Usually when I take pictures I do it right here in the studio. I have a great deal of control over what I shoot, who I shoot and whatever image or vision I am trying to display to a viewer. A lot of the images I take display women in bondage. That, right there will creep a lot of people out just a little. Who would ever want to see that? Who would ever subject themselves to something like that? These people must have something wrong with them. I must have something wrong with me. Well, perhaps.
I can tell you that whenever someone comes in to do a bondage shoot, they pretty much know what to expect. We go over the details. I check for things that might go wrong, health issues and such. I sometimes sketch out the idea or several ideas and we go from there. No big surprises, it is what I do.
There are other things I shoot. Sometimes I am looking for weird technical things like lighting or bokeh to enhance a shot of something. It does not always have to be a person. Sometimes I shoot landscape images that for one reason or another appear to be striking in some way. When we went to Greece, I shot things that have been viewed for thousands or years by zillions of people and probably photographed for as long as there has been photography. Nothing new.
Over the last few weeks I have attended the protests in Madison 4 times. The first was on the 19th of February. Again on the 24th and 26th. I was there again yesterday on the 5th. Despite anything that is said in the media, I can actually show you a few things I have seen. As long as this has been going on, I have been paying very close attention to it as it has indeed touched my life personally. What happens here has already made a difference in my life and as it plays out will continue to do so.
Going back to talking about me taking bondage pictures… as I mentioned, everyone knows what they are getting and why there are there. With this Wisconsin thing, we all knew that there would be some deep budget cuts and that those cuts could change the way some of us live and some of the services provided in the state. What we did not know was that the Governor was going to try to remove collective bargaining rights. Surprise.
So, we get the budget repair bill. The bill will pass if there is a quorum. 1 Democratic Senator has to be in the Senate for this to happen. The Governor will not negotiate on this so the 14 Democratic Senators will stay out of state. The Governor threatens this and that with this deadline and that deadline. Deadlines come and go and there are new threats, new forms of punishment for those Senators who remain at large. If they can’t bring them back… jobs will begin to be wiped out.
Beyond all of that are the silly and ridiculous tactics and antics going on at the Capitol where the protests are taking place. When I first started going on the 19th, I was amazed that with all of the people, there were not any real issues, no real hostile moments, no fighting. People were there to be heard on this matter. Everyone I met or interacted with in any way was polite and courteous. Doors were held open. People said “excuse me” when bumped into. People in the rotunda would step out of the way so YOU could get a look and then YOU would make room for someone else. Pretty fucking cool if you ask me.
Over time, someone wanted all of these protesters to get out of the Capitol. There were threats of closing the place. The place was closed. The issue went to court. A judge said that the people must be allowed back into the building. They were not allowed in or allowed in now under very strict rules. Assembly people started taking their desks OUTSIDE to do business. Crazy stuff. Late last week, some bullets were found in a couple of locations around the Capitol. Why they were there and who was responsible… unknown so far. Perhaps they were planted by someone just to make things more scary. Perhaps it was as the Governor said, a way to ratchet things up a bit.
Now we have metal detection going on inside the Capitol doors, the same doors I was just able to completely walk through with ease just a few days earlier. I went through the security line, emptied my pockets and put my metal into a tray. I have a folding scissors on a keychain – this caused a moment of drama and then they just let me go on to the wanding part of the security line. I collected my stuff, walked to the end of the security area, turned around and took this picture:
This has got to be one of the scariest and disturbing pictures I have ever taken. What was a simple thing and my right to do just a few days ago is now changed to this.
Outside, there was this sign:
This caused us to wonder “Ok, snakes? Who brought the snake?”
Outside, the protest march continued around the Capitol. If you look closely you will see an officer of some kind on the top left of the center building. When I zoom in I can tell that there is a badge on the front of the jacket and an insignia on the left sleeve.