still life

Language of Love

Portland Bride & Groom - Language of Love

I’m very proud of this shoot for Portland Bride & Groom for a number of reasons.

1 – Even though it’s a fashion and still life piece, the look of the work is very much my style. I like to think of myself as a stylistic photographer, so I love it when a shoot comes out very different from my main niches, yet looks like something I would shoot.

2 – The still life shots were done using available light, but the model shots were done using Profoto strobes. I’ve tried a number of things to replicate the look of window light artificially, but never was quite happy with the result. On this shoot, I discovered something that was a huge breakthrough for me technically.  I usually try a bounce light first which I did here with two heads with magum reflectors bouncing into a white panel. The “ah ha” moment came when I  put two 4×8 diffusion panels close to the model to soften the light even more and that created a wrap around light that looks natural. I also added a little kicker light off a silver reflector for the catchlights and to reduce the shadow side of her face a tad. I’ve used the same technique a number of times since this shoot and it’s just a fantastic go to when you don’t have available light to work with. Here’s a diagram:

3 – I thought the skin retouching I did on the model came out really beautiful and natural. Honestly, she really didn’t much and Celena Rubin did an excellent job with the hair & makeup, but the light pass I did really made her pop in print. The best part is it took my no time at all using onOne’s PhotoTools plugin for Photoshop.

Here are the rest of the tearsheets. Credits below. [Read more…] about Language of Love

Nixon Watches by David Whetstone

I recently photographed these watches for the talented designer David Whetstone. David currently works for CincoDesignOffice where he a lead designer on the watch and audio programs for Nixon.

David came up with the concepts for the shoot and we collaborated together to create some portfolio worthy images for him. For the Falcon series (first three images), we went with natural light on textured surfaces for a rich and warm feel.  For the GoGo watches (last three), it was all about pop and bold colors, so I lit it with strobes and used fill cards to create the high key look.

Here’s a little more about David:

David holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from The Ohio State University and also spent a quarter studying interaction design at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee. While in school, David interned with Priority Designs in Columbus, Ohio and DeWalt in Towson, Maryland.

David has a unique ability to curate what he sees in all avenues of contemporary culture to inform design strategies and decisions. He views each design program as an opportunity to think holistically and embraces multiple disciplines of design to tell compelling stories

David’s got some other great work on his website Go and check it out! Here are the rest of the photos we shot:

[Read more…] about Nixon Watches by David Whetstone

At Home with Prometheus

Prometheus - I Am Home

I love my job. I love the work I do and I love the clients I work with. And every shoot is fun because of its inherit challenges: technical, logistical, creative.  That being said, I love shooting personal work and it’s not often you get hired to shoot personal work for a commercial client.

That’s just what Owen Jones & Partners asked me to do for their client Prometheus Real Estate Group. Though I have shot architecturally for Prometheus, art director Craig Skinner and producer Michelle Majeski wanted me to approach the little life moments that happen around the Prometheus properties. To get a variety of feelings and mood, we shot in Portland, Seattle, and the Bay Area of California over the course of 4 days. In the end, I delivered 75 shots for their image library and 4 still life shots that are being used on the home page Promethues’s website.

The shoot was a huge success and a lot of fun to do. Prometheus was so happy, the even blogged about it on their website. Here are some of my favorite shots from the shoot. [Read more…] about At Home with Prometheus

Branch Science – Portland Monthly January 2010

I really liked how this feature shoot came out in the January 2010 issue of Portland Monthly. Art directed by Michael Novak, the two of us first drove down to Corvallis, OR to photograph OSU scientist Steve Strauss in his grove of genetically modified trees. The trees in the above shot have been engineered so that can be made into paper easier which creates less waste and uses less chemicals in the processing. The trees, though, have been attacked be eco-terriorists and Strauss has certainly had to face a mountain of criticism from peers and pundits alike. It’s a great story and you can read it here on Portland Monthly’s website.

We then shot a series of everyday things that are genetically modified but you would never know it. Mike suggested the products be shot in a clinical sterile way to emphasize the scientific angle of the story. I like how they contrast to the outdoorsy shot of Strauss.

[Read more…] about Branch Science – Portland Monthly January 2010

From Bacon to Beavers – 2009 in Review

This last year I spent a lot of energy narrowing down my specialties: architecture, lifestyle, and still life. I like to think of myself as a specific generalist. Between these three specialties, I can handle almost any kind of shoot. But getting a consistent and distinct look between all three specialties is the real trick. Looking back on all these photos, it’s cool to see that thread of creativity I call my own.

Another noteworthy tidbit about last year, I only had 12 clients the whole year. So, my core clients kept me in business through that rough patch known as The Recession of 2009. I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to them and look forward to many more shoots in 2010!

Without further ado, here’s one shot from every shoot last year with some commentary.

Portland Monthly March 2009 Best Breakfast Cover Feature

B is for Bacon

A lot of people asked me how I lit this. Well, the truth is I didn’t. I shot this hand held at arms length, auto-focus on, under stained fluorescent lights during the lunch rush at Fuller’s Diner. It just goes to show that the best light is often the one you know how to look for.


This was lit, however. We actually did this shot on location at the Original Pancake House. It’s amazing how many people eat pancakes for lunch. The place was jammed with the business crowd when we showed up around 1pm on a Tuesday. We had a little 6ft corner to work from and the left side light was actually coming in from outside shooting through a window.

Portland Spaces April / May 2009 SpaceMakers

Bedroom Nook

This was the second time I photographed Stephanie Sheldon-Nevarez. She owns this great vintage store called Noun which I shot for the April 2008 Portland Monthly. Here, I photographed her home for Portland Spaces. Stephanie and her husband, Thomas Nevarez, have some amazing vintage pieces in their home. They also had a pretty cute cat.

Travel Portland – Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Park Hikers

Shot this hiking shot for an edition of Travel Portland’s quarterly magazine which is produced by the same folks who publish Portland Monthly. Small world. The couple in this shot are my friends Grace and Michael. They totally rock.

Glamorous Four Square by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design


Jessica Helgerson is an incredibly gifted interior designer. Every project I shoot for her is a true joy and I always get some portfolio worthy shots. This four square remodel is just incredible. To see all the shots, click here.

DLR Group – Happy Valley City Hall

Happy Valley, OR is really becoming a boom town. DLR Group was tasked with building a new city hall that would grow with the town.

Portland Spaces – Isaac Drake and Seth Truby

Isaac Drake and Set Truby

I don’t typically shoot outdoors in full sun. But the story for this shot was about the fence and these two neighbors. In order to get create a natural and sunny look, I bounced a strobe into a huge reflector to create a soft fill. It’s shoots like these that I wish I shot more behind the scenes stuff. Maybe that’s one of my 2010 resolutions.

Portland Spaces – Summer 2009 Furniture Designer Feature


Ken Tomita (above) made this bookshelf (below). Cool shoot to do a portrait and the product in the same day.


Portland Spaces Summer 2009 Cover Feature – Interiors & Designers


This was one of my favorite shoots of the year. Portland Spaces profiled three different interior designers. Here I shot the home of Nike designers Michael Shea and Kelly Tweeden.


This private residence was designed by Joelle Nelson and Allie McGory of Maison, Inc.

Andee Hess

Andee Hess of Osmose designed this space for the 937 Condominiums in the Pearl District as well as one private residences there.

There are lots of shots from this 3 day shoot. To see them as they appeared in the magazine, click here.

Lane Powell – Portland Armory

Portland Armory

I waited for well over an hour to get all the little bits of people walking by. All toll, this is a composite of 5 different shots.

Northwest Golf – Gear


This shot was inspired by Jill Greenberg’s lighting style, except I added my own punchy crisp flavor to it.

Portland Monthly May 2009 – Prêt-à-Portland


We shot this colorful clothing feature on black to make the it really pop. Has that neon quality almost.

Surround Architecture – Rebound Joint Center at the Rose Garden


I have a funny feeling the Blazers are here these days a lot more than they want to be.

Surround Architecture – Keen Corporate Headquarters


Keen shoes are my absolute favorite for work. I can wear them all day and my feet never get tired. So, I was stoked to go to their headquarters to shoot their new design room. Someday, my new shoes may have been concepts on these desks.

Jason Blackheart – Portrait


Helluva an art director and very good friend. He now is the main man in charge at Portland Monthly. We’ve done a lot great work over the years and I owe a lot of portfolio shots to his skills and guidance during shoots.

Mahlum Architects – Sue Buel Elementary


This is an amazing school designed by Mahlum. These common areas serve as impromptu classrooms that can quickly be reconfigured to suit whatever the teachers need for the day.

Inside Design International – Private Residence


This soothing master bathroom was designed by Kim Hagstette. I really love the color palette used in the space.

Imbibe Magazine – Summer Beer Feature


I had fun with this one. I wanted to to what happened when you shot beer bottles with a ring flash. The distinctive wrap around look of the light is just so cool. It really made everything so edgy. Plus you get that cool shadow line. Click here to see the rest of the shots.

Portland Monthly July 2009 – Rivers Cover Feature


This is Sam Drevo of eNRG Kayak. The nicest guy you ever met and an amazing athlete. We shot him on the banks of the Sandy river at Oxbow park for Portland Monthly’s feature on Oregon rivers. This shot ran on the cover.

Northwest Meetings & Events – Crisis Managers Story


Portrait of Cathy Mason, an event coordinator with expert knowledge in managing an event during a crisis. She knows how to handle anything that comes her way.

NBAA – Fagan Profile


Oddly, this shoot was the first time I left Oregon for a shoot all year. A very cool gig, I flew out to Minnesota to document a member company of the National Business Aviation Association. We shot portraits, employees at work, pilots on planes, even an ethanol plant. Too much to feature here, but I really liked this shot.

Bergren Rameson’s Paper Project


A good stylist can really make your job easier. An amazing stylist gets you phenomenal images. Check out all these shots.

Portland Monthly August 2009 – Eat + Drink Opener


The Original is a “dineraunt”. They have hot dog flights and pie. So tasty!

Parliament Design – Interiors


These guys are so cool and their space is absolutely amazing. They’re also one totally kickass design firm. I had a blast photographing their workspace. More coolness here.

Portland Monthly August 2009 – Cornershop


Designer Modi Soondarotok owns IDOM, a fashion boutique specializing in “sustainable designer apparel, accessories and objects for today’s fashion forward woman.” Cool clothes and green sensibility = Win Win!

Atwater Place – Exteriors


I would not been able to get this shot digitally a year ago. Canon came out with a 17mm tilt shift lens this year and it’s the only lens wide enough with enough movement to shoot a building this big so close. It’s one of the sharpest lenses they make, too

Atwater Place – Lifestyle


This is an excellent example of how being multidisciplinary can get you gigs. Not only did I shoot all the architectural shots for the Atwater, I shot all the lifestyle shots, too.

Gourmet Magazine October 2009 –  Pok Pok’s Khao Soi Kai

This little shot had a lot of mileage. Shortly after the issue came out, Gourmet announced it was ceasing publication. Saddened by the news, I made a blog post about it and tweeted about it. Within a few hours, I was contacted by the local NPR station, OPB, for an interview about being in the last issue of Gourmet. Pretty cool! Though, it actually wasn’t the last issue. November was. Mea Culpa.

Mahlum Architects – Pacific University’s Gibson Hall


I try to make these motion shots look easy and spontaneous. The reality is that it takes dozens of tries to get the right amount blur. Timing, shutter speed, angle of subject, and their velocity all have to work together at the right time to get something decent. What’s decent? You know it when you see it.

Mahlum Architects – Thurston Elementary School – Springfield, OR


I sort of remember elementary school. I remember dark hallways, funky smells, and dirt playgrounds. Things have definitely changed for the better thanks to architecture firms like Mahlum. They won some awards from this shoot.

DLR Group – Ashland Elementary School System Renovations and Additions


Again, I’m so impressed by how much better school designs are. DLR Group had three awesome projects for me to shoot down in Ashland, OR. The three day shoot took a lot planning and coordinating. We were chasing the sun from to school to school to get the best light. I don’t think we were ever at one location for the whole day.



Portland Monthly November 2009 – Cornershop


Pamela Baker-Miller is the co-founder of Frances May, a very cool and hip fashion boutique in downtown Portland. This shot was all available light. Kind of tricky to to do, but a good tripod and patient subject gets you results that you just can’t light artificially.

DLR Group – Happy Valley City Hall Round 2


The mountain lodge feeling of the structure fits nicely in the valley setting with Mt. Hood in the background.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design – Overton House


I love to cook and kitchens are always my favorite rooms to photograph. Another incredibly stunning remodel by Jessica Helgerson and I’m not the only one saying it. This shoot was just recently featured on über-popular design blog Design*Sponge.

DLR Group – Mountain View High School Addition


I love this shot. We had was massive cloud cover all day long. I knew I wasn’t going to get much of an exterior shot during the day, so I decided to wait for a dusk shot. I’m so glad I did. The sky broke right at sunset and some of the most beautiful cloud patterns and colors rolled in like magic. It was right place, right time perfection.

Portland Monthly January 2010 – Branch Science Feature


The bulk of my shoots this year have been architectural, so it was nice change of pace to do this environmental portrait of scientist Steve Strauss. Steve’s research into genetically modified trees that make better paper pulp could reduce deforestation. However, GMOs are a touchy subject. The trees in this grove have been attacked multiple times by eco-terrorists. Pick up a copy of Portland Monthly to read more. I also shot some genetically modified products for the story…


Did you know the US makes 26 million notes of currency a day? The genetically modified ingredient: cotton. Each greenback is 75% cotton and 79% of US -grown cotton is
genetically modified. The GM cotton costs less to grow and uses less pesticides.

NBAA – Atlanta Aviation


Another shoot for NBAA and getting some really good stuff from these gigs. This trip we shot at Coca-Cola’s and Home Depot’s private hangers. We also went to the DeKalb Peachtree Airport for some general shots. I took over 1600 shots over the three day trip.

Oregon Food Bank – “Setting the Table” Pro Bono Project


I’m really excited to announce this project. What initially began as a friendly get together of colleagues, has morphed into a photographic collective know as PhotoForce. With four other photographers (Brian Lee, Daniel Root, Steven Scardina, and Stuart Mullenberg), we set a mission to be a creative force for hire and a creative force for good.

This year, the five of us shot a collection of images for the Oregon Food Bank. The theme of the shoot is “Farm to Table” and each of us tackled various elements of the OFB operations in our own unique styles. For my part, I shot volunteers processing bulk foods into smaller portions at the OFB headquarters.

On January 21, 2010, we’re having a large format exhibition of 5 images from each of us. Twenty-five images in all and printed by Pro Photo Supply. The show will be hosted at Venue Pearl and I would be honored to see you there. Click here for more information.

DLR Group – Oregon State University’s Women’s Basketball Locker Room


Last shot from the last shoot of the year. The Oregon State University’s Ladies Basketball locker room is fricking awesome. Despite being in the basement, the space felt open and bright. I can imagine it’s a great place to be before a game or even kicking back after practice. In case you’re not familiar with Oregon State, their mascot is the Beaver. Go Beavs!

So there it is: one solid year of work. Looking forward to keeping up the momentum in 2010.

Contact me if you want to get something going.

Gourmet Magazine. October 2009. Page 91.

Au Revoir Gourmet Magazine. I happen to have a little shot in the latest and final issue Gourmet. Since I probably won’t be able to get a digital tearsheet, here’s the shot that ran as part of a story on Restaurants Worth The Money. For Portland, Pok Pok was featured and they highlighted this delicious curry soup dish below.

Khao Soi Kai. Yum. Thanks Pok Pok! Thanks Gourmet!

Here’s an outtake, though I would hardly call it that:


Neua Naam Tok. Delicious!


Shortly after posting this, I was contacted by April Brear of OPB for a brief interview about being in the last issue of Gourmet. Neat!