A quick look at my newest portfolio.
It took a while, but I finally got my friend David Butler back in front of my camera after all these years.
Dave is a production designer, art director, and set dresser for feature productions like Marshall, The First Purge, TMNT 2, The True Adventures of Wolf Boy, Emelie, Sharknado 2, and After the Sun Fell – And that doesn’t even begin to touch on his decades of work in theatre and television.
We first met back when I was the studio manager at the wonderfully infamous production space in Buffalo, NY that David would do prop and set work for, and I consider myself unbelievably lucky to still be collaborating with him for the past ten years or so. He has built almost every set piece in my studio and he has been a true guide in helping me to turn my ideas into the finished images I share with you.
Tom flies solo in this episode as I was back home in Buffalo with my family in the final days before my wife’s due date!
Ron Haviv is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the VII Photo Agency, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. Tom and Ron discussing what Haviv has learned while covering more than twenty-five conflicts in over one hundred countries. Ron has produced an unflinching record of the injustices of war and his photography has had singular impact. His work in the Balkans, which spanned over a decade of conflict, was used as evidence to indict and convict war criminals at the international tribunal in The Hague. President George H.W. Bush cited Haviv’s chilling photographs documenting paramilitary violence in Panama as one of the reasons for the 1989 American intervention.Haviv’s work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Haviv’s photographs are in the collections at The Houston Museum of Fine Arts and George Eastman House amongst others as well as numerous private collections.
Big thanks to Adorama and The Photo Bridgade for their continued support!
A group shot with the team at Angelica Tea Room.
One of my favorite places to drink in Buffalo — with unforgettable beverages and an amazing crew behind the bar! Occupying the same space as the former Club Diablo (a goth/metal bar and a dearly departed former haunt of mine) The Angelica Tea Room is a much brighter and more refined space than the former occupant — instead of beer, shots, and thrash the focus has shifted to a mellower mood and features a collection of classic cocktails inspired by the exodus of master bartenders to foreign lands during America’s prohibition and the exotic new tastes they discovered and incorporated into the American cocktail tradition upon their return. ⠀
Clay Patrick McBride told me on the day the we recorded this episode that Anne Geddes has sold more books than Beyoncé has sold albums — and I’m inclined to believe it because Anne Geddes is as close as you can get to a household name in modern photography. Tom and I were thrilled to get to speak with Anne about her best known work photographing babies, children, and pregnant women — but perhaps more so we were excited to speak to her about her decades of philanthropic work and her experiences navigating an ever changing publishing industry that has had a radical effect on the photographic world.
Shot on the shores of Lake Erie for the latest issue of Valuation Magazine (the in-house publication of the Appraisal Institute —a trade association for real estate appraisers.) James is the Director of Appraisal Standards for global real estate services giant Colliers International, and was recently elected president of the board of directors of the Appraisal Institute.
Tom Kennedy and I talk with Clay Patrick McBride live at Adorama in New York about both his career creating portraits of the biggest names in music and sports, as well as his new role in teaching the next generation of up and coming photographers at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Clay’s classes and hang out with him a few times. Aside from being an incredible photographer I find him to be one of the most compelling and realist educators I’ve ever met.
Clay’s portraits of top athletes and musicians such as LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Metallica, Norah Jones, Jay Z, and Kanye West have appeared in countless magazines, among them Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and NY Magazine. His commercial work includes dozens of album covers for Sony, Blue Note and Atlantic Records, as well as print campaigns for Pontiac, Boost Mobile and Nike
A multi-talented artist and musician, Edreys Wajed is best known outside of Buffalo under his stage name of Billy Drease Williams. This successful emcee and producer has been a member of both Raw Intel and The Elements, and founded the non-profit cultural preservation and educational organization The Art of Hip-Hop. A hiatus from recording has recently allowed this avid painter to focus on the visual aspects of his art — recently completing a series of large-scale portraits of American civil rights leaders William Wells Brown, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frank Merriweather, Dr. Lydia T. Wright, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Harriet Tubman as part of The Freedom Wall, a project commissioned by one of the oldest public art institutions in America — the Albright-Knox Gallery.
When I first discussed the idea of photographing the multi-talented Lindsay DeDario the original intention was for it to be part of my ongoing white + white series of portraits… that quickly changed when I found out that this accordion was on the table as a potential prop.
If I was ever going to learn to play another instrument it would be the accordion —I think it’s a terribly underrated instrument and I’ve always had secret aspirations to play fancy French waltzes for my wife like a character from a film set in a seedy 20’s cabaret. Naturally, when Lindsay mentioned that she had gotten her hands on this incredible white and gold specimen (she plays) I immediately fell in love with the idea of photographing her with it (because accordion… right?)
Thanks to Lindsay’s influence I might have to follow though on this hidden obsession and start playing to occupy my time between shoots.
My team and I spent an amazing day working with these dedicated and competitive youth hockey players to create this series of portraits for a segment of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York’s Live Fearless campaign. If you’re a Sabres fan you see the whole campaign in action this season at the Key Bank Center.
Episode two of my new live streaming show with ASMP Executive Director and former Director of Photography for National Geographic Tom Kennedy features NYC based photographer Alyssa Meadows.
We talk about the Young Photographers Alliance, her own experiences being a young photographer in New York, and her work documenting environmental and societal issues — taking an especially in depth look at “Every Woman I Know” a personal project of hers that depicts the women in her life who has been victims of sexual violence.
Take a look at the digital version of my newest promo book — Rust Belt Vol. 3!
This collects some of my favorite work from 2017 and features many of the unique subjects that I’ve met over the years photographing the creatives and entrepreneurs working and living in Western New York.
Want to receive print and digital promos like this and others that I share throughout the year? Sign up for my mailing list here, It’s the easiest way to keep up to date with what my team and I are working on.
You can do a lot with broccoli: steam it, roast it, deep fry it, or serve it in a soup containing copious amounts of beer and cheese (and accompanied by even more beer if you’re doing it right). It’s delicious, nutritious, and an increasingly important crop for growers as demand for it grows — but 90% of the nearly two billion pounds produced in the US each year are grown in California, much to the dismay of east coast farmers and consumers.
Currently, it can take 7-10 days from when that California grown broccoli is picked before it becomes part of your dinner menu (or before those with picky kids have to stop their little ones from conspiring with the dog to hide the evidence of their distaste). Broccoli has to be shipped in ice filled waxed boxes to slow down the degradation of the crop, and after a week on a truck not all of it may survive the trip. But that might change soon because of the work of Dr. Thomas Björkman, a renowned horticulturist and researcher at Cornell University who is one of the driving forces behind the Eastern Broccoli Project. The mission of the EBP is to create new strains of the crop that will thrive in the less consistent climate of the east coast, provide much needed crop diversity to farmers in the future, and cut down on the environmental impact of shipping broccoli across the country. ⠀
My assistant Will and I left Buffalo NY around 4:00 AM to drive out to Geneva NY where Dr Björkman tends to his trial crops at Cornell University’s Agricultural Experiment Station. Our plan was to be out in the fields before sunrise to create some portraits of the doctor with his crop on one of the last days before harvest and we could not have hoped for a more spectacular morning. Better than the weather though, was the utterly engrossing education we got in the efforts of the the EBP to create new types of Broccoli, agricultural breeding tools, and distribution system that will make the east coast broccoli industry a competitive one in the national market.
Shot for EatingWell Magazine.
I’m so happy to announce that the first episode of my new live stream show is now available to watch!
Co-hosted by Tom Kennedy (the former director of photography for National Geographic and the executive director of The American Society of Media Photographers) and myself — ASMP Experts and Masters is a new discussion series brought to you by The Photo Brigade and Adorama.
In this first episode Tom and I sit down with photographer and director Doug Menuez to discuss his book Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution In Silicon Valley 1985-2000 and the many years he spent documenting the life and career of Steve Jobs. We talk about the intersection of art and commerce, what photographers can learn from tech entrepreneurs, the importance of saying no, and building your business around the work you really care about rather than what you think will be accepted commercially.
Have you ever heard The Cars, The Tragically Hip, or U2?
There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of them because of the behind-the-scenes efforts of legendary rock promoter Bruce Moser – who is responsible for helping break these acts and others in the U.S. through his relentless work promoting them live and on the radio all along the thruway chain that runs between Boston and Cleveland – and hits cities like Erie, Buffalo, and Syracuse on the way.
I was traveling back from Santa Fe over the summer when I found out that I would be photographing Bruce the very next day when I got back into Buffalo. I knew a bit about his history in the rock world because I had actually worked with his daughter Erin Moser in the past, but I was not at all prepared for what an animated and engaging storyteller Bruce is, nor was I prepared for the mind-blowing tales he told me about some of the biggest acts in music. I normally talk a lot on set – it’s important to me to engage with my subjects and draw them out a bit, but this was probably the least I ever spoke on a shoot, because once Bruce started I knew it was better to just listen to the incredible behind-the-scenes stories he was telling me.
He told me about having to convince park police not to arrest the at the time eighteen-year-old members of U2 at Niagara Falls when they decided to hop over the security barrier to get a better look at the Falls.
He told me about seeing The Beatles for $5.50 before they were famous and when you could still hear them play over all the women screaming.
He told me about one of his earliest successes working with an unknown at the time band from Boston named The Cars.
He told me about the first few concerts he ever went to – which just happened to be The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, The Byrds, and Bob Dylan.
He told me about his efforts to help acts from Canada like Rush, The Tragically Hip, and Bryan Adams find early success in the US.
He told me about meeting Robert Frank and talking with him about his rarely seen documentary about the Rolling Stones.
He told me about the time he and his wife played Pong with Bono in a bar in Buffalo on the night that John Lennon was murdered (Bono thought it was a sick joke someone was playing on him.)
That’s pretty epic stuff, and it doesen’t even start to touch on the innumerable other acts he’s worked with that Bruce and I didn’t get a chance to discuss – like Tom Petty, Melissa Etheridge The Goo Goo Dolls, Tom Cochrane, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Steven Van Zandt, and many more. Getting to sit down with Bruce and learn about his life and career was so much fun, especially because Bruce still comes across as someone who just loves music – listening to it and seeing it played live. He’s a fan, a fan who turned his passion for music into his career – although I don’t know many other fans that own the only copy of a song that was written and performed by Bono for their 50th birthday.
A look at my September/October 2017 Email promo that went out a while back. it features stories on legendary rock promoter Bruce Moser, my recent trip to New Mexico, comedian Allie Brady, and my new portrait of rapper Chae Hawk!
If you want to receive updates about my latest projects (and get your hands on occasional limited edition print promos) you can subscribe to my mailing list here.
I’ll be sharing more about these new stories in the coming weeks.
My portrait of Syracuse NY criminal defense attorney Ed Menkin is featured on the most current issue of Thomson Reuter’s Super Lawyers magazine.
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.