For the past few years, I have been working on a series of photographs of people drinking. happy people, lonely people, couples, gangs, solitary drinkers,—anybody who is in the process of getting pissed to some degree or another. Most of these images are taken in bars where people go to socialize or be alone.
Like most of my projects, they started by chance, happy accidents—spontaneously! In one case i was one of those people spending a quiet afternoon drinking beer in a bar in New Orleans. The guy next to me started talking, a biker next to him joined in and after a beer or two, I remembered that I had my camera with me and started taking a few pictures. Sometimes, I just set out to go to bars and shoot. I have to be careful where I go but once I find a place that I feel comfortable, I ask to take some pictures of barmaids, or patrons. On other occasions, i am just a passer-by watching people drinking in outdoor cafes, on the street or any other place they choose to do their thing.
When I ann doing it in bars, I also have learned to pace myself. I know I am going to spend some time in these places and since I am not a heavy drinker I have to pace my drinks. Usually it takes a beer or two to warm people up to what i am doing and then a few more beers to get the job done. It takes its toll on me and I can only get into it two or three times per year.
This photograph was taken last week in Delray Beach. Sharon and I had been in Miami and on our way back, we decided to stop in Delray for an “apertivo” Since it was Florida drinking outdoors is pretty common so there we were on the deck having our drinks and this scene was going on at the bar—so typical, a guy hustling a woman. What interested me was that he had no socks on—very cool a la Palm Beach so I snapped a few as I nursed my Stella (the beer not the woman.) I figure at this rate, I should be ready to share this series in a year or two but of course, who the hell knows.