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

Posts tagged “inspiring

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.


Practice makes (picture) perfect

After nearly 4 months of traveling the country working on my Occupy Wallstreet project, “Portraits of the 99%” I have finally taken a bit of a break to recharge and get the body of work seen by the world. Upon doing some non-occupy wallstreet work, I’ve noticed something has happened: I’ve become REALLY good at making portraits.

Now, I’ve always considered myself a portrait photographer so of course I MUST be good at making portraits, right? Since working on the “Portraits of the 99%” series I’ve become much more observant of the nuances of the human condition within the confines of my frame. Gesture, facial expressions, body language. When I was on the road I had to work really fast because more often than not I was working on limited time and with people who were on the move so I became very sensitive to all of those things. Now that I’ve got the time to slow down and work with my subject things are much different. It’s hard for me to call my 4 month long and counting occupy project “practice” but I think photographers are always practicing while on the job or off. It’s really worth the effort and has made me much more aware of what I am photographing.

So go out and practice, it will improve your photography in every way imaginable.

My 12 favorite blogs for pictures, industry news and a good laugh

My google reader has blown up in the last year. I personally hate getting my inbox loaded up with emails from blogs and RSS feeds, so when I discovered that Google Reader lets you put everything in one place along with providing apps for your iGoogle, android phone and tablet, I was all over it. So today I want to share my Google Reader list with you guys, the blogs I read cover a broad range of things from industry news to awesome photographers to hearty laughs. I won’t be sharing my ENTIRE reader list of course, because not everyone wants to spend the entire morning reading blogs as I get 40-50 entries a day. So, without further ado;


500 Photographers‘ Pieter Wisse digs through archives and various forms of media around the world and finds the most unique photographers that I have ever seen in one place. The collection is eclectic ranging from fine art to documentary to commercial photography and is worth a look for anyone looking for some inspiration. As of 1/17 the list is at 427.

Feature shoot showcases a small body of work from various user submitted photographers. They also have a great section called “Photo du jour” which features a single strong image from user submissions. Alison Zavos, who runs Feature Shoot also works in the photo industry as a photo editor, photographer and consultant.

Industry News

A Photo Editor is hands down the BEST industry blog I have ever read. Rob Haggart is a former director of photography and he shares his stories, opinions and advice for all to take in and absorb. He shares interviews, magazine spreads, real-world photo job estimates and quotes from industry leaders. You’d be doing yourself a disservice to not read and subscribe to his blog.

Stella Kramer is in the same boat as Rob Haggart, she’s a seasoned veteran of the photo industry and she offers her views and advice on a broad range of topics. A large portion of her blog is dedicated to the politics of the industry, especially in relation to historical context.

Strictly Business is the ASMP’s industry business blog and is run by several established professionals. Obviously the blog covers business related topics but believe me, it’s not some boring business 101 class, it’s some of the most useful blogging I’ve read because the professionals who write for it are working NOW, rolling with the punches and adapting to change.

Technical education
David Hobby runs Strobist and he’s all about using small lights to shoot big assignments. Mostly the blog features tutorials on how to shoot certain subjects with speedlights but there’s also great advice on how to tackle the organization of a shoot and how to use your software to the best of it’s ability.

Weather you’re on a budget or looking to to test out your crafting skills, DIY photography shows you how to build any light modifier or tool you can think of, on the cheap and with things you can find around your own home.


Photoshop Disasters features so many hilarious “How did they get away with that?” moments that most of your time spent on this blog will be spent boosting your own photoshop confidence.

We’ve all had difficult clients and Clients from Hell lets you vent about them and read about some of the most ridiculous requests, fits and naivety that you can’t even imagine unless you’ve been there.


If you’re looking for inspiration for your next promo look no further than No Plastic Sleeves. The feature some of the most original and creative promo pieces I have ever seen ranging from a simple series of post cards to box sets with branded disposable cameras in them.

Everyone loves gear so Nikon Rumors is my go to place for upcoming Nikon equipment. The author finds, through various tips and speculation, new Nikon Products and news and presents his findings. It’s really interesting to see how often speculation becomes truth. For those of you non-Nikon users there’s also a Canon Rumors.

This is another really important blog especially for those just getting into the industry. Photo Attorney has articles about copyright, contracts and laws and situations that we will all find ourselves involved with in some way or another.

Thanks for taking the time to check out these great sites. They have been a huge help to me and my own work in Photography. What are some of your favorite blogs?

Down on his luck

I’m taking a break from my Occupy wallstreet posts this week, there will be more of those images for sure because I’m going to LA tomorrow. I wanted to show some images I shot last week, more for myself than anything;

Nic is a 20 year old concept artist who lives in San Diego, CA.
His father, a digital consultant, was the primary bread-winner in the family. His mother worked as an administrator at a low income school. Last year, his father passed away and due to the loss of a larger income Nic was forced to drop out of school and move back in with his mother. There wasn’t enough money however, and their nice SoCal home was forclosed on. After a few months Nic’s mother got a job at a private school that came with a large paycheck and a nice pension. After some negotiation with the banks, they got the house back. The house was empty however, because they had sold off all of their furniture and electronics. The yard had grown weedy, their pool had been drained and their deck is all rotted out. Nic’s mother had a several hour commute each day so he was given the responsibility to take care of the property, quite the load for one young, 20 year old.
The tragedies and stress in his life has forced him to go to therapy but he seems to be managing. He hopes to go back to school in San Francisco because San Diego “Just doesn’t suit me,” he says.

I wish I had more time with Nic, the home he was caring for is beautiful on two acres complete with an orchard and a little creek. I’ve found that some of the best imagery comes from the hardest times, despite the discomfort that may come from holding a camera to your eye in the situation.

Portraits of the 99% Published in the SF Chronicle

After a few back and fourth phone calls and some meetings, on Saturday November 19th the SF Chronicle dedicated not one, but 2 whole pages to the “Portraits of the 99%” (even though they didn’t use that title) and a story about me and the project. The datebook is the Chronicle’s most popular section where it features gallery openings, movie reviews of course, the comics. The Chronicle has a circulation of 1/4 million and is distributed all over California. After it was published I received a slew of emails, phone calls and donations to the IndieGoGo fund. The feedback on this project has been so wonderful and now with the fund raiser in full swing I can do this project right. I’m going to San Diego on November 29th, LA in December and New York in January. I’ll be setting up meetings with various big name publications in New York and LA and I’m talking with galleries about doing a show.

I’m so thankful that this opportunity has come to me and that I’ve been able to do just the things I have done already. But now, I get to take it that next extra step. Thank you, everyone who has donated, everyone who has been spreading the word and everyone who reads this blog. These photos are about you guys, not me. Thank you.

The little portrait of me on the upper left corner of the 2nd page/image was shot by my friend Bonnie Rae Mills. My favorite part of the article was the mention of how cool I think Dinosaurs are and that I wanted to be Indiana Jones.

Occupy California: Portraits of the 99% (Santa Rosa)

Today I made my to the Occupy Wallstreet protests in Santa Rosa, CA. It was a HUGE event, well over 1000 people showed up for it. It was a little overwhelming to say the least. I shot as many people as I could before the march started. Tomorrow we make our way to San Jose…

Note: This project is beginning to span all of California and possibly all of the US so if you want help out in the form of a donation, you can do HERE. Thanks for the support!


Portraits of the 99% Project

Many of you I’m sure are aware of the Occupy Wall Street protests, whether your with them or against them makes no difference to me. I saw the protest as an opportunity to photograph a variety of passionate people from all walks of life so I recently set up a mini photo studio on the block near the OccupySF protests and took over 60 portraits of the individual protestors. Feeling very satisfied with the results of the shoot, I thought it was done right there.

In less than 24 hours after I posted the images they had 4,100 views. My servers crashed. The images started popping up in various places, facebook and social media, news sources and more. People contacted me and told me they were inspired. This project suddenly became much bigger. I have setup a fund to raise money to fly to various other cities around California and do the same thing there. The images will be donated to the Occupy Wallstreet effort, in an attempt to raise awareness of the individuals involved. The money donated will go towards getting flights, train tickets, hostels and fuel to make this project happen. Donors will receive limited edition prints, posters, cards, books and more.

If you don’t want to contribute, that’s fine. But please, unless you are deadset against this movement, spread the word. Forward this to a friend. Post the link on Facebook. Go and “like” the indie-go-go page. This project means a lot to me, and I want to see it through.

Thank you for your time.