Monday, December 17, 2012

A or B?

So today I'm going to pull a "Chase Jarvis." ((No, I'm not going to jump on a plane and ski backwards while trying to get some great photos of snowboarders flying through the air...))

Chase has these interesting posts where he shows two photos and then asks his audience which one they like better and why. Why is that fun? Well, when going through a crap-ton (yes, that's a technical term) of photos it's hard to decide which photos are going to be THE ones you show. In some cases, there's only ONE that makes it out to the public and only months and months later do the rest surface.

I had a recent photo session that where the sun was hidden behind the clouds and the sky was perfect.... for about 10 minutes. I had several photos that I liked, but these last two..... I just couldn't decide which one I liked better:



These were made only moments apart, but they look very different. Which would you pick and why?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blogging for the sake of blogging

I recently read a post on my local photographers group Mile High Photographers about blogging and how many photos people post on their blogs. There were as many unique answers as there were photographers.

Some blogged 20-30 images while telling the narrative of the bridal party's day.
Others blogged 10 or so to tell their subject's story.

I usually blog 4 or less.

I can't exactly put a reason to why I blog so few photos but I really feel that this blog is for myself. Don't misunderstand me: I'm glad for all 4 of you that read this... but this blog is largely a place for my to put my thoughts to paper (proverbially). Half the time, I just need to get certain ideas out of my head and into some tangible form so I can sleep at night. My photo journal serves that exact purpose: I can't draw to save my life but getting those photo shoot ideas onto paper lets me sleep at night.

Anyway, I thought I might mention that I plan on doing a full month of free headshots. Yes: Free. Not really "Free Beer" ... more like "Free Speech." I need to get the word out in Denver that there's a new guy in town and I'm going to make as much noise as I can. I need to overwhelm the talent agents with "this Jeremy guy" and "the solid, consistent work" that I make. What better way to do than than to show up to coffee with them with a whole book that I've made of my work?

In any case, if you're in need of a good headshot let me know. I've seen some AWFUL headshots on facebook, model mayhem, and even realtor websites... Really, people... get some good work done.... You don't look like that in person...

Oh look... 4 photos blogged!  ;-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Building a book & Having good teachers


I finally fought my way through building a book: The same book I promised Zack Arias that I'd deliver to him this past May. I had the book printed by Kiss Albums. Here is the unboxing:

The little 4" book isn't big enough to send to anyone, but now that I know it'll look awesome I can send anyone the big one after I get the big one printed.

SO... Yeah: I know... I'm 6 months late on my promise. Why? I finished the book in February and was ready to send it to print when I realized that something didn't feel right. I had spent hours and weeks making this book something that Zack would approve of since his approval means SO much to me. I shot photos I thought he would find interesting. I composed using rule of thirds. I had both lit and natural light shots in it. I showed that I don't just show any photo I think is "okay"....

Then it hit me.

I made the book for Zack.... not for myself. My book lacked MY SOUL. I made the photos but I made them in a way that I didn't love in order to impress my teacher.

I tossed the entire book and started over.

So now that I've made the book for myself.... showing the work that I've not only done but the work I want to continue to do...... Zack is going to hate it. Meg (Zack's "better 7/8ths") is REALLY going to hate it. It's okay. At some point I'm going to have to pony up to the fact that a lot of people are going to hate my work and the only answer is to get used to it. But even if Zack hates it... it accurately shows where I'm at and where I'd like to go... It's more honest... and that's what all of my influences seem to find to be important:

Just in case you're reading this, Zack... YES. You're my Teacher and that title means more to me than I could explain in a blog post.... Maybe over coffee in the ATL.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Finally! My own Motorcycle!

Just a quicky this time:

I scoured Craigslist for weeks trying to find a bike that would meet my needs. I was prepared to buy a bike, then it'd get sold... then another... then another. Finally I found this gem!

She's a 1982 Yamaha XS400 Seca (XS400RJ). She might be 30 years old but only has 10K on her. She definitely needs some TLC, but I think it's a simple enough bike that I can learn quite a bit. 

Anyway, I'll post more pics as I get things fixed up, but the photo above is what she looked like just before I rode her home.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I successfully didn't die today

Well, I survived the day.

Why do I mention "surviving?" Well... I spent most of my waking day on this:

(Photo Courtesy of Suzuki - Here)

That's right, folks: Someone let me not only ride their motorcycle, but taught me how to ride it. The folks down at have Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses that teach you this stuff. Why did I take a class instead of just getting a bike and "learning" how to ride it myself in my neighborhood? Well, mostly because I'm accident prone. I make a regular habit of unintentionally shoulder-checking the wall while walking between rooms so I know full-well that I needed proper instruction on how to ride. 

The second thing I've been thinking about is what type of bike to get after I finish the riding class (and receive my DMV "M" Voucher thingy). The Super Sport bikes look like fun, don't get me wrong... I'd LOVE an old Honda CBR600, but I think I'm going to go with something easier to learn on first. 

(The Honda CBR250 is Captain America's personal choice...)

Now, I've heard all the arguments that a 600cc bike is a great starter bike and that I should skip the 250cc bikes and go right for it. But frankly, after being on a 250cc bike today I don't think a 600cc is going to be confidence-inspiring with all of the power and intimidation that it's going to bring. There's this big thing in the US that dudes ride on big bikes or they're pussies, which is why 600cc bikes are for "starting out" and 250cc bikes are for "women." Frankly, Fuck all of you that think that way and the women should probably go kick your ass and my wife will be first in line. Riding a bicycle for the first time when you were 5 was fucking scary (if you can remember that far back) and you started on a 12" Huffy before you grew into the 20", and then the 26", right? (not to mention riding preferences: road, mountain, kushy seat for your super-sized posterior, etc) So what makes you think that a motorcycle is any different? Forget the fact that you had short legs when you were 5 and all you have is a lack of experience that can scare the hell out of you. I'll be honest: it was scary trying to swerve, and turn, and NOT DIE, while I was trying to figure out what I was doing on the 250cc internal combustion BOMB between my legs.

(Yamaha FZ6R - 4 Gallons of gasoline between my legs makes for a great vasectomy)

Oh... and the other reason why I won't be starting out on a CBR600? I don't have a small penis. Which definitely means I won't be jumping to Harley Sportster 1200 either. Sorry, No Small Penis Here. (Same reason I'll never own a Ferarri)

(Great Kid! Don't get all Penis-y! - The Other Han Solo, Peter Griffin)

I'm sure that after I pass the class I'll have time to think about what bike I'm going to get for my commute and for fun, but I don't have enough experience yet to warrant thinking about a particular bike yet. Not seriously, anyway. I definitely think the look of the Super Sports are cool. The regular Sport bikes like the Yamaha FZ6R (as opposed to the YZF-R6) might be more my style since I could sit up a little better than on a Super Sport. For Cruisers: I'm only 5'7" so I would look retarded on a  Harley Road King, not to mention that I haven't earned it; Check in with me when I'm 50. 

(I can only be the King of the Road if I can actually reach the road)

The whole thing puts me in sort of a "What Now?" scenario. There's a guy at my new Day Job, "Lomax" who actually buys bikes, fixes them up, and flips them for fun. I told him what I was up to with the course and he said that there's probably something we could work out, but he suggested getting an old Yamaha Maxim or something similar between 450cc and 650cc, or even smaller, and just rock it out for a while until I actually have preferences about what I actually want. 

(Maxim the Bike, not Maxim the Magazine)

If I prefer more power? Now I know. If I prefer better handling? Now I know. If I want to pick up chics the wife and have a great night out? Now I know. But its hard to know those things when my experience amounts to the 3 miles I put on a bike while riding it in circles in a parking lot.

(Even hot chics that don't even like me my wife would want a ride.)

I just realized that I'm totally defending actions I haven't taken yet with this post.... Maybe I'll go back and put pics of motorcycles with funny captions to make it a little less... "heavy"... Maybe even apologize to those that bought a 600cc "starter bike"... Probably not though... I just happened to be aware of the small-penis-sociology thing.

Anyway, I'll try to have my cell on me tomorrow and make some pics of riding around. I didn't have it on me today since I didn't want to be distracted, but there was just enough down time that I wish I had it to make some shots of the other riders. 

Oh, and I did NOT take any of the photos in this post. They're all owned by their respective owners and I've linked back to where I got them in order to spread the love. I don't make money from blogging and I didn't profit from their work. This was totally educational. Suck it, Trebek!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Photo Challenge: For Carolina

Hello Everyone,

A while back, I challenged my good friend (and photographer) Carolina Yocom to a photo challenge during a Google+ Hangout. The challenge was something like this: Make a photo of yourself staring dead-on into the camera. The reason? She's very good at making self portraits of herself in beautifully lit poses, but never dead-on from the front. She fought with her photo, but her final portrait was excellent. You can see her photo on her blog.

In exchange, her challenge to me was this: Make a dramatic portrait of myself, but.... don't use off-camera flash. She knew what my weakness was! I light almost everything I shoot. I've spent the past year strengthening my "off-camera flash mixed with ambient light" skills, so being limited to what I could use without using off-camera was a challenge.

I fought with it for weeks...designing and redesigning the concept in my head. Tonight, I managed to capture this:

It's amazing how much you can get sick of seeing your own face while editing (for all 30 seconds that I touched this photo)... How do you feel about self-portraits?

Anyway, Caro, I hope you think I did okay. XOXO.

PS- For the photo nerds that always love to know settings for photos.... I don't know how I shot this... but I'm guessing: 1/2" @ f/8 @ ISO200. Light source is a single shop-light from the shed... probably a 100watt bulb. I dunno... I was busy.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My "State of the Video Games" address

I'll be the first to admit that I was a HUGE gamer back-in-the-day:

  • I would play video games between classes
  • I required that any girl I dated understand that I needed video game time
    • Bonus points were awarded if she were into video games too
    • Double points if she was better at the games than I was
  • PC, Dreamcast, SNES, N64... they were all awesome
Then, for some reason I quit playing as often.... then I quit playing them entirely. I'm not sure if it was because I started co-creating offspring or if my wallet was more sensitive to my gaming habits. In either case, I realized recently that I hadn't played much of anything in a long time.

Caitlyn and I bought a PS2 a few years back with the intention of getting DDR and two pads so we could shake our asses together, but I had a hard time finding the dance pads. No one seemed to have them. So since we only had one pad it made for some slow gameplay. Then, the Kinect came out for XBox 360. No controllers needed, but it DID require an XBox. (damnit)

At my new Day Job, my fellow Newb, Myko, said that he had an extra XBox 360 laying around that he'd give to me. I'm all about the barter system and he mentioned that he would need some family portraits coming up soon. That sounds like a win-win to me! I owned the console for a week before I actually got a game for it: LA Noire. It's an excellent game brought to you by Rockstar Games (GTA, etc).

I'm also interested in getting a hold of Street Fighter when I get a moment.

Myko gave/lent me Soul Caliber 4 (I own SC3 on PS2) and Fable2 but I haven't cranked them up yet.

So anyway, to my point: I started looking through other games that I wanted to get into as well. I've been a HUGE fan of the Hitman Series, so that's definitely on my list. Hitman: Absolution doesn't come out until November, but it looks amazing.

I came across one game in the XBox market place that kinda left me floored. I really don't know if it's the most amazing game I've ever seen or if it's a complete waste of effing time. It's called Lollipop Chainsaw:

In any case, it looks like I'll start slowly making my way through each of these....Maybe not the Lollipop One... that might be a rental. lol

Have any thoughts on what games I should try out? Leave them in a comment below.

Friday, May 4, 2012

An Unfortunate Truth

Above is a photo from my latest shoot that I booked. I really think this one speaks to a lot of us in the photo industry... Clients, Artists, Photographers....

No, there's nothing wrong with your browser. There really is nothing in that photo.

Here's why:

I had a lovely woman book a boudoir shoot with me recently. She was so excited to book a boudoir shoot for her dude that the opportunity had both of us spinning with ideas. She had seen some of my previous work that I had done for a friend of hers and just wanted me to create something unique for her. She trusted me to be a badass photographer and make something beautiful, classy, and artistic. She was, in my mind, the perfect client.

Then, her dude caught wind of the shoot that we had booked... and was furious. The same shoot that she wanted to do for HIM and he was furious. Why? Jealousy. He insisted that I, as a male photographer, was going to sleep with my client and was using "being a photographer" as an excuse to get into the lady's pants. When my client let me know about the argument I was crushed. There are many MANY things wrong with this scenario that I'll apply generally across the board:

  1. I have a wife a three kids, whom I love and cherish. Do you honestly think I'm going to ruin the life I've been working on to sleep with your wife/girlfriend?
  2. Exactly how confident are you in your relationship with your wife/girlfriend that you don't trust anyone (men/women) to be around her?
  3. This boudoir session was a gift to you for being awesome to her and for supporting her through everything that you've been through together and you react so negatively to it. Do you think she'll want to do anything nice for you in the foreseeable future?
  4. The "I got a camera, I'll take naked pictures of you... Ain't no way I'll let some sex-hungry asshole take pictures of you...Go Arkansas!" argument makes you look like a fucking moron. Yes. F-U-C-K-I-N-G   M-O-R-O-N. I'm a professional photographer... and I make a living with the skills that I've been honing for years. You could have the exact same equipment I have and have no fucking clue what you're doing with it, make horrible photos, and then have your wife/girlfriend feel like shit about herself because you're too proud to hire a professional, you fucking moron. 
    1. When your car is broken, you hire a mechanic.
    2. When your roof needs replaced, you hire a roofer.
    3. When your plumbing needs done, you hire a plumber.
    4. When you need a massage, you hire a message therapist.
    5. When you need your dress hemmed, you go get it altered.
    6. When your computer crashes, you hire a geek.
    7. When you punch a hole in the drywall cause you're drunk, you hire a drywall company.
Yes, you can learn about those things and do them yourself... You might be talented enough to follow directions in a book or on YouTube and figure it out... But there's no way to hand you experience and inside information over time that you could possibly do the job with the same expertise and quality that a professional can. When you decide that your wife/girlfriend doesn't deserve the professional treatment that an expert can provide you are devaluing her. Ask her how she feels about being devalued.

No, really. Go ask her how she feels about being devalued. I'll wait here.


People in general make these mistakes on a regular basis... We should consult not just one expert, but many experts, before deciding that we can do this stuff ourselves or hire that expert to do it for us. Human beings are capable of many things, but it's very difficult to master more than one thing at a time, let alone many things. 

Let the experts do their jobs. 

Let ME do MY JOB and make beautiful photos of your wife/girlfriend so that she can present them to you and spark a little romance in your life. (You do want to get laid, don't you?) If she doesn't do it for you, she might just do it for herself and not share the results of her efforts with you. Maybe she'll keep them to herself since you didn't believe that she deserved the best-possible experience. If you don't treat her how she deserves the only pictures you'll get look just like this:

(Oh, and for-the-record: JCPenney, Kmart, WalMart, and Target don't hire photographers. They hire button-pushers, interns, teenagers that took a "photo class", anyone that can check email.... Anyone that can do as their told. They aren't photographers. Anyone that takes their kids to those places obviously doesn't love their kids enough to hire a professional either. Want to support Small Business? Hire a Local, Real, Professional Photographer.)

(Yes, I cuss. I swear. I say mean things, but I'd rather that people that know that the guy behind the camera is a real person and not some fake brown-noser out there to make a buck off of you. I would rather you not hire me because it bothers you that I cuss than run around pretending to be someone that I'm not.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dude, where's my life?

Hello, all 3 of you.

Things have just been crazy lately. I started a new day job which has been taking up quite a bit of my time... Well, not so much the job... but how I've had to rearrange everything and get used to a new schedule:

6:30am - Alarm goes off... I hit the snooze button.
6:45am - My wife calls me from her work and tells me to get up.
6:50am - My mother arrives to watch the kids
7:00am - Leave for work
7:05am - Forgot my wallet, keys, brain... head back inside to collect them.
7:10am - Leave for work
7:55am - Arrive at work in Boulder
5:00pm - Leave work
6:00pm - Arrive home
6:10pm - Eat dinner with the family
6:45pm - Play a game with the kids, Usually Scrabble or Candy Land in Deutsche
7:15pm - Kids get sent to bed
7:30pm - Kids tucked in
7:35pm - Kids retucked
7:40pm - Medium-sized-kid retucked
8:00pm - Talk with the wife
8:30pm - Watch a movie or The Colbert Report with the wife
9:00pm - Wife goes to bed since she has to be up at 2:30am.
9:05pm - Work on lots of photo projects that need lots of attention
9:15pm - Realize that I don't have lots of photo projects that need lots of attention
9:30pm - Realize that I need to promote myself better so that I have more projects
9:31pm - Realize that my client base is now in bed and my opportunity to promote to them is gone for the day
9:32pm - Get depressed
9:35pm - Read about what other photographers are doing and how busy they are
10:00pm - Watch YouTube videos and Flickr streams for inspiration and entertainment
11:30pm - Android Sleep tells me it's time to go to bed

That has been my routine for weeks now. I got tired of it so I made fresh flyers to put up at King Sooper's bulletin boards and Starbucks. Made 1/4 page flyers to pepper the neighborhood around a local high school. I put myself on "sale" which is a double-edged sword; People are interested in hiring me all the time, but only jump on it when I have a special running. It lets me be busier, but it makes me feel cheap.... I hate feeling cheap. I work my ass off for less money.... Most people would quit their job if their boss told them to take a 20% paycut... That's what I do to myself when I have a "sale".... I hope my clients realize that... I love them, but it's hard to communicate how crazy things are when you own your own business instead of punching in and out for your check: When I go on "sale" I literally take a paycut.

Anyway, enough loathing: I was able to schedule a shoot with Cassie a few weeks back. That girl is awesome! We had a plan to borrow a wedding dress and go up the hill and do some sunset/bride/whatever-we-can-think-of shots. Instead, it was mucky an rainy and not what we wanted so we went to Plan B.... Plan B was to put her in a tub and cover her in black... I wanted noir and although I didn't push the noir genre at all we definitely got some cool shots out of it. One them is above, but you can check out the rest on my site: I hope all 3 of you like them.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's not on the back burner...

Hello all 3 of you!

Begin Transparency:

It's been a stressful week. Those of you that are in-the-know know that I started a new day job this week. I know, some of you are thinking,"Aren't you a badass, full-time photographer?" Sadly, no. I have two other jobs in addition to photography. Why? Cause I'm still growing my business at a pace that allows my family to ... ya know... EAT.

When I was a bachelor, things were way easier to budget: I didn't have to feed small humans that can't get a job and feed themselves. If I were a bachelor I could probably afford to eat Ramen and slave away myself into starvation in the name of making are and fulfilling my dream. Since I love my wife and kids more than anything it means I have to do things that I don't really want to do in order to feed them.

Don't get me wrong: I like my new day-job (and to a much lesser extent, my other day job) and I'll work my ass off for them... but I see it as allowing me the pay off my student loan and other crappy bills so that I can leave all of it behind when I can finally quit everything else. In the meantime, I can shoot as my schedule allows, build a client base, and feed the kids.

There's this taboo out there that photographers can't admit that they have other things paying bills on the side.... Maybe I'm wrong about being transparent, but I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not. I'm just like everyone else trying to get by.... The difference is my Number One priority for my photography to feed my soul... Number Two is getting paid. I'm not about to take shitty jobs that I don't like just to make money. Fuck That. (Sorry if you're not a fan of using swear-words to create emphasis.) I would rather be poor and happy with my work than rich and hate where I am. That's precisely why I'm not a wedding photographer. I love my wedding-photo buddies, but I couldn't do that full time.

Anyway, where I am today should look nothing like where I'll be in 2-3 years, or 8-10 years. I'm going to be a full time photographer and not rely on Ramen to feed my family. I need to build up my business and know that my clients are getting a huge value from my work. They value my work. They buy my prints. They share me with their friends. They book me again and again. All because I put my LIFE into my work. That blood, sweat, and tears gets poured into my work in a way that my new bosses only dream I could do for them. People spend money and time on what they value: I value my goals more than most. More on that some other time.

Anyway, to all of you doing shit you have to do in order to do shit you love to do... Cheers! I'm with you.

End Transparency.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

30-50 Project: Update 10

This week, I'm posting my final subject for the 30-50 Project, Krissi.

Krissi is another friend from High School. I didn't intentionally put my friends last on this project, but yeah... I totally did... Oops. ;-)

Krissi was totally excited to shoot with me. We had planned to have her playing in the snow (it was 20 degrees that morning) and getting some fun photos but we also planned to get some really sad photos too... You see: Krissi has gone through a lot this past year. Her husband lost his job, twice. They couldn't get a reasonable unemployment benefit and it left them stressed. That's something we can all relate to in this economy, but something that not all of us can relate to is that Krissi was also diagnosed as being bipolar.

I don't completely understand what it means to be bipolar, but there are apparently different sub-categories of it. Krissi often swings from being super ecstatic about life to dropping to a depressive state fairly quickly. Typically, "Normal People" don't understand what could be wrong with their friends and loved-ones that have bipolar disorder which leads them to distance themselves from the affected person. This can leave those with bipolar disorder to feeling very lonely which only exacerbates the problem. Krissi's husband, John, has learned to be more sensitive to her needs and realizes that just being there for her can make all the difference in the world even if he doesn't completely understand what is happening.

As we transitioned from the happy-snow photos I warned her that I was going to ask her about how hard this past year has been. I told her, and John, that I was going to try to understand more about her disorder by asking questions about it in an attempt to get something really compelling from the session; A session which she loved and felt was therapeutic since she didn't have to hide behind a smile if she didn't want to... But I wanted to shoot Krissi when she was sad...

Why would I do that?

Easy: I love making dramatic portraits, remember? Most of the time we look at a photo and say,"Oh, she looks beautiful!" or "That's sexy!" but somehow photos of someone crying... or upset... isn't pleasing. You're right, though.... Crying isn't pleasant... but it IS dramatic because it's a part of our life. I don't mean "Oh! Look how Emo that 14 year-old girl is! She's crying!" because that's just stupid....... I mean "OMG that woman is crying like she just lost everything..." It's harder for us to look at photos of those who are very sad, very angry, very anything... We only love the ones where we look hot, or happy, or whatever... but being sad is a part of our human existence. I decided one thing last year about myself:

I shoot people, so I need to shoot every part of people's lives: Happy, Sexy, Sad, Angry, Lonely, Birth, Death.... All of it. To shoot only "happy" is a damn lie and anyone who only shoots happy should be ashamed of their craft. (bold statement, I know)

Krissi, Thank You for letting me in your heart and showing the world what I found there. You're a wonderful human being.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

30-50 Project: Update 9

It feels like I've been shooting a lot lately. It feels really good to get out and do what I love. I don't mean that in that funny, stereotypical "Oh, I love it!" kind of way... I mean... having the opportunity to be creative and make something from parts of nothing is an amazing feeling. It's exactly the same feeling I get when playing Legos with my kids.... Making something from parts of nothing.

When I had the opportunity to shoot my friend, Jenn, I couldn't pass on it. Similar to Leah (from last week's post), I've known Jenn for a long time, but we've had an "on-again off-again" friendship. It's embarrassing for me to say, but since I often speak from my heart I say things that I mean, but since they never reach my brain before they reach my tongue... it gets me into trouble. Sometimes I hurt people with the things I say and it totally sucks. It's made me filter out a lot of what I say, but to Jenn (for some reason) I don't filter when I speak to her and as a result we go years without speaking sometimes. This past time we "made up" (I guess that's the best way to describe it) we promised each other to talk it out before we disconnect again. She's a valued friend and an awesome person; it sucks to not have her around.

Wow, for a post that's supposed to be about the subject it sure did turn into a navel-gazing introspection of a daunting reality... I'm Flawed.... in so many ways. ::Adjusts Tie Uncomfortably::


I took some liberty with the Black and White conversions this time. I haven't done that in a long time... I find that I take a different creative direction with black and white than I do color photos... The whites are white, but I drop the blacks through the floor while allowing midtones to remain. The result is what you see here. (I'll probably add some different photos in another post when I sum up the project...These are same ones I posted to FB, but I just loved them too much to pick a different set of 4 for each place...)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

30-50 Project: Update 8

8 posts about this project already? Seriously? Apparently this project has been successful considering I expected roughly zero people to take me up on this thing. Very Cool.

Some of you might remember my next subject, Leah D'Andrea. I've worked with her on her costume design portfolio from last year. We've known each other for a long time, so when I was looking to expand what I do into a completely different direction she was an easy pick. I had been following her work for a long time and really admired it. There's a lot of parallels between fashioning pieces of cloth together and fashioning pieces of life together: They both require foresight, patience, resources, and ever more patience. There's always been something about designing and realizing clothing that has fascinated me.

In any case, she doesn't just design cool stuff; she wears them too. Since she's a costumer she has quite the  outgoing personality and is a natural when acting. Being herself is a little harder to do in front of the camera. I can't say I blame her since I get nervous too! It's a good nervous! If the roles were reversed and I was in a costume at some Con (I've never been to one as an adult... is that bad?) I would be incredibly nervous.

Without further ado...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

30-50 Project: Update 7

Hello again! This week's post is brought to you by the number 7, and the letter D.

In this session, I shot my best friend, Devin. I hadn't intended to shoot any of my friends, but when I put the call out for 30-50 year-olds I had many volunteers, naturally. Devin and I go back about a decade; We went to UNC together. We were roommates for quite a while in college, and then for a few years after we got out of school.

One of Devin's passions is music. Not just music, but rather independent music that you might not have heard of. A few years ago he actually sold most of his CD's in favor of Vinyl Records. Yes, they still make vinyl. Tim Ferris, author of The 4-hour Work Week, said on an episode of CJLive that   "...the book from this point forward is going to have to be art." He was referencing that digital media is so popular from books to music that printed, tangible works are almost a dying other words, "art." I completely agree with this, and obviously Devin does as well. In fact, some of the vinyl records he owns actually have artwork etched into them. They truly are a work of art.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

30-50 Project: Update 6

After the turn of the New Year I started right where I left off with my project. The holidays are such a busy time that it was nice to take it easy for a week or so, but I was glad to get back to work.

My next subject was Yelena. She's from Russia: Born and bred. She actually came to the US for a a good will mission and fell in love with the place. Her husband is certainly glad she came here or they probably would never have met! It was quite a bit of fun shooting with Lena since she has a perspective on Americans that I wouldn't have known otherwise. She seemed really confident, but I could still tell that she was nervous. I've figured out that most people are't really used to having their photo made.... Not just "taken"... but Made. In any case, she did very well! I really look forward to working with her again.

I found myself shooting quite a bit in portrait orientation during this session. I'm usually more comfortable in landscape, but I really felt that portrait would be best for this. I'd also never shot at this location before, but the 85mm effectively nuked the background; It could have been shot anywhere.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Biography

I'm always fascinated to see a great video biography. I was the kid that loved the History Channel when we had it, and mourned it's loss when we had to cut back when I was little. In college, I made sure to get it again. Now that I'm a husband and father I feel a sense of entitlement towards getting it again, but I can't... So whenever I see a small biography video online or in a blog post somewhere I'm compelled to watch it.

I keep thinking that I should make small videos to add to my website... I'm not entirely sure why: I feel like I'd just be an idiot on film. But I want people to be able to connect with me and see who I am... Even if it means that they don't like what they see. I realize I don't have a personality that everyone likes and that's okay... but I think I'm getting tired of "letting my photos do the talking".... It feels like they're talking in Latin when everyone just knows English.... It really feels like no one knows what I'm talking about and maybe a video of me for a small biography would help. But I think it would only help if it really is ME talking... and not just talking about surface stuff... I need something personal to say.

I've tried just talking out loud and telling my stories, but it always feels like I'm tooting my own horn... Not the triumphant stories of grandeur, but more along the lines of how many times I've screwed things up and had to recovery from the mistake. I think everyone has a lot of those stories but for some reason we all hide them and we try to fake being perfect. None of us are perfect; We make mistakes daily. Is anyone interested in hearing my mistakes and how I have no clue what I'm doing? An artist statement with some "woe is me" sprinkled with "I got some cool ideas?"

In any case, here is the video that inspired this post.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

30-50 Project: Update 5

At the end of December I was going through my 30-50 Project subjects with relative ease: I've been staying busy, making some interesting photos, and listening to my subjects tell their stories. My last shoot of the year was the hardest I've ever done. It wasn't hard because of the location, or my gear, or light not working with me... It was hard because of the story. The story was heart-breaking; I don't wish to embarrass them by telling the story, either. It's a grey area because I'm not a photojournalist... I'm editorial... but I think this story needs told... but my conscience just won't let me.

This really could be an instance where the photos should do the talking... All of my subjects for this shoot were trying to deal with things that felt out of their control. They, like many since 2008, have fallen on hard times and are deciding between what they have and what they need on a budget that is failing them and requires constant re-adjustment. I've tried to make some great photos for them so that they could remember this time together instead of hard times... But truthfully I don't know if I succeeded. Their eyes tell the story so much better than I can.

Thanks for paying attention to what I'm working on! I should have the last of the 30-50 Project posted to the blog soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

30-50 Project Update 4

Phillip is the youngest of the bunch so far. In his mid-twenties he has moved back from New York recently. While in New York he's been fighting for Human Rights causes in various places on the African continent. He's planning a quick trip down to Haiti soon to help with the effort there. It's easy to forget that there was a catastrophic earthquake there not long ago! I made sure that I brought one of my Sunpaks and a small umbrella with me on this shoot. Mmmooody...

More updates as they happen! (Which is the dumbest line from the local media I've ever heard...)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

30-50 Project Update 3

Brad was next in line: He's a late-40's actor trying to get some work in the Denver area. He's recently divorced and is trying to get used to bachelorhood again. Brad is a natural in front of the camera it was easy to work with him. Brad was looking for something different than he already had in his portfolio so I'm hoping that I was able to do that for him. Natural light worked pretty well for us here, but I really could have used my flash for several nooks and crannies downtown.

Thanks for tuning in!