The Alley Way (April, 2012)

Alley Way


not just an iPhone photograher.

For Bob Reuter and Paul Kleinman

I shot this batch of photos on a full moon next to Lot 10. The alley way is next to the famous, infamous Chanticleer Bar on Cayuga and State/MLK. I was out with my wife and some very good friends. I ducked around the corner to roll a smoke and found an incredible landscape to dabble in for a few minutes. In processing the shots I was struck how they show warmth and pain at the same time. To me, they show my influences from two amazing photographers who took me under their wings: Bob Reuter and Paul Kleinman.

Bob Reuter has been doing LoFi photography in South City Saint Louis for the past 15 years. He does all his photos the old school way. As he likes to say, his dust is real. A rockstar in his own right his work shows the warmth and ethereal glow of a city that has been left for not in America. A place where they hey day went hey and what was left is a beautiful garden of fucking eaten/eden flop house. Bob and I worked on a number of projects together, including writing projects where we discussed at great length the purpose of memoirs and literary agency. I cataloged over 500 of his photos for a book we discussed doing but quickly became buried in this prolific work. The man deserves a wing at the Met and it amazes me how the galleries of Saint Louis have ignored him.

Paul Kleinman is harder to pin down. He has the wits of a nerd, the warmth of the kindest teddy bear. I spent most of my study with Paul. He advised me on purchasing my first camera. Taught me how to use Zenfolio, talked me down after my first wedding went crap. Taught me how to use Aperture for editing. He is a magnificent photographer. His work shows warmth, compassion and a classical appreciation for the good parts of Saint Louis. They are stylized and show a study of the craft, a precision that I strive. He is the opposite of Bob’s work in many ways–where Bob clings to messy and the scrape of Saint Louis, Paul is looking for the shine. Both are masters of their craft to me and I’m proud to say I’m the bastard child of their union. Finally, one more thing, I took this all up after just taking my iPhone and deciding that I wanted to take a shot a day (check here for the final product). Both could have also dissed me at a very fragile time when they could’ve said, “You’re just an iPhone photographer, give it a rest.” And they didn’t.

These Alley Way shots are dedicated to my continued friendship, tutelage and appreciation for their craft. To Bob and Paul.


PS — If you’d like to purchase any of these pieces framed, digitally for your desktop or a host of other ways, you can do so right here. Thanks all, purchasing my art not only makes me feel good but it helps with the bills.


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