Archive for October 2011
Last week I went to see/hear Frank Ockenfels 3 speak. I enjoy hearing other photographers talk about their work. I like learning about their process and how they made the photos. I like hearing, that even at their level, their inner dialog sounds an awful lot like mine. On a lot of occasions I don’t know who the photographer is when I find out about their speaking engagement. About a year ago I got an email that Albert Watson was speaking. I had never heard of Albert Watson, but when I went to his site, I realized I knew (and so do you) his photography. The same applied to Frank. After checking out his site I realized I had been looking at his photos plastered all over billboards and bus benches without knowing his name. Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, It’s always Sunny, Harry Potter. Yeah; that guy.
The previous paragraph sums up my relationship with art. I know it when I feel it. During his talk, Frank referenced a painter that he was using as inspiration and I had no idea who he was talking about. I don’t have an art background, have never studied art and don’t know a lot of artists by name. For the most part my art and photography knowledge comes from following the breadcrumbs of work that inspires me. I didn’t need to know his name to feel that it was a great photo.
Unlike a lot of the other photography talks I’ve been to, Frank’s motivated me and got me thinking about me, my work and why I do this. It also got me thinking about what I want to change.
On the notes I jotted down after I left I wrote: Show more work. Who Cares. Don’t hide work. I have so much work that never gets seen. I don’t mind that it doesn’t get seen because I shoot it for me, but I feel like I should let more loose. In the commercial photography community there are all these “rules” about what to show and whom to show it to and how to show it and in what format…whatever.
I also realized that I do this because I need to do this. For the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to make great photos. That process makes me feel better. It keeps me from wanting to break stuff. It makes me love my wife and kids more. It keeps me sane.
My process with photography is a bit different from a lot of photographers. I have this weird misconception that in order for it to be a real photo I have to have set out to make it. It can’t be a snap-shot, or heaven forbid a photo of my kids. That’s all a crock. Every time I pick up my iPhone the same thoughts go through my head as if I were picking up my 35mm. A photo is a photo and a good photo is one that makes the viewer think or feel.
Stay tuned to see more photos.
One of the great things about shooting family portraits is developing relationships. This year I’m shooting with a lot of families I have photographed on numerous occasions. In a lot of cases I only see the families once a year but documenting the family’s growth is an amazing experience.
A few weeks ago I shot Tracey and Carley. This marks the fifth year I’ve photographed them. The night before our shoot I bumped into Carley at the El Segundo High School football game. My heart dropped to think she was already in high school, but it turns out she’s still in 8th. Carley was nine years old the first time I photographed her in 2007.
Tracey and Carley’s photos are always special to me. I love photographing their relationship and always come away with endearing images that speak volumes.
This is also the fifth time we scheduled our shoot at a park and the fourth time at Polliwog park in Manhattan beach. This year I asked Tracey why not shoot at the beach? The answer was simple…Tucker. Tucker is Carley’s dog and has been with us for the past four shoots. Since dogs aren’t allowed on the beach we’re at Polliwog (again) and I’m trying my hardest to make sure that this year’s photos are unique.
The following is a collection of images I made over the past five years.
Here’s to tradition.
I’ve know Matt for years and I was honored when he asked if I would be interested in shooting their wedding. It was an intimate wedding held at Ramsey’s at the Toluca Lake sport’s Center. For this wedding I enlisted the help of Deney, whom I met as a groomsman in the last wedding I shot.