Sharing experience, advice, and photos to all with the shutterbug.


Faerie Worlds 2013

Last week I went to an interesting event in Portland near Eugene called “FaerieWorlds” which is essentially a renaissance faire with a heavier emphasis on fantasy. I had gone to their previous event in february called “FaerieCon” in Seattle with my friend who is an artist and vends at each event. I met so many interesting people and there were so many crazy costumes that I just had to go to the big event and see how the ante would be upped. I didn’t want to just photograph costumed vendors in their appropriate setting, like faeries in the woods or fantasy creatures in a stream… I wanted to make a little commentary on where they stood with the rest of the world. It was a very fun and interesting time, you can see my edited story at my website but I’ll be posting the majority of my selects below. Let me know what you think!

edit: I’ll post the pics I shot in february at FaerieCon soon as well.


Staying Connected

Recently I got to shoot some lifestyle images for an agency that wanted to showcase modern technology being integrated into different lifestyles. The tagline was “Staying connected” and I had some time to think about what this meant. Being someone that’s grown up in the midwest with it’s green forests, cold winters and open spaces I wanted to take an approach to the subject matter that said “staying connected” in 2 ways. The first being a reference to technology, smart phones, tablets etc and the second one referring to staying connected with our roots in nature. We shot right here in San Francisco believe it or not and within a few hours we walked away with some awesome images.

What does “Staying connected” mean to you?

Western Circle Sword Fighters

Last week I took a drive to Half Moon Bay with an assistant and a trunk full of lighting gear to check out the Western Circle Sword Fighters’ annual “Best of the Best” tournament.This organization is focused on the martial art of sword fighting of all styles, fighters build their own wooden or steel swords and craft their own leather and steel armor and compete
in full contact one on one fights.
It was interesting to work with because everything was so shiny and metallic and all the fighters were wearing black leather. I wanted to them to have a very dramatic “lit” look, so we
set up a black background with a strip box on either side for a rim light, we used a 5 degree grid to highlight the face and an on-camera speedlight for fill.
We did half body shots of the fighters with their armor and swords, and then tight head shots. The photos were typically taken between fights so everyone was still pumped up on
adrenaline and sweaty. We got to watch a bit of the competition and I can tell you, these guys do not mess around.

Overall I was very satisfied with what we got and I will definitely be working with them again. Don’t miss the BTS video at the end!


1 Minute with Thora Birch

About 2 weeks ago I was asked by Iron Clad Productions out of New York if I would shoot some portraits of the cast and crew of indie film “Petunia” at it’s Debut at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. I happily accepted  and upon arriving at the scene, it was packed with reporters. The green room was very small and intimate, with nothing more than a small couch and a coffee table. The director of the film was seated next to Thora Birch (of “American Beauty” and “Ghost World” fame) and was being interviewed by an independent reporter.

When the interview concluded I introduced myself and told them what I was there for, but they of course were very busy talking with other reporters, producers etc. When I had been informed that the theater doors had been opened I was told that I would have one minute with person. That’s it. I had never been in the Castro Theater green room before, was not allowed to bring supplementary lighting and there people and fluorescent lights everywhere. I found a window and plopped everyone down. The director was up first, Ash Christian:

Everyone was very nice, obviously in a hurry but they were sincerely grateful that I had been able to do this for them at such short notice. Thora was cast in her star roles very well – her personality is very similar to her characters, only she seems much nicer.

The whole shoot took less than 10 minutes and the cast was thrilled with their portraits, as was the production company. This just goes to show that you must know your lighting – I was working on very little information and very little time but I still pulled off a successful shoot and the client was very happy. Of course, it’s best to plan as much as possible but sometimes improvisation is the only way to go. So you’ve got to practice improvising, learn what works, know what you like.

GLIDE Springlicious BTS and updates

Wow, it’s been wayyy too long since I updated last, hopefully there won’t be anymore of that for a while I’ve been terribly busy this past month.
To kick off this blog post, here’s a commercial shoot I did for the San Francisco local non-profit GLIDE promoting their annual fund raiser Springlicious:

This is my 2nd year in a row working with GLIDE and it’s always a lot of fun. The models are all drag queens/kings and the shoots are always a blast. An extra bonus is I always get a couple VIP tickets to the fundraiser which includes free food and drinks as well as a drag show. Waaaaayyyyy too much fun for a Saturday night.

Here’s a little BTS video that they used to promote the event:

In other news, the “Portraits of the 99%” project is still going strong and recently received a 500.00 grant to help out with the mounting of images. I’ve got a dozen or so ready to show and I’m in talks with a few galleries and collectors about doing a show soon including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the financial district. Also, this guy won me an Outsanding Documentary photography award. Very exciting!

And speaking of which, you all should know that IndieGoGo has been integral in getting this project funded and they recently asked me if I would be an ambassador for them! Of course I humbly accepted so if you go to an IndieGoGo meetup in San Francisco expect to see me there as a speaker. And as an added bonus, they want to furnish their office with a few of my Occupy Portraits.

I’m working on a number of things over the next few months so stay tuned, I promise to update more often.

The places I grew up

Some of you may know that I grew up in a small town named Abrams in Wisconsin, just a few miles north of Green Bay. Recently I visited my home town again with the intention of documenting the places I would go to regularly when I lived here. The economy has not been very nice to these cities, with a lot of buildings abandoned or something else entirely now. Things change, and while change can sometimes be sad it can also be beautiful.

Portraits of the 99% – Madison and Milwaukee WI

Over the holidays I made my way out to the Midwest to visit some friends and family and also made contact with some of the Occupy Camps in Wisconsin. I ended up combing their photos because there was a disproportionate amount of people at both camps, but I also managed to catch the “Solidarity Sing-along,” which is a group of about 30 to 50 people who every day come to the State Capitol in Madison and sing anti Governor Walker songs. They all consider themselves to be supporters of the 99%.

I’ve also started working with Marcel Kuemmet of Wisconsin Confidential. We’re working on a video piece about myself and the project for promotional purposes as well as documentary purposes. He’s been filming the shoots and travels as well as assisting me.

Soon the images will be for sale at printed by me on Archival Matte paper to the highest professional quality. If you buy a print all proceeds go back into the project for travel and furthering the project. You can also buy a poster, a book will be out soon and you can just donate a few bucks. Every little bit helps.