dyke march, 1993, dupont circle, night before the march on washington. it was dusk, i was standing on a street divider and walking against the flow of marchers. at one point, i just stopped and started shooting in the face of everyone that came my way, i just kept shooting, even when nothing in particular caught my eye, i was lonely, upset, lost and surrounded by thousands of women who literally didn’t notice me, on many different levels. i shot rolls, just from the one spot. later, looking at frame by frame with a loop on a light box before printing or contacting (i hate contact sheets, i look at every frame for the composition first, everything else can just fall where it falls) this one frame jumped out, i remember seeing it and moving the roll to some of the first to be printed. i don’t remember taking it, it was one of the few times i had indeed gotten lost a little in the act and just reacted without thinking.
i loved the picture, i printed it 16×20 right away. this was 1993, it would be the first frame of my ‘journalism’ portfolio for the next 6 years.
in 1997-1999, i cannot remember exactly anymore, it was just after i moved to nyc. i dropped my portfolio at OUT magazine, this was still the lead image in my portfolio. i couldn’t get an appointment, (i still don’t know the secret knock to actually meet a photo editor in person, to this day, at least half i shoot for i still have never met). a few days later i get a call from OUT, it isn’t the PE, it’s another editor. she’s kinda shy and quiet and first and doesn’t say much, then it comes out, “i am the woman in the picture.” my heart skipped a few beats. the central figure with the glasses, this was her, WOW. i didn’t know what to say, so i just listened, she went on to tell me the the woman whose hand on her shoulder had been her partner, she talked about the gleam of light off the ring on the hand on her shoulder, all the details i saw, but never focused like she had.
i mailed her a print, we never met, and that was that. i then stopped showing this type of work altogether, i always got hired for portraits, so i stuck with that, it was never on purpose.
sometime a few years later after seeing the print again, it hit me and i ran to my shelf to find the image, it was a klein like image, not in style, not in spirit, almost literally, and all chance, really, seems klein was more on my brain so many years ago then i ever realized.
the faces, the dusk, the drag shutter, the hands, the composition, even the event/situation was in a way the same…… it isn’t really the same, but damn is it similar. mr. klein, please don’t sue me, it wasn’t on purpose, and i am no galliano: