With just 10 stools and a rented kitchen, Will Preisch presents a pop-up vision of high-end eating: casual, personal, and thrilling. Want to make it to one of these amazing feasts? Called holdfast dinners, Will describes them as such, "holdfast is a “pop-up” restaurant operating out of kitchencru, a commissary kitchen and culinary incubator in nw portland. holdfast is a refined dining concept - not refinement in the sense of luxury - just pared down to what we consider to be the essentials of a wonderful meal; great food and drink, with excellent and unobtrusive service in a casual atmosphere. this is our opportunity to cook and feed people outside of the trappings of a traditional restaurant. clean. thoughtful. primitive. modern." Looked pretty delightful to me, and Portland Monthly.
A funny sort of twist of fate that I ended up on two section fronts for the Sunday New York Times last week. One was the Travel Cover, which ran a story I shot last year about backcountry skiing in Oregon. This involved me learning to backcountry on the job, while attempting not to kill my cameras (this is a mission I failed). Huge thanks to Three Sisters Backcountry for ensuring I didn't die. The second was for Sunday Business, a profile of intel's director of user experience research, Dr. Genevieve Bell. Not everyday you get to a bond with a robot and roam the halls of Intel.
Two very different projects, both ones that pushed me as a photographer. Which is what I love about working for The Grey Lady. Plus, I'm not gonna lie, seeing your pictures printed huge is kinda cool too.
Willamette Week asked me to shoot not one, but two covers for their 2013 Bar Guide issue, and several billion bars around town (ok, I exaggerate...). Needless to say, it was a blurry week. Victory Bar was the place to beat this year, christened Bar of the Year. I dig Victory, and their laid back, easy drinking feel, but runner up, Hale Pele has a special place in my heart (and the cover). Maybe it is the thunder, rain and smoke that randoms emits from the walls, or that fact that it is located in a strip mall next to a nail salon. However, if you are looking for a place to take your Dad (if your Dad had his Kerouac phase) then I recommend runner up #2, the Blue Diamond, where folks from age 22 to 72 can be found shaking what their momma gave 'em.
Other bars to add to your list of places to get tastefully drunk at are: Barwares, Moonshine, Bar Dobre (booze and kielbasa!), Free House, The Tannery, The Rookery, Sauvage and Velo (get your bike fixed while drinking beer, brilliant). It is an amazing thing, this town's propensity to birth bars like Kate Gosselin.
So many people I have talked to rave about surfing the Oregon Coast. Not too crowded, nice waves, quaint little towns. All I can think about is the cold. Even dipping my toes in that icy water makes me dream about senior beach week in Ocean City, Maryland. But I digress.
I appear to be the only one who has those issues though, as the go-to-spot, Short Sands, is littered with very hip looking crowds, swathed in neoprene. And I was more than game when long time friend and writer Lucy Burningham told me she needed a picture taker for her very first adventure into the waves.
As typical of the coast, we were blessed with perpetually changing weather, but after a lesson with Lexie Hallahan of Northwest Women’s Surf Camps we witnessed Ms. Burningham ride her very first wave. Almost made me want to jump in. I said almost.
If you are feeling like you may want to take a dip and a trip yourself, read the article.
Lucy and I first worked together for Imbibe Magazine in Croatia, where we found ourselves racing around the country chasing down truffle hunters and infused liquors. If that doesn't make for permanent bonding, I don't know what does. Check out another one of our adventures involving sauerkraut here. And if you are someone who like to bike and drink beer (this perhaps maybe everyone I know), then be sure to grab Lucy's fab book, Hop in the Saddle.
Mark Scott, professional skateboarder and owner of Dreamland Skateparks, stood still long enough (1/250th of a second) for me to take his picture. 1859 Magazine's Into the Soul profile. Mark was a good sport, performing tricks for me over and over again, while still managing to keep a pencil tucked behind his ear. He also managed not to laugh outright as I slide up and down the sides of the skate park, trying not to kill myself with my lights. Was feeling rather proud of myself until I realized when I got home that I had sacrificed a sandbag to the skatepark gods of Lincoln City. D'oh.
Artist Chris Johanson posed at home for me, and the New York Times. Chris is low key but is making big waves with a monograph out this year on his work out from Phaidon. Such an interesting guy, sweet, quirky, with a knack for saying things unlike anyone I'd ever heard. Example. Instead of saying, "Should I smile?" he says, "I'm feeling happiness now, would you like me to show it?" Perfect. His home was crammed with art (a man after my own) most of which he had swapped with his fellow countrymen, all of which had a story. Spent about 45 minutes with him and then an extra 30 with that cookie cutter, figuring out the best way to shoot the damn thing (note: kitchen background most successful). When I finished and am out the door, Chris peeks his head out of his front door and says, "You have a nice way about you. I had fun."
Just taught a class at Newspace Center for Photography on how to create compelling images at Portland's Rose Festival. Students learned how to hone their own personal style while shooting the Rose Parade, City Fair, and the Milk Carton Boat Races. So sorry you missed it. But....I'm teaching another class this summer at Newspace, Finding Your Documentary Passion.
Both Feature Shoot and Hunger.TV recently featured a profile of some work I did about AIDs in India. Done for my Master's Project and supported by a Fulbright Grant, I lived in India for six months, documenting their epidemic and drinking heavily. It was a topic I feel fortunate to have brought to life, in however small a way, but it was often hard to sleep at night. And that's probably enough about that, read the interview for more. If you don't know, Feature Shoot is a great place to see new and fresh work and if you ask, they will deliver it all quite tidily to your inbox everyday. HungerTV is this edgy British web site and magazine that had the brillant idea of combining Art & Culture, Fashion, Music, Film and most importantly, photography....but not just celeb or fashion photography. They have a whole section devoted to documentary work, which features not only upstarts like myself, but also Martin Parr, and Magnum photographer Rene Burri. Not a bad crowd to run with.
Pulled out all of the stops and all of the speed lights (well, all four) to light a portrait of Eleek co-owner Sattie Clark for Oregon Business Magazine. Sattie was gracious and fun and Eleek is a pretty amazing green company and is considered a pioneer in the design and manufacture of energy-efficient lighting. While I was there the place was humming as they worked on a huge project to recreate lighting fixtures for Seattle’s 1906 King Street train station, based solely on historic photos. The monumental fixtures differ from the originals only in their durability and that LEDs are replacing gaslight. Eric Kaster, her hubby and co-owner took a brief moment from production to pose for a few pics as well.
Plus no toxic substances are used in manufacturing, and local scrap metal and other recycled materials are first choices, as well as products that come from sustainable businesses and from within a 50-mile radius, in order to help reduce their carbon footprint. I also found out that Eleek hires from the neighborhood, pays full benefits, offers flexible scheduling and pays bonuses to employees who walk, bike or bus to work.
All things that add up to an amazingly cool and progressive Portland business. Oh, and did I mention that Sattie and Eric met while both performing at Berbati's Pan some years ago? Yep, I know. It's like the perfect Portland love story.
A good friend of mine Mickey, who is the party planner guru at Saraveza in North Portland asked me to photograph their fabulous event space, Bad Habit, for their new website. My partner in crime, Christopher Onstott and I photographed the space empty and then again for an engagement party. And since we ended up falling in love with the place, stay tuned for our upcoming party there! Maybe we'll put you on the list...
Back in January NPR asked me to drive up to Longview, Washington to photograph Maria Peyer, Mike Bixby and their family for a story about interfaith couples with the lovely print and radio journalist, Deena Prichep. They were such a wonderful and thoughtful family, makes you realize you don't have to have the same type of relationship with God (or even one at all) to love and respect each other. (Listen to the story here)
I'm not sure why this is but I have a tendency to stalk teenagers, girls mostly. Good thing I am a female myself or this would be getting really creepy. Something about the way they hold themselves; a vulnerability that speaks to me. It is like they haven't quite figured out how to gloss everything over when having their picture made, something us older gals have gotten so good at. The girls in pink I saw walking as I was driving and literally stopped my car, made a u-turn and parked, then jumped out and gave them my photographer song and dance. I mean, how could you not stop, two girls dressed in black, both with pink hair? They were amazing and fabulous and without direction held hands and turned in their feet just as a sun flare hit my lens. I knew I would love the images before they were made, always a dangerous proposition. Something about teenagers that makes me want to stare at them for hours, their clothes, their style, they are like a code I want to crack, a secret world I want to visit. Maybe it is the combination of endless possibility mixed with overwhelming uncertainty. Kind of like how I feel most of the time.
I photographed the Oregon Freeze Dry plant for the Bloomberg News wire service recently and learned all about how to make beef stroganoff last for 8-10 years. Oregon Freeze Dry is the largest food freeze dryer in the world, a process also known as lyophilization. They also cook all their food there, which I thought was pretty cool. One thing is for sure, if I ever need to survive some sort of end-of-days disaster, I'm heading here.
One man, one place, one light, (my new kick ass Canon 600 EX RT), one hour, 4 setups. Ready, set, go. This was my first adventure as a newly minted Canon photographer, and I have to say, things weren't pretty. Getting used to totally new gear, where everything basically turns the opposite way that you think it should, made my brain hurt. But Andy Welsh, my subject, was patient and one of my personal mottos isn't "Fake it til you make it," for nothing. When I am tasked with shooting a portrait fast, I always make sure to scope out my surroundings; looking for doorways I can shoot through, interesting angles, unique light, anything where I can make something out of nothing. Plus I pay close attention to any natural gestures that the subject makes to include his hands to give the image interest and a feeling of intimacy. Finally, I like to do at least three or four setups, cuz' I want the New York Times to know they are getting their money's worth (they are). And that's how the magic happens (or not). You can read the full story of why Andy thinks politicians suck, HERE.
The Newspace Center for Photography Spring 2013 Class guide is out, and they've asked me to teach one of their fantastic photo field trips. We'll spend the weekend at the Portland Rose Festival, which means floats, beauty queens, parades, and carnival rides galore. Plus all participants will get media photo passes to get some behind-the-scenes action. Some of the topics include: Learning the building blocks of documentary work. How to approach strangers. (Ahhhh!) How to create environmental portraits. Seeing things from a new perspective
Plus I will be doing one-on-one sessions over our shooting time, so everyone gets a little love. Friday – Sunday, June 7 – 9. June 7: 6 – 9pm | June 8 & 9: 9 – 5pm Cost is $315. Sign up while we still have space!
This year PhotoLucida is kicking off Portland’s Photo Month with Then. Now. Here. a city wide photo exhibit featuring recent and historical images of Oregon. The exhibit was curated by the fabulous Oregonian photographer Motoya Nakamura and after I slid him a little cash he choose 6 of mine (that was a joke). Had to have the slightly awkward but amusing conversation where I tell a few of my friends that their naked bodies will be splashed along the sides of buildings. Also love that four of the images were shot on film (uh, what is that?) on my trusty TLR Yashica. The first of many screenings will be at the Oregon Historical Society Wednesday, April 3rd 8pm-9:30pm. Hope to see you there.
Hot off the presses....the most recently photographed Alberto Salazar and his stable of runners for the March/April issue of 1859 magazine. Had maybe 5 minutes for the portrait, so it involved a fair bit of lighting set up before hand, dodging raindrops and stealing....ahem, borrowing, a ladder (thanks Nike!). Alberto was a nice guy but definitely not one to let a portrait shoot get in the way of practice. He is an in demand man and I enjoyed watching him seamlessly juggle jogging the track while talking on his phone and giving encouragement to his athletes. Way to multitask Alberto. And thanks to 1859 Editor Kevin Max and my producer Christopher Onstott for keeping me laughing as I lay belly down stalking muddy tennis shoes.
So in love with the layout that Portland Monthly did for my March story on synagogues, The New Shul. One thing I was really intrigued by was the different ways the religion is interpreted. On one end of the spectrum you have a female Rabbi, Ariel Stone, leading the congregation at Shir Tikvah (they even share a space with a Gay-friendly church). On the other end is Congregation Bais Menachem, an ultra-Orthodox Chabad Shul where men and woman are not allowed to touch. And in the middle was Shaarie Torah and Rabbi Zucky, a former Israeli soldier who owns not one, but two purple suits and a pink felt pool table that holds a place of honor in his office. One thing all these places did have in common was how welcoming everyone was. The assignment was a swirl of bagels, sacred scrolls, elaborate stories and open arms. A fabulous blend of down-to-earth-sensibilities mixed with mysticism. Perfect for a girl born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother.