Tons of Shoots in Thailand

Thailand proved to be our most productive location yet.  We had at least 10 stock shoots, shot two-dozen Airbnbs, and even had some editorial work.  I was amazed at how much media is created there, from TV, to print ads, to commercials.  This means that placed like Bangkok are filled with tremendous talent for photo shoots.  There we worked with top-notch international models, makeup artists and hair stylists.  Had we stayed longer we would have utilized the vast network of sets and studios.  I have nothing bad to say about the people, food, or transportation in Bangkok, we loved it all.  Our return to Thailand can't come soon enough! 

I really should have broken this up into multiple posts, but this will have to do.

Shooting for Stocksy: Europe Edition

In both France and Italy I had several production lifestyle shoots for Stocksy.  Justin has become a savvy producer and he's been a tremendous asset and has helped in the creation of lots of new work.  Here are just a few of the shoots we have worked on in the past months...

If anyone has the illusion that we're on an extended vacation, the sheer volume of work we've created should demonstrate that we are hustling out here (and loving every minute of it!). 

Leaving Los Angeles

OMG, it's a blog update!  The busier I get the worse I am at updating this thing.  As I head out on a massive adventure I hope, nay, I PROMISE, I will do better. Here are a few images that I shot out in front of my house in Hollywood a couple of weeks back as smoke from the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita covered the neighborhood. 

New Client: Porter and Sail

Throughout August and September I had the opportunity to run around LA shooting dozens of restaurants and bars for a luxury city guide, Porter and Sail.  I consider myself a foodie and someone that's "in the know" when it comes to the latest and greatest in the LA food scene, but working for P&S exposed me to several hidden gems that I wasn't previously aware of.  I photographed at Bestia, Mozza, Birch, La Descarga, Animal, EP/LP, Odys + Penelope, Sushi Gen, Asanebo, Walker Inn, Jitlada, Saint Martha, and many, many more.  Yum!

Chiavaro Designs Interior Shoot: Dana Point

New work with an awesome new client!  I'm loving shooting more interiors but it is definitely making me want to do some home renovations.  This house in Dana Point turned out great.  Stacy Chiavaro designed it and it had a real lux beach house vibe going on.  The kitchen is a dream.  It's the perfect house to have a dinner party in.  

To see more of Stacy's work you can check out her website http://chiavarodesign.com/ 

Palm Springs Photo Festival 2015

It's the end of Spring so that means that it's Palm Springs Photo Festival time again!  So much happened that my post is a little later than normal.  I worked with the incomparable Keith Carter this year, there was a wolf, lots of beautiful models, portfolio reviews, late night lectures and parties, and, it makes me emotional even to type this, the last talk given by Mary Ellen Mark. 

Mary Ellen gave a moving talk on Wednesday night of the festival.  She showed a greatest hits slideshow of her work which was powerful and moving.  I've been a huge fan for a long time, but this is only the second time I've gotten to see her speak in public.  The crowd gave her a well-deserved roaring standing ovation when she finished.  She was clearly ill, and her heroic efforts to continue to teach her workshop, speak on a panel, and then stay up to 10pm to give the late night evening presentation were truly admirable.  This was a woman who cared passionately about her craft and about the field of photography.  She was a trailblazer for women photographers and she will be missed. 

Onto a much lighter topic, the workshop with Keith!  Often times workshop instructors are great artists, but they're not great at teaching.  With Keith there was the magical combination of him being both an exquisite image maker AND an articulate teacher. He had many helpful creative exercises, showed work by interesting photographers that I had never heard of, and he had thoughtful insights about everyones work.  

We started the week with a little class time at the Korakia Pensione in the morning of day one. Then moved onto a mini shooting session at a hip private home in Palm Springs, followed by a critique of attendee work, and finally a quick trip to the thrift store to pick up props for the rest of the week.    

Day 2 we went to the spectacular Blue Ranch, an in-city horse ranch in the middle of Palm Springs. We had three lovely models, a couple of horses, and a wolf (!!!) to photograph and work with as subjects.  Although I was there to assist with the organizational part of the festival, with scenery like this I had to make some images of my own--especially since Canon loaned me a 5d Mark iii plus the AWESOME 85mm 1.2!  I want it!  It was very hard to give back that lens and I've been pining for it ever since. 

Day 3 we went out to Indian Canyon.  In all of my years going out to Palm Springs with the festival it was my first time at Indian Canyon. It's like this little oasis just a few miles out of town with groves of palms and a trickling stream running through it.  It was very cool and I will be back!  We had a big group this year (see below) but the last few years I've gotten very lucky with low maintenance attendees which makes my job so much easier!

The festival is a very intimate experience and there are workshops are going on all around the Korakia Hotel.  I got a sneak peek at Ian Ruhter's wet plate workshop in action using his massive camera. Such a cool process to watch!  Also, look at that focus on the 85 1.2, daaaaamn!

The week is filled with long, sometimes challenging days with little sleep and a fair amount of stressful moments. It's also probably my favorite week of the year.  That is in no small part thanks to the many great friends that I have because of the festival.  I am grateful every year they come back and we get to hang out in the desert together.  I get to see their careers grow and our bonds of friendship are renewed each spring.  It's a very special thing. 

vscocam-photo-3.jpg

Until next year...

Girls Wine Weekend Lifestyle Shoot

While I was up on the Central Coast shooting for some magazines I produced and shot a "girls wine weekend" concept for Stocksy.  My models were my longtime friend Becca and some of her girlfriends-- Mindy, Stacie, Caitlin, and Stephanie.  We bopped around a few Central Coast wineries and got to drink some fantastic wine.  What's more fun than a beautiful, sunny day, drinking wine with fun girls and making some photos?

Deanna at Griffith Park

I've been on the road a lot this month, but in a brief moment at home in LA I was able to snag the fabulous dancer/model Deanna Reeves for a shoot in Griffith Park.  We had a great time in the park and I definitely put her to work!  She was powering over boulders, balancing on logs, and running up and down steep hills. Oh the glamorous lives of models.  

Cocktail Quickie

There's a mantra in the photography world that I try really hard to live by and that's ABS: Always Be Shooting.  There's a number of good reasons for this such as keeping you skills on point, expanding your creative horizons, adding to your catalogue, etc, but I also find it really good for the soul.  So much of photography is EMAILING, bidding on projects, meetings, constant technology education, billing, accounting, and on and on.  The business of photography is crucial, but you can't let it take over to the point where it's not fun anymore.  So sometimes I like to set up the studio in my place and just photograph something pretty, like cocktails or food, like these.  

Production Shoot for Stocksy: Female Friends at the Beach

As a photographer you are always creating work a season or two ahead of when the images will be used.  Thus Christmas shoots in July and romantic Valentine's themed shoots are scheduled for November.  Famously Sports Illustrated models often have to brave frigid temperatures in bikinis to get that summertime look in the off season.  Luckily for this shoot, my models Brittany, Bia, and Amy and I had the great fortune to "endure" a 72 degree February day at the beach. It's rough.

The girls and I along with my trusty assistant Justin went out to Santa Monica for a fun "girls day at the beach" themed shoot.  The models were great and we had a lot of fun running around an almost empty So Cal beach.  You can see more images at my Stocksy page and even license them if you'd like.  Thanks so much to Amy, Bia and Brittany for having so much energy and making the shoot a blast!  

Field to Vase Florists for Edible SLO Magazine

I've got new work out this week on the news stands for Edible SLO magazine.  This was a feature on florists on the Central Coast who are involved in the "field to vase" movement.  Each of the ladies in the article create beautiful floral arrangements and they strive to source their flowers and botanicals locally. You can pick up a copy of Edible SLO magazine now, or check out the digital version at EdibleSLO.com. The writer of the article, Kendra Aronson also has a great blog about the field to vase movement that you can see here.

Interior Shoot for Jennifer Muirhead Designs

There's something really satisfying about shooting interiors that quenches that obsessive perfectionist that sometimes resides within me.  I find myself saying things like, "okay, one more inch to the left," and "let's take that blue book out and replace it with the green one."  It's such a great feeling when all of the elements are in balance and the scene comes together into one perfect frame.  

This shoot was for Los Angeles based designer Jennifer Muirhead and the home was a stunning modern Spanish bungalow in Hancock Park. The space was designed beautifully and felt very comfortable, yet with high-end elegant touches.  The house had great art too!  As a photographer I love when a designer uses lots of photography in their designs. 

To see more of her work visit her website at 

Jennifer Muirhead Designs

Home in Los Angeles

In just a few short days it will be my one year anniversary of living in Los Angeles. It has been a great adventure and I am way happier living in the big city than I ever would have expected. A couple of weeks ago I had a shoot scheduled and due to the nasty flu virus going around it got cancelled.  I had blocked off the day to shoot and there was beautiful light happening, and since my day was freed up I decided to bop around the hills of Hollywood and make some photos of my home city. Here's a little of what I made that day.