Part III: The Edit - 41x

I went behind the scenes on the making of Mr. Gold so I figured it was a good idea to share the details about my latest short, 41x. In the next few posts I'll be discussing the film in detail. How it came to be, how I did it, technical aspects and more.

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Oh the edit. The dreaded edit. I gotta tell ya, I'm not the best when it comes to editing. It's not that I can't craft a good story. It's that I hate siting behind a computer and navigating the software. The mechanics of editing is what gets me. I'm dreaming of the day when we've got Minority Report type screens, where I can fling footage around with the flick of my wrist. 

And since I'm airing all my creative sins I might as well keep babbling. So here we go: 41x was stuck in editing purgatory for quite some time. There, I said it. Paying jobs came up, other projects presented themselves and James Spradlin (producer) and I had to retool the flow of the film a few of times. It wasn't easy but I think it was worth it (glad to get that off my chest).

James and I talked a lot about this doc. Throughout filming & the edit we were constantly reevaluating the story, visuals, angle and purpose. We drew on whiteboards and consulted with other filmmakers we respected. A little obsessive? Yes (just ask my wife). But I really wanted to do justice to Mikes story and make a kick-ass film, even if it was only 5 minutes long. When I initially described 41x to James I said something like this: "I want to create empathy. I know a lot of people will laugh at the idea of a redneck racing a lawnmower (I say redneck because I don't think Mike would mind). But I want them to be drawn in by the weirdness and stay for the human aspect of Mikes story. The part where they realize how similar they are to Mike." Did I accomplish that? You be the judge...

It was important for me to introduce the short like the sport. Fast, raucous, fun and full of energy. The intro, with the mower under the spotlight, was another idea Matt Hutchens (stedicam) and I worked on. He brought out an LED panel and I brought some heavy duty stands to boom them over the track. Once the sun went down we went to work. This is when knowing how you want to edit before you edit is important. I think these shots really upped the production value as well as gave a visual breather for the viewer between all the quick cutting action shots.

Music really played an important part of my youth and still informs a lot of my creativity to this day. The playlist I created was instrumental while editing 41x (high five for that pun!). I often listened to it on repeat while driving out to the track, editing, on the toilet, etc. It contained a lot of different stuff. Muse, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Band of Skulls and most importantly for the film, North Mississippi Allstars. Rollin 'N Tumblin was a really gritty and fast-paced tune which I knew would work well with the subject matter. It was my dream song for the first act of the film. With the limited knowledge I have of the music industry I thought securing the rights to use it would be impossible. I was completely wrong. Once I had a rough edit of the film I emailed their manager to see if they would give me permission. And get this...it took me 14 days to get the go-ahead. It's like ya mamma always said, "You'll never know if you don't ask." I've also gotta give a big thanks to Steve London, an incredibly talented composer and friend who did a terrific job cutting the song to the visuals. It wouldn't be what it is now without him. Fun fact: Steve and I met and became friends at the Florida Film Festival where Mr. Gold played before their feature length true crime documentary, Once Upon a Crime: The Borrelli Davis Conspiracy, which he composed and produced (make sure you see it. It's jarring, enraging & tender-hearted). 

The family bond is really strong in Mikes family and I figured they would have ample photos and news clippings from Tommys time racing. I never thought I would score a gold mine of old super-8 footage from his sister that was already digitized. The film Gods were indeed smiling down on me. During the edit I began to see we were using this footage quite a bit and was getting tired of how it was being displayed. To break it up James and I headed out to the track to project the images on a shed. My hope is it gives the viewers something different.

All this being said I must acknowledge the film would be crap if I hadn't of handed it over to Joshua McWilliams to edit. He really knocked it out of the park and brought it to another level. I love filmmaking because I get to collaborate with some great creatives, which leads to a better film.

 

Part II: The Shoot - 41x

I went behind the scenes on the making of Mr. Gold so I figured it was a good idea to share the details about my latest short, 41x. In the next few posts I'll be discussing the film in detail. How it came to be, how I did it, technical aspects and more.

 Designed by  This is Counter

Designed by This is Counter

From the get go I was really excited about this project. My last doc was basically shot in one location, with the subject repetitively going through the same motions. I felt like this one would give me some freedom to try some new things.

But I think I'm putting the cart before the horse so let's back up. I initially went out to the track with the idea this would solely be about lawn mower racing. After a few 4 hour roundtrip drives out to the track and a lot of shooting I realized something wasn't working. A short doc on the sport could be interesting but it wouldn't be compelling. I needed a story to tie it all together otherwise it would have felt like an infomercial. The time shooting wasn't wasted though. A lot of that footage ended up as good B-roll.

After coming to this conclusion I put down my camera for a bit and went into discovery mode. I started talking to people, learning their histories, why they loved the sport, etc. I was trying to find something interesting. Eventually I came to know Mike Graves through the chapter president. Mike has cerebral palsy and I naively though it would be the story, "Man with Cerebral Palsy races lawn mowers!" But after a few weeks it seemed too shallow, simple & typical. The second interview we did was the one that changed the course of the doc. I started asking about his past and his childhood and his family. That's when I learned how much his father meant to him. Finding that story was part lucky break and part persistence. 

Adre Borher and I decided to do the third and final interview at his sisters house. We had to go there to pick up the archival footage and photos, we figured he would be more comfortable talking there than at the track. Getting Mike into a space where he felt at home was really instrumental in the success of the interview. It also allowed us to change the visuals a little, something I'm always eager to do.

Ok, so back to the actual shooting. I knew going into this I was going to use some POV camera angles (we had to use GoPros due to budget. If I had the money we would have rigged some nicer cameras on and around the mowers). I wanted to get the viewer as close to the action as possible. At the top of their class these mowers are fast and mean and you really feel that speed and power when you're on one (side note: they offered to let me drive one of the fastest ones but I declined. I didn't have health insurance at the time 😬). I think POV did the job in showing the viewer that.

A short doc on the sport could be interesting but it wouldn’t be compelling. I needed a story to tie it all together otherwise it would have felt like an infomercial.

But after doing this for a while I knew I needed something else to make it pop. Naturally I thought hi-speed would be a good solution. It's often overused but with something like this I think it works. I asked Matt Hutchens, a great steadicam operator based in Orlando, to help and he happily agreed (he also lent a hand for Mr. Gold). I had an idea to shoot a profile of Mike while racing. So I ratchet-strapped Matt into the back of a borrowed pickup and drove him around the track at 30 mph. After several passes we got some good stuff. Thankfully he's still alive. I only careened off the track once.  

I really wanted to do some drone shots too (Matt's an excellent drone operator and has some nice rigs). My idea was to do some really high aerials and a couple tracking shots looking directly down at Mike as he raced. Again, drones are often overused but I'm confident our way would have worked well. Unfortunately we will never know because the track sits directly next to a small municipal airport! Long after shooting wrapped I learned there was one way we could have pulled it off but the tracks insurance wouldn't have allowed it anyway. Talk about bad luck, right?

Most of the shooting actually took place in the pits though. That's where you see a lot of the family atmosphere, camaraderie and fun happen. And it makes sense because that's largely what this film is all about.

Part 1: The Concept - 41x

I went behind the scenes on the making of Mr. Gold so I figured it was a good idea to share the details about my latest short, 41x. In the next few posts I'll be discussing the short in detail. How it came to be, how I did it, technical aspects and more.

41x started with an idea written on a spreadsheet in 2009. Every since college I have kept a long list of ideas. Ideas for documentaries, narrative films, photo stories & conceptual shoots. The list is long and the ideas often come out of left field. I would share some with you but they're top secret. 

I was watching a show called Wreckreation Nation. During an episode the host explored the world of lawnmower racing. I found it weird (something I look for in subject matter), endearing and funny. I jotted down the idea and didn't think much of it. Fast-forward several years and I found myself needing a new subject for a short doc after completing Mr. Gold. After a quick Google search I discovered there was a track in Avon Park, Florida, a couple of hours from where I lived in Orlando.

I took an exploratory trip out to the track for their next race. Sitting in the grandstands and watching the race I knew this would make the perfect subject. The people were nice and welcoming, there was plenty of action and it was relatively close to home. I knew I could figure out a way to do the sport justice. 

A Few From Ethiopia

A while back I had the opportunity to shoot some images for a proposal we were submitting to an embassy here in Ethiopia. It was a fun little shoot that allowed me to get out into the community and shoot some technology-centric images.

2nd Image Library for Humana

Here's the second image library I shot late last year for Humana with the help of Skystorm. It was for their medicare division. While the first was a three day shoot in and around Orlando this one lasted two days and had us flying to Georgia for a change of scenery. This was a fun one because the locations were beautiful and it really shows in the images. 

Huge thanks to Brittany Lutz and the team at Studio Now for trusting me with this. Thanks to Rob "five minutes left" Micai, the calmest and tallest producer I know. Rocky Frazin did a great job keeping everyone alive. Wally Argueta knows his lights and is a great stand-in. Marjorie Robinson did the makeup. Jennifer Beverly made the people look pretty and Dhruv Patel made the places look pretty. And I bow down in thanks to Ben Travers, the only photo assistant who can read my mind.

Image Library for Humana

Usually my year ends rather quietly. Budgets are spent, people are gearing up for the holidays and everyone is preparing for next year. Last year was a different story for me though. I got a call from Skystorm Productions asking if I'd like to shoot a couple image libraries for Humana, the third largest health insurance company in the United States. The first library was for their small business division. A few discussions later and the dates were booked. 

This job had a quick turnaround on image delivery. It was a lot of work and several long days but we had a great crew to help pull it off.

Huge thanks to Brittany Lutz and the team at Studio Now for trusting me with this. Thanks to Rob "five minutes left" Micai, the calmest and tallest producer I know. Rocky Frazin did a great job keeping everyone alive. Wally Argueta knows his lights and is a great stand-in. Marjorie Robinson did the makeup. Jennifer Beverly made the people look pretty and Dhruv Patel made the places look pretty. Thanks to David Lawrence for making sure I was always hydrated. And I bow down in thanks to Ben Travers, the only photo assistant who can read my mind. 

Keep an eye out for the next post where I talk about the second library we shot

11 Questions with Dana Marie Roquemore of The Dinner Party Project

You can’t deny people are awesome. Who doesn’t like sitting down with good friends to ask them interesting, insightful, and funny questions? That’s what 11 Questions is for. I’ll be featuring some friends I look up to as well as people within the community I’ve always wanted to get to know. Let’s get started!

I can't remember how Dana and I first met but I'm sure it involved food in some capacity. Dana is head chief at The Dinner Party Project. TDPP puts eight strangers around a table and lets the fancy food, libations, and good conversation flow. My first experience at TDPP was a memorable one. I met some great people and have even worked with one of them on several photo projects. It didn't hurt that Chef Tony Adams was fixing the meal that night. One thing I love about Dana is she's a hustler. She's started several fun and interesting events in Orlando, all of which have added to the vibrancy of the city. I can't wait to see what's next for her.

Who do you look up to?

Anyone that has survived tragedy and still has a great outlook on life. Syrian Refugees, Holocaust survivors, women who have lost children at childbirth, etc. I love movies like Unbroken and Life is Beautiful, where these humans refuse to let horrific circumstances change their outlook on life. It makes my banal problems, like having too many emails to answer, pale in comparison. Perseverance is such an incredible human trait. I wish I had more of it.

Do you have a favorite book or album?

I am constantly reading. I wish there were more time in my life for reading. I would love to read two books at once, but I haven't been able to figure out how to do that just yet. I am currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. East of Eden is one of my favorite books of all time. The theme of redemption is something I always want to keep in the forefront of my mind. I am a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables. Her whimsy and ability to see & celebrate the Beauty of Life is so thrilling. I love a good spy novel or murder mystery or anything John Grisham. I am also a fan of Love Does and anything that Donald Miller writes. I also adore Shauna Neiquist's books about the connection we have to food and how sharing food around a table connects us as humans. Brené Brown brings it on the topics of shame and vulnerability. I could go on forever. This answer is way too long anyway.

Favorite place to eat in Orlando?

Not possible. I LOVE too many places around town. There is so much incredible food in Orlando. However, if you haven't had a Black Bean Arepa from Arepas & More off of Bumby, then you aren't really living.

Dana Roquemore The Dinner Party Project

If you could mate two different species of animals what would they be?

Good Lord, I would love to see a cross between an elephant and a butterfly. Little tini elephants flying around on delicate Butterfly wings. It would be an incredible paradox: Heavy & Light.

What gives you inspiration?

Kindness and Sacrifice. It's hard not to respond with a visceral reaction of how people treat you. I love when people respond in a different Spirit, looking beyond the emotion and choose kindness instead. Also selfless sacrifice always blows me away.

If you had a chance to live in a different decade, what decade would you choose?

The first thing that comes to mind is 0-10 years. I am so curious as to what life was like for Adam and Eve. They had no one else around.....and then they had their kids, but other than that the world was barren. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that time period. Like what do you talk about?

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What in your personal life has influenced you to choose your career?

People. Duh. I wanted to get to know them better. Plus I LOVE food. I really wish I could be a non technical food taster. I live for the magic that happens around the table.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

A day of rest every week. Honestly I get overwhelmed sometimes. If I don't take a real rest / break, I start to become a little unglued. I am a real fan of naps, Netflix, the ocean, and reading. I am totally boring in real life.

Is there anything you haven't done yet that you feel compelled to achieve in the future?

I'd love to be a mother. I think nothing can replace that kind of love for another human being.

What are your other interests?

I'd love to get into painting. That is one of my next outlets for myself. Also Estate Saleing. I have this obsession of looking through other people's homes and finding cool old things. Plus tennis. I am not that great, but I love to play and I love to watch.

What rejuvenates you?

Other than my day of rest each week, being around Beauty rejuvenates me. I LIVE to travel. Nothing is like wandering around another country w no agenda. I wish I would make more $$ and find the time to do it. There is so much incredible Beauty out there to be seen and experienced. Being surrounded by nature and feeling so small, in the scheme of things, is a really good feeling. I love the beauty of flowers, gorgeous clothing, laughter of children, road trips, really good hearted people, eating my heart out, and a solid cocktail. Oh, also a really good Dance Party!

 

On a separate note you won't be seeing any Americans featured on 11 Questions for a while. I'm currently based in Ethiopia and hope to continue it here. The questions may be a little different but hopefully it will be the same format.

Big thanks to Nicki Bulgewicz on makeup and Jasmine Lopez on hair.

 

I Moved

I now live in Africa. Specifically Ethiopia. Big change, I know. No, I didn't run away. Nor am I looking for any buried treasure. I'll be sure to share the details soon. It's pretty exciting.

The Calm Persistence of Social Rights Activist Richard Lapchick for UCF

I really love working with UCF's magazine Pegasus. They always give me interesting stories that are close to my heart (like this one last year). This time around they wanted me to photograph Richard Lapchick. Not only is Richard the director of the DeVos Sport Business Management School at UCF but he's an extremely kind and gracious man. He allowed me all the time I needed to photograph him, talked with me enthusiastically about basketball, chuckled at my stupid jokes and allowed us to rearrange his whole office for the photo. I think the article does his legacy justice so make sure you give it a read.

Higher Education with Bisk and Florida Insitute of Technology

Bisk has been around for years but since '95 they have worked heavily with universities & private companies to put their educational resources online. I recently worked with them to create an image library for Florida Institute of Technology. The shot list was pretty adventurous and the days were packed but we came away with a good selection of images. I'm pretty proud of this project. And since shooting it I've been approached by several brands seeking to create an image library. Doing these kinds of jobs is fun because they involve a lot of talented people. You really form a bond with the people on set. 

One Of My Favorite Cities - Washington D.C.

Like I said in my last post, my parents used to take us on road trips during the summer. One of our destinations was Washington D.C. Even at a young age I was enamored with D.C. I love American history so it makes sense. The city is filled with things to do, many of them free, and has some of the best ethnic food around (a favorite for my wife and I). Here are some of my favorite shots from a recent trip there.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Newseum with a view of the Capitol building

Smithsonian National Zoo

The Grand Canyon is big

When I was a child my parents used to take us on long road trips over the summer in our minivan. I've got fond memories of those times. We visited South Florida, the Smokey Mountains, the Midwest and more. On one trip we were able to stop at The Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns. I remember looking down into the Grand Canyon with big-eyed wonder (that sucker is deep!). It's still a life goal of mine to hike to the bottom to camp out, hunt elk with my bear hands and frolic shirtless in the Colorado River.

Fortunately my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon last year. We planned to be out there in the evening so we could watch the sunset. As our drive there progressed so did an impending thunderstorm. By the time we got to our look-out point it was pouring buckets. To say I was bummed would be an understatement. I really wanted my wife to experience the joy I had when visiting my first time. 

Interestingly enough, as the storm rolled through the skies opened up and a glorious and complete double rainbow emerged in its wake. An elderly gentlemen with a camera next to me excitedly exclaimed, "I've been waiting for this all my life!" My wife leaned over and remarked, "Heck...it's my first time." 

I took a break from looking at this masterpiece in the sky to look around. Every single person was bathed in a beautiful orange hue as they stared in awe towards the heavens. No one was on their cell phone, children weren't fighting and you could feel a calm descend upon that place. For one moment everything seemed right with the world. Beauty does that to people.

Joseph Dirand for The Wall Street Journal Magazine

Several months back I received a friendly email from Meghan Benson at The Wall Street Journal Magazine. Architect and designer Joseph Dirand was reimagining Miami Beach's famous Surf Club. Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and even Winston Churchill were all guests back in the day. To say it's a Miami institution would be an understatement. 

Meghan wanted a portrait of Joseph as well as some details from the hotel. This was right up my alley so my assistant and I hopped in the car for the 3.5 hour drive south from Orlando.

Little did we know the hotel was a shell of what it was supposed to be at the time. Hurricane Matthew had just swept through South Florida and set construction back two weeks. It wasn't easy but we were able to squeeze out some images that I feel show the beauty of the hotel. I'm particularly fond the the emerald green accents found throughout the hotel. Enjoy!

Helpers and Healers | The UCF connection to the Pulse nightclub shooting

Their presence was so soft, kind and motherly.

When I got a call from Ron Boucher, the CD at UCF, asking if I would be interested in doing a portrait series on the connection between UCF and the Pulse shooting in Orlando I immediately said yes. A lot has been said about the shooting, much of it more eloquently than I can do justice. 

I've lived in Orlando all my life. Not long ago I wanted to escape this town. I thought it had nothing to offer. I was always annoyed with its ties to tourism, its transitory population and The Mouse. As the years passed I began to see an alternate identity emerge and it started to grow on me. Now we've got a great food culture, several great universities that invest in the community and many more opportunities for artists of all kinds to thrive. Now it feels like a place I'm proud to call my home.

Someone attacked my home. They attacked my people. To be honest I don't think I really processed it all until this shoot. At times photography feels like a job. This time it felt like therapy. I mentioned to my assistant on the day of the job how comforting and kind so many of the subjects were. There were a couple people who I just wanted to hug. And it wasn't that I wanted to comfort them. I wanted them to comfort me! Their presence was so soft, kind and motherly. 

I'm thankful for the people pictured here. They gave themselves to the service of others. They made themselves less to make my home a better place. 

You can read the article as it appeared in Pegasus Magazine here.

Utah State University alumni magazine

 

A few months back I had the opportunity to photograph Deryl Snyder for Utah State University's alumni magazine. Deryl is a really smart guy (did I mention he has a PhD?) who works with aerodynamics and computers and things that cost more than I can imagine. The magazine wanted me to get some photographs of him in his office.

Often times these settings aren't the most ideal for taking photos. Apparently people don't design buildings thinking, "I wonder how we can make this place look good for portraits?" Being in these settings lets me flex my creative muscle. Surely anyone can create a great picture in a beautiful place, but can you create a great picture in a space filled with cubicles? Challenge accepted!

When shooting assignments like this I strive for two things. First, I get the images I believe the client wants. We've usually talked about the concept and direction beforehand which allows me to execute this fairly easily. Once I've gotten those, and if time permits, I try and grab a few frames which are more quirky. After all, images that lead you to ask more questions are more interesting than ones that answer questions (BOOM! How's that for wisdom).

Behind the Photograph

Daytona Beach, FL

There are a lot of hidden stories in the still image. Rarely do they house one narrative. This is a chance for me to tell you about those stories. 

Curiosity is something I treasure and a quality I love to encourage in others.

I love shooting film, particularly when it's medium format. There is something special about the medium. For me it's not the color or the nostalgia. It's the pace I find comforting, a pace that is more in line with the way in which I want to live, particularly in our Facechat Snapbook times. Film forces me to slow down, to think about each and every swing of the shutter. I arrange the frame with intentionality. I think through my actions. And this is not the only thing that is attracts me to it. I have noticed time and time again people appreciate being photographed with medium format film. I can not count the number of people who have been curious to know how this boxy, mechanical contraption works. Often times I will let them look through the viewfinder and teach them a little about it. Usually more questions follow, which I am excited to answer. Curiosity is something I treasure and a quality I love to encourage in others. This curiosity usually leads to an eagerness to have ones photo taken. I do not think of it as a manipulative practice, though one could take it to that extreme. I feel it is more of a collaborative practice. 

Every year I try and make it out to Bike Week in Daytona Beach, FL, which is where this photo was taken. Having lived in Florida all my life I was always aware of Bike Week but it was my attendance at a photo program in college in Daytona that really got me interested in it. Bike Week is an odd gathering. It is slightly off the radar of the general population but it draws a wide variety of people. Lawyers and construction workers, northerners and southerners, soccer moms and vagabonds. The potential for great pictures is endless. 

Film forces me to slow down, to think about each and every swing of the shutter.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted this woman sitting on a curb down a side street. In this packed environment it was surprising to see she was the only one there. As I approached her I remember thinking she looked tired but content. I loved the monochromatic colors of her surrounds and how well they contrasted with her outfit and the curb. Your eye immediately lands on her and slowly drifts to the right, along the curb, to the sandbag. The sandbag mimics her posture (or maybe she mimics the sandbag?). Her posture is so flippant. It says, "I'm tired, I'm sweaty and I don't really care," as a smirk creeps up from her mouth. There is something so oddly comical and touching about it.

I approached this woman and asked if I could take her photograph. She said a simple "yes," I stepped back, took two or three frames, said my thanks and walked away. There are times when photography is a wrestling match. Where you fight with your self and the constraints of time and the medium to make something which speaks to you and the viewer. This was not one of those times. Although it only took a matter of minutes to make this picture it is one I am very proud of.

Behind the Photograph

Manila, Philippines.

There are a lot of hidden stories in the still image. Rarely do they house one narrative. This is a chance for me to tell you about those stories. 

When I was in my early 20s I took a journey to Manila, Philippines to shoot a couple of photo stories. At the time the best dSLR I could afford was a Canon 20d and even then I could only afford to buy one body. Knowing I would need 2 camera bodies (1 for backup) I decided to shoot 35mm film while there. It made things a little more complicated but in hindsight it was a good decision. I did have to fight with TSA on multiple occasions in order to to make sure they didn't scan my film. But having a 2nd body proved necessary as my main camera broke while shooting. The broken one had autofocus so I had to resort to shooting manual focus the remainder of the trip, something I hadn't done in years. Needless to say, to be safe I took multiple pictures of each scene when possible.

I want to show the reality of their situation. It's obviously not pretty. But at the same time I want to give them dignity by showing their strengths, ingenuity and kindness. 

One of the stories I covered was about the residents of Smokey Mountain. Smokey Mountain is home to thousands of people. It's also a garbage dump. The families here live off refuse. They eat from it, recycle it and turn it into charcoal for the city. Shooting stories like this are difficult because they take a lot of mental and emotional effort on my part. I want to show the reality of their situation. It's obviously not pretty. But at the same time I want to give them dignity by showing their strengths, ingenuity and kindness. 

I don't remember how I stumbled upon this scene. I think a resident may have flagged me down to check it out. As I swept back the curtain to enter their makeshift tent my eyes were filled with darkness as I waited for them to adjust to their new surroundings. At first it looked like a simple game of BINGO. Four women were silent as the sounds of chatter and children danced outside, concentrating on a game they were obviously taking very seriously. As I surveyed the scene I spotted the casket. I'm not used to seeing death displayed so prominently so it was a bit shocking. The last time I saw an open casket was at my grandmothers wake and I barely remember it.

Later I asked someone about this. I couldn't figure out what was going on in that small room for the life of me. They explained most people in Smokey Mountain couldn't afford to bury their loved ones. The family would invite everyone to come and spend money on games, karaoke, drinking, and other activities as a way to raise money for the burial. 

Four women were silent as the sounds of chatter and children danced outside, concentrating on a game they were obviously taking very seriously.

There are several small details in this photo that draw me to it. The cross over the casket that has been cropped to look like it's upside down. It's as if God is sad with the situation and the state of humanity. You have a young boy (peering over the shoulder of someone on the very left of the frame), the two young women, the oldest women nearest the casket, and the deceased in the casket. They show the passage of time. Does this scene show what's in store for the young boys future? The ornate and beautiful candle stick holders flanking the casket that were most likely found in the dump. Just as I dress in my nicest suit to honor the dead when I go to a funeral they do the same here by the presence of these candlestick holders. Notice how the table full of BINGO pages parallels the casket? Is this all just a game? Or do we enjoy our time here because we know there's more than death? And I love the movement in their arms. I can hear the BINGO pieces being laid down. 

APEX magazine for Acura

Last year I shot some images of a '95 Acura NSX and its owner for APEX magazine. APEX wanted some nice environmental shots of the car and its owner. It was really fun getting to shoot a car, something I haven't done before. Kudos to the creative team for trusting me to deliver. 

Exploring Orlando with WestJet Magazine.

Recently I was hired by WestJet Magazine to shoot some travel images showing off all Orlando has to offer. The list of places they wanted photographed was pretty great and being from Orlando I was able to add a few locations that weren't on their radar. Here's the spread as well as some of my favorites from the shoot. Really pleased how these all turned out!

Two weeks travel in Europe!

I love to travel. Thankfully I do a lot of it for my job and occasionally my wife gets to come along for the adventure. Despite having traveled to several countries we’ve never had the opportunity to see Europe. That changed late last year. We both had a great time visiting museums, sledding in the Swiss Alps, and biking though Amsterdam. Here are some pictures from our trip. I’ve included some that aren’t on my website. Hope you enjoy them! 

And a time lapse of the Swiss Alps from our hotel room