New work for the Chronicle of Higher Education

Late last year I worked on a couple assignments for long time client the Chronicle of Higher Education. The first piece was about the issue of schools failing to accommodate students who are among the growing number of young adult family caregivers. To illustrate the issue we took a day-in-the-life approach to telling the story of a former Cal State Northridge student named Andrew Rahal, 27, who is the primary caretaker of his 77-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth, who suffers from Alzheimers and dementia. While he’s happy to do it, the time taking care of her demands caused him to fall behind in some of his courses due to regular tardiness and missed exams. Inflexible to his situation, his professors wouldn’t allow him to make up for missed time, which of course led to poor grades. There are an increasing number of young adults in his situation. Some 10 million young adult family caregivers between 18 and 34, many of them students, are taking care of a loved one due to a number of factors, including an aging baby boomer population, a caregiver shortage and the prohibitive cost of long term care. The two were incredibly sweet to one another and Andrew works incredibly hard to make sure his grandmother is well taken care of. It was a pleasure tagging along as they went through their day, which included getting ready in the morning, working on memory and physical exercises and then hopping around town to doctors appointments, with a stop for lunch at a favorite diner along the way.

The second story was about an expanding on-campus student rehab program called the Haven, which is at a number of schools around the country. My part focused on Sophie Pyne, the national director of university programs for the program at USC, who, while a student a few years ago, was also a client. Sophie was very open about her personal story and very accommodating during the shoot at the facility, which is

After the Fire – Following up on the Woolsey Fire for National Parks Magazine

Editorial Documentary Photography Woolsey Fire
Published Work - Woolsey Fire - National Parks Magazine

Last November the Woolsey Fire ripped through Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a unique coastal area comprised of federal and state parkland and a number of communities, including Malibu and Calabasas. By the time it was done, the fire had spread to nearly 100,000 of the park’s 150,000 acres, destroyed about 1,500 structures and killed 3 people. 

The following March, I was assigned by the editors at National Parks Magazine to go out and document the progress in the park’s recovery, particularly in the wilderness areas, and to try to juxtapose that against the remaining visible damage. The story recently published in their Fall issue, which you can check out at npca.org.

Reefer Madness

marijuana farming sonoma california
Advertising Photography - Marijuana Vape Pen

With the legalization of recreational marijuana taking effect in California at the start of 2018, everyone is getting in on the act. So it was no surprise that late last year I found myself doing several shoots with a variety of upstarts trying to carve out their niche in the booming industry. Over a period of a couple months I shot everything from a harvest at a boutique grow operation in Sonoma, to the inside of a distillation lab in downtown LA and lifestyle shoots featuring models using the products in Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Joshua Tree. The images were ultimately used for everything from company websites to pitch decks intended to raise capital. These are a few of my favorites.

Kickin’ it with Leticia Esparza

Athlete Fitness Portrait Leticia Esparza
Jump Kick Athlete Fitness Portrait Leticia Esparza

I recently got together with sparring taekwondo world champion Leticia Esparza for a monotone-themed shoot at Concrete Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Besides being a badass 4th degree blackbelt, Esparza is a model, actress, stunt double and fitness trainer who has recently relocated from her hometown of Las Vegas to give it a go in Hollywood. As fierce a competitor as she is, I wouldn’t bet against her!

Inc.5000

Golfing, glitz and more swag than you can fit in your carry-on. That was the scene late last year when I covered the Inc.5000 Conference & Gala for Inc. Magazine in San Antonio, Texas. The annual conference gathers hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and leaders from the country’s top up-and-coming companies under one very large roof. In this case, the massive JW Marriott Resort in Hill Country, something akin in scale to the Las Vegas MGM Grand. The event is held to honor their achievements as well as provide them with an abundance of business education and networking opportunities. Spanning three days, the event had many participants burning the candle at both ends, with activities such as 7am golf outings and parties lasting late into the night. In between, attendees sharpened their business skills by attending a series of breakout sessions and stage presentations by featured speakers such as Brené Brown, Life is Good founder Bert Jacobs, and Kendra Scott’s Kendra Scott. The marathon run was ultimately capped off with a black-tie gala featuring an awards ceremony emceed by celebrity guest Joel McHale. All of it amounted to an exhausting yet rewarding experience.

I shot so much over the course of the event that it’s too much to display here. As such, I’ve created a separate gallery on my website’s archive page. You can view the wider selection here.