With Kinfolk — Ice Cream and Flowers

Today is a great day for two reasons. First, it’s my birthday. I’m now officially 29 years of age. Woo. Secondly, Kinfolk Vol. 7 has just been released and I had the honor of being able to shoot the cover for this one.

I think this is my favorite Kinfolk to date. And not just because I got to shoot the cover. This is officially the fourth issue of Kinfolk I’ve had the privilege of contributing to — a whole year’s worth of them, now. And each new issue brings with it greater and greater adventure. The juicing portraits for volume 4 are still some of my favorites ever. In volume 5, I was able to transform my garage into a herb cellar. For volume 6, I got to take photos from a helicopter, shoot in New York City, and road trip with my brother down the Oregon coast to visit a cranberry farm. For this volume, though, I was able to travel to New Hampshire, England and Italy. Shooting for issue eight has been even more epic (but I can’t talk about it yet)! And since there’s such a gap between the shoots and when they appear in Kinfolk (sometimes more than 6 months), each of these stories take on a very nostalgic tone by the time I see them in print. As I flip through the pages, I’m taken back to all of those trips that I’m finally able to really enjoy (who has time to properly take things in while working?). I feel incredibly blessed.

Now, Kinfolk Vol. 7 is all about Spring, and ice cream (also crabs). So I was once again able to partner up with Amy Merrick to combine those things together (minus the crabs). The result was ice cream flower arrangements. I must say that of all the things Amy and I have partnered on, this was probably my favorite. Simple and to the point. Different and kinda weird. Perfect. Please do check it out. The story looks a lot better in print. The whole issue, actually, is truly one of the finest yet from Kinfolk. It’s worth the dollar bills.

And now, if it’s alright, I’m off to eat some birthday dinner with my lady, my brother, and some of my favorite friends.

P.S. — Don’t eat hydrangeas with, on, or instead of ice cream. They look pretty but are mildly poisonous. You’ve been warned!

With Kinfolk – Winter Flowers

In my mind, every January opens a loop that we all move down and around, growing as the months unfold and the events of the year play out until it is closed in December, when everything gives way back to January and things begin anew. Thus, I see this as the season of finished circles and of endings and reflection. And in the spirit of reflection, I cannot think of photos more fitting to share than those which were shot all the way back in January.

In many ways, these photos set the tone for what the rest of my year would look like — quiet, composed portraits, improvised backdrops and a newly-formed appreciation for flowers. And, as the year has worn on and I’ve able to work with amazing people in awesome places, many of these photos have remained among my favorites. Even though I’ve partnered with Amy Merrick on numerous occasions, these stand apart from the rest to me as they were the result of our first cooperation. Perhaps that’s why I’ve thought them particularly orphaned as they’ve lain dormant for most of the year. We knew we wanted to submit them for publication somewhere, but weren’t sure what would be appropriate. Time got away from us, we shot other things (you may recall this story), and we found ourselves out of season for flowers. In the end, though, as with so much of my work this year, a number of these shots finally found a home in Kinfolk Magazine — and as the year began, so it ends.

So, with Christmas a mere 6 days away, and the year drawing to a close, the time is fast approaching where we all must (Mayans willing) begin another lap around the calendar. As I wind down the rest of 2012 with family, I reflect upon the year and all of the growth and friend-making and change it has brought with it. I hope that yours has been just as fulfilling. And as we look to begin 2013, I wish the utmost blessings upon each and every one of you, and of course, to all the most Merriest of Christmases!

Now lastly, some notes: flowers and styling were executed impeccably by Amy Merrick. Francesca Zmetra and Amy’s sister Micha were both kind enough to act as subjects. All photos were shot with either a Zeiss Ikon or Contax 645 using Kodak Portra 160. And please do check out the full story in Kinfolk Vol. 6! That’s all!

With Kinfolk – Herb Drying

Summer has gone by so fast (what a shame)! Mercifully, cooler weather is slowly creeping back into the schedule, and it’s nice enough outside that I can comfortably wear my Pendleton shirts without looking silly. In any event, it has become a regular privilege this year to shoot for Kinfolk Magazine. Yesterday marked the release of their fifth volume which you can order here. There’s probably not much more of a fallish thing to do than throw on a big wool sweater, pour yourself a flippin hot cup of coffee, and give the new issue a good read.

If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you can pretend.

This time around, I was able to partner up again with my friend Amy Merrick (we worked together on this too) to do a story about drying herbs for fall cooking. Skye Velten lent us her substantial modeling skills, and after much debate we decided to shoot in my garage. This is interesting only in so much that it attests to Amy’s styling skills — my garage was an absolute ugly mess at the time we picked it as our location. A little elbow grease, paint-scraping and cat-litter-sweeping, though, and we had ourselves a bonafide herb cellar.

The best thing about this shoot is that my house still has a faint lavender-and-rosemary aroma. The worst thing about this shoot is the amount of photos that had to be nixed. Truly, I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun with a shoot and got so many good photos that ended up on the cutting room floor. I suppose that there is only so much page space that one story can lay claim to. But that’s why we all have blogs. Just for the record though, I really can be bad at playing the photo editor. I want to include everything. I cut fairly liberally, and there are still twenty-eight images in this post. Sheesh. With all that said, the resulting story for Kinfolk is something I am very proud of, and Amy’s writing more than makes up for the photos we had to leave behind.

In addition to the herb drying article, I was also able to shoot the product photography for the new issue. A few of my favorites are included below. My special thanks to Ms. Julie Pointer and (the incredibly lovely) Ms. Riley Messina, who were kind enough to do a little impromptu modeling.

And lastly, once again for those interested, all of these shots were taken with Kodak Portra 160 using either a Contax 645 or a Zeiss Ikon.

And with that I’ll leave you to the photos. Please do enjoy the new issue! If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and order a copy or two.

Happy October!

With Kinfolk – Renaissance Juicing

Summer is here! Issue Four of Kinfolk is out! I can finally post these photos!

Last December, I was approached by Nathan Williams to shoot for their upcoming summer issue. A few days later, we were discussing the concept for the story over coffee, which originally centered around covering people in the ingredients to their favorite meals. But, at the last second, we decided to limit our scope simply to juicing (juicing, of course, being a very summerly activity). At the last, last second (thanks mostly to the suggestion of this awesome lady), we added some renaissance lighting into the mix. The resulting portraits are some of my favorites yet — particularly because these are mostly all of people who are near and dear to me. And, as you may or may not know, studio lighting is still a bit challenging for yours truly, so I’m pretty satisfied with how these turned out.

Incidentally, for those interested, this shoot was one of my first major testdrives with the Contax 645. This camera, combined usually with a 35mm rangefinder of one sort or another, have since become my mainstay tools. Also worthy of noting: all of the following photos were shot using Kodak Portra 160 (I almost never work with film other than Kodak, unless, of course, I’m shooting Polaroid).

At any rate, since all of this, I’ve had the pleasure of working fairly regularly with Nathan and Kinfolk. I can honestly say that it’s been quite the honor. Here’s to a long-lasting partnership and many, many more stories. While I’m at it, I’d like to especially thank Amanda Jane Jones for her awesome design skills. Kinfolk wouldn’t be the same without her.

Also, since you’re here, click this (or above) to order a copy of Kinfolk No. 4 for yourself. It’s a good one.

With Amy Merrick

At the Portland Bazaar, I had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to a certain Amy Merrick. She was attending the event as Design*Sponge’s resident floral expert and wreath instructor, and it just so happened to be the girl’s first time in Portland. Ever.

So of course I had no other alternative but to show her around the local sights.

Since she was staying at the Ace Hotel which has a Stumptown attached to the lobby, and is located a mere block away from Powell’s bookstore, I decided to just skip the city and bring Amy to where the real awesomeness is around Portland: the Columbia Gorge.

First stop was a super secret location and one of my favorite places in the entire state. It’s deceptively trixy to get to even though it is about a stone’s throw from the highway. The undisclosed island boasts a diverse set of quintessentially northwestern landscapes (All Earth Was Once Sky was shot there too) and a fantastic view of the river in one little compact area, which made it a great place to give Amy a sweeping impression of all that is Oregon.

After a brief tour of things, though, we were forced to start back towards Portland, but not without a stop by Multnomah Falls.

All in all, an exceedingly pleasant adventure. Ms. Merrick is a bona fide sweetheart, and that’s the truth.

Oh, and fyi – Amy also runs her own bit of internet called An Apple a Day, so go say hi.