Flight Risk

There are plenty of downsides to beach shoots with subjects that cannot be contained.

You know, when all they want to do is run and have nicknames like "Flight Risk." Luckily, these pups were well-behaved, especially this one. One of the top trained dogs in the U.S. What a beauty. Well, we let him loose a couple of times, too. But, the light was just too good not to catch him in action. 

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"When you are in a city that you don't know, you hang around and try to find places-- in French, the word is errance [or wandering about] -- you don't necessarily have a place to go and just try to lose yourself.  -Thierry Cohen

Everything was old about this day. This path I had taken many times. Nothing was new, except the fog. I felt old, my dog was old, even my film was old. But yet, there was something in the atmosphere. Something felt new, hopeful still. Snapping away, all bets were off on this film actually producing anything. So, when I got my scans back, that same ol' heart picked up its pace. It looked just as I had remembered that wandering day. That day of errance


I tell you what: kids to cars is a pretty interesting transition. But, this one's for the men out there. The owner wanted some stand-out pictures for selling purposes. Yes, it is for sale. And yes, I got to drive it. It's just as amazing as you think.

Words, Sometimes

Sometimes I use my words instead of taking pictures. It's a challenge. But, I like it. So here it goes.

"That's so New Orleans," you'll hear people say.  Or, "You just won't get it until you go there."

It's true.

New Orleans is a special kind of place. There are a few image-provoking words that come to mind when I think of walking around that ol' city under the sea. 

First of all, people don't drink water there. You don't have to. You breathe it in all day. It soaks through the skin. The humidity is beyond comprehension. You learn to choose your clothes wisely in the morning, because by the end of the day they're sticking to every roll and bulge you were previously trying to cover. And your hair will curl the same way it does when you walk  into hot yoga. A hot kitchen with too many chefs. A previously-showered-in bathroom without the vent on. An over-heated wooden sauna. That's it. Think: massive, over-heated sauna. Bingo. You'll get it when you go there. 

The early morning streets smell of sewage, honey suckles, and local bakery perfection of sweet pralines. It's a strange mix. A new twist on bittersweet. Mornings smell best--even with the sewage and freshly-place trash on the sidewalks. At night, it smells of puked alcohol, tourists who either forgot deodorant or don't know how to use it, and cream-based, gut-busting dinners. Take your pick. Pass out on the trolley through the night if you want a fast action play of both. 

On a lighter (and breathable note), in Spring, Japanese Tulips bloom elegantly and leave a wind-blown trail of cupcake-pink petals. In the mornings, you witness bottle-covered, bead-strewn porches wake slowly, expanding in the ever-present humidity. Large, tall French doors with perfectly-placed curtains display elegant french chairs. The sun finally makes its way through the canopy of lush trees and dapples the uneven, root-stricken pavement. It's hurts your running knees just like any other. It reminds you that as strange and singular it is, New Orleans is still a city. Just like any other. The trees still sway, if there's ever a breeze. And, the rain still comes. It just stays longer, smells worse, and falls harder. 

 New Orleans is just a place you have to experience for yourself. Go visit, take a raincoats, and don't forget to wear deodorant. Because, you know-- you just won't get it until you go there. 



If You're Ever In NOLA

This is a list of 31 suggestions how to see and leave NOLA:

  1. Rent a place in the Garden District through AirBnB
  2. Shop at fancy places
  3. …Or get caught window shopping
  4. Ride the Trolley
  5. Appreciate the breeze, albeit humid while on said trolley
  6. Visit local bookstores
  7. Note the french architecture
  8. Run into small, talented street bands
  9. Join a second line
  10. Visit with chefs while they're making your meal
  11. Respect signs (even if they're in French)
  12. Talk to strangers in bars
  13. Find out stranger is actually awesome artist who has a studio down the street
  14. Visit studio of aforementioned artist (which has a window entrance to a massive porch)
  15. Eat again
  16. It's a small place, so of course the chef knows your cousin. Meet him, hug him, thank him.
  17. See a huge brass band in a tiny bar
  18. Designate an audience member to join the brass band
  19. Listen to him put them in their place
  20. Watch out for the trombone!
  21. Fan the drummer
  22. Be rapped at in French
  23. …From the bar
  24. Fall on your derrière
  25. Snap a picture of the band name while you're down there
  26. Appreciate your gorgeous friends
  27. Dance with the locals
  28. Drink a little/Sing a little
  29. Let loose! 
  30. Have a good pair of shades to hide your debauchery from the night before
  31. Take a jet home.

And leave the Mardi Gras beads on for as long as you can, would ya? Enjoy, y'all! 

Crossfit 616

I got to do a little promo for the Michigan weightlifting team recently. It's not all wins and cheers. These guys and gals are tough. They test their limits, push their best PRs, and work hard against the odds. Great job, guys! 


In 2011, I lived in this old beach house on Sullivans Island that didn't have AC or heat. But, it did have thin curtains on the windows-- almost like cheesecloth. It was simple. And perfect. One thing I remember was that it always got the best light. And, therefore shadows. Below is a photo collection I found of the exact light I remember. 

Jennie Pitts

This girl can paint. And, I was lucky enough to have her in my apartment painting a piece just for me! How much better does it get? If you need a passionate, moving, colorful, fresh custom piece for your home, you have to contact her. Email me and I'll put y'all in touch. I swear, if she doesn't make a website for her paintings soon, I'm going to myself! 

But portraits are not benign. They can provoke and repel as well as soothe. In the end, the face is the sitter’s, but the portrait is the photographer’s. And therein lie the conflicting ambitions of portrait photography and the moral dilemma of photojournalism. The sitter for a portrait wants to look good, but so does the photographer, and these can be mutually exclusive ends. A flattering likeness belongs to the commercial world, not the art world. As Susan Sontag observed, “much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible.” When the photographer’s reputation trumps the subject’s dignity, photography can be very cruel indeed.
— Jodi Cobb, "In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits"