Hey guys, I haven’t done a very good job promoting this blog, so in order to try to get more traffic, I’m moving over to Tumblr.
It’ll still be all the same stuff. Travel blogs, behind-the-scenes shoot stories, and whatever other interesting things I can write about that pertain to my photography career.
So check it out!
You can see a bunch of my photos here:
And this is where I’ll be writing from now on:
How old are you?
I was born in 1992.
What got you into photography?
It was this really well-made American Express Commercial. The one a few years back with the inanimate objects arranged to look like faces. That commercial sparked an interest in digital imagery. Before that, I just drew and painted here and there.
Why do you take photos of homeless people?
Honestly, they’re some of the only photo subjects I find interesting. Homeless people always have the most amazing life stories, and I love the challenge of trying to tell their entire biography in one frame.
How do you go about getting your street subjects to pose for you?
It’s tricky. First, you have to pick out a subject that’s actually willing to interact with people at all. Some people don’t. I like to sit down and talk with the person for a while and get to know them. Give them a few coins and ask about their story. Eventually, after a good conversation, I’ll ask if I can take a portrait. So far, I’ve never been turned down.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I use Canon everything for cameras and lenses. I currently shoot with a Canon EOS 7D with a 50mm f/1.4 and 20mm f/2.8. I light my photos with an AB1600 and a LP160, both with a variety of modifiers.
Do you use a lot of Photoshop?
Yes and no. I use Photoshop on every photo I take, but some are more heavily edited than others. I’ll often do composite editing to have more freedom between the levels of the subject and background. However, several of the photos on my website have only minor adjustments.
Have you gone to school for photography?
I have not had any formal training, but I’ve watched my fair share of YouTube tutorials and read plenty of articles. Experimentation is definitely the most beneficial form of education I’ve had, and I’m always trying new things and aiming to get better.
What advice would you give to a beginning photographer?
Make an account on a photography community like Flickr to gain feedback and exposure, and surround yourself with talented photographers. Find a successful photographer you look up to and learn their techniques and try to apply them to your own style. Most importantly, always use your “M” mode.
I recently drove back to Washington from Albuquerque, NM following the end of The Revived Tour with Us, From Outside, A Faylene Sky, and Palisades. We started out in Baltimore, MD in late February and ended the tour in Queens, NY in early April. Safe to say, it was the craziest six weeks of my life.
As a photographer, it was great for me to be able to see the whole country and photograph some interesting people. I even gained a new addition to my “Street” album on my website.
I also did shoots for U,FO and Palisades, which were great. It’s also cool to get to work with their record labels. I know the Palisades shot will be featured on many websites and magazines for a while. Perez Law Corp was also one of my clients while on tour:
I also got to meet Shauna Hundeby while I was in Florida. And she’s awesome.
The tour was rough. With several dates over 12 hours apart, my band barely made it through the tour, financially. Not to mention we played more than a few shows to smaller crowds, and even a few shows that we basically played for the other bands on the tour.
However, despite the numbers, I couldn’t have asked for a better first tour for Send The Messenger. The guys in the bands we toured with were the most genuine, nice, and down-to-earth guys to ever be in signed bands, and we all got really close within the first week of tour. From pranks to crazy nights to group dinners at Denny’s, I had such a great time with all the guys on The Revived Tour.
I’ll keep this short.
I just wanted to say thank you to my band, Us From Outside, Palisades, A Faylene Sky, and Thrust Management, and everyone who came out to see us for making this tour happen.
PS – I totally have a business number now. 206-486-2477 (for business inquiries only).
Basically how it’ll work is we’ll both post a photo every Wednesday. Each week will have a theme to it, or a “challenge,” as we call it. Shauna and I are such different photographers, so our photos will probably look completely different, so it’ll be interesting to see what we both come up with when shooting the same general concept.
Hope you enjoy this project!
Every photographer has their story of how they started. From the “artists” who say that they didn’t find photography because photography found them, to the photojournalists with a mission to change the world with their photos, everyone has their memoir of what motivates them to spend ridiculous amounts of money on gear and run around, obnoxiously snapping photos in people’s faces. Here’s mine.
Throughout junior high and high school, I used to draw and paint a lot, and I always thought photographers were just too lazy to draw. To an extent, that hasn’t changed. Plus, I was always more interested in sports and music than things like photography.
It all changed when I saw this American Express commercial — maybe you’ve seen it. It was this montage of objects arranged in a way that looked like faces, sad and happy. Something about that commercial clicked in my head and got me fascinated with video. In early 2010, I bought a Canon Vixia HF S100 to start out, but soon found myself taking more photos than video with it, so I bought a Nikon D3000 to go along with it. In June, 2010, I sold them both and bought a Canon EOS 7D, and was officially a “photographer.”
My next step as a photographer was moving to Seattle for college and working for a newspaper. I had a love-hate relationship with photojournalism, and struggled to find my own style while following the rules of a “good article photo.” Luckily, my photo editor gave me a lot of editorial shoots which allowed me to develop myself as more of a commercial and portrait photographer.
Now is probably a good time to tell you, I pretty much derived the first year of my photography from Joey L. He’s been such an inspiration and a huge influence in my work. He inspired me to branch out and shoot portraits in the streets and get out of my comfort zone. The only problem with that is that his influence was so big that I more or less just copied him. Eventually, I was able to purge him from my work and find my own style.
My year in Seattle was huge for me. I really matured, both as a person and a photographer. I got to shoot with a lot of interesting people on the street, and even go to a monastery and shoot with monks and lamas who didn’t speak English.
After University of Washington, I moved to Albuquerque to play music in a band, which I’m still doing. This band allows me to travel all over the country, which provides for some amazing photo opportunities. Traveling is such an interesting experience, though compromising to many other aspects of my life. Safe to say I probably won’t find a girlfriend who would put up with me being on the road three-fourths of the year.
And that pretty much brings me up to now. Playing music, traveling the country, shooting whatever looks interesting that day. It’s hard to find work that pays as well as it did in Seattle when I’m traveling so much. In order to keep busy, I’m working on a 365 Project to keep pushing myself as a photographer to work with what’s in front of me.
Of course, for business inquiries, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m hoping to do big things with my photography, and make it a long-lasting career. Your support means a lot to me, and I can’t stress that enough.
Hope to see you on the road sometime.
This month, I’ve started a studio series called “Dramatis Personae.” The title is Latin for “persons or characters of the drama.”
Since I’ve graduated high school, my life has become increasingly interesting, to the point that I often feel it’s scripted right out of Hollywood. For instance, this holiday season, I’ve felt like I’m in an Asian-American version of a Tyler Perry Christmas drama. A comically unfortunate incident exposed a sexual fling I’d had with a beautiful young woman (who will remain nameless), throwing the entire holiday season out of line for my family. Of course, like any Tyler Perry movie, it was resolved in love and care, just in time for Christmas.
But it’s that kind of thing that makes me stop and think about everything. I mean, movies and other theatrics, as unrealistic and idealistic as they can be, come from real life. Writers and producers often take a real life situation, embellish it, throw in a pretty face to act it out, and there’s a hit.
However, we all have lives that have drama, and thus, we’re all the star of our own movie, TV show, play, whatever. We’re all stars of our own continuous production, and we all have a cast and crew that keeps the show going — our own dramatis personae.
This thought, which may or may not have been influenced by alcohol, inspired me to shoot a series of the “persons or characters of the drama” of my life. I take a black and white headshot of each character, include a name and a brief, honest description of their role in my life’s production. I’ve been amazed to see the parallels between my life and several major dramatizations in film and TV.
Follow the series HERE.
If you’re a photographer, I encourage you to do your own series of a similar idea. Even if you don’t shoot photos, take the time to think about who plays what role in your life, and I’m sure you’ll come to appreciate your relationships and friendships more, or at least for what they are. You’ll definitely learn some things about yourself, too.
Here’s my self-portrait from the series:
“Jesse Rogers, the somewhat sketchy protagonist who doesn’t always do or say the right thing, and tries to irresponsibly coast through life on luck, looks, and talent.”
Thanks for reading. This is probably one of the weirdest posts I’ll ever write, and it certainly has nothing to do with Send The Messenger, but whatever.
Have some links.
The last few months have been insane, to say the least. There are some huge things that have happened and are going to happen that I can’t talk about yet, but even besides that, life has been eventful.
We went to Massachusetts in September to rehearse with our screamer, Garrett. We stayed for two and a half months, and recorded at Think Sound Studio somewhere in between. Here’s a video of me tracking one of the new songs.
The guys went back to Albuquerque, Garrett stayed in Massachusetts, and I’m back in Washington now. We’re all trying to make some money and hang out with our families until the next big thing happens. Gotta say, I miss them already.
I flew out of Boston on November 18th, and landed in Seattle. My best friend Uriel picked me up. We went to get my MacBook fixed and an Apple Store, and they gave me a free AC adapter since I paid $130 for a new battery, which was awesome. I actually had to go to the Apple Store in University Village. It was super weird to see the University of Washington again. Crazy to think that just five months ago, I was still in college. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory and eventually made the trip over the passes without snow tires. Needless to say, it was great to see Uriel again. Hoping to hang out with him as much as possible while I’m home. I think we’re going to watch the Lion King in 3D tomorrow, actually.
I got home, and my dad’s been feeding me like a king because “I look skinny” and probably lost weight in MA. Not quite sure what I’m going to do with all my down time this winter, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out. Uriel’s gonna finish his EP and we’ll film a music video for one of his songs, for sure.
Here’s some links.
Thanks for reading,