when cesar comanche arrived for his portrait in a black t-shirt with the word confident on it i knew i made the right choice in the location and time. usually midday sun is not the typical time to schedule outdoor portraits. but when i found these stairs leading up to a blank wall the day before while scouting out locations, i knew i wanted to incorporate what they represented for artists, of any medium, in what sometimes can feel like a sisyphean journey to do things in a way that doesn't subjugate their craft.
but i wanted to balance whatever negative connotations that symbolism represented with cesar's recent successes and the hope of his future endeavors.
and to be quite honest, my first reaction wasn't that heavy or smart, but more along the lines of curiosity and wry humor as to what the hell i had just stumbled across. and that i had the good fortune of finding a clean background that didn't involve the cliche musician photo of brick walls or railroad tracks.
anyway... i didn't know much about cesar before the assignment except that he's one the founding members of the Justus League, a north carolina group associated with the more hyped Little Brother and producer 9th Wonder.
after a little research it became clearer cesar was one of those local musicians who's found fame and success outside the mainstream (and the local music scene) by doing it his way.
and with a new album out to good reviews it seems mainstream is catching up with him.