In and Out of The Studio

Learn how to swim in your ocean of digital images

Why do this…

There has been an explosion of digital photography and photographers, both amateur and professional, over the past few years. For digital photographers the focus is the creative and artistic aspect of their work, and this is as it should be. The very nature of digital photography, however, allows for the creation of thousands of images that need to be managed. Digital asset management (D.A.M.) is at the core of my business model. There is a real need for individualized services tailored to the specific needs of the amateur, semi-pro and pro photographers who want to focus on creativity rather than managing files.

How I can help…

Here’s how I've been helping photographers and what I can offer you:

Individualized tutoring at your home or office, or in my studio.

Tutoring Basic to intermediate Photoshop skills tailored  to what you need to know.

Tutoring Basic to intermediate Photoshop Elements skills tailored  to what you need to know.

Set up and training in the use of Adobe Lightroom.

Using Adobe Bridge to its full capacity.

D.A.M. for the photo entrepreneur.

The initial consultation is free either by phone or email.

This is Nicole

Another Installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC.

Nicole is a 30 something woman who has been living on the streets of Washington, DC for about two years. She has no family in the area and describes having a learning disability although she is not clear what that is exactly. She does say it caused her great difficulties in school and has interfered with her finding work because she has trouble learning things. I met Nicole in the Capitol Hill neighborhood where she was panhandling. As you can see from the photograph she is wearing at least two winter coats as she spends the majority of her time outdoors except at night when she sleeps at the Federal City Shelter which she says is a dangerous place but it's better than freezing to death. Nicole is a friendly and outgoing person so she does well enough panhandling to get money for food. When I told her about the Invisible Ones project, she said, "That's me, like a ghost." She agreed to allow me to make this photo in return for a food voucher.

This is Barbara

Another Installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

I met Barbara in the main entry hall of Union Station the day after the New Years holiday. This is normally a busy travel day with people coming and going from their holidays. I mention this because Barbara had staked out a place for herself on one of the large benches along with all of her belongings contained in several trash bags. She was having a loud, animated conversation with herself which effectively kept virtually everyone at a distance. Not being put off by such things, I sat down next to her and said good morning. Barbara was able to focus long enough to tell me that she had been living on the streets for only about two years and that she previously had a job as a seamstress at a local dry cleaning shop. She said she had to quit when the heat and the chemicals form the dry cleaning cause her to have "brain problems." She went on to say that the Dr. wanted her to take medication for this but she refused and is not now under any treatment. Our conversation was difficult in that Barbara was hearing voices, benign voices but inside her head nonetheless. She went on to say that she sleeps at the Federal City Shelter which is nearby, then comes to Union Station for the morning. The remainder of the day is spent wandering around the Capitol Hill neighborhood panhandling. I persuaded Barbara to sit still long enough for this photograph in exchange for a breakfast at McDonalds. She was not interested in dining at the restaurant so she took her meal to go.

Barbara is one of many homeless, mentally ill people on the streets of Washington, DC. Her symptoms are obvious to anyone who passes by but not so severe that she is likely to get into trouble. It would seem that panhandling for Barbara is difficult at best making her even more invisible.

This is Anissa

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC.

Anissa is a 30 something woman who has been living on the streets of Arlington Virginia and now Washington, DC for the last five years. When I met her she was sitting on a plastic milk crate at the intersection of 27th and K Streets. This particular spot is well known to the homeless as it is a very busy commuter thoroughfare. Anissa tells me that she also sleeps under the overpass where we are standing unless it's really cold, then she will use some of her panhandling money to get a cheap room in a SRO hotel. She tries to avoid the homeless shelters as she finds them to be dangerous places. Anissa came to be homeless following a divorce proceeding because she was unable to maintain the marital home and soon exhausted the settlement money. At one time she was training to be a veterinary technician but never finished her education. She had no other job skills and no prospects because she is homeless. Drugs, Alcohol and mental illness do not seem to part of the problem as best I can tell.

Anissa is an affable and friendly woman who is able to make enough money panhandling to survive on the streets. When I told her about the Invisible Ones project she just laughed saying, "Honey, you have no idea how invisible I can be out here." She's certainly right about that.

This is Curtis

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones of Washington, DC"

When I first noticed Curtis, he was having a conversation with someone who was giving him a bag with what I thought might be food or other supplies. It's not uncommon for generous benefactors to help out select street people in that way, especially those they pass by everyday. As it turns out Curtis had received a warm jacket, a hat and gloves which he is wearing in my photograph. Needless to say he was having a good day considering he is living on the street. Curtis has only been in DC for a few weeks, coming from Richmond, VA where he was in jail for 120 days on a trespassing charge. He told me that he wasn't doing anything more than what he was doing now, sitting on the street panhandling. Apparently the police in Richmond are on a campaign to clean up the tourist areas and the homeless are being removed. Upon his release he decided to relocate rather than risk getting incarcerated again. Curtis is originally from Arkansas. he became unemployed and headed East this past Summer looking for work. His savings soon ran out and he became caught in the spiral of homelessness and chronic unemployment. He plans to spend the Winter in DC and perhaps head back to Arkansas in the Spring. He is hoping to save enough panhandling money to get a bus ticket. Unlike some homeless folks, Curtis says he can take care of himself in the shelter where he sleeps. The trick he says is to make it clear that people shouldn't mess with you. 

This is Joseph & his service dog Moonshine

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC.

Joseph is a homeless man who I saw sitting on the sidewalk, panhandling near the Farragut North Metro station with a dog peeking out from under a blanket. Joseph also suffers from epilepsy. Just to be sure I would believe him he produced an ID card attesting to that fact as well as a Service dog certificate for his companion, Moonshine. Joseph is getting together the last few dollars he needs to get on a bus heading South for the Winter. He has done this for a few years and it seems to have worked out for him in terms of getting away from the harsh DC Winter. He also says it motivates him to budget and save his panhandling money for his transportation costs and food for Moonshine. Joseph has been homeless since losing his job and apartment in Massachusetts several years ago. He came to Washington, DC looking for a new start but ended up living on the streets. He feels fortunate to have his epilepsy controlled by medication and for his companion dog. I offered him a food voucher in exchange for this photograph. Hopefully Joseph and Moonshine will be on their way sooner than later as Winter is arriving early this year.

This is John

Another Installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

I first saw John pushing this very large cart stacked with his worldly belongings along M street headed in the direction of Georgetown in Washington, DC. He stopped to rest in a small park just East of the trendy shopping district in Georgetown. When I first approached him he seemed to just ignore me focusing on the newspaper he had pulled from a trash can. When he finally looked up, I explained what I was doing and told him about the photography project. I asked if I could take his photograph and he simply said, do whatever you want but go away after you're done. So I took what opportunity I was given and offered John a food voucher in return which he refused. I can't know for certain that John is actually his name. What is fairly certain is that this gentleman has been on the streets for quite a awhile. I have seen him on numerous occasions pushing his cart through the city streets but have never been able to engage him in a conversation. Maybe another time. Winter will be hard on people like this. If you see him do what you can to help him out. 

This is Khalifa

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

Khalifa is a homeless gentleman living on the streets of NE Washington, DC. I encountered him today sitting on a bench on the fringe of a busy Farmer's Market. He says this is a good spot for panhandling because people will sometimes give him some of the food they have bought. That did not appear to be the case today. As I watched him for awhile before I approached he was being ignored by all who passed him by.

Khalifa has been on the streets since 2009. He remembers the date because it was when he was released from a Federal Prison in Kentucky where he was serving time on a drug possession charge. He was put on a bus and returned to DC with no money and only the possessions he had accumulated in prison. He says that prison at least allowed him to get clean and sober and become a more devout Muslim. He gets by with panhandling and the occasional odd job cleaning trash from a business alleyway. He says, with a Federal prison record finding a job is almost impossible.

Khalifa is a friendly and non aggressive panhandler. Inspite of this he remains invisible to most everyone who passes him by. He agreed to be photographed in exchange for a cup of coffee and a few granola bars.

This is Louis

Another installment of "The Invisible Ones" of Washington, DC

This is Louis

Louis was picking cigarette butts from the gutter when I met him on 1st Street NE in the trendy NOMA neighborhood of Washington, DC. He said he needed to be quick about this because the trash cleaners  would soon be along to clean up the street. So I walked along with him while he foraged for used butts. Louis thinks he's 65 years old but can't be sure as his memory has been pretty bad for awhile. He suspects that his years of drinking had something to do with that. He says that even after he quit drinking his mind was never the same especially after the explosion in his brain. It sounds like he was told he had a stroke of some kind which has left him somewhat impaired. His speech is almost inaudible and halting as if he can't find the word he is looking for.

Louis has been living on the streets or in shelters for the last 10 years by his account. Tragically he prefers sleeping outdoors because, "people will mess you up in those shelters." I asked Louis what he would do when Winter comes on in a few months. He was surprised to learn that it was already October. After he found a supply of cigarette butts he began his routine of panhandling which involved sitting on the curb and calling out to passers by that he could use a little help to get something to eat. As I watched for a bit it was clear that on this busy, weekday morning Louis was truly invisible to the herd of office workers clutching their phones and Starbuck coffees as they stepped over and around him to cross the street.

He gladly agreed to a food voucher in exchange for this photograph.

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