My wife Stephie insists, “The WORK leads to the WORK,” and these last two months has proven it! Thankfully, I am not alone. I've built a team and our time together has kicked Lange Studio into gear. Nicole Gallagher came to the studio last November and she offered two strong arms, a thoughtful presence, and a sensibility that is both kind and smart. She helped me carve the studio’s path forward - first with rakes, then with shovels, then with plowshares! I was gifted the friendship of Becky McNulty Randall, introduced to me by my mother’s precious friend, Jean Robinson. In the last several weeks, Becky has taken my foot - which I thought was already on the gas - and stepped on it. HARD! These incredible women are a powerhouse, and with their help, walls were covered with new prints, invitations were sent out and shootings were set up. The door to Lange Studio swung open and now I get to do what I do best.
I was so excited when Mars Jackson came over for pictures. When he was walking up Penn Avenue, he was backlit by the most beautiful afternoon sun - and all I could make out was his shadow. So I took a white board and had him use it as a shadow mirror in the garden at Spork across the street.
We did a whole series on the graffiti wall around the corner. The light was bouncing off the beauty parlor like a big reflector. Mars told me that he loved smiling for photos. I was told at RISD that if someone is smiling in the photo it cannot be art. I've never understood that.
Of course, we hit the box in the studio that everyone makes their own and Mars brought his joy there too. He gave me a spectacular orange vinyl copy of his album, "Good Days Never Last Forever." Asher just got a turntable set up in his bedroom last weekend and was THRILLED. The next morning when I was brushing my teeth, Asher came in and said, "Dad! I cleaned the kitchen, walked the dog, and now I am listening to Mars!"
We started as strangers and talked forever. When we went outside, we went back to the garden and took this shot just before saying goodbye. We will never be strangers again.
The great people from Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation came by the studio for photos. They stood in front of the flower wall Stephie Lange created, showed all their amazing style and made me feel incredibly happy to be supporting their mission.
I ran into the great Pittsburgh stylist Dominika Bronner in the strip. She was with her mother, Eva, who could only be described as a force of nature. I invited them to the studio and had an idea to have them putting lipstick on each other. It was a poignant idea - but somehow in this studio everything evolves into something completely different from where we started out.
The language of my photo shoots, even though it is all a surprise, is capturing where the joy lives. When I knock on that door - someone is always home. Reach out for an appointment. We would love to see you.