This is my studio for exploring my work. Consider these drafts.

It's just a picnic

I don't usually shoot in black and white. It's too hard for me to understand anything without colors. But, it's the film I had and you should always eat such things as are set before you.

The photos lack some perfection. I couldn't hold the camera straight, or still, or skillfully. 

It's been months since I looked at them, but I'm finally seeing them for what they are and they are pretty special to me. It's all crooked and alive and smirking at judgment. A picnic.

I think we oughta take some o’ these people
And put ’em on a boat, send ’em up to Bear Mountain . . .

For a picnic
— Bob Dylan, "Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues"
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by Balthazar Simões

To know both

They are tactics of imagination, which sometimes turn upon enhancing the beloved, sometimes upon reconceiving the lover, but which are all aimed at defining one certain edge or difference: an edge between two images that cannot merge in a single focus because they do not derrive from the same level of reality—one is actual, one is possible. To know both, keeping the difference visible, is the subterfuge called eros.
— Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet


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by Balthazar Simões

This was my chance

It feels like New Orleans has settled over New York for the past week. The languorous, swampy heat. The other night I was listening to The Last Waltz and "Such a Night" with Dr. John came on. He's a national treasure, music personified, and you should listen to this song and see what happens to you.

And while you're listening and giving thanks for these sounds, I'd like to show you another treasure, someone else with a New Orleans soul, someone else who can conjure a kind of magic, someone else you'll give thanks for. He's a doctor, she's royalty, and they both can heal us in ways that we need.

This is your chance.

Such a Night
It’s such a night
Sweet confusion under the moonlight.

Such a night
Such a night
To steal away, the time is right.

Your eyes met mine
At a glance
You let me know
This was my chance.
— Dr. John
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by Balthazar Simões

She lives an inspired life

And I'm oh so inspired. 

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by Balthazar Simões


I don't speak much about my work and what it means to me or what I want it to mean to others. I'm more concerned with just doing it. But for a while I've wanted to say something about people of color and their impact on what I do.

There's a lot to say and I guess if there's a time to start saying it, it's now.

I grew up in a place where there were no people of color. Movies and TV and music were the only venues where I encountered people that looked different from me, lived in different places, had challenges that I couldn't imagine.  

Over the last 5 years I've been so blessed to be able to encounter and photograph people that I could only have met by the intermediary of media before. I live in a place now where I am surrounded by people of every color. Going back now to places where that's not the case I feel uncomfortable, unsafe in some way.

There are the unbearably loud and fatal impacts of racism (as we can see almost daily), but I wonder what the impact must be of the omnipresent, inescapable knowledge that every time you are seen you could be seen as "less-than" when you are a person of color. I don't know what that feels like; I'm at a blinded white distance. 

For many people of color, choosing to be seen, to be conspicuous, takes courage: a courage I'm sure I wouldn't have. I'm so grateful to share with you these images of beautiful, courageous people. I'll continue to show you them because you need to see them and they certainly deserve to be seen. 

I am dark, daughters of Jerusalem,
and I am beautiful!
Dark as the tents of Kedar, lavish
as Solomon’s tapestries.
— Song of Songs 1:5