Monthly Archives: January 2017

Portrait of Michaela

Michaela was an eleven year old girl who attended Golden Hills Elementary School in Tehachapi, California, United States. She loved puppies, painting and music. In fact, Michaela noted that she liked art in general.

Her favorite type of music, for listening, was County Music, but she belonged to a dance ensemble at The Dance Craze where they practiced musical theater. Michaela described this form of dance as “acting out the song.”

Michaela was very mature for her age. She understood that I wanted to find a nice background, and that the light had to be acceptable (at least.) I met Michaela at Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet, which normally has gloriously, colorful backgrounds, but it was dreary in January, so this was the best i could do.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

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E is for EXIT and ENTRANCE

Portrait of Drew

Drew had been working at at Tehachapi RV & Cycle for three years, however, prior to his employment at this establishment, he had over 20 years working in motorcycle repair. Although this job had it’s ups and downs, as any other job, Drew really liked working at this location.

I was standing on the ground looking up at Drew, who was on top of an RV installing weather-stripping. I switched to my telephoto lens; this is the first picture in this portrait series that I took with my 75-300 mm EF lens. At one point, he had to stop to answer his cell. I liked this shot best because he was looking up and had a casual smile.

It was interesting how he was out in the cold, bundled up, working, and yet he answered his phone. My hands couldn’t mange the “buttons” with gloves on. I’d be afraid to drop my phone ground-ward while on the roof. I guess to him, this was normal.

Drew lived in Tehachapi, California, United States, was originally from Rosamond, California, United States, and had attended Rosamond High School. At the time of this posting, he had recently married and hoped to have children and his own home some day.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.a

Portrait of Kelly

I live in the desert where it hardly ever snows. When it does snow, it doesn’t stick. Tehachapi is 45 minute from my home and since they had snow, I took a trip out there to get portraits of people in snow.There was no snow in the city, I drove up the mountains, but no one stopped to let me take their portrait. I ended up with some landscapes in the snow (see below), but no portraits, useless for a Portrait Project..

I went back into town and no one was working outside, except for two gentlemen who were working at Tehachapi RV & Cycle.

This is Kelly, who was from Tehachapi, California, United States, attended Hope Academy and was 20 years old. Working on RVs and motorcycles was his third job since high school, and even though he had to be out in the cold, he seemed happy.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Jasson

Anyone who has seen a Cheech and Chong movie, or a more current East LA themed movie, such as From Prada to Nada, knows that East Los Angles, California, USA (East LA) has copious amounts of street art.

I have often driven by this piece of art that is found on the wall of the Catholic Charities building on the corner of Warren Street and East Cesar E Chavez Avenue. Jasson happened to be working across from the building last time I drove by.

Jasson was an amiable 20 year old, who took pride in his work and in his contribution to his community and to society as a whole. When I met Jasson, he had just started working for KSN Electric Gates Inc and was in the process of installing a LiftMaster® Gate Operator. He had been working two years on trimming trees, but liked installing gates better because it required more use of his brain and it was more rewarding.

[Side note: I have a  LiftMaster® Garage Door Opener and really like it.]

Jasson was from San Miguel, El Salvador and came to the United States in 2009. He completed  one year middle school in Los Angeles, California, USA, and completed secondary school studies at Cleveland High School.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

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20-J = Joop

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Wordless Wednesday

Portrait of Pesach

I met Pesach at Big Sunday’s 5th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast, his second year at the event. Pesach was in a celebratory mood as he volunteered with various friends and Kevin, his caregiver. Pesach means Passover in Hebrew, so it was not surprising that he was festive.

Pesach was a 26 years old, orthodox Jew, who played basketball in the Special Maccabiah; the Jewish version of the Special Olympics. He had lived his whole life in Los Angeles, California, USA with his parents and multiple siblings. He regularly participated in community-based volunteering, such as Meals on Wheels ‎ and assignments with the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) who helped provide housing for lower income and underserved people.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Charming

I met Charming at the  Big Sunday’s 5th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast. She was originally from St. Lucia in the Southeastern part of the Caribbean, but she lived in Los Angeles, California, US for about 20 years, specifically, the mid-Wilshire area.

Charming worked for a fundraising company called Angel Bins. She helped get funds for companies like Sierra Club who sought funds for their environmental projects: to educate, engage, and empower volunteers to restore, improve, and protect waterways, water-quality and water monitoring

Charming  does all social media postings for Angel Bins: on Angel Bins | Facebook   Angel Bins (@Angel_Bins) | Twitter@angel_bins_fundraisingInstagram.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Murray

This is Murray, originally from Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York, USA but at the time of this posting, from Woodland Hills, California, USA. He had attended  New Utrecht High School.

January 16th, 2017  Martin Luther King Day, was Murray’s 84  birthday.

Murray takes pictures, at events, at the zoo and other places. In fact, he had a better camera than I had and showed me

Murray practiced as a realtor. He managed units and did  showings for Keller Williams Realty.

Murray considered the Big Sunday’s 5th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast event a wonderful day.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Paris

I met Paris at Big Sunday’s 5th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast. He had come to lead a team of severs and cleaner-uppers, who volunteered at these types of events to “make sure that they were well-rounded.” He represented an organization that had a basketball and mentorship team.

In the mentorship program, Paris had a group of about 5-100 kids ranging from ages 4 to about 17. He worked with them weekly on basketball, life skills and character development. This had been the third time that his group participated in the Big Sunday event.

More than 1,000 people turned out and the volunteers collected more than 23,000 articles of clothing. Paris said, “It’s a great opportunity and a great day for me.”  At this event, various people assembled, volunteered, coordinated with the food serving and clothing collecting, all with love and cheer. The kids that Paris worked were called the Mambas and had great respect and adoration for him as a leader.

Paris, himself, had three children; a twelve year old, an eight year old and a nine month old. He lived in Redondo Beach, California, USA and was originally. from Stockton California, USA

Photo credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Claudia

This is a portrait of Claudia who ran track and attended Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, USA, as a Marketing and Spanish undergraduate. Her ambition for her future was talent management, particularly in the music field. She believed that Los Angeles, California, USA was the perfect place to get a foot in the door in that industry.

Claudia’s favorite music group was Earth Wind & Fire, which Blue Breeze Band (see previous portrait) was playing as we spoke. Earth Wind & Fire was the group that actually got her interested in talent management. Claudia noted that Charlie Wilson and other artists who influenced Rhythm and Blues (R&B) and Hip Hop today, helped her make this decision. Of course, she also appreciated contemporary R&B and Hip Hop.

Claudia defined Earth Wind & Fire‘s style as definitely R&B, but she also considered them funky. “They dabbled in disco a little, even though that wasn’t their preference. They are a feel good music. Everyone can get down to it no matter who they are,” she said.

Claudia was not from Los Angeles, but from Nashville, Tenn, USA, where she excelled at Hume-Fogg AcademiMagnet High School  Claudia came to the Martin Luther King Day Event because the team didn’t have practice and her coach asserted that each student/athlete had to volunteer somewhere. Claudia googled events for Martin Luther King Day, and the Big Sunday 5th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast was one of the first things that came up. The event was accessible to her and a fellow teammate because Claudia had a car.

Claudia believed in the importance of helping out every single day and was hoping she could do more throughout the year as a volunteer. The two teammates were having a blast helping out on Martin Luther King Day.

It was such a pleasure to meet Claudia. At the time of the posting, I knew so many people her age who were cry babies, didn’t get things done, were chronically late, made excuses for everything, etc. Claudia knew what she wanted, was intelligent about it and expressed her views perfectly. Talking to her made me look forward to the future and to what young people could achieve.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.