There’s a giant Mogwai tour poster hanging on the office wall at Community Beer Works when I sit down to interview Ethan Cox and Rudy Watkins that serves as a reminder that these guys have great taste in music as well as beer – which is fortuitous because it was primarily the relationship between beer and music that first brought this young Western New York Brewery to my attention. The first of their brews that I tried was More Information, a special one-off batch that Rudy had made for a Swans show at Buffalo’s Tralf Music Hall (their first concert specific brew was Preacher Man, a Godspeed You! Black Emperor inspired American Black Ale). I love beer and loud music, and when a bartender is telling you about a new local brew made specifically for one night and one particular show, it’s hard to say no. Continue reading “THE BREWERS: COMMUNITY BEER WORKS”
A man walks into a coffee shop and sits down (at a table and chair he didn’t build – because this man is me, and I don’t know the first goddamn thing about building furniture). Soon, another man joins him (this one has an awesome beard, and though he didn’t build this particular chair and table set he most assuredly could have – though his version would have undoubtedly been far cooler and better made) and begins to speak reverently about tools in a way reminiscent of how old movie samurai speak about swords. The conversation is rife with invocations that extol the virtues of certain indigenous woods, litanies dedicated to the importance of the trades, and excited odes to furniture built from reclaimed materials. It is without a doubt one of the most stimulating and entertaining conversations I have had in weeks – few things are as engaging as talking with someone about what they are really excited about. Continue reading “THE WOODWORKER: WRAFTERBUILT”
This is the story of how one conversation, a healthy dose of dissatisfaction, and a few glasses of wine helped me decide to make a major change in my photography, how I thought about where I live, and the kind of stories that I was really interested in telling.
At the beginning of the summer I found myself afflicted with a worrisome and specific case of writers block – I would shoot a project, but when I sat down to write about it the only things I could think of were “Here is a picture I took and I really like it” or “I shot this assignment recently for a client, the art director was super nice and brought sandwiches” basically the kind of disposable posts you have read on every photography blog, ever, in the history of everything (Okay, except for some of the really good ones like those written by John Keatley, Rodney Smith or Chris Buck – I’ll gladly read those any day), and I had gotten sick of it. I stared at blank screens for hours feeling like my brains were slowly leaking out of my eyes and that my writing skills were failing me (thankfully this mental state was contained only to my writing and did not affect my ability to take kick-ass pictures). It’s not that I didn’t like the aesthetics of the work I was producing, I just didn’t feel like these were the kind of stories that I was really having much fun telling. Continue reading “NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT”
Back in April I served as one of the judges for BSC’s Runway 5.0 event, an extravagantly produced demonstration of student designs from the school’s Fashion Technology program. Organized by Erin Habes, the event grows in scope every year and It was fantastic to be involved with it again. One of the highlights of the event is the unveiling of the senior collections that the students spend months developing – and the prizes for the winner this year included scholarships for them to further their education as well as an opportunity to have their winning collection photographed. This is one of my favorite community events that I donate time to every year because of the immense efforts the students from this school put into their creations for the judging panel, which this year included myself as well as industry leaders from companies like New Era, Victoria’s Secret, Aeropostale, and more.
The very deserving winner this year was Kathryn Jakubowski, a senior designer whose collection was a favorite among the judges, which is impressive given the tough competition she was up against from some of the other students. These are just a few of the images that I am working on for Kathryn, who also received a $2000 scholarship and is now interning with Ali Eagen from Made by Anatomy as she furthers her design education. Congratulations Kathryn!.
A few months ago Lauren Ashley Rogers was named as the winner in Buffalo State College’s annual runway showcase and competition, Runway 4.0, an event headed by my friend Erin Habes. As part of the winner’s prize package, Erin and I collaborated to develop a series of images for the young designer that she can use as she moves forward with her education and career. I am so happy to be able to help a young local student and designer who is working in this new fashion-conscious culture that Buffalo seems to be developing, thanks in great part to people like Erin Habes. Here are a few images from her collection,
“Roger’s spring collection wrangles the chaotic energy of the world with a simplistic approach to neutral color blocking, framed nicely with dark swipes of black, grey and snow leopard print. The intense shades feel fresh once again.” ~ Erin Habes
“The photo shoot was a huge success and a brilliant collaboration of creative talent, Buffalo State College and myself are so grateful to Luke for giving a young designer the opportunity to learn and absorb a wealth of experience through the building of her lookbook.” ~ Erin Habes