Painting with light


Yesterday, we went into the studio with a young model we’ve worked with before. Her aim is to build a portfolio that she can show an agency.

When time permits, I’m always looking for people to shoot. And with this, I made it all about experimentation.

The above shot was painted entirely with a flashlight.

One of the weirdest parts of the image was that a red tone showed up in the streaks that didn’t show up in any other photo. I’m not sure where it came from exactly, but it looked pretty damn cool.

This particular shot was a 37 second exposure at f11.


On the streets in Venice


I love these street photos from Venice from our recent trip.

The above one has an eery quality that I personally love, but I can see it will never have any kind of smashing commercial success.

Otherwise, I’m happy with the colors and look of all the images.




A family portrait with oomph … that certain je ne sais quoi


A family recently hired us to photograph their holiday portraits.

The mom really loved a Vanity Fair style portrait of Interior Designers she found in a magazine, and brought it along to the shoot to art direct one of the images.

When I asked her about whether she minded the gear in the frame, she said, “I love it.”

I’m quite pleased with how the image turned out, and honestly never thought a family might like their portrait done in this way.

For the record, I’m almost positive that the daughter did not know that her mom’s hand was on her hip like that.


Becoming mindful … the holiday airplane approacheth.


It’s December 16. This is around the time when the stress of the approaching holidays becomes a bit of a brutal attack on my psyche.

It starts as early as Thanksgiving. And it lasts through the Christmas break.

It’s as if my whole life I was able to improve many attributes about my character, but the failures all revolve around coping with family at the holidays. I’m quite sure I’m not alone.

The stress manifests itself any many ways:

  • an extra beer or two at night.
  • increased thoughts of olden years about growing up in the south and who I grew up with
  • sleep issues
  • inexplicable bitter word exchanges between Tina and me.

Tina gets stressed, too. And if we don’t mindfully address that we’re likely verbally guillotining each others heads off at any spontaneous drop of the hatchet, we may forget that we’re actually best friends AND lovers.

My atheist prayers get answered

One of the hurdles with leaving religion was the automatic excuses to escape praying to a deity about everything from lost car keys, airplane turbulence or suffering the third day of a little sniffly cold.

Continue reading “Becoming mindful … the holiday airplane approacheth.”

Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time is like losing your virginity … that’s what I waited my whole life to experience? Shrug

A couple of days ago, Tina said, “I’ve never watched It’s a Wonderful Life” all the way through. Have you?”

“I don’t think so,” I said.

She looked on Netflix and any other OnDemand service we have and the movie isn’t available like that. In great American consumerism fashion, it’s either catch it while it’s on, rent it or DVR it.

We DVR’d it and watched it last night.

It’s supposed to be one of those top-ten Christmas movies of all time, and many seem to hold it dear to their souls claiming to watch it every year. It’s supposed to be this dear Christmas message. It’s supposed to blow your mind with amazing CGI and light saber scenes.

You’ve probably seen it. And maybe you like it.

But, damn, Tina and i were scratching our heads after it thinking, “What’d we miss?”

The buildup is like virgin sex. You’ve developed this high expectation in your head, and when it’s said and done, the payoff is a frown and a shrugged shoulder.

The message is shitty, too. It’s give up on all your dreams and revel in your failure, because otherwise, your town might have been filled with some really awesome sex shops and vice options.

Or some shit like that.

Another message is that if your hot wife doesn’t marry you, she’ll go to her grave as a hot spinster who happens to become a librarian. Boo hoo.

Jimmy Stewart’s character should have committed suicide so we could at least have a big splash in this pathetic piece of cinematic ennui.


A Turkish worker’s cigarette break


This was my Facebook submission for my fifth and final image to celebrate the five-day B&W challenge.

I love the moment that this 1/125 of a second captures.

It speaks to me through its loneliness. Through its graffiti that I don’t understand.

It’s a moment of introspection. A cigarette break from this gentleman’s work.

It’s a collaboration between his thoughtful moment and the direction of my lens.


It’s beginning to look a lot like that season


You wanna know something?

I miss my daily blogging routine. I miss it a lot. There’s so many thoughts that I let slide, or don’t write down, or don’t keep in the forefront of my mind, because I’m “too busy.”

“Too busy.”

What a bunch of horseshit.

Priorities are what we decide is priority.

We are a good busy lately. We’re doing more of what I love than ever before. This month, we photographed a poster for a marathon.

We did portraits of an interior design duo. We photographed 33 packages of candy. And I photographed veterans who are given job opportunities through our great city’s safe passage program.

It’s work that I’m incredibly proud of. It feels like we’re doing more of what we want to shoot, more often.

I keep telling people that my dream is to photograph people and spaces. But the all-out dreamy-mc-dream dream is to photograph people in their spaces.

And that’s what’s happening. We shot the above this week, and we’re talking to an architecture firm now about photographing their principals.

We’ve been invited to parties that in years past we were hired to photograph it. Our dynamic in our industry is changing. We marketed the messaging that we’re not event photographers. We’re artists. And that message is starting to stick.

I’ve also re-designated time I spend here to marketing our work. I’m not a sales-y person. If you want to work with Tina and me, then I feel that hiring us should just feel right and not some choke hold pressure point that brings you to the ground and eventually kills you.

Or me.

I’ve been having a very artistic conversation with my brother over email lately.

It kind of started over the past year when we’ve talked about art, artists, the approach, the content and the process.

There’s people that inspire us. There’s art that I see or hear and I think, “Why isn’t that MINE?”

But the second I do something artistic, sometimes I struggle to find the “art” in it.

We’ve also talked a bit about religion. My brother loves his faith. He admittedly loves Jesus. He hashtags his work “#doesntjesusdeservebetterart”. And there was certainly a time when I completely agreed with him. Check out his work here and here for a very vulnerable and strong effort to raise the bar on faithful art.

What he’s doing is incredibly important for his cause.

I don’t agree with his beliefs. And that’s okay.

I used to be a very active vocal advocate for atheism. I’m not any more. I think the active movement, in and of itself, is somewhat dead.

I still call myself “atheist.” But I don’t find the passion behind it that I once did.

I also call myself an artist. And as an artist, I do believe that it’s my duty to represent art well, and to share my art … just like my brother is doing.

That’s all to say that I feel like I need to be more active expressing and talking about art. More than I already am.

There was one part of a recent email to my brother that I was somewhat proud of. It’s an idea that might need more fleshing out, but it’s in the context of religion and that if you’re a Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, you’re likely to have been born into a family that also believed that. It’s like winning the lottery. You can’t tell me that happy Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists aren’t satisfied with their familial connection with their form of religion.

On that note, I think I like it when we all feel like we’re close to the same. Said and done, if you’re in the room with someone whose faith isn’t like yours, you will get along. Secularism is the great equalizer. We all know that certain public behaviors create harmony. And disruptive ones aren’t welcome. Here’s a snip of what I wrote on this topic:

When we were traveling internationally, almost every airport had buses ship us from terminal to plane and vice versa. So no matter where you were on the flight (coach or business), the bus at the airport became the ultimate equalizer. On the plane, you can dream about lucky folks in business or first class. In first class, you can scoff at the poor, uncomfortable yahoos in coach. But on the bus, everyone had to wait together. It’s like for 10 or 15 minutes, everyone is the same. Everyone has to face each other. No matter how fast you got though checkin or off the plane, everyone’s waiting in the damn bus.
I like the face to face time. I like the great equalizer.
If a man wins the life lottery by being born into a family who teaches about Christ, and another wins the lottery with a family that teaches teaches about Mohammed, or Buddha, or the zillion gods of Hinduism, they may all be on a flight together, but when do they get to be on the great equalizer?
Thoughts, ideas, responses … throw yourself in the conversation in the comments below.

Yelawolf rocked it at JBTV

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Last week at JBTV, I photographed rapper Yelawolf at JBTV.

When I saw that this show was coming up and it was mine to shoot, I youtube’d his work and absolutely couldn’t get over the amount of tattoos he had. I don’t have one tattoo on my body, but for some reason I love when other people cover their bodies in art.

So I was excited to see what the image would look like. But then when the portrait time came around, I found out I was shooting Yelawolf and his two band mates. The image I walked away with is one of my favorites of musicians to date. I love the leather, the hats, the sunglasses, the ink, the intensity.

Enjoy the portrait and some performance photos.


Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014

Yelawolf performs at JBTV Music Television on December 5, 2014