A Blooming Fine Day

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I have a friend.
Her name is Colleen.
She shared a story with me.
The story goes something like this…

“A few years ago, a tulip bloomed in our backyard; the yard was otherwise covered by ivy. We didn’t plant the tulip; it was likely the work of an enterprising but forgetful squirrel. The best moments are always like this tulip: unexpected and perfect.”

Earlier this week, I had one of those special moments.
I was in San Francisco on a corporate shoot.
My client was unfashionably late.
I stood on Gold Street.
A picturesque alley in the Financial District.
There was no foot traffic.
I was alone.
Waiting.

Then it happened.
A stranger turned the corner.
She strode the lane toward me—
Looking the fashion equivalent of a tulip in bloom.
Finally, I blurted out in mock exasperation.
You’re here at last.
I’ve been waiting for you.
No, no, she said, politely waving her hand.
I’m not your model.
You’re not, I joked?
No.
But she slowed,
Then stopped entire,
And glinted right on frame.
I snapped at 1/200 of a second.
And every time the shutter clicked, she gracefully shifted her pose.
What an unexpected and perfect gift! Thank you.

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Simply Jack

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Meet Jack, Jack Beckwith.
He’s the Founder and Creative Director at The DataFace.
There’s one thing I enjoy most about photographing business pros.
I get to ask them any question I want—and learn just how interesting they are.

Who is your favorite writer?

I’d say Michael Lewis. As a sports nut and aspiring data scientist, Moneyball proved a perfect introduction to his work back in the mid-2000s. But what I admire most about Lewis’s writing is his ability to take a mundane subject and somehow make it captivating for the reader. His latest book, The Fifth Risk, is no exception. It’s about government bureaucracy and somehow I couldn’t put it down.

What’s one of the most beautiful places you’ve ever visited?

Bryce National Park has to be near the top of my list. I’ve been twice — once with my family in eighth grade and again with some college friends during our spring break my senior year. The hoodoos are just magical, especially in the afternoon sun. I have some wonderful memories hiking the trails there with my dad.

By this time next year, what do you want to have achieved?

I’m hoping to run a half marathon at some point in 2020. I’ve been a runner for more than a decade at this point, dating back to the days of high school cross-country. But since I tore my ACL last April, I’ve had a tough time getting back into the habit of running. So I made it a goal to train for a race this year and set a PR. And what better way to set a new PR than to run a distance I’ve never officially raced before?

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City Ink

“A mask tells us more than a face,”
According to Oscar Wilde.
Well, yes and no.
A good mask is a face—
One with legible characters.
Just like this one.

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Howl

As you descend HWY 84 on the coastal side of Skyline, you’ll pass a dive bar in LaHonda named Apple Jack’s. Don’t day dream, or you’ll zip right by it. Made from original redwood trees in the area, the structure resembles a brooding mushroom. If it’s an overcast rainy day and you’re alone, as I was, the place feels haunted. Perfect, I enjoy haunted places. I’m nostalgic for ghosts, for people who are elsewhere or simply dead, for artifacts that persist without purpose, and for ephemera that remind me of the beauty of life and the finality of death. Enjoy—or not.

HOWL: Nasal Turbinates, Deer Skull

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CORDAGE: Once Line, Now Merely Rope

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SCALES: Of Light and Dust

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THURSTON HOWL II (Yes, you better get the joke)

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CORDAGE II

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Last week, I received the nicest compliment on Instagram. “I’m a big fan of your work,” she said. “Whether it’s landscape or portraiture, you have a beautiful gift for capturing the soul of whatever it is you photograph.”

Hopefully I captured the soul of Apple Jack’s.

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Stranger Scenes

January, 2020.
San Francisco, Maiden Lane.
I was hired to photograph staff in the City.
Everything went swimmingly.
Results were fantastic.
Look here.


But the shot list was short.
In 17 minutes, we were done.
Except I wasn’t.
I still wanted to shoot.
So I plunked down two chairs in the street.
I set up shop and waited.
I didn’t wait long.
I saw someone interesting.
I want to photograph you, I said.
Are you game?
He sized me up in a hurry.
Absolutely, he said, with enthusiasm.
We hung out for five minutes.
That’s all it took.

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When he left, I waited more.
I saw someone else who was intriguing.
Pleasantries were exchanged.
Then we got to work.

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All told, I photographed three strangers.
And I loved every minute of it.
I’m now addicted to street portrait photography in a big way.
2020 has a new theme for my work.
I ardently hope that clients—corporate, family, or solo professionals—
Hire me for precisely this style and approach of photography.

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It’s now part of my repertoire.
So please keep me in mind.
Now let’s go shoot!

Contact me for kids, teens, couples, family, and corporate photography in the Bay Area. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, offers, and inspiration.