Fitness With Kelly Brown

After every blog here I seem to suggest an effort will be made to get behind the desk more and write/share new content with some of the latest happenings. Or at least post more often. What seems to actually follow any said post is tons of editing work behind the desk. Very little blogging. Writing takes a back seat. And if there was a seat behind the back seat, like a 80’s style station wagon, that’s probably where the intent to post gets seated.

But I did want to pop up above all the happenings and general busyness, and share some recent work…more specifically a project with Kelly Brown, Jordan Hartly, and Ethan Alex. I don’t work with “fitness photography” per se, mainly because I don’t hang out in those circles, but the opportunity to work with Kelly Brown opened that door. As a tremendous athlete and coach, I saw the chance to put together some stylized images with Kelly. I can’t say enough good things about Kelly, Jordan, and Ethan. All talented in their own right. Kelly in-front of the camera, Jordan’s retouching is so well seen, and Ethan’s backdrops are on the same level as Oliphant. The images really came together and I’m thankful for the chance to yet again pull together everyone for a new vision. I’m really looking forward to the next time I’m able photograph something sport. More to follow…


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

Studio BTS

While in between productions in 2018 I had intended to post more frequently (more than 2017 at least) but as time is limited, the posts seem to be as well. I did want to get a recent collaboration out there. Awhile back Motivity Pictures stopped by the studio. Motivity is a production company producing excellent work. They spent an afternoon in the studio for new portraits for their website. And as all photographers/videographers tend to do, they brought their cameras along. What followed was great conversation, awesome photos, and a wonderful little bts video. Check out the bts...

And here is the group image from my side of the camera....

Motivity Pictures

Motivity Pictures

There's a heavy tone here for a different look. All in all, a good afternoon's work. Hopefully more to follow here sooner than later...

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 Cranium.club!) 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...


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...


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...

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...

#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...

#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 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...

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!