Posted on December 3, 2018
Call him Aaron.
He hails from the Midwest.
A young, ambitious IT professional,
He’s looking for a new kind of headshot.
We meet at Crema on The Alameda.
We talk about work and life.
There’s something different about him.
He’s polite in an old-fashioned way.
He tells me he’s not photogenic,
That he doesn’t like the way he looks in photographs.
Not only is he considerate, he’s likable, too.
Quiet and introspective,
He wants his portrait to have a cool-hip-creative vibe.
I tell him about an overpass with blue circles.
Something I’ve been eyeing for months.
We release the Birds
And fly through downtown San Jose.
As the sun reclines in the west,
The light is paradoxical under the overpass,
Both mottled and consistently even.
We don’t overthink it.
We hang out.
Contact me for corporate and family photography in the Bay Area.
Posted on November 27, 2018
Originality isn’t easy.
Case in point.
I’m on a corporate shoot with my client.
We’re having a blast.
Shooting like crazy.
I want something different, she says.
You know, something unique.
Well, I like creative challenges, I say.
I pause, I ponder, I hatch a one-of-a-kind idea.
I ask for her mobile phone.
She gives it to me.
And I put it to good use.
Then I put my camera to good use.
A woman represented,
And a woman represented is represented again.
The mind would reel if the image weren’t so straightforward.
Look at it again.
Not bad, not bad at all.
Well, later that night, after I go home,
It takes one minute of sleuthing on the web to discover that my “original” idea has been done countless times before.
At least I got heart.
And I’m in good company.
Contact me for Bay Area corporate and family photography.
Posted on November 5, 2018
I’m a simple man.
I have few hopes and expectations.
I do my best to resist the temptation of prayer.
I’m resigned to a world that revolves around no one.
Still, I have moments of weakness.
When that happens, I bargain with fate.
I make promises in exchange for special consideration.
I vow to exercise more.
I vow to eat more vegetables,
To think more wholesome thoughts,
To treat people with kindness and respect, always.
All in the fervent hope that one day,
In my next or fourth or fifth life (I’m patient, you see),
I’ll return as a man who stands
In unshaven glory
Before a bar that’s loaded with bourbon.
Contact me for creative Bay Area corporate and candid family photography.
Posted on October 25, 2018
He’s a marketing executive
With clients on the East and West Coasts.
Recently he joined me for a Friday Night Lights session.
No, not football.
A much more wholesome activity:
Candid headshots for Bay Area professionals.
I run the sessions out of my DIY home studio in San Jose.
They’re good fun.
I get to meet new people and practice my discipline.
And people get splendidly priced photos,
For use in trade shows, conferences, or digital and social media.
Oh, sometimes they get a splash of wine, too.
And not the cheap stuff, either.
It’s Friday night, after all.
Contact me for creative corporate and candid family photography in the Bay Area.
Posted on September 30, 2018
It’s three o’clock.
The sun is hot, the sky cloudless.
In the heart of the Silicon Valley, the valley of profit and loss,
Between the green western and yellow eastern foothills,
A rural woman stands amidst the wreckage of streams and orchards.
Nearby, the Guadalupe River is littered with plastic debris
And choked with abandoned grocery carts.
Walnut and almond orchards, peach and apricot trees
— Turned under long ago —
Are buried beneath a concrete layer of commercial activity.
She stoops, lifts, hauls, and sweats profusely.
Her eyes blaze fiercely.
Two diamonds gleam in her ears.
For Bay Area corporate or family photography, contact me.
Posted on September 10, 2018
That may look like an Escher painting.
But it’s Johanna, our next-door neighbor of 15-plus years.
Her younger sister Jesigga features prominently in my photography.
Johanna would, too, except she trains at the New York School of American Ballet.
She’s mastering her craft on the East Coast.
And brands are taking notice.
They send her free stuff all the time.
Like Halo Top ice cream.
Isn’t ice cream on everyone’s mind?
Yep, so we put a Halo on it…
And flexed muscles in a fierce praying mantis pose…
And made googly eyes at the yumminess of it all…
And played serious with a look of mild surprise…
And cranked up the glamour wattage, high…
But mainly we played and had fun.
And even Paige jumped in on the action.
Afterwards, walking home, I saw the light in September.
I love it when that happens.
It gave our suburban street a cool industrial vibe.
One more picture, I asked.
Of course, she said.
Great, no product, just you…
…and the trees, and the wind, and the slanting light of late summer.
If you’re looking for a corporate or family photographer in the Bay Area, contact me.
Posted on August 9, 2018
Our next-door neighbor,
An Icelandic gal born in California.
It’s been a pleasure watching her grow up.
My wife Terrell and I refer to her as our other daughter.
We’re the beneficiaries of that compliment, for sure.
Anyhow, how lucky am I that Jesigga will often model at a moment’s notice.
In the image above, I was practicing with a new off-camera flash.
We were in a garage with too much ambient light.
So I dropped my ISO to 100 and stopped down to f/22 at 1/200 of a second to produce a perfectly black background.
Then I experimented with flash power to study different effects.
This image is a throw-away, an outtake, nothing more.
But there’s one thing I like about the photo a lot—
The sharp profile line that travels down Jesigga’s forehead,
Across her nose and lips and round her chin.
That line is very interesting,
An ultra-stark edge,
An abrupt demarcation between light and dark,
Between something and nothing.
I’m fascinated by that Line, always.
But there’s something else that interests me.
My outtake came to the attention of a young Bay Area artist.
His name is August Vu.
He tinkers with many mediums,
Including clay, crayons, oils, and even recyclables.
In sleepless hours, he makes art to clear his mind and think.
You won’t find him on social media.
He avoids it.
His interests are elsewhere.
But I’m delighted to share his interpretation of my photo here.
His rendering makes up for all the faults of the original picture.
He surfaces textures and details that were originally lost in shadows—
In her cheek, in her jaw, and especially in her hair.
Isn’t that what an artist is supposed to do,
To make invisible things, visible?
Well, I think so.
And our young Bay Area artist does just that,
All while preserving The Line.
Well done, sir!
A tip of the hat to you.
If you’re interested, check out this month’s special offer.