the “living” regular: preston smiles davis, intelligentsia, silver lake, l.a.

Truthfully, its instinctive energy that has moved me to photograph more than 200 people within this independent cultural revolution so named smdlr.   And, it’s the people who fundamentally inspire the words with which are just apart of the instruments used to tell their stories.

This is the story of the first time I denied that instinct and how a creative wave returned a recognizable human light, which I didn’t know, but have always known.


THE first time I saw him, he walked in alone, but with the company of the world.  I didn’t catch his full face just full movements which were like short legato sentences:  stance at the counter, backward arm tilt to suspenders, hunching of a back uncloaked in a white tee, tight tendrils sunlit by a wooden window seat – all a dialogue of their own without verbal mediation.

I attempted to do the function of the coffeetographer, but couldn’t, wouldn’t.  And so, the moment passed me by, as did the days, until they added up to one week later…

Then, as I found myself in another part of town, in another shop, in another increment of time, he walked in alone again. Impossible?!! So possible! This time, I caught his full face, still carrying the company of the world, with a smile. The coincidences, the parallels, the kindred light that became known as a result of an initial denial that I’ve reconciled as this: divine. The rest will be global history.

This is my friend, that I now know, I wasn’t meant to meet the first time, Preston Smiles Davis.

Coffee Shop : Intelligentsia

Location : Silverlake, CA