A few favorite moments from a recent shoot in Middletown, California for The Press Democrat; first time the town held a home football game at their high school since the Valley Fire.
I became a photojournalist for many reasons, but one reason in particular has been to photograph people in situations that would have occurred regardless of my presence.
Over the Summer I spent time with four families committed to staying connected to their loved ones living with severe mental and physical disabilities. All of them are cared for daily at the Sonoma Development Center in Eldridge, California which is in the process of being shut down by a governor’s budget plan. The images and story appear in the Fall issue of Sonoma Magazine.
I’ve been shooting this band on and off for a few years now. They have a lot of heart and passion and are quite a mix of personalities. I shot them in Santa Rosa in some locations I’ve been dying to get into like this old decaying property with some beautiful pale green cement walls in the west side of Santa Rosa. The property owner generously gave us access after he realized the only equipment I would be using was a small camera hanging from my neck. Pays to travel light.
During a cold winter night a few years ago I was sitting in a bleak smoke-filled room at a Motel 6 in Santa Rosa, California with Matt Lytle; a 20-something-year-old who had spent several long years homeless. We were having a discussion about surviving the mental challenges of living on the streets. Matt said a lot of beautiful things that night. One that I never seem to forget was his comparison of the sound his skateboard wheels make gliding over smooth pavement to that of the sound a mother makes while comforting her baby by saying, “shhhuuush.”
He also told me that night that “in order for somebody to basically get out of the darkness and what not, they have to know that there is a light out there.” Those words and Matt’s ability to find so much beauty in his life during a time when it was so punishing is what inspired me to make this short film series titled, WONDERFUL.
WONDERFUL was screened this evening at a fundraising event for the non-profit Social Advocates for Youth who plan to open their Dream Center this fall. The Dream Center will be a place to help other homeless youth like Matt find a way out of the darkness.
– Erik Castro, April 18, 2015<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/125291244″>WONDERFUL – A Short Film Series (9:32)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/erikcastro”>erik castro | photojournalist</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
A lot of truly enjoyable work has gone into this video series. I had the opportunity to interview and film some wonderful people, and was able to write and record lots of new music, I got back on my Santa Cruz skateboard to do tracking shots, and best of all I got to share some stories worth hearing.
It’s called WONDERFUL and the film series will be out in April for on-line viewing at the website for the Santa Rosa non-profit Social Advocates for Youth.
Here’s the trailer:
Spent some time with more interesting winemakers for SF Chronicle in which writer Jon Bonné has championed their style and end result of their efforts.
Winemaker Scott Schultz, Provisor Vineyard
Winemaker Leo Hansen, Stuhlmuller Vineyards
Also had the pleasure to spend time with 5 local Sonoma County chefs for Sonoma Magazine. I asked all chefs to bring to the shoot an object that they used daily or that they just couldn’t function without.Chef Ari Weiswasser/stainless steel pizza turner/Glen Ellen Star
Chef Shane McAnelly/bronze die for his Emiliomiti pasta machine/ Chalkboard Restaurant
Chef Darren McRonald/Food Lover’s Companion/The Pullman Kitchen
Chefs Matthew Williams & Moishe Hahn-Schuman/vintage Japanese hand-crank noodle machine/Ramen Gaijin
It’s like we heard this song in our heads during the photo shoot.
Music: “New Jacket” by Literature
<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/113678136″>Slaughterhouse Studio Shoot – 7.29.12</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/erikcastro”>erik castro | photojournalist</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>