The streets of Seattle are filled with confetti and shouting tonight as the Seahawks bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy! Their incredible season was capped off by an absurdly effective offensive and defensive plan. What a game. I tried to catch some of the fray in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, where the cheering of Sea….was always met by a resounding HAAAAWKS. What a season and what a night!
Ever since I first covered the Seattle Elvis Invitational back in 2009 when it was smaller and staged at the (sadly defunct) Club Motor, I have wanted to make portraits of these amateur Elvises — Elvii, if you prefer. The tribute artists come from around the state to perform their best interpretations of Elvis’ greatest hits, from his punky start in the 50s to the slinkier numbers in the 60s, and they look and sound absolutely incredible doing it. They were natural subjects for portraits, and I strived to create pictures that spoke to their personality as much as their performances. I was given approval from the organizers to set up a small photo booth area in between the dressing rooms and the stage, so most of the participants would have to pass by me. I also made some fun shots of the dapper attendees who came dressed in their sweet rockabilly duds. The event takes place at the Experience Music Project in downtown Seattle, the Frank Gehry-designed musical history museum that is well worth a visit. This personal assignment was a great start to 2014 and I cannot wait to unveil some very cool projects lined up for this year!
A few of my Seattle Elvis Invitational portraits appeared in The Stranger in print and online Jan. 22, 2014.
The Year in Pot – Marijuana legalization photos in Washington state | Seattle editorial photographer
Washington’s legalization of marijuana under Initiative 502 has dominated my assignment requests this year.
I am so grateful for wonderful clients like Northwest Leaf, The Daily Telegraph of London, Barcroft Media, The UK Sun, and Seattle Weekly, that have commissioned or licensed marijuana work this year! A whole lot of dramatic changes are still to come, like the new recreational pot stores opening, new big businesses popping up, and the impact of all this on the community and the alike. Washington, alongside Colorado, are going to be the battlegrounds for a radical paradigm shift, and I hope to have an opportunity to document it as much as I did this incredible year.
Thanks to all my friends and colleagues for their continuing support of my work on this story.
Onward and upward in 2014!
Bezos Center for Innovation Launch for Puget Sound Business Journal | Seattle editorial photographer
I had a fun assignment Saturday for the Puget Sound Business Journal to photograph the launch of the Bezos Center for Innovation Friday Oct. 11 at the Museum of History and Industry in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle! I wandered around and grabbed some features before the start of the on-stage interview. MOHAI has been completely revamped in its new location there, and the dedication to detail is impressive. The new exhibits that comprise the Center are fun and interactive — I only wish I could have had more time to really dig through some of them. Maybe next time…
I am happy to see my work in a publication that I grew up with for so long!
Seattle Weekly reached out to me about some of my archive images of Jamen Shively, who I covered at a May 30th press conference in the swanky Columbia Tower.
Shively told the gathered media from around the world that he and his partners planned to open up Diego Pellicer, the first global legal marijuana brand, as former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who said he agreed with the need for drug policy changes, stood stoically at his side.
Shively made aggressive, promising statements about the company’s future, as he diplomatically obfuscated from media questions surrounding everything from how the company would grow the pot to distribute it to raise the capital to have this massive infrastructure.
Today, Shively is out as the face of Pellicer, in a very fascinating cover story from Seattle Weekly’s Nina Shapiro — one of my favorites. Thanks for looking!
I had an assignment in August to photograph Rebecca Howlett, a tribal law intern at the firm Kanji & Katzen, for a recruiting guide published by the University of Kansas School of Law. The piece highlights the great work that KU students do as interns at firms across the country. It just came out and looks great! I was requested to photograph her with a nice Seattle-identifying backdrop, which was easy with the firms’s Pioneer Square offices overlooking Smith Tower (the pencil building). To combat the intense overhead sunlight, I had my assistant, David Ryder, hold a reflector scrim over Rebecca to put her in the shade. Then I brought in a beauty dish for the main light and a softbox for a bit of fill, to give the image a fun, dynamic look. The client was happy with the take and Rebecca told me I was easy to work with — that’s nice of her since it was about 90 degrees on the roof that day! What a trooper!
Thanks for looking,
R.I.P Troy Wolff, my old English professor at Shoreline Community College, who was murdered Sept. 13, 2013 by a deranged man outside of the Seattle Sounders game. The man began randomly attacking and stabbing his girlfriend, Kristen Ito. Wolff intervened and the man began stabbing him — he later died from his injuries. Ito remains in critical condition.
This news is just senseless and absolutely shocking. Troy was a really caring professor. I remember him telling me that an essay I submitted could have been better, and he wouldn’t accept it without revision. Even at a community college when I was one of a hundred students he saw that day, he cared enough to really help. I had photographed him for the school newspaper back in 2009 when I was a young pup. Troy was beloved at Shoreline CC, where he taught for 17 years and was chair of the English department.
He will be missed.
I got a call last Saturday from the The Sun, a British newspaper, to photograph portraits of Mykayla Comstock and her family out in Pendleton, OR. The client needed the pictures shot Sunday and turned around on a very short deadline by Sunday night, and I had to make the five-hour drive to get there. So I packed up my Escape with my backdrops and portable studio lighting and hit the road. Although I live in Seattle, the paper thought I would be a good choice given my experience in photographing marijuana related stories and subjects.
I was grateful to be able to tell the story of such an inspiring little girl. Twice a day, Mykayla, 8, receives homemade capsules containing a Cannabis oil extract prepared by her mother, Erin Purchase, 25, and her partner, Brandon Krenzler. As a result, the blood cell counts devastated by acute t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia have returned to normal levels — and Mykayla is happily growing stronger and healthier every day. And she isn’t languishing in a hospital. After a year of the Cannabis treatments, Mykayla’s cancer has not returned, and she will be considered in remission in another year. The family received tremendous national scrutiny after their story was first written about in The Oregonian. The debate over whether parents should give their children Cannabis remains fiery, but for this family, nothing else has worked as well. (more…)