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From the land before iPods

September 11, 2009 Published by . 1 Comment

I was looking for something in my computer and came across this photo I took a few months ago. I was walking through an outdoor lumberyard and spotted this amazingly bright red “boom box” thing that has obviously been the still-working radio of choice for lumberyard staff for at least 15 years.

I think it’s so pretty. I want to throw on a pair of matching Reeboks and jam to some George Michael or something. Who’s with me? Boom box. Max boom for your system.

The giant lumber shelves it was sitting on went back at least 20 feet. Even though it was a beautifully bright sunny day, the light was directly overhead and couldn’t reach into the depths of the shelves, so the camera really caught exactly what the scene looked like: bright light on the front of the shelf with a fast drop to pitch black toward the back. It was really pretty- the kind of sight that looks like a still-life photo even if you don’t happen to have a Canon 5D in your pocket. And it makes you want to jam to George Michael or something. Anyone? Hello?

Olympian needs "non-Olympic" headshots

August 28, 2009 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Today I took Alexandra Yeung‘s headshot: a mountain biker who competed in the 2000 Olympic Games representing Hong Kong. She now lives with her husband, Mike, in Chicago and is working for the City of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. And she’s an evironmental engineer! A very busy woman.

She came to me for headshots because she needed a photo to go along with her bio summary for various print and online materials whenever she speaks somewhere, sends a press release, or any other 2016-related use. I get a lot of requests for this type of headshot and always ask what the majority of uses it will be for, as well as what the person is trying to portray.

For example, a business professional who does a lot of formal speaking engagements might need a headshot that is more formal-looking, with a suit, full, bright lighting, and a mottled background. Yet writers usually request more informal or creative-looking shots for their bookjackets. Alexandra wanted something that wasn’t quite corporate, but also “non-biking” or “non-Olympic,” since she’s not trying to promote her biking, but her more professional side.

We took a few different types of photos, and this one is my favorite. It’s approachable, but kind of cinematic in a way. It presents her in a professional way, but with a bit of creativity that links her image with the fact that she has such a diverse and interesting background. And I think the gaze on her face portrays that too. It seems to say, “ask me about how I was in the Olympics.”

You’re famous, Mr. and Mrs Breen!

August 25, 2009 Published by . Leave your thoughts

A wonderful couple I took photos for in the past just contacted me- they are going to be featured on an episode of TLC’s “A Baby Story,” airing later this fall. Congrats, Jen and Jim Breen! The television show recently filmed and followed the couple during the birth of their second child, which they decided to undertake as a home birth, after being inspired by the Ricki Lake documentary The Business of Being Born.

Here’s where I finally come in… several years ago I took engagement photos for them, and the TV show will be using some of them as footage during the episode. Woo! I can’t wait to see the episode, Jen!

To the Batcave.

July 5, 2009 Published by . Leave your thoughts

Here it is… the first photo to be printed in the new darkroom. Drumroll, please… ta da! When I moved into my new apartment nearly a year ago I asked the landlady if I could put together a darkroom in the basement somewhere and she agreed. But I haven’t gotten around to doing it until recently. I finally unpacked the ‘ol enlarger, pans, cans, and other goodies and set it all up. There are still some light leaks in the walls, but I’m feeling lazy so I’ll probably just slap some duct tape on the holes.

I’d include a photo of the new darkroom, but it’s ugly and small and not very noteworthy. It’s a small space, but I don’t need much room since I’m a small person, so I’ll just refer to it as “cozy.” It’s actually a half-finished or half-torn down (however you look at it) bathroom in an unfinished basement. It has a low ceiling, crumbling drywall, and someone put a random water heater in it. It doesn’t sound too appealing, but it’s nice. It also has a sink to wash prints in, which is great, and a working toilet which is kind of useful actually, since I lose a lot of time in the darkroom and it will be nice to not have to go upstairs to the bathroom after every bottle of water. And maybe when I make more prints in there and give them to people I can chuckle a little to myself… “I peed in the same room I made that photo in. Tee hee.”

I forgot how relaxing, yet exhilarating making prints in a darkroom can be. While printing this photo I felt strangely calm and focused, yet every so often found myself breaking loose and busting a move, dancing to my iPod. Well… busting a small move since I don’t have too much room and don’t want to knock anything over. I’m going to name the new darkroom “The Batcave.” Just because I want to be able to say, “if anyone needs me, I’ll be in the batcave.”

Pow! An explosion of ties.

May 9, 2009 Published by . Leave your thoughts

I got this idea for a fashion photoshoot a while ago, and thanks to stylist Sheyssa Rosado and model David Latimer, I was finally able to make it happen. I saw a photo once of a bunch of ties flying through the air- like they had been tossed into the wind or something- and I thought it would have looked even better if someone was wearing one of those ties.

The concept was to have ties tossed around a model, almost like just the ties were caught in a wind machine but the model wasn’t. Here’s my favorite photo from the shoot… to me, it looks like he’s so cool that he’s immune to wind or something. Or maybe the ties are just so awesome that they keep exploding and jumping all over the place.

Obviously, to get that effect I couldn’t use actual wind. It would be a little annoying to throw ties at David and try to have them catch the wind, then pick them all back up again for each shot. I won’t totally give away the mechanics of the setup, but I will give a hint. A lot of fishing line, wire, and a patient model.

Thanks again, Sheyssa and David!