Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Say it ain't so!

I opened the latest issue of SF Magazine and looked in horror at this image of yours truly. I broke the number one rule of contributor photo etiquette. NO PICTURES OF PHOTOGRAPHER WITH, NEAR OR BESIDE A CAMERA!!NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

On the bright side I was a able to CR a little in the text with mentions of airplanes taken and Communication Arts appearances.

When one door closes another one opens.

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

Wax on. Wax off.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The End is Nigh

We shot a job today. Maybe the last job ever. After cranking out a series of interesting projects the last couple weeks my calender looks like the state of Nebraska.

Over the years I have fallen in and out of love with photography. Sometimes it has felt like a tedious job. And sometimes I have thought I should be farther along than I am. 
The last few weeks have felt like one of those warm Indiana nights driving around in the back of my  best friend's convertible with six beers in me and many more to go.

Two Spreads in SF Mag

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The Communication Arts Photo Annual came in the mail while I was on a conference call. I really liked David Bowman's series and don't miss a great image from Bill Gallery which I thought was terrific.

I was busy googling myself when I came across my name on Jamie Kripke's blog. I think a lot photographers make the mistake of starting a blog and then ignoring it after a couple posts. I told Jamie that if he wanted an audience he needed to write regularly. Sometimes I have nothing to write about (See CA post above) and sometimes I have plenty to say (Detroit ,Fla) The key is to write no matter what. If you write often enough a strange thing starts to happen: you stop lying so much and slowly some of the truth starts trickling in. It turns out that it shockingly hard to maintain a stream of hype, exaggeration and hyperbole without a trace of truth, fear or regret. I am in awe of those who are able to do it but not sure if I have the requisite sociopathic personality to pull it off.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Detroit Chronicles: Bombs Going Off

I had breakfast with Archibald at Cafe Fanny this morning. While solving the problems of contemporary photography we talked about pictures with bombs going off: pictures that have nothing subtle or ambigious about them and have some hook driving them.

The picture above has a bomb going off (the light coming through the tree). The bottom image is almost a picture of nothing.

I tried to explain this to the reviewers at Santa Fe. They would ask what CCTWWWTB was about and I said I am trying to explore the idea of photographing nothing. This was invariably followed by a blank look and they quickly changed the subject.

Next time I approach a rep I am going to push my area of specialty. No one else is shooting nothing. I own nothing.

The Detroit Chronicles:The Bishop

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The opener

I am sitting here in the office fretting about images from the Detroit job. I shot 8X10 film and hope I got something. No digital and no polaroid. Old school. Coming back on the plane it occurred to me all I really need is one shot. One frame. If you nail the story in the opening picture you really have done your job. It needs to tell the entire story in one shot and it needs to work on its own as a photograph. The images on the jump can be supporting and don't need to be great. The cover is often the worst and least interesting image in the entire magazine. I know I got something that will work as a cover and plenty of other solid pix. But...

Just one great snap. That's all I ask.

Detroit Chronicles: Day 2

We shot the Bishop today. He showed up late in his Bentley sporting a pair of phat Gucci loafers that I had the green eyed monster for. I explained we would be shooting in a bunch of different locations and that he needed to get his own separate golf cart because mine was full of gear.

It was as if I asked him if he wouldn’t mind donating a kidney right there and then on the 18th green. It was clear he was not used to doing things for himself. An unfortunate parishioner happened to be passing by and was instructed by the Bishop to fetch the cart with great dispatch.

I was shooting the Bishop in a far corner of the course when the golf pro pulled up in a cart. He waited patiently while we finished and then walked up to the Bishop and handed him a envelope stuffed to capacity. I could not see the contents but it sure looked like a prop from The Sopranos.

In that moment it was obvious things were not as they seemed and I was indeed far far from home.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Detroit Chronicles: Day 1

8x10 camera and a golf cart. Photo Geek Heaven.

I got up at dawn to start work on a story about a golf course in a crappy neighborhood that was saved by a local church. I am shooting landscapes and portraits. I have to say I that Richard Rinaldi's work is in the front of my brain as I shoot these.

I spent the morning with the grounds keeper and was told stories of gun toating pimps in the golf cart barn and still born infants left on the course. He said the place was different at night and not to go outside the fence alone.

I am shooting the Bishop tonight who runs the church that bought the course. I saw a giant Bently way off in the parking lot and asked the local pro whose car that was. Oh that's the Bishop's. You want me to call him? I said no I would wait until tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Malibu Arts Journal

Malibu Arts Journal did a little piece on my work. Not crazy about the Norman Rockwell reference but what can you do?

Outtakes and airplanes

We shot a job this AM in SF and then was whisked off to the airport for a three day shoot here in Detroit. The image above was an outtake from the shoot back home but probably the best thing we shot.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Move over JLO. Here comes TBro

We shot a campaign for an HMO yesterday. Between the talent, stylists, producer, assistants, nurse,studio teacher, agency we ended up rolling in 50 deep.
How do you direct that many people?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New Orleans Chronicles: Day 2

Shot Olympian in Gulf of Mexico . CR'd the light in the water.

New Orleans Chronicles: Day 1

We are in NOL to shoot an Olympian athelete in neighboring MISSISSIPPI. Through some careful web surfing and gratuatis upgrading we are staying in a pair of executive suites at the Ritz Carlton though last night it felt more like the green zone. The essence music festival is going on around the corner at the Super Dome featuring Mary J Blige, Kanye West and the New Orleans Riot Police. When I stepped out of our hotel, cops were everywhere on foot, motorcycles and horseback.

Thanks to gentle blog reader Brady Fontenot I ended up at Luke for a plate of oysters followed by grits and shrimp which was great. Brady is pushing us to try a local place that offers gator but I am a little afraid to go down that road again . I think something broke deep inside me last time I tried that particular amphibian.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cigarettes and Military

We got a call this week from an ad agency for a campaign for the US Military. I did not have much time to think about it but out of my mouth came these words, "I appreciate the call but I have a real problem with the war. So I don't think I can be considered.Thank you."

A few years ago I got a call to shoot a cigarette campaign. I had told my rep at the time that I did not shoot tobacco and we passed.

It is not like I have been printing money and I have way too many mouths to feed here but do I really want to house, clothe and feed my children with money made from a promoting a product that kills thousands and a war I do not believe in?

I am not a particularly moral person nor am I a real do gooder. I tend to do what I want regardless of the consequences but my fear is if I shot one of these jobs I would end up regretting it for a long time.