LES AMIS FENCING CLUB

Christine Gallisdorfer of Buffalo Les Amis Fencing ClubJodi Hamann of Les Amis fencing Club

Christine Gallisdorfer and Jodi Hamann of Les Amis Fencing Club – a member-owned and non-profit training club in Buffalo NY that has been offering classes and camaraderie to those interested in the sport since 1982.

Competitive fencers themselves, Christine and Jodi serves as the treasurer of the club and shares her experience as an instructor to the club’s intermediate students, while Jodi teachers the beginner level classes.

SHELTER PORTRAITS: ROXY

Roxy is an adult female Terrier/Shepherd mix who is currently at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter hill she waits for adoption by a new and loving family.

I was so sad when I had to put my shelter portraits on a brief hiatus at the end of 2014 – we were undergoing some major renovations at the studio, and didn’t want the pups to have to hang out in the extremely cold space while we installed a brand new heating system (just in time for one of the coldest winters in Buffalo’s history – it’s been post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie cold the last few weeks with the temperatures dipping as low as -10.) But now I’m back into the swing of being able to create new adoptions portraits for these very specials dogs and actually use my photography to help them find amazing new homes.

Roxy is my first shelter portrait of 2015. She’s an adult terrier/shepherd mix who is being taken care of by the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter while she waits for the perfect family to give her a new home. She’s a sweet girl who loves to run and play, and was so excited to explore the studio and get to play with the crew on the day she came for her session. Roxy has been at the shelter since last June, where because of an unfair stigma regarding black dogs she often gets overlooked when people are seeking to adopt a new pet (which is their loss – because Roxy is marvelous!). It was so awesome to get to see her have some fun before and after her shoot  – and despite being a pretty energetic dog, she was so well behaved during the shoot, which worked out great for us, because this was the first animal shoot we’ve done with the new Medium Format camera system.

So often when I talk to people about adopting an animal there is a compulsion for them to gravitate towards adopting younger dogs and puppies, but there are a lot of benefits to adopting an adult dog. – many already have some training (and in general are easier to train), they are affectionate, settle in to new homes quickly, and their energy levels are a little more even. Roxy is a great example of a fun loving but relaxed adult dog that would be an amazing addition to a caring family.

If you or someone you know could give Roxy the home she’s looking for please get in touch with the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter – the family that adopts Roxy will also receive a $50.00 gift card from Elmwood Pets so they can stock up on toys and treats for this cutie.

You can read more about Roxy on her Petfinder page or even see her on TV here.

SHELTER PORTRAITS: BIRCH

Birch - PitbullThe most rewarding thing I have done with my photography in the last year is to help find loving homes for some of Buffalo’s many adoptable but homeless rescue dogs. After being taken in by the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter a lot of these dogs needs a good portrait to help with adoption efforts and to provide a vehicle to help get the word out about their individual stories. Those among you that follow me on social media or live in Western New York have likely seen many of these dog’s portraits being shared on Facebook or promoted by shelter volunteers and animal lovers all over the region. I’m now going to be sharing some select images from this project every month on my blog as well. Erin and I have three dogs of our own at home, two of which are rescues, and one of them came from this very shelter. Continue reading “SHELTER PORTRAITS: BIRCH”

ON ASSIGNMENT: NADINE STRELESKI FLANDERS FOR PHOENIX FOCUS

Nadine Streleski-Flanders of Kaleida Health for Phoenix Focus Magazine photographed on the Niagara River

In June, Phoenix Focus reached out to me to photograph University of Phoenix alum Nadine Streleski-Flanders for their fall 2014 issue. Nadine is the Director of Clinical Education for non-profit health care provider Kaleida Health in Western New York. It’s a great story about how her return to school to further her knowledge of nursing, business, and education catalyzed an unexpected career turn that found her in a new role at Kaleida – one that was created specifically to make use of her unique combination of skills. Continue reading “ON ASSIGNMENT: NADINE STRELESKI FLANDERS FOR PHOENIX FOCUS”

THE ICE CREAM MAKERS: LAKE EFFECT

Lake Effect Ice Cream owners Erik Bernardi and Jason Wulf

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cognac, Honey + Blue Cheese, Lime Cardamom, Blood Orange and Angostura Bitters, Farmstand Corn and Blackberry, Whisky Brown Sugar Bacon, Gin and Juice Sherbet, Fernet Branca, Red Velvet?

Hell yes. I’ll have one of everything and a pint of chocolate to go. Continue reading “THE ICE CREAM MAKERS: LAKE EFFECT”

KIM REINAGAL

A bit of business meets style with this image of Kimberly Reinagal.

Every now and then I like to work on a project with the interns and assistants around the studio. We all get together once every month or two and bring someone in to photograph. It’s a fun time and they can all practice some of the techniques they have picked up – It’s part workshop and part party. A few weeks ago while working on some lighting demonstrations with my recent intern Valerie Kasinksi we had Kim come by so that Val could try out a few concepts with her. Val created some portraits that were very in line with the nature themed imagery that she is becoming known for. After Val had worked on some images it was my turn, and I quickly put this concept together alongside makeup artist Nicole Barry – we were looking to create something serious and edgy that was a bit of a mix between the stylish portraiture I do and the corporate work that is becoming a bigger part of my business. I was quite happy with the results from that evening – and though this isn’t work from an assignment or one of my longer personal projects I wanted to share it simply because it was so much fun to work on.

ED PETTINELLA FOR MFE MAGAZINE

MFE magazine tear sheets

MFE magazine called me up last month about a project, and I was pretty excited when I found out I would be heading to Rochester, NY to photograph Ed Pettinella – the CEO of Home Properties Inc. for the cover of their April issue. I went to college in Rochester and lived in the city for years, so any assignment that takes me there always presents me with a great chance to see some old friends and visit some of my favorite old haunts, and this trip gave me the opportunity to photograph a very interesting and very funny subject.

As the leader of the Home Properties team since 2004, Ed has focused on rehabilitating and repurposing older, run down buildings into higher income rental properties – a strategy that has allowed the company to consistently outperform its peers. Ed was an enthusiastic and affable subject who kept me and the crew laughing throughout the day-long shoot at the Home Properties headquarters, both trading jokes with us and sharing his thoughts on his company and business philosophy while we photographed him in his offices and on the building’s rooftop terrace overlooking Rochester (a seriously amazing view). This was a great day on assignment – the shoot went wonderfully, we had a great subject, an awesome location, and we even capped the day off with a fun crew dinner at one of my favorite places in Rochester – Dinosaur BBQ (I can’t wait until the new Buffalo location opens right around the corner from my studio).

The images above are tears from both the cover and the interior feature, while the one below is one of my personal favorite outtakes from the portraits we made on the building’s terrace.

Ed Petinella - CEO of Home Properties Inc.

Read the full MFE feature on Ed here.

 

CHRIS ROETTER AND JERRY ROUSH

Chris Roetter - Like Moths to Flames frontman

A few months back, towards the end of 2012, I got a call from Christopher Benton at Alternative Press to photograph two of the bands that were playing that year’s AP Tour, and to be part of the cover project that the magazine was creating for the issue. There were five bands slated for the cover, and all of them were touring in different parts of the world in the months leading up to the release of the tour issue. Ultimately, myself and two other photographers (Jonathan Weiner and Kane Hibberd) had to capture the lead singers of Glass Cloud, Miss May I, Like Moths to Flames, The Ghost Inside, and The Amity Affliction at different times, in different locations, and coordinate our different styles to create a coherent vibe for the cover. It was a fun challenge.

Alternative Press Tear Sheets

These shots of Chris Roetter (Like Moths to Flames) and Jerry Roush (Glass Cloud) were part of those cover sessions – though originally conceived solely to be part of the final composite I wanted to present these images of the two frontmen as standalone portraits. I photographed Jerry and the rest of Glass Cloud first, at that time I was completely unaware that I would be photographing Like Moths to Flames just a few weeks later when their tour came through Buffalo. Normally I would not tackle two subjects for the same client with such a similar approach, but because these acts were coming together for the cover it required something of a unified approach to the studio portraits from both sessions, and though chronologically shot about a month apart I was stylistically able to treat this duo of images as through they were shot the same day.

Jerry Roush - Glass Cloud

DAILIES.4.8.2013

Dailies-April-1

Dailies is a monthly collection of the images I take in my day to day life: casual snaps and test shots of friends and family, unguarded behind the scenes images of my subjects, Polaroids, Instagrams, and documentation of my myriad and sordid adventures. 

1. On assignment in Rochester New York for Multifamily Executive Magazine – fourteen floors up checking out the skyline.

scott gable, luke copping, and andy buscemi

2. Scott Gable, Andy Buscemi, and Myself last month as we started work on a super secret project to be unveiled soon.

Dailies-april-3

Clockwise from top left:

3. My assistant Liz hanging out with the guys from Glass Cloud on the roof of my old studio while we were on assignment for Alternative Press

4. Chris Roetter of Like Moths to Flames

5. Glass Cloud

6.Josh Travis, guitarist of Glass Cloud

Dailies

7. Had my first shoot in the new studio over the weekend, and it was a big one. I made this series of natural light portraits on my phone of some  of the cast and crew who were visiting that day.

 

 

LEO CHAN

Portrait of Leo Chan

Leo Chan owns way more neckties than I do (an impressive feat given that I regularly shoot for a tie designer and have accumulated a respectable collection of my own over the years). So when he turned up at the studio for this portrait assignment a few weeks ago I was not at all surprised when he started unpacking an immaculately curated selection of neckwear alongside some other great pieces from his own wardrobe. Even though we put several of those ties to more prominent use in other portraits that day, it was this sportier and more colorful look that I really ended up loving. There is something about that hard red gelled light coming from camera right and the red warmup jacket that really works for me in the above shot, and the style transitioned nicely to the black and white variation below (and of course I think that the warmup jacket/tie combo is frightfully under-appreciated.)

This production was a long time coming. Leo and I had talked about working on a project together for some time prior to this, but it seemed our scheduling never worked out —thankfully on this assignment the stars aligned correctly and my team and I were able to create several interesting portraits of him.

B+W portrait of Leo Chan

ANTHONY MEIER – ART DEALER

Anthony Meier - Art Dealer

A last look back at one of my favorite assignments from last year – creating a series of VIP portraits for the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The list of artists, donors, curators, and politicians present was truly astounding, but rather than flood my blog with so many varied images from the same assignment, I have been featuring just a few of my favorite highlights from the collection. My final selection from this diverse series of portraits features Anthony Meier – an art dealer based in San Francisco. His company, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, represents a broad spectrum of artists including Janine Antoni and Jim Hodges. Both of whom were also photographed as part of this gala event.

You can also view past blog posts about this series – Check out these portraits of Florian Reither and Jim Hodges

JIM HODGES

Installation Artist Jim Hodges photographed during the Albright Knox Art Gallery 150th Anniversary Gala

Last month the Albright-Knox Art Gallery celebrated its 150th Anniversary with a gala event. I was given the assignment of creating a series of portraits of select attendees of this extravagant party thrown by one of the oldest public arts organizations in the country; a mix of artists, curators, journalists, gallery donors, staff, and community supporters. Despite the torrential rain outside, the party in the gallery was lively and featured performances by the likes of Janine Antoni and Gelitin.

One of my favorite images from that night was this portrait of installation artist Jim Hodges, whose piece Look and See currently resides in the gallery’s outdoor sculpture garden.

VALERIE KASINSKI

Student and Artist Valerie KasinskiStudent and Artist Valerie Kasinski

These portraits of Valerie Kasinski were made before a small student lighting workshop that was held at my studio last month, she had bravely agreed not just to be photographed by me, but to stand in as the test lighting subject for a good chunk of the workshop class. Val is one of a group of really passionate emerging photographers in my area that I have met in the last few years of volunteering with ASMP and speaking to photo programs at schools in the area.

Small Town Girl

Nichole at Knox Farms

Nichole at Knox Farms

I spent a day photographing Nichole Linsay at two of the most scenic rural areas in Western NY – Boxler Farms and Knox Farms, near East Aurora NY.  Scouting the expansive property at Boxler Farms during the day in search of locations had us wading through the shallow  streams above a waterfall, trekking through fields of early spring wildflowers, and meeting many of the exotic animals that roam the property including camels, zebra, oryx, wildebeests, llamas, and emus. Later in the day we moved to shoot to the site of Knox Farms, which had previously been the famous estate of the wealthy Knox family before becoming a historic park. It is one of those perfect places that exists in its own little timeless bubble so distant from the encroaching suburbia just outside its gates.

Nichole with horse

The whole day was a distillation of so many of the things that I most love about being a photographer, and I am rarely happier than when a project becomes indistinguishable from an adventure.

Nichole in WNY stream

Casey Bitzberger

Portraits of Casey Bitzberger

Two very different stylistic takes on portraits of the amazing Casey Bitzberger.

This was a very playful shoot – in addition to the formal portraits that we created there was also large number of iPhone and mobile images from the production – of which the above was my favorite.

And Finally!

Just us having fun shooting video on my phone after the shoot.

Casey and I having a Gaze Off! after the production wrapped.

She won…

Special thanks to Nicole Barry and Tom Newton.

Bellevue

EMT and Fire Lieutenant Gabe Cassuci from the Bellevue Fire Department called me a few weeks ago to talk about creating some portraits for an advertising campaign that they had coming up to recruit new volunteer fire fighters for the department. I am always excited and happy to photograph firefighters and other emergency workers – so me and my team packed up our gear and headed out for the Bellevue fire house to spend a day creating a series of black and white portraits of the brave men and women of the Bellevue Dept.

The images above are two of the first from the series that will be featured on a series of billboards, posters, displays, and online recruitment uses over the next year.

Required Reading 4.13.2012

Erin Habes and Joseph Incao

Required Reading is a weekly listing of all the bits of visual inspiration, cool videos, news, hip links, and miscellaneous information that rattles my head during the week. The stuff that’s worth bookmarking and gets my brain-juices flowing.

Above: Fashion writer, stylist, educator, and event producer Erin Habes and former Prada VP Joseph Incao at Victory Studios in March styling one of my productions. 


 

I picked up a new book this week called Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro from Mule Design. You might remember Mike’s popular Creative Morning’s video F*ck you. Pay Me. Though the book mainly targets designers, so many of the points it makes are universal and applicable to photographers, film makers, and creatives of all stripes. This book is a must read for creatives who have ever found themselves dealing with feelings of guilt or insecurity about what they charge their clients. You might need to abstract some of the specific ideas to make them apply to your particular field – but this short, entertaining, and informative read has kept me hooked  all day.

What ever happened to the days of making something you cared about and that other people found interesting? | How To Get More Likes On Facebook

Ze Frank is back with a call to action for all those who are just beginning or beginning again, sometimes a big dose of positive thought and the acceptance the reality isn’t as bad as we sometimes think it can be is all you need to find a reinvigorating manifesto and start kicking some ass. I have watched this every morning this week.

Although I feel a little bad for laughing at some of the posts where people just don’t have a handle on Facebook, the sheer insanity that can pop up on this site keeps me coming back when I need to kill a few minutes with some laughter. | Old People Writing on A Restaurants Facebook Page

Insights and laughs from one of my favorite comic minds; John Cleese, on being creative and living a creative life. | Five Factors to Make Your Life More Creative

100 years of the fascinating aesthetics, dreams, interpretations, and hopes of the Russian Space Craze – Both real and imagined. 

The Chuck close video is great, but the line later in the post about not cord sourcing your decisions is much-needed advice for those seeking constant and instant social media acceptance of their creative endeavors. | Lessons From Chuck Close

Runway

Runway 5.0 final

Posters that were created for the BSC annual fashion event Runway – A showcase of student fashion design and textile arts. Erin Habes has done an amazing job producing this show year after year for some very talented students, often with the help of top minds in the fashion industry who donate their time to this event for the students. Each production tops the last in scope and ambition. Many of the students involved in the program were actually in studio during this shoot to observe the production of these images – so in addition to the styling/production team and talent it made for a crowded but fun set.

Runway 5.0 final

Special thanks to the team at Block Club for the poster design, all the students involved, the whole production team, and Erin Habes and Joseph Incao (Former Senior VP of Prada Retail Operations) for styling these images.

original images from the BSC Fashion Event posters