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A Bug Eyed Life

by

Lindsey Johnson

At the Fort Worden Kite Makers Retreat in 2001 a friend came up to my wife, Ronda Brewer, and said, I found these at a garage sale and thought you could use them.  These, were two tea strainers soldered together and adorned with red, white and blue vinyl tubing to be worn as glasses, giving the wearer a stunning Bug Eyed look. I needed someone to try them on, so..... Dawn Frankwick became my first subject. Little did I know that four years later I would be on a photo expedition of the elusive Kite Flier Bug.

The Bug Eyes had gone missing, they reappeared in July of 2005 just before we set off to Brookings, Oregon for the 13th annual Southern Oregon Kite Festival. Saturday morning as I unpacked the car I discovered that Ronda had included the Bug Eyes. Of course, knowing Ronda, nothing would be left at home. As I picked up the Bug Eyes I thought it would be a great idea to take some shots of the kite fliers wearing them. With my newly purchased camera in hand, I was off. Two days and over 80 photographs later, I was hooked.
My next expedition led me to the gathering of kite fliers at the 2005 AKA National Convention in Ocean City, Maryland. During the week I was able to photograph close to two hundred new specimens. Most form the United States, but many from foreign countries including Canada, England, Italy, Spain, China, Argentina, Australia, Japan and New Jersey.

When I first started my photo expedition, I didnt have a clue as to the reactions I would get. As I would find out, all you have to do is hand these goofy things to your subject and they put them on. The expressions range from the Happy Smiley bug, the Wide Opened Mouth bug, the Love bug, the Flapper Fashion bug, the Mister Bigge bug, the Have I got a Deal for You bug, the Mister Mean bug, to the Do I Really Have To? bug. Along with the kite fliers I have photographed the spectators, the vendors and a dog. Ive only had a few turn me down, they do make the loudest crunch.

Im not sure when or where, but you could be next.

To view the full collection, go to "Bug Eye Pix".

 

"Bug Eye" update
My current Kite Flier Bug collection has approximately 900 varieties and growing. I have crisscrossed the continental United States, attending dozens of events and covering over 40,000 miles.

 

 
 

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