Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
When this assignment came in, I was immediately excited. There's something very compelling about shooting portraits of athletes; the opportunity to try and catch (or recreate) their bodies in motion, capturing the intensity in their eyes, as well as the intrinsic acceptability of making the lighting and angles punchier and more graphic than other types of portraiture.
The magazine wanted a clean portrait of Justin on white, and they wanted to feature his racing chair. Justin is paraplegic, resulting from a motorcycle racing accident. He now participates in all three events in numerous triathlons. When that season is over, he plays hockey. Not only is he the Wheelchair Racing Director for Dallas' White Rock Marathon, he has also won 3 events so far, and is an incredibly cool guy.
Below is the magazine's pick for their interview, which features one of the toughest pull quotes ever: "When I finish races, sometimes the inside of my arms will be bleeding."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
One of the mistakes I made as a photo editor early on was copping a “can do” attitude when it came to finding photography or making assignments. I figured I would just work as hard as I could and the end result was what it was. The problem with this is nobody factors in the limitations of the job they handed you after you’re done. A Creative Director I worked for once said “we need to manage the expectations” which basically means we need to discuss the limitations before heading off to try and solve the problem. When making assignments this means knowing beforehand what the subject looks like; what the environment in which they will be shot looks like; how much time you will have to make a picture; will there be a budget for wardrobe, hair & makeup, props; is the subject even aware thry’re to be photographed. There is nothing worse than discovering upon arrival of the shoot in the office that what was pitched doesn’t not match what exists.
When it comes to stock, a little investigation into whether there is good coverage of a subject matter is always a good strategy before a meeting. That way you can tell them “stock doesn’t exist so we need to shoot a picture and I’ve not turned up any photographers I like in the area so we need to fly someone in.”
The sooner you have these conversations in the editorial process the better it is for everyone. That way if the stock is crap and there’s no time/budget for a shoot making the decision to still run a story means they don’t care if the magazine looks horrible. At least they know they’re the one’s making that decision."
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Our work can definitley get stressful - it is business, after all - but I think individuals in our field who create stress for themselves and those around them are:
1) shooting themselves in the foot, because the crew (and the client) will remember it...
2) forgetting that a crew is a team. Everyone wants the shoot to turn out well. Nurture the team, and the end product will always be better...
Here's the deal: Creative jobs are, in the end, fun. I don't envy lawyers and doctors: individuals for whom the result of their work could mean the difference between freedom and imprisonment, or life and death. We're just making good pictures. Pictures that tell stories. Sometimes, they're important stories that need to be told, and other times we're just helping advertise something or someone. Either way, we're damn lucky to be doing it.
So, when you can - and as often as you can - remember to have fun. The approach will reflect in your work, and - as an added bonus - you'll probably live longer.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
I've always been a huge fan of this campaign. In fact, I will embarrassingly admit that just last weekend I purchased a small bottle of Canadian Club as a direct result of my affection for these hilarious ads. Hey - honesty is the best policy, right? In any case, there is a fascinating interview with the Art Producer of the campaign over at the venerable blog A Photo Editor. I was very surprised to read that NONE of the images are actual vintage snapshots. That fact - plus many other insights into the business of producing such a work - are revealed here.
Monday, October 12, 2009
My good friend James M Johnston wrote and directed a short film called Receive Bacon that was selected to play at the Shnit International Film Festival in Switzerland. He was very surprised to discover that the festival's graphic design team chose to use my portrait of him as the inside cover of the festival program. Needless to say, I am surprised and pleased as well. I especially applaud the use of his beard for copy placement. Excellent.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Whatever happens, it's a learning experience. And - as corny as it sounds, it's true - you can't hit a home run unless you step up to the plate.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I land at LAX, excited not only for the four days I will spend in La-La Land, but for the journey to SF, Portland, all the way up to Seattle and back down to Reno in the week that will follow. With my head still buzzing from the strangeness of making it there, who should I spy across the walkway from my gate? None other than fellow Texan and all around editorial photo giant - Dan Winters. Mr. Winters is one of my favorites in the field, responsible for a career full of enviable imagery:
Friday, July 17, 2009
I have no illusions about being the first to blog about Dark Night Of The Soul, the collaboration between filmmaker/visual artist David Lynch and musicians Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, however....
In case you haven't heard, 'Dark Night' is a gallery show predicated upon exploring the ways in which music and visual art converge: sometimes in compliment to each other, other times exposing tension between the two. It's also a round-table experiment in artists influencing one another. The Press release puts it thusly: "The artists worked together and were inspired by each other— Lynch making photographs influenced by the original songs that Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse were creating. "
The Michael Kohn Gallery in LA is (as far as I can tell) the only gallery that will host the installation. Lynch's photographs are displayed on the walls as the music Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse wrote play over the gallery's speakers. I walked past the gallery my first night in LA.
So what's the problem? Well, much my chagrin, the exhibition ended on July 11, four days prior to my arrival. According to the website, the limited edition book and CD are sold out.
Just my luck...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Meeting new people? Check.
Packing, unpacking, repacking? Check.
Long flights and long drives? Check.
Ability to adapt in almost any scenario? Check.
That the desire to travel hits me more often than I am able to indulge in it is undeniable. Perhaps soon my career will take me on the road more often. For now, I'll have to make do with personal trips, camera in tow. This week, I'm traveling up and down the West Coast indulging in another of my favorite art forms. I'll be taking pictures along the way, and will try to post something from each city.
I figure it's about time I made this blog a little more 'play' and a little less 'work.'
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Twice a year, I have the privilege of shooting for Small Magazine. Conceived by co-editors Christine Visneau and Olivia Pintos-Lopez, Small is an online quarterly for parents who foster creativity and imagination in their children. The supremely talented stylist Valerie Mangum designed and built the sets (each of which features at least one handmade paper-cut prop) and worked tirelessly to cast and clothe the kids. She also made the paper-cut border that ties the story together. You can take a peek into her creative endeavors by following her blog Only On A Windy Day.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The shoot with Dr. Orsak was replete with false starts, scheduling complications and bizarre parking rules. As an editorial shooter, you get used to these kinds of hurdles. I have to say, however, that once I was set up and had Dr. Orsak on set - he was one of the most cooperative subjects I've ever shot.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
For somebody who loves music as deeply as I do - deeply enough to modestly dabble in the form - it was great to finally get an assignment shooting a musician. Marc started a "School of Rock" for kids long before the Jack Black vehicle bearing that name ever existed. I think people like Marc who encourage kids to drop (or at least supplement) the plastic toggles and buttons of Guitar Hero in favor of actual wound steel and frets are doing future generations an enormous favor.