Category Archives: Men

The Midnight Soldier – My Brief Encounter with Raman, The 49ers Stadium Security Guard

When you grow up like I did, staying up late into the AMs playing video games and watching music videos on
Youtube, you start to redefine what night time actually is. For some, like my mom and perhaps the rest of the sane
world, night time is somewhere around an hour after sunset and about 9pm. For me, night time settles in at about
12:01am.

There’s something about crossing into the AM that just changes things. The air smells different —  like smoking
firewood from a nearby campfire — trees turn into ominous, black silhouettes and anyone you see jogging by
or taking a night stroll feels immediately dangerous and suspicious. But that’s just what the darkness does. So
naturally, exploring and adventuring around this time gets even more fun as the mundane things of everyday
suddenly turn obscure, waiting for you to uncover them.

Fascinated by bright lights at night, one night I drove over to the construction site where they are currently
building the new San Francisco 49ers football stadium in Santa Clara. Tripod mounted with my Polaroid
Automatic Land Camera 360, I stood outside the chain linked fence and scoped out possible shots. After two
or three, I saw a security guard emerge from a parked car. He looked at me. And I looked at him. We nodded
to each other, and he walked towards me.

Asking what I was up to, I showed him my camera. He seemed interested but to my great surprise, he didn’t seem
to care that I was up this late taking pictures, nor did he care that I was standing around in a raggedy shirt, short
shorts and a mismatching bath robe. After talking about my camera, we discussed for an hour about everything:
work, school, finding a job, and even football, despite the fact that I know very little about it.

I wanted to take a picture of him at the time but unfortunately, I only had color film which was ISO 100 so I knew
I had to return and see him again to have another midnight chat. So I did. I came back the following week, same day
and around the same time, and there he was again. His name is Raman and he’s a college student who works the
graveyard shift as a security guard while attending classes in the day time. He’s currently studying computer science.
These are some of our conversations:

Scanned negative taken from the positive (shown above.) I love how much of the detail and black levels are preserved: the rifts in his turban, parts of his beard and the building itself.

Me: Do you have to stay up the entire time?
Raman: Yea, but you get used to it, ya know?
Me: Do you drink coffee or something or what? How do you stay up the whole time?
Raman: The first time, you do. I like drank hella red bulls n shit, but after you get used to it and it’s nothing. I just
watch movies and shows n shit while I’m waiting.
Me: Your boss is cool about it?
Raman: Yea, he knows wassup.
Me: Yea, I mean, it’s not like there’s a whole lot going on so it should be understandable.

Me: Do you eat anything while you’re here?
Raman: Nah, we don’t get a lunch.
Me: FORREALS?! Why not?
Raman: We have to be on the watch the whole time so we can’t leave. But we can bring food if we want. I just don’t
eat. I’m trying to bulk up though.
Me: Yea? Been working out?
Raman: Yea man, but it’s hard because I barely get any sleep, and you know how your muscles grow over night n
shit
Me: Yea, yea, my girlfriend used to work at Vitamin Shoppe so she knew all about that stuff

(talking about his annoying ex-coworker)
Raman: Yea dude, he was a fuckin bitch.
Me: How so?
Raman: One time, I thought I was running late so I called my boss and was like “Yo, I’m on my way but I’ll be
there in like five minutes.” So I drive up and just as I’m about to park my car, my coworker is standing there with his
watch and complains to my boss about me being one minute late. I’m like, forreals?
Me: What did your boss do?
Raman: He had to give me a warning. It’s part of his job though, ya know?

FP-3000 Negative that stuck to the back of one of my shots. Caused that weird pattern

Raman: Some of these construction workers make like, $80,000 a year.
Me: Damn! That’s hella crazy! But I mean, they’re doing incredibly physical work. And it’s also very dangerous
Raman: Yea, exactly. They be hanging on this wire thing hella high up in the air while they’re welding shit. I’m
like, awww, fuck that!
Me: haha! Yea man, its almost like, shit, if I can make that kind of money, why go to school?
Raman: I know, right? Make hella bank.

Raman: So what kinda camera is that?
Me: It’s an old Polaroid film camera from the 1960’s.
Raman: That’s sick yo. Does it take hella nice pictures or what?
Me: It does. The thing that I also like about film is that it’s more permanent. You really only get one shot to
get it right. So you cherish your photos more and they’re more meaningful and sentimental.
Raman: Yea, I remember in 2nd grade our teacher had one of those old polaroid cameras and she took a
picture of me, and I think I still have it somewhere in one of my binders or something, haha.
Me: See?
Raman: Yea man, that’s pretty sick

The friendship that Raman and I shared was an interesting one. He’s a sports guy, I’m an artsy nerd. He’s into
computer science while I do communication studies. In a sad way, in our every day life we probably would
never hang out together. But in this instance, we did. Like a stray cat finding a caged dog behind a chain link
fence, that grid of metal served as this physical and symbolic representation of our separate worlds. Worlds
that normally do not collide. Worlds where, had it been daylight, we might not even recognize each other. And by
the mysterious powers of the darkness of night, we shared an intimate yet comforting conversation for just those
two nights.

Goodnight Raman, and good luck in all your endeavors.

Leave a comment

Filed under Full Framed, Men, My Life, Out And About, People, Polaroid, Special, Street Photography, Summer, The man/woman behind the job

Larry – The Security Guard At My Apartment Complex – San Jose

You would never suspect it, but behind that blue and black uniform, there stands a man with a wife, a daughter, and a
background in chemistry. But that’s the thing, you’d never suspect it because most of us judge others by their job.

Every so often while I was growing up, my mom would point at random strangers and say “Ranier, look! You see that
janitor? You see that homeless man? He didn’t love his mom and he didn’t go to school. Now he’s homeless. You better
go to school or you’ll end up like him!”

But now, as a logical and much, much more compassionate human being, I’ve noticed the often conflicting lifestyles
people live in comparison to their jobs. The friendly sales lady at the local Kay Jewelers might be a dominatrix on
weekends, and the MMA instructor with the Harley Davidson tattoo might be an avid volunteer at the local animal
shelter. Nowadays, you really can’t judge a person by their profession.

Larry is the security guard in our apartment complex. Whenever Livi and I find ourselves in the parking lot, Larry is there
doing is rounds, checking up on the place to make sure we’re safe. Out of everyone, he’s easily the most friendly and
informative.

Upon asking him about the new regulations for parking, Larry and I wound up chatting for a good ten minutes about work,
his personal life, and his family. Unfortunately for all of us, tonight is Larry’s last shift at the complex. With the apartment
management swapping out its security men with hordes of cameras, Larry has no need to work at this place. Luckily for
him, he’s managed to find a new location up in Standford. He’ll be in a much safer, nicer area – which makes me quite
glad seeing as how he’s such a kind person.

I’m not sure what gravitated me towards him and his story. I guess there are those people in life that you meet, talk to for
a few moments, and you can just tell that they are good people. Solid people with good morals, a big heart, and an open
mind. Whether I will see Larry back in our apartments is an act of security roulette (security guards are contracted to
certain places for a specific duration of time, then they move on to a new location.) But one thing is for sure: no amount
of cameras and high tech gadgetry could ever replace the substance of a nice conversation, and an honest smile.

Thanks for keeping us safe, Larry.

1 Comment

Filed under Men, Out And About, People, Street Photography, The man/woman behind the job

Kevin Osmond Photography: Winter 2011/2012 Video Shoot (Behind The Scenes)

Why am I so dumb? I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this video. For the shoot,
I actually drove out to San Francisco (an hour drive), spent hours in the studio
doing video, and a couple hours in front of the screen snipping video clips to make
this awesome creation. But hey! Think of it as my present to you. This is the latest
fashion video that I’ve done, and boy oh boy is it swell. So check it out while drinking
hot chocolate, or simply enjoy within the comfort of your empty room while wearing
absolutely nothing at all.

1 Comment

Filed under Details, Featured Fashionista, Men, Models, Photoshoots, Scenes From, Special, Videos, Winter/Fall, Women

Blue Moon: Backstage At The 2011 Art Institute Fashion Show – SOMA, San Francisco

As I was posting this blog, I was listening to Julie London’s “Blue Moon” and realized how nicely
it fit this collection of photos.

“Blue Moon…

You saw me standing alone…

Without a dream in my heart…

Without a love of my own…

Blue Moon…

You know just what I was there for…

You heard me saying a prayer for…

Someone I really could care for…

And then there suddenly appeared before me…

It’s interesting when music fits so perfectly with whatever it is you’re experiencing at the moment. You start
to wonder “Was this song made for me? For this very second of my life?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Details, Fashion Shows, Men, Models, Scenes From, Spring, Summer, Women

The Details: The 2011 Art Institute Fashion Show – SOMA, San Francisco

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Details, Fashion Shows, Featured Designer, Men, Scenes From, Special, Spring, Summer, Women

Eyes Without A Face: Backstage At The Black V Fashion Show – The Mission, San Francisco

1 Comment

Filed under Details, Fashion Shows, Men, Models, Scenes From, Spring, Summer, Women

Old Hollywood: Backstage At The Black V Fashion Show

After mulling over the images for a few days, I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming 1920’s vibe.
Everything about the show (or at least, everything backstage) felt so… classic. The makeup, the hair,
the styling, and even the attitudes. The only thing that wasn’t specifically 1920’s were the clothes.

I now present to you, in lovely Black and White, the story of Black V!

**In order to enjoy this experience even more, please listen to this song while
viewing the images**

Click Here: Gershwin – Rhapsody In Blue

How are ya dahhhlin’?”

Madam, I am terribly sorry but you can not go to zee Opera!”
But vy?! Singing on stage is my PASH-YONE!”

Oh, Felipe! Why? WHY?! Why did you leave me for Madame Jaqueline?!
Is my love not strong enough? Have we grown apart? Please, I beg of you,
love me, and only me!”

Muahaha! You sink you are ze star of ze show?! HA! I am Madam
Jaqueline, and I am now and forever ze Opera queen!”

(Side Note: Isn’t this girl PERFECT for silent films? I mean come on! That face is PERFECT for
the silver screen!)

But, but! What is this thing?! Are you from the future?!”
Yes. I need your boots, your clothes, and your motorcycle”

*Sorry, I had to :)

Now shweet hot, I told ya to give me passion! I need fire in those eyes, ya
hear?!”

Did you attend Monsieur Felipe’s party last week? Oh, it was DIVINE!”

*boop-boop!*

Herro! ^0^

…to be continued…

*No seriously, I have more pictures for you, but I’ll post them later this week :P

1 Comment

Filed under Fashion Shows, Men, Models, Scenes From, Spring, Summer, Women

The Dark Side Of The Moon: The 2011 Academy of Art University Fashion Show, SOMA, San Francisco

Fun Fact: Prior to my fashion blogging, there was actually a time in my life when I wanted to become a
fashion designer. Now, this was probably due to my obsession with Project Runway, but that’s a completely
different conversation.

During my fashion designer phase, I looked into various art schools to pursue that “dream.” In the bay area,
there are two options as far as schools: The Art Institute and The Academy of Art. The idea was that AI
was the fun (yet expensive) school where the real creatives went. It was viewed as the Apple of local
art schools while AA was Microsoft.

In contrast, AA was painted as the devil’s den. It was, from the point of view of many people (including my
High School Art Teacher), painted as some kind of neo-nazi, Orwellian Art School for communists. So to
finally come to an AA fashion show was a treat. Not only was I able to sit with the rest of the pro
photographers, I also had a chance to see if The Academy of Art was really like a page from 1984.

UH-OH…..

I‘ll admit: when I saw this powerful image, I started to become a bit concerned. But once the show started, I was
proven very… very wrong.

One of the things that I noticed about this show was that, instead of going for
that couture look, most of the designers actually chose the practical yet
highly wearable route. This was a very refreshing approach in contrast to
the other shows I’ve been to in San Francisco.

It’s Sil Pat meets Austin Powers!

I absolutely LOVE this designer. I love how he/she treated the fabrics. It
almost looks as if they were set on fire then blown out, revealing a half burnt
outfit. Very awesome, and I would TOTALLY wear a shirt from them!

This show didn’t have any fancy hats nor crazy bags, but they did have some really great prints.

I wasn’t lucky enough to touch this piece, but from looking at it, my mind just screams out “BUTTERY SMOOTH!”

I gotta hand it to the designers at AA: they did a phenomenal job. The actual
show was very entertaining, all of the models had amazing walks/looks, the
music selection was on-point, the timing was quick and efficient, and most
importantly, the clothes were wearable and visually orgasmic. If this is a sign
of things to come from The Academy of Art, then shit, count me in!

Great job, AA – you proved us all wrong.

Leave a comment

Filed under Details, Fashion Shows, Featured Designer, Men, Models, Scenes From, Spring, Women

Fashionable Monsters: SOMA, San Francisco

The lights were turned low, and the cameramen/women were shooting off beams of light to illuminate the
dark figures of fashion. Realizing that I too needed flash, I scrambled through the crowd to find my camera
bag — then it hit me.

What’s the point of having a Canon 7D if I’m not willing to push it to the limit? External flash?
FUGETABOUTIT! These babies were cranked to 3,200 ISO.

The Wicked Witch:

Frankenstein:

Zombie:

The Bride of Frankenstein:

1 Comment

Filed under Details, Fashion Shows, Featured Designer, Men, Models, Scenes From, Spring, Women

The [Hair] Of Slytherin: SOMA, San Francisco

What can I say about Michael that hasn’t already been said about AC Slater, flying cars, and finding spare
dollars in your washed up jeans? Not only is he a second time star on TheFalco.com, he’s also a damn
genius when it comes to style.

To pull off a Black on Black outfit requires a lot of experience/style: You need to have perfect layering, a sense
of the which blacks you want (yes, there’s more than just one Black), a firm knowledge of textures, and you also
need the attitude to match.

Ya know what’s strange? From what I’ve seen, actual fashion designers dress pretty normal. Sure, they do
inject a good amount of style into their personal wardrobe but it is the non-designers who come off as
most stylish. Michael, a Fashion Marketing student, is no exception.

I think you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, and how clean they keep em. To me, a person who is
comfortable in their scuffed shoes is often a person at ease with their own self. Allowing one’s shoes to age
gracefully is like saying that you’re comfortable in your own skin – be it your own human skin, or a chunk of
sleek leather boots.

1 Comment

Filed under Details, In-Crowd, Men, Spring