I recently had a fun shoot with Jill Vialet, the CEO and founder of Playworks. How could it not be when the founder’s organization partners with schools to promote exercise and social and emotional health through recess, and the shoot is on a school playground? Jill was game for just about anything and the location was perfect. Check out some outtakes and tearsheets below.
It was a busy weekend here in the Bay Area, ending with a sometimes violent rally held at at the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. The event began quietly and then quickly ramped up into violence. I avoided the main scrum and stayed around the edges. However, quite a bit of activity happened where I was stationed near Allston and MLK, where I made the photos below. 13 people were arrested, but thankfully nothing happened as tragic as what took place in Charlottesville a few weeks ago.
I'm really happy with recent this tear sheet from an assignment for lumber trade magazine ProSales. The editor wanted something "other than a person standing in front of a pile of lumber." The subject, Kyle Martinez, is 31 years old but already owns and operates a sizeable lumberyard in rural northwest Louisiana. I decided to ask him to do some pull-ups inside one of the warehouses. What's more youthful than showing how many pull-ups one can do? All involved were very pleased with the results!
I had the opportunity to shoot stills and video last month for the science journal Nature at the University of Houston's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems. There, researchers are working on a bionic exoskeleton that will allow pilot Matt Standridge, a paraplegic, to compete in the Cybathon. The technology they're developing will hopefully allow many others who have lost the ability to walk to do so again.
The assignment included portraiture, stills from the lab, as well as video interviews and collecting b-roll. The video was edited by Greg Kendall-Ball, the photo editor at the publication.
Amy Lampi, a development director at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, is using analytics to help boost fundraising for the organization. The Chronicle of Philanthropy asked if I could shoot the cover photo for the feature on Lampi, and had a great idea that I was excited to be a part of.
The publication wanted to see Lampi seated in the theatre, with individual, random theatre seats lit up around her to symbolize potential new donors. A great idea, but it was now up to me to carry it out. My initial solution was to use grids on strobe heads planted on stage and pointed toward individual seats. I got a wakeup call, however, when I noticed that the light spread, even though I was using 10 degree grids, became too wide once the light made it to the individual theatre seats. To solve this problem, I decided to turn the power down on all the lights and position them right in front of the seats I wanted to illuminate. This created a new problem, that I could now see the top half of the lights in the frame. A quick search backstage and I came back with black(!) towels to put over the tops of the reflectors. With three lights balanced on seats and camera cases, and a reflector with a three-degree grid on the subject (positioned from the stage), we were good to go.
In post-production, I photoshopped out the tops of the lights by copying the top of the seat next to which ever one was illuminated. The editor later also wanted an extra seat illuminated. Again, a layer here, a quick mask there, and voila! - an extra illuminated seat.
Back in March, I got a message on my Blink app notifying me that a photo editor in Finland needed someone to shoot a cover photo for Ekonomi, a Finnish publication for economists. I had the pleasure of photographing Tuija Kalpala at Neste US, a company that produces bio-diesel. A pretty sweet gig, and all just for having an app on my phone.
I'm proud to have another great-looking tear sheet from an assignment I completed for MD Anderson Cancer Center's Conquest Magazine. Travis Arnold, a 17-year old from Spring, Texas, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia - a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. With the help of the doctors at MD Anderson Childrens Cancer Hospital, a half-match bone marrow transplant was performed. Travis recovered and is now a top-rated golfer on Klein High School's Bearkat golf team.
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!
October and November were thankfully busy months. Below are the results of some of my favorite portraits from the last two months.[gallery]
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.
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"]
Toni Hickman, an Atlanta native, overcame two aneurisms to become an aspiring hip-hop artist. Doctors originally told her she would be in a wheelchair the rest of her life. Through her own efforts and the efforts of the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, she was able to beat the odds. We wanted a hip-hop feel, so we used the east-facing wall at Java Java Cafe in the Heights neighborhood of Houston. The owner was very accommodating and even let me use his AC outlet for my lights. Also, we had to shoot on what was probably the coldest day of the year, another testament to Toni's grit and determination underlying her beauty.
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 :-)