I attended an event last night that should have been awesome. It should have been inspiring and enlightening and enjoyable. It was not.
The headline was a conversation between photographer Sam Haskins and Features Director the New York Times Style Magazine Horatio Silva. The venue was Milk Gallery.
I have nothing against Milk, but I feel like they dropped the ball on this one. The gallery was set up as a lecture space, with directors chairs for Haskins and Silva at the front. Each had hand-held microphones and unfortunately, Haskins often forgot to hold his close enough to his mouth for anyone reliant on the speakers to hear him. This could likely have been avoided with a little forethought and a revised plan to mike them instead.
Furthermore, they opened up the drink stations before the talk even started, so the standing room in the back grew from quiet to a slight murmur to distracting loud conversation. It was rude and it didn’t give due respect to the two gentlemen most of us were there to listen to. I would love to know why they didn’t just wait until the conversation was over to crack open the booze. Surely folks could have waited until the end of the event they presumably came to experience.
It’s a shame that people couldn’t sit still, and a shame that most didn’t have a chance to hear much of anything, because both men were interesting, funny and engaging. Silva asked some great questions and it was plain old fun listening to Haskins reminisce and comment on photography then and now. I left deflated and annoyed, but at least I also came away with a few good one-liners from Haskins:
“I’m a visual man, not a verbal man”
“Commercial work is the work of a committee”
“This thing about homage…it’s rubbish”
“It wasn’t easy, but it was fun”
“A special something happens on a very long exposure”