story

Making MAYA, the Only Darkroom Timer You’ll Ever Need

MAYA is a darkroom timer project that was born out of necessity when my old darkroom timer had started to malfunction. It has become a pretty successful crowdfunding campaign so far, exceeding 300% of its initial goal with a few days left to go.

The Story of How Top Photographers Posed for Baseball Cards in 1974

In the mid-1970s, 134 of the top photographers and curators in the world of photography posed for an unusual set of baseball cards that now sell for thousands of dollars as a complete set. The SF Museum of Modern Art just released this 4-minute video in which photographer Mike Mandel shares the story of how these cards came to be.

The Story Behind That IKEA Photo of Amsterdam

VILSHULT is an IKEA ready-to-hang photo of Amsterdam that has been sold over 427,000 times. After many of my friends asked me why I bought such a "mediocre" photo for my living room, I decided to find out how this photo was made and how it ended up on IKEA's shelves and in almost half a million households. What I learned was fascinating.

From Lighting Test to Album Cover: The Tale of a Photo in the Social Media Age

As a photographer in 2018, I can’t help but think of my photos as drops in an ocean of imagery. Here are a few quick stats: There are over 60 million photos uploaded to Instagram every day (not to mention Instagram stories). Then there are the photos posted to Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook (some people still use it, right?), blogs, etc, etc.

My Quest for the Perfect Polar Bear Picture

I’ve been saying it for years; all the easy pictures have been taken. But there are still some stupid and crazy ones left out there. I came up with the bright idea to travel north with at least one of them in mind. I went looking for the polar bear of my dreams.

This Eclipse Photo Was Shot from a Commercial Plane at 39,000ft

Photographers across the country pointed their cameras at the Sun during "The Great American Eclipse" on August 21st, 2017, but photographer Jon Carmichael managed to capture one of the most memorable shots from an unusual vantage point: he was sitting on a commercial airliner at 39,000 feet.

Copyright vs. Conscience: Lawyering Up Isn’t Always the Right Move

A few days ago, I awoke to a text message from a friend who lives halfway around the world telling me that he had unexpectedly seen one of my images on a FOX News story. The image was from a photoshoot that I had done of Richard “Old Man” Harrison from the television show Pawn Stars, which airs on the History Channel. However, after looking it up and seeing what photo he was talking about, I was surprised. The photo I was met with wasn’t even one I remembered taking.

What is Missing from Photography

It has been bugging me for a while now: there is just something that is missing from photography. From my personal work to the majority of photographers out there. I’m talking about the photos on your feeds, be it personal to commercial. It has been bugging me and I finally found out what it is: what is missing from photography is stories.

Forgotten No More, Or: This is Why Photography Matters

Often it is the backstory and the small stories behind a set of pictures that brings it all together. I posted the above picture back in 2011, photographed on film and included in a set of photos from an abandoned dye-works in Somerset, UK.

Right Place, Right Time: A Photo Book That Dropped Into My Life

It doesn't always happen like this, but occasionally the photo gods offer up just the thing you need at just the right time. That's what happened Wednesday when a copy of Mark Klett's Revealing Territory dropped into my life out of nowhere.

I Shot Photos of Cameras Placed on Film

Last summer, I visited Gifford Stevens at his home in Bradley, Maine. He was one of the best teachers I've ever had. He taught English at Hampden Academy.

How I Got My Photos Published from a Free Trip to Paradise

February 2017. For a midwesterner like my father, this was prime time to get away. So Jon decided to acquire two tickets aboard a cruise from San José, Costa Rica to the Panama Canal. His original plan was to treat my mother to a bit of mid-winter warmth and sunshine. When she wasn't able to go, he offered the spare to me.

How I Shot Fifteen Words to Celebrate My Friend’s Love

Last year, during my last months in Melbourne, I got a text from one of my closest and oldest friends from Italy. “We need to talk, I have some important news for you. Skype?” Minutes later, we were online.

I’m Thinking About What Sara Said

I had the great privilege of tagging along with photographer Eric Kim for Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai back in 2014 and 2016. GPP is an annual event: the region’s biggest and only photography festival, bringing the world’s best photographers and instructors to Dubai to share their knowledge and experience with the professional and amateur photography community in the Middle East and Africa.

We’re All Connected: Photography, the Internet, and the NYC Helicopter Crash

My youngest daughter and I are visiting New York City this week. After visiting the 9/11 Memorial in the late afternoon on March 11, we made our way to Battery Park to catch the sunset, view the Statue of Liberty, and take a few shots. I shot the above photo with a Nikon 28-300mm lens that evening. The next day I found out that one of these helicopters is the Eurocopter AS350 that crashed in the East River about 8 minutes after this photo was taken.

How Two Photographers Unknowingly Shot the Same Millisecond in Time

On March 3rd, during a large East Coast winter storm, I headed to the ocean to capture some wave action. My travels eventually took me to Great Island Commons in New Castle, New Hampshire, where Whaleback Lighthouse is prominently featured .8 miles offshore. I was hoping to capture big waves crashing around the lighthouse, and Mother Nature didn’t disappoint.

Experimenting with a Neon Light for a Studio Portrait

In this post, I'll share the story and results of a recent experiment I did with lighting a model with a neon light. I was hanging out with a friend in a local coffee shop when he showed me an awesome album artwork he saw online.

My Worst Day Ever as a Photographer at the Olympics

This past Saturday was a really horrible day for me. But before I tell you all the story, I should preface this by saying that even though yesterday was brutal, I know that I am at the 2018 Winter Olympics and lucky to be here. OK, I got that out the way, so here it goes.

I Interviewed a ‘Photographer’ Who Had Stolen Photos… From ME

A few months ago, a girl came in to apply for a social media position at my last job. I was one of three photographers at the company and we had an opening for another photographer position. She mentioned to the HR recruiter that she also does photography.

Shooting a Magazine Cover with a Smartphone

I recently got a call from a client in Chile asking if I’d like to photograph Alexis Sanchez for the cover of COSAS magazine. Alexis is Chile’s most capped footballer was just transferred from Arsenal to Manchester United. He is also one of his country’s biggest celebrities. COSAS is Chile’s biggest selling lifestyle and celebrity magazine. Obviously, I said yes.

How I Got to Shoot a SpaceX Rocket Launch from Orlando’s Soccer Stadium

As a photographer that isn't associated with any news media, it can sometimes be difficult to get access to certain opportunities. With space, this is especially true, since access normally means the ability to place a camera near a launchpad in areas that are heavily restricted. This is a story of how it can never hurt to ask for permission.