen pictures for you; and 12 little stories about the hats in each of them. I can tell you from looking at all my photos that men wear hats more than women and that baseball-style hats are the most popular. Until tomorrow . . .