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.

Megan Oliver Web.jpg

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...

Time Jump

Things have been busy. Super busy. There's been more time away from the desk lately than I can remember. Some of it by design, some of it for unexpected reasons, but all of it has kept me from this blog. At this point, it might be hard to consider a blog when you don't post. But we'll forget the gap between the last one and now. There's some foreseeable rhythm coming up where I'll be able to carve out some time to post content and write with some regularity. *fingers crossed*

I'm looking to update the portfolio with some new video and still work shortly. #1for52 is still going and while the dynamics have changed a bit, I'm still looking to make 52 portraits by the end of the year. I did have an idea about doing it every week but I realized while I was seeking a moment, fitting it in for the sake of fitting it in didn't make a lot of sense. If I was going to make an image, put in the effort to find a time where it's right. None the less, and update there soon.

Until that exact moment, this is a nice hero shot of Grand Rapids. I can dig it. Summer's here. The hashtags attached are a bit showy but it's the sign of the time I suppose. #ExperienceGR picked it up so that was cool (thanks #ExperienceGR!)... More to follow...

#1for52 Update

Wow things have been busy. My little project has been rolling along but it's been maybe lacking a little momentum that it initially had. I knew at a point finding people who wanted to be part of this would be tricky, but none-the-less, I'm still creating, still making an image of someone when I have the'll be interesting to see how this project continues and evolves. This is a very cold moment from what feels like forever ago. Thankfully I had a chance to meet up with Jody on a somewhat snowy Sunday.

Jody, February 5th 2017

Jody, February 5th 2017

More to follow...

#1for52, Joe From Last Week

I knew I'd fall behind in posting but I'm getting around to it now. This is from last week when the sun was out after being a no show for days. Makes for a nice moment in the sun considering how wet and rainy it has been for the last few days.

Joe, February 1, 2017

Joe, February 1, 2017

More to follow...

Creative Collaborations

There's a lot happening this week. It's going to be a balancing act. Time behind the desk, time behind the camera... it's always interesting to watch things unfold while being part of it.

Last week I had the chance to work with Vinh Nguyen and his company Cranium. Cool team, cool production. I was happy to be involved.

Fun times in the studio for sure, I'll drop a few images here in the future. Right now, I only have time for this flick...

More to follow...

#1for52 Jess

What a wild week... tons happening (personally speaking & all the happenings in the news), super busy behind the desk, and the weather has been most odd.

When I made this portrait of Jess at the start of the week it was just about 60 degrees. As I type this, it's 28 degrees. Climate change indeed.

Jess, January 22 2017

Jess, January 22 2017

Some interesting projects on the horizon. Looking forward to them. Again, if you want to be a part of #1for52 drop me a line. And if you see me at the Perrin Brewing 5k Ice Jam this weekend hollar. Should be fun. And quite cold.

More to follow...

#1for52 Tressa

Busy couple of days, but I had a little time behind the desk today to reflect on a moment with Tressa from last week.  There's some grey days going on in Michigan but with it comes some tremendously soft light. I'm happy I could meet up with Tressa and bring my camera. Looking forward to next week...

Tressa, January 11th, 2017

Tressa, January 11th, 2017

Again, if you're interested in this project and want to be part of it, drop me a line. We should talk. More to follow...

Out & About, reDiscovering the Grand

Busy times away from the desk this week. A lot of things going project in the mix (I suppose, continually in the mix) is the ongoing documentary project reDiscovering the Grand. Sometime it's tough to find time to get out there, but I was able to break away this week to see some of the ice forming on the river. There was quite a bit of it. That tends to cause problems for those up river but there weren't too many problems this time. Jason managed to visit some of those areas while I spent my time downtown. I'm looking forward to visiting a few more spots this winter...more to follow...

Downtown Grand Rapids, MI

Downtown Grand Rapids, MI

New Year, New Work. 1for52

There's already a quite a few of things in the works but I've decided to challenge myself to throw one more thing in the mix.

Outside of the normal work I have going, I wondered what it would be like to make a portrait every week for a year. I understand it's not groundbreaking, or anything like the collaboration between the choreographer Jonathan Burrows, the composer Matteo Fargion and the video artist Hugo Glendinning in their work 52 Portraits (amazing work there), but I wanted to see where it goes. Just one portrait a week. With minimal production and planning. And with few rules. Anyone and anywhere. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. But I'm curious. I got it in my head and the only way to get it out is do it. More than likely I'll end up photographing every week and then posting multiple images all at once. A few at once. Time behind the desk is always a challenge.

Last week Thursday I spent 20 min with Kevin to get the ball rolling. And I dig it. So the next step is to make another one. We'll see where it goes. If you happen to be a reader of this blog and you want a week, drop me a line, I'd be happy to stop by. If you happen to be a reader of this blog and you don't want in but know someone who might, feel free to pass my name along.

Kevin, 01/05/17

Kevin, 01/05/17

For now, it's a fun start. And yes, it was bone chilling cold when we made the image. I think it was like 12 degrees or something. Probably be like that for awhile. Have a good week out there. More to follow...

My Year In Music (kinda)

Happy NYE! There was a time I used to create a long-form album breakdown of all the things I've listened to over the year. I think, although without looking, I did it in 2013 and 2014. I fell away from that in 2015, but I'm brining in back for 2016...somewhat. It's not everything I listened to, or as long as previous reviews, and I'm only including 5 albums to my previous list of 10, but it's back! ...somewhat...

The Album Review

I like only having 5 albums, it's bit of simplicity, and I also tend to find a very select few of albums on constant rotation via iTunes/Spotify over and over again. So that means I listed to these tunes a lot... I couldn't tell you why, It's just my style apparently. Anyway...

One of those albums I listed to a lot was - Moby's Long Ambients1: Clam. Sleep.

This is an amazing album (I hate the word "amazing" but there's no chance avoiding it here). I love ambient music. If you know me you know how much I appreciate (and listen to) the music of BVDUB. So seeing this was probably no surprise. Moby's 2016 release is really wonderful. In it's immediate appearance it's really mellow, but it's complexity is revealed in the length of the compositions and the evolution of the songs as they grow. He also released the whole album for free in 2016 and that is simply unheard of. I'm thankful he gave it away and this is an important album of 2016 for me. Thanks @thelittleidiot #thelittleidiot

Another one, Bon Iver - 22, A Million

I really like this album. It's maybe somewhat different than his other work, but feels like another step for Bon Iver. For good or bad it was hyped like mad. I probably didn't play it as much as some of his earlier work, but it hit the "now playing" fairly often in the tale end of 2016.

Sia - This Is Acting

I don't think Sia can do any wrong at this point. Her work is strong and the shear power in her vocals is unmistakable. I discovered her long ago with Breath Me on Colour The Small One. Now it's undeniable, her presence in music has been made. A Tour De Force for sure. Maybe smaller at the point of Breath Me, but she is a force now. I cannot help but be moved when listening to her music. I don't think anyone cannot.

Don't Let Me Down - Illenium Remix (and yes, specifically that one) The Chainsmokers, Daya, Illenium

Yes, I'm well aware it's a single, and yes, it's super pop culture-ish, and yes, I might be too old to listen to it, but yes, it's an really fun mix of that song. I do like a lot of electronica. It makes me want to bounce and dance. Or pedal faster on the bike. Or just plane go biking. So deal with this choice. Or put it on tonight because it's perfect to bounce and dance along with.

Christopher Bakriges Quartet - Clear and Present

I like jazz quite a bit. For those of you who saw LaLa Land and when John Legend asks, "Where are all the young people?" I'm here! It's me! noted earlier, I might not be THAT young anymore but I still dig the classic sound of jazz. And this album hit my radar in 2016. I dig it. Curious Birds is a great track. Go listen.

This is a bit of bonus...obviously I couldn't have listened that much as it just came out but I wanted to throw it out there. Again, not much of an album, but it's Ryan Adams, and yes, I'm bias, I dig his music no matter the context.

Ryan Adams - To Be Without You

And this is a bonus, bonus. I've been working on this list for awhile, I thought I should share it. I don't know why I didn't think of making this mix earlier but it was made in 2016. This is a playlist of "only first tracks" from Soundtracks. With the exception of one, which is too beautiful to not be on there. You can find it if you want and call foul, but it's my list, so I can bend the rules a bit. And I did. I think including it is nice and I think you'd agree. If you even notice : )

So there you go.

That's a bit of my sound in 2016. I hope you have a great 2017. Go have a drink and hug one another because it's a bit scary out there. We need some more good tunes and happy times. Do good things and I'll see you on the flip side.

Happy New Year!


It's fast approaching the lull between Christmas and New Years where, unless your an EPL fan, it's a gap of time that seems largely different from the rest of year. It doesn't quite fit with the normal hum drum beat of everything before it. If you're an EPL fan, the frantic pace of the games over the next week are in the very least, something to talk about. Or at worst, something to be desired. That being said, I hope the Arsenal can do what Stella did circa 1998, and get their groove back. COYG.

But as thoughts drift, as they tend to do this time year, I am still overwhelmed with the amount of change this last year has brought. And yes, it's a mellow dramatic sort of reflectance because a) everyone says it's a need at this time of the year, as opposed to say, February, which when you think about it, why not February? I mean, it's got it's own things going on. And b) in the eyes of many, most change is small, or even insignificant. But in the eyes of the few, particularly my own, it's impossible to miss, and even still, impossible not think about. Life in all of it's majesty. Cue sunset, or as us in The Mitt know, cue sunset in 4 months or so.

As this blog progresses with thoughts and images I did want to pause for a moment and say to you reader, whoever you are, where ever you are, I hope your day is merry and bright. I hope that you are well, with family and/or friends, you eat well, and you drink well. I hope you're able to smile and be nice to each other. And if not today, maybe tomorrow, because while it's not a holiday, it's another opportunity. And I raise my glass to you : )

Next week I hope to post my top 5 albums of '16. Because it seems 10 is too much these days. Maybe, we'll see...

More to follow... cheers!


The Noise Out There Is Loud, But Not Here

Every time I turn on the news (read, "NPR") or log into Facebook (and read "irony" as i'm posting to fb) I'm blasted with politics. It's simply overwhelming. And unless you unequivocally follow the president-elect, there's bound to be something that irks you, or most things, or everything. Most of the time I want to turn it off or log out or move on. At least when I read the WSJ or the NYTimes the voice I hear is mine and remarkably less aggressive. Imagine that. Still, the current events are bleak, so I've been striving to find the good lately (see last post as well). But I think I found something.

I'm really thankful when something cuts through the din out there and Lil Buck did just that. I love this segment. The Foundation Louis Vuitton in ParisLil Buck, and Nowness have really presented a beautiful, quite moment. I watched it, and then watched it again. Really wonderful.

I remember how beautifully simple a performance Lil Buck did with Yo-Yo Ma years ago... It's stuck with me ever since. I'm happy to see another one (there's probably many but this just hit the radar).

Well that's my bit for the day. Go out and have yourself a Wednesday. Always dance a bit more. Always more to follow...


Basil Bob

Lately things have been busy. There's no other way to put it. Getting a moment behind the desk to settle into a rhythm has been challenging. To add to the stress of personal day-to-day norms, the news hasn't been great either. Upon reflection, the news was probably never about "feeling good" but it's been truly trying lately.

Thankfully there's lots of good in life and one of the many things has been the introduction of a house plant. Basil Bob happens to be a very tiny joy in what has been a stressful time. Basil Bob is a seed container that I purchased probably... over a year ago... probably longer, and promptly forgot about in the armrest of my car. It was an impulse buy for $2.50, on clearance, in a checkout line at Lowes, or Home Depot, or something...could have been Meijers (it was so long I don't remember). For ages, it sat there. Hot car. Cold car. It sat there in the armrest of my car.

Recently I found Bob while looking for my water bottle (sadly still lost), and thinking the seeds had long ago passed, planted them anyway in the interest of curiosity. And after a week or so, they sprouted. I've always been in awe of nature, Mountains out West, Oceans on the coasts... Even on the extremely small scale, like basel growing in a plastic cup. But since planting they have sprouted and grown rather well.

It makes me tremendously happy that Bob has grown. And yes, there is something odd about calling multiple plants Bob, or personalizing plants at all, but nothing's perfect. All-in-all how can you not be enamored by a name like Basil Bob?

As I think about it, giving up on the seeds would have been a little easy and seen as mostly reasonable. In the same vain, letting the news and day-to-day dealings bring me down would have been easy. And I'm aware that maybe the idea is a bit trite in the scheme of current affairs, global politics, and life in general, a house plant is not those things... but small steps... not giving up on the seeds, not feeling glum about news... it proves that action and a little love will always bring more joy than not. And more joy, no matter the form, is better. #tuesdaythoughts

More to follow...

Election Day!

So much change is happening! Get out there and vote, and when it's all said and done, make sure you hug your family, friends, neighbors...even is way too short to not be nice! Happy Election Day!

Stand Out Photography Forum

Yesterday turned out to be quite the adventure.

I drove to Chicago for the Stand Out Photography Forum sponsored by PhaseOne and various other vendors. It appealed to me because I had been to a lot of conferences for education but very few with the focus on being commercially active.

And while my expectations were open, of all the things I didn't expect was to hit a rather simple construction gap between new pavement and old pavement on i-90 (just before hitting i-94) and it shaking my muffler loose. The "bump" caused my muffler to completely dislodge from my car. I ended up dragging the bulk of my muffler for the last bit of the trip before I landed at the conference. It was unexpected and through my day off a bit.

But I managed to recover and I only missed part of two presentations. I was going to hear a select few talks, get my sensor cleaned, and to hopefully learn a thing or two. I did just that. I was able to have my firmware updated, sensor cleaned, caps replaced, and I talked with some great people. A success on many accounts.

The forum was pretty neat. I managed to meet quite a few photographers. I was really surprised that people like Clay Cook and Jeff Rojas were so accessible. I had a solid conversation with them. That was pretty special and I was thankful to speak with them both. The legendary Albert Watson was there as well but I didn't manage to speak with him personally, just hear his talk (still good!). All of their presentations were great, informative and heartfelt. I also got to sit down with Erika Blatt from Wonderful Machine. I'm always thankful when I can have a one on one conversation about marketing and photography. Thanks Erika!

All in all it was a solid day. Photography discussed and the trusty steed was fixed for another day... shout out to Teloloapan Muffler for a fix on the go... they were totally awesome and managed to fix my car as I drove in with a dragging muffler. Classic little adventure. Have a solid weekend out there! More to follow.

Classic Fall

Time is moving quickly... photographing, projects, etc... lots of things changing...leaves included... I was happy to get out an photograph a bit of the fall color. Andrea Wallace is a tremendous athlete and mom. We spent a few hours playing in the leaves. Well, maybe one of us did ; ) I played around with a bounce card on a rather cloudy day. More to follow....

Oh, and let's hope the cubs get another win tonight in critical Game 7!