A talk on the quest for human connection, lessons from mentor Danny Clinch and other personal heroes, and why confronting his own darkness led him to the light
By Eleanora Morrison
It was a sunny Springtime afternoon when I made my way into downtown San Antonio for a photoshoot that, unbeknownst to me, would change the course of what was to become of ELEANORA Magazine. In my usual rush, I hurriedly parked the car in a small surface lot and descended into the basement of a bank building. The elevator doors dinged open to reveal vacant hallways and dark rooms – a maze I confusedly wound myself around for one full lap before I realized I had gone the wrong way. Once I found my bearings, I turned a corner to discover one light on. Apprehensively, I walked through the shadows toward it. (In hindsight, what a metaphor that was.) I stepped through the doorway, and there was Rahm Carrington.
With a soft smile and a friendly demeanor that conveyed the quintessential South Texan bienvenido, he warmly welcomed me into his studio. I was there to be photographed for his Uniform 300 project, a human storytelling exhibit that captures San Antonians of all walks of life through portraiture, in celebration of the city’s tricentennial year. It had been nearly fifteen years since Rahm Carrington and I last saw each other. Even though we went to the same high school, I am confident we never spoke a word to each other back then. Within a matter of minutes, we realized we had grown into creative kindred spirits with a mutual appreciation for our city, for our art and for our family histories. We probably talked for almost an hour before the photoshoot even started.
I commented on the tasteful touches of historic household items he had moved into his studio: it felt both comfortable and curated, which he admitted he did on purpose to make his subjects feel more at ease, as portrait photography can sometimes feel intimate and intrusive. That sparked a conversation in which we discussed authenticity, individuality and a sense of purpose we both felt to honor our ancestors by using their worldly possessions in our modern-day digital age that has somewhat robbed us of the healthy amounts of human connection that former generations once enjoyed.
I think it was in the midst of that initial conversation that we realized we should collaborate on something creatively; we view the world similarly, and because of that, the rest of the details would likely fall into place. Our instincts were correct. Now, months later, we are co-creating narrative fashion photography shoots inspired by history, striving to impact current and future generations with messages of the timelessness of shared human experience.
There is an element of depth to Rahm that I felt photography would not do justice, so we had a discussion on camera about his life story, his creative process, his projects outside of ELEANORA Magazine and his personal and professional heroes. I am certain you will be charmed by his endearing innocence, his sincere gentility and his commitment to seeing the souls of others above and beyond their circumstance.