Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guardians of Being

I was busy working at home and as I walked by McCoy sleeping, he made me stop. Dogs do that... they are spirits wrapped in fur that allow us stop and check-in if we're living in the present. I cannot tell anyone how many times I walk by one of our two dogs and they make me stop and observe or spend a moment or two with them. "Check!" As much as it is a "check-in" with them, it's also a 'check-in' with myself.
Another reason I was stopped by McCoy's sleeping presence were his paws. I was inspired by another photographer that photographed their dogs paws at an exhibit many years ago. So I've been on the "look-out" for the perfect moment to do this. Several factors take place here... first is that they're sleeping and unbeknowing of what is really going on. Second is the position and angle of lighting . I knew in the moment that I saw this that it was an opportunity that presented itself. I got in photographer mode and started to delicately walk to retrieve my camera. You know when you've got to hurry to do something and you think you're gonna miss it? Well, that's how it was, yet... with McCoy sleeping and oblivious to what my goings on were, I realized that I wasn't going to miss anything and that I could slow down.

Focus,... Snap, advance,... Re-adjust, Focus,... Snap, advance... Two will do. I know I've got it.

That's what you see here...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crossing Paths, Sharing & Passions

I met George @ Laguna Beach Cyclery which has recently become a part-time addition to my photography career. What better way to marry my two favorite passions in life! I learned a lot about George in our first meeting and was enthralled of his pursuit of riding 24 Hours of Adrenalin (mountain biking solo for 24 hours). It mirrored my pursuit as I'm preparing for the British Columbia Bike Race (a seven day mountain bike stage race). With both us having a purpose behind our ambitions, raising money for  non-profit organizations, there was a lot of great energy and the momentum started to pick-up. I offered to support George with my photography to be utilized in his PR and marketing. This has expanded to training together, helping each other with sponsorship acquisition and cheering each other on. We've been making incredible strides on a daily basis and we keep our arms open to receiving more!
George is raising money and awareness for Wheels 4 Life, which its headquarters are local here in Laguna Beach. He was inspired after seeing the first screening of the Wheels 4 Life documentary last October. Wheels 4 Life provides bicycles to 3rd world countries that lack adequate resources and transportation for people to make visits to the doctor, get groceries, attend school and visit families. This ran parallel with his experience: "The bicycle has been an integral part of my life. I've always had my two bikes, and there was a time when I lost everything and all I had was my clothes and the wheels to get myself around. It was what got me through that time and I'm grateful to be able to ride and want to share that awareness with others of those in less fortunate countries."
Other than cycling and raising money for Wheels 4 Life... there's also a plethora of inspiration and passion that yields to Georges character. He enjoys spending time with his fiance Jessica and six month old baby girl Rylee. Spending time in the ocean body surfing and stand-up paddling, eating and cooking healthy nutritious food, going to the farmers market,... and a hidden passion that I discovered the other day... playing the drums! "I've seen so much in my 13 years as a paramedic, Life is too short and I've got to live life to the fullest every day."

Join George on June 18th @ Laguna Beach Cyclery for a fund raising event benefiting Wheels 4 Life. Screening of the documentary is @ 8 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Stronghold, Purveyors of Fine Denim

Most of the people, places and things I come across are found on prolific adventures. One of my favorite places to visit is Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, California. There are all sorts of gems and eclectic things in this little coastal town of California that there is always something new to see and experience with each visit. The Stronghold Building is one of those places of admiration that exudes and preserves a bit of history. First off, the building is of brick and dated from the early 1900’s. There is so much character there that The Stronghold denim parlor really helps blend the history and “vintage-ness” of the building by revealing what true denim is. The place looks and feels incredibly authentic with decor: brick, paisley rugs bordered with hardwood panels, period furniture and antiques. The personality is brought out by the denim company’s expertise of original and true hand dyed and tailored denim jeans which was started in the late 1800’s. Adding to the fine denim, is a variety of additional working wear, shirts, oiled raincoats, leather belts suspenders and boots that accent the fine craftsmanship with a touch of ruggedness. When a place such as The Stronghold and their personal, vibrating with energy of vintage coolness and fine relaxed denim clothing, I could not hesitate for an opportunity to do some photography, I did just that:

William Sack, gm

Lastly, my dream is to do a period shoot of their clothing along with their fine list of customers and friends.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Venerable Bill Bracey

[ven-er-uh-buhl] - adjective

commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity; worthy of veneration or reverence, as because of high office or noble character

impressive or interesting because of age, antique appearance, etc

I was introduced to Bill Bracey by a good friend and had the opportunity to share a couple of meals with him at Ruby's in Corona Del Mar. After getting to know Bill, it dawned on me how great of a photographic subject he would be as well as become an addition to my portfolio of "distringueshed" images. I approached Bill with the concept of doing a photography shoot with him as the subject in a studio and explained the intention of doing such an exercise, he agreed to a sitting.

After prepping the studio with backdrop, camera gear, lighting and other photo paraphernalia, I added another component to the experience by interviewing Bill. I wanted to get to know him better, so that I could reveal his personality through a photographic image. Bill's background is quite extraordinary and worth detailing:

*  Stationed in Germany by the U.S. military and served 195 days of combat.
*  Employed by a prestigious elevator company and worked in sales offices 
    through out Europe. 
*  Married the love of his life, adopted one daughter and had one son. They  
    were together over 50 years.
*  Was an avid skier in the Swiss and Austrian Alps.
*  An ongoing supporter and contributor to the cancer research and recovery
    program @ HOAG Hospital in Newport Beach, California.
*  Has impeccable attention to detail.

Below are a few of the images of Bill that reveal how "venerable" he is. Simple and stright forward, and subtle. A great way to honor such an individual and their life:

Monday, June 14, 2010

From the Archives

Today I was previewing some work for an advertisement and came across some photos in the archives that would interest and amuse many people. I love it when a vision comes to fruition. There is nothing like the final outcome of a vision and project! The gentleman in these photos is a former colleague from the corporate days, Adam. He was known as AL2 because we often used our first and last initials in the office, and he was the 2nd of two. Anyhow, Adam had this demeanor when it came to work in the non-profit energy efficiency sector. A former writer and editor for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C., he was very serious about his work and critical of the outcomes. He could be very amusing with his pouts and whines being dressed in a full suit everyday. Adams tenure was short-lived as he found his calling to return to school and pursue environmental law at UCLA. While colleagues, I proposed a photo shoot without revealing what the actual image of the photos were to be until the day of. It was actually really fun shooting the photo series called the "Human Paper Tree" and it reveals Adams true passion and frustration with the inadequacies in the legal system our country so often faces. In the third photo of the series, I have him standing on the bench holding a classic leather brief and a very important document since I wanted to show that Adam has a much bigger presence in the forum of environmental policy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Maiden of Sea (spring 09)

On an overcast Saturday morning at the beginning of the summer I was down at Oak Street beach in Laguna hanging out with a group of swimmers getting ready for a “dip” in the Pacific Ocean. These are not your every day pool lap swimmers… instead they are a hearty, affable group of five women that take their swimming and affinity for the ocean quite seriously. The plan was for a leisurely swim up the coast to Main Beach and back.

One of the swimmers in particular, Lynn Kubasek, is a maiden of the sea. She has her sights on long distance swimming and particularly is aiming to swim the Catalina Channel. That is from Catalina Island to Newport Beach, a good 22 miles in low – 60’s degree water.

I’ve known Lynn a good couple of years now and have enjoyed her presence and enthusiasm for life. Whenever one is greeted or re-united with Lynn, her smile and happiness radiates and becomes infectious. When asked how things are going, she tampers on the latest swim or an upcoming one… and how rad her artwork is coming along.

On this morning, I had an opportunity to get her attention before she took to her beloved sea. Whether it’s an overcast day and the water is less inviting to most, or a sunny one and the water is as clear as a fishbowl, this is the Lynn that you will see…

Saturday, December 12, 2009