Monday, July 15, 2013

Portland Street Style: Anna and Michael, SE Hawthorne

Portland hipster beard Bahamas jeans
I recently returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon for my wife, Jessica Curtaz's, solo drawing show at Charles Hartman Fine Art and got a chance to spend a few hours out shooting on the streets of the Southeast quadrant. Over the next two weeks I'll be posting my shots from there. 

Portland, in the last ten or so years, has risen in the popular imagination to become the undisputed capital of hipster America (or at least the undisputed Northwest outpost of hipster America). Portlandia no doubt helped solidify this reputation, but Portland was doing plenty to earn it on its own. Neighborhoods like Hawthorne, in Southeast Portland, where I shot, are saturated with the unambiguous signs of hipster ambiguity: lumberjack beards and newsboys caps, high-waisted jeans and brown leather moccasins, thick-rimmed glasses and too-tight t-shirts. There was no shortage of street style subjects to shoot. And yet, getting people to let me shoot them was no easy feat. The first two people I asked turned me down. That hardly ever happens. In Philly my rejection rate is around 3 in 100. In Portland it turned out to be 3 in 10. 

Anna and Michael were among the kind 7 who allowed me to take their picture. I dig their Pacific Northwest casualness, their clever combination of urban and backwoods elements, and, of course, Michael's giant beard. Are they Portland typical? Well, that would be kinda hard to argue, since they recently moved there from San Francisco. But then Portland beckons its own. And Anna and Michael fit in just fine.

Michael is a portrait photographer, and we talked cameras and lenses. Thanks to Michael, my new lens lust is for a 35mm f1.4. Great. I needed more things to regret not being able to afford.      

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