Back in June I was tapped to shoot editorial portraits of the five finalists of Tidal’s Unplugged grant program. Tidal narrowed down thousands of participants to five talented musicians from Detroit and gave them the means and opportunity to expand their musical careers…Read More
My buddies at Tension Division worked with Columbus natives Starset on the design of their latest release, Divisions. The shoot was split into two separate days, with the first focused on getting a range of studio portraits for use on streaming and social platforms, and the second focused more on getting dramatic press photos of the band. The only issue was that I had less than three days to prepare for the location shoot, no additional budget to procure said location, and finding the requested “post-apocalytpic film set” in Ohio was no short order. However, I wasn’t worried in the slightest as I knew the perfect spot…Read More
I’ve been shooting with Melissa for around six years now and some of my favorite shots that I’ve taken have been from our past collaborations. So when she texted me a couple weeks ago to tell me that she and her boyfriend are relocating to New York, we made sure to get in one last hurrah. For the occasion I brought in my friend and wonderful makeup artist, Andi Summer. When she asked what I was going for I said bold. She responded, bold as in colorful eye makeup or bold as in body paint? Yes.Read More
Back in April my friend Jeremy Slagle, a celebrated designer and illustrator, and Thad DeVassie came by my studio to interview me for their podcast. At the time of the interview I had been off social media for two months, which had been the reason for the interview. We chatted about my reasons for leaving as well as how I’ve reallocated my time since. We covered a lot of ground in the talk and I’m happy i was able to connect with these two on so many different issues that confront both creatives as well as small businesses. I hope you find it as encouraging and hopeful as I did.Read More
Jennifer is a drag makeup artist based in Seattle. When she showed up with her (epic) makeup already in place, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to play with sparkles and color. I started off by having her slick back her hair. Next I gave her a yellow gel to hold over her eye, while I hung a red gel between the light and her face. Then I held a blue gel in front of the lens, thus completing an RYB triad. For the second look…Read More
I was on the road for work for nearly half of July, which meant I didn’t see much of my two kids, Jack and Margot. When I returned home I wanted to reconnect with them and decided to plan individual day trips with them. They are getting to the age where they are starting to understand what I do for a living and have each expressed a desire to know more. I thought, why not make these trips photo-centered while I’m at it…Read More
I recently scheduled a personal shoot with model Mallory Landis and hair/makeup artist Andi Summer. As usual I went in the shoot with little to no idea of how I would light/shoot it, and unsurprisingly I went with ghosty, hazy images as I’ve been frequently exploring these past few months. The hazy, semi-solarized duotone shots that I came away with made me quite happy. I haven’t made anything quite like it before and am excited to explore it further.Read More
Last week I photographed Chris Bingaman, the CEO of Diamond Hill investment management firm, for Barron’s magazine. I shot a range of color scenarios but both Annie Chia (the DoP) and I agreed that the black and white conversions were the stronger images.Read More
I recently worked with Ghost Soul Trio, an indie-pop band from Columbus. Since music is such a huge passion of mine and especially because I lack the skills to create songs of my own, I always embrace the chance to visually collaborate with musicians. Though we only had an hour to work with, we came away with a range of visuals that mirror the vibrant notes that are so present in their music.Read More
If you’ve been following my blog for much time at all you’ve no doubt seen me mention Sara Lando’s online photography course, The Support Group for Lazy Photographers. As the final assignment in her 12-week course we were given the challenge of recreating an iconic photo but in a way that’s unique to our way of seeing/shooting. I chose to recreate Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ.Read More
I brought my Chroma lighting class to the https://santafeworkshops.com this past week and, as you can see, had a lot of fun in the process. Normally I have one day to try to cram in as much color theory and lighting techniques as students can handle, which is exhausting for everyone. This time we had five days together, which meant we could really take our time with each technique, slowly building in complexity throughout the week.Read More
I’m still on a kick of exploring hazy, golden light, with layers of texture. For this shoot with model Rachel Luree, I began by positioning her in front of a 37” octabox, in order to get an ethereal backlight. Next, in order to take advantage of Rachel’s long hair, I laid out a large sheet of glass, covered in a thin layer of coconut oil. I had her stand over the glass with her hair hanging down, and I lay underneath it shooting up. I wanted to give the appearance of her being submerged in water, with her hair swirling around.Read More
There is a region on the east side of the state called Palouse, which is comprised of rolling wheat fields. In late spring and early summer the fields are still green, making them look like grassy sand dunes. The wind moves through the wheat, making the hills move like the ocean. It is the most peaceful place I have ever been. I drove 700 miles in order to stand in those fields for an hour that day, and it was worth it.Read More
In my shoots I aspire to capture something beyond the outer appearance of my subject, and yet it can be quite hard to look past the specifics of a subjects appearance to get a glimpse of their soul. This is why I like to photograph hands. Not only do I find hands to be as expressive as faces, but they come with the added bonus of not being about any one person in particular. They are more universal in that way. As a viewer, you can more easily put yourself in the image, connecting the struggle or aspirations of a gesture.Read More
For this shoot with Maika I wanted to showcase both her power and her femininity. For the first look I used a pink accent light to mimic her dress color. I began by creating a wrapping pink glow by using a ring flash. Then I decided to use barn doors on my light to just throw a sliver of “white” light on her face.Read More
When Brandon Rike and Joel Cook, the creative duo behind Tension Division, texted me and asked if I wanted to shoot content for Korn’s upcoming album, I kinda freaked out a little. To this day I still listen to Korn’s self-titled debut album. Their music helped me through a great deal of trauma in my teen years.
At first we were trying to figure out how to shoot an actual human suspended by wires for the cover. Our plan was to use an aerial artist, suspended by a harness and wrapped in wires. Ultimately they decided it’d be better to 3D render the cover, which has the “hollow man” appearance that they were after. They reached out to 3D artist Nate Rodriguez-Vera to render the image, which was also animated into a music video. I shot a bunch of supplementary images of wires and cables to be used in the album, online, and on merch.
It was a blast to not only collaborate once again with my friends (and brilliant creatives), but to also collaborate in a small way with teenage idols of mine.
Back in April I hit the road to Pittsburgh, on assignment for Revolver to photograph Knocked Loose. The Kentucky hardcore band was on tour promoting their upcoming album, A Different Shade of Blue. I had one hour to set up and shoot five scenarios for a cover feature, all in the venue’s *ahem* modest green room. As you can see above, I had to pull two couches out of the room and into the back hallway in order to create an 8x10’ space. Due to space constraints I opted to shoot individual portraits (which could be composited into a group shot if needed) in addition to a range of group shots.Read More