Blog

  • Make Smith Leather Company

    A couple months ago, I came upon the work of Steven Soria, a third-generation leather worker in Santa Barbara, operating Make Smith Leather Company, and I contacted him to ask if I could take his photograph. Steven was game, and a couple weekends ago, I spent a few hours hanging out with him, taking pictures and talking about creative work, and attachment to place, and dating and relationships. He's a really talented, interesting guy, with a great sense of style. Some of the pictures I took are below. The rest are here.

    Big thanks to Steven for opening his home and studio to me! Be sure to check out his beautiful work.

  • Seven: The Sunday Telegraph Magazine

    I'm super-excited to have shot the cover story for London's Sunday Telegraph magazine! The story is about movie memorabilia auction houses in Los Angeles, and I got to visit two of them and photograph everything from costumes worn by Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts to the Cowardly Lion's "Witch Remover" from The Wizard of Oz.

    Tear sheets below. Outtakes here.

  • Thanks, Instagram!

    A couple weeks ago, Instagram added me to its Suggested Users List, and my feature came to an end today. I can’t even explain how much this meant to me. I’ve worked really hard over the past couple months to up my game on Instagram.

    My goal is to be able to quit my day job and make a living from my photography. My plan of attack is to pursue a variety of avenues (at least ones that are fun for me!), and one of those avenues is mobile photography. I’m excited by what’s happening in the mobile photo world and thrilled to have been given the opportunity to build a bigger platform for my work.

    It feels like things I’ve been working on are starting to come together, and that just inspires me to push even harder.

  • Saul Leiter (1923–2013)

    Saul Leiter died this week, just shy of his 90th birthday. Leiter might be my favorite photographer of all time, ahead of Eggleston and maybe even Shore. His way with color is just brilliant, and every time I look at his work, I fall in love with photography just a little bit more.

    A documentary about Leiter, In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter (2012), has just been released on DVD. You can order a copy at the film’s website. An interview with Leiter was published in 2009 on Photographers Speak. And Time LightBox has pieces of an interview, with a variety of images as well.

  • Not Another Photography Kickstarter

    I know, I know, you’re up to your ears in Kickstarter emails from photographers, and I feel you, I really do. But this one is different. My little sister, Cara, is part of a group called the New Craft Artists in Action (NCAA), based in Boston. That’s them above (Cara is the cute one in the orange scarf). NCAA designs and makes basketball nets and installs them on public courts across the country where nets are missing. Here’s a pic of a net Cara designed.

    NCAA doesn’t just design, make, and install nets. They also lead youth workshops, teaching people to make their own nets. Here’s Cara leading a finger-knitting workshop for a group of guys from the Cushing House in Boston. According to Cara, “We each made a strand of knitting, we tied these strands together into a net, and then we installed the net in South Boston and played some bball. It was a ton of fun.”

    NCAA has designed a net pattern workbook, which they’ll use to lead more workshops and distribute so other people, all around the world, can make their own nets. They’re over halfway to their goal of $10,000, which is fantastic, but the deadline is December 9. If this group of wild and crazy kids who like to knit and crochet and shoot hoops sounds like a group you can get behind, I hope you’ll throw a little love their way. Every little bit helps, so even if you can only donate $10, you’ll be making a difference.

    To find out more about the project, click here. And to see spreads from the book, click here.

  • Erin Azouz

    I want to give a shout-out to a friend I’ve known through Lane for years but emailed with a lot in the past week, Erin Azouz, fellow photographer and cattle dog lover. Erin works at photo-eye in Santa Fe and is currently killing it on Instagram. I followed her a week or two ago, when she had 900 followers, and as of this post she has over 20,000! She’s on Instagram’s Suggested Users list and her attitude and approach to photography are totally inspiring, as are her photographs. Erin has been kind enough to share her wisdom and experience with me, openly and freely, and I really appreciate her help. Thanks, Erin!

    P.S. If you’re on Instagram, follow Erin at @erinazouz.

  • When I Was 29

    When I was 29, I bought a Jeep Grand Wagoneer off the Internet from a guy in Texas, and then it failed the smog test and the mechanics backed it out of their garage with the door open and practically tore the door off the vehicle. While it was in the shop, they found other repairs needed that the seller said had already been done. So, I asked a relative who’s an attorney for the words to say, and I called the seller and started throwing around legal language that I didn’t understand, and he freaked out and agreed to take back the car.

    Every time I see a Grand Wagoneer, I want one, and then I remember what happened when I was 29.

  • No Surrender

    When I was in the eighth grade, for Christmas I asked for the newly released box set from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band called Live/1975–85, and my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chuck gave it to me. I loved Springsteen, and I think I was pretty much alone in that feeling among the girls I hung out with, who were more into Whitney Houston and Madonna, except for one who was obsessed with The Cure.

    Sometimes I think the music we listen to when we’re kids shapes us, and sometimes I think we find the music that’s part of us even before we know why.

  • On Joy and Instagram

    Lately I’ve been finding a lot of joy in taking simple photos with my iPhone on my neighborhood walks and sharing them on Instagram. These photos feel intimate to me, like they’re all mine, even though I’m sharing them with the Instagram community.

    Even on days when I work 12 hours and don’t leave my house, I still leave my house to walk my dog, and on those walks I bring my iPhone, and with that phone I take pictures that make me happy, and because of Instagram, I share them. My connection to photography feels more immediate, literally at my fingertips, because of my phone. And my connection to other photographers, all over the world, feels immediate, too. This is no small thing on a long workday early in the week.

    There is something to be said for paying attention to what makes you happy.