Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

My First Conde Nast Assignment

The day before I was supposed to leave for New York in October, I got an email from Wired, asking if I would shoot a portrait in Boston for them. I had been yearning to shoot for them for literally a year and a half and this was my chance! I rearranged my plans without a hesitation, took a red eye and found myself in Boston at 6am Saturday morning.

My story went live today. They picked my favorite image to run; it is an incredible feeling to see your work in a magazine you ardently admire.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Greatest #2: Non-Photo - Andrea Shear

I found Andrea Shear's work many months ago and was lucky enough to buy an original piece from her. Her work is wonderful in its' gradations of color and spontaneity; it feels alive, instead of overly studied.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Impossible made Possible

When I heard of the Impossible Project a while back, I didn't think anything of it. I thought it was a vanity project that would never have legs and that Polaroid was gone forever.

Well, I am now eating humble pie. Gladly.

From what I understand, Polaroid will be back, but slightly altered I imagine. Exploring it will be a total joy.

When I was in NYC, I was lucky enough to meet with Dave and Annie of PolaPremium which is my #1 place to buy Polaroid (and not just 600, they have all these other amazing stocks, like 125i Silk). They are actually the US arm of the Impossible Project as well as wonderful photographers in their own right. She has a beautiful collage she did with this new Fade to Black Polaroid, which is inspiring.

They are also wonderful people to simply chat with.

I don't think I can effectively communicate how impressed (and selfishly thrilled) I am that just a few people did the hard work of figuring out how to resurrect Polaroid and allow the rest of us to enjoy it again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Greatest #7: Kate Bellm

Last week, I found a few images by Kate Bellm and immediately went to her site. What struck me right away (and left the strongest impression) was her use of flash without the hideous, over-done black shadows that tend to ruin the style for me.

Her work somehow feels cleaner and more thought-out while retaining the immediacy and sexiness the flash creates. As well, her poses are unexpected and exciting, I look forward to seeing her style evolve.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why Tony De Lucci is amazing

Here is Tony lighting a closet. I worked with him over a three day shoot and he was absolutely indispensable and, oftentimes, a miracle worker.

Plus he is a joy to have on set. Funny, easy-going, smart and has the ability to really, truly get things done.

He is on flickr as well. If you can get him, he is worth every penny.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Wonder that is Helena

I was looking through Model Mayhem, trying to find someone gorgeous who would not have issues posing nude and, after 30 pages, I found Helena. She agreed to work with me and once I started shooting her, I realized how lucky I was. There are very few models I want to shoot again and again, but she is one of them. She has a beautiful face that lends itself to an unexpected androgyny and she is a pleasure to work with.

I have shot with her twice now in about as many months and fully intend to do more.

She is exceptional.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More Nudity

I am lucky enough to have another photo spread going up on Nerve today! I really love shooting for them, they give the photographer such freedom and don't shy away from more arty imagery. I would encourage anyone who enjoys nude-shooting to contact them, it's been a consistently great experience.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Going to Detroit

A friend sent me James Griffioen's work months ago and I was in love.

His images of a dilapidated Detroit (and other cities) are the best I've seen; his innate sense of how to shoot the city, moving away from the spectacularly tragic to focus on the everyday, infusing it with a feeling of loss, intimacy, and history all without being sentimental.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When It Works

My latest shoot with, along with Dunlin, was the greatest commercial job I've had thus far. They were incredibly kind, gracious, easy-going and thoughtful. Moreover, they just let me do my thing, giving helpful feedback as we went along.

While I am truly excited by the images (and our having come up with 50+ different poses), the memory of a wonderful shoot, wherein everything worked effortlessly, is incredibly gratifying.

Comm Arts Fresh

It's such a thrill to be on Communication Arts - Fresh this week!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oh Weddings

It seems that I have hit the age wherein everyone is getting married. It is difficult to get photos during a wedding that are not overwhelmed by the event, but I was at a wedding last weekend and during the toasts I saw this. I know the mood is utterly contrary to a nuptial celebration, but I was very pleased with it.

I've Started an Etsy Store

After a recent show of my work, it was suggested that I open a store on Etsy where people could buy small prints of mine. So I did.

It's mostly landscapes and still lifes with a few disembodied legs and hands. The prints are 5x7 inches on BFK Rives watercolor paper, which is my favorite: textured, heavy and atmosphere-enhancing.

To keep it exciting, I am going to continually add a new favorite image each month!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Greatest #7: Elinor Carucci

I was in the Bay Area last week doing my first nude shoot when a friend asked if I wanted to see Elinor Carucci speak at SF CameraWork about the re-release of her book, Closer. I'd never heard of her before, but I was blown away by her work and thought it might be helpful reference for my editorial. Her personal work covers a wide range: from her husband to her parents to nudes of herself, moving from adolescence to marriage (and not shying away from domestic problems) to parenthood.
I love the work in Closer above all else, it feels unexpected, unguarded and immediate, as well Carucci is gorgeous, intense and beguiling; as a subject she brings much to the image.
Her commercial/editorial work is wonderful as well, it bears her style, sometimes leading to striking results (Dame Edna's mouth).
She is truly remarkable, in every way: an animated, witty and gracious public speaker, a memorable photographer and a seemingly genuine, normal person unaffected by her success.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Greatest #6: Corey Seeholzer

I was reading J. Wesley Brown's blog a while back and saw his post on Corey Seeholzer. I emailed Corey and then had coffee with him. He is lovely.
His work, to me, is a perfect example of what retouching and digital photography should be. It bears the mark of being done by one photographer, while maintaining a genuine sense of intimacy and emotion with his subjects.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Being Nekid

I recently discovered that I love shooting semi-nudes; I was admiring some of Bryan Sheffield's work a while back and felt very inspired. I did a semi-nude fashion lingerie spread (images forth-coming), a Nerve "date" followed and another shoot at the end of this month.

My first shoot for just went live. I was excited to be asked to shoot something for them; they have such incredible people on their site and find many new, impressive photographers whom I haven't heard of: it's an endless resource.

My friend, who is a beautiful burlesque dancer was kind enough to be my subject, while also getting me into an actual burlesque show I could shoot on the fly. The dancers are all delightful and enchantingly performative, making the whole shooting process quite easy.

The editor, Agatha Wasilewska, was a dream. She has a spectacular eye and does a great edit.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Photography Movies

Someone brought up movies in which a character is a photographer (or somehow in that milieu) the other day, and I begin to think about two things:

1. Movies that are great inspiration visually (some have terrible plot lines and/or acting but are worth watching)
2. Movie that have photography in them

Since lists are such fun, here I go:

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Days of Heaven
The Portrait of a Lady
Twin Peaks (TV Series ONLY)
Clockwork Orange
City of Lost Children
Blade Runner
Love & Death
Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains
Sympathy for Lady Vengence
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1970's version)
Magnificent Obsession
Imitation of Life
The Rolling Stones' Rock n' Roll Circus
Julien Donkey-Boy

The Eyes of Laura Mars
The Sentinel (1970's version)
Rear Window

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Greatest #5: Katie Shapiro

I am always envious of those photographers who can take something everyday, something no one (or atleast I) would never notice and bring it to life with their unqiue eye. I was in the best lab left standing in LA, The Icon, when I saw the card for a show of Katie Shapiro's new work. I went to her site and she has this very quiet, unobstrusive way about her images, but they are striking; I never thought I would find urban plant life compelling.

IPA Award!

I recently found out both my submissions to the International Photography Awards won Honorable Mention!

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Promos

I thoroughly enjoy promotional materials and had a new set done for an unbelievable price by the amazing people at Next Day Flyers. They are on thick, creamy card stock and look like actual, to size Polaroids. I love them!

I now pass these out indiscriminately and save the iphoto books for larger, cohesive bodies of work that showcase things not in my portfolio, namely images shot digitally.
If you'd like a set, pls feel free to email me with your address.

As well, I got new buckslips from Delphine Press, who makes the most gorgeous letterpress stationary. I have been waiting months for these, as they have a long waiting list, and it was worth it.

The Greatest #4: Hilary Walsh

I was roaming around on the web today and I found the work of Hilary Walsh. While I'm not wild about everything in her portfolio, she is remarkable with color and has a restrained playfulness. Her work for Current Elliott (Fall '09) is quite nice; I'm always a fan of natural light and the world she made is replete is atmosphere and subtly dramatic.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My First Covers

I have been looking forward to September for a long time, my covers for both Venus and Prestige magazines come out today!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Fury

A friend just sent me a link to some natural disaster photography which is somewhat unbelievable looking. The details in the real beasts (in comparison to those in movies) are impressive; the way sand and dirt haloes around them, the many forms the lightning takes as it branches down. It's rather exacting and harmonious, while also intimidating.
These images make one wonder how the photogs got the shot; the pros seem to have an understanding of how the things move and lash out that allows to shoot at the right moment. I particularly like the photos of the very textured, bulbous cloudy skies, wish I could find some in California.

The Greatest #1: Non-Photo - Deanna Staffo

I have been pals with Deanna Staffo for years at this point, but I first fell in love with her work when I saw her award-winning self-promo of kids from 1980's cult films on

I own two original pieces of hers and I am continually impressed by the caliber of her work, which has only become more remarkable over time. To me, her work walks that fine line of something delicate and beautiful, but there's a feeling of a dark, uncertain other world, of a landscape I've never seen before in which her style, characters and stories reside. As well, her work reminds me of that of Egon Schiele who is one my all time favorites.

I begged her to do my logo (above) and it was perfect upon the first draft.

Sufficeth to say, I think her work is singularly inspiring.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I was very late to the blogging table, but I have found those of others to be wonderful, endless, inspiring resources.

I was lucky enough to be featured on Alison Zavos' wonderful blog Feature Shoot this week, which I love reading, she features many amazing photographers I didn't know about.

A few others I check in on nearly every week:

Vain & Vapid
We Can Shoot Too
Heather Smith Jones
The Year in Pictures
Lisa Wiseman

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dunlin Site is Up!

I shot a campaign for one of my all time favorite bag companies, Dunlin, and it just went live!

I love the way the concept was executed; the old photos of the city passing through what we shot give the images a richer atmosphere and darker sensibility.

I have been looking forward to posting this shoot for months, the images are a melange of Polaroid and Digital to look like Polaroid. I have been working on ways of making shooting digital more like shooting Polaroid and this shoot was my first substantive step in that direction. I'm looking forward to doing more.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Show of My Polaroids!

I am having a show of 35+ of my Polaroids at TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles. The opening is today, August 20th and I am very excited. All the polaroids are printed with their borders, writ much larger, about 16 by 16 inches on BFK Rives paper.
It is really nice to have a show of this work in such a well-designed location with very high ceilings. I haven't focused on my work as fine art in such a long time, it's been good to step back and look at it in another light.
As well, Polaroid seems to coming to the end of the line, and if ever anything new is made by another company, it won't be the same. Since my style will change as a result, I'm thrilled to get to commemorate a way of shooting I love.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Greatest #4: Nadine Rovner

I found Nadine Rovner's work online a several months ago. She does very moody, lush, sexy photos. They are rich in color and tone, but I was most struck by the variety of worlds she creates and captures (her 1970's film looks are wonderful as are her low-light night shots). I would love to see how she would shoot in an editorial context.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Colleen Durkin Makes Everything Better

I recently found someone who is a wonderful photographer in her own right, but also an amazing assistant: Colleen Durkin. I've been lucky enough to have her help me on my last two cover shoots in Los Angeles. I love having her around, she is funny, helpful and on it. Spending hours with her is a joy. As well, she poses quite memorably when testing light.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I just saw this today on PIG's website, what a fantastic use of double exposure. I hope it was done in camera. It gave me so many ideas, I can't wait to shoot!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Greatest #3: Rosie Hardy

My friend and fellow photographer, Lisa Wiseman, just sent me the work of Rosie Hardy.

Who is this girl and where did she come from? Her work is fantastic, although I do prefer what's on the link above to what's on her official site. Again, it is such a thrill to know people like her are taking photos.

I've read a bit about people feeling she copies other artists with out giving credit, but I think her work stands on it's own, it has a unique style, and all of us use images that inspire us without giving credit. For example, I have a shoot coming up and this photo gave me the idea to shoot at Pyramid Lake.

While I understand some people feel she is directly reinterpreting/copying the work of others, I feel so much of her work is her own, and very good at that, it isn't truly an issue.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Latest PDN Magazine

Who-hoo, PDN did a piece on promos under $3,000 and they featured my iBooks!

I've been making promos with iPhoto for 2 years now and it is such a great way to keep your promos current while not spending a lot of money. They are these tiny books, about 2.5 by 3.5 inches that you can order 3 at a time or more and cost about 59 cents to mail to any ad firm, magazine editor or the like.

The article really breaks down the costs per book and the ease of creating layouts within the program; I am a huge fan of them, it's one thing Apple has done incredibly well.

And Paul, in iPhoto's customer service, has the patience of a saint, if the books get damaged in transit or have any other issues, he has always gone out of his way to help. It was wonderful of PDn to include me in this feature, I am thrilled with how it turn out.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Greatest #2: Amanda Friedman

Amanda Friedman's night landscapes blow me away. They have her signature unexpected colors but it's a very different approach: mysterious, unpredictable, moody, sensual.

I don't know how she finds the places she does, or rather, how she reinvents these places one drives past everyday without looking twice, but it is a testament to her talent that she can truly turn the everyday into something remarkable.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

American Photography 25

announced their winners last week and one of mine was a 'chosen' image!

Very unexpected and lovely. You have to scroll down to find mine, it's a woman in a bathroom.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Greatest #1: Julia Galdo

I have decided to feature someone who work I admire in a new section called the greatest.

This entry is about Julia Galdo, who is an amazing photographer, she just moved from SF to LA and has a gorgeous portfolio.

Her work has the dreamy, sensual qualities I always admire, coupled with a feeling of precise and finely-tuned attention to detail. Nothing in her images feel like a mistake. That being said, she finds unusual locations or poses that give her images an unexpected playfulness.

I haven't been this excited about a photographer in a long time.

The Pre-CG

A friend of mine who is a fantastic illustrator, Deanna Staffo, posted a blog on the photographer Melvin Sokolsky, who did incredible special effects photography in the 1960s and 1970s. What is wonderful about his work is the way in which the device enhances the photo, but is not the only remarkable element in it. The models, the atmosphere, the styling, all are spot on and the images are exciiting and inspiring even today. His later is not something I'm crazy about, he goes too far into fully CG'd images. His Polaroid work (in the Fashion section, for the NT Times Magazine) are paricularly nice, filled with femininity, playfulness and ease.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

If only

I was reading Wes Brown's blog, who happens to do great nighttime photography, very evocative and moody, when I saw he referenced a photo I love by Bill Henson.

Coupled with that, I was looking at some new work by my friend, Polixeni Papapetrou, who is an amazing photographer from Australia and Mr. Henson, again, came to mind.

Thus I thought it was fitting to post about him.

I have loved Mr. Henson's work from the first frame I saw. They are utterly unique in their sexuality, their melding of frames, their unexpected, beautiful points of light seething out from the darkness. He always takes my breath away.

He has a book I have wanted for ages, Lux et Nox, which now sells for over $1000. If you can find it to look through, it is beyond words. The blacks in the photo are fairly dense; it is a huge compendium of his work and completely inspiring.

Mr. Henson came under fire by the Australian government for his use of children in what was considered an "inappropriate fashion" (many of his images are of young, naked girls), which is ludicrous and sad.

I can only hope to one day own one of his works.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unconventional Conventions

I'm not a fan of traditional wedding photography, at all. Recently a friend sent me the work of Noa Azoulay-Sclater, she does incredible work. What a talent. Her pre-wedding photos are not only beautiful, but exciting and unexpected; the kind of work that will last, that is rich in color and technique while exciting with the angles and propping, that works as a photo unto itself not something to merely capture an event. To top it off: she is reasonably priced. She is the best wedding/pre-wedding photographer I've seen.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Dilemma

I did a spec shoot on Friday. Both my stylist and I hadn't done anything just for ourselves in a long time and wanted to shoot something that excited us. What was interesting was that I went in intending the shoot to be entirely based on huge, wild movement as I had the model on a trampoline. It started out that way: I began by having Alexis jump all over the seamless on the trampoline, but as the shoot went on, I found her poses became redundant as you can only jump so many ways and still look elegant.
It was really important that she look composed, that the jumps felt directed and not lifestyle-y, which she did really well. I wanted each look to be engaging while retaining the sense of movement with which we had begun the shoot.
The direct jumping changed into a (hopefully) more subtle movement of the model catching the air and she wafted about the stage. The focus changing to the clothes moving, not her. I liked this transition a lot. I find it difficult sometimes to fully envision how shots will work together in a final edit, so I try to allow myself to shoot what I like and piece it together later.
I always go with a plan, but often times, I just toss it out the window if something better comes along once we begin working.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Someone recently mentioned a photographer to me, Tim Walker, and I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of him. His images are very playful, but what makes them stand out to me is the use of color; his work feels alive and genuinely of-the-moment, not staged, even though they clearly are.
He also published a beautiful collection of his work, including a special edition that I haven't seen it yet, as it's now a rare book, but it looks gorgeous.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My First Monograph

It seems like a lot of young photographers are making books of their work, Mikael Kennedy has a particularly lovely one, and I have been thinking of making a monograph for ages.

And now I have. I loved doing it. Every photographer should make one.

Blurb is great because you can actually peruse the first 20 pages online and see for yourself:

For sale in a limited run of 250 soft-back books through, they are really gorgeous editions. They are printed with high quality ink on good quality stock. It is a selection of over 50 of my all time favorite Polaroid shots. If you want the signed plate, you should just email me directly and I'll pop it in the mail.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Finish Line

After 38 meetings in 7 days, I have completed my trip to NYC.

It was a very good trip. I am tremendously grateful for all the doors the PDN award kicked open.

And as scary as things may seem right now, it seems like the changing economics will be a good thing in the end.

Everyone I met with wants to save money obviously, but people are also looking for new directions to move in, those of more intimate images, more approachable branding, which might mean unconventional styles of shooting. I have never been a fan of post-heavy photos, so this possibility of work that feels real, genuine and new (not saccharin or forced) would be exciting to watch unfold.

I also got to catch up with Alison Brady, a great NYC photographer.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Busy Week

I have been in NYC for the past 4 days showing my books and the city's weather has been forgiving, including a warm, breezy Saturday. I will continue until next Saturday and have already had great meetings, including Kathy Ryan at the NY Times Magazine. I don't know how to act when you meet someone like her: be funny, succinct, jovial?

So I think I was just awkward and quiet.

Which is better than chatty, I hope.

Perhaps it's one of those things that gets easier with time. When you meet someone whose shot with everyone, who knows what she wants and what works, I have this litany of questions I'd love to ask, photos I'd love to hear her thoughts on, but clearly, that is not the time to do so.

Two of my favorite meetings were with Andrea Volbrecht at Marie Claire and LinYee Yuan at Theme, both wonderful editors and such lovely people, it was a pleasure to get to sit down with them. Marie Claire has been producing some great on-location fashion editorials and Theme opts for exciting, unconventional photo work. The printed mag is really well done with thick glossy paper and solid black ink; I love the final product. I've collected a lot of them for inspiration and now they are selling the first 15 issues in a set on their website for only $70!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hell Yes!

I can't believe it! I was named one of PDN Magazine's 30 Under 30 Photographers of 2009. It was a surprise to even be invited to submit, let alone be one of the 30.

I will be in NYC from March 4-14 to show my new work and promote the exciting news, then to SF for more meetings.

The other photogs look wonderful, I was especially taken with Jared Moossy & Flora Hanitijo.

My good friend, Lisa Wiseman, was also selected, she does beautiful, atmospheric portrait and fashion work.

As someone who taught myself how to light and shoot, it is really amazing to receive something like this!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The New Year

It has been a slow start to what I hope becomes a good and challenging year. I've had two assignments and meanwhile done a lot of personal work, but, it seems at every turn, people I know are losing their jobs or closing up shop. Leah Wilemon, whose agency ESP, was one of my favorites is no more, my editor friend lost her job because her magazine relocated to Ohio, and more seems yet to come.
It seems to me that those who can weather these times will be in a strong position once an equilibrium is found, but the question in my mind is who, of the up and comers, will remain.
You can be smart with marketing and doing new work and working for free for the publicity, but you have to be able to pay the bills. I hope the people who inspire me and the magazines that allow you to shoot creatively make it through.
As a counterpoint to these concerns, I recently was sent Mikael Kennedy's website. It fills me with wonder and elation. His book looks incredible and his photos make it clear what can be done with no money, some good polaroid and obliging friends.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I just stumbled upon the work of Chloe Mallett, and she is simply amazing. I love her work. She beyond inspirational. She is perfect. The look of her photos as she actually prints her own images, the mood, the color palette, the movements and poses of the models. And her clients are such gorgeous lines. I only wish I could see more.