Written on February 3, 2011
i photographed ramona gonzalez of nite jewel, at her home in mount washington on a day in august when my car’s thermometer read 108 degrees. i had actually taken ramona’s picture briefly once before, four years prior, and she kind of remembered that.
ramona makes complex, ethereal, richly layered songs that are somewhat hypnotic even though my personal tastes run to the more traditional. while i am rarely personally inspired (or uninhibited enough) to groove, i can appreciate when it’s done well.
so i shlepped gear up a steep stairway and then up the side of a hill behind the house, while her husband sat on the couch and ramona answered the writer’s questions. i really wanted to take a wide shot of her bedroom which was messy in a really beautiful way but ramona nixed it, saying that her mother would be absolutely mortified if she saw the state of things in there. i tried arguing the point, but she won out in the end and we only used a small, innocuous corner of the room. most of the time messy rooms in photos just look, well. . .messy. this one would’ve been good, though. i like the pictures we got, but it’s tough sometimes in photo shoots – the things you could have done are always so apparent, and even though nobody else knows of them later, they linger in your head and you think, if only. . .
on a positive note, when the shoot was done and i was cleaning up, ramona asked me what size shoe i wear. she had just done a show which was sponsored by converse, and as a result she had stacks of shoe boxes in the corner of her apartment. i got a pair of black hi-tops that very nearly fit me. they’re a half size too big, but i wear them all the time anyway. thanks for the shoes, ramona! photographers so rarely get perks.
Filed in: music.