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…


West Michigan Orthopaedics

April has been a busy month. In between it all West Michigan Orthopaedics released a series of videos I recently finished working on. This was a partnership between myself and Com616. These informational/instructional videos are focused on some of the issues their patients seek treatment for. All and all it was a fun project and I was thankful to be part of it.

Just a quick post for today but I’m looking forward to some projects coming up…more to follow…

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...

Quick Shout Out

Along the road of photography I love to meet people and be a part of their journey. Awhile back I met Terrence... Super cool guy and incredibly hard worker. His journey in-front of the camera has only continued to grow over the months and yesterday he gave me shout on Instagram after a lot of that work. I'm happy to help and working with him over the last few months has been great. Super excited to see where he goes.

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Anyway, pretty cool stuff. Aaaaand it's a pretty busy week so it's a short one. Looking forward to a video production with a new client that should be pretty fun. More to follow on that... Have a good one!

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.



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

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...


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...