BC: In July, 2012, six photographers met in Los Angeles to complete a project conceived online more than a year earlier. These shooters had never worked together before, but in the course of a weekend, they set out to document as much of the legendary California city as possible. Six interchangeable insights, one common goal. The result is the book you hold in your hand. For more about the project, visit the "We Are The Experience" page on Facebook.
1: BABYLON REVISITED | BOB BOSIER DAVE GILO NANCY MIRACLE LEONARD SADORF LARRY WIDEN VLADKA ZBORIL JULY 2012
2: Experience is the best teacher. We're walking down Hollywood Boulevard around 9:30 on a cool July evening. We're surrounded by thousands of people, tourists, stars, soon to be stars, never to be stars, homeless, cartoon and movie characters. Tour buses returning from their late day runs into the hills, had taken folks from Ann Arbor and Altoona out to see where the famous and glamorous people live. Here we are, doing what we do in situations like this, we're shooting photos, making images, snapping pics of the people and places we encounter. I’ll say it again. It's what we do. Almost on cue, Nancy turns to me and says, “I get it. You guys just shoot everything.” Simple words, but absolutely crystalline in their proclamation. “Well, yes”. Not long after, actually a matter of seconds, Nancy was shooting, everything, literally everything. For one who has done it for 40 years, it's habit, but to see someone cross that line is still exciting. Shooting everything means more than just snapping a lot and chalking up the huge exposure numbers. It's about seeing everything and collect it as accurately as
3: you can, It's about being there in real time, seeing and experiencing real things and people and being a part of now. It's not about the voyeur or the-drive by camera shooter who is afraid to get out of the car and be on the street. Sure, you can make technically good pics from a moving car, but that is how images are stolen, how souls are stolen. You make a shot but experience nothing. Those are instances of taking rather than making or sharing images. | You have to be here, being part of everything swirling around you. When it happens, you never forget it. When you just take it, it is separate from you and easily forgotten. So, case closed. We shoot everything, encompassing what that everything really means. I guess it goes back to the old jazz tenet, the quote from Miles Davis, “Let's play it first and talk about it later.” In this case, be here now and shoot, shoot, shoot. We'll figure out the details later. Right now, it is the experience. There it is again, that word experience. We all came originally from some place back east. Dave, Bob, Nancy, Larry, and I were born in Wisconsin. Vladka is from a bit further east, Czechoslova-kia. With time, we have found ourselves in different places, Nancy in Washington, Bob and Vladka in Califor-nia, me in Arizona. Larry and Dave still hold down the fort in Wisconsin. We all have very different paths, but yet all have the same stirring to show what we experience, to tell some stories.
4: "We Are the Experience" started as a wild hair, a page on Facebook, started by Larry so we could post a few pictures, write some stories, and share a little creativity. Out of the 140 of us who follow that page and the 50 or so that post, the six of us in this cabal, seven when you include our spiritual adviser and caterer, Gary Heck, have posted the most, commented the most, and found a common interest in going west, to the edge of the continent, and showing what we see, sharing what we experience. Basically, that is the genesis of this project. The LA experience is easily more than the sum of it's parts. On the one hand, you have the opulence and magic of what is easiest referred to as the Hollywood experience. There's all those stars, some that you recognize, some that you've never even dreamed of. There's studios where magic is made, where dreams come to life. There's the blue skies and lush colors and all the green. Man, everywhere you look, something is growing. On the other hand are shattered and broken dreams symbolized by the skid | row denizens downtown and the drifters near the Santa Monica pier. They stare at the horizon, knowing they have reached the edge of the west. They know there is no further to go. But there is always more, isn't there? Obviously, we can't show all of Los Angeles. With more visits will come more to share. For now, we concentrated on the easy stuff, Hollywood, Downtown, Venice Beach, a smattering of other West LA locales. We found a glorious flea market and a guy who sells and trades antiques, furniture, and Hollywood memorabilia and uses some of the proceeds to help the neighborhood homeless. For every place we went, there are still literally hundreds more yet to be explored. In time, in time. We did it for fun, for the camaraderie. We did it to share our passion with each other, and you, the viewer. Our hope is that we've told some stories in these humble photos. We've done our best. For now, this is what we have. Thanks for stopping by. -Leonard Sadorf October, 2012