Summer is officially here and that means the season of the road trip is upon us. An easy, one-day adventure along the Hood River Fruit Loop hitting all the cider houses along the way is a great way to keep your out of town guests feeling warm, fruity and boozy. More details can be found at Travel Oregon. The not so short list includes: The Gorge White House , Fox-Tail Cider, Hood Valley Hard Cider, OVINO Wine and Hard Cider and Brian's Pourhouse. Who knew there was so much cider to be had? Don't forget to hit the backyard of Solera Brewery in Parkdale, for some amazing views of Mount Hood.
Spent a down and dirty day at Tumbleweed Farm, which is owned and operated by Andrea and Taylor Bemis for EatingWell Magazine. Their produce is quite literally hand picked with love for their CSA, local farmers markets and restaurants. Plus Andrea has the most fabulous blog called Dishing Up the Dirt where she pairs beautiful food photography with some mouth watering recipes that seem simple enough for even me to attempt. Mornings start early on the farm and we were there at 6:30 am, staggering about and looking for coffee. For the Bemis clan it was just a typical day and they treated us like family, plying us with the much needed caffeine, home baked bread and farm tales. Thanks guys, can we come to dinner sometime? Just asking....
So when the photo editor of National Geographic Traveler calls you up and asks if you want to spend a few days down in the Foodie-est place on earth, Sonoma, California, for an upcoming story and COVER about the holy trinity (that would be cheese, pork and olive oil), what can one do but put the phone on mute while you scream, and then unmute and very calmly say, "why not?" as if this were nuthin' but a 'G' thang.
And so you go, and are embraced by Sonoma, the people (who can't stop smiling), the food (which is always organic and amazing...even if salsa does cost $8), and the weather (which is jacket optional even in November). You stop at Barndiva, a restaurant where the herbs are picked out back, you take part in a cheese and wine pairing at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens, you pet baby goats and see cheese wheels as big as your head at the family run Achadinha Cheese Company, you sample pie and ice cream at Chile Pies Baking Co., then wander the hills with free range heirloom pigs at Front Porch Farm and Acorn Ranch and finally drive like hell to hit a 360 degree sunset at Jordan Vineyard's Vista Point And that is just day one.
So it goes on, a blur of sunrises and sunsets and shutter clicks. Just when you think you have to rest you attend a party at DaVero Farms & Winery, where almost everything on the menu has come from less than a mile away. You sit at a table with a group of newly made friends, under a circle of willow trees, drinking wine with the winemaker, and think how you tightly you want to hold on to this moment. But then you think, "Crap, I better get up and make some photographs." And so you do.
Had the absolute pleasure to spend the day with badass Beekeeper Henry Storch in Corvallis, OR for the Washington Post. The scary part of this story is that new research shows bees continue to die at unacceptable rates. And their range is shrinking as they fail to migrate northward during warmer weather, suggesting things could get worse as global warming progresses. Over the past decade, billions of bees have been lost to colony collapse disorder, an umbrella term for factors thought to be killing honeybees in droves and threatening the nation’s food supply. Amid the die-off, beekeepers have begun to use creative measures to save both their bees and their livelihoods.
And here is where Henry comes in. Using animal husbandry, or what he calls “cowboy science,” he raises his own queens and works to accelerate natural selection to increase honey production and disease resistance. Storch’s mountain-bred “survivor” bees are like open-range cows: tough, and hardened. These new bees are a result of crossbreeding feral colonies with his own personal stock. While we were there, Henry retrieved a colony from a dead tree, not even blinking when he got stung. I was not so lucky, ending up swollen for a week afterward.
The good news is these efforts may finally be paying off. New data from the Agriculture Department show the number of managed honeybee colonies is on the rise, climbing to 2.7 million nationally in 2014, the highest in 20 years. Earlier this year, Storch separated five breeder queens from his survivor colonies and gave them to beekeepers in California. He hopes the bees, bred deep in Oregon’s thickly forested bear country, might be a first step toward saving bees around the world.
Always love working with Game Informer Magazine because photographing game designers just begs for a little edge. So when they reached out to us about about photographing Nina Freeman, the first thing I thought was, "Hell yeah, a gal with pink hair. Then I checked out her game Cibele and got even more enamored. The description goes like this:
Cibele is a game based on a true story about love, sex, and the internet. You play as a 19 year old girl who has become close with a young man she met in an online game. Her relationship with him heats up, becoming more and more intimate with each phone call and private chat.
And Nina didn't disappoint (even though now the hair is blue). Got to rummage through her humongous wardrobe (and settled on aFrozen dress!) and her even more humongous collection of stuffed animals and Japanese plushies, which there was no way I wasn't using in the photo shoot. Thanks for letting me channel my inner Sailor Moon, Nina, you rock.
Oh, The Guardian. It's not every day that you get asked to do a story about someone stabbing themselves in the chest. Finding out he was a commercial fisherman and that it was an accident made it all a little less gruesome. Then add to the fact that afore-mention stabber and victim Steve Grove is incredibly good-looking, humble, and has a photogenic dog, and suddenly, bam. The sun comes outs, the wound has since healed, and all is right with the world.
Banged out a few covers for Willamette Week, our sassy, local alternative newsweekly that has actually won a Pulitzer. Photographing burgers and children is actually quite similar. Do all your lighting and prep work first, warm them up, and then try not to fuss with them too much. Oh, and have a backup, just in case. So want to know where to get Portland's most iconic dishes or where to knock back a few with your kids in tow? Or course you do.
Pretty proud to have a hand in the photography and video for Education Week's 2016 Leaders to Learn from special section. The section is highlighting the work done by Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Webb and his Chief of Staff Tom Hagley Jr. for their work for and leadership in developing Family-Community Resource Centers throughout the Vancouver district. These FCRC's are pretty magical places where kids can get snacks or coats or just get in from the cold. They also have parenting classes and food pantries. I dare you to watch the video and not fall under the spell of Dr. Webb for his honesty and energy. Plus, you've got to love grown men who will play on the swings.
I love shooting food and drink for the various Willamette Week Guides, gives me a chance to see what is up and coming in PDX and what to order. Recent meal/photoshoots include Toro Bravo, Aviary, SmallWares, OX, The Knock Back, Bamboo Sushi, and Kachka. Seems like Crispy pig ear, Herring under a Fur Coat, Coppa Steak, Fried Kale, and Clam Chowder with Bone Marrow are on the menu. Mangia, Mangia!
Ever since they opened in May of 2015, Cascade Record Pressing in Milwaukie, OR has been busy producing vinyl for small labels, indie artists, and record runs under 5,000. The Guardian sent us to check out this popularity surge and I can't say I'm surprised. Records just look and sound better, not to mention they can come in green or pink, or blue. COO Mark Rainey gave us a tour, and yes, it is a cool as you think it is.
Always a pleasure to create environmental portraiture for AARP. They always do such a great job covering some pretty important issues for those over 50, and it is great to hang out with people that have so much life history to share.
Over the last year we did a myriad of stories for them, including a story about how many older adults who were laid off during the recession were caught in limbo until their Medicare kicked in. Kathleen McCann, who we photographed in her amazing forest of a backyard says that without Medicaid to close Medicare gaps, she would be overwhelmed by hospital, doctor and prescription drug bills.
Then we shot RCA Moore for a story about family caregivers and how a new law called the CARE Act is being put in place to help keep them informed and involved. RCA was a caregiver for his wife but said he often didn't know how to help her.
Next was Debi Friedlander and how she sometimes experiences food insecurity. Debi, a photographer herself, was a fantastic subject and her husband even lent us the light to put inside the fridge for the photoshoot, now that is teamwork.
Finally is Kathy Goeddel, who has volunteered for over 30 years at Tax Aide, created in 1968 to helps seniors and low- to moderate-income individuals file their income taxes so they don’t miss a single deduction or credit. I sat in on one of her classes, and wouldn't have wanted to try an do it on my own!
Thanks to all these folks who shared a glimpse of their worlds with us.
Spent the afternoon with Native American artist, painter, weaver, educator, theorist, consultant and all around amazing gal Sara Siestreem for 1859 Magazine. She let me into her space which I found almost sacred, full of her art and paints and inspiration. There were quotes she had written on the walls and just about everything was infused with both a sense of beauty and history. Spending time with her was very peaceful and when I found out she had no cel phone or car, I wasn't surprised. I documented her as she worked and occasionally we would chat about work or boys or life, just like girlfriends. I left the shoot feeling both drained and invigorated with a smile on my face.
Did a shoot with badass Kelly Roy the founder of ADX for Portland Monthly. ADX is all about collaboration, with a woodshop, metal shop and digital lab where you can share tools, knowledge, and space. We love supporting places like ADX and also really like making sparks so a set of high-fives all around.
Aaron Draplin, design man about town. Got to spend the day snooping around his studio for the New York Times, where every drawer contains wonderful surprises. It is like the flea market version of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. You may know Aaron for his handy Field Notes books, which I love except for the fact that I now have half filled ones scattered around my office. Want to take a bigger peek into his nooks and crannies?
Headed out to Walla Walla for Seattle Met to photograph some of their top 100 Washington Wines of 2015. Tough life, I know. Christophe Baron of both Horsepower Vineyards and Cayuse, was our tour guide and subject for the day. Being so very French we had Christophe opening a bottle of wine in the first 30 minutes and by the end, we all felt like good friends (but perhaps that was just the delicious Syrah talking). Nevertheless, we left with an excellent dinner recommendation and an even more excellent bottle of wine. À bientôt Christophe!
Christopher and I hit the streets, the homes, and the offices of Portland's 50 plus workforce for AARP. This included judges, postal workers, eyeglass salesman, bike messengers, and more! Hope I'm looking as damn fine as these folks are when I sign up for my AARP membership.....
Interested in "Noshing Through Portland’s Eastside" with Travel Oregon? Well of course you are. Portland has got Artisanal down to an art (pun intended) and both Jacobsen Salt and Ranger Chocolate have got what you need. Some amazing products in amazing spaces.
I, myself, having used regular old salt for the last 40 years of my life didn't realize what I was missing until owner Ben Jacobsen gave me a sample. Ben, consider me converted.
Shooting travel and food photography for Willamette Week's Finder, their annual guide to all things Portland is like a way of giving the city a big ole' hug. Or at the very least, a warm handshake or slightly awkward fistbump. It is a way of visiting all the cool iconic places that have help build this city, (oh hello again Hippo Hardware, Bombshell Vintage, Machus Men's Clothing, Cathedral Park, Lizard Lounge and Lounge Lizard). But then it is also the best way ever to meet some new faces (The Portland Mercado and Wild Fang, how do you do?) When the weather is warm and the sun is out, man this town comes to life, both old and new.
Preservation Magazine Story knows that Portland is one well-preserved city (guess they missed the recent condo-nation explosion). But we certainly are a city that prides itself on reinvention and realizing the value of history and nostalgia. Some spots that made the cut: Heathman Hotel, St. Johns Bridge, Raven and Rose, Portland's Japanese Garden, The Nines Hotel, Waterfront Park, and BridgePort Brewing Co. You go on with your bad, old selves.
I have fond memories of Big League Chew. That sweet smell when you open the foil pouch. The whimsy of the shredded bits of gum that is supposed to make you feel you are using chew. That burst of pure unadulterated sugar the fills your mouth with spit when you first start chomping. So imagine my excitement when we got assigned to photograph Rob Nelson, the founder of this iconic gum, for the Washington Post. Little did I know this would then involve me peeling gum off his face as we asked him endlessly to blow bubbles. But you do what you have to for art, and Rob was such a good sport about the whole thing, there was nothing to do but laugh, continue to alternatively shoot and peel, and blow a few bubbles ourselves.