• Archives
  • Sep18

    Brian & Mira

    Pinterest is a great thing. You can find inspiring photography in just about any practice of the craft. Much like YouTube is for video, you can chase an idea and end up in unexpected places along the way, sometimes going off in a completely different direction.

    It’s also a problem. You start to see patterns in a derivative way. A search for maternity photography will garner a plethora of similar results. Some expertly executed mixed in with a bunch of terribly imitated images. After a few minutes, everything seems so similar. Photography really is an insestuous form of art – But I guess every form of art suffers from this. It just seems that photography is more readily copied than any other.

    So when Brian & Mira announced they were having a baby (and by announced, I mean I accidentally figured it out, but that’s a story for another time), I was excited to try a different approach to maternity photography.


    I wanted to put the couple in an environment that captures who they are and what they represent at this time in their lives. They are both very outdoorsy people, and Mira works a lot with Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding, a horse farm that specializes in improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities. What a perfect environment for these two!

    Mira & Brian in the Stable

    Mira Horse B&W

    They also recently celebrated a non-traditional baby shower under a tree in Hampton Park. No silly “Guess what’s in the diaper” games going on, just a nice picnic in the park for family and friends to come together and show the new parents-to-be some support.

    Brian & Mira's Baby Shower Garden Party

    Brian & Mira's Baby Shower Garden Party

    Brian & Mira's Baby Shower Garden Party

    Earlier in the summer, I snapped this shot of Mira at Folly Beach during the 4th of July celebration. It captures her just as she started to become a little more obvious with her pregnant state:

    Mira's Maternity Shots at Folly Beach

    We’re super excited to welcome “Baby X” into the world with them, I just hope they hurry up and pick a name so we don’t have to keep calling it “it” 🙂

  • Sep8

    Here is #sketch no. 2 of @emmawatson that I got a little more ambitious with #drawinglaceishard #moleskine #sketchbook #art #graphite #drawing #draw #pencil #fabercastell #emmawatson #orlando #florida

    One of the most important things I’ve learned about photography is that the equipment is not ultimately important. The overall image is. I’ve hammered it in so many blog posts that I’m not even gonna bother linking to them here. Just choose any month from the right-hand list and you’ll find me ranting about some facet of photography that has nothing to do with lenses or light modifiers.

    Tonight's #sketch is of #AngelinaJolie - I dig her more now than ever for promoting women's health #art #sketchbook #moleskine #fabercastell #graphite #pencil #draw #drawing #portrait #girl #actress #bighair

    So, I’ve recently rekindled my love for drawing with graphite – Something I did back in high school but never really pursued again until now. The whole process has inadvertently turned into an advanced lesson in portraiture. I scour through Pinterest feeds looking for faces that move me, and before I know it, I’m studying. I’m learning about which photos appeal to me, but more importantly why they appeal to me. Expressions, quality of light, overall mood, etc.

    Tonight's #sketch of @nottildaswinton was made in 3 different airports and caught the attention of the TSA (in a good way).  #TildaSwinton #moleskine #sketchbook #art #drawing #draw #graphite #pencil #portrait #face #actress #artist #woman #girl #shorthai

    Once I’ve settled on a portrait to sketch, I then get a chance to slow down and really tear the image apart so that I can put it back together again. Every facial feature, every shadow, and every highlight gets meticulously recreated.

    Tonight's #sketch is of @gilliananderson #sketchbook #moleskine #art #drawing #draw #graphite #portrait #hair #pencil #fabercastell

    I even started adding my own little adjustments, such as the tears in this sketch of Benedict Cumberbatch that I did for my daughter:

    Tonight's #sketch of a sad #BenedictCumberbatch @cumberbatchb was commissioned by my daughter @frostymac for a school research project.  #art #moleskine #sketchbook #draw #drawing #graphite #pencil #sherlock #necromancer #fabercastell #portrait #tears #fa

    The real trick is in translating that inspiration and effort back into photography. I find that getting people to slow down with me is helping me get some deeper images of their faces. Here’s an photo I shot recently after a head shot session where I just asked Christina to relax a bit and look at the camera without any predisposition. Just take it easy and let the face tell the story without forcing it.

    Christina Dramatic B&W

    If you want to keep up with what I’m doing in my sketchbook, follow me on my Instagram feed

  • Sep7

    Ben Folds Five in Charleston, SC

    I love shooting live performances for my own personal enjoyment. I love music, and I love watching musicians perform. I also love photography. Why wouldn’t I want to marry the two passions? Years ago, people thought that taking professional photos at a concert was a bad thing because you might do something detrimental to the artist’s bottom line with them. I guess there was a market for nice photos of Jimmy Page on the black market. Who knows? But today you can watch a concert minutes after it happens on YouTube because everyone in attendance is Martin Scorsese with their cell phones.

    There is so much punk rock in this photo it hurts... Oh, and your belt's upside down Mr. Pop.   #riotfest #toronto #iggyandthestooges #iggypop #mikewatt #theminutemen #rawpower #punkrock #rocknroll #legends #music

    Most venues won’t even bother mentioning anything about a shitty camera, but if you have a nice camera with you then you must be a bootlegging son-of-a-bitch and not someone who enjoys the art of photography. I don’t know, it all seems silly to carry old ways of thinking into modern times. You don’t like that people are holding their phones up to snap pictures at every event? Too bad – it’s what we do in 2013. In 2020 we’ll be shooting it with our Google Contact Lenses, so you won’t have to worry about people having to lift their hands in the air like they just don’t care. The world has changed and we’re all being photographed and videoed everywhere we go.


    I’m not even trying to be rebellious or anything, I just find it strange that venues try to control the creation of well executed photography but have no problem with truly shitty cell phone pics. If the artist themselves wishes to not be photographed, then that’s a completely different story. People have the right to say no and we should respect that.


    So, what’s my secret for bringing in a DSLR to just about any venue? I just walk in with it strapped on my shoulder and pay no attention to it. Most security guards don’t care, and more importantly most can’t tell the difference between a professional or consumer camera anyway. The most recent festival I went to, the security guard asked me what kind of camera I had and I told her it was a fixed lens still camera. She looked at me funny and said “OK, as long as it’s not one of those cameras you can change lenses on”. I just smiled and walked on by. I didn’t lie – it had a 50mm fixed lens on it – I just didn’t elaborate on it at all. It’s pretty easy if you don’t make a big deal about it. The worst that can happen is that they tell you that you can’t bring it in. I’m still waiting for the day when that happens!

    Why not another @thereplacements photo? #paulwesterberg & #daveminehan #thereplacements   #reunion #toronto #canada #riotfest #rocknroll #guitar #singing #music #live

  • Sep6


    Posted in: Insight, News, Projects

    Black Swamp Girl

    I woke up one Saturday morning with this image in my head. Inspired by my friend Katie’s new venture called “Black Swamp” in which she re-purposes the wood shavings from her & her husband’s woodworking business into jewelry, I saw that the pieces she’s producing look much like the curls of her own hair. The idea was almost too easy! I drove out to Eutawville, SC that afternoon to make it happen.

    Of course, nothing worth doing comes without a price, and Katie did not come out of this squeaky clean.

    Black Swamp Co.

    I like to “warm up” for something like this to get a feel for the location, loosen up the subject, and get my brain on the correct frequency. I shot a few environmental portraits in Katie and her husband Joe’s new shop space. Here’s my favorite of those shots:

    Black Swamp Co.

    You can check out the rest of the photos on this Flickr Set.