I worked on a fun piece for KUOW 94.9 about an all-girls jazz ensemble hoping to compete in the prestigious Essentially Ellington competition in New York. They asked me to write a little bit about the experience:
This was my second time working with reporter Marcie Sillman. We arrived about 30 minutes before the girls were set to begin their regular weekly night practice at Washington Middle School.
In the moonlit parking lot, I loaded a cadre of stands and lights onto a dolly cart and rolled toward the school, the sweet scent of the Franz Bread Factory next door cascading by. We passed the gymnasium and basketball scrimmage and headed into the band room, where I met briefly with the group’s director, Kelly Barr-Clingan. I took her suggestion to set up in the back practice spaces where I could be out of the way while they did their thing.
KUOW Digital Director Jenna Montgomery was inspired by the idea of Kelly at the center of a Brady Bunch-style portrait, and I went to work setting up a mini portrait studio complete with electric blue backdrop. Marcie wandered off to interview Kelly and record the practice.
It was warm in there and I could hear the performers tuning their instruments as I took practice shots on myself to quickly test the settings. I made some final adjustments to the lights and went to the boy’s locker room to wipe my face.
The girls walked over in small groups, and sat down one by one. I told them they could do whatever they wanted to start. Then I asked them to play their instrument a bit, or to sing me something they knew.
With only about an hour to photograph each of the girls in the group, time was limited. I wanted to see their personalities. I wanted to see the passion.
You have to build trust pretty quickly. I do that by keeping things light and fun, being friendly, and acknowledging the sometimes awkwardness of the process. You do this for long enough and you know what fears to assuage.
As I sat on a piano bench across from them and clicked away for a minute or two, I was impressed to hear these amazing acoustic and acapella performances. It was a moving and beautiful experience and I wish all of these talented musicians best of luck in this competition and the years ahead.
My colleague Matt Mills McKnight and I collaborated on a series of portraits of attendees at a Dia de Los Muertos event hosted by El Centro De La Raza in Seattle. We loaded in and taped up a black roll of paper in a nook of the jam-packed hallway and set up a few lights to enhance the spooky vibe. Matt found many great people to stop by the makeshift studio in the short time we had there. I focused on the beautiful makeup and I am grateful to everyone for welcoming us in.
I made this portrait of Vivian Luu at a local Seattle Flickr meet-up. It is surreal to see dozens of photographers set up portable studios in the middle of a parking garage after-hours at the University of Washington. I just might have to return for another meet-up: they are a fun bunch!
Lighting was done with a SB-800 fired into a large softbox on a boom camera left.
Before the start of the Seattle Seahawks game against the Detroit Lions at Qwest Field, I made portraits of some of the Seahawks’ most dedicated and passionate fans. I have really been enjoying making portraits of people at different events recently (like the Seattle Tattoo Expo and the Bellingham ComicCon) and wanted to try a similar style with the Seahawks fans.
I want to return for another game; these superfans are as fun to meet as they are to photograph!
Lighting was accomplished with three Nikon Speedlights, with the mainlight a softbox, and connected using Pocket Wizard Plus II Transceivers.
Thanks for looking!
I had a wonderful engagement portrait session with Amanda and Patrick this past week, and it was great to get to know this young couple. I can’t wait to photograph their wedding next August! We started off around their favorite Seattle locale (Pike Place Market) and ended up walking around the Seattle waterfront for a few hours. What a great way to enjoy a warm Summer day!
The 2009 year is off to an excellent start since I learned today that a photo I shot of the SCC girl’s soccer team took 2nd place in the SportsShooter.com monthly clip contest, under the sports feature category.
I have never placed in the monthly photo contest, where other photographer members of the site vote on their favorite images from the previous month, so this is a nice way to start the new year.
Hopefully this spells good things to come!
I had a shoot for a new client, FLYP Magazine, about a woman who lost her rented home to foreclosure after her landlord was not paying the mortgage. It was a tough story to work on, but Deb, my subject, was a good sport about letting me make her picture. This was my first shoot for FLYP, an online multimedia magazine.
Below is a screen cap of my images on their website (check it out on page 3 of http://www.flypmedia.com/issues/19/#1/1)
Some other images from the shoot:
I am a big proponent of always having your camera, and I was reminded today of another time I was glad to. Last February, I was in downtown drinking some coffee at Westlake Plaza when I spotted a woman dressed as the Queen of Hearts, standing around and smoking a cigarette. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab a quick portrait of her and started chatting with her. Turns out she worked in the mall and it was all part of a promotion. I guess it worked.
I like the girl at camera-left eyeing her.