Japan

Last month I finally had the chance to take my first trip to an Asian country.  Japan has been on my shortlist for a while now and it did not disappoint.  I've never been to a country where the past meets the future like it does in Tokyo.  The whole country is immaculate and the people are unbelievably polite.  The following images document my travels through Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Kamakura.     

The Temptation of St. Antony

Last September I saw "The Temptation of St. Antony" purely by chance in downtown Los Angeles.  A close friend had recommended I come along with her and it was honestly one of the most incredible pieces of live theater I had ever seen.  I was so blown away that I immediately contacted the company, Fourlarks, to say that if there was ever anything I could do to collaborate with them as a photographer in the future I would absolutely love to.  Then last June I got an email out of nowhere from one of the directors saying they were re-running The Temptation of St. Antony this year and they would love for me to come shoot some promotional material.  The images below are the result of an amazing day of collaboration between myself, the directors, and the cast of the show.  It was hands down my favorite shoot of the whole year.  

Icon For Hire Music Video

Last September I worked as a camera assistant on a music video for a band called Icon For Hire.  I worked with some really fantastic people and have continued to work with this same crew throughout 2016.  The band was so happy with this first music video they asked the same crew to come back to shoot a second video.  This time however the cinematographer - now a good friend of mine - asked me to come shoot stills.  I have to say I was pretty amazed by what this small crew had put together on such a limited budget and it was really an awesome setting to shoot in.  Icon For Hire was really happy with the work we all did and have consequently hired me for another photo shoot with them this September so keep an eye for that!  

Prophets of Rage

I haven't been doing as much live music this year as I did last year so I was pretty happy when I got the call to shoot a very special show by the Prophets of Rage.  Rage Against The Machine + Public Enemy + Cypress Hill = Supergroup. 

Speak LA

I think the whole country knows that the Los Angeles service industry is generally staffed by hopeful actors, writers, musicians, dancers and models from all over the world.  It's a hard town to figure out if you didn't grow up here and earlier this year I had a couple of friends who thought they might be able to help out the constant influx of transplant Hollywood dreamers.  Their service, "Speak LA" is here to guide LA newcomers through some of the hardest parts of getting started as an actor and I was really happy they asked me to shoot some photos for their new website.  It was fun to see the city more like a tourist and try and coax some tasteful lifestyle imagery out of it (which LA residents all know is not always easy because let's face it - it's not Paris).  

Mother Earth Brewery Merchandise Shoot

I am fortunate to have some friends who work in cool industries - like the craft beer industry!  This particular friend works with Mother Earth Brewing down in San Marcos and they had some new merchandise they wanted photos for.  What made it fun was that he didn't want anything too traditional so we created a story about friends who were hanging out in the park sporting the ME gear so that customers might see what it looked like on someone out in the world rather than against a white backdrop.  We also shot this back in January but felt that the Southern California sun drenched vibe was important so the models are actually freezing in all of these but they were good sports!  The best part about shooting for a brewery though is the free beer! I mean props...

South By Southwest 2016

This year I had the amazing opportunity to shoot for Culture Collide at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.  Austin is one of my absolute favorite cities in the country and it was so so so great to get to hang out there for a few days doing what I love.  I shot thirty bands in three days at the Stubhub showcase on Rainey Street and it was seriously amazing.  I saw some incredible musicians and ate basically nothing but delicious street food for five days (which describes most people's experience is Austin even when there isn't a music festival happening).  These photos are my favorites of the bands I covered mixed with some cool stuff I saw and interesting people I met along the way. 

Bloc Party

Bloc Party

Bloc Party

Bloc Party

Lucius

The Wild Reeds

The Wild Reeds

The Wild Reeds

Don't mess with Billboard Goldie

The Strumbellas

The Strumbellas

The Strumbellas

Who cares if there's live music going on - there's rocks down here!

Early exposure is key - along with proper ear protection

Grizfolk

Grizfolk

Grizfolk

Baio

Polica

The Kills: my quest for the perfect hair flip

The Kills

The Kills

The Kills

The Kills

The Kills

This is why I love Austin.

Dreamers

Dreamers

Dreamers

Jamestown Revival

Eliot Sumner

Lower Dens

Day Wave

Eliot Sumner

Eliot Sumner

My editor, Rachel from Culture Collide

X Ambassadors 

X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors

Tiger Town

Tiger Town

The thing with Austin is that the weather is kind of nuts...

Deap Vally

Deap Vally

Deap Vally

Deap Vally

The Crookes

The Crookes

Tanlines

Magic Giant

Magic Giant

Magic Giant

Spirit Animal

Waiting out the storm

Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland Observatory

Kendall and Patrick Weller

Kendall has been a very dear friend of mine for about seven years now.  We actually met working at the GAP together where I worked when I was starving my way through college.  We bonded mostly over our equally pitiful romantic lives which makes these photos all the more wonderful to me.  This is her and her husband Patrick who she married back in 2014.  They asked me to shoot something to capture this first year of their marriage while it's still just the two of them :)

Unit Stills for the Indie Feature "Lookin' Up"

Unit stills are really my favorite thing to shoot.  My degree is in cinematography and I feel like I get to really think like a DP but shoot stills.  It's also the least stressful position on set as far as I can tell.  I feel like I've got some cool posters in here and that's really my goal on set as a still photographer.  

The Foo Fighters at The Forum

This was an especially cool opportunity to see the Foo Fighters because Dave Grohl broke his leg falling off a stage earlier in the tour.  Instead of quitting the tour he performs on this amazing guitar throne that moves up and down the stage.  It was amazing to see the way people responded to him - like he had stuck out the tour just for them.  

Chris and Thally

Well it's been the year of weddings for me and I have to say - I kinda like it.  I think there's a stigma about doing weddings amongst photographers and videographers (if you shoot weddings it's because you can't shoot anything else) but I've really enjoyed all the weddings I've shot this year.  I don't get stressed about by the pressure, I'm used to long hours, and my clients thus far have been incredibly easy to work with.  Chris and Thally couldn't be a better example of this.  They didn't just stand back and let me do my thing - they actively made me feel like I was a guest of there's and went out of their way to make sure I was having a good time.  I hope I'll be lucky enough to work with people like them in the future.  

Alex and Pam

I ended up at Alex and Pam's "wedding" through a referral from another bride.  I put wedding in quotes because legally they were already married and this was basically the reception half of a wedding minus most of the activities.  I told them I was very familiar with this idea because my own sister, who was married in Australia, did the exact same thing.  Some people just aren't into putting their intimacy on display and I think that's just fine.  No one needs to be bound by any matrimonial traditions they don't feel attached to.  This means they had a really nice, really small backyard party with family and friends and it was a lovely intimate celebration that (luckily for me) they still wanted photographed.