Every now and then you meet a person and just wonder – how do they do this? Leaving my shoes in the foyer, I entered into Frank “Kit’ Bruno’s Small World.
I met Kit while on assignment for MONTGOMERY MAGAZINE to shoot their Artist Among Us section on Frank “Kit” Bruno. Kit, founder of F & B Small World creates miniatures. Mostly his work is of Christmas and winter scenes but will include an occasional “rendition” of a famous personality.
His work, which I feature here, is from his home studio in Hyattsville, MD. It was there that he was preparing for his 34th art collection/show at the Maryland Christmas Show in Frederick MD at the Fair Ground on November 18-20th and 25-27th.
I plug that show because it is the greatest opportunity for most of us to view the complete works. Some of his one of a kind works is priced at well over $20,000
However that is not why I write about him. First, you need to read Emily Bell’s article about Kit in the MONTGOMERY MAGAZINE – November/December 2011 edition http://montgomerymag.com/?p=1564 . Then go meet him. He is perhaps one of the most peaceful people you will ever met.
Once you enter his home you can see that it includes a collection of various religious denominational articles – a sort of eclectic feng shui collection of art work set in rooms and outdoor areas that makes you feel at peace as you wander around. Forget the two rooms set aside as his studio – the man has a way of putting it all in sync. I just got to see his show – to see if he conveys the same peaceful atmosphere in Frederick.
As a photographer I was at first very distracted trying to find space to set up a tripod and camera, while locating the assigned pieces and locales within the studio was the biggest challenge. Truth be known, it was my fear of being a klutz and knocking over the artwork that distracted me. The miniatures and their glass housing units cover every inch of space in the studios barring an eighteen-inch wide pathway between the two rooms.
Tranquility set in once I found a series of miniatures and a sunlit corner with a display case where I could set up my Nikon with a 60mm macro lens. I got lost in his work and from that point on (with shoes off) I set up over a dozen shooting locations in the rooms.
As you will see I was also able to focus on him – I love that shirt and tie he wore.
I finished up the shoot; Emily finished her interview and had left as I began packing up my 2001 Accord’s trunk with my equipment. It was here outside of Kit’s house that the klutz part finally kicked in. I accidentally sliced into the top of my middle finger of my right hand – and began to bleed profusely. In the confusion while reaching for a cotton towel I had I closed the lid on my keys in the trunk. Of course the car was locked and my iPhone was in the car too!
I returned to find Kit in the kitchen and together we patched up my finger (eventually the emergency room doctor at Shady Grove glued my finger back together) and then we called AAA to break into my car.
For the next 30 minutes until AAA showed up we sat looking at over 250 photos and Kit wrote down the name of each miniature for me. AAA showed up and used an air bladder to crack the door and pop the lock. It was over in 5 minutes. With keys in hand I returned to Kit’s foyer to put on my shoes.
There Kit sat in his favorite chair – I quickly grabbed my camera – which is always the last item I pack away – and took what I consider to be perhaps one of the best photos of a person I have ever taken. He was at peace as I snapped away ignoring that I had a thick cotton towel wrapped around my shooting hand. I got my shots. Too bad MONTGOMERY MAG did not use one of them.
As I drove away on Oliver Street, the XM station kicked in with Robert Palmer’s “Every Kinda People” and I had my answer how he does it. He makes this small world go around.