Our Road To Deva

Fertility treatment.  It's one of those things that you know people go through, but hardly hear about the intimate details of the journey.  Maybe a friend mentions, "Oh yeah, we did IVF."  Everyone nods, eyeing each other knowingly.  But this statement is immediately followed by "...and now we have Jackson and Olivia," and then chatter about breast feeding and cloth diapering.  I never had someone share with me about the countless doctor visits, blood tests, external AND internal ultrasounds of your wife's reproductive organs.  No one I knew was chattering about masterbating to shitty porno mags into tiny cups (I do spare you those visuals, however), and months of sticking your partner with 18 gauge needles in her ass.  Because fertility treatment is commonly a blip in the conversation on the way to baby talk, actually experiencing fertility treatment can feel lonely and taboo.  

In a nutshell, we experienced "unexplained infertility," which means that there was no identifiable medical reason for why we couldn't get pregnant.  Nothing was missing, out of place, or deficient.  At first, this diagnosis sounded promising ("Yay, there's nothing wrong with us!").  Eventually, it drove us absolutely crazy.  We are super healthy adults in our early 30s.  Why couldn't we just snap our fingers and get this baby show on the road?   It seemed like our friends were looking sideways at each other and getting knocked up.  Our Facebook feeds were littered with ultrasound pics and delivery room photos.  Unexplained infertility literally meant we had no explanation.  Not for our friends and family, not for ourselves.  Our struggle was an unanswered "why?". 

My way of coping with and making sense of our "why" was, as it always is, through photographs.

This is my visual diary of our fertility treatment experience.  My hope is that these photos will help continue to demystify the process of infertility treatment and bolster support for other families who are fighting to grow.  

I'll be sharing a bunch of new images along with a few words over on my Instagram account throughout the coming weeks. 

Oh To Be a 17 Year Old, Internationally Known DJ again...

A couple weeks ago I was hired by Billboard Magazine to shoot DJ Martin Garrix. I could say the 17 year old is an up-and-coming super star of EDM, but with his already 400K+ followers on Twitter, I'd say the kid has arrived. 

I was asked to photograph him before his Atlantic City performance at Revel's, HQ nightclub. Not snow nor a missed flight would keep Martin grounded in Miami. His team chartered a private flight and they arrived just an hour late for prep. Not bad for someone who played for four straight nights in four different cities. And judging by his Instagram account, sleep hasn't been very popular on his tour. 

Below are a few images from that night!

 

Bikes, Buddha, Design, and Philly

September and October were busy months for editorial projects. During that time, I shot for two new clients; Surface and Tricycle, and two returning ones;  Bicycling, and Philly magazines.  The subjects varied greatly from shooting environmental portraits, interiors, studio still lifes, to street portraits.  

 

Surface magazine had me shooting in the Frankford section of Philly at the industrial design company, Amuneal. They specialize in retail display solutions and industrial designed furniture. 

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Bicycling Mag: Featuring my friend and avid bicyclist, Carl deBeauclair.  

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Philly Mag: featuring another friend of mine Jason Ganski who's co-owner of local design shop, Sedso

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Karmically in Tune

The thing that inspires me most and what gets those creative juices flowing is uncertainty. There's nothing quite like being dropped into an environment and asked to make something beautiful out of any given situation - no matter what! I think that's what makes my job so damn fun. 

Finally I get to share this campaign that I shot with my good friends over at Karma AgencyThese images were shot over five days and in tandem with the TV production crew (Neighborhood Film Co.) As with most jobs that have stills and TV shooting together, time with limited. At times my team and I had only a few minutes to shoot with the talent, but I think we made the best of it. 

Thanks to everyone who helped make this collaboration come to life including: Tracy Thompson, Mike Park and Ford Haegele. 

(The campaign is currently dominating Amtrak's 30th St. Station here in Philadelphia) 

 

Riding the Promo Wave

Once upon a time I was an art buyer. And with that title came emails and post cards - from photographers sharing new work .This part of my job was actually fun. Seeing what projects people are working on and constantly being showered visually with new and inspiring work (kind of like Instagram but not). But unlike Instagram, I had no choice who would share with me. That's when it got annoying. Photogs sharing work not relevant to the types of accounts the agency had started to become spam. That's when I took mental notes.

There were always 1 or 2 mailed promos that would stand out each year and as a young aspiring photographer, these promos blew my mind. The one I always remember was from a photographer that shot a major campaign for Frito Lay. It was so beautifully designed but it also helped that inside was a small bag of Fritos! Genius! That's the kind of impression I could only dream of with this promo for Urban Surfers. 

With the help of a couple  talent friends, (Adam Garcia and Dustin Kemper) I finally put together my promo. I designed a 26 page 7"x7" book and acting as my business card, a puck of surfboard wax with my own custom label. (Adam designed the Urban Surfers logo and Dustin designed the surfboard was label)

There are always a couple goals with these things: keep costs low, be visually interesting and make it so great that it would be difficult to throw out. 

I'll end with one email I got recently from an art buyer who was on the receiving end of this mailer: "... just got your promo (the wax will come in very handy for me!  8' longboard owner!)  

Goal achieved! 

 

 

 

Urban Surfers

There's nothing quite like the motivation of a beautiful woman to get you to try a sport that you've always wished you could do but never thought you could pick it up past your 10th birthday. This is the motivation that I felt three years ago when I met the woman of my dreams that would become my best friend and wife. 

I always knew some of my friends surfed but I never REALLY knew what that meant. Being from Philly I knew people surfed at the Jersey Shore, which is pretty obvious if you hit the beach each summer.  But not knowing the culture and the passion that drives some individuals to wake up at 4-5am and drive 1+ hours each way just to get a couple hours in during a swell (which the best surfing in the Northeast is from Fall - Spring), I was basically clueless what surfing really meant to them. 

This project is directly inspired by three friends of mine: Adrian Castillo, Chris "Cakes" Savaiano, and Jim "Hammer" Hammell who took me under their wings and suffered with the humiliation (that I still bring when I go out with them) of helping a newbie. Their dedication to teaching and insisting I go out with them whenever they go, helped me confidently say to that beautiful girl I met for coffee three years ago that, "I surf". 

 

(Stay tuned for more info regarding this project as I have big plans for next Spring/early Summer)

 

 

Metal, Tattoos and New England Fishermen.

Recently I was approached by Jamie Leary, art director extraordinaire at Decibel Magazine to shoot the band, Doomriders for a collaboration between the magazine and Converse. The idea was simple - interview the band, shoot an ad and get at least a 3 minute video of the guys - and that we did.  

Doomrider's front man, Nate Newton and his wife recently had their first child so I wanted to capture some elements of him with his family at home.  We spent a part of a Saturday shooting at his home in Ipswich, MA and the following day at Congress St. Tattoo in Portsmouth, NH where each band member decided to all get tattoos by bassist/vocals, Jebb Riley.

For this trip I decided to stay once again at a home I found on Airbnb.com. And just like my last few stays, this one was once again special. My gracious AirBnB.com host was an older ad guy who was the 9th employee at Boston's famed Mullen agency. He offered to wake up with me at 5am (with coffee already brewing) and show me spots only a local would know. Stories like this is why I just love staying with AirBnB hosts! 

 

Stay tuned for the final ad and video which should release by end of June.  

Farm Shoot

I'm finally able to share a short motion piece that I captured in March during an editorial still shoot. We had about two hours to shoot on a beautiful 50 degree day at the 7TH Heaven Farm  in Tabernacle, NJ. Farm owner, Carla Growney was gracious enough to allow us to shoot with full access to the farm and animals. 

Models:  Nicolette and J Lynne ( Reinhard agency)

Editing: Bruce Pinchbeck 

Music: The Bees "I Love You"  

All footage was captured with a canon 5D Mark ii and edited in FCP with Lightroom and VSCO color grading