I'm here at the studio tying up loose ends, and I wanted to share these two headshots before flying out to Indiana early tomorrow morning to spend the holidays with my family. The first is of Glenn, of City of Seattle's Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (whose staff paid me a visit this afternoon), and the second is of my girlfriend Erika, who was kind enough to test model sans makeup. I'm proud of how both portraits turned out (as well as the rest, to be edited after getting back to Seattle on January 1st). Anyway, it's about time I became much more adept at working with studio lighting, and so in the new year I'm eager to take on lots of headshot gigs. Happy Holidays, everyone!
I spent yesterday photographing Sen. Bernie Sanders' visit to Seattle. The opportunity to follow a presidential candidate around in close quarters at event after event was a dream opportunity for me and something I would definitely love to get used to someday. I'm still culling the photos and can't wait to share, but going to have to. I'm happy to be participating in The Whole U at UW's free family photo day this afternoon (always mixing it up!). Will be back to editing this evening - with maybe a nap first!
After the brunch with Jason Collins yesterday, I knew Hillary herself was going to be in town to meet with supporters who have already contributed the max of $2700. I couldn't attend, but still decided to drive over there. Since the bulk of my #Hillary2016 project is about documenting the whole campaign from Seattle's vantage point, I figured it was worthwhile to get whatever photos I could of this part of the campaign's culture, even if that meant having to feel a little awkward while standing by outside. It was absolutely worthwhile, but I ended up being mistaken about feeling awkward - the Secret Service was very adept at making me feel more than unwelcome and uncomfortable. It's their job, and it worked. Right when I arrived, the man in the photo, who was very tall, stands over me and asks if I know who he is. "You're Secret Service." "Yeah. What are you doing here?" "Hoping to get a picture of Hillary when she arrives." "That's not gonna happen." "No?" "No." Definitely set the tone for me. A friend said that it looked like I was in "timeout" while waiting under the shade of a nearby tree, after the Secret Service had already inquired about me several times to staffers. Normally the energy in my photos of people is positive, warm and intimate, and I think the image at top is a good one to reflect my one-hour experience as the SS's sole person of suspicion; it's a very strange and debilitating feeling to not only be already acutely aware of your outsider status but to be singled out for it repeatedly, particularly in an environment that's overwhelmingly positive for everyone else, many of whom you recognize. I wish I could've been inside. Driving home, I felt very off and tried to sleep it off the rest of the day. I'm not sure I've ever felt so small while holding a camera, but actually probably should've expected it. So it goes, c'est la vie! And if this is the worst it gets in my life right now, life is pretty damn good.
This past Tuesday, Jonathan Vanderweit, Leanna Karg, Bob Snell and I had the opportunity to host an event at our studio on behalf of ASMP Seattle / Northwest. The turnout was really wonderful - about 50 photographers came out. Jonathan presented recent work that was spawned from a creative exploration for a corporate client, while I showed how I've leveraged the power of personal projects to grow my brand and expand into commercial work. It felt like each of our talks provided a good contrast to the other, and the audience seemed to really be gleaming things from our experiences, which felt really good. And of course it was fun to just geek out with everyone afterwards on the deck of our building over hotdogs and beer.
Anyway, here are, more or less, the photos and their pairings I presented with commentary. Some of these are from events I haven't gotten around to blogging yet and a few others were overlooked for earlier entries, but most have appeared here before.They date back to Memorial Day weekend of last year.
Thanks so much to all who came out- such a good time seeing and meeting everyone!
Leaving for Sasquatch in the morning! Last year when Dru Dinero and I went to photograph and review the festival on behalf of Seattle Gay News, I was broke, hadn't booked that many gigs for the upcoming summer, and was feeling pretty sorry for myself. The weekend really helped to turn the year -- and my attitude -- around. Was a much needed break from the office and chance to unwind with a good friend. I've been in a much better place since, and am really looking forward to doing it again.
A white wall, a strobe to my right, and two beautiful models - that's all it takes. So far I've only done one shoot at the new studio so far - for Seattle's HIV Vaccine Trials Unit. The Manilas were two of about two dozen volunteers who modeled for the HVTU's latest campaign. Need to start getting into a rhythm of doing more in-studio work. Performer wanting some glamour shots? For $200, I'll make 10-15 of these for you!
It's super exciting to have my work selected for this for the third time in four years, but what really gets me is the fact that many of the photographers I've looked up to and names I've familiarized myself with since getting a camera also have work in AP31: Christopher Anderson, Chris Buck, Aristide Economopoulos, Lauren Greenfield, Pieter Hugo, Nadav Kander, Annie Leibovitz, Dina Litovsky, Gerd Ludwig, Sandro Miller, John Moore, Joe Pugliese, Martin Schoeller, Art Streiber, Sebastiano Tomada, Stephen Wilkes, and Dan Winters, off the top of my head. Additionally, I need to check out the work of Natalie Keyssar, Lara Joe Regan, and Alec Soth, and noticed three other Seattle-based photogs in the mix - Michael Clinard, Amanda Ringstad, and John Keatley. I'm honored and thankful for the opportunity. Check out the slideshow at http://www.ai-ap.com/slideshow/AP/31/
Not only did I book an underwear shoot featuring pretty women in exchange for a pile of cool t-shirts this afternoon, one of the world's preeminent portrait photographers (click here to see some of his work) reached out on LinkedIn. Time to update my profile!
Marco, if you read this, the add is much appreciated. I highly regard your work and your passion for what you do.
For the last time (we've been on and off for a couple months), Sveta and I decided to stop dating yesterday. So I'm going to be a little up and down this week, but I'm glad for everything that's been. Sometimes things don't work the way you try and hope they will, and that's okay. It's hard, but it's okay.
And a random snapshot from our walk there!
Grandma Helen lived a remarkable life, and raised a wonderful family. I can't get over how beautiful she is in this photo, and what style she had. She was the most proper person I've ever met. She always corrected my grammar, and so I went to school, became a newspaper editor. She still corrected my grammar. I helped my father write her obituary almost one year ago. What a thing to have to do, write your mother's obituary.
Love you, Mom. Love you, Dad. Very much.
Helen Evangeline (Gowdy) Hovey, 99, of Elkhart, died at 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday (April 30, 2014) at Hubbard Hill Estates. Helen E. Hawkins was born April 8, 1915, in Van Wert, Iowa, to Roy B. and Evangeline Hawkins. She graduated from Leon High School in 1932 and attended Simpson College. Helen grew up working in her father’s law firm. There, she attained skills as a typist and a stenographer, which served her throughout life. Her knowledge of English grammar established her as a resource for her entire family. Helen also had a natural talent for music and was the church organist in Des Moines, Iowa. ¶ It was this affinity for music that introduced her to William L. Gowdy. The two married on Aug. 29, 1937, and attended Drake University and Northwestern University. They moved to Elkhart, where they raised three children and Bill developed the choral music program at Elkhart High School. Helen worked for many years as receptionist and executive secretary at the Elkhart Rehabilitation Center. ¶ Bill and Helen enjoyed the music community in Elkhart and were active in the schools and church. They were members of Trinity Methodist Church and, later, First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart. Helen was also a member of Riverside Club, Matinee Musicale, and bridge clubs. Her husband Bill passed away on Dec. 19, 1974. ¶ Helen had experienced tragedy and loss earlier in her life. First, when her 17-year-old younger brother Roger Hawkins passed away unexpectedly before he was scheduled to attend West Point. Shortly after his funeral, she was involved in an automobile accident that claimed the life of her mother, her fiancé, and a close friend. These events seemed to form an empathetic nature and compassion towards others and their hardships. She will be remembered as a gracious, elegant lady. ¶ On June 28, 1979, she married Nilo W. Hovey. Nilo and his late wife Ruth had been Bill and Helen’s close friends. Helen formed a wonderful relationship with Nilo’s family and their children and grandchildren. Nilo passed away on March 14th, 1986. His family was of great joy and comfort to Helen through the rest of her life. ¶ Surviving are sons Roger (Marsie) Gowdy of Charlevoix, Michigan, and Bruce (Vickie) Gowdy; daughter Martha (Michael) Oyer; step-daughters Marjorie (James) Eger of Bristol, Indiana, and Lois (Wendall) Schmoe of Nokomois, Florida; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; and 20 step-great-grandchildren. ¶ She was preceded in death by a grandson, Jeffrey Gowdy. ¶ A family service will take place at Rice Cemetery. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. ¶ Memorial contributions may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart.
I've gotten behind on posting everything that's been going on lately, but will gradually be catching up this blog (as well as the "4 years ago today" blog). So many images I can't wait to share, but have to, because: three shoots later today (and a meeting with my CPA, too!), one Friday and another Saturday, and then two more next week to round out the month. This season's been so much busier than I'd counted on, and much much much steadier than one year ago. I'm in a good place; just really busy, which - I shouldn't have to remind myself but I do when I'm needing a break - is a good thing.
Fantastic news! My work's been selected to appear in the American Photography annual for the third time in four years. There are so many contests and awards out there these days, but the American Photography books are the ones I get most excited about being included in each year. I definitely let out a "Raise the roof!" when I got the email this morning. Guess I'm headed to NYC for the launch party in November again!
Here's more from AP:
"This year’s distinguished jury included Jacqueline Bates, Photography Director, The California Sunday Magazine; Clinton Cargill, Director of Photography, Bloomberg Businessweek; Marvin Orellana, Photo Editor, New York Magazine; Jennifer Pastore, Photography Director, WSJ. Magazine; and Amy Pereira, Director of Photography, MSNBC.
"From 9,376 pictures entered by 904 photographers, magazines, agencies, publishers and schools, the jury selected, by a majority vote or better, only 328 images to appear in the book and represent the best pictures from 2014.
"American Photography 31 with winning work, captions and creative credits will be printed in full color, one image per page and distributed worldwide in November 2015."
Tonight I'm tying up loose ends at the studio before flying out tomorrow morning to Vegas for a week for the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Expo. Excited to be traveling with my good friend Dru Dinero - he says he's going to show me the underbelly of the city. I've never been and am really excited; though, I'm not quite sure what to expect. Guess we'll see! Then I'm back in Seattle for a long weekend and, after that, off to New Orleans for a spell, where I'll be shown around by one of my favorite people in the world, Alfonso Lerma, and will be attending the Society of Photographic Education's 2015 National Conference.
Anyway, here's an epic portrait of my favorite queen from Vegas - Bootsie, whom I met and photographed at Seattle and San Francisco's Court events the last couple weeks. With all this traveling coming up, have had to put the edits (so, so many) from those events on hold. Also, this blog's gotten behind by more than two dozen posts. Oh well, busy is definitely good. Guess I'll get to play some serious catch up later this month!
The lease is signed! Jonathan Vanderweit, Leanna Carr, Bob Snell and I are moving into Studio 412 at the Inscape Arts building, formerly home to Michael Cepress Studio | Showroom. At 964 square feet and made up of open studio space, two offices and a vault for storage, it's near the heart of Chinatown. So pumped.
There's a plaque outside, detailing the studio's interesting history. It reads: "The Assay Office moved into this space in February 1932, but by that time the gold trade had declined. When the office closed for good in 1955, it was the last of its kind in the U.S. Treasury Department. During 57 years in operation, nearly 2 million pounds of gold were processed here. ¶ After the Assay Office closed, the space on this floor was taken over by INS. Different parts of INS operations gradually moved here as the need for detention space on the floors below grew. ¶ In 1995, a TV show starring James Earl Jones as a Seattle police sergeant was filmed here. Jones played a widowed Seattle police officer, and the former Assay Office made an appearance as police headquarters."
How we're all still feeling in Seattle the morning after that goal line interception. This is the only photo I snapped at the end of the game. There won't be any victory photos this year :/
These are some of the shots I've found myself coming back to since I started this blog in May. With captions about each one!
I envy folks who are up on it enough to do those year-end review posts of their favorite photos of the past year. Maybe I'll have a chance to do something along those lines, but January's going to be busy. I'm set on revamping the wedding portfolio, focusing on client commitments, catching up this blog with selects from shoots and gigs, getting the 4-years-ago-today blog off to a smooth start, clearing out hard drive space, doing the books for the 4th quarter, and will hopefully start putting together some contest entries. We'll see where things are at in a month, but anyway, it's the plan. So far ahead of 365 days ago- still not where I want things to be. I guess that's what it's about, though. My favorite quote I read this year was from Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton: "There are so many people that use 'following your dreams' as an excuse to not work," he said. "When in reality, following your dreams, successfully, is nothing but work." Dude gets it.
First up, taking a much needed break from the studio and celebrating the new year with this pretty lady.
Congrats on the anniversary, Mom and Pop. We're all getting old!
I'm not headed to Indiana to spend it with extended family this holiday season - waited too long to get tickets, and prices to fly into Chicago or Detroit and back were easily upwards of $700. But mostly I decided to stay because I've just got too many photos yet to deliver to folks - two weddings, holiday parties, stock imagery for Public Health's We Are 1 campaign, etc etc. Now that I'm an entrepreneur myself, I totally understand my woodworker dad's relationship with deadlines while I was growing up - while still making time for the important things. Yesterday afternoon we had Svetlana's family over for a holiday dinner, tree decorating and gift giving, and I think this snap of Titus is one of my faves of the year. He was having a pretty damn good time, and it totally helped offset the fact that I've been working too much lately and will be missing having an Indiana Christmas this time around.
I've got a backlog of edits to get through pretty much all week long, but here are teasers of one look from yesterday's six-look session with Devonation and two models. Such a fun time! Can't wait to share more faves and to collaborate with more Seattle designers in 2015.
Also, these photos have obviously been toned but are un-retouched!