The Child Experiments with Being Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke

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The Child Experiments with Being Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke

Digital photo with post-production
2006

On the series: These portraits were more collaborative efforts with my young son, than my simply taking pictures of him. He would prepare a situation and would ask that a picture be taken, which is how the series began. He wanted to see how what he'd dreamed up looked like through the eye of the camera, and enjoyed having it preserved--probably like most children. Then when I was working on a picture in post production I would ask him what he thought as we both conjured a photo befitting his dream.

On this photo: Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke was a long-standing favorite. With his arrival, H.o.p. stopped experimenting as much with other characters and stuck with Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke. Monsters roared and stomped feet and threatened with clawed fingers. But Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke was mysterious and magical. Any visitor who came by, repair person or friend, H.o.p. would disappear for a few minutes and emerge from his bedroom as Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke.

He was still doing Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke in 2007.

H.o.p., who never lets an opportunity for a captive audience pass, created a stage with a red blanket curtain when the ATT people came by to work on the phone, and tried putting on a puppet show for them. The male repair person wasn't interested but the woman was amused. I would always tell H.o.p. that working visitors are working and don't have time for a show, but he would still always try. And when H.o.p. realized the ATT people weren't both interested in the puppet show he didn't let it get him down.

He changed strategy.

For the Direct TV person (whom he loved "helping" by holding the apt building's door for him every time he went out to the truck, and there were many times he went out to the truck) H.o.p. emerged from his room, eventually, as Samurai Monk Dragon Smoke.