Aug 212017
 

Editorial Portrait for Rotman University Malibu Beach Entrepreneur

Editorial Portrait Malibu Beach for Rotman University

In May I met up with LA-native and entrepreneur Anthony Harbour on Malibu’s Topanga Beach to shoot portraits for the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Harbour is a recent graduate who was being profiled after creating his new venture, The Baldwin Gentlemen, a social club for gay men of color. Rather than depicting him in a professional setting the school wanted to show him somewhere that was obviously California, so after a conversation with Anthony we opted to meet up on the sand but shoot him in business casual attire. This fit the story quite well, as his business is all about creating small gatherings in different settings, from beaches to museum exhibits and any variety of other cultural events. The weather turned out to be partly cloudy, so it could have been a little more “LA” had the sun been out. But I really like the quality of light we got. These are a couple favorites from the shoot.

 

May 032017
 

Editorial Photographer Tear Sheet

LACC Jazz Band - Editorial Photography

 

Late last year I photographed the Los Angeles Community College Studio Jazz Band for the Chronicle of Higher Education as they rehearsed for the following night’s concert. The story was about how the school had just received a $10 million grant from the Herb Alpert Foundation, which would be used to make tuition free for all music majors. Alpert, a jazz musician who founded A&M Records, and his foundation already had a history with donating to the school, but last year decided they wanted to give a legacy donation that would make a big difference in the lives of LACC students. The story reminded me of an episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast that I listened to a few months ago in which he discusses a man named Hank Rowan who, in 1992, decided to give a $100 million donation to a local community college in order to create an entire engineering department. The podcast argues that more donors should think this way rather than only giving to the top Ivy League schools, which today have endowments in the multiple billions of dollars, but generally educate people who are starting with a lot of advantages. Thus the money doesn’t really do a lot for them in the way it would for the underserved students attending the small schools. It appears the Herb Alpert Foundation had a similar mindset. It was great to not only meet some of the beneficiaries of the foundation’s generosity, but also sit in on what felt like a private concert put on by a talented group of students.

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Jan 132015
 

Hayward Nishioka portrait - judo

Last year I had the unique opportunity of trailing judo legend Hayward Nishioka for a piece on the declining role of physical education at colleges and universities for the Chronicle of Higher Education. At 72, Hayward, a 7th degree black belt, has long since retired from professional competition and has been teaching judo at Los Angeles City College since the 1970s. Among his numerous accomplishments in the ’60s are being a 3-time U.S. judo champion and a gold medalist in the 1967 Pan-American games. He is widely considered to be one of the best ever in the sport. While this is impressive and rather intimidating, in person Nishioka is a soft-spoken, gentle man with a good sense of humor, and was a pleasure to spend the day with. And a full day it was, starting with me knocking at the door of his San Pedro home, just steps from the Pacific, at 6 a.m. and ending around 8 or 9 at night at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Garden Grove in order to create a day-in-the-life style profile piece that could accompany the story. The day consisted of a wide range of activities, starting with a stop at the neighborhood market near his home in San Pedro for coffee and danishes, followed by a 45 minute drive in his blue Prius to teach introductory judo classes at LACC, lunch with his girlfriend, a stop for ice cream, a visit to East LA’s Abell auction house — not far from the rough neighborhood where he grew up and where the staff know him by name — a kendo demonstration (another martial art, in addition to karate, that he excels in) on a homemade dummy in his backyard, takeout dinner on a San Pedro bluff a short walk from his home and finally to Garden Grove for yet another judo session. Along the way we had great discussions, ranging from his recalling his heyday as a champion to his earliest days where he and his family were interned at Camp Manzanar during WWII to how one can determine the authenticity of a lithograph. His time in Manzanar, as you can imagine, has greatly influenced his opinions on today’s wars and the public’s common misperceptions of muslims. He also let me give it a go with his kendo sword, which he swings 1,500 times a day. Typically a fairly light, wooden sword, he fills his with lead to increase his strength and control, the object of his training being to stop the sword as close as possible to the dummy without actually hitting it. After about 20 swings my forearms were on fire and I maybe stopped the sword from touching the dummy once. Maybe I’ll be better by the time I’m 72. All in all, a fascinating and humbling day!

The article just ran in the chronicle and can be seen here: http://chronicle.com/article/When-Colleges-Abandon-Phys-Ed/151109/

Hayward Nishioka photo essay

Hayward Nishioka San Pedro

Hayward Nishioka Los Angeles

Hayward Nishioka teaching judo

Hayward Nishioka teaching judo

Hayward Nishioka teaching judo

Hayward Nishioka teaching judo

Hayward Nishioka teaching judo

Hayward Nishioka

Hayward Nishioka lunch

Hayward Nishioka

Hayward Nishioka

Hayward Nishioka practicing kendo

Hayward Nishioka practicing kendo

 

Hayward Nishioka Editorial photography

Hayward Nishioka broken fingers

20140512-Hayward-_DEZ0110

Hayward Nishioka portrait

ChE_Editorial_tearsheet

 

May 072010
 

Antonette Co UC Northridge

Antonette Co at UC Northridge

Antonette Co UC Northridge

Antonette Co at UC Northridge

Here are a couple from a recent assignment for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Antonette Co is one of numerous “super seniors” at UC Northridge who are being asked by the university to move on. The program apparently isn’t unique to this school and is a way that the universities are trying to save money.

Mar 082010
 

Steven Sample portrait

USC Galen Center, Los Angeles

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing the esteemed president of USC, Steven B. Sample, for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Sample will be retiring later this year after nearly two decades of leadership during which time he has been credited with converting the institution from the “University of Second Choice,” to the premier university in Los Angeles. He has also helped the school shake the stigma it has for being located in a rougher part of the city, just three miles south of downtown.
This portrait idea was that of the photo editor, who was inspired by the powerful simplicity of the recent portrait of Roger Ebert for Esquire magazine, which ran last month. There was some concern that Mr. Sample wouldn’t be willing to sit for it because he is battling Parkinson’s disease, a condition he’s had since 2001. However, once I met him and saw the glint in his eye I knew this portrait would be a great way to convey his personality and intelligence and, with only the tiniest bit of convincing, he was happy to sit for me. The rest of the article was about the campus’s relationship with its urban environment. USC was right in the middle of the area most affected by the Rodney King riots in 1992 and, despite being largely unscathed by the destruction, was known for being situated in a dangerous area. I recall this from my own research when considering schools in the mid-90s. UCLA was known for its gorgeous surroundings, and USC was in the ghetto. As I ultimately went to the University of Pittsburgh, it didn’t much affect my decision making, but I can see the obstacle the campus has overcome. To shoot this I spent a good deal of time walking around the campus trying to find angles that show its relationship to the city. Not as easy as it sounds. Like many universities, the school campus is fairly self-contained, so there are only a few angles, at least from ground level, that show the school buildings in relation to its urban surroundings. After several hours of hiking around the campus, I ended up finding this angle from the median of Figueroa Street and was able to show the Galen Center set against part of the downtown skyline.
Oh, and another fun thing that I found out from the accompanying article, was that Sample, who was an electrical engineer, is the guy who invented the keypad that is now on pretty much every microwave in the world. Pretty cool.