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I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

But rather than let them sit on a hard drive forever I thought I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Mark Borchardt"

Mark Borchardt

I first “met” Mark Borchardt (over the phone) in 2000 when I interviewed him for Tastes Like Chicken (which, at the time, was named Chickenhead). The interview ran that July here.

A few months later—that December to be exact, while I visited my family for the holidays—Mark and I finally met in person at a screening of American Movie at the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse in Wauwatosa. We had both seen (or in Mark’s case, had lived) the movie before, so after he did a little speech at the start of the film we wandered across the street for a few drinks at Walters’ on North.

Fast-forward to 2004. I’m living on Milwaukee’s East Side (literally in the Tastes Like Chicken headquarters). In those four years since we last spoke, a group of friends and I had somehow managed to turn our monthly alt-weekly in Columbus, Ohio into an internationally-distributed, real-life magazine.

Yet we still weren’t making money. I don’t get it! How did Tastes Like Chicken ever fail?!? Hmmm….

But I digress….

After launching blindly with a “Best Of” issue for the magazine’s debut, we soon found ourselves in contract with multiple new distributors. While this was a great problem to have it was also extremely stressful. We now had to create another issue, and so we scrambled to line up interviews for what would become our second (and Summer 2004) issue.

We did pretty well, managing to nail down interviews with the band Teargas & Plateglass, Troma Films’ Lloyd Kaufman, and musicians Mike Doughty and Melissa Auf der Maur. Our cover interview—which was always considered to be each issue’s main feature—was an interview with Kiss’ Gene Simmons. To this day, this is the only issue of Tastes Like Chicken to ever sell out every copy.

To be read: If you own a copy of this issue, sign up for eBay now.

To round out the issue, I decided to contact Mark for a follow-up interview. Unlike our first interview, which was conducted over the phone, Mark invited me into his parents’ home for the follow-up. Having seen American Movie a million times before, I was already very familiar with this house.

We sat in his parents’ living room and talked for about an hour. Sadly, the interview that took place would become lost forever (the reason for this can be found at that previous link), but when the interview was over I shot a few images of Mark sitting in his dad’s recliner. The best frame of these photos is what you see above.

An interesting side-note: Mark had recently gotten sober, so the beer in his hand was an NA beer. Still, most likely in an attempt to keep some amount of beer-drinking cred, he asked me to shoot a few images with the bottle turned around so no one would know what he was drinking.

After the second interview came out, Mark and I saw each other a couple more times before I moved to Los Angeles in November 2008. He made an amazing cameo in our 2005 Tastes Like Chicken Video Christmas Card. (NOTE: He’s at the very end.) He (and Ken Keen) also showed up at a house party we threw after moving into our new house in Riverwest. Mark ended the party asleep in the middle of our staircase between the first and second floor, an uneaten cheeseburger still sitting on his paper plate.

He was also completely sober at the time. That’s 100% true.

I haven’t seen Mark since we moved, but lately I’ve been thinking about getting back in touch with him. Maybe the next time we’re in Milwaukee I’ll call him up and offer to take him out for a beer. NA, IPA, or otherwise.

Wishing I also had an old image of Mike Schank,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"More Miserable Disney Kids"

"More Miserable Disney Kids"

More Miserable Disney Kids

Just like Happy Disney Family, I shot these images of miserable kids in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in May 2001.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, during this trip I purposely sought out children and families who looked like they were having a miserable time in a place that is known for the exact opposite.

Like Happy Disney Family, the top image—of a limp, dead-like child being held in his father’s arms as they wait in line at Space Mountain—was shot  with my Mamiya RB67. The bottom image—of a girl sitting on the ground crying as adults stand around ignoring her—was shot with my Lubitel-2, an old, Russian medium-format camera that shoots square images.

Both images were shot on 120 transparency film and processed in C-41 (negative color film chemistry), which is a process also known as cross processing. This process is what gives the image its high contrast and vibrant colors.

By the end of the trip, I probably had eight to ten quality images similar to the ones above; not necessarily enough for a true series (at least in my opinion). I meant to shoot more images like these the next time I made my way back to Disney World but, to date, I have not.

Disneyland is calling… might have to revisit this idea soon,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Marla at the Shady Bar"

Marla at the Shady Bar

I shot this image of Marla in July 2000.

She’s sitting at my grandparents’ basement bar at 905 E. Doty Place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sitting on the bar behind her is an old Schlitz bar lamp, and just above her is a vintage PBR lamp. My grandmother moved out that house in 2002, about a year after my Grandpa Shady died, and I have no clue what happened to those lamps. I do know that I would’ve loved to have grabbed them.

Hey, at least I got the steer horns and the tiger head, right?

Anyway, five of us (Jamie Coulson, Milan Zori, Jason Latta, Dave Crosland and myself, to be exact) drove up to Milwaukee that summer from Columbus, Ohio for a Fourth of July getaway. We took in Summerfest, visited with my family, and drank. A lot. A whole shit-ton, in fact.

Marla had been in Florida with her family when we drove up, so she flew in later in the week from Orlando. Marla is perpetually cold, so seeing her in a winter hat in the dead of summer isn’t that odd. In her defense, my grandparents probably had their AC blasting.

During that trip, a massive thunderstorm rolled through, and with it came a tornado warning. In the middle of it, we realized my grandparents only had non-alcoholic beer in their fridge. And so, in pouring down rain and with sirens blaring, we ventured out into the storm to pick up a case of shitty beer. Probably Red Dog.

This photo may (or may not) have been shot on that night, as we rode out the storm from the safety of my grandparents’ basement.

Years later, Marla and I would date. Years after that, we would breakup. And even more years later (to be read: the present day), we would remain great friends.

It’s hard to believe I’ve known Marla (and Milan, actually) for fifteen years now, and I’m grateful that we’ve remained close this long.

The image was shot on 120 negative film with my Mamiya RB67. I shot a bunch of images of my friends during that trip (you’ll probably see some of Jamie wearing a cowboy hat later on), but this might be the only one of Marla sitting at the bar. Or maybe not. Time has a way of blurring those kinds of details.

You can expect to see more images from this trip at some point in the future.

I miss that basement,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Happy Disney Family"

Happy Disney Family

I shot this image of a father and his two daughters (I’m assuming) in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom in May 2001.

About a month earlier, my good friend Jocco bought a new (used) Honda, and we decided that if he bought the car we would break it in with a road trip to Disney World. Four of us ended up going on that trip: Jocco, Latta, Dave, and myself.

We left Columbus, Ohio around 7PM and drove through the night without stopping for sleep. We checked into our hotel in Orlando in the early afternoon and immediately crashed. A few hours later, we were up and ready to eat, drink, and hang out in the pool.

The trip gave birth to many amazing and hilarious moments that I still hold dear to this day, including a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Dale Earnhardt in Daytona, an awkward encounter in the hot tub with some women from Denmark, and a heated argument about whether or not man has been on the moon.

We only went to two of Disney’s four parks on that trip (Magic Kingdom and Epcot). After three days in Florida, we packed up Jocco’s Honda and headed back to home. Although brief, the trip will forever hold a special place in both my heart and head.

The image was shot on 120 transparency film with my Mamiya RB67. I processed the positive color reversal film in C-41 chemistry (or negative color film chemistry), which is also a developing process known as cross processing. This process is what gives the image its high contrast and vibrant colors.

No one in the shot is posed. In fact, because of the way you hold an RB67 (you hold it low and look down into it rather than aiming it directly at your subject and looking through the camera), they probably never even knew I took the image. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I only shot a few images of them that day; it’s even possible that this is the only frame I shot of them.

It’s weird for me to think that those two girls are probably now close to being (if not already) adults.

While somewhat dark and ominous, this image captured a brief moment of exhaustion in the middle of what I’m sure was a nonstop and fun family vacation. I like that thought. Everyone’s Disney vacation photos are of people on rides or standing with characters. Nobody takes photos of moments of rest.

You can expect to see more images from this vacation at some point in the future.

Dale fought the wall,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Jamie in the Closet"

Jamie in the Closet

I shot this image of Jamie Coulson, my girlfriend at the time, standing in a large empty closet at a bed and breakfast we were staying at somewhere in the Amish country of northeastern Ohio. It was taken sometime in the fall of 2000.

Jamie and I started dating in 1996. When this shot was taken, our relationship was on the rocks, so Jamie planned a weekend-long retreat for us to reconnect. The weekend was a nice escape from Columbus and the bed and breakfast we stayed in was fantastic. I seriously had the best scrambled eggs there I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Unfortunately, it did little to save our relationship. We broke up a couple months after this image was shot.

Before I continue you should know that it was for the best. Not only did Jamie end up finding the love of her life in a great and wonderful man named Dave (she is now Jamie Bowers), but once the usual end-of-relationship dust settled we were able to remain great friends. Jamie and Dave even came to our wedding in 2011.

Jamie as Lady Gaga and me as a... husband.

I shot a few rolls of 120 color film with my Mamiya RB67 that weekend, and took a few frames of Jamie standing in our bedroom closet because it was such a bizarre space. In addition to it being enormous, it had no doors, hooks, or rods. Essentially, it was just a little room off the bedroom that went nowhere and served no purpose.

There was a lightbulb hanging in the closet just above Jamie’s head. She’s holding the string in her right hand in the shot.

I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve been able to stay close friends with Jamie, and am grateful that I have old images (and memories) like these to remind me of those great times.

You’ll probably be seeing more of her,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Kae's Dirty Laundry"

Kae’s Dirty Laundry

I shot this image of my old friend Kae Denino in a laundromat in German Village in Columbus, Ohio. It was taken in the summer of 1999.

Kae, who had been an English professor at my college the year before, was getting a book published, and she asked me to shoot some photos of her to possibly use as the “about the author” image.

I shot a bunch of rolls of Kae that summer in many different locations. We shot in a coffee shop on High Street, an abandoned warehouse just north of downtown, and finally in this laundromat.

I don’t remember much about this shoot other than the fact that it was unbearably hot that day, and that the laundromat didn’t have air conditioning. To cool down, Kae and I walked next door to a wine shop and bought a giant can of beer, which we tag-teamed and downed within minutes. One of the other images on the roll shows her chugging beer out of an enormous can.

This image was shot on 120 black-and-white film with my Mamiya RB67. Many of the washing machine doors were already open, but I had to open one or two and straighten the others to make them symmetrical.

You can see the top of Kae’s dress through the doors, but not her face, which is ironically blocked out by a partial reflection of me.

The month before this was shot, Kae and I started working together at the Columbus alt-weekly The Other Paper; she was a reporter, I was a graphic designer. We frequently carpooled to work together, becoming close in the process.

Kae’s book, Glow, came out in December 2000. None of the photos I shot of her appeared in it.

Within the next year, we both quit The Other Paper and our friendship fell apart, mostly because of my own immaturity and stubbornness.

She was one of four people at the very first Food Night,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Goon's Disco"

Goon’s Disco

I shot this image of my old friend the Goon (not his birth name, obviously) in my bedroom of our old apartment at 886 N. Dennison Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. It was taken sometime in the summer of 1999, shortly after I moved into the apartment with Milan, Dave and Brett (you’ll be seeing them soon, I’m sure).

The image was shot on 120 color film with my Mamiya RB67. As usual, I used no additional lighting. There are only two light sources in this shot, the first being a floor lamp that was shining on the Goon directly to his right, and the second being a light shining on a rotating disco ball that’s hidden directly behind his head.

Yes, I used to have a disco ball in my bedroom.

This was a long exposure, probably a full second or two, which meant that the Goon had to stand very still so as to not appear blurry in the shot.

Shortly after this image was taken the Goon and I grew apart. I saw him a few more times that summer, and he came to the going-away party we threw in 2003 when we left Columbus, but I’ve heard very little from him since then.

That’s why I sometimes find myself feeling nostalgic and writing posts like this.

One of my first Columbus friends,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Grandpa Shady and the Famous Flocked Wallpaper"

Grandpa Shady and the Famous Flocked Wallpaper

I shot this image of my Grandpa Shady in his old house at 905 E. Doty Place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was taken on Christmas Eve in 2000.

That night, after the food had settled, the gifts had been opened, and everyone else had left, I shot a few rolls of him in front of the yellow flocked wallpaper that, over the years, had become a much cherished object in their home. At least by me, my sister, and a handful of our friends.

The image was shot on 120 color film (like before, I can’t remember which brand) with my Mamiya RB67. As it is with almost all of my images, I used no additional lighting or flash, simply relying on whatever was in the room at the time. Here, an old lamp is sitting just out of frame to my grandfather’s left.

Oddly enough, today marks the twelfth anniversary of my grandfather’s death in 2001. After surviving a triple (I’m pretty sure it was a triple) bypass the day before, he died the next morning when a blood clot formed and traveled to his lung.

I still miss him. And that flocked wallpaper.

One of the Roberts,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Breakfast with Tiffany"

Breakfast with Tiffany

I shot this image of my old high school friend Tiffany at a Denny’s on South 27th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I can’t remember what year it was, but I’m guessing it was probably taken in 1996 or 1997.

I shot a handful of images that day (probably less than one roll of 120 film) as we ate breakfast and caught up. The image was shot with my Mamiya RB67 on black and white film (can’t remember which brand, but probably Ilford), and then I printed it on color paper to give it a slightly warmer tone.

The only thing in focus is the bacon,

-Shady

Old Poop!