Photography

Los Angeles: The next chapter in my life and why.

I know it's been awhile since my last blog, and I am sorry for that. A great deal of new experiences have occurred. Some frustrating. Some emotional. Some wonderful and awesome. 

I will start with some good news:  

  • Pride Films and Plays Angry Fags is opened and is a Chicago hit at the Steppenwolf Garage Rep. I am extremely proud of this show and the involvement of several of my artistic friends. 
  • I have designed a book cover with Executive to Executive Coaching, which will be published in the next few weeks. 
  • I will be traveling to Israel at the end of May. 
  • And finally, I have made the decision to move to Los Angeles.

I have lived in Chicago for 6 years and it is with a heavy heart, I feel that my time here is coming to a close. Whether temporarily or for longer, I do not know. But I am ready to begin anew and dive into the unknowns. 

Chicago is an amazing city for artists to find themselves if they are lost, or lose themselves if their searching for something new. It's a place to experiment without fear of failure, with opportunity for growth and appreciation for all efforts combined. In 6 years, I have been a props and scenic designer, actress, singer, director, photographer, digital artist, managing director, artistic director, producer, acquisitions, student, teacher, operations manager, and the all illusive production manager. I have worn many hats, some very difficult, but none that I regret or would change. I have made many enemies. I have made the best of friends. I have found myself here, and it is time to get lost again. I will miss you Chicago. But I will be back to visit, so don't get too sad. 

I crave uncertainty and desire personal growth. By taking a leap of faith in a city I know little about, I feel I can acquire the changes I desire. Now is the time, with the clock ticking so quickly, I can truly assess my real friends, my wants and the garbage I can live with out. A change like this can only bring about perspective on your life. I'm so excited to gain that. 

Please do not be a stranger. Call me or email me for coffee. Or book me for your photo needs. Love you all. 

Making pet photographs ordinary to extraordinary.

I am an avid lover of pets, especially my own pup, Zoe, whom I feel is practically my surrogate daughter. I have hundreds of photographs of her and her brother, Cooper, and have grown to become a connoisseur of capturing them in unique and interesting ways.

I know I'm not alone out there. I regularly surf Instagram and see all of you putting up wacky photos of your pets. I don't judge. I feel your passion. And for many, I admire your images. While I know it's not exactly fine art we're talking about (honestly though, to me it is very much a serious art). Let's face it, we love our pets and love capturing the weird stuff they do. And then sharing it with the world 

This is an example of a very bad picture. DO NOT POST PICTURES LIKE THIS. People hate people who post these things.

1. STOP USING FLASH!

Unless you interested in black and white, film noir styled photography, flash has no place in darkened environments. Learn to love natural light, and take advantage of it where ever it is. Flash can make colors unnatural, imperfections more obvious, and overall can startle your pet and ruin the moment. In general, light available can create amazing artistic choices. If your used to relying on flash, and are using a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera, consider using a higher ISO when shooting in low light. But be aware that the image captures less pixel quality the higher the ISO. If using a cell phone, become very aware of the light around you. Experiment. Play.  

2.  GET DOWN TO YOUR PETS LEVEL

Above all the advice I can give, this tip can (and will) dramatically change your pictures. Start photographing from your pets point of view. Grow comfortable squatting, getting on the floor, observing tight spaces and such. Your photographs will grow more intimate and complex. You'll discover new angles and details about the world around you. Your pet's personality will shine even more through your images. 

3. TAKE THEM PLACES

Do not sit in your rocking chair anymore, photographing your puppy sleeping on the couch cushion, and dare to showcase that crazy knitted living room furniture in tungsten lighting. Your pet is not a decorative fixture.

Get out of the house and play with them. It is amazing the kind of photographs that can be created when you take them out of their element. Photograph them interacting with new worlds, new smells, people, etc. Or maybe even move them to a new room in the house. Just be sure to be safe and know your pets limits (don't take your snake to a public movie theatre, or let your dog run loose on the highway, etc.). 

4. TRY OUT AN EDITING APP

There are a number of amazing free editing apps out there that can give your picture an extra punch. The one everyone is familiar with is Instagram, which is wonderful for executing custom filters that replicate several classic film styles. 

However, if your looking for a change from good old Instagram, or simply are put off by the social media component it offers, then try some of my recommendations:

Vintique is a splashy version of Instagram containing dozens upon dozens of filter options, and easy to use photo editing options. Unlike Instagram, you can choose the resolution of your images, and even have them professionally framed and shipped to your doorstep.

Retromatic allows you to go crazy and make 1950-1970's inspired collage art with your pets. 

Adobe Photoshop Touch might sound intimidating, but completely user friendly for beginners, and is designed to be utilized for very quick touch ups on a mobile device. The tools offered are for slightly more serious editing to improve photographs. This is not an editing app for those into artsy filters, all though you can certainly create some from this app. 

5. PLAY

If your not having fun, neither will your pet. Experiment with what you have around you. Don't be afraid to make bold choices. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Have lots of fun and PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST YOUR FAVORITE PICTURES HERE ON THIS SITE!