Sunday, May 23, 2010

Little Lila

Little Lila is already 15 months old. It seems that I took her mom, Heather's, pregnancy photos just a few months ago. When I arrived for Lila's photo shoot her dad, Art, said that she was just slipping into her tutu. Sure enough Lila came around the corner in the coolest Purple tutu with flower petals in the hem. Mom and dad had several outfits ready for her but tutu was such a winner that we stuck with it.
Art and Heather have a great collection of one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that always make for great props in their photos. Lila turned this chair into a stage and put on a great performance.
South and west facing windows provide great lighting for location photo shoots in peoples homes. Whenever I arrive for a portrait session the first thing I look for are picture windows and unique props such as this basket that was filled with Lila's toys before it was filled with Lila!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dangerous Wager

I bumped into my former intern Tim Martin at the photojournalism club at Northern Arizona University and almost walked right past him. He was a little hard to recognize as he had no hair or eyebrows. When I asked him what happened he sheepishly said that he had lost a bet with an old friend about who would graduate from College first. The loser had to shave.
I had gone to the meeting to give the students a challenge to photograph one fun subject a month. Tim seemed like a perfect candidate. I got him in the studio a few days later after a shopping trip to buy some eggs and an old straight razor.
I love this shot of Tim. It's very dark and moody which is the opposite of his personality. The next week I returned to the group meeting to share the photos. By now Tim is off in South East Asia on a photo safari. Hopefully the hair is coming back in. It's one thing to be bald but having no eyebrows is going to raise a few Thai eyebrows at passport control.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring at 7,000 Feet Above Sea Level

My wife Amy has been praying for snow. Apparently someone's listening as we've had and Alaskan storm system sitting over our mountain town for the past week. Supposedly it is going to be moving on by the weekend. It makes for pretty pictures but I'm more than ready for spring to arrive and stick around.
I learned how to shoot in the dark . Not playing with the snow downtown but in the local library photographing kids watching a 3D movie in a room to dark for my camera to autofocus. It was also too dark for manual focus. I had told the editors that I would send in a photo from the event for the front page so it was time to teach myself how to shoot in the dark. This was the first time that I used the LCD display to walk my focus in. I think it worked out pretty well.

This image would have been impossible with the Nikon's I was shooting with last year. I shot this a 6400 asa with a 1/2 second exposure hand-held. It's a testament to the Canon 5D Mark II and an 80 - 200mm image stabilized lens. This camera simply makes light where there is none.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Out of the blue

I got another reminder of just how stinkin' cool my job is today. Yes I get to spend plenty of time pointing a camera at people standing behind podiums but every once in a while I get a reminder of why I do what I do. My assignment today was to go down to the IRS office and photograph procrastinators filing their taxes. I pulled up at the social security office next door and noticed a lady pulling up in her car. Since it's against the law to photograph inside the office I approached her to see if I could photograph her sittinging her car. When I introduced myself she gave me a million watt smile and said that I had just won the lottery. She said that she was Frank Sinatra's daughter! Yep Old Blue eyes himself. Apparently the Chairman of the Board had an affair with her mother who told her just before she died that Sinatra was her father. As I leaned on the window sill of her car photographing her she told me of her trials trying to prove to the Sinatra family that she was indeed his daughter. Her name is Julie Sinatra. Her story is a sad one. She said that she is iving on $400 a month social security check and is about to become homeless. She was at the social security office to see if she could get her payments increased.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow at last

It started snowing Monday night and by Tuesday morning there was a thick blanket of the white stuff over our mountain town. I got to spend the morning driving around town looking for people playing in the snow. Helen and Makynzie, both 9, were working on this fabulous snow fort complete with balconies and a tunnel leading from the front garden to the street.
I was driving through the Cheshire neighborhood when I caught sight of Wyatt doing the James Dean walking down the street with his cherry-red snow shovel. Just 11-years -old he was a little buddy on a mission. He was charging $10 to clear the snow plow berm in front of homes or $20 to clear the entire driveway. By 9:30 a.m. Wyatt had already cleared three drives. One day we will all work for Wyatt.

After Cheshire I drove out to the Nordic Center to see if anyone was cross-country skiing. The staff were moving snow like crazy to get ready to open on Wednesday morning.

On the way back to the newspaper I drove past Robin midway through her snow-shoe commute to work. I couldn't pass up stopping to shoot a few frames of her walking through the knee deep snow.
Not bad for a mornings drive around town. By the time I got back to the newspaper the Associated Press bureau in Phoenix was on the phone asking for snow photos. I love my job!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Miranda's friend Emily came to hang out at the house for the weekend. Her Mum, Mrs. Nelson was Miranda and Sam's teacher when they were in fifth and sixth grade so Emily is like a fourth daughter. I shot a few frames of her as I was walking out to a family shoot on the mountain.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Harley Heaven

Thunder Valley Rally is an annual event at Cliff Castle Casino. Lots of Harleys, chrome, leather and tattoos. I got to spend two days wandering through row after row of every type of bike imaginable taking photos of what I found.
On the Sunday everyone present got the chance to judge the bikes entered in the bike show. The paint jobs on some of the bikes were mind-blowing.
The best tattoo I came across was a little gardener pushing a lawnmower across the center of this guy's bald spot. He looked like the twin brother of Dawg the Bounty Hunter and when I went over to get his name, sure enough, it was Dawg. He wasn't a bounty hunter he was the Pastor of the Prescott Valley Church of God. He was riding with a group called Bikers for Christ.
There were lots of classic bikes as well as choppers like this one. As if the bike weren't in your face enough the Glock in the lock sent a clear message. "Don't mess with my bike".

Foghat played Saturday night. I love shooting at the casino's Stargazer Pavilion. It's a relatively small intimate venue. The weather is always perfect and everyone knows me so I have unfettered access.