Thursday, May 27, 2010


Just got word that I made a Best Of list at Mossless, a cool site run by Romke Hoogwaerts, a cool guy with an even cooler name.  Thanks Romke!

On another note the phone is ringing off the hook, I am about to get stupid busy.  It has been a while, so I'm feeling very fortunate, hopeful, and happy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thank you, Loni

I think it was 1997 in the Cayman Islands.  I was working as a photo assistant for Dave Stoecklein.  We were there for 10 days to make pictures for the department of tourism.  Loni Weholt was our producer, and the days were long, but the shoot was amazing -- early mornings, late nights, and lots of incredible beaches and sunsets. 

On a ten day shoot, you really get to know everyone on the crew, and I remember always wanting to sit next to Loni at dinner, to hear her stories of expensive, complicated shoots she had worked on over the years, for all the big names whose work I pretty much worshiped at the time.

One night at dinner, an interesting question came up:  If you had to give up every sense but one, which would you keep?  Everyone chose sight, except Loni.  Without hesitation, Loni said she would keep her sense of smell.  Then she told me about all the smells she could pick up from our seat in the restaurant.  Fascinating.

One particular production story involved wrangling a massive herd of reindeer to some dark, remote location in Norway.  Loni made impossible things happen in impossible places.  It all sounded so interesting and satisfying and glamorous. 

So when it came time to leave Idaho, I decided to move to San Francisco ultimately because of this fascinating person with the contagious, explosive laugh that wrangled reindeer and smelled everything.

Loni died last month after a short, horrible battle with cancer.  I never thanked her for helping me discover my life as a photographer.  It's hard to believe that she is gone.

So, thank you Loni -- I'm here because of you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Full speed ahead

Wrapping 2 jobs for Fast Company, 1 for Entrepreneur, bidding 3 more ad jobs, planning for my first video shoot, shooting some drag racing on Saturday, and going to Mexico on Sunday for a few days of warm water surf.  Unfortunately I had to pass on an opportunity to shoot a metal band named "Gauntlet Hair." 

Things are good for now.

I have a huge backlog of things I really want to spend some time writing about here, but haven't had the time to sit down and do them right.   Also, some exciting changes taking place here at JK industries, more to come once things mellow out a bit.  Adios....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Busy Busy

Scrambling this week to get a bunch of shoots done, I like being busy again. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to get into the American Photography Annual...

...or at least how it worked out for me.  

Apparently American Photography liked the pic I did for Esquire.  And apparently I missed the notification email that they sent back in March.  I'm fortunate that they followed up.

This is a bit of a milestone for me, since I've had stuff appear on the AP Chosen website, but never in the printed book.

I've always loved the work that appears in the AP annual, and remember looking at it for the first time at the SFMOMA bookstore back when I was just starting as an assistant.  The work was always inspirational, but seemed so intangibly good -- so rich and impossible for me to ever attain, that I never really expected to get in.

Enter luck and circumstance.  Mike Norseng from Esquire called needing a last second image.  I had been to visit him in NY several times.  He liked my follow-up promos.  To his credit, I can say that he matched me to the assignment almost perfectly -- the shoot felt natural to me, and I was really excited about it from beginning to end.  Although it was a bit stressful.  

In addition, the finished article is beautifully written, and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for best feature of 2009.

So, had I not gone to NY, and had Mr. Norseng not received my follow-up promo at the time that he needed someone for this job, and had I not been available to shoot it, and had Dr. Hern not wanted to have his picture taken in the front window, my guess is that I wouldn't be writing this post.

So while it is actually possible to make your own luck, having everything else line up can be tricky.