Jules was one of the 1st people I met on "the hill" during my Sunday afternoon of research for my Austin Chronicle story about the HOG. Jules makes a point of meeting most of the people who show up at the Hope Outdoor Gallery. Especially the artists. Jules claims he's been up here every day taking photos for the last 2 years. He says he gets clean shots—before the tagging and outright eradication—of every piece of art that goes on these walls. The book he's holding up has dozens of examples. In the online version of my Austin Chronicle story, they also posted a link to a slideshow of 29 street art pieces from the HOG, each of them photographed by Jules. Seconds after we met, Jules was on me for a professional leg up. "You gotta help me, man," he said like the pesky kid brother you can't help but love. "Get them to hire me. I got pictures of all this stuff. My shit's good. Help me out, dude." I finally told Jules, "You gotta help yourself, bro. Build a website. It's not that hard. Put your photos on it. You've got the material. Make it happen! Don't wait for someone else to do it for you." I looked at his Facebook page and was more convinced than ever that his stuff deserves a wider audience. Jules has been the documentarian, archivist and human surveillance camera of this special place. As good as he is at initiating conversation, he must be equally adept at staying out of the way too. Especially when the artists are in the creative zone with their spray cans. Jules recently saw some punks paint "fuck you" over a pretty, crafted mural not long after it was completed. Did Jules ask what the little shits were doing or persuade them to find another spot on the wall? "No way, man," he told me. "I'm just a photographer. I'm not here to pass judgment or get my ass kicked. I'm just here to take pictures."
Do I know you? One man's attempt at a lifelong head count.
NOTE: If you think I might have a photo of you—most likely at least one great photo of you—don't be afraid to ask me to post it (email@example.com) along with a brief entry about how I know you. And if I've met or known you but don't have any photo evidence, feel free to send along YOUR favorite photo of you. (I'm fascinated by what that slideshow might look like.)