Blog #200 3/28/17
In the film Casablanca, when Ilsa asks Sam to “play it again,” he sings “A kiss is just a kiss….”
But the truth – as I see it – is that a kiss is never “just” a kiss. And I have photographs to prove it.
“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.” Victor Hugo
There are times, during even the most serious portrait sittings, or any kind of photo shoot for that matter, when two people, and sometimes three or more, spontaneously look at each other, move close, and then spontaneously kiss. When this happens I make a photograph. It may encourage them and make them comfortable in that I accept any kind of behavior before my camera—— one never knows what people will do and the unusual surprises can make for striking imagery.
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” Albert Einstein
From a portrait session at The Eddie Adams Workshop
“I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you good night — and there’s a lot of difference.” Ernest Hemingway
Some of these images are from my series of portraits made in New York City clubs.
These two did not know each other as they waited in line to have their portrait made. I said, “How about we do this together?” They looked at each other, laughed, and….
“Earthquakes just happen. Tornadoes just happen. Your tongue does not just happen to fall into some other girls mouth!” Gemma Halliday, Deadly Cool
This fellow came alone into my little temporary studio at a club; I said to him, “Where’s the girl?” He said, “I have no girl.” I said, “Well then, go find one. Then I’ll make your photograph.” He returned about 20 minutes later with a woman he’d never met before. Honest!
After the photographs were made, he whispered to me, “Thank you, man!”
“If you kiss on the first date and it’s not right, then there will be no second date. Sometimes it’s better to hold out and not kiss for a long time. I am a strong believer in kissing being very intimate, and the minute you kiss, the floodgates open for everything else.” Jennifer Lopez
“Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they’re already asleep.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
From my Newborns work: giving her baby some early kisses – to be continued for years.
Twins from a shoot from my “GROWING UP“ project, a multi-year continuation of “Newborns.”
I have been collecting photographs of these kisses even though they are not my purpose in any photo session. When a kiss happens, however, I don’t want the moment to be lost. Over the years, I’ve put together an archive of more than 500 photographs of people kissing, drawn from many sessions.
Like snowflakes, no two kisses are exactly the same.
“Kiss me and you will see how important I am.” Sylvia Plath
At various weddings:
“A man’s kiss is his signature.” Mae West
“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” Ingrid Bergman
This kiss came during a beauty shoot where I was experimenting with movement and double exposure.
“Now a soft kiss – Aye, by that kiss, I vow an endless bliss.” John Keats
“Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
I have collected dozens of photographs from my years setting up a temporary studio at the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. These images are from my book, “AMERICAN KINK,” due out this fall, on the Fair.
No costume is going to get in the way of these couples!
“A kiss that is never tasted is forever and ever wasted.” Billie Holiday
Being underwater should be no impediment.
So let’s go back to Sam at the piano at Rick’s place in Casablanca:
“You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.
And when two lovers woo
They still say, “I love you”
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by.“
Lyrics by Herman Hupfeld
Glitterati Incorporated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14” print of the buyer’s choice.