Thursday, June 26, 2008

Checking in...

Things have been pretty busy recently, which is great. I know when my office is messy, clean laundry sits on my bed for days on end, and I'm generally out of the many different staples in my pantry that life is probably on a bit of an upswing. I had 2 shoots last week that took up a lot of my time. And I've been trying to knock out a new portfolio to bring with me when I head out of town for about 2 weeks -- leaving on the redeye tomorrow night. In fact, if Samy's were open right now, I'd probably be absorbed in printing and cutting down new images for my book, but I've got another 45 minutes or so to go.

On Wednesday I shot an up-and-coming pop/club/dance/ singer on Interscope records -- Lady Gaga. It was for a small, no budget magazine, but I own the rights to the images, so I figured it was worth the gamble for syndication purposes. I had a great team of hair, makeup, and a great assistant and we powered through four setups in about 90 mins including some makeup and wardrobe changes. I'm pretty stoked on the images and will probably use a couple in my portfolio once they are touched up and printed. Saturday was a shoot for a small catalog that I've been shooting for just under a year and this seemed to be our best shoot yet, so that was nice too.

As for my upcoming trip, I'm pretty stoked on it. A friend of mine has commissioned me to go to his lifelong childhood home and photograph the house before it is sold. He's a painter and a bit of a sentimentalist and he asked me to shoot it for him and his family. It's a great chance to get out of LA for a bit to do some shooting and to have it paid for, which is even better. So, we leave tomorrow and head to Carlinville, Illinois for a couple days. Serendipitously, my mom just moved to another part of Illinois about five months ago, so I'll spend a week with her, and then head to Chicago for the 4th to see friends and hopefully put together some meetings with ad agencies in Chi-town before I come back to LA.

Before I get out of here to go pick up more ink and paper and immerse myself in photoshop for the rest of the day I wanted to address something mentioned on Shawn Records Blog a little bit ago. In this post he says

"• band photography: is there a way to photograph a group of painfully self-aware 20 somethings in their hipster finest and not have it reek? Please, let's talk about band photography- show/share. My favorite band photo of all time is the inside jungle hippie photo from an old Three Dog Night album, but I can't find it online. I just remember it had a pregnant woman and a watermelon in it and, in a sense, is somewhat reminiscent of Justine Kurland's contemporary work."

I commented on his blog and figured I'd address it on my own. I've spent a good amount of time working with one particular band here in Los Angeles including going out on a couple tours with them for weeks on end. I think in the reportage sense of photography there's a lot of great work out there. Look at Jim Marshall for a real historical viewpoint. And, more recently, Christopher Wray-McCann has also created some great images. I'll even post a few of my own shots from being on the road with some "painfully self-aware 20 somethings in their hipster finest," and contend that it doesn't reek. Yes, I know, I'm putting my own work out there and saying it doesn't suck, but hey, if I thought it sucked, I wouldn't show it off anyways...

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