Okay, I’ve been meaning to stop in at Keith Cotton’s Photography Studio on Prospect Avenue ever since it was featured in MBIP Contributor’s Bob Gordon’s “Past Gas” post back in May of last year. Today is finally the day I’ve decided to pop in there and as I’ve got errands to run and I have to be in to work in a little bit, I have just 23 minutes to do this post. Can I pull this off? Ladies and gentlemen, start your stopwatches and let’s see how much information and photos I can squeeze into 23 minutes. To the MBIP Mobile!
Off we go with the clock ticking. Two minutes have passed as we make our way to Keith Cotton's Photography Studio on Prospect Avenue. This is kind of exciting, isn't it?
Drive-by Emo's shot!
Okay, we've got like fourteen minutes left to get this thing done, let's get inside and get the ball rolling.
The front room is a showroom for Keith's photography and there's some impressive work here on display.
Here's the inner sanctum of the photography studio and I bet that's Keith Cotton over there...
I was right, this is Keith Cotton, photographer. Keith told me he moved here after living in Carbondale, Illinois for quite some time. What happened was he had a photography assignment for Cyd's Gourmet Kitchen Cafe & Catering where he took some photos and Keith met Emily who is part of the Cyd family. The photos were developed and he married Emily so he had to move here as moving Cyd's Gourmet Kitchen Cafe & Catering to Carbondale was not an option. So Keith moved here to Peoria, Illinois and turned a gas station into a photo studio. Life happens and this is further proof that it is more than just a delicious cereal to pour milk on.
Keith's photography includes portraits of people, commercial photography, landscapes and special projects. He also drinks coffee and has a smart phone as evidenced by this photo that I just took.
Jordan works here as a photography assistant and it turns out that Jordan knows some people that I know including MBIP Contributors, Chip Joyce and Mike Foster. Jordan also did photography for the ICC Harbinger and MBIP pal, Justin Glawe was his editor. And yes, this is the time on MBIP where we cue up, "It's A Small World After All."
Jordan has brought along a camera that the two of them seem to be interested in.
As the two of them get increasingly interested in that camera, I'm going to slowly back away and get some photos in here. I've only got like six minutes left and then I've got to get out of here. See how this works?
Bare bulbs hang from the ceiling illuminating photos, cameras and a desktop computer on a desk.
I could spend all day looking at the photography in here, but we're down to like four and a half minutes so we must keep moving along.
I think this is the same trio of people we saw in earlier photographs, but we're down to just a couple of minutes, so there's no time to back-track. We must keep moving on!
Blinding light forces me to move...
At first I thought that this was a homemade pinhole camera, but Keith told me a group of grade school kids made this for him out of construction paper after they took a field trip to his photography studio.
Inside of the camera is a roll of paper that they drew pictures on and told him that this is the film for the camera! This is just about the coolest thing I have ever seen! I'd linger, but there's just about a minute left in this journey.
Dueling cameras, part one...
And part two. Our twenty three minutes is up, so thanks to Keith for letting us roam around his studio and now I've got a three tons of shit to get done before I have to go to work, so we'll see you all tomorrow!
Related Posts: Past Gas—A Photo Journey Of Former Peoria Gas Stations and PTA—Public Toilet Alert!—The Peoria Public Library (Downtown Branch)—Plus A Look At The "Every Other" Exhibit Featuring Photography By Matt Buedel And Scott Cavanah...Sheesh!