The other weekend I had the opportunity to shoot with my friends daughter for a senior portrait.  This was my first time shooting a senior portrait so I did come in to the shoot a bit nervous.  Luckily Taylor was easy to talk to and after some basic chit chat she really began to open up and take confidence in her poses and general attitude.  I think it really shows in how the first few pictures came out versus the ones at the end.  

As a dancer, she wanted to incorporate some of her moves into the shots and after throwing out a few ideas (and a little encouragement from her Mom & Friends!), we started getting really creative with the poses.  Again, with the confidence in place you can see how much she began to enjoy herself.  We moved to a few different locations using a few different outfits.  We really had a lot of fun knocking out some of these poses and despite the hot ground, she held it all in place like a champ while I snapped away.

Finally, Taylors little sister and best friend wanted to get involved in the shoot.  With some helpful guidance from her Mother (and my dear friend) Ryan, we were able to get in a few more fun looks.  My favorite from this set is a totally relaxed shot when she's leaning against a sign pole.  It was a totally candid moment but came out so well.  At the very end when we were getting ready to go I had her do a few more solo aerials for some nice action poses to round out the day.

The day turned out to be a very great experience for everyone involved.  Taylor and her Mom were super excited about the photos and loved them all.  I do have a few more ideas that I want to incorporate with her and her friend involving some long exposures around downtown Los Angeles and light painting.  Those will make for some great photos!

Cheers!

Warm LA Nights

Earlier this year I had the pleasure to work with a great up and coming model.  Since we last shot, she's gotten to shoot with other photographers and build up quite an impressive portfolio.  As you can tell from these early photos, she had a lot of confidence and knew how to pose.  

The backdrop of Little Tokyo suited the shoot very well.  In total we captured three great looks and here was the first of the sets.  You can check out her MM profile here and make sure to follow her on Instagram!


New Year...New Post!

I am so glad that the year is done.  2014 was not kind to me and I'm glad I survived it.  The new year holds a lot more promise however and I'm interested to see what develops.  I'm already starting off the year with a much better job than I had all last year.  This alone has put me in a much better place mentally and emotionally.

In terms of my photography, I'm trying to branch out a bit more into different styles.  I've started working with a few models which has been a great change of pace from the typical street and documentary styles that I'm usually shooting.  I met with one model named Rosie and together we did a very fun semi-boudoir and portrait session.  Being one who doesn't work big studio settings, I loved doing this in a nice room with a lot of natural light coming through the window.

She was very fun to work with and we were able to talk and joke around a lot which I think helped to ease both of us into the shoot.  I brought some donuts for us to snack on in between shots and to go over what we shot.  It turned out to be super helpful and we even included it in one of the photos!

I have a few more model shoots lined up already for the month of January to go along with the traditional street/documentary sessions.  One of my personal resolutions is to build up my site more and more so look forward to more changes and upgrades to slowly roll out and of course...more posts! 

Cheers and happy New Year!

Metro Night Ride

So my buddy Q asked me if I was interested in joining him, his girlfriend, his daughter and his cousin on a journey on the metro.  His girlfriend needed to figure out which route to take to get to her evening college classes.  It was just a simple evening ride but looking back on these photos there were so many that I love from this set.  

Over the course of the evening we met a woman proud of her beautiful earrings despite having matter hair from her hair net after a long day of work, a fight breaking out in which one man swung a metal sign at the other, and solitude at many stops.  People riding together but being alone.  

The metro was and I suppose always will be an interesting cross section of the local population.  The sights (and smells) tend to linger in your mind for a good period of time even after you reach your destination.

The Ghosts of LA

I've tried starting this blog entry several times but no matter how I try to phrase it something about it seems off.  Maybe I'm reaching too far for what I want to express.  I wanted to reference the past and how ghosts are all around us if we can keep our eyes open.

The collection of photos I have here represent what I feel to be the everyday ghosts that haunt LA.  Spectral trails of light that pass through the night while we sleep and mainly go unnoticed.  I had a great time capturing these and I really can't wait to get back out there to catch a few more ghosts.

Thankful

So recently I just posted a link on my Facebook Page about 10 National Geographic photographers who gave thanks for a photo that they took.  My aunt (who herself is a great photographer), asked "What's yours...?"

It was such a simple question but it forced me to go back through a lot of my old photos to look back at one I was thankful for.  I combed through several albums looking back at what photos stood out and what they meant to me.  It was tough to pick out a single photo from the thousands (yikes I need to post more!) I've taken.  Eventually I realized I had to go back to a very early photo.

The photo below is one of the first photos I took with my new camera.  I decided to go in on a new system from a company called Fuji.  It was part of the new wave of mirrorless camera's which were thought to be part of a fad.  As soon as I took the photo I was absolutely in love.  This small and unobtrusive camera helped me to capture a great candid moment without being noticed.  This small and seemingly random photo helped to reignite my love for photography and really steered me into the direction I was to head down.  

It may not seem like much, but this photo really is the source for all that followed.  There are more photos that I've taken along the way that I am thankful for and I'm sure I'll go over them in further detail as time goes by but for now, I wanted to start back towards the beginning.

Cheers.


Consistency

So much for that huh?  

There's been a lot going on and many changes have taken place since my last update.  I'm happy to say that they have been for the better.  The most significant change was moving from a job that caused me heartache, stress and pain to one of positivity and HAPPINESS.  I think that this change will also help fuel my drive to be more active here as I feel the fire begin to burn and inspire.  

Despite my lack of updates here, I actually have been somewhat active shooting.  Over the course of the next few weeks I will be adding in photos from recent street sessions, model sessions and random day/night documents.

For this first update, I'm moving through some street photography I shot back in August.  It was a nice cool day with a little bit of cloud cover.  It made for a nice cool day of walking around and I tried to match the tone with the feel of the day.  Overall I think it came out well and I'm very happy with the results.  

I started off the day at a nice little scenic park which overlooks downtown.  I've seen it in a few other photos and wanted to explore it myself.  Unfortunately it was a bit too crowded when I got there so I didn't spend much time.  I will definitely be heading back and would love to schedule some shoots there.  Afterwards I decided to head to Santee Alley.  It was a crowded day there but unlike the park, this was exactly what I was looking for.  I needed to get back into walking through a vibrant crowd and feel the energy of the crowd as it moved from shop to shop.  Despite having done this many times before, I still felt a bit timid as I began to weave through the crowd but as time passed, all the familiar instincts kicked in once more.

The photography day wound down as a light sprinkle began to move into the area.  With the crowd dispersing I headed back to my car and went home to edit (but not upload!) the photos.  Flash forward three months and here you go!


Explosions In The Sky - Los Angeles

It was a warm and perfect LA summer night.  People huddled together on blankets and walked around the Flat Top to see the fireworks going off in almost every direction.  Once again, LA put on one hell of a show and I fell in love with the city all over again.



Document The Night

Sometimes all you need is one night out with friends to reignite your love for photography.  With a buzz of activity around you it's great to capture the small moments that crystalize the mood of the night.  

There are those that say that taking a photograph removes you from the situation.  You're a documenter and not a participant.  This isn't always the case.  Looking back at the photos I can recall everything about the moment.  The sights, the smells, the mood and the memories.  

Capturing these moments is what I love and what I will continue to do for as long as possible.

Prepping For The Show

Good evening everyone!  I really haven't forgotten about you I swear!  Things have been a bit hectic on my end and I've been taking a lot of photos recently.  One of the biggest events was the 24 Hour Photo Project that I was lucky enough to take part in.  It was a crazy and exhausting project but I can't wait to do it again next year!  I'm still going through and editing those photos but I'll be making a post and a special project page for it.

This post centers around some shots I took yesterday though.  this coming April 26th I'll be displaying my work in "The Greatest of Them All: Photography & Art Exhibit".  I'll be showing my street and landscape photography along side some of the greatest graffiti artists in Los Angeles.  It's a real honor and I can't wait to show my work!  The flyer for the show along with the collection of the pictures will be down below!

Yesterday some of the guys got together to buff (paint a solid base color) one of the walls at the exhibit.  I did some document and behind the scenes photography while two absolute LEGENDS in the graffiti world went to work on one of the walls.  It was a very cool experience and gave me just a glimpse of what was to come.  I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.  

Cheers.


New Look!

Wasn't too happy with the old layout so I decided to change it up (slightly).  While it's not a complete overhaul, I do feel that this is an easier to navigate layout.  Although I did like the full bleed on the last version, it did feel cluttered when bringing up the thumbnails for the gallery.  When in doubt, K.I.S.S.

To go along with the new change in the site I'm also thinking of new projects to work on.  I'm always on the hunt for commercial work (I need to pay the bills somehow!) but these would be projects I could work on over a period of several months. It all began after seeing Eric Kim's post regarding mediocrity and photography.  On a related note, I just discovered /r/picturechallenge which could help out in this regards.  I'm open to all ideas though so feel free to chime in if there are any you're working on or would like to see.

In the meantime, we just passed through a week of cold weather and rain here in Los Angeles.  Although I personally am a bit saddened (I love the rain), here are some beach photos which show a typical Los Angeles winter scene.



San Francisco

Ahhh how I love that city.  I have a blast every time I go and this last time was no exception.  Thanks to our lovely friend Cindy we always have a local to show us around and to take us to all the good spots to eat and drink.  She's a lovely guide and we can never repay her with enough booze for showing us around!  I need to get back up there for longer than a weekend.  The city looked beautiful at night and I wish I could have photographed more of it although it was BITTERLY cold (for a Los Angeleno).

One of the highlights from this latest trip was a visit to Alcatraz island.  Although I've been going to San Francisco with my friends for the past 7 years, this was actually the first time that we made the trek out to The Rock.  It was a cool and creepy place that I would have loved to wander around in the restricted areas away from all the crowds.  We did get a brief history while walking around with the audio tour but if you had full run of all the areas it could make for some great urbex photos.

Overall the weekend turned into a great way to put my newly acquired x100s through it's paces and I must say it's an absolutely wonderful camera that I will miss (more on that later).  If you are thinking about making the plunge just do it.  You won't regret it at all.  It really is a perfect street/travel camera.

Cheers until next time!

Revisiting the Familiar

I've had the idea to revisit my old neighborhood for a while.  When people typically think of street photography in Los Angeles, the one location everyone thinks of is Downtown.  It's a high traffic location with a lot of interesting background scenery to frame your images.  While it's a great location, I wanted to revisit a location that was a bit more personal. 

Eagle Rock will always hold a special place in my heart.  Some of my fondest childhood memories were formed in this small town just Northeast of DTLA.  Good food was always a few blocks away.  Each doorway seemed to hold something special behind it.  Especially when the doors were unmarked or I never had a chance to visit the business behind them.  My mind would race about the possibilities behind each of them.  Over time some were answered while others still remain a mystery.  

There was much about the town that was beautiful and amazing to me.  I think that comes with being a child though.  As I returned to the city I loved I began to take notice of the little flaws and imperfections inherent in any small town.  Abandoned buildings, trash, the homeless population, etc. etc.  Seeing these issues still doesn't change my love it though.  In a way it actually strengthens my love.  It's like seeing someone you love open up and show their vulnerable side to you.  

Flaws and all, Eagle Rock, I love you.

New Year New Post New Photos

My last post was back in October of 2013.  This is completely unacceptable.  Updates need to happen more frequently and with some consistency.  I've always wanted a place to share my photos so why not use this resource that's been available the whole time?  

Reflection of Religion

Although I have been taking a lot of pictures since my last update, they often wind up on my Flickr page with little to no fanfare to those I really want to see the images.  It becomes an archive in a gallery way off the main street that not a lot of people actually see.  Only those that are down that alley for a purpose end up seeing these photos. 

Mask.  Flammable.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be catching up on my backlog of photos and posting and sharing here along with some stories about particular photos.  I've made it a resolution that over the new year I'm going to be more active in my photography.  Both in taking pictures and making sure that this blog/site gets updated with more images.  

Golden State.

These latest images are from early October when my friend Cliff came into town.  He's a great photographer and was here in Los Angeles for a few jobs.  While in town we spent a morning/afternoon walking through downtown Los Angeles and Old Town Pasadena.  Going out for a photo walk by yourself is always a great experience but going out with a friend, and one who hasn't gone street shooting in your city is an even greater experience.  You get a different perspective with fresh eyes looking at the city and you can both approach the same shot in different ways.  If you ever get a chance to meet up with someone from out of town for a photo walk I highly recommend it!

Grooming

Hope everyone has a great 2014 and cheers to a photo filled year!

Light & Shadow in Downtown Los Angeles

Went for a walk in Downtown Los Angeles yesterday and experimented a bit more with how I approach subjects in relation to the available light and shadows cast by the building.  It took a while to change my method of thinking in approaching subjects but after about an hour it was easier to see how the light filtered through the buildings to setup great areas to capture.  

The biggest factor that changed was I learned to stake out a good photo location and wait for the right moment.  This requires a lot more patience than my typical run and gun style.  It was definitely a fun way to approach the city but tomorrow I'll definitely go back to the R&G style.  

Look Up

SoCal Edison

Lone Crossing

Escalator Up

Shapes & Shadows

Reading Light

Upper Apartments

Highlighted Love

The Abandoned Zoo

As it turns out, it wasn't as abandoned as I thought it would be.  There were plenty of people setting up for Halloween so unfortunately there were a few places that seemed interesting but were fenced off. I still managed to find a few places where there was enough of a gap for me to squeeze through (no easy feat mind you!).  I didn't feel as creeped out as I thought I would though.  This may be due to the fact that I knew that there were a group of people working on Halloween attractions less than 30 yard away from me.  

The only true hair raising moment was when I was walking past the abandoned house to a small empty cage.  I was far enough away from the workers where I couldn't hear them anymore but I could hear movement in the bushes around me.  Reality struck that I was actually alone and there are LARGE cats that have been spotted in the mountains.  I ran my hand over my knife which gave me an odd sense of comfort but I knew that maybe it would be best to return with a friend.  Hopefully the next time I'm back the fences will be down and there will be more to explore! 

Guardian of the Zoo

Down to the Cages

Light From an Empty Pen

The Abandoned House

Cuidado

Sliver of Light

Broken AC

Evil Eyes

Dead Leaf

LACMA

A quick walk around the museum and the Tar Pits in the late afternoon provided some great lighting for photos.  I'm trying a few new techniques in my post processing with Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro which I've been happy with but needs a little more refinement.  

 

Mother & Child

Love.

Twisted

Man & Mammoth

Biker

Reading Break

Fashion District Street Shots

Many weekends involve my girlfriend and I heading down to the fashion district while she shops for fabric to use on various projects.  This provides me with an ample amount of time to walk around and capture what's going on in the streets.

There's a lot to take in and the streets are usually crowded during the weekends which is both good and bad.  It does provide plenty of opportunities for great shots BUT with the increased crowd you have to deal with narrower windows of time to get a good shot.  

I still have a long way to go with these shots.  I'd like to get straight profile photos of people but it's going to take time to get to that point.  For now I hope you enjoy these! 

Chinatown Stop

Shoe Adjustment 

Helado's

Electrical Box

Cowboy

A Cautious Step

Corner Sales

A Quick Drive

There are so many times that we don't get a chance to be as creative, as we want.  In certain situations you may have to make due with whatever chance you get.   

Such was the case this past Sunday.  A quick drive to meet up with a friend provided plenty of opportunities to capture the every day as it passed by.  I'm constantly amazed as to what you can find if you take the time to look around.

Cheers!

Stepping Into Darkness

Passing Corners

LA Weekly

Versuz- KOG

Broken But Still Going

Faith In Humanity Restored