Archive: June 2009   |   View all recent posts

Day 180 ~ Remembering an Icon
WHAT: Personal   |   WHEN: June 26, 2009

It's the equivalent of Marilyn Monroe's death to my parents generation.  When I heard the breaking rumors here in Portland today that Michael Jackson had died, at first I thought it was an outlandish rumor.  But after being unable to access online news sites on my iPhone because of huge spikes in traffic that nearly crippled the internet and then finally seeing all the Facebook status updates, I was no longer uncertain.  At that very moment of confirmation, I experienced a strange mesh of feelings including shock, sadness and a sort of void.

Believe me, I never thought in a hundred years I would be dedicating a blog post to Michael Jackson unless it was a series of jokes about his appearance or seemingly outlandish behaviors over the last several years, which I am by the way unfortunately guity of.  As corny as some people may think it sounds, though, he was a huge part of my childhood, particularly my junior high years, and I couldn't get enough of his music.  I wanted the red zipper jacket.  I - and millions of others no doubt - spent hours trying to master the moonwalk.  I watched the Thriller video no less than 50 times.  I freaked out the day his hair caught on fire while filming the Pepsi commercial (that last one's a little embarrassing).  I can't even guess the amount of time I spent listening to his music and singing along, especially the "hee hee hees".  If I looked hard enough, I bet I could find a pencil sketch or 2 of him I did back in seventh grade somewhere in a rubbermaid container with other miscellaneous childhood memoires..  As embarrassing as it may sound today, the reality is Michael was probably my first, and biggest, childhood celebrity obsession, and for a few minutes today it felt like that part of my childhood was taken away with the news of his passing.

For all the ridicule and still arguably unjust public crucification this man has been subject to in recent years, what seems to get unfortunately overshadowed - if not lost - these days is how incedibly talented Mchael Jackson was.  He is without a doubt one of the greatest - and I would probably say the greatest - entertainer my generation will ever see.  His legend is undeniable.  His impact on the music and entertainment industries is immeasurable.  Even now I find myself sitting in my hotel room watching hour after hour of news coverage and videos of his life.  What a long, sad, amazing, strange, phenomenal, and tragic life he lived.

I'm a grown man with an appreciation for Michael Jackson rooted deeply in and inextricably from my childhood, and I'm saddened to hear of his passing.  There.  I said it. Unapologetically. 

Thanks, Michael, for the memories and sharing your gift with the world in spite of the high personal cost.  May God grant you peace in your rest.


Day 177 - The Gallup Family
WHAT: Families, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: June 23, 2009
Becky and I were finally able to get together this evening for her to view the images from her session a couple weeks ago.  I had a great time just hangin' out with her talkin' about replacing AC units, the dumb things dogs do. the dumb things kids do (sometimes to their dogs), and... uh... oh yeah, her images. I know Becky from my TI work, so we had an easy repoire that included lots of laughing... my favorite kind of client. Oh... and the best part is that she didn't hold it against me that her family also picked up a load of chiggers just like I did during our shoot.  You're the best, Becky!

Here's a few of my favorite images our session together at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Frisco, TX.

Starting off... Becky's youngest son, John, and his older brother, Michael. 

Love this image.  I can't help whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith Show every time I look at it.

Both Michael and John love baseball, and both are pitchers.  Man, it was like hanging out out with my 1981 self.

This is without a doubt my favorite series in the bunch because this epitomizes the relationship these 2 have at this age, and it's a trip down memory lane in remembering how my brother and I were.

Becky's mom came along for the session, too.  She was the sweetest woman I've met in a long time, and she just took everything in stride... the climbing of hills through tall, chigger-infested grass, getting bonked in the head with an errant baseball toss (fortunately not by me), and who knows how many "okay, last one..." lies from the mouth of yours truly... she was such a trooper.

Love the mother-daughter connection through hands...

This really was the "last one".


Day, umm, 176? - Happy Birthday, Jerry
WHAT: Fun, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: June 22, 2009
First off, since everyone look sat the photos first, lemme clarify... unlike the cartoon, no lips ever touched in the first photo below.

Now that we've got that behind us... Happy Birthday, Jerry!  Jerry and Tina came over on Friday night to cook some home-made pasta to celebrate Jerry's birthday.  And, as happens more often than not lately for reasons I don't quite understand, Jerry and I ended up posing for images like the one above that would make first time readers of the blog question a few things. For more evidence, check the images from our last get together.

My ginsu skills got a litte outta control when cutting up some veggies for our pasta sauce.  Took me a few seconds to find the rest of my fingernail... turns out it wasn't in the pile of chopped carrots, but instead was still stuck to the back of the knife... a nice little calcium bonus for the guests if you ask me.

After dinner, Tina and Kylie conveniently wandered into Kylie's scrapbook room.  Jerry and I were on to their subtle ploy to get out of cleaning up the kitchen, and in fact, we called their bluff and raised them by going into my office to pretend to be watching interesting YouTube videos.  Turns out we got sucked into an eclectic collection of videos covering Britain's Got Talent, fantastic HS football finishes, broken bone videos, and a finally of Andrea Bocelli singing Elmo to sleep.  We fought the man card police to maintain ownership after being caught watching the Elmo footage.

I believe this is our first family photo with the dawg.  She's lookin' a little shaggy here (the dawg people, the dawg), and she's goin' under the knife later this week to get - ahem - snipped.  (still talkin' about the dawg here).  BTW, Tina used the D3 at ISO 5000 to grab this image in the living room with next to no light.

Happy Birthday, Jerry!  Next time we all get together, it'll be at your new house so Kylie and I can take advantage of the pool and I can show off my 6th place junior high back stroke skills.


Day 172 - Melissa [cont'd]
WHAT: Portraits, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: June 21, 2009
So, when Melissa came into town last week for her "just because" photos, honestly I was a little nervous going into her session 1) just because she's a photographer which means I'm always a little leary about what they're thinking as I'm shooting (I know she's thinking I'm a crackhead and wondering why I'm taking this photo... Oh, crap, I forgot to white balance before those last 5 shots...), and 2) she mentioned a couple times in advance how nervous she gets on the other side of the lens.  In fact, I think she said "I'm sorry" more than once before we even got started.  I started thinking... Uh-oh... I wish I woulda paid more attention in my college Psych 101 class so I could play some Jedi mind tricks on her to get her relaxed.  When it was all said and done, though, if Melissa was nervous, I wish all my clients would get that nervous for their sessions.  She was fantastic and a breeze to photograph, not to mention funny and sweet. 

Melissa just wanted something very casual, so we went down to the Deep Ellum Arts District, and the urban backdrops were a perfect compliment for her images.  Here's some of my favorites from our time together.

Tell me, does she look nervous here?

And these next three images are just. plain. saucy.

I love the "casual-ness" and the beautiful light in this photo. 

One of my favorites from our play time in Deep Ellum.

It was right after this image that we got kicked outta the parking garage for photographing on private property.  Whateva... we still got this cool image, so take that professional-but-overly-authoritative parking garage police lady.

Last one of the night.  I think we were all a little beat down at this point, but Melissa was a trooper to accommodate another "just one more" request. 

Thanks to my friend Tina for helping me out during this session.  We used a lot of off-camera flash for this session, so I know her arms were burning by the end of the night from holding the light above her head.

And thanks, Melissa, for making this such a fantastic session.  I had a blast and loved that you were willing to do whatever.  You're the best!


Day 166 ~ Melissa... Just Because.
WHAT: Portraits, Project 365 (2009)   |   WHEN: June 16, 2009
I had a great session tonight with photografriend and Austin reunion housemate Melissa Andries.  Melissa drove into town from Louisiana to get some images made for one of the best reasons I can think of - just because.  So many times people tend to only think about getting photography done around the major milestones in their lives... getting engaged, marriage, birthdays, maternity/pregnancy, graduation, first night in the slammer, etc... kidding on that last one- just seeing if you were paying attention, although I wonder if you can get a nice framed pint of your mug shot?  Anyway, Melissa just want to get some images made for herself, her husband, and her mom... just because. 

Here's a quick preview of an upcoming blog post with more of her images.

Thanks, Melissa!  Enjoy the shopping tomorrow.


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