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  • Jul4

    Mackenzie With A Sparkler

    It’s been a very busy year so far – July 4th seems to sneak up and remind me just how fast time slips by. I’ve been busy growing my other business while still working this one. In fact, I surprised my crew yesterday by dragging in a light and a backdrop to the office for some surprise headshots:



    Speaking of headshots, I’ve been doing a lot lately for various professionals in the area. A few years ago, you could only thrive from doing headshots in a major market, but because of social media every professional needs one, not just actors and comedians.

    Here’s a couple I did this past week:

    Dr. Kelsey Harris Headshot
    Dr. Kelsey Harris

    Molly Slade
    Dr. Molly Slade

    I’ve also discovered that my Fuji X-T1 is quite the capable headshot camera. The two headshots of the guys in my crew were taken with the Fuji, while the two doctors were taken using my Nikon D800. While the flexibility gained by the controls, full frame sensor, and lens selection of the Nikon are paramount to shooting professionally, the Fuji’s results are almost indistinguishable when the output is simply an internet profile picture. The only drawback I found with my current lighting rig is that I need to close down the aperture on the Fuji a couple of stops because it shoots natively at ISO 200 and it’s a cropped sensor. That leads to more depth of field when shooting with strobe lights. For headshots like these, it’s not a problem though. For creative portraiture using these strobes it might be limiting, but I think a ND filter or two would help in that case. The look of a lens at it’s proper focal length that you get from a full frame sensor when compared to a cropped one can’t be beat, but like the US Soccer team’s performance in the World Cup game against Belgium, it comes really close by giving it its all – And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    Sorry, I fell into a technical wormhole. Back to the photos…

    Sottile Theater Installation Obey
    Shepard Fairey Installation At The Sottile Theater

    If you haven’t stopped by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art to see the exhibit of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns, you’ve got ’til July 12th to do so. The work is amazing and inspiring. Shepard Fairey has a few installations in the Charleston area, including the one above at the storefront of the Sottile Theater on King Street. There’s also a few murals that he’s put up, such as this one on one of the College of Charleston’s dormitories:

    Shepard Fairey Mural in Charleston, SC
    Selective Color Still Lives!

    I do love some street art. In the right places, like the back alleys of the city where people store their trash, they bring color and joy. I find the story told by the street artists to be just as compelling as the story told by the architects on the main streets.

    Fire Escape
    The Other Part Of King Street

    On another note, every once in a while I get reminded of just how amazing the camera in my pocket (the iPhone) is. I snapped this little dragonfly while walking into a client’s office the other day:

    Dragonfly posing for an pic!
    Dragonfly Instagram

    I also got to go to a wedding that I wasn’t working at for the first time in a looooong time. I still managed to take a few photos, but only because I wanted to, not because I had to!

    Samantha & Jerry
    Samantha & Jerry

    Samantha & Jerry
    Samantha & Jerry

    I’ve been seeing as much music as possible and spending some great time with my daughter in the process. We had front row center seats to see the Head and the Heart and Valerie June recently:

    The Head and the Heart in Charleston 2014
    The Head and the Heart

    "Time tells all, but we only get a little slice of it... Then we gotta change" #ValerieJune
    Valerie June

    At the start of the summer I surprised my daughter during our “school’s out weekend trip to Disney World” with a visit to Universal Studios to see Huey Lewis & The News!

    Huey Lewis & The News at Universal Studios
    Huey Lewis & the News

    Speaking of Disney World, I captured this family photo with a Rokinon fish-eye lens on my Fuji X-T1 while we rode Primeval Whirl in the Animal Kingdom:

    Animal Kingdom 2014
    The Nienstedt Family

    And while we were walking through Epcot’s World Showcase, we ran into some old friends. It’s Paulie Latex and Jenny Jelly of Latex Generation fame! Paul used to sing and play guitar in my band and Jen was our merch girl. I wrote a song about them when we were teenagers about how they would never last. I then wrote a song a few years later about being astonished that they were still together. Now they’ve got 3 girls and have been together for somewhere near 20 years. Holy crap was I wrong!

    Latex Generation Family Photo Disney World 2014
    Photo by Mrs. Edel

    Local artist Patch Whisky asked me to shoot some of his artwork to be reproduced as prints that he’s now selling on his website. It was a different animal to shoot his monsters, but they sat well for the shoot…

    Patch Whisky
    Patch Whisky

    On the topic of artists, I sadly had to say goodbye to one of my favorite artists who gathered his family up and moved to the West Coast. Here I am getting one last tattoo from Rob Junod at Holy City Tattooing Collective:

    Getting the Junod one last time (In Charleston) #holycitytattooingcollective #tattoo #IWantYourSkull #nipslip #organicsweater
    Rob Junod & a Shirtless Me

    Rob’s wife, Amanda Rose, is a talented hair & make-up artist. I worked with with her recently for Shelly Waters, who hired me to shoot the cover of her upcoming CD. I’m bummed that the Junods had to leave, but I’m happy to see where their journey takes them as they are both immensely talented.

    Shelly Waters and Amanda Rose
    Shelly Waters and Amanda Rose

    And finally, since we’re on the topic of tattoos and art, my wife Amy paid a visit to Margo at Holy CIty Tattooing Collective just yesterday to start work on a new piece on her bicep. It’s just an outline in this picture and it already looks amazing!

    Amy's New Tat Sunset

    I think that about wraps it up for this post. We’re planning a road trip later in the summer, so hopefully I’ll capture some fun photos of that adventure. It’s gonna be filled with plains, trains, and automobiles for sure!