I was working on assignment for The New York Times recently and was captivated by the light falling on this church a block away from the thing I was supposed to be photographing. Don’t worry – I didn’t miss anything for the assignment, just walked over for a quick photo and back to the task as hand.
I was wrapping up photographing this amazing building for a favorite architect here in Colorado this July. Finishing up the interiors I went outside for the final exterior photos of the day. At first I was disappointed because the sky was dark and the light wasn’t as I had envisioned or planned for. Storms happen, time-tables are revised and flexibility is important as a photographer. I decided to stay and see if anything interesting would develop or maybe clear up fast enough to have a nice sunset. The storm blocked some light, and there was no colorful sunset, but it did eventually turn into an amazing light show. In the end I worked two cameras for over 3 hours as the storm moved past, watching in awe. The final photographs were not as I anticipated, but I’m glad I didn’t pack up and go home because things didn’t go as planned.
I am an editorial and commercial photographer and in one week in March, all of my work was either postponed for months or canceled for the year. My roots are in photojournalism, and so I felt compelled to try to fill this professional void by creating a body of work to capture what we all were experiencing as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through and upended our community and economy.
Signs of gratitude for grocery store workers and delivery drivers are chalked in the streets by children, and neighbors stand on their front porches each evening at 8 to howl in support of these and other essential workers. I, however, wanted to see and document people who are not asked to participate in the national discussion about the coronavirus or pandemic policies, and yet put themselves in harm’s way to keep doing their work as doctors, nurses, caregivers, grocers, cops, builders and bus drivers.
I wanted to give them a voice, to share their stories and articulate something that maybe we didn’t know.
I asked two friends who are ER doctors if they thought this work could be done safely, and if they felt it would be worth the time sacrifice and increased risk for health care workers to be photographed. They gave positive feedback and helped craft a safety protocol that I used to minimize risk to both me and the people I photographed.
Time was tight for each portrait session and there was no reporter or assistant with me. I set up my camera on a tripod (this also assured I would not wander too close to the subjects) and equipped it with a remote. I had printed the questions on sheets of paper and would trigger the camera as I wrote down their stories.
All of the portraits were taken during lockdown for that community, beginning on April 15 and finishing on May 5.
I hope that this work will be looked back on in 50 or 100 years in the way we now look back to the Depression-era photography work created for the Farm Security Administration. Perhaps it will remind us what we collectively went through, or will be used to teach new generations what these men and women were actually thinking during this upheaval. But right now, I hope these portraits inspire you to be kind to one another. To see the woman working in the grocery store, or the bus driver or police officer, as a fellow human going through this, just like you.
Check out the interactive gallery here:
Congratulations Nick Kreider, Opera Colorado’s 2019 Norblom Award winner. Receiving this award prompted Nick and I to collaborate on a portrait session. We created a few more traditional, conservative head-shots and some beautiful color portraits from this setting, of course. But what I enjoy most are these black and white portraits we created both in the studio and outside.
Modern architecture is holding its own here here in Denver today during the Bomb Cyclone Blizzard of 2019!
I had the extreme pleasure to photograph one of architect Steve Lubowicki’s modern homes here in Denver before the winter arrived. The home is magnificent, and I enjoyed watching it change as the sun moved around it. What I enjoyed most, however, was the time between sunset and sunrise – the home showed it’s form and inner warmth best during twilight. These photographs are mostly from the ground, but I did utilize a drone to capture a few from above.
It’s been a long time since I did a major website overhaul. Always overdue, actually because a good portfolio is a constantly morphing, changing entity. However – I did recently add a new gallery of portraiture that I’m proud of. Mostly recent work for magazine and commercial clients. Take a look, let me know what you think!
A gloomy overcast morning helped me create some magical aerial photographs of Downtown Denver. You can’t quite see the mountains (a little disorienting for anyone who has lived here for even a short time) and maybe that helps elevate the moody tone in these black and white cityscapes.
To see more of my aerial photography, feel free to check out my Denver Drone Photographer website.
Elaine and I made a really nice (but much too quick, and a little too hot) trip down to Arizona this summer. We had a lot of fun checking out some of the architectural gems there – everything from Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, Mission San Xavier del Bac and even Biosphere 2. Here are a few photos I took during our little adventure.