• Archives
  • May31

    Art For Charity 2012

    If you have one of these, you may be wondering if you’re in the right place, and you are! If you don’t know what this is about, read this first.

    Friday night’s Art For Charity Event was a blast. I had a lot of fun shooting attendees, staff, & volunteers at the Michael Mitchel in Charleston, SC.

    First things first, I want you to get to the photos.

    To see and download all of the photos, please go here. You can also order prints from that website, and part of the proceeds will be sent directly to the Ryan White Program and Wellness Center!

    You can also see all of the photos on my Facebook page. Please share the album and tag yourself and your friends!

    Art For Charity 2012

    At the top of this post is Katie Kern, who’s the PR of Art For Charity. Below is Michael Mitchel, who is the founder and is kind enough to host the events. These folks don’t do this for their own recognition (in fact they’ll probably hate that I’m focusing on them right here), but considering the fact that I deal in imagery, I thought it best to show them.

    Art For Charity 2012

    And here’s a shot of the volunteers for the event with staff members from the Ryan White Program and Wellness Center. All of these people certainly deserve a bunch of recognition for all of their dedication!

    Art For Charity 2012

    Most of the portraits were shot using paintings by Susan Colwell and Karen Keene Day as the backdrop! These paintings were in the front of the studio and made for the best location to do the photos. I thought it made for a very cool design element given the environment we were in.

    Art For Charity 2012

  • May30


    Tamara & Michael’s newest addition, Gabriel, joins his big brother Jackson. If you’ve been following along with this blog, you may remember Tamara from her maternity shoot not too long ago.


    These two are so sweet together, it’s pretty incredible. I don’t think I was ever this close with my brother 😉 It’s no wonder that my favorite shots are of the two of them interacting.




    Here’s one more shot – an unexpected photo with dad who just happened to pick up Gabriel in the right place at the right time. You can see the full set right here.


    I hope Gabriel’s future is bright and filled with good things, and he’s got a great family to get that life started with!

  • May28

    Art For Charity Poster
    Click the poster for the full size version

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be shooting portraits of the guests at the Art For Charity event at the Michael Mitchel Studio in Charleston, SC on Friday, June 1st, 2012.

    First, the details:

    -Michael Mitchell Gallery is located at 438 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403
    -The events are held from 6 pm to 9 pm.
    -A $10 donation would be greatly appreciated
    -The event I’ll be shooting will be benefiting the Ryan White Program and Wellness Center

    What is Art For Charity?

    Art For Charity is a unique gallery event where a portion of profits from sold artwork benefit local, non-profit organizations. This year’s charities include Friends of MUSC Children’s Hospital, Crisis Ministries, Komen Lowcountry, Roper St. Francis Ryan White Program, Charleston Waterkeeper and MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.

    The event I’ll be shooting will be benefiting the Ryan White Program and Wellness Center.

    Who is Ryan White and what is the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program?

    Ryan White and his mom courageously fought AIDS-related discrimination and helped educate the Nation about his disease.

    Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS at age 13. He and his mother Jeanne White Ginder fought for his right to attend school, gaining international attention as a voice of reason about HIV/AIDS. At the age of 18, Ryan White died on April 8, 1990, just months before Congress passed the AIDS bill that bears his name – the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act. The legislation has been reauthorized four times since – in 1996, 2000, 2006, and 2009 – and is now called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

    I’m pretty stoked to be a part of this, and I hope to see you there. Heck, just bring $10 to donate at the door, get your photo taken, & check out some art (and possibly buy some since part of the proceeds benefit the charity). I’ll be posting the photos for you to download just like I did for the recent Change For Change Art Show.

  • May27


    Lindsay’s maternity shoot was a gift from her friends to her and her husband Dustin. Needless to say, I was flattered to be asked to do this! I also had to deliver on something magical because she’s bearing twins, which makes for an interesting shoot since I feared that she wouldn’t be able to do too many adventurous poses. As you can see by the photo above, my fears were unnecessary. Using a piece of white fabric I picked up for the shot just below, I had Dustin holding the back of the fabric and while a fan blew it upwards, he threw the fabric up so it would catch the wind as she did her dance pose.


    Lindsay also had some other shots in mind. I love a subject who is engaged in the shoot and has definite goals set. You know she’s working hard if she comes prepared. This one was one of her suggestions, a simple vintage looking shot of her holding her belly outside:


    She also wanted to do the traditional hand-heart-belly shot, which we nailed, but then we took it one step further by making this shot with some eggs bearing their twins initials:


    I love it because it’s a somewhat abstract family photo. I did the selective color because we only had brown eggs on hand, and I wanted them pink, but it looked odd in full color so I went with this.

    We also did some clean studio shots on a white background. Lindsay was a trooper for this shot. She tried to keep those legs up, but the twins didn’t allow it 😉 We had Dustin hold her feet and I removed his hand in post.




    We had to get at least one traditional family photo:


    And finally, I wanted to share this shot. I simply love the look of pride in her expression.


    I wish the best of luck to Lindsay & Dustin and their future family! You can see the full set of photos right here.

  • May23

    Eileen's Bridal Portrait Session

    Just a few minutes before the shot above was made, it started to drizzle. We were questioning if we would be able to catch a decent sunset or if we were just going to get rained out. I had the shot in mind, and in fact it was going to be the “closer” of Eileen’s bridal shoot. Everything was leading up to getting a sunset shot at the Battery, even though we got enough stuff for her to pick one as her bridal portrait. This shot was purely in the hands of mother nature, and man oh man did she deliver a powerful display in the air on Saturday night!

    Eileen Bridal-2

    We started out in the studio to get some close-ups of Eileen’s pretty face. Once I got the shot I wanted, we jumped in my car and headed into Charleston. The first shot I planed was at the Judicial Center on Broad Street, but while we were parking, I drove down Magazine Street and remembered this cool church at the end of the street on Archdale. I pulled over and we quickly made this shot:

    Eileen Bridal-4

    Next stop was the Judicial Center. I love to play with the square columns. There’s a lot of fun to be had in this little breezeway. I had Eileen’s matron of honor, we’ll call her VAL (Voice Activated Light-Stand), next to her hiding behind a column holding a softbox on a pole.

    Eileen Bridal-5

    Next I wanted to get some classic Charleston going, so we headed to Tradd Street to take some shots.

    Eileen Bridal-10

    Up next was a trip down East Bay Street to shoot some portraits at Charleston’s iconic Rainbow Row.

    Eileen Bridal-12

    And then it started to rain. Just enough to make us nervous. We were so close and ready to go. As we were driving up the Battery to find a clear spot, the rain let up and the sky lit up. It was amazing. I parked quickly and was running across the street, C-Stand in hand trying to wave off a person who was going to park right where we were setting up. Time was of the essence, and that lady would have to just understand (thankfully she did with no question).

    Eileen Bridal-19

    Just a note to all of you dog walkers out there: Can’t you just clean up after your dog? I stepped in doggie droppings while doing this shot, which thankfully was pretty dried up, but still… Gross. Didn’t matter in the end, because we got the shot we wanted and all was right in the world.

    Eileen Bridal-20

  • May22


    Posted in: Inspiration, Projects


    I just love faces. I’ve been making my subjects let me shoot close-up shots of their faces lately because I just find them so interesting, both in a human sense as well as an artistic one. That human face is such an amazing and dynamic canvas of emotion. Every split second is different than the next (at least if I’m doing my job right – I don’t like it forced).

    The photo above is Eileen’s face as we got ready to do her bridal shoot. The one just below is my daughter’s friend Michaela who got nabbed as my test model while I was setting up my lights.


    Next up is Lindsay, who came by the studio for a killer maternity shoot. She’s pregnant with twins and was so gung-ho to get some cool shots. I was amazed by how good she did!

    Lindsay Face-1

    Finally it’s Gabriel, who is not getting his senior portraits done for another 16 years…

    Gabriel Face-1

    I’ll have a few new posts coming soon to show some of my favorite shots from each shoot (you can see some of those now on my Facebook page). I’m also shooting at another art show at the beginning of next month, so check back soon for details on that as well.

  • May12


    The 2nd installment of the Change for Change Art Show has come and gone, and organizer Darryl LaPlante did a fantastic job of putting this whole thing together. Don’t let this bad ass look fool you, the man is a giant softie:


    I had originally planned on attending and checking out the festivities like a citizen, but after a photo shoot got rescheduled at the last minute I decided to lug out my gear to the Mixon Barn and setup a portrait studio to work the show like a soldier instead. I had about 3 hours to plan the whole thing out, including designing & printing up these fliers to hand out:

    Setup under a canopy strategically located between the bar and the porta-potties, this is where I made all of these photographs:

    Show Me The Pictures


    Sooooo, if you are one of my victims subjects, you’re wondering what I’m doing with all of those portraits we made. Well, on Facebook, you can check out the whole set here. Please go ahead and like my page and tag yourself or your friends in the photos. Share the whole album with your friends!

    Also, If you really dig the photos, you can purchase prints of them here. Profits from the sale of these portraits will go to Change For Change to benefit Water Missions International. If your significant other got his/her portrait made, you pretty much will get the best Karma points in the world for buying him/her one of these, so get on that!

    Here’s a slideshow of them all:

    I definitely had a blast interacting with everybody. Some familiar faces, some new ones, and some I didn’t even know that I knew. Some of the Charleston art scenes’ best were on hand and I had a blast talking shop with them all.




    Since there were also some talented local photographers in attendance, I was able to hand my Nikon over to one of them. Ryan Belk took over shutterbug duties and snapped this shot of me:


    It’s nice being on the other side of the lens every once in a while. A beard like mine demands to be seen!

    Thanks again to the organizers – I hope we made some loot for the cause 😉

  • May7

    Just wanted to invite you all to the Change For Change Benefit Art Show, which will be taking place at Mixon Barn in Park Circle this year on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at 7:00PM.

    What is the Change For Change Benefit Art Show you ask? Well, from their event page:

    The Change for Change Art Show is back again for a second year to raise money for Water Missions International! It’s a FREE event where local artists have donated some awesome artwork and photographs to be sold for $50 or less. Artists will also be displaying/selling tons of other pieces as well.

    Last year’s event was a blast, you can read my recap of that here.

    Go ahead, visit their Facebook event page and get all the gory details. Did I mention that the art show itself is free? Come see some stuff and possibly buy some art for a heck of a lot cheaper than usual to support a great cause.

  • May6


    What started as a bummer of a photography day after both of my scheduled photo shoots fell through at the last minute, turned into an awesome one! After reading this post from lighting master Joe McNally, I realized that this shit happens to even the best of the best. Instead of sulking around my freshly cleaned house wondering what to do with my newly found free time, I decided to take up an invitation from the local kiteboarding group (thanks Kathy) and head to the beach for some extreme sports shooting.




    The timing was great – the sun started to set and the light was beautiful.




    The crew of surf flying athletes were stoked about the news that just broke about Kiteboarding being selected for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. Very exciting news indeed, I wonder which of these boarders could make it?


    As the sun fell down in the sky and the boarders packed up, I stuck around to get some shots of the Perigee Moon, AKA, the Super Moon! I shot this moon last year at Folly Beach. This is what I got this year:

    Super Moon 2012-2

    So I turned a disaster of a photo day around and met some cool people in the process. A bad day is only as bad as you let it become. You can check out the rest of my shots from yesterday in this set on Flickr.

  • May4

    Sitting in the backyard of my friend Greg’s home in the mid 90’s in Manhassett, NY on a mild summer night drinking beer in green bottles and chain smoking cigarettes (and possibly some other flammable plant life – but not Greg ’cause he was straight-edge without the corny title). We were all underage yet old enough to serve, but Clinton was in office so we had no worries of that nature yet. Greg’s family pet pig snorted under our feet while people dropped in and out throughout the course of the evening. Simpsons references were cited, and there were recaps of who was on Howard Stern that morning. After we plotted about how to take over the NY music scene, the night would always deteriorate into a white man’s rap battle.

    Houlihan, MCA, & Hair Du – Not sure who snapped this, but it rules

    Houlihan and Hair Du would dominate, but Gallagher, Pat, Tommy, Owen, Greg, Brendan, Johnny, or countless others would jump in where they could. The shit really heated up as soon as Paul’s Boutique was popped in the CD player. We were New York kids and this was our soundtrack. Sure we had Pavement and Superchunk and the Archers of Loaf, but the Beasties were all about participation and everyone we knew loved them. It represented everything I love about music in it’s rawest form – it connected us.

    I’ll be dammed if listening to “Egg Man” one night didn’t lead to us breaking into Christopher Morley Park and jumping off the high diving board at 1:00 AM. Tommy chickened out and couldn’t jump, so we had to coax him back down. That was some stupid shit in hindsight! I hope my kids don’t read that part…

    Tommy, Me, & Gallagher stopping at the Grand Canyon while on tour

    A couple of years later, my band was on tour when Hello Nasty came out. Nothing raised our spirits more than pulling away from a record store in Arizona and blasting the sounds of Mix Master Mike’s debut with the Boys. It was a slice of NY that we knew all of our friends back home were experiencing along with us even though we were a thousand miles away from them. This was before Facebook and Twitter. Most people didn’t own a cell phone. The dot com bubble was growing but no one knew what to do with it yet. Music was the connection. Music kept us together. We couldn’t wait to see our friends again and drop our favorite lines or talk about some rare sample that we figured out.

    Last summer when I went back to New York for a high school reunion, the first night I was there we went to a Karaoke bar in Astoria. You know we had to close the night down with “Get It Together”. We sucked at it too, but it didn’t matter ’cause we were having fun.

    It’s really awful to let the fact that there won’t be any more Beastie Boys records sink in, so I’m just gonna leave with this thought: We have a short shot at life on this wet marble we call home, and doing something that facilitates the love that’s possible between friends, strangers, and anyone who’s willing to be cool is the greatest gift you can give. Thanks for the gifts you gave us Adam Yauch.