My First Interview!

I was recently asked by the New York based Dojo Zine if I was interested in being their ‘Photographer of the Week’ and of course I said yes. This was my first interview and I’m stoked that anybody would even care! Read all about it HERE!

 I thought that with this being my new blog and all, I should try to actually use it! In the Dojo Zine piece there are a number of my favorite photos I've taken over the last few years and below, you will find a number of alternates to some of the shoots. I also tried to give a little background for each shoot. Enjoy!

Soft Metals PortraitWhen I was asked to do portraits for the Portland based synth pop duo, Soft Metals, they had expressed interest in integrating projections into the portraits. They do use projections during their live show, so we utilized some of their preexisting visuals (the first  photo in the Dojo article) as well as using some of the individual shots I had taken earlier.

Kali Uchis Live at The Fonda TheaterThis was my first time seeing Kali Uchis perform as she opened up for Leon Bridges. Her voice and her performance was so on point, it's no wonder she's blowing up like she is. 

Bosnian Rainbows at The Eagle Rock Music FestivalShooting Bosnian Rainbows at the Eagle Rock Music Festival a few years back was a turning point for me and my light bending shots. By that point, I had already been messing around and experimenting with a bunch of different light benders, but these were the first shots that I had where I was pretty stoked on the results. Sometimes the light bending can be a bit overbearing and chaotic but it was at this show that I really got a grasp on how to get a more subtle and dramatic look.

Cage The Elephant Portrait for iHeartRadio - Like I've said before, shooting for iHeartRadio is a dream gig for me. Usually it's just me and a Getty photographer that get to shoot the shows, shooting from anywhere in the building, and then I also do behind-the-scenes photos and portraits with the artist. The portraits are my favorite part but also the most challenging. I usually have about 15 minutes with the artist but due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, this time could be cut down significantly. For example when I shot Chris Brown, I was told that I would have to do portraits on his way to the stage. The time stamps on the photos showed that I had about 45 seconds!!! For Cage The Elephant, things were a bit better with about 6 minutes to do 3 quick setups. I did have to change up locations and bail on a couple ideas due to time constraints but it's all about being flexible. This was taken in the lobby of the the theater just minutes before they opened the doors.

Silversun Pickups Portrait for iHeartRadio - Shooting SSPU was a big one for me. Their show at iHeart was right after their 3 sold out nights at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever, so the guys were a bit tired but still in great spirits. For their portraits, I had a couple loose ideas of what I wanted to do. After working a couple iHeart gigs, I learned pretty quickly, that you can't be too terribly prepared and you need to be super flexible for those times that the locations and times change multiple times throughout the day.  Knowing that I need to try and get at least 2 different distinct looks, I always try to have AT LEAST 3 or 4 ideas AND alternate locations in mind. For this shoot, it was pretty simple. I had worked out a couple different lighting scenarios that could be changed quickly, so it was just moving a couple light stands, changing a lens, and it had a totally different feel.

Paper Trails Portrait -  While we played around and got quite a few different looks, this was the one that I was really excited about. I really wanted it too look like Meesha and David were underwater without having to actually put them underwater. Wifey helped me with the food coloring and we shot a ton of these before we found the right blend of coloring. 

Coldplay performs at The iHeartRadio Theater - This was my last iHeart show of 2015 and it couldn't have ended better. Coldplay's set design and lighting was on point. I was a little bummed that the band passed on having portraits done. Oh well, It just meant that I didn't have to stress as much and I got to pack much lighter than I normally do! 

CRUZ Portrait -  For the past several years, I have worked on portraits for the now-defunct Brasilian band, CRUZ. The guys have always been super open to me experimenting and with them, the weirder, the better. I had this idea for a while and I was stoked that it came out better than originally imagined. A week prior, I went to the band's rehearsal studio and shot individual head shots of all the members on several different backgrounds. I did options in both color and black and white, which worked out great since I ended up using both photos. I initially cut out the secondary eyeholes in the black and white version thinking that I could have the boys stand behind and I'd see their eyes clearly. I didn't plan on their noses pushing the paper forward, creating hard shadows around the eyes that I couldn't get rid of. I took a quick break, cut the eyes out of the color versions and taped them in.