Passthrough Creative

A few posts ago I was enamored with the idea of "pictures of me existing" in perpetuity on (or in depending on how you look at it) the Internet. Every now and then I stumble across an image of me and I think it's interesting that I had no idea it existed until that moment I saw it. Yesterday, I had a somewhat different version of that experience. A picture I created, or photographed, showed up on a website other what I believed intended use was. For this image, I was not the producer or director, and I didn't have much to go on as I was subcontracted.

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As subcontracted photographer hired to take photographs for another producer/director I actually was never specifically told what the headshots (I hate that word) were going to be used for. Just a vague, "we need them for the website. To get to know us, meet the team." Yesterday, when I saw an image from that session pop up on Instagram in ad form, I did a double take. This is years after the portrait session, an original image from that session below. I don't believe this ad was the original intended use, but then again, I don't know because I didn't produce/direct the project.

Original Image, taken 2015

Original Image, taken 2015

Original Image, taken 2015

Original Image, taken 2015

For me, it's done and dusted. I didn't write a contract nor did I have a conversation about a licensing agreement with the producer. My job was to step in, photograph for another production company, and provide them with images.

I see this (and this instances like this) as problematic. It's happening more and more where companies simply "pass along" creative that is outside the Usage Rights of the original project. Usage Rights are a big thing for all creatives as they battle the forces of the Internet. And that's more or less the paradox. With the Internet, you're out there. Once that digital file leaves the camera, it REALLY leaves the camera. It's wonderfully productive to be able to effortlessly pass along images to creative directors/clients/prospective clients, etc... but it's also wonderfully easy for them to pass along your images to 3rd parties, who then use them for their own purposes. The implications are creatives loose money because the new 3rd party just got your creative for free. When there is an agreement in place for Usage Rights, and images still get passed along, it's grounds for a lawsuit or at least, renegotiating the contract. For this case, I simply don't know if there was any conversation about Usage Rights. I don't believe there was. But again, when not subcontracted, I'm far closer to my clients than I was with this project and I would know.

What's up Yotpo? You look to be in need of some creative if you're using 3 year old images.


It's talking circles for those who deal with this daily but for someone who generally creates very specific use content, I was surprised to see one of my images on the Internet in a vastly different use than what I understood. On Instagram of all places. Or perhaps, of course on Instagram. It's something I'm going to ponder over the weekend.

On another note entirely, I'm really excited about a lot of upcoming projects and new work. Have a good one out there! More to follow...

Warren Miller

Warren Miller was, and forever will be, an inspiration. I did, and always will, think of him fondly. He will be missed.

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When I made the decision to “go into photography” as “a career” I thought about people like Warren and all the “photo annuals” in the ski and snowboarding magazines that littered my childhood floor (somewhat as an adult now too). I grew up with Snowboarding Magazine side by side with National Geographic. I would spend endless hours looking through them. After all these years I still have a few from back in the day. Growing up, getting magazine after magazine filled with colorful, daring pictures of power hounds inverted off this cliff, chest deep in power on the steepest of fronts... these images filled my head of things that I would like to do. In 2007 I really forcefully made a choice to “figure it out” and see how photography could be a part of my life. So, after a year and half of work, I bought a camera, and before graduate school, headed West myself. I never really did create images from the mountainside l saw in the magazines, but I did take a few snaps that I look back on and smile.

Snowbird, 2007

Snowbird, 2007

X-Games, Park City, 2007

X-Games, Park City, 2007

Snowbird, 2007

Snowbird, 2007

Even a few that make me laugh. I don't know what I was thinking here...

Me. Self-portrait. Somewhere in Colorado, with my 5DMKI & Subaru, 2007

Me. Self-portrait. Somewhere in Colorado, with my 5DMKI & Subaru, 2007

By all digital standards the camera I bought then is worthless now, but I cannot for the life of me sell it (as if it would sell).

At that time, 2007, it was everything. From my companion in the mountains to a tool in grad school, it became this thing that was quickly defining me.

My First Digital Camera from 2007

My First Digital Camera from 2007

And while my images from my season in the mountains weren’t the audacious attempts like those I grew up looking at in magazines, and I had so much to learn about photography and life, those images were mine. I was there and hungry. And while I put career ahead of being a ski bum, which took me away from the Mountains, but I do always look for that opportunity to return (although, it had never occurred to me to make a career out of being a ski bum, maybe a missed opportunity there... but que sera sera and all).

Warren Miller will always be one of many inspirational figures in my life. Have a good weekend out there…

BTS Detroit

Just a quick one as we wrap up the's a nice BTS shot taken by the most excellent Artie Bowman onsite at company in Detroit. The client needed some warehouse images to showcase their new facility. I needed to get above it all to capture it. Clearly it all worked out with the help of a lift. The images turned out great and this BTS is pretty cool. Looking forward to posting more content here and some of the project in the hopper for next week. Have a good one out there. More to follow...

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My Hot Top 5 Of 2017

Usually around this time of year I like to write about the music I stumbled across that hit me and stayed with me for the year. This post is admittedly a little later than what I like, but busy times had a hand in that, and I suppose the ole' adage, "better late then never" applies nicely. I'm not a music expert by any means and I have a tendency to stumble across a song and pay it over and over and over but I would like to think my tastes are rather eclectic and diverse enough to merit a quick review. Also, I should note, these are songs I LISTENED TO IN 2017, not necessarily were RELEASED in 2017. Time used selectively here.

So let's jump in...


5. Honne, Too Long, 2015

I don't know what I was doing in 2015, but it wasn't listing to this song. Don't remember how I found it this year but I dig it. Chill. Falsetto. Things I fall for.


4. The Lagoons, California, 2016

This song is just amazing. Again, chill, heavy sax influence...which I dig. The sax in M83's Midnight City is everything, which that song is SO good (I could have put it back on this list by my own rules). Anyway, I can't help but tap my foot when this song comes on. It was a choice studio song for me this year. 


3. Bvdub, Nameless, 2017

It wouldn't be MY list if Bvdub wasn't here. And by default I can't have bvdub #1 every year but I would say this year he comes #3 (but given the day, #1 I suppose). I can't think of a harder working musician out there. At least by sheer volume alone. I would argue by talent as well but sadly the ambient music scene isn't everyone's thing. Every year he releases at least one album. This year his release Heartless is a really great progression. It reminds me a little bit of Born In Tokyo (from 2013). His other 2017 release (yes there were two in 2017, usually are two a year) Epilogues For The End Of The Sky seems to have a higher play-count on Spotify than Heartless. It's tough to narrow it down for me. I really like them both for different reasons. I'm writing this early, so the perhaps the stillness is influencing my feelings. Go listen to both and make your own decision if it's your sort of thing.


2. Markus Schulz Presents Dakota Featuring Bev Wild - Running Up That Hill

I love trance. Probably a mix of early exposure to 80s synth and video games. I don't know, but when a trance song hits me, it hits me. This song is awesome. It hit the speakers late 2017 and I love it. Markus is one my favorite artists in this genera. Not a morning song, but choice indeed.


1. Slowly by Giraffage featuring Matosic

This is just a fun song. I can't help but dig it. I've had the pleasure of sharing it with several people and all seem to find it just the same, fun. I don't even know what category of music this falls into but it's somewhere between chill and pop (I think). Anyway, it's a great driving song. It's a great afternoon song. It's a great studio song. So much to like about it.

So there's my "hot top 5" of the year. There's way more that hit the speakers thoughout 2017 but as I reflect at the moment, these are those songs I played endlessly or at least came back to for a healthy amount of repeat plays.

Looking forward to getting back to photography. 2018 is already shaping up to be busier than the last. More to follow....

Back At It w/Cranium

When I meet up with passionate people who want to collaborate I always make the time. Vinh and Skotty of Cranium are definitely those people (follow them!) I spent part of the night in the studio with them this week photographing. And with tons of help from Artie we managed to put together some looks for their upcoming release at All City Kicks. All good things from them. Anyway, short post for the day. Could be the last one of the year! Crazy. Have a good one out there...more to follow...


Year's End Hustle

It's the Friday before Christmas and there's still a zillion things to do. Family stuff, work stuff, life's the time of the year where things are overly busy. The days are just packed.

I took this image awhile back of Clare and Dom. Two really cool people who spent an afternoon hanging out in the studio. It feels pretty "holiday" to me with the red, but that was more a coincidence of timing rather than planning. Originally I envisioned a deep red background because I thought these two would really look dynamic against it. And because I tend to post work far after it's been completed, it's now the holidays, and seems to fit just fine. Such is life. 

Dom & Clara

Dom & Clara

So, there you have it.  And where ever you are out there, I hope this time of the year is full of family, friends, and cheer. I'm looking forward to a very busy 2018. Before that though, I'm going to post my year end in music. It's been a tradition for me for at least a little while now : ) More to follow...

Portrait: Terrence

This week has flown by. I've had to spend time behind the desk and in the field to get projects done. I hustled two out the door at the start of week and have three burning as I type this. With the holidays on top of it all, these are some very exciting times.

Awhile back I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Terrence. He's an really cool guy and talented in front of the camera. He has a quiet confidence that invites you to maybe try something unexpected. Because of that, I didn't realize that he had a rather tight time schedule and I ended up keeping him there longer than he expected. But I was really happy to get another look or two before he had to leave. I think it all ended well but I didn't mean to go over time.

Again, your only as good as those around you and this one is no different...many thanks to Terrence, his MUA Hannah (sorry Hannah, I don't have any contact for you!), The Rock Agency, Jordan Hartley, and Arty. Really thankful to work with them all. Looking forward to working with Terrence again in 2018, but right now, I'm happy it's Friday...I need to catch up on a few things...have a good one...more to follow...

Terrence, 2017

Terrence, 2017

Saturday Hustle

This week was a busy one away from the desk but I had a little time this AM to reflect. I've also had a moment to go through some older BTS work. I've really started to take a liking to BTS shots. I'm pretty bad at actually remembering to get a few images but thankfully Artie has been there and on it. He's solid behind the camera and I'm thankful to be working with him on so many projects lately. Brooklyn can't go without mention either.


Incredibly cool to work with and tons of talent in front of the lens. She knows what the light is doing and what the style is. Quality of light and how to understand it is essential. I'll post a few of the finals from Jordan here soon. Still rolling out new work in the midst of these busy times. Have a good  weekend...


About a year ago there was a significant transportation change in my life. In fact you can see the progression start here. Coming in hot, on route to Chicago, I lost the majority of a muffler on I-94. Well, didn't loose it, but started dragging most of it down the road. I was "that guy you did not want to follow" down the expressway. After that, it did make me wonder what the larger implications were of having a 2002 Subaru with 250,000 miles on it. I still believe that it had some life left, but it was a gamble. And after more consideration, gambling with safety isn't a good idea. And if I were going to a production where my car couldn't physically get me there, that would have been a problem as well. In fact, depending on the contract you sign, many have a clause built in for needing reliable transportation. While I had unyielding faith in my ride, it may at times, been misplaced. Maybe. I mean look how majestic it looked. 

2002, Subaru Outback

2002, Subaru Outback

It is a strange thing, that year, that car, as it was a year ago...was probably one of the rapidly disappearing mechanical cars out there. It had a CASSETTE TAPE DECK. Virtually all of it was mechanical. There's something strange about that now. You really feel the idea of it being a tool, device...a machine when driving it. It wasn't a computer. Modern day cars are a computer. Very little question about it. The gas petal doesn't make the car go. But it's how you tell the computer that you would like to go and it determines if that's going to happen. Times change. Computer or no computer I had plenty of fond memories in that car. It lived through a time in my life where change was never ending. Virtually everything was changing every 3-6 months. I crossed the country from east to west, north to south and all back again several times over. Through sun, rain, whiteout blizzards, late nights and early mornings. It saw, along with me, virtually everything. Sights, sounds, places, weather... clichés and drama... it was sad to let it go. But as with time, things change, cars change. One thing that does seems to stay with us is music. Odd how that works. I remember finding, for better or worse, Coldplay in 2002. A Rush Of Blood To The Head was essential listing for me. I had a cassette tape that I would play in the darkroom at college. Printing in the darkroom until early hours of the morning. Always last to leave. There were floating boomboxes that would find themselves in darkrooms and random classrooms. You had to search them out if you wanted one because there were only two, but if you got one, that was lucky timing. They only played tapes though. The Coldplay cassette made it to the Subaru, to the darkroom, and back again, over and over... and then eventually to the shelf because CDs became cheap to make. And now, CDs are becoming the rare commodity as well. Such is time. But as time changes, the music seems to stay. Coldplay and Dashboard Confessional occupied the majority of what I listened to in college. And I still find myself listening to those albums from time to time. And with a little imaginative encouragement, I'm back in the darkroom, or as this frame of mind would have it, a 2002 Subaru off to a new place and a new adventure. Nice little reflection for midweek. Hey Subaru, let me help you tell a story, because as I have it now, this photographer's off on a new adventure and with a newer #Subaru. 

A Newer Subaru Outback

A Newer Subaru Outback

Portrait: Daphne

There are times when I get a great opportunity to randomly work with someone... this is a pretty good case in point. Daphne had some time in Michigan before heading back to the sunny southwest and we took a hour or two to put together a few solid portraits in the studio before she left. There were a lot of really good moments. It was awesome that we had a chance to work together. Daphne is going places for sure. It'll be great to say, "I knew you when..." but until then, these are some great portraits. I'll post a few here over the weeks and a few more on insta.

Daphne, 2017

Daphne, 2017

Also, I cannot believe it's Thanksgiving. Time is racing by. That being said, there is a lot to be thankful for. Both in life and work I am continually grateful for so many of the people and opportunities that are part of who I am and what I do. I'm looking forward to a lot, but it's impossible not to look back and feel a lot of gratitude. For those of you stateside, I hope you have a good Thanksgiving with family and friends. If you happen to not read this in the states, be well my friends. More to follow...

Portrait: Ednis

Another week, a little more new work. Or at least backstory. Ednis of The Grand Rapids Ballet Company stopped by the studio forever ago but I never spoke of it. He's great guy and a talented dancer.

He was nice enough to sit for a portrait and then again for my tattoo series. 

Ednis, 2017

Ednis, 2017

This was another opportunity to collaborate with Jordan and Jackson. Really great people. Have a good weekend... More work to follow...

New Work Coming

I've been siting on a lot of work I've created over the last few months. I've found, for me at least, it's a bit process to add it to the portfolio and take on new jobs/projects at the same time. The greatest resource in the arts, or as much as anything I suppose, is time. Hands down. Always time. I never seem to have enough of it.

But I am happy with a lot of new work I've been producing. It's been a lot of collaboration and hustle. But it's all coming together. I'll post some here, and for sure on my Instagram. I'll probably post backstory here for a few that DID make it into the studio page but never here. Like I said, it's a process.

This image never made it here or on Instagram but it signifies my first collaboration Jordan. His work and skill can really take the image further. His mastery with skin tone, luminosity in the shadows, and background gradients is excellent.


I've worked with him on some select images and I can't say enough good things. Anyway, it was awesome to work with Jennie, The Matthew Agency, and Lauren Nicole Makeup. So many fun moments. More to follow...

Architecture Photography

Like I said in the last post, things have been busy behind the desk, but I'm happy I've been able find time to post here in the last week or two. It feels good to write again.

That being said I've never been a photographer who does "one thing" in terms of subject matter. When someone says, "You're a photographer? what do you photograph?" And my answer is usually, "a lot" or "everything" ...and while those are "answers" it's never an answer that people can latch onto. "Everything" doesn't really give them a relatable concept. But it's true! I find myself photographing such a wide range of content. There isn't anything I haven't photographed or won't photograph. I suppose I lead "studio first" but there's nothing I leave off the table.

Recent case in point, a project for River City Studios. They celebrated 40 years of providing quality sound to those needing professional audio. I spent the day along with Artie photographing their studios and space. It was a fun project and allowed different levels of collaboration. Here's two quick images from the production. And if you need quality audio, don't hesitate to reach out to them. River City Studios is an excellent team to work with. More to follow...

Studio A Control Room at River City Studios

Studio A Control Room at River City Studios

Studio B Control Room at River City Studios

Studio B Control Room at River City Studios

Pictures Of Me

I am continually wondering how many images of me exist that I'm unaware of.

It goes without saying that everyday there a lot of photos uploaded to the internet. A quick google search will tell you that 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day. 95 million. Per day. That's a lot.

I don't believe there are 95 million pictures of me, thankfully, but there are more than I know about. Case in point is this wonderful little snap of me at the Phase One XF Gallery Tour. I had no idea that existed. Fun moment though.

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It's a nice "action shot" of me looking at a ridiculously awesome and incredibly expensive Arca-Swiss C1 Cube. Amazing compact tripod head with geared motion for fine, specific in camera movements. Made me want to photograph architecture immediately. Speaking of architecture, I'm looking forward to dropping a few architecture images on the blog from a recent project. I'm very happy with the way everything turned out.

Anyway, all this to say it was a productive day with PhaseOne and I had to laugh a little bit when I saw myself. More to follow...

Quick Snap

This is a flick from my phone because, once again, I've been incredibly busy. From crisscrossing the state, to new work in the studio, more time has been spent out photographing than behind the desk.

Seeing that we're in the season of change, it fits that my portfolio will change as well. I'm definately looking forward to adding new work soon! Until then, a few weeks ago (I can't believe it was a few weeks already) I was able to sneak to the lakeshore for a sunset. It was a beauty. I simple snap from the phone did nicely.

No sunsets this's fall indeed...more to follow...

Lake Michigan, September, 2017

Lake Michigan, September, 2017

Fast Times

It's incredible to believe that it's almost been a month between posts but there you have it. A number of projects have been brewing here and there. I tend to post a lot about personal projects here, which I don't think is a bad thing, probably different than most photography blogs though. Anyway, this week I went diving into older images looking for a past project to match a color grade and I found myself looking at some past landscape work. This is one of the last images taken on a trip to Maui. Maybe even the last frame. It's just over a year ago now, seems like yesterday, but time moves ridiculously fast these days. And this is a ridiculously beautiful spot to stand.

Off The Palikea Stream, Maui, 2016

Off The Palikea Stream, Maui, 2016

I hope to post a few more images from my ongoing series #1for52 but it's been challenging to get behind the desk an edit as opposed to looking at previous edits. Such is life : ) Have a good one out there. More to follow...

Monday Inspiration. Freedom.

Monday. Ahead is a full week of happenings and things. But as I reflect on why we do it all, this video sums it up a little bit of it nicely. Beautifully filmed and poetically approached. I'm crushing on it this morning. Looking forward to some road time soon...looking forward to a productive week...more to follow...

A Moment Behind The Desk

Everything in the world of media is a battle for time. There's no question about it. Planning, production, results...everything has it's own time demands. I'm always in awe of people who appear to have a seamless workflow where immediacy and result meet.

In the world of social media I am not that photographer. Projects clear and are usually unmentioned until much later (unless those that I'm working with have stated otherwise). I also think way to much about what I like to post and what I should post. It's a constant battle. Others would argue that there isn't a difference but I disagree. However much I like the food at say, Donkey, a food snap doesn't add to my media stream. But I really want to post stuff like that.

Anyway, a conversation for the ages I suppose.

The image here of Megan is from FOREVER ago but I really like it. It was a different take on post for me. I wanted it somewhat ephemeral. Overall very soft.

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It was good to have a moment behind the desk to share an image from forever ago. More to follow...have a good weekend out there..

Forever ago (because nothing posted here is recent lol) I paired up for a quick project with for a quick spread. Cranium is the creation of Vinh Nguyen and Doms Nguyen.

Their brand, their site, their ideas...all full of hustle and love. Recently I was happy to be able to attend their pop up shop at ACK. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do and where they go. Visit their site for more info. And none of this could have been possible without the talented Amanda. Now that it's done and dusted, here's two from that project. And a fun one from the popup. Always more to follow...

BTS + New Work

I've never been big into BTS images for some reason. Maybe I feel mine are always lacking when there are some amazing photographers out there doing really great work in the studio and on location, but I have to admit that I'm warming to the idea. Awhile ago one of my images was picked up by Famous BTS Magazine. It kinda changed my thoughts on BTS and the community creating them (thanks Jess for your help on mine!).

My BTS image is the closest thing my work has come to "going viral" and that was a kinda fun.

Also kinda fun, imminently after they picked up my image was a stunning image from a rooftop in Santorini.

It does make for a nice contrast.

Anyway, 2,844 people liked my image and there was a rather small debate about it's purpose in the commments. I found that amusing considering the content on the BTS feed. Arguably each image there is not "the final image" and yet at the same time, for the BTS feed, every post is "the final image." Each image has a true double purpose.

But as I said, this is more about fun than anything else. This isn't the greatest place to have a deep meaningful discussion about the purpose of photography. All BTS images have a "look at me" element about them as they are. And maybe that's why I resisted them for awhile. I don't naturally have that characteristic to my personality. On the other side, I feel it is a bit of an invitation...

"Join me. Let's make your production happen. I will make the content you want, and if you look at my BTS images, you'll see I never hold back to when creating."

Could be reading into it but that idea does excite me. Because I think collaborating with people to bring their vision to life is exciting. And if a BTS image inspires collaboration, I'm all about that. Artie was on set with me the other day and he snapped this wonderful moment (thanks Artie!).


Super fun. Matthew Agency talent Dani was awesome in the studio. It was about as quick of a shoot as you can have, but none the less yielded some great images.

New work to come and more collaborations with Artie as we take on some new video projects!

And of course, some more BTS images :) More to follow...