Studio Sessions with Demetrius

A few selects from a recent shoot in my studio. Some personal favorites of mine of late. Feeling creatively energized at just the right time.

After a few months of research and interviews I'm starting a personal project on Sunday that will challenge me in so many new ways. More on this in a few months ;) 

Big thanks to this terrific team:

Model: Demetrius Mensah

Styling: Pauline Kim

HMU: Amy Gillespie

Another Time

Portland is filled with places that feel lost in time. A fine example is one of my favorite dive bars, the Sandy Hut. From my first step inside I knew it would be the perfect location for a 70s styled shoot. I was happy to put this together last week with a wonderful team to work with. My favorite part was shooting in conditions I don't commonly shoot in, and incorporating the use of flash. I love challenging myself and feeling a little uncomfortable. Something I should do more often.

 

Big thanks to these talented people who made my job easy. 

Styling: Pauline Kim

HMU: Amy Gillespie

Model: Abigail Vansteenbergh

Postcards from Cambodia

Bits and pieces along the way. 

Coast to Crest

Five days in Washington, from the Pacific Coast to the crest of Mt. Baker. I'm new to the Pacific Northwest and the land here takes my breath away. I hope that never changes.

Car packed with gear, snacks, and my dog Indiana we made our way to La Push. This small town is nestled between the Olympic National Forest and some of the prettiest beaches I've ever seen. The mix of dense evergreen forest and rocky coast is a unique sight.

Indy and I walked the beach for awhile enjoying the sights, smells, sounds. 

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Around 9pm the sky lit up and gave us quite a show. Usually socked in, I was lucky to see such a rich sunset. There were a handful of us on the beach, standing still, quietly in awe.  

East from La Push and into Olympic National Park we take a nice hike through the Hoh Rain Forest. The lush color and textures here are a bit surreal. 

I've not seen a landscape quite like this. It felt like another planet or, if this one, where dinosaurs roamed. 

Leaving Hoh, we loop around the Olympic Peninsula, the very top left corner of the United States. This part of the country is beautiful and has a way of making you feel small. 

En route to Seattle, we take the Kingston Ferry across the Sound. During the short trip I text a few Seattle friends how neat I thought it was that me, my dog, and my car were all on the same boat. None are as impressed. I'm still new here, ya know? 

A dog, clearly impressed.

A dog, clearly impressed.

In Seattle I meet up with my friend Ben Schuyler. We catch up over pizza and set out the next day for Mt. Baker. 

Mt. Baker is part of the volcanic range in the Cascades, standing mighty at 10,700 feet. Our trip up provides a slow reveal of the mountain. 

Indiana's first road trip, she's taking advantage of the drive to catch up on some puppy z's. 

We get to our cabin, stretch out and settle in. A few hours later the rest of our group arrives. Cold drinks, board games, and catching up on friendships - these are some of my favorite nights. 

The next day the air is clean and crisp, the sky overcast. We take a beautiful hike on the mountain weaving through lakes, lush forest, and up to packed snow. 

I love watching Indy on the trail. Day-to-day she's a sweet, timid girl. Out on a hike she's fearless and indefatigable. Love having her in my life. 

Before heading down the mountain and then home, we drive to the top of Baker. A storm is blowing in, some foreboding skies provide drama down the range.

I say goodbye to my pals and make the long trek from Mt. Baker to Portland. Tired and happy, how I always feel at the end of a great trip. Life is good here in the Pacific Northwest. This summer has brought much joy, hopefully the first of many more to come. 

Documenting the Water Crisis in Peru

There‘s been a place missing in my workflow for awhile. A space to pair photos + words, to weave narrative images together in longform. My interests and perspective on photography have shifted significantly and then again. This will be an outlet to document and inspire those evolutions. I‘ll start with some work that is meaningful to me.

Water.org is working to provide clean water access and sanitation across the world. I‘ve been fortunate to photograph their efforts for a number of years, finishing each project more inspired and passionate about this cause than before. Solving the water crisis is important in the abstract, as a general idea. It‘s important and seemingly plausible. It becomes critical and necessary, though, when you meet the families this crisis impacts and momentarily place yourself in the daily struggle of life without water, carrying the solemn comfort that you are just a visitor.

Our most recent project ended a few weeks ago. We traveled to Lima and worked in that city, Huancayo, Piura and Sullana.

 

It works like this: Water parters with local lenders who lend money designated for water and sanitation improvements to those in need. This loan of one-to-several hundred dollars is almost always lent to a woman, who holds primary responsibility for water supply. When the improvement is made, there is less time spent collecting water. Free from that burden, the woman is able to gain and retain employment. Income generated goes toward loan payments, providing for the family, and independence. 

 
 

It's inspiring to photograph the results. Quietly photographing as monitoring interviews are conducted, I see pride on her face and hear excitement in her voice.

 
 
The way home from school.

The way home from school.

Ana wants to be an artist. I asked her favorite drawing and this is what she shared. I wonder why she chose to depict someone in a wheelchair. A friend maybe.

Ana wants to be an artist. I asked her favorite drawing and this is what she shared. I wonder why she chose to depict someone in a wheelchair. A friend maybe.

Homework in the kitchen. 

Homework in the kitchen. 

Nancy reviewing her loan statements at the counter of her store.

Nancy reviewing her loan statements at the counter of her store.

Mother and daughter. 

Mother and daughter. 

At the market. The salt used to cure these fish caught my eye. The big flakes looked like snow. The seafood in Peru is top rate.

At the market. The salt used to cure these fish caught my eye. The big flakes looked like snow. The seafood in Peru is top rate.

He didn't like me. 

He didn't like me. 

Marta posing with a portrait of her parents. She makes and sells clothing from her home, a business her parents started.

Marta posing with a portrait of her parents. She makes and sells clothing from her home, a business her parents started.

After ten days we left Peru, exhausted and satisfied. This work is intense, but very rewarding. I always hope my images can make a difference, in whatever small way, for this cause.

More of my photographs documenting the work of Water.org:

India

Indonesia

Kenya