M.A.S.K figures

I’m a big toy guy.  I grew up an only child, so a lot of my time was spent playing with toys and making my own little universes inside my head.  One of my favorite toy lines in the 1980’s was Kenner’s “M.A.S.K.” line.  These were cars and trucks that would slightly transform into other types of vehicles or weapons.  For example, a gull-wing door Chevy Camaro could turn into a flying jet-car.  You can see more examples of what the toy-line looked like by visiting the M.A.S.K. Collector’s Guide.

I had most of the first two waves of the toys and cars, and as it was some of my favorite toys I did everything I could to preserve them and make sure they lasted.  In fact, I still have two boxes of the cars and figures in my parents attic, and while visiting recently I went though everything to see how it has lasted since my childhood days.  Most of the stuff is in decent shape; a few things have been lost, but a majority of everything has still survived multiple moves.  I grabbed my bag full of figures and laid them all out on the studio floor one morning.

I also have an obsession with toys that wear hats and helmets.  I don’t know where it comes from, but if it has a hat that can be removed, it’s a safe bet I’ve had it at one point or another 🙂

Anyway, here are my M.A.S.K. figures.  I can still remember most of their names.

Tesia & Grant

Tesia & Grant

I met Tesia for the first time in July of 2010 when she came to me for high school Senior portraits.  Since then I’ve followed her Instagram account as she’s moved all over the country having exciting adventures and watching her relationship develop with her Fiancé, Grant.

They moved back to NH a short time ago, and she contacted me asking if I was available for a session with her and Grant, and I was very excited at the thought of spending time with Tesia again *and* her Fiance and making some portraits of the two of them.

We found a fantastic location at Monson Center, which is on the town lines of Hollis and Milford NH.  I’ve lived in Southern NH all my life and I had no idea about Monson or it’s history, but as soon as I read about it, Sara and I headed over to scout it out, and it’s a gorgeous area.  I am also very late to the party, as the day we headed over to scout, there were three other photographers there with clients taking portraits all over the area.

We met Tesia and Grant on a brisk October weekend afternoon, and we spent a few hours walking the area and making portraits wherever the moment spoke to me.

Tesia & Grant

More examples of Tesia and Grant after the cut:


Camera Lens Watch

Occasionally I’m a sucker for silly things.  I stumbled across this watch that kinda looks like a camera lens, and it was affordable enough that I said “I kinda want that” and so I ordered one off Amazon.

It’s pretty nice, and I like to wear it during my photography jobs.  Nobody will notice, but it’s like a little hidden in-joke and I kinda find amusement from it.

If you want to check it out, click the image link below.

My Moments of Zen

I love album art.  I love the square format and I love making album covers. It started when I was a kid in high school.  I had a big audio cassette collection, and I’d make mix-tapes for my friends.  Not one to be satisfied with simply making a mix tape, I’d make jacket artwork for the tapes as well.  I’d clip things from magazines and comic books and I’d run down to the public library and I’d shell out a few dozen dimes on their photocopier and I’d layer and copy and layer and copy things, until I’d have a multi-fold tape jacket with song tiles and odd credits and I absolutely loved every moment of it.

When I started getting more active with Photoshop and computers, I started making fake cd/record covers.

When I work with bands and musicians, I’ll spend a little extra time with some of the proof images and I’ll make very small cd-cover examples; things I can show the client to give them an idea of what they can actually do with the images we’ve created together.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on album covers with some local musicians and it makes my heart happy when I get the chance to do so.

For me, when I get stressed out and need to relax, I’ll sit down and open up some photographs and I’ll mock-up some fake album covers.  It brings me great pleasure to do this.

There is an example of a recent little “Moment of Zen” when I needed to tune out the world and just relax.  I grabbed a video-still from when I worked with Michael Bellar a few years ago, and I made this.  I love it.

Make sure you give yourself brief little “Moments of Zen”, where you can just spend a little time doing something you absolutely love for no other reason than to make yourself happy.

James Vara • NH Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health (Drug Czar) for The Hippo

James Vara • NH Governor's Advisor on Addiction and Behavorial Health (Drug Czar)

I had the opportunity to meet and take some portraits of James Vara;  who is New Hampshires Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health, also known as the “Drug Czar” (just don’t mention that phrase around him) for the Hippo.  James came to the studio and we spent a little time getting some portraits that would be used with an extensive article on him.

James Vara • NH Governor's Advisor on Addiction and Behavorial Health (Drug Czar)

See a few more portraits of James after the cut: