Portraits With // Joshua

Josh and I have a storied past, and much of it centers around photography, but that's not where it started. Josh and I began working at the same coffee shop a week apart. It was here that I met an exuberant, joyful, and constantly laughing (no, really, constantly laughing) individual.

At first, Josh and I did not see eye-to-eye. He was youthful and fun. I was serious, to a fault, and trying to promote. Over the next few years, I learned how to find humor in life from Josh. We worked together frequently, but most notably every Friday night for over a year.

After work, we'd get Taco Bell and talk about life late into the night. We'd tag each other and our coworkers in silly shit on Facebook and learned to balance our yin and yang in the workplace. Eventually, I was Josh's boss, which was an honor and a... challenge. A time where I had to separate friendship and management, we still rocked it out and Josh made for an amazing partner in crime. It is individuals like Josh who are great to have around - our relationship is dynamic and something I've appreciated for years.

Josh was one of my first portrait subjects, first for fun and then for his senior photos in high school. We took photos in forest preserves, in alleyways, downtown and in areas we probably could no longer recall. Josh is one of those people I always told should pursue modeling, and not to flatter him, but he honestly came off as an Abercrombie & Fitch model to me, both in style and the way he served face.

Some of Josh's photos are my favorite to include in portfolios. He challenged me and provided input and really helped me grow as a person and photographer. I'd like to think we are reciprocal in that aspect, as Josh has frequently reached out to me for work advice and had since promoted. We also related about boys and self-care and oddly similar experiences with life and all its wonders.

We are pretty comfortable in talking about most things these days, albeit a couple thousand miles apart. But every time I meet up with Josh, we do a portrait session. It's just our thing now. So here's Josh in downtown Chicago, followed by Josh saying, "I want to do some shirtless ones, too," as he was already taking off his shirt in the middle of the Loop.

Here's to you, Josh. Here's to us and this weird dynamic we have. Love you, buddy.