Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frey Foundation - Farmland Preservation

I'm currently wrapping up some imagery for the Frey Foundation's annual report. In October I went up north to the Grand Traverse Bay area to help illustrate Frey's efforts in funding initiatives around Farmland Preservation. 

This region is one of the most beautiful in the world and protecting pristine orchards from sprawl and unnecessary residential development is a noble endeavor indeed.

Friday, December 26, 2008


I've been spinning this new album by Plover a lot lately. Plover is a wonderful side project/band featuring Glen Phillips, Garrison Starr and Neilson Hubbard.

Here's another song...the whole album seems perfect for scoring a film...hmmmm.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Grandma's 90th

Grandma Kelly turned 90 in August...we had a great party at her place in Danville, Illinois.

She is an inspiring woman...words can't really express how strong and sweet she is.

We had a quiet moment together to chat and take some pictures...I'll never forget it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jose Narezo

(photo of Jose by The Grand Rapids Press)
Jose Narezo, a fantastic painter and educator passed away Wednesday night. 

Jose's work was as colorful as his personality. He had a big heart.

I considered him a friend.

My thoughts are with his family and wife Kathy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

fresh photos

This has been an incredible year. I've had the opportunity to shoot a TON of awesome projects for a very diverse client base. Today I put a lot of new photos up on my portfolio web site:

Feel free to snoop around and see what's new!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

film set shots

Shooting on the film set today in downtown GR...I'm working with Creo Productions to produce a short film for a very cool commercial project.

Filming is now wrapped and we'll be in post-production for a couple of weeks. I can't wait for this film to be released.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

film shoot - still image

Part of the photo shoot to be integrated into the film I'm working be released in 2 weeks or so.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Glen Phillips Concert Photos

I'll miss the concerts more than anything else at the gallery...what a blast!

Thanks again to Glen Phillips and Jonathan Kingham for being so gracious and putting on a very memorable show.

the NFL and tilt-shift lens effects

I caught part of the Dallas/Pittsburgh football game tonight and was both intrigued and slightly horrified when I noticed that Fox Sports was using effects on some highlight packages that had a Tilt-Shift lens look to them.

As some of you know, I'm quite fond of that visual effect in still photographs. I guess if Joe NFL 6-Pack is being spoon fed some visuals other than Cialis and Hummer work here is done.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winter Grillin'

I'll grill through any blizzard...

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Last Concert

We went out in style for the last concert at The Photography was an amazing show. We had a good turnout of people on a very snowy night in Grand Rapids.

We took this photo in a quiet moment after everyone had left. From left to right is amazing singer Jonathan Kingham, me and my now infamous scarf, my lovely wife Kathleen and the great Glen Phillips.

Time now to turn to a new and exciting chapter. We are most grateful to Glen for coming back to Grand Rapids and playing the gallery one last time!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

more body english

My mother-in-law Diane...the form is unusual...and the ball is all gutter :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Body English

My daughter Hanna puts on some major body english at the lanes today.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Letter Slipped Under The Door

Some of you may have read this week that my wife Kathleen and I have decided not to renew our lease on The Photography Room after nearly 7 years there...we're closing at the end of December. It is a wonderful space, we loved our time there and we have many accomplishments to celebrate.

But the reality is that I've always had a very busy schedule shooting commercial photography and making short films. But when push comes to shove, even I can't do me, I've tried ;)

So I was feeling a bit melancholy this week after the press releases went out and Chris Knape from The GR Press wrote a brief but very nice blog entry. I've bumped into all kinds of people this week and they have been so gracious and kind in making a point of saying that The Photography Room will be missed and it was an important part of the art world here in GR.

On Saturday, I was grabbing the mail at the gallery and found the letter pictured above slipped under the door. Although I'm not exactly sure why it's anonymous, I certainly appreciate the time it took to write me and the effort required in hand delivering to whoever wrote it...thank you.

So please join us on December 4 for a big celebration with a fantastic concert by Glen will be a very fun evening! You can order tickets here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Glen Phillips Returns...soon!

Glen Phillips (formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket) is coming back to play The Photography Room on Thursday, December 4. His last show in April was sold out and a big success...

This night will be extremely special (for a lot of reasons) and you won't want to miss it!

You can purchase tickets via this secure online's very simple:

See you at the show!

Friday, November 14, 2008

film shoot-two

Ashley plays our lead...and she's doing a great job.

We have one more day of shooting to go...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

film shoot

I'm working on a very cool short film project that I can't really talk about yet...but it will be made public in mid-December. I'm directing and producing the film along with Creo Productions for a very progressive thinking client.

These photos aren't exactly film stills but they'll find a way into the film one way or's fun being cryptic.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pile of Leaves

Autumn fun...Faith throws leaves at Hanna.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

High Fashion and the Homeless - Heartside

On Wednesday I shot a fashion show at Rockwell & Republic; an uber hot restaurant/bar in the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids. Heartside has seen tremendous revitalization over the last 3 years or so...and it's long been the base for many of the city's homeless shelters and food kitchens.

The obvious social contrasts of an event like this are interesting...and in between shooting models on the sidewalk in expensive clothing I chatted with the guy above...not really because I wanted to...but because he kept asking me for money.

I nearly always refuse panhandlers based on one simple principle; creativity. Their plea is typically based on needing a dollar (or two) to purchase a sandwich...and 9 times out of 10 we are both standing within a block of a food kitchen giving out 3 full squares a day. So I assume they aren't exactly being forthright with their request.

This guy asked me to take his picture several times...and each of his invitations stated that it was an opportunity to photograph "the real mother f-ing deal."

Hard to pass up...

Friday, October 31, 2008

GR Boxing - MLK Gym

I'm part of a small Leadership Grand Rapids team that has chosen to work on a special project for GR amazing gym located in Martin Luther King Park on the city's southeast side. 

In short, the volunteers at this boxing gym teach boxing skills to kids ages 7-19 as a way to help mentor kids, inspire them, be a friend, and keep them in school and off the streets.

Last night I met a couple of State champion boxers in the program...great kids. Our goal is to create a multi-faceted awareness program to help GR Box recruit more adult volunteers, and reach out to various after school programs and churches to let them know that this resource is available for kids.

I'll be shooting at the gym a lot over the next few's an inspiring place that I feel quite lucky to be around.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

and this one too

This gives you some idea of the scale...but it's probably only about 2/3 of the crowd.


Zombies in downtown Grand Rapids...there were thousands of them.

Rockettes make the cover!

It's VERY satisfying to see a result like this for my clients Madison Square Garden and Wondergem Consulting!

Thanks to the Revue team for making a fantastic looking cover!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Rotunda

I had the pleasure of going with my daughter Hanna's exuberant 4th grade class to Lansing today to visit the State capitol. Although I've been to Lansing many times, I had never before been inside our Capitol Building.

It was a great tour. I was truly moved by the beauty of this building, its architecture, history and attention to detail.

I only wish our legislative and executive branches weren't so intent on polluting the process of serving the people of Michigan with personal politics and greed. The last 4 years have been an embarrassment to all that work inside this building...they've filled it full of gridlock and grand standing.

Shame on them...they don't deserve such a nice office.

Friday, October 17, 2008

back home

I drove over 1600 miles in 5 back late Tuesday night. My trip to northern michigan and the U.P. was a blur of beautiful fall colors, historic downtowns...and bad hotels.

I once again was impressed by the beauty of our state and how vital our water resources are... everything possible should be done to protect them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

more Tahquamenon Falls

into the mist

I've always wanted to shoot Tahquamenon Falls in the UP...but amazingly I've only shot in the Les Cheneaux Islands previous to this trip.

I arrived at the upper falls in the late afternoon today and found I was shooting squarely into the sun...not ideal.

But with a little help from a mild breeze, the mist off the falls was backlit.

Autumn in the U.P.

Many of you know I'm on an extended assignment shooting all over Michigan...this photo is from Hancock in the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P.

I thought the fall colors might be past prime already way up here...but boy was I wrong!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Michael Moore and Me

Today I was shooting in downtown Traverse City outside the State Theater. I pretty engrossed in shooting the facade of this lovely theater and wasn't paying much attention to anything else.

This guy walks up to me and asks, "Hey...where are you from?"

This is a pretty common question when you carry around a large camera and I'm used to being approached...but this time I looked up and it's Michael Moore standing there.

We chatted for a few minutes...he was curious who I was working for. He seemed like a really nice guy...almost made me want to go bowling with him.

At the end of the conversation I asked if I could take his picture and he said, "Sure, I know you're not the paparazzi because you asked permission."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Up North for a while

I'm leaving Friday morning on a 5 day trip to shoot a couple of amazing assignments. I'll be shooting all over northern Michigan.

I'll try to post some a photo or two each day. It looks like I'll have some good weather at least for a few of those days.

Friday, October 3, 2008

banjo player in the living room

I recently had this strange dream about a banjo player...luckily I was able to snap this picture before I woke up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Massive Pillow Fight Downtown

The Pillow Fight at Rosa Parks Circle today...very surreal.

Another reason GR is the coolest city on the planet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 need to watch this

Willy Porter is's as if he plays guitar with 4 hands. I can't wait for his show on November 9 at The Photography Room.

Check out this video...imagine being a few feet away...and order your tickets here:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Willy Porter Concert - November 9

Wow...I've wanted Willy Porter to play at The Photography Room for about a year now and it's finally going to happen!

Here's the link to order tickets (only $20!) from Brown Paper Tickets:

Our capacity is only there isn't a bad seat in the house. Willy has a tremendous and loyal following and this is sure to be a very special evening!

Here's a video of Willy playing "Available Light".

And here is "Flying":

Friday, September 19, 2008

Park(ing) Day in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids = Coolest City on the Planet

Thanks to my new friends Corey of Dot&Cross and Jason of KantorWassink for having some fun with me at their parking garden.

PS - click on each photo for a larger view