Scenes Around Jackson Photoblog

[From The Archives] 1997

Posted in black and white, Film, From The Archives, Photo Post by William Patrick Butler on April 22, 2010

i don’t like doing too many [interludes]

esp two back to back!  so, no [interlude] this week!

part of the problem is, i really haven’t been shooting new stuff lately (but that should be changing in the coming weeks. yay!)

so, instead, i figured, why not turn on Ziggy, warm up the ole flux-capacitor, and hop in the Way-Back Machine and take a look at how it all began for me, photo-wise.  most of these shots have never been seen by anyone else before.

it was fall 1997.  i had just moved up to Memphis to start my first semester at the Memphis College of Art.

funny thing was, i was originally an illustration major.  that was the entire reason why i was going there.  but since i’d already taken all the basic core classes during my two years at Hinds Community College back home, and i had all the drawing/illustration classes i was allowed to take already chosen, i was one class short of being a full-time student.  which meant, i wouldn’t get all the financial aid i would need to go.  so!  needed at least one more class to round it out!

and so, on what was really just a whim, i decided to take Intro to Photography.  i knew it was a whim because i didn’t even have a camera!  but a friend of the family, Irvin Williams, actually gave me his old Canon ae-1 Program camera and it had a 50mm lens.

and that’s how it all started.


(yes, that was me in that photo.  and yes, i used to wear that trenchcoat everywhere!  come on!  it was the 9os!  i was only 20!)

the following four shots are all from the first roll of film i ever shot, developed, and printed.

it was right after the first day of intro to photo class at MCA and we were all walking out to our cars.

heh, used to have a crush on this girl.  come on!  she was cute!  and an artist!  how could i resist? 🙂

and now, i can’t even remember her name for the life of me.  heh, life is funny like that sometimes.

even after that first class, i knew i was in trouble.  i was really enjoying this.

f-stops?  shutter speeds?  film ISOs?  psh!  i had no idea what i was doing!  but there was just something about it

that next week, we went into the darkroom for the first time and actually developed our first rolls.  going through that process, learning about how to make contact sheets and dodging and burning and watching the images develop right in front of you after you put it in the chemicals.

that was it for me.  a month or so later, i officially changed my major from illustration to photography and never looked back.

i also started carrying my camera everywhere

prepare to see a lot of this guy.  this was (and still is) one of my best friends, Rion.  when i’d decided to move to memphis to go to school, i knew i would need a roommate to even come close to affording an apartment.  and rion was up for it.  and since he was my roommate (and we were always hanging out anyway) that meant he often found himself in front of the camera.  i’m sure other friends of photographers often suffer the same fate :p

y’know, i remember what was happening here.  i was in my room, trying to get started/finish an illustration project i just didn’t feel like wasting my weekend doing and rion walked in, asking if i had a stapler.  he wanted to staple that police caution tape you see there into one of his journals.

…yeah.  oh youth!

this was one of the four seasons.  statues that were outside the Brooks Museum of Art in Overton Park (where mca was located at)

this was my girlfriend at the time, Laura.

i think this was out out a park in Germantown.  (but i may be remembering that wrong)

rion and his girlfriend at the time, Tanya.  this was at our friend Brian French’s wedding.  heh, i remember when brian emailed everybody about coming and he specifically said “And behave yourselves!  my parents are gonna be there!”  heh.

y’know, funny story about rion and tanya.

so, when we first moved into our place (on south morrison st., right off of union ave.) we agreed that, no matter what, we wouldn’t move any girls into the apartment without talking it over first.  we had seen first hand from our other friends how that often with downhill right into drama-land.

ok.  so, one friday we go to one of the best concerts i’ve ever gone to.  George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars played a free(!) show on the campus of the University of Memphis.  it’s at this show that rion meets tanya for the first time and they it hit off.   so, the day after that i drive down to jackson to visit the fam (and do free laundry!  college life baby!) and spend the rest of the weekend down there.  i head back up sunday night, walk in and lo and behold, you guessed it, tanya has moved in LoL!

when asked, all rion could say was “i know man, i know!  just, come on man!  i’ll owe you one!”

and so began “weird things always seem to happen whenever pat decides to spend a weekend in jackson” LoL

oh youth!

and now, back to the wedding!

(wow.  i haven’t seen most of these people in years)

LoL, i still love this shot.

our friend Beville, talking to rion and about something or another.

and yes, he is flipping the bird.  nothing at all to do with the conversation.  but he saw me making the shot and figured, what the hell.

there’s the groom, holding someone’s kid

Monica, the lovely bride!

it’s Flower!

she played it mysterious!  (which used to drive one of my other best friends, Jaime, crazy) LoL

it’s Joel!

(for some reason, i completely blanked out on his name while i was typing this so i had to call one of my other best friends (yeah, i have a lot) Girl Pat so she could tell me.  oh memories!) 😉

and that will do it for the wedding photos

rion, in our dining room, helping me out with a lighting assignment

still trying to figure things out

tanya and rion (rion’s wearing my hat)

LoL, this was, oh man, i don’t remember which park this was, but we were there because it was an IC (in-character) night for a roleplaying game we used to play called Dixie by Night, based on White Wolf’s Mind’s Eye Theater system.

yes.  i’m a geek.  gamer for life, yo! 😉

it’s Bobby!  my friend Wes (CoolBreeze!) used to date his sister, Susie.

some of us hanging out at Aaron and Kerry’s place afterwards

(tanya and karyn are the ones shown here)

kerry is the girl to the left of the mirror and you can see aaron’s reflection in the mirror

it’s Davery!

y’know, i actually remember being so damn hungry when i took this LoL.  him eating a cheeseburger in front of me didn’t help 😉

and this reminds me!  jaime used to live over there too, at the time.

speaking of jaime…

it’s Jaime!  during her hella short hair phase.  still one of my very best friends to this day.

heh, funny story about davery and jaime…on the other hand, never mind LoL.

davery and jaime dated for so long and had so many ups and downs that to type out that saga would take forever 😉

it’s Kerry and Chris Stephenson

but trust me, there’s a funny story here too 😉

it’s Aaron and Karyn!

heh.  remember what i said about davery and jaime?  well, the same thing applies here LoL

karyn is also laura’s older sister.  heh.

man.  are all relationships you have when you’re in your 20s filled with epic highs, epic lows, and drama?

i say yes 🙂

speaking of that, i think i can hear Silent All These Years playing

(no one else will get that joke but the people you’ve been seeing in these photos LoL)

and we’ll wrap of this post with yet another photo of rion, helping me out with yet another lighting assignment

always really liked this one.

it’s amazing how much film i went through back in those days. i used to shoot any and everything.  a lot of times i would just shoot whatever, because i would have shots on that roll that i needed for class and just wanted to finish up that roll.  and now, the shots i treasure the most are those.  the ones where i was just shooting to shoot.  moments in life that seemed boring or common then, but bring back memories now.  and the fact that it was all on film and wasn’t digital.  it meant i kept everything.  i know for a fact, looking back over my contact sheets of these rolls, that if digital cameras were around then i wouldn’t have kept half these shots.  i would have just hit delete if they didn’t measure up.  but with film, you keep everything from that roll.  the good and the bad.  and i’m glad.

i tend to be more selective of what i shoot now.  i don’t know if that’s good or bad.

hard to believe it’s been going on 13 years since these photos.

anywho, i know the only thing from Jackson in these shots was me, but hope this trip down memory lane wasn’t too boring (besides, it was better than another [interlude], right?) 🙂

new work coming soon!

and next time in [from the archives]: 1998!

have a good one everybody

see ya next week!

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3 Responses

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  1. Rion said, on April 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Good times!

  2. […] my 1997 post, the majority of these photos have never been seen before, by anyone but […]

  3. Thai said, on July 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    The memories you stumble upon by accident…


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