A few months ago, Lauren emailed Frayed Edge to ask if Mike and I would be going to Daytona, Florida for Bike Week in March. She was hoping we had planned on being there so we’d be able to photograph her wedding. Since we were booked locally with other photography sessions during that week, we didn’t get the opportunity to capture the ceremony, but this past weekend they made it in to High Point and rocked out some pretty awesome post wedding portraits. It was a a thrill capturing their passion for riding motorcycles as well as their passion for each other. They’re a hot couple with a really hot bike.
Bonnie, Zach, and baby Dylan’s fall photo shoot was such a fun session for us. These guys make such a beautiful family!
Bonnie is a natural beauty with picture perfect skin-I’m so jealous!
Both Zach and Dylan are so playful and mischievous!
Enough from me, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.
Photography is great for capturing images of what we looked like at some particular point in time. But, for me, the real power of photography lies in the ability to capture who we are and how we relate to the world around us.
Some of my favorite photos come from portrait sessions of related pairs (mother-daughter, father-son, siblings, husband-wife, etc). Once the “Hawthorne Effect” evaporates, the electricity of human connection takes command of the scene. This is the picture I want to capture because, in my own life, this is what I want most to remember. Our looks change. Our relationships are what make us immortal.
These are some of my favorite images from a shoot with Mary-Elise and her daughter. I was honored to have the opportunity to explore the beauty of their special relationship.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I have.
Ok, I feel like I am comfortable enough to let you all in on a little secret. In fact, it is so secret, I haven’t even shared it with Mike yet. You’ll be hearing it first, right here in this blog.
Here it is…I want to be a Roller Girl. I don’t mean just a skater. I want to be a full fledged, all out, Roller Derby Queen. I want to rule the flat track. I wanna be mean. Let me give you the 411 of how this seed was planted, so, hang with me for a few minutes.
A couple of months ago I went with my sister to get her hair done. She has the coolest hair stylist ever. You know how it is at the salon. Girls talk, gossip, share ideas and secrets. Sandy, (the stylist) just threw it out there in the middle of our conversation about working out. “I’ve joined a Roller Derby Team!”
I did a double take and asked her to repeat what she’d just said. I had no idea Roller Derby was still a popular sport and I couldn’t believe this 5ft. 5 in. super cute redhead was into pushing other people around. I wanted to know more and I couldn’t wait to get the inside scoop on what the Gate City Roller Girls (her roller derby team) was all about. I was also intrigued with learning more about the Roller Derby sport because after all, Frayed Edge Concepts is all about capturing moments outside the ordinary. I couldn’t wait to photograph these girls because to me, they are living a frayed edge experience.
So, I stalked (not really, I was invited) them at the Greensboro Downtown Shindig on May 2nd of this year. They were there promoting their team and connecting with the community. One of the group shots we took from that event appeared in “Go Triad” magazine (see pic below). Holla!
Since spending a few hours talking to these girls and photographing them in action, I have decided I want to be them. In fact, I want to be them so badly, I spent two hours this week with these high spirited girls while they participated in one of their four weekly workouts. Don’t worry, I didn’t don my skates and push my way onto the team. Mike photographed while I chatted and got to know a few of the girls a little better.
– I learned that Aubrey aka “Molly Flogger” (her Roller Derby name) started the Gate City team. She also writes about the team on their Facebook site.
-I learned Roller Derby girls have really cool Roller Derby names like Smaxle Rose, Jess the Ripper, Eristhrottle, Super Scar and Myrtle Biotch.
-I also learned that being a Gate City Roller Girl can be very dangerous. I mean, if you have to wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and a mouth guard, it’s pretty apparent there is a degree of danger there.
-I also learned that these girls are very athletic. They spend a considerable amount of time warming up with sneakers before they ever put on a pair of skates. They do sit-ups, push-ups, and lots of stretching. Once the skates go on they spend time maneuvering in and out of small orange cones and even partner toss a shoe back and forth while skating side to side.
-I learned being a Roller Girl isn’t easy. It requires passing a Skills Assessment test before you can compete. Those skills include learning to fall correctly because falling the wrong way can be a hazard to oneself and others on the track.
-Thanks to Safia aka “Veto Power” I learned a few of the rules and etiquette of the sport like what a “jammer” is and elbowing is a bad thing.
-I learned that these girls who now call themselves the best of friends vary in ages, culture, ethnicity, occupations, you name it! As far as careers go, they have everything from small business owners to professors on their team. Impressive!
But, most importantly, I learned that the Gate City Roller Girls are all about camaraderie. They are into building relationships not just on their team, but with the community. August 21, they will be holding a Dance Party fundraiser in support of their team and Often Awesome.
Lindsay aka “School Ya Childs” shared that she had moved to Greensboro sometime ago and really hadn’t felt connected until she joined the Gate City Roller Girls. She said her time practicing and hanging out with the girls has been a social outlet which has made Greensboro feel more like home. “This is a great workout time, kick someone’s ass time, build team skills and challenge ourselves time. It’s also been a way to learn how to build a business from scratch with my friends.”
Two other team members had this to say about what they’ve gained from being on the team:
Carly, aka “Addie Van Cynic” –“Anger management!”
Jessica aka “Jess the Ripper” –“It’s a great workout with forty of your best friends and it channels aggression.”
One would think a team composed of forty girls would become a breeding ground for drama of Housewives of Orange County proportions, but these girls agree that the drama is non-existent. These are girls who are completely self aware and self-confident. Just a few more reasons to join.
So, as soon as I publish this post I am headed off to our local video store to rent “Whip It.” As I watch it, I will imagine I am Smashley Simpson or Babe Ruthless and maybe the movie will give me the edge I need to “put on my skates and be my own hero!” (quote from “Whip It”)
Anybody who’s taken the time to glimpse my photo on this blog’s “About Us” page can pretty readily tell that I like ink. Tattoos. Tats. Body Art. And not only do I like to get carved on from time to time, I also enjoy tattoo photography. Few things say “Frayed Edge” better than a dragon chestpiece peering at you from behind the deep cut neckline of a bridal gown, or a tribal tramp stamp slashing right through the soft curves of a boudoir pose.
So Jill and I occasionally visit tattoo shops to drop off business cards and other materials to let tatted and pierced folks know they’ve got soul mates at Frayed Edge Concepts, LLC if they’re ever in the market for some photos. Not too long ago we stopped by Tattoo City in High Point, NC where we met tattoo artist, Dallas Morris.
When I met Dallas I almost felt compelled to drop into a cross-legged lotus position and wait for nuggets of wisdom to fall from his tongue. His wispy whiskers, gray hair, slight frame and weathered brow make him look like some kind of Sinsei just waiting for a little Grasshopper to bounce along and sop up the raw wisdom he’s gleaned the hard way from his years and travels. And Dallas has been around.
He’s a Vietnam vet and guitarist who spent almost 20 years with a band performing Southern Rock and Country music on the road. “Back in my hippie days,” as he says. He’s lived in Los Angeles and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Over a decade ago he grew weary of the vagabond life so he channelled his artistic nature into the tattoo gun. He’s been in High Point, right there at Tattoo City, almost ever since.
Dallas does all kinds of work…tribal, lettering, portraits, cover-ups…and refuses to let himself be backed into one style or another. He creates tattoos based on what he knows about a client’s preferences and goals. But he is old school about how he relates to his clients. “I work with people,” he says. “I don’t expect someone to have to ask themselves whether they want a tattoo this month or make the car payment.” As a result, Dallas has developed some long term relationships.
“Long term” is the operative phrase, here. Because Dallas says that, besides the relationships, the thing he likes most about his art is that people not only carry it with them to the far corners of the world, they carry it forever. With all his years in the business he’s lost some clients to tragedies. “My artwork was with them when they went out,” he says. That’s where the weathered brow comes from. Dallas has lived the full swing of the human drama over the years and has shared the drama with clients who come to him for memorial pieces and tattoos that acknowledge their struggles. It shows on the Sinsei’s face.
That’s one of the things I like most about my job. Faces. They all tell a story. For me, Tattoo City is a great place to hear a story or two, and maybe find a creative (and perhaps a bit painful) way to tell some of my own.