Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weddings and water balloons

Groom reaches for a textbook grab on the run for big yards.
Bride shows her mad skills....

          It was their wedding day.

          The tiny Broadview apartment hummed with activity.

          Breakfast dishes dried, air mattresses stowed, coffee drinkers back from new favorite place (Broadview Coffee), the last few place cards were folded, after a final late-night inspiration someone's (not saying who) vows were printing, camera lenses cleaned, water balloons were filled......

          Wait, what? 
...until someone makes her pay for her, um, reception.
unphased by triple coverage
          Some years ago, as you may recall, I spent a year living in Uganda, sharing the house with seven other people engaged in various good works for a variety of entities. Calvin, a high school teacher in Toronto, wrote new educational materials for the ministry of education and ran a weekly after school program for kids in the slums.  Creative, passionate, dynamic, intelligent, fun.

so.... does that count as a catch?
          When he announced he was getting married, it was a no-brainer, I wanted to be there and not just to make photographs.

          Calvin's family.

          Fast forward ten years to the day, two of us arrived in person, although the rest were truly there in spirit. Calvin had found the perfect match and the day of "I do" was upon him. I often prefer to participate and not shoot so much when people who are important to me tie the knot. But we were helping each other out on this, and it was my honor to be documenting this day for them. Stuff like this is when the work is that food for the soul kind of thing. Documenting an important thing for important friends.

           Little did I know.

           First, to start the celebration among friends and family from across town and across the continent off right. Calvin and Anh-Thi style.
With water balloons and Hawaiian leis, of course.

           Water-balloon football in the rain.

           I'd explain further but especially in this case, I think the photographs speak for themselves, don't you?
Brother of the groom reacts to the rain-soaked turf, but maintains balloon control

Star receiver.
ANOTHER touchdown?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Karen and Shane Mustoe take care of all of their client's vintage and exotic car needs at Brighton Motorsports 
Bob Bové grew his business from two to 54
service facilities that changes oil and maintains
other vital fluids and filters through his Jiffy Lube
franchise in the Valley.

          It's been a very busy summer, perhaps the busiest in ten years, and it is creating a renaissance of sorts for my portfolio and the look of my commercial work.

          One client has my work all fired up, sending me all over the Valley featuring their many business clients who talk about their positive experiences with National Bank of Arizona.

          By now we have all found "Shark Week" to be a part of mainstream vernacular. In July it seems I was in the midst of "Auto Week",  photographing local businesses who sell, fix and restore and maintain everyday, vintage and exotic cars, keeping the gas fires burning, the rubber on the road and vital fluids flowing.

          It has been a great ride so far, working with incredible and successful business owners in the valley and elsewhere in Arizona as they welcome my gear and I, doing their level best to give as much time and space as possible to make some images that showcase their companies.

         It is my belief that you should always be trying to improve. Every shoot, every frame.
Howard and Pat Fleischmann operate five Community Tire auto repair
shops in the valley. Although tires are a part of their name, the Fleischmanns'
shops are primarily auto repair centers.
How many lights do you think this one took? (not including sunlight!)
          Sometimes improvements are subtle. Sometimes they're more noticable and take the image to a new level. Sometimes from my perspective it will take some time before I appreciate the result that was great although perhaps not what I was thinking about when I began.

Tom Higginbothom continues to grow the Sun Devil Auto repair shop his
father started in 1978 with new shops in Las Vegas and Austin.
          In any case with each shoot I keep trying to change it up, do something different. Sometimes it's subtle, like making sure there is enough light in the mechanic in the background. Sometimes it makes the image, like the hidden light that washes along the side of the truck (below) to make the paint and the chrome really pop.

Shane Mustoe and crew install a
rebuilt engine in a classic muscle car.
How DOES one wrap light around the firewall of the car to get into the faces of the mechanics?
Making the business pictures is about being a little different. I'm grateful to Pat Fleischmann who had not problem risking the white pants to make a fun picture.