Category : Assignments

To whom does the lens point?

 “The camera always points both ways. In expressing your subject, you also express yourself.” Freeman Patterson I’ve always loved this quote. I’m pretty sure that Freeman didn’t invent it but he’s been such a great philosophic educator of photography and has meant a lot to me over the years that I’ll give him full credit for it anyhoo. But I will expand the quote thus: “What an artist shows in their art is nothing less than their self” I was […]

More words from a Master

When I’m in the office I constantly have something playing on my second monitor that I can learn from and be inspired by. I’ve been listening to a lot of episodes of Inside The Actors Studio, that amazing series on Bravo where they interview great actors and directors about their lives and the personal aspects of their craft. I was just finishing the end of the episode with Al Pacino and he said, to paraphrase: “You want to keep trying […]

Hey, make me look good!

I hate to hear a subject tell me to make them look good. Not that I don’t understand their wish to be shown in an appealing way but frankly that’s not my job. My job is to make something interesting out of what I have to work with. Especially when shooting something for a news publication the image has to stop the viewer from breezing past the article my images is illustrating toward the article they are intending to read. […]

Ah, the people you meet!

When I was chatting with the editors in New York I told them that I am usually assigned to photograph people who have never been professionally photographed before unless you count their senior portrait or a sitting for Olan Mills. As a result I am working with rather raw subjects and I am very much exploring mentally the subject in the first minute or so to see where they are coming from while the other part of my brain is […]

Autumn in summer

I got sent off the other day to do a little human interest story on a local outfit that works with impaired adults and has put together a softball league for them. The idea is that getting to play softball helps the ones who are physically limited to get them some exercise and for the mentally challenged to learn to interact with others. They don’t keep score or any of that as the game is an excuse for them to […]

Picture a window

I'm not sure where there idea hit me but I've been glad that I went with it. Since I love to photograph things in a layered manner it often bothers me that I have to deal with things that are very 2 dimensional looking. I often think that it would be cool to be able to peer through something to get to the subject. But in studio-esque situations which are actually on location that often is either in abundance or […]

Previsualizing filter

 There was a day when some hardcore B&W landscape photographers would carry a filter in a frame that sucked all the color out to render the view through it to be essentially black and white. This was to help you visually edit out the color content of what you are looking at to get a better idea of how the colors would be rendered as B&W tones. It wasn’t perfect but it helped. You still had to learn how the […]

I’m not Mark Tucker but …

This has kind of the feel of his longstanding ad campaign for the Jack Daniels. I’m doing a photo project with my friends at Avery Brewing, one of the top craft breweries in the country and luckily not that far from me. I’m focusing on the hands on “craft” aspect of what they do. Unlike 99% of the beer out there the brew that comes from a place like Avery is made by just a few people and is very […]

Something old something new

My wife and I don’t quite belong in this era. She loves vintage fashion and often gets lost in the costumes of period movies. While we are watching a film like Gosford Park, that takes place in 1932, I can hear her thinking “Oooo! I want that dress and that one and wow I love that hat!”. As for me I love to tell people that “I’m totally 80’s … like 1480’s!” meaning that I love to explore and if […]

Up and away!

I've been pretty busy lately as you may have guessed. Lots of portraits and some multimedia work to break things up a bit. I got referred to do a gig for a local non-profit who is trying to protect a large piece of land that is near the foothills of the Rockies from development. Turns out that a neighboring city is pushing to get it made into an industrial park under the auspices that the area around it is already […]

Oh! You don’t want a snapshot?

No, I really don't. Not at all. But I swear that's the conversation that I seem to constantly have regardless of whom I'm on assignment for. For some reason people think that when I show up to make photos I'm going to have them stand bolt upright, put on their best "Olan Mills" fake as hell smile, I'll shoot two frames with an on camera flash and then leave. Wow. I guess if I was shooting for National Geographic they […]

Playing with fairies

I was given an assignment to photograph Betsy who publishes a magazine called Famazon for and about gamers, fantasy, sci-fi, horror and tv/literature from the female perspective. So after a phone call to her it was obvious that she's the kind of sweet and goofy person who makes photography easy. "Do you want me and my daughters to put on our fairy wings and run around the house?" I mean how can you say no to that? Oh no mam, we […]

Behind a scene

Did a little spring fashion-y shoot the other day and thought that ya might want to take a gander. I did it a little backwards as is my usual method. First I didn't want, if possible, to to use typical 19 year old gal who is a size 2 or 4 as the piece was aimed at women in their 30's. We got lucky and found two ladies who are gorgeous but exotic looking in their own right so I […]

Hang around

I'm not sure who first said it but it's totally true. "If you hang around one spot long enough, something interesting will happen". I was at the local home and garden show a while back and knew that something a bit odd was going to happen at the flower sale area. Oh yeah don't 'cha know it – it's just the most bizarre thing in the world (not). So I was just sitting there surrounded by all these potted flowers […]

Making sausage

Being a "foodie" I get a big kick out of photographing the people who grow and craft our food. Cooking is the only art form where all 5 senses are taken into account so in lots of ways I'm jealous of chefs but don't tell them that, ok? They say that the test of a chef is to have them make you soup. It's something where most of the fancy techniques a chef learns, especially those for presentation, can't really […]

Can I contain myself?

I get to photograph a lot of people – all of whom mean something to some one. Some are locally famous, some are widely famous and some deserve to be famous but aren't. It comes with the job, is one of the grand perks and you quickly learn to deal with being around these kind of folks in a professional way. You treat them like, well, people but respect their needs like time pressures and such. You treat it like […]


Hey everyone, meet Annabel Lukins. I had to do photography of her for a profile piece that was going on the cover. She is an organizer of major music festivals around the country and her energy is contagious. I got to read the story about her before I called her to set up the photos which is always a good thing. The story focuses on her tenacity and positive attitude. She had a hard time being in the music industry […]

Party pix

I was sent to cover the hub-bub at the Colorado State Republican Victory Party on the 4th. Anyone who has done this knows that it's usually boring as all get-out. A bunch of candidates, their families and policy wonks milling about drinking heavily – you hope! – and watching tv. Oh yeah!  THAT'S going to make for good photos. Even if yer candidate looses he's not going to openly weep into his scotch so that you can get an good […]

Rising before the chickens

No doubt about it, I'm not a morning person. Dragging my carcass out of a nice warm bed when all is dark and quiet is just not my idea of a good time. However if I can figure out a way to get the photos that I want, sleep is optional. When I got the assignment to do a portrait of triathlete Colleen Cooke, I immediately saw her at dawn. Mostly because those kind of events start at or near […]

No looky

I was setting up up my lights to do this portrait of an inventor with these round windows behind him and just took a shot to see if I was getting a reflection in the glass. I really hadn't even set my exposure yet – just a quick test and thus I didn't bother framing. Huh … it looks like a page from a graphic novel. Schweet!

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