100 More Years of Analog Film.

There's always a few really amazing projects you can get behind on Kickstarter

This morning, while skimming through my YouTube subscriptions, I heard about the Ferrania Film Kickstarter via Ted Forbes' really good podcast, The Art Of Photography, which I've talked about here before briefly.

The Ferrania Film project is an awesome attempt to jump start an old film production facility in Italy that used to make great film stocks for still and motion picture, including a lot of classic Italian films like Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, and Pier Paolo Pasolini for many of his films. In the years proceeding 2007, the company slowly went into production decline and ultimately laid off most of their film production team in 2012.

Fast forward to 2013 and the production line was acquired by new company FILM Ferrania s.r.l, which rehired old Ferrania technicians and took over their equipment and buildings. Here's where their Kickstarter campaign...kicks in.

This is a really cool project to get behind, and will likely be the first Kickstarter project I've ever pledged to. Film's future is very much up in the air, and a lot of people whose opinions I trust speak very matter-of-factly about its eventual extinction. As an avid film shooter who wants to shoot film for the rest of my life, such an eventuality would make me very, very sad.  I'm sure I speak for many people shooting now, and those photographers and film makers yet to come along. Its kind of an imperative for us to support this project and do all we can to keep ideas like this alive. 


Fashion photographer Nick Knight has been doing really cool stuff with his SHOWStudio production company - one of the many photographers who’ve taken their careers and influence beyond photography. SHOWstudio produces/houses a ton of dope content around fashion, from fashion films to interviews and lots of stuff in between. One of their recent projects is aptly titled Subjective, an interview series where Nick talks with various models about their experiences with fashion photographers. It’s a really interesting and not-often explored perspective, especially as most of the photographers they’ve done pieces on have passed away. I wanted to share this one on Erin O’Connor’s experience shooting with my favorite photographer of all time, Richard Avedon.

I’m keen to watch this series as it grows. They’ve done interviews with Alek Wek, Kate Moss, and Kristen McMenamy, to name a few, on folks like Avedon, Helmut Newton and Corrine Day.

In other news - tons of new stuff to share over the next few weeks. It’s an exciting time, just trying to keep it going.

Couture Vulture S/S 2014 Lookbook Shoot.

02490007 I'm not sure where I first made acquaintance with Couture Vulture owner/designer Dominique Negrón, an honest guess would be somewhere in my first visits to Hylo Boutiques a few years ago, but back then I was unaware of her work or aspirations, as I'm sure she was equally unaware of mine. Serendipity would have it that our paths would continue to cross and we'd eventually find a project to work on together.

I was super honored that Dom reached out to me to shoot this year's lookbook, and wanted to make sure that the images I delivered were high quality and really showcased her pieces well. We went with a super-simple setup and shot against a white brick wall with one light, high and to the right of the model. The modifier was a beauty dish on a B800 with the sock off for a harsher and brighter light. Most of the shots that were used for the lookbook were digital images, but the ones I've posted here are all film - Portra in medium format (6x4.5).


For the shots on the rug, most of these are actually naturally lit, again on Portra 400. The detail that I get in a roll of medium format film is always exciting to see. The results I got from this shoot, especially with the film and lights, got me excited to try new things this summer. I'm looking forward to working with Dominique a lot more on future projects.


You can check out the new collection and buy Couture Vulture here.


Ikire Jones S/S 2014 Lookbook Photoshoot.

_MG_0111 This year I had the pleasure and honor of again working with my friend Wale Oyejide on the visuals for his menswear line, Ikire Jones. This shoot was different from the many I’ve done with him in the past, in that for the first time there were other gents modeling Wale’s looks. Once I got to the location, it was really exciting to see these guys walking around in his pieces - the patterns and colors are really something to behold, and- seeing them swirl around one another and really come alive- I knew the images would come out dope without a ton of work from me.


After we shot the primary images, I pulled out my trusty Yashicamat 124g twin-lens for a few photos of my own. Between the 12 frame limit on my single roll of 120 Portra 400 and the below freezing temperatures and wind chill we were fighting, I didn’t have much luxury in getting my shots, so I moved as quickly as possible, set the guys up and made 7 photos (7 looks). The meter on my Yashica broke during an unfortunate fall a few months ago, so I metered with the pretty solid Fotometer app on my iPhone and hoped for the best.




The more I shoot film, particularly in a fashion sphere, the more my respect for early photographers shoots through the roof. The limitations these men and women learned to fluidly work around were tremendous. Manually focusing, changing film backs, finding interesting compositions, keeping the talent engaged and game - it’s amazing to think that people did this all year long and were really good at it. After a shoot like this, it’s hard not to wonder whether I’ll ever get to that point.

Photography truly is a lifelong practice.

I’m pushing myself to get to the point where I can rely totally on my film cameras for professional work like this, and it’s a huge gamble because of turnaround times and the aforementioned limitations. I know I’m not totally there yet, I’ve still some learning to do with my equipment, but I think these next few months will provide ample intense concentration to help move me up the ranks.

(You can check out Wale’s designs and get some pieces for yourself at his site, Ikire Jones.)

Out with the Old, in with the New.

kanye-west-quote I wanted to make sure I squeezed in a looking back/looking forward post in before January had slipped away, so here it is, albeit quite late in the month. It still counts!

Looking back, 2013 was a year of wake up calls. Some good, some…just very needed. I hate to talk about these types of things as finite experiences that aren’t as amorphous and persistent as they actually are, but there were very specific things that happened over the course of the last year that really shed light on what I’m doing right and wrong, and I want to try to make the best use of those experiences.

As a noob freelancer, I’d managed to live a somewhat charmed existence. I came into the world of freelancing not having to do much in the way of marketing before I landed some pretty stable, repeat clients. This was awesome as it allowed me to generate income purely through photography - I didn’t HAVE to take on extra work to make ends meet, keep the bills paid and do cool extras like travel or feed my gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) - but what it also did was lull me to sleep as far as building new clientele was concerned, and as fate would have it, client work dried up suddenly, and quite categorically. The sneaky second issue was that I was ONLY shooting gigs - not work I wanted to highlight in my portfolio, and certainly not personal work I wanted to be hired to do at some point. By the end of 2013, work had come to a screeching halt - and while there were lots of opportunities to shoot really cool things and work with really awesome folks in the future, I had to scramble (and suffer) to make ends meet.

It’s a curious balance, divvying up one’s time between paying bills, lobbying for new clients and also honing your practice and producing portfolio work that helps your business grow and progress. You never know when you’re OD’ing on the wrong third of the equation. I won’t even pretend that I’ve figured it out, but I think the greatest potential lies in working backward from creativity. Working every measly gig that comes your way and never making time to flex your creative muscle means you stay in the same spot forever. Of course, you have to find time to market yourself and your work, and I’ve started to develop a system that makes it easier to integrate some of those efforts into my process, but I really do believe it starts with personal work.

...until further notice, that is. Ha!

Last year I also slowly came to the realization that I would like to explore the fine arts side of photography. I can’t ONLY be a photographer that works from briefs. It’s hard to just be a tool when you have ideas that could probably blow the brief you’re executing out of the water. Even more so when it comes to ideas that have nothing to do with promoting a brand. I guess what I’m really realizing is that there’s a place for everything I want to do. Some things deserve (and demand) precedence, and that’s the trick - prioritizing and managing my time accordingly. For instance, I also produce music, and there’s a music project that’s been bubbling inside of me for years now that needs to get out. Shooting gigs that don’t move the needle at all to the exclusion of stuff like that is a travesty and a personal tragedy.

Aside from life lessons - I have been shooting a ton of cool things that I can’t wait to show folks. I shot the S/S 2014 lookbook for my friend Wale Oyejide’s Ikiré Jones menswear line  - including some film stuff - and it looks pretty awesome. That should be launching soon, so I’ll be able to share images from that. Also, I’ve been working with my partners Taj and Rashid at WJS Creative, and we’ve got some really cool projects on the horizon, including a profile series we’ve been hard at work on called Short Journeys. I’ll go into detail about that with a full post when it launches, but it’s given me an opportunity to try things out, particularly with medium format film.

I’ve also been on the ground a lot more trying to shoot with models. It’s a tough grind - I find that between timing and desire, it’s hard to lock something down, but I like that since I made the decision to really push with these types of shoots, I’ve been pretty consistent with my efforts, and when the opportunity has presented itself, I was there with camera in hand. I’ve got a lot of learning to do but I know when I’m not willing to put forth the effort and it doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Much of what I experience professionally and creatively can often double as a metaphor for how I’m learning to live my life - do what you believe in and learn to do it better every day - much of what you want will follow. Kanye’s quote above really rings true with me. He’s expressed this idea in other interviews of late and I think it’s something he’s sat with a long time - I also think he’s working to get very comfortable with bucking that trend. Being creative and doing new things is very much about developing a process that starts with accepting those facts and pushing against them, often to the disapproval of the people around us, or to our own extreme discomfort. Not to get too philosophical here, but especially as time passes and I somehow keep getting older and older, the internal pressure to do what feels right regardless of conventional wisdom ramps up infinitely. I’d like to just keep these things in mind throughout the year going forward, whatever I may be doing.

Here’s to a happy, productive and amazing year to come for everybody!


So many great resources out there for photographers working on their craft, or business. In the absence of formal photography education, these resources have definitely held my hand through the dark over the years. I refer to my experience/skills so far as self taught, but without YouTube, blogs and magazines, it’d have been much harder to figure out my way. I thought it’d be nice today to take some time and share a few of the resources I’ve found most helpful.

  • aphotoeditor: one of the best resources for working photographers of all kinds - less about technique, more about navigating business, client interaction, the overall business of photography and also a healthy dose of trends and overviews of the art world. lots of interviews and opinion from the decision makers for publications, ad agencies and other such art buying folks, too.
  • chase jarvis blog: chase is one of those guys who’s ability to share his insights and experiences has become a business in and of itself - he’s got a show on youtube that he brings great guests on, and not necessarily to speak about photography specifically, but always things that photographers (and other creatives, in general) can use to bolster their art and careers.
  • phlearn: I just found out about phlearn in the past week - finally managed to watch a video they did on youtube regarding the differences between curves and levels in photoshop. demystified! (it’s one thing to know what happens when you play with these adjustments, another completely to understand why it’s happening.) they’ve got a plethora of tutorials and videos that I’ll be digging into over the coming weeks.
  • fstoppers: fstoppers covers the gambit of photography, usually from the standpoint of a semi-working to working photographer looking to grow their skillset/equipment list/business. so, there’s plenty of reviews, articles, tutorials/videos, touching on a range of topics. they also do a good amount of discussion about dslr video production, too.
  • fashion photography blog: melissa rodwell’s blog showcasing and sharing her knowledge as a working fashion photographer, including lots of BTS footage, tips and experiences. definitely fed the fashion photography bug for me early on.
  • the strobist: most budding photographers interested in off camera lighting learn about the strobist early on - david hobby’s pretty much a guru at this point.
  • zack arias: zack arias was the first photographer I felt like I got to know as a person, from the very conversational laid back way he writes, to his brutal honesty about his career, his take on whats happening in the photography world and his awesome portfolio reviews he does with his wife, Meg. the other cool thing is that if you’ve been paying attention to Zack for a few years now, you’ve seen him slowly transcend into a really respected name. super dope.
  • the art of photography: ted forbes’ epic episodic is one of the best things popping on youtube imo. you can tell he’s an educator from the way he speaks, and he has a great knowledge about lots of aspects of photography, from technical stuff like darkroom technique and film selection to fundamentals like composition, to ideas about artistic pursuits and even business commentary. he gets deep, but manages not to drown his viewers. love love love his show.
  • the candid frame: i just happened upon this podcast within the last year while searching itunes for podcasts about photography (there are a few good ones.) this one though, led by Ibarionex Perello (awesome name) is my favorite - super simple concept. he invites photographers from all practices into his studio and just has a flowing converstation with them for an hour or so. it’s a great listen, a great way to get familiar with new photographers or to actually hear some of your favorites speak, and a great way to get inspired to get shooting.

That’s all I’ll mention for now. I recommend all of these, in no particular order. You can never have too many resources.

Redesign/On Blogging.


Burning the midnight oil on yet another redesign - but finally the one that serves the purposes my personal site and portfolio did individually, in one neat residence. Also, A far more sensible hosting platform with a flexibility/cost ratio that makes my pockets much happier.

Of course, there is the dreaded process of going back over my work and editing (read: searching fruitlessly for things I haven't actually shot yet) down to the work that I'd like to show here. A grueling, but necessary process. I won't actually hard launch this site until I've completed that process, and I'll leave the Virb-hosted site up and linked here until that happens. This blogging activity is really only to jumpstart that area of the site immediately - more on that below.

So far I really like the progress here - committing to an identity as respects your work can be a very daunting task, bordering on impossible - so the good feeling I have is one I want to hold on to.




In all the time I’ve been maintaining a portfolio, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to “blog”. In the past I’ve maintained a blog well, and even garnered something of a dedicated readership, but those days are clearly long gone. I’m realizing that I had more time then; I was an office drone with 35+ hours (of required sitting and staring at computer screens every week) to support the kind of mental processes necessary to blog.

This time around, I’m going to keep it very simple and spend my initial energies focused on repetition and consistency.

(This will be the last post I write about posting.)