Sean Bugg: June 2008 Archives

Capital Pride shutterbugs

tresh-2008-capital-pride-ward-morrison-metroweekly-crowd.jpgOne great thing about Pride is that it brings out the best in the GLBT community's photographers. I'm calling out Joe Tresh's collection from this year's parade and festival in particular because of this great shot he took of our own photographer, Ward Morrison, on the stage at the festival. The smile on Ward's face is pretty much a permanent fixture, which is why everyone enjoys having their picture taken by him just as much as he enjoys taking it.

You can check out all of Tresh's parade and festival photographs here. And, of course, don't forget to spend some time browsing through our coverage here at Metro Weekly -- right now we're donating 80 percent of the proceeds from online photo sales to Capital Pride and the Latino LGBT History Project.

What we've Scene

Back in the early aughts, when I came on board Metro Weekly full-time as editor, we were still using this quaint thing called "film" in our cameras. At Capital Pride we would shoot bushels of the stuff, all of which had to be hustled to our neighborhood camera store to be developed so we could see what we had shot. Then hundreds of 4-by-6 prints would flood back into the office to be carefully gone through by hand -- in the already distant-feeling days of film, we never knew what we had until it was too late. You simply made do with what you got.

Digital photography, then, has saved our lives. Literally, I suspect, because if we were still trying to put together the much larger and complicated magazine we have now while dealing with the vicissitudes of film and prints I'd be in the ground by now.

It's also changed the way we approach our photographic coverage of huge events such as Capital Pride, mainly in that where we once had hundreds of photos to choose from, we now have thousands. And where we once had only the print version to work with, we now have our web site where we can provide a home for hundreds and hundreds of great photos we just can't squeeze into the magazine. 

While the web is a great thing, we're still a few years away from being a society that abandons paper and prevents trees from taking their bloody revenge upon us. For now, it's simply having the best of both worlds. And one of the best parts for us is our new program where we donate 80 percent of all our on-line Scene photo sales to GLBT organizations that help strengthen our community. So go to the Scene pages -- you're sure to find something you like.

Left to our own devices

Pet_Shop_Boys_-_Introspective_HQ_-_Front.jpgWhen art director Todd Franson outlined his cover concept for our special Capital Pride issue -- a simple pattern of vertical colors, taken from the rainbow flag -- I knew exactly where he was coming from.

"Just like the Pet Shop Boys' Introspective album?"


Magazines are so much easier to produce when everyone's on the same pop wavelength.

For me, the connection between the two -- Pride and the Pet Shop Boys -- is fitting. The album was released in October of my senior year of college, when I was still adjusting to being out of the closet. My coming out wasn't a prideful affair given that it was totally involuntary, and I was surrounded by what seemed to be the world's largest concentration of College Republicans. There were a handful of us who banded together, however, including my friend Mike.

Mike and I would hang out together in the bedroom of his dorm suite that he shared with a couple of straight guys (lacrosse players, I believe) drawn by lottery. Mike had a huge stereo that would blast Introspective at wall-shuddering volume. The fact that we would often follow a Pet Shop Boys selection with Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" likely caused no end of confusion (and earaches) for Mike's roommates.

That was the year I started coming to D.C. on a regular basis for weekend gay getaways -- 20 years old, new to the world and taking to the Badlands dance floor like a dervish for "Left to My Own Devices." It was the sweetest half of my generally bittersweet memories of those college days.

You can guess what I'll likely be playing on my iPod now for the rest of the weekend.

People say the nicest things

Our friend Margaret Murray over at One in Ten has some wonderfully kind words for our current cover of Cyndi Lauper, comparing us to the latest Vanity Fair. Naturally, those are the types of compliments that make an editor/publisher's heart flutter. Thanks, Margaret!

Credit, of course, is due to our art director, Todd Franson, who has been doing ongoing stellar work with our new glossy wrap. After nearly 14 years of newsprint covers, it's been a delight to explore the new design directions afforded with a higher resolution process. From my perspective, it's like having a whole new toy to play with. I'm particularly glad that our covers, both in our editorial conception and design execution, aren't only focused on celebrities such as Lauper. Celebrity covers are far rarer for us these days, as we continue to focus on the local GLBT community we serve -- everyone should have the chance to look like they're on the cover of Vanity Fair.

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