52 Portraits, No. 25

I met Barry at a coffee shop in Rapid City, SD. He was standing behind me in line, and I commented on liking the feather in his hat. In an Australian accent, he told me it was from Wyoming, and that he was visiting the western US, and traveling for a few weeks. A few minutes later we made this photo in the parking lot. Pulling a page from Avedon's "American West" series, I shot the image in open shade with natural light, using a piece of poster board taped to the side of the coffee shop for my background. This is probably one of my favorites from the series so far.


52 Portraits, No. 23

Admittedly, I am behind on posting this project on the blog... primarily due to having been traveling/camping the past two weeks, and trying to not spend a ton of time on my computer. Regardless, I photographed my friend Shanon, who is an incredible floral designer & entrepreneur for the project a couple weeks ago. We spent almost a week with Shanon and her husband, Austin, at their home in Northern Idaho, and had a blast... pictures from that to come. Shout out to my wife for doing the hair and styling!

52 Portraits, No. 22

This is Candice, the subject from my NY Times story I posted below.  After we got our shot for the story, I asked if she would be willing to let me photograph her for this project, and she agreed. She was vaping while I set up for the portrait, so I asked if I could photograph her smoking, which she thought sounded pretty cool. A few minutes later, we had this shot. Chill.


New York Times portrait Assignment

Editorial portrait assignments are without a doubt my favorite to shoot. I love working with real people in new locations, the collaboration with a writer, and trying to tell or summarize a story visually through an image or two. The added benefit is the creative freedom that is typically given, and (usually) the overall pace and stress is a lot lower than a commercial or advertising assignment. My latest was an assignment from the NY Times, asking for an accompany image for a story on "Payday Loan" locations, and some new government restrictions on their extreme lending/interest rates. If you have ever looked into it, they are a pretty terrible business model that keep people trapped in poverty cycles without an easy escape, and make credit card debt look fun in comparison. Anyway, back to the assignment. The photo editor at the Times called me on Tuesday night, and needed the image shot and delivered the next morning... not always possible, but luckily I had the morning free. The location was in Bloomington, about a 45 min drive. Once we met our subject(Candice), I did a quick location scout around her apartment building, and came up with my primary shot, a back up shot, and then set up a big white reflector to use as a neutral background for a tight portrait at the end. I decided to shoot my back up shot first, just to start getting Candice comfortable in front of the camera and my self. Once that was knocked out we quickly moved outside to the porch for my primary image. I was really in love with the porch because of the beautiful colors and plants available. To me, the porch also represents not only the comfort her home, but the fact that she is free to keep moving towards her future as well. I wanted to strike that balance in the image as best as possible. The colour relationships were exceptional as well - the soft blue of the sky backing the stark red brick, and the greenish yellow details of the watering can and plants were very pleasing. We set up a small octabox to the left of the frame, in the same position as the sun to help fill out some shadows and give Candice separation from the background, without it looking unnaturally lit to the human eye. We shot this scene for about 10 minutes before heading around to the side of the building in the shade to shoot the portrait on white... but more on that later, as it will be the next piece of my 52 Portraits project.  Thanks for reading, and hit up the comments with any questions. 

You can also read Times article here.

52 Portraits, No. 20

Ben has been around since I first attempted to make a full time living at photography. We were roommates together in Denver, and I will never forget the adventures we had. Both of us moved out there on a whim without really knowing each other, and it is a season of my life that has really shaped me into who I am today, both creatively and personally. We have seen each other at our best and worse, been on awkward double dates together, and both tried out for Ninja warrior together... (seriously, scroll back through my facebook videos!)

52 Portraits, No. 18

Seeing as today is Mother's Day, I had to include my mom in this project. She has supported me through every crazy idea I have had... from my long haired, punk rock guitar days, to dropping out of college to travel across the country, to starting my own business and getting married, she has been believed in me the whole time. Thanks mom! Much love, and I wouldn't be who I am without you.

52 Portraits, No. 14

Ruthie, the other half of 22|44. She didn't know she was going to get her photo taken until about 30 seconds before it happened... but I guess thats what happens when you show up to a studio.

52 Portraits, No. 12

John is the owner and biologist behind Alluvian, a skin care company that makes its products largely from ocean based ingredients like seaweed, salts, and other minerals. He is currently in the process of building a new site and asked me to do some photography for it - ranging from product/still life sets to some lifestyle and portrait scenes. I love working with people that believe in and are passionate about what they are doing, and John is no exception. After we got done shooting last week, I asked if he would mind lathering up in front of the camera with some of his shave cream for a portrait.

52 Portraits, No. 11

My Uncle Ned is this weeks subject for the 52 Portraits project. We spent a lot of family get togethers jamming in his basement on one of the coolest guitar collections you could imagine. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Instead of letting it define his future in a negative way, he has decided to use it as a tool to both strengthen others with Parkinson's, and educate people on the topic. A series of events led him to join a program called Rock Steady Boxing, where boxing is used a tool to literally fight back against Parkinson’s. You can read more about the boxing program, and my Uncle’s story here.

Don't Be Late - Short Film

Growing up, my summers were often spent going on day, or occasional weekend trips with my grandparents to go fishing. These afternoons at various fishing ponds were often followed up with some cookies my grandma would bake for us while we were out. There are dozens of hilarious stores, great memories, and zero notable fish caught from these trips, but they did inspire my first short film. I wrote this project out last summer, and shot right before my Grandparents headed to Arizona for the fall and winter. I wanted to put it out a bit sooner, but have been so busy with client work and travel that I just couldn't find consistent time to really sit down and get into editing and colour. 

Most of my film work to this point has either been advertising or interview/b-roll type stuff, and while I enjoy that, wanted to write my own short out and start exploring narrative work. I picked up the Black Magic Pocket Cam last summer (admittedly an impulse purchase), and it ended up getting used as a B cam on some of the filming we did for Peoria's tourism campaign. We were all pretty impressed by how well it handled some scenes, and how seamlessly it blended in with our RED footage. After that experience I decided I wanted to shoot an entire project with it, and really push it a little harder to see its limitations, and just get more familiar with the camera in general. Over all the writing/shooting process was a tremendous learning experience for me. It was a challenge to make the story work, keep it interesting, and give it the little bit of humor that my grandparents poses, with only 1 spoken line in the entire thing. I also directed and shot the whole thing, which can be challenging to keep your actors doing what you need while also being stuck behind the camera. Thanks to Jordan, Austin, and Rob for helping in various ways, and my Grandparents for bringing the story to life!

52 Portraits, No. 10

My friend Ty - coffee connoisseur, people lover, all around great guy. Ty is also an owner of 3030 Coffee (like Dan below). As I have observed him working over the past few years, I am always impressed by the respect, dignity, and positive attitude he shows every customer who walks in his store. Thanks for being part of the series man!

52 Portraits, No 9

Dan is a co owner of my favorite coffee shops, and over the past several years of going there on a near daily basis, we have become pretty good friends. Dan has always had a pretty cool beard or mustache combination, so I thought it would be fun to include him in the project. We shared a couple beers, chatted about our favorite taco places, and came out with this image.