Blog

New Short Documentary in Progress

April 6th, 2017 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on New Short Documentary in Progress

I’ve been hard at work on a new short documentary film project about my great uncle, Frank Drasky, and his quest to achieve the American Dream as a worker for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan, starting in the 1920s. The first two parts of work on this film have been rather fun. They included a few visits to Detroit to learn about what Anthony Bourdain has dubbed “our most American city”. I did the “ruin porn” route, but quickly discovered there was so much more here. To quote a Detroit street artist Fel3000ft, “it takes heart to fight for something that so many consider a lost cause”.

The second part of this project included interviews with my father, who was Frank’s nephew (Frank was my grandfather’s brother). My mother, our venerable family historian, who pieced together a family tree – had some information on Uncle Frank – including the address to his house in Detroit’s Nortown neighborhood. While Google’s street view showed a house was still there, a drive past it on one of my trips yielded a pleasant surprise. Not only was the house still standing – the entire block was one of the few that had not just survived all that has happened in Detroit, it appears to thrive.

Now I start the third leg of this film, the search for the narrative that will bring together past and present and tie my family’s 20th century history to modern-day Detroit. I’ll be making another trip to the Motor City, April 13-21 – and am seeking funding to help defray the travel costs, as well as to see me through the arduous editing and post-production phases that will follow.

To see a trailer of the work so far, and to make a donation (or simply just help out by sharing on social media), please visit my Indiegogo page.

 


A Weekly Photo Journey on Medium.com

February 28th, 2017 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on A Weekly Photo Journey on Medium.com

This could be overly ambitious, but I’ve started a (semi)- / (sort of)-weekly photo journal on Medium.com.

At about 8 weeks into the New Year, I’ve been sticking with it. It took me a while, but last year I began a very good work habit of uploading my photos, processing them and tagging them once a week. I learned this lesson the hard way when I finally got together a portfolio of 10 years’ work that took about two years to complete. I knew that things had to change.

Now, after establishing much better workflow practices I thought I would begin to write a little more about the images I make. What influences them? What works? What doesn’t? And because photography has become such a major part of my life over the past decade, I wanted to write about that – a journal, if you will.

You can always see my recent entry here. Wish me luck in keeping up this new practice.


Favorite Shots of 2016

January 6th, 2017 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on Favorite Shots of 2016

At the end of the year, for the past few years, I’ve chosen a selection of photos that I’ve taken over the course of the year to try and understand what just happened.

The 12 or so images I choose each year represent a combination of feelings about what’s personal for me mixed with what’s going on in the world.

“Event Meets Street Meets Documentary” – 14 Shots

I began getting paid (a little) for photo work as an event photographer and photojournalist about a decade ago. With the advent of the iPhone, I took to the streets, joining legions of fledgling street photographers redefining a long unsung art. For several years I’ve been trying to bring these two styles — using both digital and mobile photography — together into one voice. This year I added some film to the mix. What I got is “event meets street meets documentary”. And while that did not help me not make sense of the turbulence by any means, I’ve come to the understanding that you must find your balance in its midst.

Have a look at the album on Flickr.


ZUUS Workforce Raises Capital, Relocates to Denver

July 27th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on ZUUS Workforce Raises Capital, Relocates to Denver

The latest in a video series called “Faces of the Network” that KazzaDrask Media produces for ANZA Technology Network.


Jeanne & Mike: Original Art Wins Best Short Film at Direct Short Online Film Festival March 2016

April 9th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on Jeanne & Mike: Original Art Wins Best Short Film at Direct Short Online Film Festival March 2016

BSF

My short independent documentary, Jeanne & Mike: Original Art has just won “Best Short Film” in the Direct Short Online Film Festival for March 2016. I love that this festival recognized this as a short film, not solely a documentary. I also love that there are so many opportunities for independent filmmakers to get our work seen. The rise of mobile plays a huge role, as more entertainment is consumed on smartphones and tablets. Online film festivals are simply the next step in helping people like me reach a wider audience than we could have ever dreamed.


Meet the Street Photographer Documenting Divisadero for 12 Years and Counting

April 9th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on Meet the Street Photographer Documenting Divisadero for 12 Years and Counting

Hey, that’s me!

 

 

 

 

 
It was wonderful to sit down with my local online publication Hoodline and talk about this ongoing documentary photo project I’ve been working on (for 12 years now).

Divisadero Corridor is a project that is near and dear to my heart. When I started it, back in 2004, I owned an Olympus point-and-shoot 3-megapixel camera. I thought it was the greatest thing at the time. There was no Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I had a blog – but no one read that.

The neighborhood I had just moved to was dark, gritty. Sandwiched between still colorful Haight-Ashbury and its weird cousin, the Lower Haight, the Divisadero Corridor didn’t warrant much explanation. It was (as it still is) a major north/south thoroughfare through San Francisco, a part of the much larger area known as the Western Addition. There were few businesses besides the car repair shops and gas stations. A couple of corner stores. A few quirky places to eat and drink (Club Waziema remains a favorite). No one came to Divisadero to do anything. But they used to. As I walked the Corridor and its surrounds I began to pick up on the rich African-American history that was once at its core. Sadly, I’ve watched the little parts of that which were still here in 2004 be chipped away at even more. Yet, I’ve also watched a slow and careful gentrification take place. I was here when the shift was made to calling the neighborhood NoPa, but as I still photo walk the Corridor a couple of times a week, I can still feel the beat of Divisadero. It’s all about where you look.

 


IC Meet Series: Q&A With Kathy Drasky

March 9th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on IC Meet Series: Q&A With Kathy Drasky

I love participating in the Indisposable Concept – a project dedicated to film photography and bringing back the use of disposable cameras. Long before the first cell phone and its little one- or two-megapixel camera, let alone the latest iPhone, we occasionally picked up a disposable camera at Walgreens or CVS on our way to a party or on our way out of town. In many ways, these little grab-and-go cameras were a precursor of what was to come. Shooting with one today is a trip back in time to when you really had to think about if you wanted to make a photo of something. There is no taking a look at your images and there is no deleting as you snap your way through a roll of film. And, you have to wait at least a couple of hours after you finish a roll to see your efforts.

Selfie with film

Meet Kathy Drasky

We call it the #ICMEETSERIES and thought it would be interesting to find out a bit more about the people behind the disposables. We asked a few IC contributors to tell us a bit about themselves and this is what we got in return…

Kathy Drasky – San Francisco, CA. USA

Click here to read what I love about disposables and how they got me back into shooting film.


Jeanne & Mike: Original Art Is Official Selection of March DSOFF

March 9th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on Jeanne & Mike: Original Art Is Official Selection of March DSOFF

Picking up where we left off at the end of 2015, my short independent documentary continues on the film festival circuit. Jeanne & Mike: Original Art is an official selection of the March 2016 Direct Short Online Film Festival (DSOFF).

DSOFF Film Fest

 

dsoff official list


New Collateral for Jeanne & Mike: Original Art

February 18th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on New Collateral for Jeanne & Mike: Original Art

On the back of our success with my short film about my parents and the art in their house, we thought it was time to freshen up the collateral. These double sided postcards will continue to help KazzaDrask Media spread the word.

If you haven’t seen Jeanne & Mike: Original Art yet (or just want to watch it again…and again), visit the film’s website. You can also like the Jeanne & Mike: Original Art page on Facebook and keep updated on the film’s progress on the film fest circuit and upcoming screenings.

Jeanne and Mike 2016 collateral

 

jean and mike backside of postcard


Let Your Instagram Feed Be Your Photo Portfolio

February 10th, 2016 by Kathy Drasky | Comments Off on Let Your Instagram Feed Be Your Photo Portfolio

instagram feedThis is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time. It comes from photographer and designer Andrew Griswold (@the_gris) via FStoppers. It is particularly relevant when you think of how widespread mobile is these days. Who wouldn’t rather scroll through an Instagram feed on their phone or tablet instead of trying to click their way through an online portfolio, no matter how “mobile-friendly” it is intended to be?

I’ve been looking at a lot of photo portfolio websites over the past year. First and foremost because I love discovering a photographer and exploring their work and processes. It’s inspirational and it always sets the bar higher for my own work. I have several favorites and I’ve bookmarked their websites on my laptop. Something far more worthy to look at when taking a break instead of Facebook. (Note to self: Unbookmark Facebook!)

Secondly, I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to having my own online photo portfolio, whether as an offshoot of this website or a standalone. And every time I get close to pursuing that, I experience a mild anxiety attack. Show me any freelancer out there who wants another website to update and maintain. (As a temporary solution, I’m using Tumblr to showcase a current project (Divisadero Corridor) and current photo work and inspirations (KazzaDrask Mixed Media). Both of these sites are easy to maintain from my iPhone. In fact, even film photos and photos from my non-mobile friendly digital Ricoh camera eventually get uploaded to Flickr, where they can be then downloaded to my phone for mobile sharing.

The ultimate in mobile sharing for photos of course is Instagram. I was an early adopter of the app, posting my first photo 258 weeks ago (which is early 2011). I’ve done a bit of “curating” my feed over the years, mostly removing photos I wasn’t especially proud of and lately adding the occasional #latergram as I sort through images thinking about my photo portfolio website. But what I love about the idea of letting your Instagram feed be your photo portfolio is the honesty that comes from the app’s original intention, to share an image in an instant (preferably using the app’s built-in camera, but obviously, the plethora of smartphone camera apps long ago upped that game).

While those of us with a more professional photography bent might pause a bit to edit and then time a post, even the most disciplined of us can get caught up in the app’s instant gratification nature. “This is a really good photo and I’ve got to share it — now!”

With that comes the instant feedback. A “like”. Sometimes even a comment or a thumbs up, smiley face or lightning bolt emoji. Whoo-hoo! They like me, they really like me…

But back to the honesty. That rawness, vulnerability, a glimpse into one’s personal life is certainly rare even in Stacy Kranitz’s online portfolio. Yet, follow Stacy Kranitz’s Instagram feed (@stacykranitz). Well, that’s what I’m talking about!

In considering dropping the idea of developing a photo portfolio website, I have to drop the idea of having my work narrowed down and neatly categorized or “projectized”. I’m willing to bet that of the almost 600 photos in my Instagram feed maybe about 10 percent would make it to my mythical portfolio website (and that a good portion of the rest of my work is either unprocessed on my desktop or in Dropbox or eventually processed and haphazardly uploaded to Flickr). Don’t go there – but I’m sure you will.

None of this probably bodes well for anyone reading this hiring me for a shoot – which is the point of having a photo portfolio website. But if you’re here, on KazzaDrask Media reading this post, take a look around and you’ll see that photography is just one component of my digital media business. And, you’ll recognize that I am able to deliver whichever service you engage me for, despite my disorganized Flickr account.

By using Instagram as my photo portfolio, you might never know about my work as an online and digital media revolutionary, but you will know a lot more about me. And if a photo is as much about the image as it is about the person behind the camera, then using Instagram in the manner it was intended to be used – to witness things as they happen (forgiving the occasional #latergram) – will indeed become the preferred way to at least take a first look at someone’s photography.

Sources:Why You Don’t Need a Website and Probably Never Will” by Andrew Griswold, Fstoppers; “Stacy Kranitz is TIME’s Pick for Instagram Photographer of 2015“.