Friday, April 16, 2010

My Governor Is a Jewish Cowboy

Kinky Friedman, Austin, Texas, October 2006

One of my favorite photography shoots as a photojournalist was when I trekked up to Austin from San Antonio to cover the Kinky Friedman for governor campaign.

Writer Jennifer Litz and I showed up at Friedman's campaign headquarters, a warehouse building on the wrong side of the tracks, at the appointed time.  I entered his office, and introduced myself.  He turned a surly face to me, asking "You're the photographer, huh?"

I replied in the affirmative.

"Well, this fucking shit better not take more than five minutes," he growled.  "I'm tired of wasting two hours every time one of you people comes around here."

"I'll do it in four minutes," I countered.

And I did.  Friedman was so impressed I could execute a photo shoot without endless light metering, lighting setups, and assistants with reflectors that he invited us up to Sixth Street to cover a campaign meet-and-greet at Tom's Taboolery, where I snapped this with my Nikon FM-3A.

Most politicians I've ever met are slick and superficial types who pretend they're your best friends -- for all of ten seconds.  I have a hell lot more respect for a guy who's not really a politician, but a cowboy who shoots from the hip, but means what he says.  He won my respect with his line about photographers wasting his time.  I don't have much use for them, either.