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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meeting Scout Tufankjian, photographer/author of "Yes We Can"

Despite being sick [running nose, malaise, body aches, mild fever], I decided to go to Oakland with the help of my girlfriend who agreed to drive since I wasn't feeling good. We arrived late around 7:20pm when it started at 7:00pm at Barnes and Nobles in Jack London Square.

When I went upstairs where she was having her presentation, I didn't realize she was young! Her picture in the back of her book is deceiving!
As far as learning about this book, my friend Catherine [editor of Nonage and the one who wrote the introduction] gave it to me Christmas 2008. So the book was just completed when Obama was the President-Elect.
[Macbook Pro! Yee!] She Scout had a slideshow of select images from her book and explained the photos and what it meant to her. Very cool listening to someone who was at the very moment history was being made. She shared a lot of funny stories and at the end, she opened it up to the attendees for any questions.

My question was:
"I do photography myself but not photojournalism. As far as equipment, how did you know what to bring? Were you one of those photographers who had packs around their waste bringing everything?"
She answered [as far as what I remembered]:

"I travel light. Nikon loans me their equipment and so I use primes with the Nikon D3. I use 28mm, 85mm 1.4.... [she mentions other lenses]. I don't use zoom lenses because I've learned in class that if we want to get closer we walk up. Prime lenses also makes you think better for your shot. I'm not entirely sure if that's true but I like to say it since it sounds good, right?"

She's definitely cool and upfront.

Me and my copy and business card in hand... I was nervous giving it to her since I didn't know what she might think!
I introduce myself and she asks what I do and I mention portraits and all and she says she hasn't done them for so long. And that the other week or so she did a portrait for a businessman and the other portrait was of Yoko Ono! [from there I was in awe... this is the stuff I want to do!]
Chat chat... my girlfriend takes the photos.
She asks my name again and make sure she's spells it correctly.
I tell her: "Well.. if you're ever.. uhm.. here in San Francisco.. let me know! It would be cool to help out or something." That was all said nervously. lol She said that would be cool and everyone around were laughing because I asked in such a choppy way.

Regarding my business card: I gave it to her and asked if she had time to check out my site and it would nice if she could give a few words on my work and all. She said she would.. so we'll see!

"Dear JJ,
From one photog to another, I hope you like the book!

Scout Tufankian



Catherine said...

She seems chill.. Still crossing my fingers that you'll get to work with her one day!

JJ Casas | jC Photography said...

meee too! =)