While traveling with dutch journalist, Maarten Kolsloot, on a story about a couple dutch brothers working their way through the minor leagues we ended up in Appleton, Wisconsin. As is evident young players like getting tattoos. This brought us to Colt’s Timeless Tattoos in Appleton where we met Kani Xiong, a tattoo artist with, of course, his own set of amazing tattoos. Before I even asked Kani to do some pictures I knew I wanted to make a photograph in the front of the store where there was nice window light and these very cool, dark paintings on the wall. I also noted that the walls were blue/green so also cool in tone. I thought if I had the opportunity to do a portrait, warm skin tones would be a nice contrast against the wall.
After chatting awhile I finally asked if we could do some photos. Both portraits and of him working. At first he was a bit reluctant because he didn’t feel photographs of him would be appropriate to the story we were working on. But he eventually agreed.
Working with window light is pretty straight forward, I wanted to get a nice ratio of highlight to shadow on his face but I also knew this lighting ratio would really highlight the tattoos. Putting Kani closer to window would also allow the wall and paintings to be slightly darker separating him from the background and creating depth to the photo.
Click the photo to see a few more photographs of Kani.
“I long to see a vista uninterrupted by the skinny, merciless palms — they mock the very idea of shade, and in a region with abundant sunshine, their presence is exasperating. Like alien invaders, reckless colonizers, and “escaped exotics,” as invasive plant species are known, palms have driven out more modest species, claiming, as autocrats do, the exclusive right to reign supreme — they alone signify the arboreal realm of Los Angeles despite their inability to provide shade, their over-reliance on water and their environmental incongruity.”
–Piety and Perversity: The Palms of Los Angeles by Victoria Dailey
Heather Schoell came to DC 18 years ago, and in 2000, she and her husband Eric bought a house on Capitol Hill where they still live with two children, a cat, and a dog. She likes books, music, photography, and Project Runway. Heather advocates for the success of public schools, writes for the Hill Rag, and is a real estate agent with The Smith Team. She strives for a strong and healthy community.
Ivan Frishberg is an ANC Commissioner from the Eastern Market neighborhood in Ward 6. He is a prominent environmental and community activist in DC. Follow Ivan on Twitter: @DCIvan