With HUGE Magazine (Japan) – Go! Bookstore!

When I was a young boy, my parents would take my brother and I out every Friday for “family night.” We’d do all sorts of things for family night, but most often it consisted of a trip to Stadium Pizza followed up by a stint at the video game arcade to the tune of $5 each (20 quarters!). One evening, though, while we were going through our tokens, a gang fight broke out in front of the arcade. I don’t remember seeing much except a few puddles of blood and police lights — my parents snatched us up real quick and we were outta there. The next Friday, my dad came home with an NES. Soon thereafter, I learned that Super Mario and Legend of Zelda and Megaman all came from Japan and that was the beginning of what has become a deep life-long fondness.

The reason I tell all of this is to illustrate just how big an event it was for me to get an email from Ms. Sawako Akune asking if I’d be willing to shoot a story about bookstores for a special Christmas Eve edition of HUGE Magazine out of Tokyo. I must admit, I hadn’t heard of the magazine beforehand, but a quick interwebs search both intimidated and made me excited. The magazine is very well put together and has a pretty impressive distribution (unfortunately almost exclusively in Japan). In any event, a few emails back and forth and things were a go. HUGE was sending Sawako to Portland, and we were supposed to travel around the city to different bookstores and photograph and interview the owners. The little catch was that we were going to be doing most of this on Black Friday. Fun!

Early on Thanksgiving, I met up with Sawako and her friend Hitomi at the Ace Hotel (where else?) to go over the schedule. In order to try and stay ahead of the shopping rush — most specifically at Powell’s, we decided to get an early start. It was a particularly dark and rainy day, but thankfully most of our stops were within a few blocks of each other. I struggle when having to shoot with incandescent light, and I don’t have a proper filter kit to balance the film for tungsten, so things were a bit challenging. It was one of those days when I silently wished that I was shooting digitally so that I could just fix my white balance with a few clicks. Still, we made it work (and in the end I’m glad I stuck with film).

Day two was just about as nice a day as you could hope for in Portland in the Fall. The sun was out (sorta) and it was dry and the light was just about perfect. We wrapped with our last stop (Monograph Bookwerks) as the sun was going down and had dinner that night with friends and breakfast the next morning before Sawako had to leave for the airport. It was a fast-paced weekend to say the least.

Several days later, after I’d had a chance to go over all of the film, I decided I needed to head back out and do a little reshooting with a controllable human element. Note to self: bringing along a subject or two for something like this makes life so much easier. Luckily, my good friend Daniel Dixon was more than willing to oblige. We hopped around between my favorite three locations and ended at Powell’s. Thusly, we were able to grab the image HUGE chose for the cover and Dan is officially big in Japan. Bam.

HUGE is almost entirely written in Japanese (but with amazing English embellishments and headlines, as you can see), and the only place I know were to pick up a copy outside of Japan is Amazon. Even if you can’t read the language, the magazine is great to flip though. Please do pick up a copy — if only because you love me so much. And I know I say this about everything, but it truly was an honor to be asked to shoot for HUGE, let alone win the cover. I hope very much to be able to work with them again in the future. It’s a mini-dream come true to be published for something in Japan. My most sincere thanks go to Sawako-san, Hitomi, and Mr. Satoshi Taguchi!

As for notes: words by Sawako Akune. Coordination by Hitomi Thompson. My most special thanks to Daniel Dixon. All photos were shot with a Contax 645, Zeiss Ikon ZM, or Contax G2 using Kodak Portra 160 and 400. The end.

With Nicole Loher

Nicole Loher is a distinctly impressive lady. If you’ve spent any time trolling fashion tumblrs, you’ve probably stumbled across her blog – The // Style // Student. Basically, the girl is still a baby by most standards (not quite yet 19), but she’s accomplished an ever-increasing amount for her age.

I first met Nicole over Facebook, where we became fairly decent friends (as far as internet friends go, I guess). She’d been a fan of my photos, and I was a fan of her face. But by around September of this year, I felt like I was coming across her name everywhere. This was due in part to the fact that she had been asked by Tumblr to blog coverage of NYFW for them, which is considerably awesome.

Fast forward to the end of November, though. I had been meaning to get to New York to visit the Outside the Lines exhibition at the Impossible Project in order to get a chance to check out their space before they changed shows in January. Such an trip would, of course, also create an opportunity for me to touch base with my NYC friends. It almost goes without saying that I was pretty dead set on the idea that Nicole would one of them.

No matter how many times I end up meeting people in person who I’d first befriended online, the occasion always brings with it a certain kind of excitement. This time was no exception. I was luckily able to have a night and a day with Ms. Loher (it was right before finals time for her, even) and the photos below are the product of our get-together.

In short, I advise you keep an eye on this lady. Girl be goin places.

Oh, btw – Flannel is GANT. Cape is American Apparel. Jeans are Bullhead for Pac Sun. Scarf is LOFT Ann Taylor. Shoes are Ugg.

With Kara Jean Caldwell and Hillary Murphy

Recently, I’ve been working on getting a small portfolio book printed up. It’s been a chore trying to create a well-rounded representation of what I’ve been up to this year. I’ve never done any studio work and I wanted my book to showcase some examples of lighted photography. So after a few phone calls, I had gear, a space to shoot in, and a couple of friends to take pictures of. My brother James kindly helped out as my assistant. Our friend Amanda was there as moral support.

In retrospect, I suppose it was kind of a momentous evening in my evolution as a photographer. Lighting felt very obtuse to me at the beginning of the night, but towards the end of the shoot, I was starting to begin to maybe have the slightest clue of what I was doing. I’m looking forward to having another go at things soon. ^_^

Lighting equipment provided by Greg Hennes and Clutch Camera & Lighting. Space provided by Greg Hennes and Antler & Co.

Wardrobe provided by Urban Outfitters.


With Meredith Adelaide and Emily Tebbetts

A few weeks back, thanks to a random Twitter connection, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with both Emily Tebbetts and Meredith Adelaide. Emily is herself a very talented photographer and was visiting Portland from Boston. She had been staying with Meredith, who happens to model, so we all decided it would be good to take a trip down the Columbia Gorge in order to show Emily some of the local awesomeness. And also, of course, take some photos. ^_^ Wardrobe provided by Urban Outfitters.


I was also able to snag a few keepers of Emily during the day too. You can see Emily’s version of events here. Go now!

P.S. – Meredith happens to have a music project she’s working on with her boyfriend (Josh). Be a sport and give them a listenin’ to.