Monday, December 26, 2011

tearsheet: cover to cover

It's been an epic and busy few months, but I can't think of a better way to wind down the year.

When I got my first assignment for Fader back in late '08, I never dreamed I'd get to shoot a cover feature, much less two in a row! I had the pleasure of running around LA with Zola Jesus (and, for a minute, with the lovely writer/editor Amber Bravo), then back to SF for an impromptu hike in a torrential downpour with Cass McCombs (you should read Daniel Arnold's story here, it's beautiful. Honestly.). Every shoot is a new adventure, and I'm forever grateful to JFP and the gang for giving me such an epic entrée into segments of the music world I'd never otherwise have thought to explore.

So, in the interest of keeping things short and sweet, here's a couple galleries of some of my favorites from each shoot.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

endless summer.

Now that summer is nothing more than a fleeting memory, drowned out by the icy downpour that is winter in the valley, I figured it was time to go through my photos from North Carolina. I'm greeted in the morning by a thick frost on my windshield, and I wistfully remember how just a few short months ago I dreaded sitting in that oven of a car, which lacks a proper air conditioner. The days go by faster and faster.

This past summer was filled with a few big firsts, the best of which was my first trip to North Carolina. It's a place that I've romanticized for years, hearing stories from friends of summers spent at watering holes, diving off boulders, green, lush forests and a mild, humid climate that you never really get in California. Good friend Bryan Derballa rounded up the troops in an effort to share his hometown memories with us. We rented a giant cabin next to a waterfall and spent the days hiking and swimming and the nights cooking together, lighting sparklers and watching the stars.

Here are some pictures from the adventure - really just a glimmer into the epic few days lost in the woods.

Side note: new friend Christine Huang and her man, Dwight, put together the first issue of their labor of love, seasonzine. The summerzine issue features a big photo spread by some of us kids on the trip, including Bryan, Mike Belleme, Danilo Parra, and Alex Welsh. Check it out here, and get a copy! It's a great little zine, and I'm excited to see them take it on throughout the year.

Double side note: Throughout the trip, Matt Jacoby and Danilo Parra (with help from Annelise and the rest of the crew) worked their butts off shooting a music video for Brett 'Sweet Tooth' Nelson. Every day they'd be off shooting something, running through the woods with smoke bombs, covering Brett in fake blood, making him jump off the highest cliff we could find. It was incredible to watch. But even more incredible is the final video they put together. Check it out here, you won't regret it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tearsheet: Huck, Rivers

In April, I had a chance to photograph someone who's music always reminds me of summers during high school, of friends and soccer practice. Even though I eventually "grew out" of regularly following the band, albums like 'Pinkerton' will always have a fond place in my heart and my CD collection. So I was pretty excited to find out that I'd have a chance to meet Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and photograph him down in LA for a cover story for British magazine Huck. Even though I wasn't able to have a conversation with him beyond an introductory "hello," it was really interesting to see behind-the-scenes of a few hours in the life of a rock star... especially when part of that time included a shoeless soccer practice.

The other awesome thing about this issue of Huck was seeing that once again I got to share the pages with a couple of my friends and fellow photographers. Bryan Derballa was sent to New Zealand to photograph surfer Cory Lopez, and Mustafah Abdulaziz pulled double-duty, photographing Slavoj Zizek and also having a small article about his personal work. It's always nice to see page after page featuring the work of good friends, and it leaves me with a warm feeling of camaraderie that I've missed since my days at the paper in Stockton. So I scanned each of our articles (since it's a little tricky to find the actual magazine in these parts), and you can check out more on the Huck website.

And one last bonus: the photo I shot for the story ended up on a limited run of beer bottles, given out at the launch party in London! I didn't get to go, but my awesome editor snapped a picture of it for me (rad!):

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Noisey: The Cults in SF

Things have been a little crazy over the last few months, but it's about time I updated this blog with some fun stuff. And what better way to start than with the Cults! I'd spent a couple of weeks in LA (more on that soon, I promise), and the day after I got back to Northern California I had the pleasure of teaming up with Vice/Noisey to check out the Cults playing at the Independent in SF. It was a great show, and all the bands were incredibly open and gracious. Not having known much about the band before I got to the venue, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised... and I'll definitely be adding their songs to my regular rotation. So check out the awesome videos, photos, and all that fun stuff on the Noisey website (click the screencap below, or just go here), and if the Cults come to your town, give 'em a try; I'm sure you'll dig 'em.

... And here are some of my favorite shots from the evening. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

tearsheet: wsj, solaria

January has been a crazy month, both personally and professionally. Which is why I haven't been updating the blog with all the awesome assignments and personal work I've been stashing quietly on my little hard drive. I promised myself that this year, 2011, would be different: more posts, more writing, and hopefully more input from everyone following along out there.

So here's some outtakes from an assignment I did a couple of weeks ago for the Wall Street Journal. I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Steve Andersen, a former employee at the Nummi auto plant in Fremont, CA (This American Life did an awesome piece about the closing of the plant; if you missed it, you can listen here), who now works for Solaria, a clean-energy plant that produces solar panels. Steve was incredibly welcoming, talking about getting hired by Solaria after only a few months of unemployment, and going to work at the old site across the street from Nummi.

If you want to read the article, you can see it online here, or click on the clip above.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Every year since I've become a freelancer, I've tried to make a post with my favorite photos from the last 365 days. I was fortunate enough to travel across the country a few times, to get in a few good road trips, to see old friends and make new ones, to shoot some amazing assignments for talented editors, and perhaps most importantly I learned to step back and remember that sometimes life just needs to be lived and not constantly photographed. Although you probably couldn't tell that by looking at the pictures below. Ha.

Looking through thousands of photos from stories, assignments, and my own life... it's daunting, but it always reminds me that I'm surrounded by incredible people and incredible situations. It helps me remember I'm not alone in this.

So here's a selection of my favorite photos from 2010. Better late than never.

Monday, January 3, 2011

spirit of giving.

Every year, the Stockton Record (the paper I used to work for as a staffer) does a series right before Christmas. It is called "The Giving Spirit," and it is a collection of stories that highlight the work of local non-profit organizations that give to the community. This year, the Record hired me to work on the project with amazing writer Jennifer Torres. We battle-planned out the 7-part series, and tried to tell the stories of the good works of these organizations through the eyes of individuals who directly benefit from the services.

I loved working on these stories and getting to know folks who were willing to open up their lives to us during the good and the bad. Hopefully next year we'll have the chance to try it again and turn it into a deeper look at the holiday season for those in need. Either way, it was great to be a part of the Record team again, and I have to give mad props to Jennifer for putting in so much work to get access to just the right folks on a tight deadline, and also to Jeff Criesi for being a bad-ass designer and making them look good on the page.

So here's a gallery of how the stories ran in the paper, in date order. If you want to check out more photos and read the stories, you can see them online here.

And, just for fun, here are some of my favorite photos from each story that may or may not have made it into the paper. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

economy for the WSJ

Now that it's a new year, it's time to sort through the old hard drives and finally catch up on some blog posts from the last couple of months! So let's start from the last assignment of the year and work backwards.

I couldn't have asked for a better assignment to round out 2010. The Wall Street Journal asked me to photograph the McLaughlin family in Sacramento for a story about the lasting effects of the economy crisis. The McLaughlins have been trying to sell their home for several years, hoping to upgrade to a three-bedroom house to accommodate their growing family. But with the housing market in the region at a standstill, they are stuck in a kind of limbo, waiting for something to give.

Here are some of my favorite photos from that evening. The McLaughlins and their children were incredibly sweet and open, allowing me to spend hours photographing their nightly activities. Since it was the day after Christmas, the kids excitedly showed me their new toys... and I got to practice taking pictures while being shot at, which is a skill that could come in handy in the future.

Enjoy! And if you want to see the story, check it out here.