Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tony Ray-Jones

I feel it’s rare that I'm really blown away by someone that I've never seen before. I see different photographers works all the time that I am impressed by but not like this. As my photographic style has shifted so has my influences and who my favorite photographers are. When I was super into lighting and creating a photo in college it was Crewdson, later on it portrait photographers like Avedon. But now I'm really digging on the documentary classics these days like Robert Frank for example. Recently, after watching a great 6 part documentary film on the history of photography called, Genius of Photography on some new channel called Ovation, I found someone I never heard of or seen before, the work of British photographer, Tony Ray-Jones. He had a pretty short part but I was really drawn to his photos. After doing a bit of research today I found out he died at only 30 from cancer. Here is some links, definitely check him out.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kate at Harefield Road

I thought I was going to shoot a bunch this week cause of Thanksgiving, time off with Kate etc, but the twenty frames I shot at brunch today was all I really did. I do like this portrait of Kate, but it made me think of something thats been going through my mind a lot since starting the blog, that damn, I really like to shoot people in this composition. I'd say 80% of the photos on here are this way, I truely do love the head shot/bust type photo, sculpture, painting, etc. Its something I've always like even way back when in high school when I was mostly painting. But from now on I'm going to really try to push my self to shoot some other comps.

Kate Brooklyn 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More on blogging prt2

So I was talking to my good friend and fellow photographer Dylan Vitone. He was giving me some shit like he normally does but we do mix in a good amount of serious talk about photography and life. We got on the subject of this blog I've started. He described it so eloquently when saying that the photos I'm putting up are ones that would just end up in a box somewhere, or in my case a hard drive. I agreed completely. Although some may eventually make it into the regular web page, but for the most part they won't but they will still live on the blog. He also mentioned something about not always having to take serious photos. I still really enjoy taking pictures, not just pictures for some mag or to build my book, but just capturing my surrounding.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jordan Upstate

Went upstate today assisting Arnarldo Anaya Luca for Russian GQ, the location was this old farm house. Rainy and cold, but the light was great. Also along for the ride was Jordan, I love this kid. We used to work together all the time back in the Jamil GS days but as of late its only from time to time. I haven't seen Jordan since the wedding so it was really good to catch up. Kid's got his fingers in alot of pots but the two you should really check out is his artwork at and the other is his band I've shot Jordan many times before, but this is his first appearance on the blog. Jordan said, "You love shooting me smoking." Its true, smoking does make you look cool.

Jordan Upstate, NY 2007

Country Road. Upstate, NY 2007

Jordan Upstate, NY 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007


I shot a friend's band named Aloke ( this past friday night at a small venue called Matchless in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I met Christian a few months ago when he was working as a PA on some shoot I was assisting. I think they got a great thing going and its been cool to see them grow even in the small time I've known them. We've been talking about trying to do some pictures for thier promo package. Also they're down with me tagging along on thier next tour so I can do some road/tour pictures, which is something I've always wanted to do since I was a kid. When I shoot bands live it is real hard to get something different, I really just got to shoot and shoot and hope that something gets caught just right, I'm sure the more you do it the more you can anticipate those images, but still 99% of what you see out there looks very similar. My favorite time is what happens before and after the preformance. I guess thats why this picture is up, it was shot within 5 minutes of the show ending.

Christian, Lead singer/Guitar of Aloke. Greenpoint, Brooklyn 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Morning After

Here's my baby and her baby.

Saturday, 10 2007

So after the birthday party friday night I met up with Steve and Jourdanais, had a blast. It was just the three of us but we atleast drank for six. The next morning I was spent, but an old friend was in town and Hanksy called me to get some lunch. So around 1pm I met up with Hanks and we caught lunch and then headed over to the brooklyn brewery to meet up with Colby and his fiancee who were visiting from MA. After the brewery we got some beers and chilled in the park for a bit. After that I had to part ways and headed home to freshen up for Marion and Steve's house warming party. The party was great. I was pretty well on my way when I got there due to my afternoon but it didn't take long for everyone to catch up.

Hanks, Bushwick Ave. Brooklyn 2007
Light was so amazing when we were leaving to meet up with Colby. I've been wanting to shoot someone in these spots at this time during the day for a while now. To be honest the I'd like to shoot the wide shot again cause I'm not feeling the light on Hanks' face, but overall I like it alot.

Colby McCarren Park, Brooklyn 2007
I've known Colby for a while now, he's originally from Newburyport, MA the town over from where I grew up, I met him through Don and Hanks. It was great to see him in BK and catch a couple of drink. A big congrats as well, Colby is engaged.

Marion Sunnyside?, Queens 2007
Here was the hostess of the night, one of my and Kate's best friends. As always the food was great. Steve and Marion just moved into this new spot, really nice apartment, its massive. Also there's Dust in the corner making a comment on something I'm sure. LOL.

Kate 2007
Here's my beautiful wife. She had came straight from airport from MA/NH. Our niece Alia was in the school play Wizard of OZ as Dorothy. Unfortunately I couldn't make due to the bday party I had too shoot, but I heard she did a great job. Kate went up for the night but made it back just in time for the party.

Marty 2007
I did a couple of shots for Marion that she could use as reference ( and I really liked this one of Marty. Marty' s got a jewelry/clothing company OCD. I've been shooting the still life photos of his jewelryfor him, always a good time.

Steve 2007
And here's our Host of the night Steve. Good to have him back in NY.

Asif 2007
Brown baggin' it. Check out this dude, I'd like to classify him as one thig but I can't, he's just a sick ass artist

Jen 2007
Fellow Mass Art transplant and party girl.

Kate 2007

Marion 2007

Thank you marion and steve for such a good time!

The 40 year old Birthday

I thought I has sold a piece of my soul. Shooting a birthday for two women that were turning 40, but to my suprise I had a really good time. I usually, I'd say 98% of the time say no to this type of thing. I'll do weddings for friends, but parties are a nightmare, especially events, its just personally not my thing. But the money was really good for this gig and like I said I ended up having a really nice time, everyone was very chill and both of the birthday ladies were super nice as well. Here is a picture that I liked, it's of one of the birthday girls (red) and one of her good friends.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Knoxville prt2

Here was another picture I stumbled upon when scouting for Clay. I was searching for a court, following some sketchy path and I found some sketchy shit. There was a bunch of satan symbols and swastikas as well as this nasty ass blanket, but I thought it made for a good picture.

Also, a comment about color. I have a really hard time making color photographs, if you see something in color on here, it was probably the one out of a hundred that I saw as a color photograph from close to the beginning. I probably even shot this in black and white but once home realized it was a color picture. Personally I think color just distracts from my pictures. Most of my photographer friends shoot color and I envy them and I love their photos, I just hate most of my pictures in color.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

For all the photo assistants and freelancers out there. This poor kid's arm got really messed up (almost had to be amputated) in a car accident when on the job when one of the crew was driving. I've done the research and its not a scam. Take a second and give a bit.

Tom Kennedy - EA XX presentation:

I was lucky enough to go back to the Eddie Adams workshop again this year as a volunteer. It was amazing to go back, it reinforced so many things that I had been thinking before, like where I want to take my picture taking. Here is a transcript from one of the best of the weekend:

Tom Kennedy - EA XX presentation:

Let me start tonight by offering four quotes that I think apply to
our situation as we find ourselves in a world where the use of
photojournalism and photography is in flux and the abilities of media
companies to find and keep audiences while keeping themselves
profitable is also in flux.

From one of my favorite philosophers Kierkegaard:

"Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.

From the Canadian media critic Marshal McLuhan:
"We look at the future through a rearview mirror. We march backward
into the future."

From the psychologist R.D. Laing:
"We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up we
begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing."

From former attorney general Ramsay Clark
"Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity."

I am a real believer in the vision and wisdom of Marshal McLuhan as
he observed and commented on media in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.
I studied him in college in the late 1960's as he was analyzing the
impact of electronic media on society, particularly television.
While he was analyzing broadcast media at the time, I actually
believe many of his observations apply much more precisely to the
current situation with the impact of the Internet on photography and
journalism. I am amazed that he saw 50 years into the future with
such clarity and described possible outcomes in a way that so fits
our time.

Among many things, McLuhan posited that electronic media was really
the fusion of two types of communication that existed at the dawn of
human history as primary forms – namely cave painting and oral story-
telling traditions. He saw them as being eclipsed by text when
Guttenberg invented the printing press. As those forms of media were
eclipsed by text as the primary form of knowledge sharing, the world
of man of humanity was altered.

Today, I think multimedia is offering a highly sophisticated
throwback as an alternate form of language to text. I think people
are hard-wired to receive it as a form of communication and I think
it offers us enormous opportunity to reshape the power of the
visually and orally based narratives as expressions of journalism.

We can transcend the limitations of literalism that so characterize
the use of photojournalism in so many print publications. We don't
have to slaves to the concept that our photographs, video and audio
are only good to literally illustrate a journalistic point being made
by some writer as a part of their journalistic observation. We have
the power to go beyond this iconographic use of imagery into a world
where visual story-telling can offer a full, rich narrative on its
own terms.

I believe we need to embrace multimedia story-telling as an
opportunity to reinvent the language of visual/auditory story-telling
and in to doing so we can help the public to better understand our

Let me shift now to the fundamental questions of journalism which
photographers are required to answer with as much force and power as
their text-producing colleagues.

We all learned in journalism school that the fundamental journalism
questions are "who, what, where, when, why, and how."

Too much of our journalism deals with the who, what, where, and when
questions in my opinion. I believe we need to focus on the "why"
question much more often in our story-telling as the means to get to
the real truths underpinning life on this planet and the fundamental
truths of the human condition.

It is true that most editors view photography as only about the
specific, a collision of space and time that comes together in the
decisive moment that can only address what is happening before the
camera in an instant. Yes, it is true that cameras are uniquely
suited as instruments to catch the moment. But I would submit that
is the intentionality of the photojournalist that can enable those
specific "truths" to mesh with and also yield valuable information
about the underlying truths if the photojournalist is seeking to use
his or her observations to always address the why question as a part
of the story.

We live today in a world being driven mad by fear and anger. We live
in a world where people in authority or people seeking to address
grievances on behalf of the powerless would use this fear and anger
to imprison us all. I believe photojournalism can be the force that
instead offers information so citizens aren't so angry, afraid and
fearful of each other. I believe it is our duty to produce content
offers our audience information that enables them all to lead richer,
happier, more productive lives, in part through the stories we tell.

In thinking about how best to put this idea into practice, let me
talk for the remainder of the time about the "4 R's" – roles,
responsibilities, risks and rewards implicit in being a
photojournalist or photographer.

Let me start with roles.

As I see it photography is about changing how people see the world
around them. It is also about communicating information that builds
bridges of connection. When we photograph our subjects, we validate
other peoples' stories and by extension we reaffirm their fundamental
worth and dignity. To me, this act of affirmation is almost
sacramental in concept. It involves a delicate exchange of trust and
it is a ballet that can be transformative for both parties. To me,
story-telling is a sacred gift, both to the subjects and to the
audience who would receive the wisdom and truth contained in the
story. When we photograph or build multimedia stories or shoot
video, we act as interpreters of experience. We also act as
historians, transmitters of culture, and extenders of knowledge and
wisdom. All of these actions matter. Ideally, we transport people
beyond the boundaries of their lives and around the barriers that can
emerge as mechanisms of control imposed by those in power positions.
Our work can put people in touch with the fundamental truths of human
existence in new and profound ways, thus providing an antidote to
madness and fear I mentioned earlier.

As practitioners of journalism, we have the fundamental requirement
to treat everyone with dignity and it matters that we invest the time
to truly understand the narrative arcs implicit in our subjects'
lives. We need to invest the time to understand them and respond to
them as people who have something to say and share. Our role, in
part, is to bear witness and to make the act of witnessing the basis
for a kind of story-telling that can express meaning in appropriate
ways to those who would be our audience. This can take five
minutes, an hour, days or even months. But it is crucial to make
the investment, both for the sake of our communities and our own

This brings to me to responsibilities, which I again see another
delicate balancing act. We have five fundamental obligations: to
our subjects, to our audience, to our organizations, to ourselves as
journalists and creative artists, and to those around us who would
act as our support structure in grounding us and providing succor
when the dark times of doubt and uncertainty may set in. We need to
balance these responsibilities in everything we do, making the effort
to try to arrive at a state of harmony and balance that enables the
full power of our witnessing to find expression. I think it is very
easy to get out of balance. If we neglect our own development, we
fail to develop the skills necessary to grow creatively. If we treat
our subjects badly, then they will never open up enough to tell us
the truth of their lives. If we shirk our obligations to those who
hire us to be photojournalists and story tellers, we sow the seeds of
commercial failure for our companies as our work may not find the
audiences necessary to make the businesses succeed. If we short-
change our audiences, we lower the standards of public discourse and
maybe even fail to provide the fuel necessary to safeguard democracy
as a political system. If we neglect our support structure, we can
sow the seeds of personal destruction that I put in the category of

We live in an age where celebrity culture seems to rule; where power
and money can seem to buy unlimited amounts of freedom and
privilege. This reality can infect organizations and individuals
alike. Our work requires strong egos to deal with rejection and
failures, but we cannot be so egotistical that we come to think the
world and our subjects as our personal play toys and canvas to show
the world our own brilliance exclusively. Selfishness and insularity
can collude to perpetuate unclear thinking, stubborn egoism, and
creative blindness. Acting as if we must know everything to be in
charge can block the very power to change and grow toward a fuller
release of our own innate creativity.

Another kind of risk comes when we refuse to accept mature criticism
of our own work, and instead, we use a variety of weapons to defend
our own creative decisions and the type of journalism we may be
practicing in the moment. Those weapons can be denial, sarcasm, and
anger, borne out of a fear of failure or a fear that we stand to lose
everything we have worked to attain if we are seen to be wanting in
some way. I have spent a lot of time studying Zen Buddhism as an
adult and I love the analogy of some monks that liken this kind of
reaction to hunkering in a cave wrapped in our beliefs and ideas and
defending those at all costs rather than venturing forth into the
cold world of uncertainty where things are continuously and
constantly changing.

We have to let go of the desire to defend our caves and realize that
in a world of permanent, constant change, it makes no sense to try to
resist change in this way. When we let go of our fear-based
egotistical reactions, we don't need to defend against the ideas and
reactions of others. We can listen and try to understand them, while
trying to reveal as clearly and positively as possible our own
feelings and ideas. It is that kind of creative exchange that needs
to underpin all our professional activities, particularly in relation
to the organizations and individuals within the organizations that we
work with most closely.

Each of us is a vehicle for something in daily life. Our choices of
values determine how we move through life and how we relate to each
other. We can choose to see ourselves as vehicles for something
greater than ourselves and it is in that essence that I think we find
the final "r" of rewards. I think it should be our aspiration always
to have the ability to act, even in difficult circumstances, to do
something of benefit to others on a daily basis.

If we can act of the basis of self-confidence that comes from knowing
who we are at any moment in time and what we stand for as
photojournalists and visual story-tellers, then we can be comfortable
with the ambiguities and chaos that is bred by continual change and
we can give the gift of fearlessness to each other. If we stop our
struggle to use total control as the only viable antidote to fear
bred by uncertainty, then we can dissolve our own fear and take it
away in others as well.

A while ago, I spoke about the delicate dance of trust that we must
develop with our subjects in order to tell their stories
effectively. Acknowledging the need for their help in arriving at a
place of understanding can be a powerful weapon in the face of fear
driven by uncertainty. We need to be able to have the humility to
ask for that kind of help at times.

This brings me to another Zen question. Are you willing to wear the
white belt of a beginner again and again as you proceed on the path
of mastery. To be a life-long learner, you have to be willing to
regularly accept the pain of being a novice, even if it means
appearing temporarily as a "fool" to others. To develop creativity,
you need to cultivate a state of emptiness that allows room for new
things to come into being.

I love the story of Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, who asked his
students to bury him in his white belt because he saw death as the
moment of ultimate transformation and the exact moment at which we
are all once again beginners.

I'd like to close with a couple of other thoughts and I want to take
the time to read them exactly from my note card because if you take
nothing else away from my talk tonight, I'd like you to remember
these things.

If we look back and reflect on lost opportunities, we will regret the

If we look ahead and feel we have few opportunities left to us, we
will regret the future.

Time is not the basis for our lives. Life emphasizes no-time. It
emphasizes now. Put your life in the present moment. Let the entire
world live in your present activity.

To have only regrets about our entire life means we have lived our
lives only encircled by limitations (emotional, physical, or limits
about the perception of time).

We need to live with no regrets, even as we acknowledge, learn from
and grow as a result of mistakes. For myself, I would say that all
my best learning has come from mistakes and that in turn has bred my
best successes professionally.

Going back to the Kierkegaard quote, our spiritual path will be
inevitably a journey without a map or fixed destination. We can
never lose sight of our own possibilities for creative growth and
development and we need to recognize that our own path is truly our
own. No one else can live it for us or walk it for us. It is ours
to do.

The real work of our lives is to know who we are, to see beyond
unknowing into knowing, past misunderstanding into wisdom, so we can
live completely, and authentically in the now. That way we can
fulfill all our obligations as professionals and citizens in this world.

Thanks a lot.

Monday, November 05, 2007

More on my Blogging

So I've been thinking more about this blog thing. I had kept photo albums during college shot from my digi point and shoot and later a film point and shoot, but unfortunately I stopped when I moved to NY. Mostly due to not working in a lab anymore, I couldn't make all those 4x6 prints. I really miss having that record. Almost five years later I'm trying again to keep a record of pictures. This time they won't be 90% pictures of partying and what not (which are still fun to have), although I'm sure some will make it in here. I want this to be a record of my everyday, pictures that I like for whatever reason.

Knoxville, TN

A month or two ago I got sent down to Knoxville, TN to scout some basketball courts in the surrounding area of UT for Clay to shoot a portrait of a big UT women's basketball player named Candice Parker. I found a dozen different outdoor courts, mostly very new and in good shape, two that were torn back a bit. This shot I took isn't were we ended up shooting the portrait but I thought it made for a great landscape.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NYC Taxi driver

Like any of us who live here in NY you know there is basically two types of Cabbies, those who are assholes and those whom you have some of the best conversations of your life with. This guy fits the latter. He litterally saved this bird from a parking lot right before he picked me up. I shot this a while back so I can't exactly remember our conversation but I do remember thinking this is one ride back to Brooklyn that I won't forget.

From a rainy day

Here's my homey Jon, I shot these on a gig assisting Matthew out in the Pocono's somewhere, actually near Daleville for those of you in the know. Jon's a rad dude, a great photo assistant and even better photographer, check out his work
Check out his polaroid section for a great snap of yours truely.

Last night Tokyo

My last night in tokyo was pretty fun, I stayed out super late and met a bunch of cool folks, the only thing that sucked was I wasn't alowed to take photos in the hip hop club I was at most of the night. The club was pretty chill and it was an after party for the Boot Camp click show, I had shot them before so it was cool to say whats up and chat for minute, met a bunch of other cool cats as well, some through Norm and some Americans that I just started talking to.

Here's Norm spinning some records at some club called the Game. We checked out a live show upstairs as well before we headed over the the Boot camp click thing.

This is one of Norm's designers Hiroaki ( and He's also a dj and was spinning records at this spot Game. Hiroaki just did a colabo with my homey Steve Holding ( I shot this backstage before their friend's band went on.

Food in tokyo

I had so many good meals there, the sushi was amazing and Norm took me to some great resturaunts. I really should have photographed those spots. But I also had some great meals on the street, perticularly this one block right outside of the fish market. Super cheap (realtive to Tokyo) and really good.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Wandering in Tokyo

Napping in Ueno Park

Trash at the Tokyo fish Market... That was an experience, I have some other fliks from there but I like this one the best, I had some of the best Sushi I think, actually I know I've ever had. It was suggested in my Loney Planet book called Daiwa Sushi, literally right in the fish market, the fish was crazy fresh. Funny story too was the older couple from Boston that got inline right behind me. They were from Beacon hill they had the thickest accent, I'm half way around the world and I run into Sox fans, classic.

Moat that surrounds the palace.

If click on this picture you can see it a bit bigger, it was kind of a crazy scene, some worker got hurt down in a man hole and they had to hoist him out. You can see the tarps they put up so it blocked the scene from most of the street, I thought I was going to see a bloody mess, but the guy was just in shock.

This shot was from the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower in Roppogi, there is an amazing modern art gallery there as well. Saw a great show of a bunch of Japanese contemporary artists, I'll try to list some names later.

My local guide and new friend... Steve calls him the Mayor of Shibuya, Norm. Dude has brought me to some of the best resturaunts I think I've ever eaten at and introduced me to countless cool people. He's a clothing designer for his own brand named Suspereal, check it out at

Job flix

For some reason I wasn't a picture making machine on this trip like I was in Argentina (see stories section) But I've made a couple picture I like. Happened to me again this time, when I visited Argentina I really had a whole plan to photograph some kind of specific subject, but then like now I get to the place and I'm like shit, I've never been here before I need to experience the place for more than lets say one sub culture and end up doing as much as I can too see as much as I can. Here are some fliks from the Nike job that got me here and the guy that brought me, Clay.

This is one of the shots in the TV commercial Clay was shooting stills for. They all these breakdancers from Korea and Japan, they were so cool and worked so hard.

round TWO

So here we are again trying to start a blog up, I was going to use flicker but I want to be able to write more about the pictures. Due to my change of heart in photography, I'm going to try to put atleast one new picture every few days. Also, not every picture might not be toned/retouched/tweeked to its final stage, thats what my website is for. I basically just want a place to put up pictures that circle around my life whether I like it for the image or the story.

Right now I'm in a small hotel somewhere in Ginza district in Tokyo, killing a little time, resting my legs, preparing for a long night out with my new local friend Norm (big ups for Steve for the introduction).