Thursday, December 24, 2009

hard girls.

In the last few months, I've managed to get back in touch with some old friends from San Jose. I drove out there last weekend to check out some of these kids in their latest musical incarnation - Hard Girls. Morgan, Max and Mike all come from other bands (Pteradon and Shinobu, among others), and also play with frontman Jesse Michaels (of Operation Ivy fame) in another project called Classics of Love

I was stoked to see these guys play again, even if it meant waiting in line for a couple of hours outside a small San Jose art gallery. They opened for punk legends (and sell-outs?) Against Me!, which brought a huge crowd of psyched kids and reminiscent adults. It was an awesome show, and great to see some old faces. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the night.

Hard Girls:
Against Me:
Bob holding up the speakers against the crowd:
Also, if you want to hear some songs by Hard Girls, check out Quote Unquote Records, where you can download their EP on a donation-only basis. So if you dig it, throw down a little cash, but if you can't afford it you can still enjoy the awesome.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Tonight, I got to shoot something I'd never thought would come my way... Friday night football! Um, wait, that's almost every Friday. This week, my regular assignment for my old paper, the Stockton Record, was better than I could have hoped - Halloween meets Homecoming game! The kids at Chavez High School in Stockton went all-out for their second-ever homecoming, with probably about 100 kids taking the field during halftime to perform a dance to "Thriller" as the marching band played the MJ hit. So rad! Who knew that song could sound so epic through tubas and flutes.

This kid was my favorite - he spelled out his name for me between drum beats:
Zombie cheerleaders, zombie band members, zombie choir... it was a lovely preface to Halloween.To top it off, I was stoked to finally be able to stay at a game long enough to shoot the homecoming procession! Unfortunately the court weren't dressed-up like the rest of their school, but it was pretty sweet all the same. We never did the big homecoming thing at my high school (would have helped to have a football team...), so it was exciting for me to see what all the fuss was about. And I have to say, the homecoming King really took the cake.
Sometimes I really love high school. Happy Halloween.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

safe in the summer time.

Spent a couple of days last week in SF visiting friends and decompressing. I love that even after 7 years of living in the city - or at least nearby - every time I go out, there's something I haven't seen before. A bunch of us hiked up in the hills by the Castro for a killer view of SF on a rare clear night. It makes me a little sad to see the summer fade into fall, because every night can't be a night like this.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Last week, I had the chance to do some promo shots for Bay Area-based hip-hop group iLL-Literacy. The boys were packing up to move to NYC, and were trying to wrap up a music video shoot and a photo shoot two days before getting in their van for the drive cross-country. I met them last year on a shoot for Hyphen Magazine, and had the pleasure of hanging out with them again at SXSW, so when they hit me up for this, I was stoked to work with them again.

They had life-sized Lego heads custom-made for the next leg of their promotion, including shows, which made the shoot fun and a little creepy at times. If I ran into three guys in dress clothes wearing giant Lego heads in an alley, I would probably run the other way. It was a great shoot, and definitely fun to hang out for a while before they left for the East Coast.

Here's some photos from their music video shoot, which included a diorama of a "club" for toys and action figures:And some of my favorites from the shoot:Playing tag in a field:Keep an eye out for their video, it's sure to be amazing. I even got to shoot a time-lapse section of it, which was hilarious. And give these guys a listen, the music is tight.

Friday, August 7, 2009

home is where the heart is.

spent a few days last week down in ventura for the VJ Multimedia Workshop through the Brooks Institute of Photography. it was a lot of fun to get back in that workshop mentality again - pounding the pavement, reporting and editing on deadline, missing out on sleep, making new friends, and sharpening the skills that so quickly dull when you're not pushed by an editor for daily content.

here's the piece i put together. i met the Larimores at the Lemon Wood Mobile Home Community after previous story ideas fell through the cracks. Jo and Larry have been married for almost 60 years, and they were so open about letting me into their home and talking to me about the intimate aspects of their relationship. it was beautiful to interview them separately and hear them mirror each others' answers, to sit back as they finished each others' sentences, as they bantered and laughed and still remained so in love after all those years. so here's a small slice of their story.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

the capacity for survival.

on july 1st, one of my photos from tent city made the front page of the timing was interesting, as that was the first day many of the former residents of tent city ended up facing life back on the streets after the shelter at cal expo closed for the summer.

i have been following one couple, jeannie and richard, from tent city to shelters to hotels, and hopefully to housing at some point. a few days before the end of the month, i went with them to the housing office to follow up on promises that had been made over the last several months. with only a few days before their options ran out, they were pretty emotional about being lead on for so long, only to be told their futures were still uncertain.after hours of waiting, several couples were offered one-week motel vouchers in south sacramento. the next day, the kennels where jeannie and richard had been housing their dog overnight also closed for the summer. because the motel wouldn't allow them to keep their dog with them (and because of safety issues that jeannie had expressed to her boyfriend), they dipped into the small amount of money they had and paid for a different hotel for a week.
that's where it stands for now. we'll see over the next few weeks if housing ends up pulling through in the end, or if these two will end up back on the street again. each day is a new waiting game, each day a new barrier to overcome. and each day, i am constantly surprised at the capacity that people have for survival.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


starting a new project as things slow down. spent a few hours with some lovely ladies, iraqi refugees who are being sponsored through beauty school. they were super sweet, and i'm looking forward to spending more time with them. plus, i'm a sucker for photographing in salons - the light is usually really nice, and the walls always have a cool color. more to come soon.