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?
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.
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.
Quick post today, I wanted to share the interview that KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland did with me on the project last night. (I can’t post the video but you can click the thumbnail and watch it on their page)
I’m very excited at the opportunities that could come of this, some of you know that I have been shopping around for a gallery to hang these images in and this has already gotten me a few phone calls.
The other thing I wanted to share was the jump into color:
I’ve been working on a new promo to send to magazines showing that I am a portrait photographer. I thought what better way to do this then use some of my most well known work but something felt a bit off to me. So now I’ve been playing with really tight crops and color images from the “Portraits of the 99%” series. Let me know how you like it!
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.
Some left overs from my edits of the OccupySF portraits. I was much pickier before about what I was posting, but now I’ve decided that all of the portraits need to be seen.
Don’t forget that you can help me continue this series by donating a few bucks to my Indie GoGo page!