Over the past few months, as my work on the series Skeleton in the Closet has progressed, I’ve received quite a few encouraging emails and comments. These come from people who have participated in the series, people who have viewed the work online, and people who have come to the gallery shows.

While I’ve been curious from the beginning about how art can be therapeutic for people struggling with eating disorders, I didn’t go into this series with the specific intention of helping people. I really just wanted to create good work about a difficult subject. So the feedback from people who have been encouraged by the work, found healing in the work, felt less alone because of these images and words, is a beautiful side benefit.

I thought I’d share a few here:

A friend of mine sent a link to your photos about eating disorders, and I just had to tell you how wonderful I think they are. Hearing from the subjects in their own words is so moving, and the photos themselves are amazing. They really do capture that eating disorders don’t discriminate, those who suffer from them come in all shapes and sizes…the stereotypes we picture aren’t always true. As someone who’s battled an ED for over 10 years now, it’s very rare to find something that seems to capture how we really feel. I think this exhibition has done that, and I thank you for posting it. Take care.

Keva

Fritz,

I just wanted to thank you for your work; I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for the past four years (seems like forever) and recently ‘relapsed’. It is rare yet inspiring to see such honest, diverse depictions of individuals and their stories. Although it is still a work in progress, I am wondering if I could be added to a mailing list or possibly receive information as to when it will be published/where it will be available – I’m definitely interested in buying a copy and supporting your work.

Thank you so much,
Kristin P

I spoke to you on the ‘Face The Issue’ message boards quite a while ago. I remembered it the other day and stumbled across the website for your photographs. I just wanted to say that I think you have done a wonderful wonderful job.

Reading the introduction, with the line “I’ve seen thinner” seems to sum it all up. No matter what people expect or feel, there’s always thinner. I think you have shown-in such a beautiful way- that people suffering from eating disorders aren’t always thin and are definitely not always people who are obsessed with how they look or how much they weigh.
Everytime I look at your photos I find another quote that I relate to, the words match the photos in both their beauty and complexity.

Make sure you post a link to your photography on the FTI website, I’m sure the others would benefit from seeing it.

Thank-you,

Looloo6

Hi Fritz!
I got your wonderful photo and story today! Thank you so much for putting my story, my experience, into a photo and words so eloquently. I cannot thank you enough!
-Elizabeth L

Fritz,

Great show. It’s so hard to do what you have done. It’s rare to see
work that balances subject and the visual, complimenting each other
in such a powerful way. It’s so easy to make seductive and beautiful
images at the expense of content. You didn’t compromise and you
treated everyone with respect including the viewer.

Jim L

Thank you so much for including me in this. I really was surprised at how much I connected with you even at our first meeting. I truly feel like working with you allowed me to let go of my eating disorder in a way that I can celebrate forever. Thank you.

Kaarina

i feel so honored to be a part of it. I’m going to try and make it down to see the show today. thank you so much for being an outlet for me 🙂 I would love to help with your future projects if you find a need for me!

-Megan

My name is Jamie, and I guess I’m bulimic. I stumbled upon a link to your work, and I found it to be very powerful. I am 30 years old, and it made me feel a bit less alone with having an ED at my age when I saw the photos and read the stories of your subjects.

Thank you putting together the skeleton in the closet, it helped remind me that recovery is not some unattainable gold floating way out there.
Lisa

I came across your photographs in “Skeletons in the Closet” and I wanted to congratulate you on how well you portrayed the suffering of eating disorders. I am in “recovery” (however, each day is still a struggle) from bulimia and anorexia and found these photos to be very well done. When most people try to portray eating disorders, they show only the 80 pound, near death girls, and this really puts a real face on the disease. The women in the picture could be anyone- teenagers, mothers, daughters, friends, teachers, doctors, etc. Job well done!

Karly

Thank you so much for the beautiful artwork. I could see a slice of my life (or a slight variation of my own pain) within all your portraits of the women and men that are suffering from various manifestations of the eating disorder. It was sort of walking through a simultaneously very poignant, ugly and beautiful, scary but all too familiar hall of mirrors.

Ana

I just needed to tell you that you have completely been able to capture the soul of so many victims of the eating disorder community with your photos. I was so moved to tears when reading the different stories and looking at the photos. I have had an ED for most of my 50 years on this earth. There is so much that the medical community does not know about this awful disorder and can never begin to uncover. You have captured that pain, the insanity, the torture, the hope, the destruction with your photos. I would love to look at these photos everyday to see that I am not alone. I am not singled out because these disorder crosses all races, ages, gender. Why don’t you present this to the psychiatric and medical community? They need to learn how to help us. Thank you so much for taking your time and your creativity to focus on ME.

Debbie
Philadelphia

Fritz,
I just wanted to thank you again for giving me the chance to work with you on your series. This was a huge step in the right direction for me and i’m glad that i got to express this part of myself.
Stephen

Hi Fritz,
I was just browsing through your blogspot and I felt moved to say that you are such an exceptional person and I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to share such a personal aspect of my life with such an extraordinary artist. Thank you for everything.
Sincerely,

Valerie

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me


I was just looking through the new Pacific NW College of Art catalog for Winter 2008. They included a photo of one of my studio lighting classes (I’m the blue chest on the right), and a sweet little quote from one of my student evaluations.

This January/February, I’ll be teaching my Environmental Portrait class. Here’s the scoop:

The Environmental Portrait places a person in the context of their natural surroundings, and communicates more about them than is possible in a studio or simple headshot. Photographers use environmental portraiture to document figures in popular culture (Annie Liebowitz), make social commentary and documentary (Dorothea Lange), and more. In this class we will look at master location portrait photographers; review and critique each other’s work; and discuss how location portraits say much about the subject, as well as the social and political context in which they live. We will be working with models, available and artificial lighting, composition, camera and media choices, output and presentation. Both film and digital are welcome. The class will culminate with a portrait series as a final project.

This being one of my favorite subjects in both my artistic and commercial work, I enjoy this class a great deal. If you share this passion, and want to push your work further, consider signing up for this workshop. Spaces are limited.

You can find out more here.

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me


Selected images from the series Skeleton in the Closet will be on display at Portland’s DaVinci Arts Middle School from November 13-December 8. These photographs (including new work recently completed) will be in the Library, and in display cases around the school. It will also be on display during the annual DaVinci Arts Fair.

During this month, I will be teaming up with their counselor to host 6 different small group discussions about eating disorders, art, and whatever else their brilliant adolescent minds come up with. Should be interesting!

I’ve also posted 8 new images in this series in my online gallery. Feel free to take a look, and give me some feedback.

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me
  • November 15, 2007 - 10:11 am

    My Middle Name is "Gerous" - Cool. I have some friends who didn’t make it over to PSU to see it before, so now maybe they’ll be able to see your showing.


Jeffrey Overstreet is a film critic, author, and connoisseur of and commentator on the arts. He has several very popular blogs. And on one of them, Eagle and Child, he’s posted an interview he did with me recently, on my series Skeleton in the Closet. You can read the interview here.

I also noticed another blogger commenting on my work, and on this interview, at The Walrus Said. I’ve been quite moved lately by how this series is affecting those that view it, and Janet’s thoughts are no exception. I’ll post more on this subject soon.

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me


This past summer, Scott and Leigh hired me to photograph their wedding next summer. These two like to plan ahead, which is a good thing when planning a wedding. They told me today they’re having an Italian duet–accordian and violin–play at their wedding, which sounds delightful.

The weather this week has been splendid here in the Pacific Northwest. We went out on the Portland Eastside Waterfront and photographed their engagement portraits, which was a lot of fun, especially when they decided to climb up into a willow for some shots. Scott told men, after climbing up into and down out of the tree, “You make me feel so young again!” I’ll have to work that into my advertising….



 

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me

Photographers often pack a lot of goofy goodies in their bags: sewing kits, vaseline-coated filters, Lensbabies, old video camera lenses, kleenex, rubber bands and 3×5 cards. All useful things for shooting creatively. I like to pull out the Lensbaby sometimes, and play around with some fun apertures. Here are a few photographs from this lovely Northwest week.

While photographing for another project today, a gorgeous autumn day at Portland’s Riverview Cemetery, I took a few other images as well. Here’s a portrait of Amanda:

And a portrait of Stephanie at Peninsula Park:

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me

Two weeks ago, I walked in to Pacific Northwest College of Art to teach a photography class. Inside the entrance, I was saddened to see a memorial for Tracey Sparling, the 19-year old who had been killed when a cement truck turned into her bike lane and crushed her. I had heard of the accident, but hadn’t known she was a current PNCA student, and though I didn’t know Tracey, her part in the PNCA community brought the tragedy one step closer to me, and I was deeply saddened by our loss.

Just 3 years ago, this same spot in the entrance to PNCA showcased a memorial to my dear friend and classmate Sebastian Garrido-Bor. To this day, I will catch myself glancing at a tall, thin, dark-haired stranger on a sidewalk or store, and think, “Hey, is that Sebastian…,” wanting to go and shake his hand, give him a hug, and hear him say in his South American accent, “How are you doing, my friend?” only to be reminded of the hole he left in the world when he died of cancer.

Last Tuesday, on my way out from teaching an evening photography class at the school, I noticed that Tracey’s photograph had been removed from its pedestal. The next morning, I entered the school to find the same pedestal topped with a new photograph and flowers. In the frame was a yearbook photograph of my friend Brett Jarolimek, with a piece of paper taped to the front: “1976-2007”.

Brett and I went to PNCA together, studied art history together. Though a painting major, he enjoyed taking photographs, and would show me what he’d been up to now and then, asking me for feedback. He was, like me, lanky, always smiling, friendly and warm. When I’d go in to Art Media, he’d make me feel extra welcome. Shannon and I went to an art opening of his work, on Mississippi. I was always happy to run into him, and doing so never failed to brighten my day. Even the memory of him brings a smile to my face.

Grief is a difficult place to be writing from. Brett was a sweet guy, and his death is tragic on so many levels. His loss to his friends and family, and to his community, is real and deeply felt. Though young (31), he had touched many lives with his cheer and kindness, friendship and artwork and love for bike racing. He will be terribly missed by those closest to him, but even those graced with only the briefest exchange with him–in the Bike Gallery, or at an art gallery–must know their loss. The world will be poorer without him.

So it is with great sadness that I write this memorial, and wish Brett’s family my condolences. Know that his short time here was not wasted, and that his friendship was a blessing to many.

A memorial Ghost Bike was set up at the intersection of N Interstate and Greeley,
where Brett was crushed by a garbage truck October 22, 2007.
He was well-loved, as evidenced by the artwork, flowers, and biking gear left in his honor.

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me


It’s a beautiful week for outdoor fall portraits here in Portland. Owen is a sweet child, and he and his beautiful mom worked with me as the sun was fading in the west, creating some fun and poignant portraits.






Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me
  • October 28, 2007 - 1:52 am

    alicia marie - I somehow need to teleport you to Southern California to take some portraits of Judah.

  • October 28, 2007 - 5:19 pm

    FritzPhoto - I travel wherever people want to send me to photograph!

Skeleton in the Closet
Stories from the lives of those affected by eating disorders.

I’m pleased to announce the culmination of the past 2 years’ of work on my photo documentary on eating disorders. Please join me for this exhibition in the beautiful Littman Gallery, at Portland State University. The show includes 42 photographs with accompanying texts.

October 4-24, 2007

Littman Gallery
PSU, Smith Center, 2nd Floor, Room 250
1825 SW Broadway
Portland

Gallery open Monday-Friday, 12-4 pm

Please join us for the opening reception:
First Thursday, October 4, 5-7 pm

This body of work made possible in part by a grant from RACC.

For More Information:

Fritz Liedtke:
www.fritzphoto.com/thinkontrol

Littman Gallery: (503) 725-5656

Jennifer Stoots Fine Photography:
www.photostoots.com

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me
  • October 10, 2007 - 8:14 pm

    Dustin and Katie - How cool! Congratulations! You’re pictures always impress us!

After a photo shoot in Long Island, NY, my friend Rich Swingle and I raced out to Long Beach before the sun set, hoping to get in the water on one of the last warm days of the season. We arrived, and walked up the boardwalk facing the ocean. Looking to our left, the full moon was just rising above the horizon, and to the right, the red sun was setting. Same size orbs on either end of the horizon, perfectly symmetrical.

Here’s my poorly assembled panoramic of the scene. (When, oh when, will someone come out with a great panoramic digital camera? Or even a poor one? Anything! Please!)


But my favorite thing to do, of course, is watch people. As I was there on the boardwalk, watching the sun set, this young couple came up the ramp from the beach. The boy was carrying a skateboard, its wheels and underside coated in thick, wet sand. He came over and asked if I had a light, and we started talking. They’d been trying to skate on the sand at the water’s edge, and both agreed that it hadn’t been a successful venture. He’s from Hawaii, and she’s from France. They graciously allowed me to photograph them there on the boardwalk, in the failing sunlight.

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me

New York City is a big place and, as my second photographer Evie noted, from looking at the outside of a building you can’t often tell what amazing things you’ll find on the inside. This is certainly true of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, which is on a narrow street on the Lower East Side. From the outside it blends in with most of the other old brick buildings. But on the inside it’s fairly awe-inspiring.

The same could be said of Brooke and Ryan. We had not met prior to their wedding day, living on opposite coasts. But what a pleasure they were to work with–affable and full of laughter, easy-going but organized. And what a beautiful day it was.



We started in Bryant Park, photographing their family and wedding party. We weren’t 5 minutes into portraits when a police officer comes up and asks Evie, “Do you have a permit?” Evie caught on pretty quick, and started talking with the officer, and I started shooting as quickly as I could. In the end, she distracted him well enough that he wandered off and let us photograph unhindered. And the light–and people–were wonderful.


At the Orensanz building–formerly a Jewish synagogue–we were at first struck by how dingy it felt. But as time went on we discovered that it wasn’t funky, it was full of texture. And light. They have a professional lighting technician working there, and every part of this old building interior is given added atmosphere with beautiful lighting, which changed as the use of the space transitioned throughout the evening.

New York city wedding photography at Angel Orensanz building

There are far too many great images to post here!  View a selection of their wedding photographs on our destination wedding photography website, at www.fritzphoto.com.
Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me
  • October 31, 2007 - 3:14 pm

    Anonymous - What a gorgeous location for a wedding! Looks like you all had a lot of fun. 😉 Good job Fritz…as always, you’re photos are beautiful.

  • September 19, 2008 - 2:37 pm

    Anonymous - “I scoured New York City for a photographer that had the same editorial style that my friend had gotten for her wedding. After my 15th call I was ready to throw in the towel when my husband suggested I see if my friend’s photographer travelled for weddings. How lucky I was when he said he did. The shots were everything I had hoped they would be. Fritz couldn’t have been easier to work with, and fast!! He had my pictures posted online 3 days after the wedding. I just wish he’d move to NYC now!”

  • November 11, 2009 - 9:02 pm

    Julie and David in Long Island, New York * Destination Wedding Photographer » Fritz Photography - […] problem, I told her.  I photographed a wedding in New York City a couple years ago, have photographed there numerous times, and love working […]

I’m in New York City for a few days, here to photograph a wedding, among other things. Spent the day today on the town, adventuring with Evie, my second shooter. We covered Ground Zero, the free Staten Island Ferry (leaving in the sun and returning in a downpoor), Carnegie Delicatessen, and MOMA. And after that, dinner with friends.

A few photo stories and observations before bed:

One of the few places I felt drawn to visit in NYC was Ground Zero. Worldwide turmoil began here, six years ago, and I wanted to see the place for myself.

To be honest, there’s not much to see. For the most part, it’s a very large area surrounded by fences and covered in construction. There is a temporary-feeling tent with some posterboards, showing the design of the future memorial and new skyscrapers, and a list of the nearly 3,000 people that perished that nightmarish day. And a new transit station. But not much else.

We wandered upstairs and down, and were about to leave, when we heard the faint sounds of a flute, making out the notes of Amazing Grace. I made my way over and found a homeless-looking man, seated on the ground, playing this tune over and over. Most appropriate.

A couple observations on the ferry ride:



This last image on the ferry seems like a fitting visual allegory for prayer, or intercession.

And finally, a boy watching a performance in Central Park:

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me
B r o w s e
F a c e b o o k
W e b s i t e