Here's the background on the background: I've driven past this long-abandoned, graffiti-decorated submerged railroad bed near downtown for years and every time I pass I think it would make an awesome background for photographs. Over the years there has been talk of renovating the area known as the First Avenue Cut into a nice little walking trail. Then I saw they were actually moving forward with the work to connect Sloss Furnaces with Railroad Park. Great for the city but crap, I knew I better move fast before they paint over the awesome.
So I called my friend Kristina O'Quinn because she's just crazy enough to scheme with me and I knew she wouldn't bat an eyelash at graffiti. Now, Kristina is what you would call an amateur photographer — 90 percent of the time she's got a camera with her to document what's going on in the city around her. I've seen the beautiful pictures she's taken of her kids. She's doing it for kicks. When I asked her to take the photos, I expected we'd go down, take a few shots and that would be that. I kind of forgot who I was dealing with. Kristina scouted the location, sketched ideas, helped me decided what to wear. My friend didn't show up, a professional photographer did. I'll certainly recommend her to anyone who asks. And I should mention, my kids didn't make it easy for her but she handled them.
I look forward to the new walking trail. It would be nice if the planners kept the graffiti -- it's not your "typical" graffiti of initials and nicknames but lots of inspirational sayings like the above "Don't Worry." I may have to go down again soon and document more of the site before it's gone. I suggest you do the same. Take a Kristina with you too.*
*Does this sound like an ad? It's not. It's just me being totally impressed by my friend's skills. However, she'd be happy to set up a photo shoot with you. I'll introduce you.