Category Archives: things are looking up
things are looking up
This is the 5th in a series I am calling “We Are The People”. I am looking for other compelling stories if you know someone who’s story needs to be told, get in touch with me.
This is Apollo, he’s a 17 year old young man living in Providence RI. He attends Classical High School and is a talented artist. Apollo was assigned female at birth and transitioned roughly a year ago. There is a lot of fear and misinformation about transgender people, so I was particularly interested in making this portrait of Apollo to hopefully help move these views in a more positive direction.
What I was struck by when I first met Apollo was his strong and confident personality. I like any person that is authentically them self, especially in the face of adversity, but coming from a teenage boy it’s striking. We talked about how gender focused our society is. In many cases, including his, using the wrong pronouns or refusing to use chosen names cause pain.
We wanted this image to be a little playful by making fun of gender reveals…
Sometimes who we truly are isn’t immediately revealed.
This is the 4th in a series I am calling “We Are The People”. I am looking for other compelling stories if you know someone who’s story needs to be told, get in touch with me here or on messenger.
April fools day seems like perfect timing to reveal this portrait of Paul. He is a scientist and describes himself as a conservative. Paul is the Dean of the College of Pharmacy at URI. He told me that he loves science becaue “The goal of good science is to find the truth. At the end of the day, you can believe the truth or not believe. But its still the truth.
Sometimes the truth is “unvarnished”, it may not be pretty or convenient or support someone’s point of view. But again its still the truth.
A good scientist removes their biases from the scientific process. Some of the most fulfilling experiments end with “Well, thats not what I expected!”
Please share this photo and help me spread this story around. I beleive it needs to be told to as many people as possible
This is the 3rd in a series I am calling “We Are The People”. I am looking for other compelling stories if you know someone who’s story needs to be told, get in touch with me here or on messenger.
This is a real photo of a girl and her Mom. #ShePersisted Leila is 10 years old and was adopted from Kazakhstan, a predominantly muslim country located in Central Asia which is from the former Soviet republic. She told her mom last week “The president likes you but he doesn’t like me”
Kids always look to their parents as a vision of what their lives will be like down the road. What this girls sees for herself right now because of the current political climate is disjointed, jagged and painful. I hold out hope that she will have a bright future free from prejudice about the color of her skin.
This is my homage to Shephard Fairey’s iconic protest image and the 2nd in a series I am calling “We Are The People”. I am looking for other compelling stories if you know someone who’s story needs to be told, get in touch with me here or on messenger. This is a real photo of a real woman and her name is Nada. #ShePersisted
Nada is a smart, hard-working and kind Muslim woman.
She is earning her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at URI and plans to graduate next May. She was born in Egypt where her father is a dentist and her mother is a stay-at-home mom of four.
She loves kickboxing and describes herself as a nerd. She chose to begin wearing her headscarf at the age of 12, a decision that has great meaning for her and her family.
She fears this new administration will build obstacles to her improbable dream of a life in the US that she cannot overcome. It is my sincere hope that she is able to live out her dream and serve the American people as a pharmacist. It would be a sad and unnecessary loss if she ends up being forced out.
Please share this #ShePersisted
Like so many other people I am angered and embarrassed about what is happening to my beautiful country by the current political administration. While I don’t have any real power to change their draconian policies, I still think that we need to do what we can. What I can do is take photos. And there are so many stories out there of good people doing good things and I want to use my abilities as a photographer to tell those stories. This is the 1st photo of the series I am calling “We are the People”
This is my proud, strong and defiant stepdaughter Emily.
She is half Mexican and all American.
Her father immigrated here at the age of 26 with the dream of creating a new life and serving as a medical doctor. Currently this is the life he lives and has saved more American lives and returned more loved ones home, against the odds, to their American families than can be counted.
Mexico sends its best.
For the photo geeks out there, I used 3 speed lights: Two lights in front of them a 72″ Octa box on the right and a small 15″ umbrella on the left and a bare speed light up and behind them (notice the shadow on the ground) This was taken on a Nikon d600 camera ISO 500 with a 50 mm lens at F8 and a shutter of 1/200th of a second
Marcus Roberts has been a musical hero of mine for many years now. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing him perform last night with the great Béla Fleck, Jason Marsalis, and Rodney Jordan at the Historic Garde Arts Center go check out some of the wonderful events they have at their incredible theater in New London CT. Below are some of the photos I made at last nights performance. They were touring together to promote the album “Across the Imaginary Divide”
Here is a video about their project together
Gay Marriage was made legal yesterday by the state of Rhode Island! I am so proud to have witnessed this historic event! I want to tell you a short story of the changes I have seen in my lifetime in public opinion regarding gay folks.
In 1991 when I was 17 years old and a senior in High school, I was given an assignment to give a persuasive speech to my fellow students. The topic I chose: Gay Rights. As a young person living in conservative Wisconsin, this seemed like a worthy topic, and something that seemed SO basic and easy to explain, but as it turned out, I didn’t persuade very many people. In fact I really angered quite a few folks. I should say that I am not gay, but just for suggesting that gay people ARE people, and deserved a basic level of respect, I received a huge amount of grief from the community. A fellow classmate of mine punched me in the face, I got death threats written to me, and people left terrible mean messages on my family’s home phone machine, saying they were going to beat me up and cut off my hair (which was quite long at the time) etc… Being the stubborn person that I am and supported by a wonderful group of friends and family, I pushed back against that bad behavior and thumbed my nose at those people. Somehow I got my hands on a button that said “bend over, I”ll drive” I wore this to school and my friend Karl and I walked down the hallway holding hands. I was a rebellious young man and it felt at the time that I was making a difference, or at least I was speaking the truth in the face of bigots and that felt right. Looking back, I don’t think it changed anyones mind, or helped make any bit of a difference but I could hold my head high and know that I stood up for what was right.
Here I am now 22 years later living in RI and yesterday Governor Chaffee signed into law the Marriage Equality bill. I was on hand to see this historic gathering with a TON of Media, and about 1,000 other folks. It was a joyous and happy event. It is amazing to me that so much has changed in my lifetime. I can only hope things continue to move in the same direction for all people. Look at this couple if you can’t read the notes they are wearing it says “waiting since 1976” WOW
I have been feeling the weight of life coming down on me lately. This wonderful quote from Leonard Cohen helps keep things in perspective
I am super excited about my upcoming exhibit at Roger Williams law school 10 Metacom ave. Bristol RI The opening is this Friday! November 4th. This is a joint venture with Kim Baker who has created some ver beautiful poems directly relating to the photographs. If you are free I would love to see you there!
Here is a little info on Kim
When she isn’t teaching the virtues of the comma at Roger Williams University School of Law, writing poetry about big hair and Elvis, and doing the Cha-Cha, Kim Baker works to end violence against women. Her poems have been published online and in print and essays broadcast on National Public Radio, and she is currently working on a book of ekphrasis poems. She lives in Warwick and shares her musings at http://thinkingoutsidethesign.blogspot.com/
Here is one of the images in the show!
Creativity, talent and growth are funny things. I have been thinking a lot about these issues lately. Paraphrasing a quote I heard recently: Inspiration is a myth, real artists just get to work…
So I have been getting to work testing out new lighting techniques, new Photoshop techniques, and just plain getting to work on my craft of photography. And I am happy to say that I am in a growth period and it feels GREAT! My photos are better than ever and I am understanding light more every day. I photographed my beautiful daughter today. She is a remarkable child and I am lucky to have her as my daughter. Here is her picture
I have been seeing alot of HDR photography lately on the web and frankly most of it is pretty boring to me. Like a new toy photographers have gotten it is over used as of late. But some HDR can be really great. So I thought I would try my hand at it. I hope I didn’t fall prey to the siren song of HDR. If I start posting lots of these types of images please remind me of this post…
For those of you who don’t know about HDR or what it is. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and it combines multiple exposures into one final photo. I took three photo at Astors in Newport at a wedding a few weeks back and took some time to blend them using the new Photoshop CS5 HDR I like it. Here are two images dark and light that I started from I also took a middle exposure not posted but I think you can get the idea here.
And this is what we ended up with. Let me know what you think?
Bunches of wonderful Caterers descended on the Towers last night for a fantastic night of great food, and drink in this wonderful location right on the Ocean. My estimate would be 300 guests, and everyone was smiling! What a lovely night it was! You can see the Towers website here
K.C. Bishop from West Bay Gourmet was the coordinator for the event, you can see their website here
Also the other business represented were
and Weed Weavers
Decorations from Exquisite Events
A wonderful event that I was proud to be a part of. Here are the photos from that wonderful day!
More in my series showing the behind the scenes of portrait sessions. Working with pretty people always helps… Lucky for me I had a beautiful woman to work with. I was using 3 lights for this portrait. two up and behind her about 5 feet away from her with no modifiers on them at all, just the speed ring/reflectors. For those of you aren’t photographers that is just a small silver ring to generally point the light one direction. I was shooting in an office building see the florecent lights and power strip on the wall … I just over powered the lights in the room with my lights so you aren’t seeing any of those in the final shot. My main light which was a light shot thru an umbrella was set up above her and to my right but as close as I could get it to her about maybe 3 feet away, because I wanted that light to be as soft as possible. I used the regular green wall as a backdrop. We ended up with a dramatic image! Dig it!
Mission impossible photo style.
I went down to Connecticuit recently to Aspen Restaurant. You can see their website here I was asked originally to photograph some food for new marketing materials they will be putting out soon. But when I arrived after almost a 2 hour drive the Manager asked me to photograph himself and the head chef as well. Ok no problem but the restaurant is open so we can’t photograph in the dining room. They do have a spot down stairs that is empty but guests will be arriving in 30 minn, and it is SUPER dark down there… So I went to work… First I composed the shot in my head. Set up a tripod for my camera and put it in place took a test shot to make the exposure right for the ambient light. As you can see it was DARK
Then I set up two lights one off to my right up about 10 feet in the air and about 10 feet from the subjects. And another way back off from them to my left about 15 feet back. To avoid lens flare I put a snoot on the light made out of an cardboard box I found in their kitchen. If you look on the left of the Chef’s Face you can see that second light. I had them step into the frame and took the portrait, both of them were great and we got a wonderful portrait. Then I quickly set all the lights down and got out just in the nick of time! I think we ended up with a Great photo!
They by the way have AMAZING food. One of the perks of photographing for them was a meal at the end. I was left with one word, WOW!!!