For every story published in the Advocate magazine, photographers shoot dozens of pictures, and reporters scribble sundry side notes. Only a fraction of the work makes it to the page. The idea of all those fascinating tidbits that never see the light of day can be depressing — and no one wants to start off the New Year despondent over deleted content.
We give you the cream of the previously unpublished crop.
All of the reality TV stars featured in the October Advocate came to our studio to be photographed. Hilari Styles, who competed in seasons six and seven of HGTV’s “Design Star,” is an interior designer, TV personality and burgeoning lifestyle maven. She asked Advocate photo editor Danny Fulgencio whether she could see his shots. He said “no.” This was her reaction. Fulgencio later decided it resembles Jacques-Louis David’s “The Death of Marat,” totally by accident.
Ride or die
A previous motorcycle photo shoot, with me hanging out of a car, hadn’t turned out that well, and I figured shooting from a motorcycle’s sidecar would help me get the photo I was after. A friend in Denton with a Ural Sidecar Motorcycle answered my call, and I offered to repay him in beer. We met up with salon owner/motorcycle enthusiast Annette Jensen near Jefferson Boulevard. Between her chopper and the Ural, we drew a lot of stares. I tried to direct Annette and my friend as to where the bikes needed to align so I could get the picture I wanted. Shooting was considerably more challenging than expected: The Ural was an unstable platform. I’d hoped to shoot using longer shutter speeds to create motion blur and communicate action, but my shots started off as blurry smears. I had to hike up my shutter speed to get acceptable photos. Also, the bikes were very loud, so we all had to communicate with improvised hand signals. On our final pass down Jefferson, I opted to lean out of the sidecar as far as possible in order to get a low, wide-angle shot of Annette looking like the badass she is. This may not have been the safest decision, but photography seems to work that way from time to time. While rolling back to our starting point, my friend thought it would be fun to jerk the bike onto two wheels, suspending me midair. I gripped the sidecar and remember saying, “You bastard,” before he plopped it back down. Afterwards, my friend and I went to an Oak Cliff bar, where I had to disuade him from starting a fistfight with the bartender. —Danny Fulgencio
When a feature story on ABC Party appeared in the April Advocate, we had no idea how much publicity the business would soon gain. ABC Party makes adorably detailed piñatas. Its piñatero, Alex Sagrero, learned the craft through years of watching a master piñata maker from Mexico. The shop, owned by Elvie and Carlos De La Fuente, has been at the corner of West Davis and Windomere for about seven years, and piñatas have become a big part of their business. The choice words of one presidential candidate helped ABC sell hundreds of custom piñatas last summer. Donald Trump announced his run for president June 16, with a speech insulting Mexicans: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs; they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.” ABC sprang into action, turning out dozens of Trump piñatas every week throughout the summer and into fall. When Trump appeared at American Airlines Center in September, ABC News interviewed Carlos De La Fuente, who was born in Mexico and raised in Oak Cliff: “The more Donald Trump talks, the more money I make,” De La Fuente told the news outlet. “So keep on talking, Donald.”
Caleb Barnard and Marie Sena opened the tiny and tasteful Electric Eye tattoo studio at Jefferson Tower last summer. Sena was a painter and graduate student at the University of Texas Southwestern when she heard about a tattoo artist who would trade ink for artwork. The two became friends, and Barnard wound up teaching Sena the craft of tattooing. “He was instrumental in my development as a tattoo artist,” she says. Sena graduated with a master’s degree in medical illustration and found work creating the art for medical textbooks. Now she is a fulltime tattoo artist, and she continues to take freelance work as a medical illustrator. She also does medical tattoos. In that craft, she can match skin tones to cover vitiligo or disguise facial scars. Most commonly, she is called on to ink fake nipples onto breast cancer patients after mastectomies. “I practiced on myself,” she says. “I tattooed a nipple on myself, and I did one on Caleb. Our friend Eliseo has one. There are a few nipples running around out there.” Sena contacted several plastic surgeons in the Dallas area, and she found there is a high demand for nipple tattoos following breast reconstruction surgery. Insurance companies won’t pay for tattooing because it is considered cosmetic, Sena says. So she sometimes offers discounts for women who can’t afford it. She’s tattooed dozens of nipples on women of all ages. The youngest was 33. “There are so many people with breast cancer,” she says. “It blows my mind.”
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Advocate photo editor Danny Fulgencio put a long day of shooting behind him in April and met some friends for a pint at Ten Bells Tavern. He was surprised to find the DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a group of men and women who advocate for human rights, respect for diversity, spiritual enlightenment and safe sex. The “order” also raises money for charity and performs community service. “We like to bring joy and happiness wherever we go,” says member Paul Pizzo. The group’s biggest annual fundraiser is for Oak Cliff-based AIDS Arms Inc.’s Life Walk. They also raise money for the AIDS Resource Center, Home for the Holidays and other nonprofits. On this night, the Sisters were dressed in their habits and pancake makeup to spread their message and offer cheeky one-liners. Though weary from work, Fulgencio was compelled to haul his lights and camera out of the car for a quick portrait shoot.