Friday, May 28, 2010

Major General Jim Williams for D Magazine

My Dad is a retired military officer, so I naturally have a lot of respect for the men and women (and their families) who serve in the Armed Forces. Meeting General Williams - and later reading his interview that ran with the portrait I shot - I definitely feel honored to have met the man. As a tall-ish person myself, I was immediately struck by how tiny I felt occupying space with him. On top of his physical presence, there's his service record to consider: Major General Jim Williams is one of only 70 Major Generals in the world. He is a Two-star General, which is the third-highest commissioned rank in the U.S. Military. He worked at the White House under Reagan as a Marine military social aide, and went on to command the 4th Marine Division, one of the largest military units on the planet. Then he resigned his commission because he fell in love with his now wife, Maria. She was a teacher here in Dallas and didn't want to leave her job. So he did. How amazing is that?

Here's the shot that D Magazine ran, for their monthly "People of Interest" column:

Thank you, General. It was a pleasure to work with you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I was walking around this afternoon, shooting locations for some personal work. These alleys kept catching my eye. There are dozens of them in this neighborhood, and each is beautiful to me in its own way. I really love the way the light filters through the trees, the full spectrum from highlight to shadow. I also really like the way the paths are uniquely carved into each one.

In a way, the fact that they're unoccupied is also part of their appeal. Perhaps they're not meant to be strictly backgrounds after all...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I stumbled upon the first issue of Respect a few months back, and was absolutely blown away by the concept. Calling itself a "photo-journal of hip-hop," Respect is a celebration of the symbiotic relationship/collaboration between hip hop artists and photographers. The magazine puts it like this: "With the print game changing and the ever-growing amount of free urban content on the Web, there is a need for a publication that raises the quality standard, delivering world-class editorial and images by some of the most celebrated photographers in pop culture."

In fewer words, it's bad-ass.

One of the other cool things the magazine has created is a series of ads, sponsored by K-SWISS, called the self-portrait series. Here is an example, featuring photographer Jonathan Mannion:

What I like best about the series isn't so much the portrait, but the mini-documentaries they post on their website about the featured photographer. Here's part one of Mannion's:

If you're a fan of hip hop, photography, or (like me) both - pick yourself up a copy of Respect.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My buddy and fellow shooter Trevor was downloading some pictures from my G11, and accidentally grabbed this one. He sent me an e mail today, encouraging me to put it on my website or my blog. I never thought much of it, other than as a snapshot of a friend. It's funny, and it's one of the things I love most about photography - sometimes people see things in your work that you don't. Having others critique your work is a discipline I haven't really practiced since school, but I really ought to. It kinda begs the question, "What else have I been overlooking?"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Painter Billy Hassell

I love shooting portraits of artists. It doesn't matter what medium they work in, it's always exciting to get the chance to pick an artist's brain: to talk shop, to see how they do what they do, and where they find inspiration. Obviously, when I got the call to shoot painter Billy Hassell in his studio, I was thrilled.

Painters and sculptors keep the most fascinating work spaces - usually a little cluttered, dusty, and disorganized. Tools of their crafts, reference materials, castoffs, piles of paperwork everywhere... I don't know why I love these messy studios so much - In truth, I prefer to keep my own work space as spartan as possible - but I find other creatives' unkempt workshops oddly compelling.

Some detail shots of Billy's studio:

It turns out that Billy's studio is about eight blocks from my place. We knew a lot of the same people, had been going to the same neighborhood bars and restaurants for years, liked a lot of the same music... In fact, although neither of us knew it until after our shoot, his daughter is my next door neighbor (In my defense, I'm not home a lot).

A couple of out takes:

Billy was kind enough to let me hang out and shoot for a couple of hours. We discussed painting and photography, the future of art, our appreciation for our shared hometown, listened to music and generally enjoyed meeting a new friend. As I was loading out my gear, he was even kind enough to offer his guest a very tasty Guinness. Thanks, Billy. The next one's on me...