Showing posts tagged Cleveland.
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faces of men project

Ask me anything   I’m a semi-pro (mostly amateur) digital photographer with no formal training and no pretentious philosophies. Just a passion for picking up the camera and roaming the landscape of urban spaces. These are the faces of intriguing men I've met along the way.
Carlos - Cleveland 2006
I love this portrait of Carlos, but it is also a reminder of my amateur-ness and lack of attention to detail. If you notice, his right ear is tucked under the bandana and the left is over. Regardless, I love the expression on his face and having Carlos in front of my lens was one of my most memorable experiences as a photographer.

Carlos - Cleveland 2006

I love this portrait of Carlos, but it is also a reminder of my amateur-ness and lack of attention to detail. If you notice, his right ear is tucked under the bandana and the left is over. Regardless, I love the expression on his face and having Carlos in front of my lens was one of my most memorable experiences as a photographer.

— 9 months ago
#portrait  #photography  #Nikon D50  #puerto rican  #cleveland 
Rapper - Cleveland (October 2009)

Technically, I’m not entirely satisfied with this shot. But I chose to post it because it’s a testament to a man I felt had an incredibly compelling face. I was hired to photograph this urban arts event where I discovered him. Unfortunately, I don’t recall his name (I often forget names if I don’t think to jot them down in my notebook), but he was a local Cleveland-based rapper who was performing at the event. Not wanting to let an opportunity pass, I cornered him in a dimly lit stairwell backstage and asked for a pic. The picture quality turned out grainy because I chose to use a high ISO speed and rely on the lighting of our surroundings as opposed to subjecting him to the harshness of flash photography. Needless to say, I’d welcome a redo with my hard core rapper muse.

Rapper - Cleveland (October 2009)

Technically, I’m not entirely satisfied with this shot. But I chose to post it because it’s a testament to a man I felt had an incredibly compelling face. I was hired to photograph this urban arts event where I discovered him. Unfortunately, I don’t recall his name (I often forget names if I don’t think to jot them down in my notebook), but he was a local Cleveland-based rapper who was performing at the event. Not wanting to let an opportunity pass, I cornered him in a dimly lit stairwell backstage and asked for a pic. The picture quality turned out grainy because I chose to use a high ISO speed and rely on the lighting of our surroundings as opposed to subjecting him to the harshness of flash photography. Needless to say, I’d welcome a redo with my hard core rapper muse.

— 1 year ago
#cleveland  #portrait  #photography  #b/w photography  #rapper  #hip hop 

Ammen - Cleveland, OH (March 2011)

Ammen came to me by way of a friend and was in need of a few head shots for his portfolio. Of course I was pleased to shoot this studio session with him. Ammen is of Middle Eastern descent whose distinct features make for a great picture. He sort of puts me in the mind of a young Ramon Novarro or Rudolph Valentino.

— 1 year ago with 1 note
#Cleveland  #portrait  #actor  #photography  #head shot 

Shawn - Cleveland (top: July 2007; bottom: October 2004)

Today I was thinking of Shawn, one of the first guys I invited to sit in front of my lense when I first started shooting back in 2004. I had met Shawn at the gym and over the few short years that I knew him he was someone that I considered a friend and muse. He was one of the most intriguing and mysterious individuals I’d ever photographed.

The bottom photograph is from our first session in 2004. The image at the top is from our last photo shoot in 2007 which also turned out to be the last time I saw him. What I learned from Shawn is that we all evolve over time. We grow, we change, we progress, and at times even digress to an extent. All this only to gain a deeper understanding of our inner being. No matter how wise or mature we become, it’s what we experience in life that shapes who we are and how we see the world.

The last time I saw Shawn his face had changed.

— 2 years ago
#portrait  #cleveland  #photography 

Cleveland, OH (October 2007)

copyright: Aaron Douglas

These images are probably some of my favorite portraits I’ve ever shot. So much so that I’m considering having them framed for my personal collection. A few years ago a young man by the name of Will contacted me online to inquire about shooting with me. He was a friend of one of my other models and was somewhat familiar with my work.

After a few brief email exchanges I invited Will over to my studio to discuss the possibilities of a shoot. Though he wasn’t prepared to be photographed that day, I was so compelled by his incredibly beautiful face that I couldn’t resist asking him for a few head shots. I remember him being a little hesitant at first, because he felt he needed a shave and his cornrows weren’t fresh and tight. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this case I was the beholder and when I’m moved to behold beauty, I don’t get too caught up in tiny details.

— 2 years ago
#cleveland  #ohio  #portrait 

Cleveland, OH (September 2008)

copyright: Aaron Douglas

As you know by now, I just love having people in front of my lens. When a complete stranger allows me to snap a picture of him a rush of adrenaline shoots through my body, and I am overcome with a euphoric sensation. That’s how I felt when Charles, a Cleveland public transit operator, allowed me to take this picture of him. I was taking a walk on a Sunday afternoon when I spotted him sitting at a bus stop. His bus route was on layover and he was on his break. The time of day was right, the sun was hitting his face just so, and he was a willing subject. It couldn’t have been a more perfect scenario.  What captivated me about him was the certain sensitivity I detected in his eyes.

These portraits were taken in 2008. Interestingly, I spotted Charles just recently on the train where he is still an RTA operator. I regret that I didn’t say hi.

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#Cleveland  #Ohio  #Public Transportation  #Charles  #Portrait  #Street Photography 

Cleveland, OH (August 2008)

copyright: Aaron Douglas

Like many, I tend to be fascinatingly attracted to the “bad boy”. He’s the type of guy with the hot temper who looks like he could take a hit. And when it comes to having these guys in front of my camera this attraction couldn’t be any stronger.

I met Indian at a bus stop on West 25th Street and Clark in the heart of Cleveland’s Latino neighborhood. I studied him precariously as he bumped fists and exchanged head nods with all the dudes that walked by. It was obvious that he was a well-known fixture with a reputation in his community. His hyper-masculine stance intimidated me, but I eventually worked up the nerve to ask him for a picture.

Clearly I was a misfit in this neighborhood and he told me he didn’t want any of his buddies to see him posing for a picture. So he led me to a condemned, boarded-up house behind a porn shop. I followed him with apprehension but was too intrigued by the thrill of capturing his portrait to have second thoughts about my surroundings. We squeezed through a hole in the  wooden fence surrounding the property and shot away!

He told me he got the scratches and bruises from a fight, and he worked in a bar. And that was all I got to learn about Indian on my street photography adventure that day.


— 2 years ago with 1 note
#cleveland  #Street Photography  #Portrait 

Cleveland, OH (September 2008)

copyright: Aaron Douglas

I spotted Jose near the West Side Market one day back in September of 2008. He was working for an an organization called Acorn that went into low income and minority neighborhoods and registered voters. Unfortunately, Acorn came under a lot of heat by the Republican party when President Obama was elected into office. But, hell, we all know the Repubs weren’t interested making sure these folks had a voice… I digress… Anyways, I remember Jose coming across as a bit shy and  embarrassed by the attention of being stopped for a portrait, but he obliged anyways. I’m glad he allowed me a few moments of his time. He was doing a good thing and I enjoyed talking to him.

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#cleveland  #obama  #acorn  #election 
Fred - Cleveland, OH (May 2008)
copyright: Aaron Douglas
In my opinion Fred is an absolutely beautiful man. There’s a sort of wisdom in his dark eyes that I find intrinsically captivating — not to mention that salt and pepper beard, and those cheekbones which are any photographer’s dream. Fred told me a little about himself as well. Not long ago he too was homeless, but drew upon his inner strength to rise out of his situation and build a secure lifestyle for himself. He explained that he often comes downtown to visit with the friends he made while he was living on the streets. Obviously, this was a defining time in his life and these are people he holds very close to his heart. He told me that he is in the process of writing a book about his experiences. I hope I run into Fred again. I’d love to hear more of his story, and I’d really love to get him into the studio to see what I can do with those gorgeous features.

Fred - Cleveland, OH (May 2008)

copyright: Aaron Douglas

In my opinion Fred is an absolutely beautiful man. There’s a sort of wisdom in his dark eyes that I find intrinsically captivating — not to mention that salt and pepper beard, and those cheekbones which are any photographer’s dream. Fred told me a little about himself as well. Not long ago he too was homeless, but drew upon his inner strength to rise out of his situation and build a secure lifestyle for himself. He explained that he often comes downtown to visit with the friends he made while he was living on the streets. Obviously, this was a defining time in his life and these are people he holds very close to his heart. He told me that he is in the process of writing a book about his experiences. I hope I run into Fred again. I’d love to hear more of his story, and I’d really love to get him into the studio to see what I can do with those gorgeous features.

— 2 years ago
#cleveland