Horses on Morro Bay beach

Rainbow San Luis Obispo

It’s always nice to get away for the weekend. Here are a few photos from a recent, rainy jaunt to San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area. We love to get up to that region at least once a year and usually end up in Santa Maria or the Santa Ynez Valley. This time we aimed for SLO, and despite choosing to go on the only rainy weekend in a year, we had no regrets! In addition to trying out a few new vineyards, we were able to catch the tail end of the monarch butterfly migration in Pismo Beach and also finally made our way up to the incredible Hearst Castle. On the last day, the rain subsided and we finished the trip with a scenic hike on a large morro overlooking the entire valley. Can’t wait to go back.

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Eve Kemp Artist Portrait Photographer

Eve Kemp Artist Portrait Photographer Los Angeles

Last week I met up with artist Eve Kemp at his new studio and gallery space, Haus of Eve, to photograph him for a portrait series of Los Angeles artists, which I’ve been slowly working on over the past few years. Located on Washington Blvd. in Mid-City, Eve’s space is something to be experienced. It’s a French-gothic, candlelit den decorated with long, red curtains, porcelain figurines and unusual collectibles and also a gallery featuring a large selection of his paintings, which often incorporate recycled materials and have been described as human expressionist. He describes the entirety of it all as an installation, which seems right, since the feeling upon walking through the door is that you’re in another world. At first I was overwhelmed by all that I saw, but I’ve learned through experience that this is a good problem to have. Much more preferable than a blank wall. Everything was chill though, with friends coming and going over the couple hours I spent with him. I was quickly able to make sense of the chaos and find some compositions I liked. If you’re ever in the area, I suggest you take a look for yourself.

 

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Double Exposure Southwestern Skull

Red Peppers

I’m happy to have found a couple of nice surprises after (finally) developing a couple of rolls I shot on a recently acquired 35mm Holga on my recent trip to Truchas, New Mexico. These are low-res, and sometimes scratchy (hopefully due to a cheap scanner and not a scratched emulsion), scans I had the lab include on a DVD, but will do for now. I hadn’t shot a Holga for years, but I loved the process of experimenting and not knowing exactly what I was getting. I’m heading out on the road again this weekend and will definitely bring it along!

Rock Shop Signs

Truchas Dog

Space shuttle and corn

Rio Grande Taos

Truck bed

Adobe Arch

Truchas Cross

Church

Truchas Cars

Truchas sign

 

Environmental Portrait UCLA

 

Here are a couple recent portraits shot at UCLA for separate stories for one of my favorite clients, The Chronicle of Higher Education. One of the best things about working with this publication is that I’m usually guaranteed to meet fascinating people in the top of their field and whom you might not normally hear of if you work outside of academia. On assignment, I have met a world class physicist leading the way on stem cell research, an environmental health expert whose research will influence planning of the cities of the future, a computer scientist making possible the ultra-realistic animations we now see in virtually all blockbuster action movies and many others. They are hardly ever household names and certainly not famous. They’re the ones behind the scenes — the guy behind the guy — whose work shapes modern society, which makes photographing them just as exciting and rewarding as shooting the famous faces of the day.

Commercial Advertising photographer Los Angeles - Billboard

 

It was satisfying to see my images on billboards along Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles recently. The photos were part of an advertising campaign I shot for a new, LA-based clothing company called Bona Fide Clothing and Lifestyle Apparel. The shoot took place over two days in the downtown Arts District and at my home base, 1320 Studios in Venice. I had a great time working with the kids and young adults who modeled for the shoot. It was also great working with a new company whose aim is to not only be profitable, but also incorporates charitable giving into its business model — what the company refers to as “Conscious Commerce” — where a percentage of all sales goes to charitable causes in the community. Work is already underway for the company’s next campaign and I’m looking forward to being a part of it again.

 

Commercial Advertising photographer Los Angeles - Billboard

 

Commercial photographer fashion clothing apparel los angeles

 

Commercial photographer fashion clothing apparel los angeles

Horse grazing under stars in Truchas, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Cross, horse shoe and barbed wire fence, Truchas, Santa Fe, New Mexico Church

Happy New Year!

Wanting to avoid the hassle and cost of flying during the holidays, I began looking for convenient meeting points between Houston, where my younger sister and her boyfriend live, and LA. I quickly zeroed in on Santa Fe as an obvious middle ground and punched in the locations on Google Maps. Only 12 hours for each of us! Anyone up for a road trip? All seasoned travelers, no one blinked at the distances, and soon we were hunting for a place to stay. Not set on staying immediately in Santa Fe, we ended up finding a great adobe house nearby in the small, rural town of Truchas, which turned out to be a great place to have Christmas. Not even a one-stoplight town, Truchas is situated 8,000 feet above sea level in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Once home to Spanish settlers, Truchas has now become a remote artists’ enclave, the main street lined with homes turned galleries. On one side road sits an abandoned bus brought by the first hippy artists, which is slowly being reclaimed by the earth. It’s an amazing spot if you don’t mind driving half an hour for groceries!

Not that there are a lot of people living there anyway, but this particular time of year seemed exceptionally quiet. So I focused on shooting the textures and landscape of the area, which as you can see, is quite beautiful. It was really a great place to get away. I can see myself returning to this area as often as possible in the future.

SEVERAL MORE PHOTOS AFTER THE JUMP!

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Los Angeles Portrait Photographer - Female, Colorful

Los Angeles Portrait Photographer Female

 

Miami meets Venice Beach! A few weeks ago, I photographed Danni Washington, a Venice resident I met at the Venice Beach TEDx a couple months back. An environmentalist, using prize money won in a ROXY “Follow Your Heart” competition, Danni and her mother started The Big Blue and You in 2008, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching children about ocean conservation. She recently relocated to Venice, and I had the opportunity to photograph her both at my home base 1320Main Studio and on location in Venice and Malibu. Without even thinking about the fact that she was a Florida native, I had spotted this two-toned yellow wall in the neighborhood and knew I was going to shoot her there. She showed up in a colorful top and the next thing you know it looks like she’s back in Miami, despite being nearly 3,000 miles away. I guess it’s not that far of a stretch though. Any fan of Showtime’s Dexter TV series (at least until the final season) knows LA plays a pretty convincing Miami on screen. In addition to these shots we had intended to actually get out in the water, but didn’t realize the light goes away in Malibu earlier than the rest of the coast, due to the direction of the bay. Oh well. We’ll have to save that for another day.

Los Angeles Portrait photographer

I love shooting some of the many amazing, creative people residing in Venice. So I was thrilled to get together with the very talented Ace Norton last week at his Venice home. Since being introduced to Ace a few years ago, I’ve admired how creative and prolific he is as a filmmaker. Specializing in creative, conceptual shorts, he has created numerous remarkable music videos for artists such as the Scissor Sisters, Foster the People and Regina Spektor, as well as several commercials that bear his creative signature by frequently employing rudimentary animation, amazing color and a unique, twisted sense of humor. We had a great time roaming around his house looking for cool props and settings to play with. In retrospect looking at these images, he kind of looks crazy, particularly staring out his window. It’s all tongue in cheek, I swear. If you’ve got some time check out Ace’s body of work here: www.acenorton.com. Be prepared to spend awhile there though. Once you see one you’ll want to watch another.

 

Venice Beach portrait photographer

Venice Beach portrait photographer Film Director

 

Venice Beach Portrait Photographer film director

 

Eduardo-dj-musician-colorful-portrait-los-angeles

When I saw my friend Eduardo, a.k.a. “Loboman,” deejaying at the recent TEDx Venice Beach dressed as you see above, I beelined for him and politely informed him that he’d be shooting with me at the studio in the near future. Okay, I actually asked, but had no intention of taking no for an answer. I love shooting unique personalities and bold, vibrant colors, so this pretty much had to happen. Fortunately, he was down, and a few days later he met me in the studio for what turned out to be a pretty fun shoot. As soon as we started, Eduardo turned it on, ultimately giving me tons of great shots to choose from. Although he doesn’t dress like this everyday, everyone who knows Eduardo knows he’s not afraid to be himself and just has a personality that exudes a love for life. Anytime you can get someone like that in front of your camera, your job is easy!

Surfing photography San Onofre Surf Beach

 

While working on a project at San Onofre’s Surf Beach I had a blast getting out in the water to take some surfing photos. Here are a few favorites from my first outing. As a result of all of this time I’ve been spending down there we finally had the chance to check out the classic surf films The Endless Summer 1 & 2. Both were incredible, inspiring and surprisingly hilarious. And it’s amazing to see the changes in surf culture and surfing photography (or at least cinematography) that took place in the thirty years between the films. Definitely worth putting in the queue!

Surfing photography San Onofre Surf Beach

Surfing photography San Onofre Surf Beach

Surfing photography San Onofre Surf Beach

Surfing photography San Onofre Surf Beach

 

 

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