A week or two ago about 50+ photographers and many staff from Richard Photo Lab went on an inspiration-finding mission (ie: photo walk) in downtown Los Angeles, walking all the way from Pershing Square to the bridge to East Los Angeles and everywhere in-between!
Here is a small selection of my images from the afternoon:
While Glenn Frey had a reputation for extreme bluntness, I think we may have gotten along for that very reason... Shortly after I did this shoot for him, he put me on a Lear jet (not joking) and I went to the snowy Rockies to photograph his family.
Having just returned from an amazing weeklong album cover shoot in Shreveport, Louisiana, I thought it would be fun to post a few fine art images I shot (in the rare moments between work).
I thought it would be interesting to show them with images from a years-ago trip to Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. The current images are shot in color, the older shot in B+W. ALL images shot on film.
This is a photograph - It was taken with a digital camera. Even though it is comprised of pixels It, in my opinion, is not a "capture".
The use of this word is on the rise recently. I will often get the compliment "Nice capture!" And while I humbly appreciate ANY compliments, I wanted to take a moment to speak of the difference between the two in my opinion.
The word "capture" feels like just that to me: quick, cheap and with a short sell-by date. Definitely not something that one would come back to and think about or look at after a short time.
Snaps taken with my phone are captures...Like this:
Good things are worth the wait. (And wait. And wait. And wait). You get the idea...
With last month’s shock release of D'Angelo's "Black Messiah", the soul singer and multi-instrumentalist returns with his first album of new material in 14 years.
So a great opportunity to revisit a few images from my photo session from him 14 years ago! (Even though I pretty much got a contact high just being in the same studio as him)
And a note for fellow vinyl lovers out there, “Black Messiah” was recorded entirely in the analogue domain, with no digital interventions, using tape and mostly vintage equipment. (Perhaps not a surprise considering that D'Angelo doesn't own a computer and still has a walkman).
Last month I had the pleasure of photographing the Reverend Amos again, this time for his Christmas single "Santa Claus Is Gonna Make It Right", on iTunes and Bandcamp. The shoot featured The Rev alongside actor / model Garcelle Beauvais and Shawn's lovely wife Marta as Santa's "helpers". Ike had his "Ike-ettes" so I'm calling them the "Elf-ettes".
The shoot took place at Club Fais Do Do. Originally a branch office of the First Citizens Savings Bank and Trust, the historic landmark that houses Fais Do Do was constructed in 1930 at the height of the Art Deco period in Los Angeles. As Los Angeles spread west, industrialists, filmmakers, and other early hipsters took over the tiny Mid-City area which soon became known as the Sugar Hill District.
Later in the 60's, the bank was converted into a neighborhood bar and underground club frequented by such legendary musicians as Sam Cooke, Billy Preston, and John Coltrane.
Photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and painter Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) first met in 1916, when she heard that he was giving her drawings their first public showing - without her consent. The following year Stieglitz began his portrait of his future wife, according to his idea that a portrait was not just one photograph, but a series that would portray the many aspects of a person.
Shawn Amos and I met back in 2004. At the time, he was doing A+R for Shout Factory (that's Artists and Repertoire for the kids not familiar with the term :) ) Shortly thereafter, he suggested my portfolio be considered for cover art for Solomon Burke's Make Do With What You Got album.
I was fortunate to be chosen to shoot the job. I'd say "the rest is history", but then you wouldn't get to read about what an amazing person Shawn is, and about our continuing collaboration.
The idea sounded interesting, and Shawn's raison d'etre for the project was especially fascinating: To keep the blues alive by getting it in front of those unfamiliar with the genre, or to re-introduce the blues in an approachable and stylized way to those who are uncomfortable with it.
Most of the blues giants are no longer around, and Shawn seeks to connect people to this great genre of music. As the phrase goes: Whats old is new again.
I am very excited to congratulate Dave and Phil on their
Grammy nomination for their album Common Ground (Yep Roc)
in the Best Blues Album category.
I'm so happy to have photographed them for this project! Read on for more of my experiences working with them, and about my getting to know and photograph Dave over the years.
When I first saw guitarist / singer / songwriter / poet Dave Alvin at the (cramped / hot) King King Club on La Brea Avenue in Hollywood, I was (of course) totally bowled over and I resolved to work with him.
Somehow, incredibly, my naiveté paid off!
I'd photograph his shows, go home, develop the film (yes, film) and then print my favorite images in the darkroom (yes, darkroom). Then I'd bring the images to the next show hoping to show the prints to him.