Buffalo Spree celebrated their 50th anniversary this year, and I was honored to shoot a fun little happy birthday story to help commemorate this longstanding local magazine. Of course, It’s not a birthday unless there’s a cake (or three), so we called in some help from a few of the city’s best bakers and cake shops to help the team at Spree kick off their golden jubilee with a little style. And yes, the cast, crew, and myself absolutely devoured those cakes as soon as the shoot was done.
It’s one thing for stylists to want to grab a snap of their work when a shoot is wrapped, but when you are working with a whole salon full of them you just go with it and grab that camera and maybe turn the whole thing into a bit more behind the scenes portrait fun.
Come across a copy of Spree featuring my latest collaboration with the magazine – celebrating its 50th anniversary along with some some of the best cake bakers in the city!
A quick look at the newest batch of promos I’ve been sending out with Mickey Harmon on the cover! Also included are portraits of Eleanor Decker, Tiffani Moore, Leo Chan, and Gordon Gronkowski.
Why aren’t you listening to Chae Hawk right now? This Buffalo NY based rap cinema artist and founder of hip hop collective TeamRadio has been producing some of the best progressive hip hop to ever come out of WNY. Be sure to check out Dance Party for The Heavy Hearted on his website (especially his track Chin Ups featuring another past subject of mine – Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die.)
The founder of both the Echo Art Fair and the Buffalo Expat Network (not to mention countless other ventures). Frits Abell is a guy who likes to make things happen – usually from a position of equal footing in both the arts and business worlds. A figure of growing importance in the revitalization of Buffalo, I was lucky to be able to spend a little time with this developer and arts patron in studio a few weeks back.
Well… maybe not for me since I gave up drinking coffee a few months back (and most of my crew will tell you the last thing I need is something to make me more hyperactive). But now guests to my studio, my production team, and a few very lucky clients & friends all get to quaff their caffeinated beverages of choice from these badass new mugs that feature photographic processes both contemporary and vintage that Shauna Haider of We Are Branch designed for me.
And while I may not drink coffee out of mine anymore, it’s also great for sipping a post-shoot bourbon out of – purists be damned!
Guitar slinging, soul, blues, and rock singing badass Mick Hayes is the subject of one of my most recent shoots!
It’s always a treat to get to photograph someone who has shared stages and billing with stars like Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Steve Vai, and Los Lonely Boys, and I’ve been lucky these past few years to work with Mick on a bunch of still and motion projects the include the release video and cover art of his most recent album.
More than that, I’ve had the pleasure of actually seeing the man play a few times, and it’s a revelatory experience to see live. Mick can play, sing, and put on one hello of a show. His astounding stage presence, steeped in the influence of his musical roots and coupled with his raw enthusiasm and skillful playing , is one of the reasons he’s endorsed by brands like Hammond and Knaggs Guitars.
A rare appearance by me on the other side of the camera, and a rare chance for me to be photographed by one of my mentors (and favorite people). Thanks so much Rhea Anna for the new bio photo!
Newly completed portraits of professional fighter Jordan Speed Marwin. Specializing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu among other combat forms, Jordan has also worked as a strength coach to athletes of all stripes – including members of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres.
Most people know Grover Cleveland as America’s only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. Fewer know him as the former Mayor of my hometown of Buffalo NY, and later as a Governor of New York State who was praised for his honesty and constant opposition of political corruption.
But now a new story is being told about Grover Cleveland, one that takes a “mostly accurate” look at the life of this “near great’ President and mustache enthusiast who continues to fly under the historical radar. The Life and Times of Grovey Cleves is a collaboration between outspoken illustrator Mickey Thoren Harmon and writer Scott Mancuso that tells the story of Cleveland’s days as a young bachelor and foodie in Buffalo during the city’s rise to prominence; to his rapid and reckless political ascent from Mayor to Governor to 22nd (and later 24th!) President of the United States in just three years.
Originally envisioned as a small exhibition Harmon’s drawings that revolved around his fascination with the political figure, the concept later grew into a more fully fleshed out publishing project with the involvement of Mancuso and the fabulous Western New York Book Arts Center who helped produce the limited edition work.
While you may no longer be able to get your hands on a print copy of this unique examination of the history of one of America’s more interesting but lesser known Presidents, you can still learn a little bit more about the man himself by checking out a digital version of The Life and Times of Grovey Cleves here.
I consider myself pretty computer savvy, but sometimes I can feel pretty overwhelmed just trying to get files synched between the computers at my studio and my house. So I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be responsible for the networking and information systems of a major city. But for Lisa Bobo coordinating the information technology for all of Rochester New York’s law enforcement, public works, and other essential services is just a part of the job. But as the role of information and networking becomes more important to the management of transportation, public safety, economic development, energy efficiency, urbanization and environmental stability in large urban areas Lisa has begun to network the experience and knowledge of other cities and CIO’s as the catalyzing force behind the Center for Technologies in Government – a coalition of information officers of the New York State cities of New York, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, and Yonkers dedicated to improving the way that technology affects our urban experience.
I’m a fan of improbable things — Tiffani Moore
Today I’m sharing a new portrait I shot at the end of 2016 of the amazing celebrity stylist and creative consultant Tiffani Moore of Traveling Trousseau – a creative firm with social change as its core mission. Tiffani was also a recent NY1 New Yorker of the week for the work Traveling Trousseau has done with Susan’s Place – a homeless shelter in the Bronx. Tiffani’s other clients include Gbenga Akkinagbe, Alonzo Mourning, Lisa Price, Matt Barnes, McDonalds, Del Monte, Trojan, Neutrogena and many more.
Be sure to check out her fantastic Creative Mornings talk here.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of professional athletes who burn through their money and are left with nothing at the end of their careers due to poor financial planning.
Thankfully, that’s a fate the likely won’t be an issue for NFL players Rob and Glenn Gronkowski due to the money management lessons instilled in them by their father Gordon. Papa Gronkowski taught his boys (and three other professional athlete sons) smart financial planning skills that have seen to it that the NFL stars are making smart decisions about their future (in fact Rob has not spent a single cent of his NFL income since 2010 and lives solely off of his endorsements)
From an assignment that ran in the October 2016 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
A look at my newest promo that was sent out to current and potential editorial and commercial clients this month. These new promo layouts were designed by Shauna Haider of We Are Branch who put together a fantastic new newsletter design for me to share my work.
New portraits of Levitate Style founder and featured GQ Insider Leo Chan. Definitely check out Levitate Style if you haven’t yet. I think it’s one of the best men’s style + travel blogs out there, and Leo’s Instagram is a must follow too.
After taking a much-needed break from social media, blogging, and the internet in general for the whole month of December, I’m happy to announce that I’m back, I have a ton of new work to share, and I’ve been spending the past few weeks planning, strategizing, and getting ready to hit the ground running in 2017!
The first batch of new work that I want to share is a personal project that I started back in November of 2016 in order to explore some concepts of simplicity in portraiture. I wanted to create something as simple as possible that puts the focus squarely on the subject. I was highly inspired by this quote:
“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus
A white wall, white wardrobe, a subject, and me. It’s about as basic as you can get, and yet working within strict limitations like these can be just what you need to stimulate you creatively.
David G Cooper of the Heritage Centers Foundation – A group dedicated to securing private funding to provide needed services such as educational opportunities, transportation, therapeutic equipment, and much more for the more than 8000 Erie county residents who are challenged with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
I’ve recently added Utica College as a client – and I’m happy to share that my first collaboration with the school was to capture an important moment in its history, the installation of Laura Casemento as the first woman to be named president in the school’s 70 year history.
My team and I traveled to Utica for a few days this summer to create a series of portraits of Laura that range from her official presidential portrait to moments that capture her embracing the academic and athletic spirit of the school. Being that students had yet to arrive for the start of the year, we basically had the run of the campus and access to pretty much anywhere we wanted to shoot.
Since Shauna, Paul, and I launched Project Prescription there has been a ton of buzz building about how valuable it is for photographers in helping them learn how to build successful client relationships – and one of the most important aspects of what we teach is how to vet your clients (and why it’s not just ok to say no to a job, but sometimes necessary to save your sanity and business).
Over the past few years I’ve been honored to be an occasional contributor to the blog of living legend/photo god Scott Kelby – and last week I was able to share my latest piece, which features a lot of wonderful tips from Project Prescription about vetting clients, learning what factors to consider when deciding who to work with, and what kinds of red flags you met look out for. Learning how to vet your clients is an incredibly important but often overlooks skill for many emerging photographers to learn.
Scott and his crew always go above and beyond to bring the best information and educational opportunities to the photographic community and I’m thrilled that they have featured a number of my articles on the business side of art. Check it out here.