I haven’t been here on Humans of Portland much this summer. At first I felt bad, like I owed you guys something. Like I wasn’t “doing my job.” Then I came to terms with the fact that I only like to make work that is inspired and authentic, rather than forced. So over the past couple of months I’ve talked to, and made portraits of strangers when it has happened naturally, and I have shared those moments here as I’ve wanted to. I will continue to do so as the ebb and flow of inspiration moves me to do so.
My summer has taken me elsewhere. On adventures with my family and friends, to the woods, to the beach, to music festivals, to the water, to the orchard. I have portraits and stories of the people close to me in my life, and I’d love to share them with you.
If you’d like to follow along as I post them over the coming weeks, I invite you to follow me at Briana Cerezo Photography or my other Tumblr. If not, that’s just fine, too. I’ll be bringing you more story portraits of interesting Humans of Portland soon.
Thank you for your ongoing listening ears and watchful eyes. It’s lovely to have you see what I see and hear what I hear.
For better or worse, I got to hear him read aloud a pretty epic poem he wrote about flatulence. People were in stitches.
Debbie pumped my gas this morning. It was busy. I waited 10 minutes before anyone helped me. I wasn’t in a hurry. Debbie was friendly. She couldn’t understand why I wanted a photograph of her, but she let me take it anyway.
I spent last weekend soaking up all that is Pickathon. Special thanks to Live & Breathing for having me out there the past three years! I met amazing people and heard and created my own new stories.
This was my third Pickathon with Bill (AKA The Appalachian Hippie Poet). He shared with me this poem he wrote Saturday morning while waiting in line for breakfast.
Pendarvis by Bill Alexander.
Pickathon – Portland, OR Aug 2, 2014.
Pine State biscuits
Got to see that band
Don’t b late
Coffee from Spunky Monkey
$2.50 a cup
Stand in that line
And don’t give up
Music in the Air
People all about
Pickathon on the Pendarvis Farm
Make you Dance and shout
You can see more pictures and stories from my Pickathon weekend here:http://www.brianacerezo.com/2014/08/08/pickathon-2014/
I asked Heather what she was writing. “Just thoughts about things. Processing life.” I’m a journaler, too. We storytellers usually are.
Heather and I spent a bit of time talking about Humans of Portland, my relationship with portrait making and the separate, more complicated relationship I have with social media. She said, “I’m thinking about doing a project where I write every single person I know a letter. Not just my closest friends and family, but everyone, and just seeing who’s willing to write me back and start that relationship. I’ve been noticing that the only way I have to connect with a lot of people is through facebook, and that bothers me. I mean, I like facebook for what it is; like if I’m passing through somewhere and want to meet up with someone or it makes it easy to connect friends with one another. But do people use it to ask other people about how they’re really doing, like you do when you make portraits? Maybe they do, I don’t know, I just don’t want that online connection — ‘likes’ and things — to replace deeper interactions.”
"We actually met at a Shakey Graves show in Eugene. There was a really long line for the bathroom and we stood next to each other."
"Do you remember what you talked about?"
"Well…I’d had a few drinks by then, so who knows… But I gave her my number, and she called me!"
"What do you like most about each other?"
"Well, it’s like, if I’m holding a tray, she opens the door."
"Have you ever had any ‘twin’ moments?" (They both started similar sentences at the same time.)
"When we were kids we used to shut the door to our room and tell everyone to keep out and just have ‘twin time’.”
"What did ‘twin time’ consist of?"
"Reading books to one another."
"And drawing. Sometimes we’d make really bad portraits of each other."
"Do you guys have any other siblings?"
"No, but I’m sort of the middle child, if you count the dog."
"My son was a documentarian in Portland, too. He made a film about the homeless population and it won some awards. He decided that to get the real story he’d live on the streets too and really get to know the people. But he became a heroin addict and it’s what killed him. He died of an overdose."
(2nd photo: Thank you to my husband, Ben, for capturing the moment we were talking.)