Andy Anderson Says that Ice Trolls Invented Drinking.

Over the years, the word I hear most when people are describing Andy Anderson’s photography is SOULFUL.  That is because he has a powerful connection to the people and places he photographs.  He doesn’t just take pictures, he makes friends.  Life long friends.

On a recent trip to Northern Minnesota to shoot personal work of the ice fishing sub culture,  Andy met some new friends.  Link to Andy’s blog to read what he shares about his trip and why he thinks the ice trolls invented drinking.

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David Martinez Finds a New Camera that Helps him Evolve his Look.

David Martinez recently called me to talk some about what direction he sees his worked heading this year.  It was a great call because David was so excited and passionate.  He had been shooting the new work for a while and said it would be ready to share soon.  He has big plans for the new direction and it got me excited too!

On the call, I asked him what were some of the things that inspired him to create a whole new body of work.  Besides it just being a natural progression and being inspired by the teams he had been working with, he mentioned a new camera that he was using.  Here is what he said about it. 

“Camera technology changes by the second. Sometimes the changes are big (like high def video on a DSLR).  And, sometimes the changes not so big (like an extra megapixel).  I have seen a lot of changes over the past few years; bigger sensors, better buffers, better transfer speeds, and they all help push my work even further.   At the end of last year,  I read about a new Canon camera and software that intrigued me (Canon EOS 1D X and Capture One Pro 7 software).  Thinking it was just another necessary small (albeit expensive) upgrade, I took the plunge and bought the camera. After spending a few weeks with it and the newest photo editing software, I can safely say it’s one of the biggest improvements that I’ve seen in a long time.  Every frame is sharp, I can shoot clean files in the lowest of light, there is a range of detail I’ve never seen in a digital format, tonal transitions are smooth and colors are rendered beautifully.

I’ve found that my new setup has been really freeing as an artist. I spend less time thinking about the technical limitations of what I’m doing and more time thinking about what kind of image I want to make. I’m able to really see what’s in front of me. I can be more present and more sensitive to my environment, which makes any  photographer, or any artist for that matter, better. I get more of the pictures I want more often.

Stay tuned in the next few months for a new collection of David Martinez images.

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Don’t “Freak Out” – you can now see Hunter Freeman’s portfolio on video.

As with the others in our group, we have created a video for Hunter Freeman’s portfolio.  And, in keeping with his style he chose a song that will make you chuckle. Hint:  See title of this post.  And, to add his own brand of humor, the song is performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.  Check it out below.

Hunter Freeman’s Video Photography Portfolio

If you would like to see Hunter’s portfolio in person, please email us here.  And, to see more of his work.  Be sure to link to his website.

10 Things (well 11 things) you may not know about Kevin Twomey.

When Kevin Twomey sent along his list of 10 Things we may not have known about him, it included an eleventh item.  He told us that we could choose the ten that we wanted to use.  We liked all eleven so decided to share them all.  Enjoy!

1. My bike: I  love steel frames, the struggle of going up hill and sometimes enjoy riding with no hands –  I have a plate and 10 screws in my right arm to prove it.

2. My nick name in college. was “Shaggy” as in the Scooby-Doo character .

3. I recently went in for a routine cavity filling and now the right side of my tongue constantly buzzes.  the dentist says just wait a few months…

4. Yes, I’m one of those bay area folks that has swum from Alcatraz to SF

5. I’m a  foodie but can be just as satisfied with a peanut butter sandwich…..on a nice piece of artisan bread

6. Dark chocolate (70%) can come from anywhere but  Fruits! & Veggies,  Local please!

7. I am the youngest of six

8. Tennessee William’s is my favorite playwright .

9. One of my first jobs was as a dishwasher and to this day, i don’t let my wife load the dishwasher.

10. Other  occupations I had considered were  theatrical set design, forest ranger and at the age of 10, a stuntman.

11.  when I went into kindergarten, i switched hand dominance from left to right, but thee are a few things i still do lefty like batting and bowling

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

© Kevin Twomey – http://www.kevintwomey.com

Kevin Twomey spent a few magical weeks in Italy this summer. When he shared his photos and stories with us, we suggested he share them on the blog as well.  Kevin’s account is very beautiful and reminded us of the importance of slowing down.  

“”When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”   When it comes to food, that saying won’t steer you wrong anywhere in Italy you happen to visit and enjoy a meal.

This past August I went to see the in-laws in northern Italy with my wife. We spent a week in the Alps eating, hiking and eating some more. I am a big proponent of eating home cooked meals and locally grown food and I am happy to report there was no shortage of either on my trip.

A mile up the road from my in-laws summerhouse, close to the town of Oltre il Colle, is an abandoned ski resort where a handful of cows graze at the granite peaked base of Monte Alben for the summer months. These cows belong to a local herder, Tobia. Tobia and his brother have lived amongst these mountains their whole lives. Things are much simpler than my current urban city life and it was good to see the old methods of doing things were just the present day routine for people in the surrounding villages.

© Kevin Twomey – http://www.kevintwomey.com

We met Tobia and his brother as they were milking their cows. Sonoyo, my sister-in-law, gets her milk products from Tobia and thinks nothing of the daily errand that I found to be such a luxury. Tobia didn’t have any fancy milking machine, no weird tools or suction devices.  A bucket and an old wooden stool to sit on was all that was required, go figure.

After a few introductions and a brief conversation about weather, health, family and how two of his cows will be turned into Bresaola this fall, Tobia took his bucket full of fresh milk and filled up Sonoyo’s liter bottle.

A few days later we went to Tobia’s house to buy cheese. The first thing I noticed was the breathtaking view surrounding his home. Lush green rolling hills as far as the eye can see, mountains upon mountains towering over on all sides. And the garden! He had a rich array of so many different kinds of vegetables, it was quiet a sight and put my town’s community garden to shame.

© Kevin Twomey – http://www.kevintwomey.com

There was a separate room devoted to storing and aging Tobia’s home made cheese. He had some that was days old to a couple years and he wanted us to taste them all. We had our tasting and made some hard choices of what to schlep back to the states. We walked away with about a two month supply.

It was refreshing to see things done old school style with little fuss producing such high quality product. Tobia has been doing things the same way his father and his father’s father and so on and so forth. Generations not obsessed with doing better but instead knowing what works is sometimes the best way to do it.”

© Kevin Twomey – http://www.kevintwomey.com

If you would like to read more of Kevin’s blog posts, please link here.  He has a particularly moving post that he wrote after the earthquake in Japan.

Whose Playlist is this?

At a recent breakfast with David Martinez, we brainstormed about some ideas for a blog post.  We went back and forth on ideas and I knew none of them were inspiring him.  When I suggested sharing a playlist from his shoots, I could tell he was excited.  So much so that I received the post before the end of that very same day.  Thank you David!

Here is what he had to share:

“Who’s playlist is this?” It’s a question I hear all the time on set when shooting. I’m lucky to work  with so many creative and dynamic people every day – each with their own array of talents, tastes and party tricks.  Their  musical leanings are equally diverse.   There is the stylist who loves the Magnetic Fields, the makeup artist with a soft spot for Gloria Gaynor and the photo assistant that knows every lyric in the Beatles catalogue. Everyone’s got their own track to add.

Music plays a really important part of how we create a happy, productive work space.  With programs like Spotify, it’s so easy to share and  learn about new music and get into the deeper cuts of long time favorite artists (Bob Dylan has a Christmas Album?!). When it’s my turn to DJ – I usually put on this mix – 1300 songs that seems to stay fresh no matter how many times I listen to them – a playlist that has little something for everyone.

 

Birth Water- sharing a powerful series by Andy Anderson on Baptism rituals in the south.

Andy Anderson always makes time to shoot for himself.  He schedules it like it is a commercial shoot and is so committed to it that isn’t easy to get him to move the dates!  I have always admired that about him and think that so much of his success is his insistence on making time for his personal work.  He has traveled all over the world photographing more things than many will see in a lifetime.   From bull fighters in Spain to transvestites in Cuba his images are epic and enthralling. We are never disappointed when he shares what he discovered.  That is why when he returned from a trip to the deep south we were expecting something amazing.  And, boy did he deliver.

This series has been the most talked about series in his portfolio. Every portfolio show we attend, people want to know the story behind the series. I asked Andy to let us know about his inspiration.  Here is what he shared.

“A major motivation in my photography is curiosity.  So much so that I named the photography book being published by Rizzoli,  just that; Curiosity.  I am constantly exploring things and seeking out those people that excite me most.  Over the years, many of the relationships with the folks I have met have become more important to me than many of the images.  I value so much the friendship and intimacy that goes into each one of my photographs.

That said, I tend gravitate to the moments in peoples lives that are magical, powerful and sometimes even raw.  I understand that there are very few times in your existence that you are able to actually witness such sacred times so when I do I am very appreciative.   I was fortunate enough to do just that at Camel Lake Campground in Bristol, Florida.

Since I spent my childhood growing up in the deep south, I constantly am drawn back to explore a place that I love dearly. One of my dearest friends that I have gotten to know on my travels is Reverend Shearer.  Over the years I wandered into her town many times and saw countless baptisms taking place.  I always felt privileged to be there but understood that  those were private moments not to be tampered with; but only to witness.  Over the years, the friendships with both Reverend Shearer and her congregation grew.

Well, last spring, I received a call from Reverend Shearer. She told me that she would love for me to come and photograph a baptism that she would be preforming in her home town. So I “Criss Angeled” myself  the next week to Florida.  There are no words that can explain the experience.  Trust me,  the human spirit is alive and well. ”

To see more of Andy Anderson’s work, link here.  And, be sure to consider subscribing to our blog so that we you can be the first to read via email our latest entries.  (Upper right hand corner of the blog)

Does Ron Berg really eat 60 quarts of pickles every year??

Ron Berg is still relatively new to our group so it was fun to learn some new things about him.  Who would have guessed #7?  Thanks Ron for sharing.

1) Has a sneaker addiction. Yes over 100.

2) Dart hustler

3) Dive foodie. Doesn’t have to be fancy for The Berg just bring on the grub.

4) Likes canned yard beers the best of all adult beverages.

5) Has inoculated a whole herd of cattle before.

6) Still has a fondness for all genres of 80’s music

7) Has a pickle addiction. “Puts up” 40-60 quarts every year to feed the addict.

8) Cover my ass mentality is starting to wear on me.

9) Thanks to Ronald McDonald, Burger King, and Icebergs. I have a bijillion nicknames thru-out my life. Seems like everyone has a different one for me.

10)Has Hoarder tendencies, but his wife won’t let it happen. In a middle of a purge again, as we speak.  Hence, I love auctions!

If you would like to get to know Ron’s photography better, please do check out his site.

Dandelions are not just for salads and wishes.

© Kevin Twomey – http://www.kevintwomey.com

In his own words, Kevin Twomey shares his obsession with all things dandelion.

“Last month while at a restaurant in Brooklyn, I saw that they were offering a Dandelion Salad as an appetizer.  After spending countless hours photographing them, I could not pass up the opportunity to experience the plant in another way beyond sight.

I wonder why we spend so much energy trying to eradicate them when right out on our lawns is a nutritious salad just waiting to be harvested? And what about the medicinal uses, not to mention the ever so important relationship it has with the bees?

For me, my obsession with the dandelion lies after the flower blooms and turns into that white fluffy ball, so fragile, just waiting for a subtle breeze to release the seed-bearing parachutes. ….and so many wishes.”

Kevin has a wide collection of ‘organic’ imagery that he showcases on his website.

What do Elliott Erwitt and Hunter’s Freeman’s wife have in common?

When I asked Hunter Freeman to consider the questions, “Who is your hero?” for our blog series, I wasn’t surprised by his answers one bit.

Here is what he had to say:

“This is difficult to narrow down to one person.  Photographically, the closest I can get to one “hero” would be Elliott Erwitt.  He is to me the epitome of a joy-filled photographer.  He’s able to see so much love and joy and fun in our world, which can be an enormous challenge, considering all the tragedy that confronts us on a daily basis.

I feel that he would rather show us the love that is in the world than the hate, show us things that will uplift us, rather than depress us.  To help explain what I mean, for example, there are many reasons that soldiers make jokes in the midst of tremendously awful situations (which can often seem macabre to any civilian, including me), but with so much “awfulness”, I conclude that what they, and by extension, all of us, most need, is not for that awfulness to be constantly pointed out, but for something funny, or ridiculous, or just outrageously incongruous to spotlighted.

It allows us to relax, to feel at ease, not under pressure, not filled with the cares of this world.   Elliott Erwitt has persistently focussed on that which is funny, or charming, or goofy, or just simply lovely.  With so much crap out there bombarding us all, that persistence is heroic, in my book (or iPad).

My real hero, though, is my wife.  She is Love personified.  Except when she’s not, which is very rare indeed.”
To see more of Hunter’s work check out his website and his blog.  You can see first hand how his heroes have influenced his photography.