Electrashock Open Studio Photo exhibit Venice Beach

Venice Art Walk Open Studio Photo exhibit Venice Beach

I’m happy to be presenting my work again as part of the 2016 Venice Art Walk’s open studio tour! If you’re in the neighborhood please drop by Elektrashock Studio at 1320 Main Street from 12-4pm this Sunday, May 22. I will also be joined by artists Curtis Weaver and John Fukuda who will be showing their sculptures, paintings and pottery. Hope you can make it!

Ojai Wildflowers - Los Angeles Photographer

Lizard on a Rock - Los Angeles Photographer

Light through the trees - LA Photographer

I had a very busy start to this year shooting a variety of corporate, commercial and editorial projects, but as little of what I’ve shot has published yet I have practically nothing to share! So, let’s take a nature walk while we wait. Last week we joined some friends of ours for a weekend of camping and hiking in the Los Padres National Forrest outside of Ojai. The original plan was to go out to the San Bernardino Mountains, but a bad weather forecast had us looking for last minute alternatives. Our timing couldn’t have been better for where we ended up. We found a fantastic campground in the woods and on an afternoon hike ended up finding an amazing stretch of deerweed in full bloom along the Maricopa Highway. One patch had grown over the trail so thick it felt surreal pushing our way through them. I tried to capture the feeling w/ a slo-mo iPhone video I’ve posted below the jump. I also shot a video showing the seemingly endless stretch of them as we wound our way along the road. I’ve probably said this before, but one of the great things about California is that it’s so large that in our 8 years of frequent traveling and camping outings we rarely repeat experiences. We’re constantly amazed that we’ve found yet another gem of a spot and wonder how we could have missed it. I’m looking forward to more discoveries!

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Los Angeles Artist Portrait - Esteban Schimpf

 

I recently caught up with Los Angeles based artist Esteban Schimpf to shoot some portraits at his home in Highland Park for my occasional, ongoing portrait series on LA artists. I first met Esteban at an art party at our 1320Main Studio, now Elektrashock Studios, several years ago and have since followed his work online, growing as a fan as his work progressed. His art uses a mix of photography, photoshop, painting and collage and I’m always impressed at the bold and unique pieces he creates. He’s also a really nice guy, a collector of vintage typewriters and he bakes a killer loaf of bread, which I was fortunate to enjoy during the shoot. Check out his work on his website and click below for more portraits from the shoot.

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Food Product Photography Los Angeles - Pretzelphoria

I’m generally a people photographer, but from time to time find myself shooting products for clients ranging from start-ups to large corporations, such as Kyocera. I enjoy these shoots because they’re a creative challenge and a nice change of pace. One recent project I’ve been working on is for a small gourmet food company called Pretzelphoria, which also happens to be owned and operated by my aunt and uncle out of Lancaster, PA. The pair formed the gourmet-flavored and chocolate-covered pretzel company over 10 years ago and were in need of a new website to help them increase online sales and open doors to new business opportunities. In person, their unique line of pretzels practically sells itself – not to discount their salesmanship – but online they needed images and platform that showed off the products so that anyone who visited would see how appetizing they are and hopefully buy a few bags. Seeing this as an opportunity to help out the family and show what we could do, I teamed up with my wife and cousin, both of whom have extensive experience in PR and copy-writing, to basically form a one-client, boutique marketing firm. Over a few weeks we shot their entire line of products, created a new website and developed their social media channels and email marketing capabilities, which we continue to oversee. So far the results have been great, bringing them a drastic increase in online sales, as well as invitations to a number of high-end festivals. It’s been fun to work on and will be exciting to see them continue to grow in the coming years. Check out their website if you have a chance, and follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to receive news on new products as well as special discount codes. Or you can sign up for their mailing list on their website.

Below are some additional images I shot for them as well as others shot recently for clients that include a new line of ghee butter, Hanky Panky underwear and Kyocera cell phones.

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Publicity Portrait Photography Los Angeles - Made in LA

The right amount of wind in a photoshoot can have a nice affect. Too much and it just makes a mess of things. On an otherwise beautiful afternoon, in an otherwise calm week, I recently found myself in the latter situation while trying to create some striking publicity photos for Michelle Eskin, co-owner and managing director of editing house Cut + Run. For the entirety of the shoot there seemed to be no escaping the incessant blasts of cold air shooting down Melrose Avenue in all directions, threatening to knock over light stands and worse, for the purposes of the photos at least, attempting to make a mess of our subject’s beautifully styled hair. We attempted to hide from it by shooting in a narrow, walled off walkway, but even there it found us. Perhaps it was an early appearance by El Niño – it was late October – or perhaps just a fluke, but there we were and we had to make it work. Fortunately we had a great team and patient subject and managed to overcome this obstacle and make some great portraits for her. There was really no trick to it other than waiting for the brief lulls between gusts and then shooting like crazy for two or three seconds before the wind returned. This week has been gusty everyday, this time certainly thanks to El Niño. Perhaps that’s what reminded me to post this shoot. I don’t mind the wind and rain. It’s nice to have some weather around here from time to time. However I’m feeling quite fortunate that none of my shoots this week are outdoors! Not that we couldn’t handle it if we were of course. :)

 

Hollywood Publicity Portrait Los Angeles

Los Angeles Hollywood Publicity Portrait Photography

Venice Beach Studio Portrait Model

A recent portrait I shot of Alana P at the studio.

Editorial Magazine Portrait Photographer - Align Dating App

On a beautiful afternoon in Malibu this past September I met and photographed young entrepreneurs Helen Grossman and Aliza Faragher, cofounders of a new dating app called Align, for the Carleton Voice, the alumni magazine of their alma mater, Carleton College. The app takes a fresh approach to the online dating scene, taking into account users’ astrological signs when trying to make a match. The two seem to have found an interesting niche in the market and have have had early success in finding venture capital and launching their app in LA and NYC. Old married man that I am, I’m not likely to be using it anytime soon. But if you’re in the market perhaps give it a try. You can check it out at http://www.doyoualign.com.

Comedian Eddie Ifft Portrait Bingle Bus Malibu

What the hell’s a Bingle Bus? It’s a short school bus that’s been converted to the world’s first mobile podcasting studio of course. Late last year I met up with comedian and friend Eddie Ifft to check out a live recording of his podcast, Talkin’ Shit with Eddie Ifft, which he soon plans to rebrand as The Bingle Show. In the meantime, he regularly hosts Talkin’ Shit on the bus, pulling up with his crew to record shows at comedy clubs, festivals or wherever they feel like showing up. I first caught up with him outside the Hollywood Improv comedy club and had a front row seat to about three hours of hilarious, often offensive conversation between Ifft, his sidekick Jason Auer and a string of guest comics who were performing that night, who would come hang out between sets. Later I met up with him during some down time and photographed him alone with the bus. One reason I wanted to shoot with him is for possible inclusion in an ongoing body of work of artists and entertainers. Another is that I am interested in the idea of mobile broadcasting, or more specifically podcasting, and think there could be a series there considering how relatively easy it has become to take the studio with you. I haven’t found much else like this though. I think that most still prefer to record in their homes, garages and basements. If anyone has suggestions for other shows like this though, I’m all ears. In the meantime, if you’re interested in giving Ifft’s show a try, and aren’t too easily offended, you can find links to hundreds of episodes here on his website.

Eddie Ifft Bingle Bus Podcast Hollywood Improv Comedy

Eddie Ifft Bingle Bus Podcast Hollywood Improv Comedy

Christina Angelina Starfighter Cosmopolitan Editorial

Christina Angelina Starfighter Cosmopolitan Editorial Street Artist

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time with the well known, Venice-based street artist Starfighter, aka Christina Angelina, as she was putting the finishing touches on a collaborative mural in Hollywood. The shoot was for a profile on her for Cosmopolitan’s “Get That Life” series focusing on successful women with cool careers, which published this week. You can read all about her career there, so I won’t repeat it here. But she was very cool to work with and I look forward to noticing more of her work as I drive around the city. Also, if you were just at Art Basel I know you can see a really cool large mural she just completed in the Wynwood Art District.

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Anza Borrego Fonts Point Landscape

Joshua Tree Nighttime

It’s been an amazing and busy year. The only downside to that is that we’ve hardly had a chance to get out and do one of our favorite things, exploring the parks and wilderness that are only a short drive from Los Angeles. In the past few weeks we tried to make up for that deficit by heading out to Joshua Tree National Park and then, shortly thereafter, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We first visited Joshua Tree in 2009, shortly after moving to Los Angeles, but hadn’t been back since. Anza-Borrego was completely new to us. Considering how close it is to Palm Springs, we were amazed it hadn’t even been on our radar, but were happy our friends invited us out there on a day trip over Thanksgiving weekend. The highlight was Fonts Point, pictured in the first photo as well as below. It’s an amazing, craggy expanse of badlands that you don’t even see until you drive out along a 4-mile stretch of washboard road, walk up to its edge and suddenly see the earth drop away in front of you. At Joshua Tree we camped with friends and spent the days bouldering and visiting several of the park highlights. We were somewhat unprepared for just how cold it would get overnight, but managed to survive. I’m unsure of the actual overnight temperatures, but a two gallon jug of water was half ice when we awoke the next morning if that’s any indication. Still, we had a great time and I managed to make some nice landscapes along the way. I have nothing to complain about this year, but am hoping that next year we’ll get to do stuff like this more often.

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