Point Of Val

I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate a couple of times with Valerie Oresko. On this last occasion it was just before the release of her new lifestyle blog (link above). Valerie has a wonderful sense of style and writing that is open and honest. I’m looking forward to where she takes it. The image here was featured on @castdetroit (thanks CastDetroit! for the shout). I also had the opportunity to meet Emily Annett who is a talent behind the camera herself. Her Instagram is loaded with really wonderful images. All of us were in the studio a few weeks back and I created a quick look with Val and Emily created some images that became a story for Val’s blog. It was a fun collaboration. Hopefully we’ll all be able to do it again. As for now, it’s back to editing. More to follow…

Valerie Oresko

Valerie Oresko

#BTS of some cool people

#BTS of some cool people

A Short Aside

It would be a missed moment if I didn't mention the monumental change in football over the weekend. If you didn't catch it, the name of this sight, Icon United, while photography and art centered, is a direct nod to football.  When I made the full leap into photography and multimedia, circa 2006, I also began to also heavily follow Arsenal F.C. out of Highbury, London.

Around then the Premiere League started to broadcast games here in the states more predominantly with the hope to widen their audience. And it worked, at least here. I found myself watching a match here or there, late at night or on the weekend...and before I knew it, I was interested. And as anyone does, when they are interested, they seek to learn more. To follow it more closely I felt I needed a club. After looking into a few clubs...their names, places, and probably most important in 2006, who had an online presence in which I could read about them, follow them and learn though them...I found The Arsenal. I learned about their history and I learned about the game. I learned about the rules. And about the other teams. And in the end, I learned I really enjoyed soccer. For someone who grew up with sports on the peripheral view of life, football caught fire in the mid oughts and has been part of my life since. More specifically The Arsenal caught fire and has been a part of my life since.

And yesterday that drama was in full force. A man I have been following for the last 12 years, the manager of Arsenal F.C., stepped down. Arsen Wenger managed AFC for 22 years, overseeing 1235 matches overall, and the only manager I have known. The lead principle in a drama I have keenly followed over the years. When this site was created, the "United" comes from so many football clubs that share the same unifier. I found it hard to work in an "F.C." in a way that might relate to photography and multimedia, so I went with united. I felt at the time, and still do to this day, that between a United group of creators, great content can be made. I've also found that to be true. I have been fortunate enough to partner with so many talented creators over the years.

In the world of soccer, it's a title attribute many clubs share. And while not a direct nod to Arsenal, the United here itself has been, and will continue to be, a fun nod to soccer in my life.

As change seems to be constant, this is a new form of it in a place that hasn't seen a lot of it. Arsen leaves this season behind and a new chapter begins begins for the club.  He will be missed here. He's been the only manger I have known at a club that I have come to follow religiously. It makes for exciting times. But as football clubs go, I'm happy to have fallen in with a club who's manager believed that football could be an art form. I'm happy that this club is from a district in North London, so far away from the mid-west, but close with friends and family. I'm also happy that Arsenal show up in one of my most favorite works, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy - random but true. Arsen Wenger's last match managing Arsenal F.C. was yesterday and it would be amiss if I didn't note how much fun it has been to follow The Arsenal. I look forward to more drama full of highs and lows, a sport shared by the world, and how it's left an impression here. When I tell people, "Don't remember how to spell my name because it's furitless, it's tough to spell on the fly... just remember Icon United, it's easier." I usually get a smile as I hand them a business card and some even get the reference. Thanks for the memories Arsen.



Forever ago (because nothing posted here is recent lol) I paired up for a quick project with cranium.club 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...

#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 time...it'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...

Out & About, reDiscovering the Grand

Busy times away from the desk this week. A lot of things going on...one 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...


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!


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!