Wednesday, January 14, 2009


First Cheech and Chong sang, "No stems no seeds that you don't need..." Then there was the seedless watermelon and then the almost seedless cucumber. Recently, Burpee, the gardening-seed king, announced a sweet, seedless tomato. Really?

Bet you didn't know I had a green thumb. I don't. It's actually brown. Well, that's not true either. My thumb nail's brown. It's stained from the years of developing film and making prints in the darkrooms of two newspapers. As the years went on, the process became more automated and then we started scanning our negatives. Eventually things went digital. No more discolored fingernails or fixer stains on my clothes, but the memories remain.

The deeds of my past are my seeds. Planted, watered and cultivated my photography has grown. It has flowered more than I ever expected. There's been some fertilizer too. But the flowers' sweet scent overpowers the crap.

Not every seed planted has been allowed to grow. Event (party) photography was one such seed. I'm not a camera boy who wants to walk around taking what my friend, Brad, calls "Happy Snaps." I felt that was a waste of my talent and not what I need to do — which is be creative. The plant was uprooted. No flowers. No seeds.

I did some glamour work for a time, but nobody wanted to pay. Nothing grows with all fertilizer and no water. I still have some of those seeds. I'm just waiting for the right conditions to replant them.

Would you believe I'm eating sunflower seeds as I write this?

For a while I've felt that Spring was coming. I've planted my seeds and I can see they are beginning to germinate (Southwest Graphics magazine, Shutterbug magazine, and Creative Artist's podcast). Today I put 24 pages of seeds on a big white Fed Ex truck and shipped them to New York to be planted on the farm that is Vanity Fair. We've said our prayers for sunshine and plenty of rain. We need a healthy crop.

Like a farmer whose very life depends on his crop coming in, I'm looking for fertile ground. My plants aren't cucumber, watermelon or tomato. The flowers of my plants are photographs, and each one a seed. My seeds can lead to prosperity. Not just for me, but for my clients.

Sorry dude. I need my seeds.

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