Nancy Baron and the pooches of PALM SPRINGS
Nancy Baron has taught school, produced commercials and documentaries, and worked in creative screenplay development. She now uses her camera to document the amazing things she sees in the world around her - not too far away, mostly in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs; the places where she's lived. A good friend of mine, Ross Klein, turned me on to her work.
WHICH CAME FIRST, YOUR FASCINATION OF DOGS OR PALM SPRINGS?
Funny you should ask because they came into my life pretty much simultaneously for the same reason…a thoughtful search for a respite from crazy city life. I welcomed my precious English Shepherd, Ella, into my life with open arms about six months before Palm Springs became my second home.
When I was two years old my parents bought an adorable Cocker Spaniel puppy named Skipper (my father was in the Navy and he and I both loved boating). Soon after falling madly in love with Skipper I fell horribly ill with dog allergies, bringing an abrupt end to my life as a dog owner.
Eleven and a half years ago a friend sent an email about a litter of English Shepherd puppies, which I had heard were both rare and amazing. I thought, “I’m going to beat this whole allergy thing and become that person who has a dog.” It took a while but eventually I did triumph over my dog allergies and my life has been enriched beyond what I could have imagined. I love dogs…all dogs!
The second home in Palm Springs came six months later and I became fascinated with this desert paradise from the vantage point of a homeowner as opposed to having been a tourist for some years. I’ve had a wonderful time documenting my endless discoveries in this lovely small town.
There seems to be a conflation of dogs and Palm Springs as a road to The Good Life because there are so many happy, dog-owning modernists in this small desert town.
HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE SUBJECTS OF YOUR BOOK?
Palm Springs is one of the friendliest towns in the world. I have so many wonderful friends here and most of them have dogs. Who doesn’t want their dog to be in the spotlight they deserve? Finding subjects is not a problem.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE DOG SITTING IN THE BOOK?
That’s a tough one because I know and love all the dogs in my photos. Having said that, I don’t really have sittings. My work is documentary work and rarely set up, so the dogs that appear in my two Palm Springs books, The Good Life > Palm Springs and Palm Springs > The Good Life Goes On, just happen to be in the frame as I’m capturing the scene in front of me. I seem to have a way with them because if there is a dog around while I’m shooting, they follow me and find the perfect way to insinuate themselves into the scene and give it life.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
At the moment I’m keeping busy with the follow up from my recently released book (Palm Springs > The Good Life Goes On), including prep for an upcoming exhibit work at Kehrer Galerie in Berlin, march 31 to May 6, 2017. I’ve also just self-published a book, Beautiful Trailertown, of my work documenting Palm Springs trailer park life which proves that the good life of Palm Springs is available to all. I’ll be offering a limited edition of 100 of these books with a small archival pigment print.