Category Archives: photography

pictures I get paid to take


here kitty

Yesterday was a supreme asskicker. I went to bed at about 8pm and woke up at 2:30am and got to work.

The day was spent calling on clients with my last stop being a new one, a referral from an old college buddy who’s moved out of town.

The new client has several ventures – we tackled his first project for his art gallery for a few hours and later jumped in his car and headed about 40 minutes out of the city to enlighten me to his other venture: professionally trained guard dogs.

Apparently the “pro-dog” community way out there gets together once a week at a public field and does training exercises. guard dog training

The training is also associated with a sport called “schuntzhund” (I’m probably misspelling / mispronouncing it) – which is basically attack training and obedience reworked into a competition sport.

These folks take their dogs realllllllly seriously…. Most of the mutts being imported from Germany or Eastern Europe.

Aside from experiencing something I’d never seen before – it was extremely interesting chatting Mr. New Client guy during the commute. He’s a very interesting character with lots of fun stories. I’m looking forward to working with him and the possibility and probability of adding him to my collection of interesting people I call friends.

It was really too dark to make any images without relying completely on strobe. (ick) And my sleep deprivation also kept me from being as observant as I like to be when I’m thrown into new and odd situations.

It’s also the sleep deprivation that’s keeping me from crafting anything clever and stylized about my experiences.

I’m too tired to deny blogging.

hanging in the kitchen

filet for five hundred

The guy the home warranty people sent out seems to think our roof is shot and needs to be replaced. The rub? – That’s not covered by the home warranty – only repairs. Suddenly I feel like tracking down my real estate agent and sticking both feet up her ass for giving me the hard sell to buy the fucking warranty in the first place. (This is the second instance where the warranty’s “fine print” has screwed us – the first thing was the AC unit going out a month after we moved in).

So… We’re researching “Metal Roofing Solutions” .

The biggest part of the day was spent meeting with the ballroom client to review the shots and some concepts I’ve been working on.

What’s important to note is that this was the first “real” photo gig I’ve done for a client. (i.e. – The assignment was to go and take photos! Not snap things on the fly whenever they struck me or I needed content for a campaign pitch or doing favors for friends and/or pet clients).

I was a nervous wreck… Both taking the shots AND showing them.

It was a huge party and they were fully staffed that night… I’d never really spent any time in a professional kitchen in full swing before.

I tried not to rubber-neck the bearish boys running around in their “little chef’s outfits” and keep focused on the task at hand: Capture images of food and staff.

I went into “transparent mode” and within a half an hour nobody seemed to notice me.

I’ve got a whole new respect for mass-cooking. I’d be hard pressed to whip up multi-course surf and turf dinner for a few friends, let alone five hundred people. It was like being in a control room for a TV show.. The head chef kept an eye on clock and would regularly bark out commands… “Alright folks – we go salads in five!”.

The moral of the story is I got about 15 useable images we can use in ads and on the web, the client was stupid thrilled and I’m getting more confident about adding photography to our menu of services.

I’m sure if I had a blog or something where I could experiment with my abandoned discipline for months prior, it would have helped me get over the constant, nagging, neurotic insecurity that I suck.


high end desserts


workin in the garage

Spent the morning putzing with email and charming a check out of the primary client. I hate being so dependent on one account to make the house payment. This must change in 2004.

The afternoon came sooner than I had hoped and before I knew it I was rushing out the door with every metrosexual bag I own strapped to my body.

It was the staff meeting for JJ’s Clubhouse and the scheduled day to take some snaps of the staff for their website which is in the process of, (not to mention in dire need of) a complete overhaul.

Their original site was thrown together sloppily shortly after they opened 4 years ago and it’s been a thorn in my side ever since. I just didn’t give it the design-love it needed, and stranded Kevin with the bulk of the project. It’s my fault… In 2000 I still had a very bad attitude about designing for the web. Through the nurturing peer-mentor support of chrisglass, practical experience, and Kevin getting spooky good at actionscript and other code-whizy crap,… we’ve now got a few web projects that I’m actually proud to show off.

Jeff left a note for the staff to all show up in their “work outfits”, which – for a butch gay bar means jeans, bar t-shirts and other tough-guy accessories.. (vests, chaps, little leather caps, etc).

Spent an hour taking each employee back to the clubhouse, (a huge converted garage attached to the main bar which opens on the weekends). Despite being a little frustrated with the unpredictable ancient camera-mount strobe, (I’ve owned since college), which actually works on the Sony, I had a lot of fun.

In the spirit of our new “nomad” business model for the new year – I set up shop in the back and got to work on other JJ’s projects while they had their staff meeting.

I really miss taking pictures.. If you ask me now why my career path didn’t go that way, I’m not sure I could tell you why. I’m half tempted to ask Kevin to arrange our budget to acquire some lighting kits this year so I can play more. I’d have to play catch up on many things though…

Maybe I should ask Suzy Gorman (*previously non-blogged – *no we didn’t do her site, though would love to), if she’d hire me as an assistant once a week so I can re-familiarize myself with studio gear – which I’m sure has changed over the last decade.

Maybe I should stop rambling like some kind of babbling bloging idiot.

grip and grin


Ah yes, the first day after a long weekend. Phone hasn’t rang once.

I got my first excuse to use the new camera for something “income generating” last week: Corporate-Style photos of one of my client’s employees.

Yes, I know I’m taking food off the table of the hard working men and women’s table who are part of the Sears Portrait Hack Legion – but I can justify my trespasses by remembering that photography was indeed my major in college.

Really what it boils down to was the company’s CEO, (a ruthlessly penny-pinching, bullying, corporate, power lesbian), figured she could save a few hundred dollars if they called in the designer with his fancy new digital camera.

I’ve been dubbed the company’s “pet art-fag” and have developed a wonderful, casual rapport with the employees. (Relax any of you thinking that they’re horrible for nick-naming me this – the company is gay owned and 80% of their employees are gay and lesbian).

I spent a couple of hours doing the necessary “grip-and-grin” shots for use on their website, but not without toying with each person and snapping off a few extra shots for myself. “Diesel” shown above is one of my favorite employees there.

I remembered how much I enjoy being behind the camera before I essentially abandoned the craft to pursue my career as a designer.

I promised myself that sad day when we hawked my Nikon F4 that I would revisit the craft when I felt that digital technology came of age. Thanks to chrisglass for introducing me to the Sony CyberShotâ„¢ line, as well as so many other things, which have not only enhanced my work, but my life too. (schmoopy gooopy sounds).

As it turns out – I’ve got the client interested in using these “outtakes” for some progressive ad spots in GLBT-specific, (and other bleeding edge), publications. …. Humph.. Who-da-thunk?

Calling it an early day to drop prints and proofs off and go check in on the depressed mojobear who’s at home babysitting the contractor who’s working on our den-to-be. Besides, on such a slow day, if I say at the office, I may be tempted to blog.