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July 20th, 1969: One Giant Leap for Mankind.

It has been 45 years since Apollo 11 walked on the face of the Moon.

Here are some links to help you celebrate that incredible occasion.

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as I wrote previously, the Hasselblad that I own came from the hands of one of the people who prepared the Hasselblad’s that went to the Moon on that historic mission.

This post is in celebration of that man.

Oh, the back on the Hasselblad might look odd to you.  I’ll be talking about that in a future blog post.  Something I’ve been saving up for a very long time finally found it’s way into my hands, and on to the back of the camera.

 

Interlude: Fuji X100S

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I picked up a used X100 last year and I really fell in love with it, despite it’s finicky menu.  I actually did a minor upgrade and picked up an X100S (I say the “S” stands for “Sid Edition”) while hooking a friend up with the X100, and then later helped another friend pick up another used X100.  I seem to be in the market of helping friends get awesome used cameras 🙂

I recently picked up a Fuji Instax printer to play around with.  My X100S has a built-in wifi feature that will work with Eyefi cards, so I’ve been shooting with the Eyefi card, which uploads those images to my cell phone, and then I can print those images on the Instax.  It isn’t as easy as just pulling an instant print with my 4×5 or Hasselblad cameras (or even one of the Polaroid Land cameras I have lying around) but it’s still pretty neat.

The X100S is lovely.  Just like the X100 before it, I recently shot a majority of some assignment photography for The Hippo using just the X100S.  I freaking love this camera.

Gear: Seahorse Cases

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The last quarter of 2016 is going to see some major changes as far as my studio is concerned, and with that in mind I wanted to find some hard-shell gear cases so I could house and organize the gear I use the most.  I’ve been using cases by Seahorse for the last ten months, and I figured I’d talk a little about them and how I’m using them.

Read more after the cut: CONTINUE READING…

Hot Mess

Hot Mess

Let me introduce you to the gang that makes up Hot Mess,
and give you a little behind-the-scenes of our session earlier this year.

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More details behind the cut: CONTINUE READING…

Working on not being afraid to ask: An Introduction

Growing up I was very shy.  I had a hard time approaching people I didn’t know.  I couldn’t even walk up to the counter at a McDonald’s to order food.  It was pretty bad.

Once I got into high school though, I discovered that if I made people laugh, I felt more relaxed around strangers.  In my weird logistical thinking, getting their attention and making them laugh somehow made is so they were easier to interact with.

After graduating high school, I spent my 20’s working in various record stores and video game shops.  Working in customer-service showed me very quickly that you have to be able to talk to people to handle their requests and needs.  With a simple smile and a genuine conveyance of friendliness, I was able to interact with people better.

When I got out of college and decided that I wanted to try to live a life as a portrait photographer, any sense of shyness needed to be completely destroyed.  Photography, for me, is about interacting with the person in front of the camera.  Sometimes it’s more important than actually taking the photographs.  People aren’t used to be in front of a camera.  They aren’t used to lights and strobes and all this equipment surrounding them.  Then you have someone with a camera mashed against their face telling them to look up, or down, or to the side, or close their eyes, etc.  It doesn’t feel natural.

Being able to make someone feel relaxed is imperative.  If they don’t feel relaxed or at ease, you’ll see it in the photographs.

Over the years I think I’ve been able to make almost all of the people I’ve ever photographed comfortable.  The biggest advice I would have is to simply be yourself.  Just be yourself.  Share your story.  Share your passions.  Share why you do what you do, and why you are into the things you are into.  And listen.  Listen to their stories.  People love to be listened to.  And be friendly, and be confident in what you do.  Most of the time, a client has no idea what all this stuff does that you are placing around them.  Talk with them through the shoot; explain what you are doing and what each change does.  Show them that you know what you are doing.  And keep them talking.  I tell my clients that we’ll probably spend just as much time with the camera down and me chatting with them as we’ll be shooting.  It’s an organic process and takes time to get to the shots you want.  But to do that you have to be able to talk to someone, to keep a discussion flowing. Most importantly: be nice.

I’m digressing.  Back on track:

Earlier this year I promised that I’d swallow my fears and I’d start reaching out to people whom I would love to photograph.  Musicians. Actors. Artists. People.  People who have affected me in some way over the last 40 years of my life.  I know some of them probably won’t be a possibility, but the biggest thing for me is just taking that first step and asking.  Telling them who I am, telling them my story, and then asking if I could take a portrait of them.  It’s worth a shot, and the most they can say is no.

This is hopefully going to be a new series of blog posts here on the website that I’m going to call “Don’t Be Afraid To Ask”.  You can’t meet the people you admire unless you ask, right?