"The Suburbs" wins a Grammy for best recording package

Most excellent designer Caroline Roberts won tonight's Grammy awards for her design of the recording package for Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" deluxe package released in 2011. Kudos to Caroline and I thank her for her kind acknowledgment. Thanks also to the band and their associates for the opportunity to work with them. I look forward to the next time!  


Bus stop slumber

After a portfolio review in Austin last week and hearing great feedback all around, but especially from Will Chau regarding a quirky-ness in my work I hadn't really defined before, I've decided to post some recent work I made with my Hasselblad. I've also been on a cleaning jag as of late and in the process discovered a bunch of uncut, unscanned negs that I'm going to give a second look. I also have one more roll of black and white film I shot on the way home from Austin that I still need to develop.  

As for the review itself, I must say that I really need to step it up and attend these gatherings more often. It's hard to get honest feedback as a freelancer. We're kind of out here on our own and the opportunity to hear reactions to our work from professionals in the visual communication industry is priceless.


On a whim, I also went out to photograph a typewriter repair man after reading about him in the local paper.  There is something anachronistic about someone who still makes a living repairing old technology. The experience has sparked some ideas about what I might focus on next. We'll see!



Artist Jordan Sullivan at Peel Gallery

I recently had the pleasure of photographing artist Jordan Sullivan at Peel Gallery for Gloss, a fashion and lifestyle publication produced by the Houston Chronicle. Sullivan was a little shy in front of the camera, but I think it's this sensitivity that is a part of what makes him a successful artist. [gallery orderby="rand"]

April portraits

Hi folks,  

I have some portraits I made in the month of April, more or less, for your perusal. Thanks for looking and I hope you're enjoying the spring weather, especially in Houston.





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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A few weeks ago, I had the honor to photograph Chitra Divakaruni for the Houston Chronicle. She is an award-winning author and poet who writes about women, immigration, the South Asian experience, history, myth, magic and diversity. She writes for adults and children, and her books have been translated into 20 languages. Born and raised in Calcutta, India, Divakaruni, 54, teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and lives in Sugar Land with her family.  


Basketball hotshot Jenzel Nash

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Jenzel Nash, the nation's leading scorer at 39.9 points a game. She was great to work with and needed very little direction. As a senior, she is sure to be rocking it in the NCAA very soon. The photos were made with a single 580EX strobe and a STS transmitter. The Pocket Wizards are in the shop, so it's been a good push to try and keep things simple.[gallery orderby="rand"]

Natural light versus lit

Last month I had a couple of portrait assignments that contrasts how I work in different situations. In the first, the assignment was to photograph a long-haul trucker who was having trouble with his CDL license. Initially, I was told his truck would be at his residence. In fact, it was out at a yard that happened to be on federal property. For the moment, my lights are strictly AC powered although that is supposed to change soon. Instead, I had the blessing of a day with full sun, although clouds were slowly creeping in (at one point, we had to wait 45 minutes at a railroad crossing because his truck was just on the other side. Sometimes I really LOVE Houston...). I had him point his truck into the north so the grill would be in the shade. I then used a simple reflector to point the sun back into the shadow and photographed him with a 35mm/f1.4 lens. The next image was more controlled, but alas, the weather was crappy. I think it was Sam Abell who said bad weather makes good pictures. Because the sky was dark, it was a Saturday assignment and I had time and because I had a willing subject who was proud of his home, I was able to pull out some stops and practice my lighting. I lit the subject with a medium softbox from camera left and used a flood camera right to put a hard light on the side of his face and to also light up the house. Because I lit the scene, I was also able to create a more dramatic sky.

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A morning workout with MLB super-star Carl Crawford

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing newest Boston Red Sox player Carl Crawford as he did an off-season workout session in his hometown of Houston. It's amazing to see how hard this guy works out. I suppose I would too if someone were paying me $142 million dollars to play baseball. Nonetheless, I found him to be very humble and down-to-earth. He's a natural athlete and could have been a pro in a number of sports. You can check out the story here.[gallery orderby="rand"]

Making success its business

I covered a story last week for the Houston Chronicle about a neighborhood center that is doing great things for the neighborhood - helping people learn how to file taxes, open bank accounts, and learn basic entrepreneurial skills. I spent a short time with Candelaria Galindo, who teaches a piñata-making class to others at the center. The idea was to surround her by her students' work and put her in the middle. When everything was in place, I said "Sonrisa!" The image made the front page this morning.

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Jesse Dayton comes to Houston

Jesse Dayton is a honkytonk/rockabilly guitarist and singer from Beaumont who now lives in Austin. He's sold a bunch of records over the past few years doing soundtrack work for Rob Zombie films. But his new album finds him getting back to his honky tonk roots with a tribute album to Texas' great dance halls. I photographed Jesse at the La Carafe bar near Market Square in Houston. It was the middle of the day and the place was just about deserted. The very cool bartender, Gavin, let me utilize the place for an hour while I set up and made Jesse Dayton's portrait for the local 29.95 tabloid magazine.[gallery orderby="ID"]

New Arcade Fire tearsheets

On a random visit to the magazine store, I picked up a copy of the Nov. 28, 2010 edition of The Observer, a newspaper from the UK. I happened to find one of the photos I made of Arcade Fire on an inside page (the cover shot is a brilliant portrait made by Carl Lessard [fancy website - it will take some navigating to find his work, but it's well-worth the effort] originally shot for Vanity Fair). I was pumped. Then, I moseyed over to the music magazines and lo and behold, some other work of mine I did for the band is featured on the cover and also some inside shots for Billboard Magazine's Musician's Guide. Lastly, I received an honorable mention in PDN's Ultimate Music Moment contest. For those who don't know, PDN (Photo District News) is an industry magazine for photography. Christmas came early this year, or Hannukah came late, whichever suits your needs :-)


Gregory E. Hall, contractor and coordinator for the rescue of 33 miners trapped in a mine in Copiapo, Chile.

I recently photographed Mr. Hall for Columbia Magazine, a publication published for members of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. We met inside Mr. Hall's sparsely furnished office in a shopping center in Cypress, Texas, about 45 minutes outside of Houston. Not having many options as far as a storytelling environment, I decided to put the 6'8" Mr. Hall into a corner and blow out the background. He regaled us with off-the-record stories of backstage intrigue at the rescue site. It was his "Plan B" that proved successful in recovering the trapped miners. He says divine providence is what saved the men. I personally think it was because of Mr. Hall's ingenuity and vast experience that saved the 33 miners.