January 2010
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Month January 2010

The Snuggie™ Book Light. Perfect for portrait photography?

My friend Jeremy got a Snuggie™ Blanket — you know, the blanket with sleeves! — this weekend for his birthday. In the box with the blanket came a free “press ‘n open” book light. The light is this futuristic looking LED lamp that I assume you’re supposed to enjoy while enveloped in your Snuggie™. The lamp makes a cameo in the Snuggie™ TV commercial (YouTube) around minute 1:32.

At Jeremy’s birthday party, someone took the book light and pointed it at their face. The quality, color temperature, and size of the light was surprisingly nice. I decided it might be fun to make portraits of everyone there with the book light. Here are a few of my favorites:

Snuggie Book LIght portrait #1

Snuggie Book Light portrait #2

Snuggie Book Light portrait #3

Why you should value every introduction. My 1998 one degree separation from then State Senator Obama.

Way back in July 1998 I wrapped up my college career in NJ and moved to Chicago, IL to begin a one year stint as a Public Interest Fellow at Community Media Workshop. I was 23, pretty naive, and didn’t take much too seriously.

Fast forward to 2010. As I was cleaning out some boxes last night, I came across my old Chicago wallet. In my wallet was this curious business card from Jennifer I. Mason. I don’t really remember meeting Jennifer and I can’t picture her face. What I suspect, however, is that we somehow crossed paths when I visited Chicago’s South Side that year. For all I know I met Barack Obama, IL State Senator from the 13th District, then too.

Jennifer Masons old 1998 business card

Googling Ms. Mason’s name, I came across this excerpt in the Washington Post from a speech given by Michelle Obama at the Office of Personnel Management in April 2009:

And I also want to acknowledge somebody else, Jennifer Mason, who is a Deputy Chief of Staff. And Jennifer is a special part of the Obama family in ways that probably no one would imagine. Jennifer was one of Barack Obama’s first employees when he ran for the State Senate. There were three people working at an office on 71st and Jeffery, knocking on doors, trying to get people to come to meetings — “Barack Obama who?” (Laughter.) And it was me, Jennifer and a couple of other people, plus Barack — (laughter) — who were out there going door to door.

So we are grateful to have Jennifer as a part of this administration, as a part of the OPM family. She’s going to do a terrific job. So just know that you have great leadership in your director and his senior management, and we are just thrilled to have them all here. So give them a round of applause. (Applause.)

Finding this old business card got me thinking. What if I had networked with Ms. Mason? What if I had made an effort to keep in touch? I’ll of course never know the answer to these questions and moving forward it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that as we go along in life, running crazily and busily, we should take the time to value every introduction. And while we’re at it, we should also be nice to everyone we meet. Besides, you never know. That next business card that gets passed to you might belong to the person that helps launch the political career of the President of the United States.

The following are two photos from Obama’s Democratic Party acceptance speech in Denver, CO. August 28, 2008. I was lucky enough to be there. Photos: © 2008 David Mejias.

Invesco Field, Barack Obama accepts Democratic Party nomination.

Photos: © 2008 David Mejias