Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mike the Bike Elf II: A Day of Giving

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!
This is my Christmas card to all of you who follow.

     For some of us this time of year is about family and faith, for others it's about giving and maybe being a little nicer to people around you. For some its about all of those things and more.
      For Mike McIlroy, his family, friends and supporters, it is also about bikes for kids who probably have never owned one before and who certainly could not afford one right now.
     I have had the privilege this season of sweetening the spirit by being a witness to the Pedal Power Foundation in Tempe this year, documenting their work in photographs. Saturday the 19th they gave away about 75 bikes to kids in central Phoenix. Some kids were so excited they were stunned, while others just couldn't stand still.
     One by one, they received their shiny new wheels and a helmet, got a helmet fitting from Phoenix PD officer Arnie, got a few tips on the rules of the road and headed home with their new-found freedom.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Love is...

....sharing your talents with your family...

     I shoot maybe one wedding a year, not really pursuing it as a part of my business model, but open to the idea under the right circumstances, depending mostly upon schedule. In this tough economy, it's something that bears revisiting as a part of the big picture of what my business as a photojournalist in commercial photographer, is about.

   As with the wedding I photographed in April, I was very pleased with the results as I photographed some of the highlights of my neice Ryan's wedding and unofficially providing some back-up to the very talented Debbie Moon of Photography by Moonlight.

   Especially when you have a dynamic wedding before you, what a great way to record the day by using the photojournalism/documentary style!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pour

Bronze Sculptor John Tuomisto-Bell's hosted this month's Creative Connect gathering at his Phoenix art studio and turned his sculpting into performance art. I decided to use as much ambient lighting as possible only filling in with a bit off-camera lighting to subtly fill in the blanks.

Creative Connect is a monthly gathering of creatives in Phoenix (and now in several other cities too).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Habitat three, Paint-a House

"Paint'a house" in the immortal voice of Pat Morita's Mr. Miyagi...

It is AMAZING how quickly a house can be built. And with quality. Inspectors say this all th time that the Habitat houses are solid. They build them to specs and often the volunteers build them a little better than spec.
A couple weeks ago I was out at the site in Phoenix where a crew from my church, St Maria Goretti, took their turn in the four week rotation with crews from three other churches to move the Habitat home toward completion. Last time I had seen the house, it was a frame with some plywood, on the outside.
Now with electrical, plumbing, drywall and stucco installed, it was ready for sanding and painting already. Couple of news posts lately so, please read on below...

Mike the Bike Elf

Whew! It's been, six weeks since the last post, so in several photo blogs here are some of the cool images and events I have been photographing.

Mike McIlroy and his wife Amy are making a difference for kids. A few years back, they started the Pedal Power Foundation by raising funds and working out some smokin' deals with some bike manufacturers to provide bikes to kids in need in metro-Phoenix. They even got Bell Helmets to donate the cool hard hats. Safety first!

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to do my part photographically, to witness about 30 volunteers of all ages plow through the assembly of 120 bikes in just four hours.

These two seemed to do about five bikes an hour.

All ages were turning wrenches

Finished product

Get that wheel straight.


And more teamwork

Airing up 240 tires

This year, the McIlroys hope to set a record for their little charity, donating 200 bikes to kids in the community. During the assembly party, Mike said that another 50 bikes were on the way. Today he told me he just got another donation and will be ordering more bikes this weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Habitat House Round Two

Father and Son

Just a few more from round two of the Habitat build for St Maria Goretti Church. as the crew put together the inside walls.
House leader Mike

Keeping the crew hydrated
Team leaders

Monday, September 14, 2009

Faith-based Framers

Last weekend I spent my Saturday making pictures for a ministry at my church.
Yes, another one.

For a number of years some folks at the church have been joining forces with three other Catholic churches to build a home with Habitat For Humanity in Phoenix. How I went this long without getting out there to make some photos?

No idea.

At the beginning of the build, volunteers from all of the groups come together to get the framing of the house put together. In Subsequent weeks, each church takes turns working through the next step of the build.

By the way, the crew of about 40 had all of the outer walls of the house framed in about four hours.

Pretty amazing! It really shows what a large group of people (about 40) can get done with a little skill and some great leadership!

Anyway, thought I would share a few images from a toasty day.
This is only part one as the SMG group will be back out there next Saturday for round two.