Had the pleasure of building up a studio shoot for a new cycling studio opening in Miami, Redbike. The client wanted sexy black and white images of well-toned models for the website and building interiors. Here are a few we came up with.
I haven't been able to look at the images I shot in Newtown, CT since leaving the place. I had been yanked away from a quiet and contemplative artist residency in upstate New York when the shootings went down. After the week or so of shooting (for Stern and Maclean's) I raced back from Newtown as fast as possible to lick my wounds. A heart-wrenching experience, to say the least. And if it was that hard for me I can't comprehend the pain of the families of the victims and the town as a whole. Lifting the camera became a physically exhausting experience with the emotional weight becoming a very palpable feeling. It took a couple months to be convinced the insane media attention was worthwhile, although at the time seeing all the news crews made me sick. The government seems to have recognized we need gun control as a result, so let's hope some legislation passes and we move toward a more evolved society. (Update: 4-18 - Senate minority has blocked the background check bill. Contact your representative and senator and tell them you won't abide). Hard news photography isn't my passion, but I'm grateful to have contributed to a collective response to this terrible tragedy.
Looking back now at the images, I start feeling like I did in the moment...Utterly depressed about the loss of beautiful innocent children, angry at the shooter and the culture that made him a possibility, spiteful of the TV crews with their bloated budgets and sensationalized storytelling, and intoxicated by the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Yet there were moments of elation and peace in the spaces between noise. These children were miracles, the community's support was a miracle, the country's desire to improve is a miracle, and the fact I was able to witness and possibly help in some small way feels like a miracle.
For the month of December I'll be in-residence at The Wassaic Project. It's my second go around after a last April when I started a project called Harlem Valley, about the strange rural area between wealthy Hudson Valley and Connecticut. There's a good chance this work will be the subject of a solo show at Recession Art in March. Will keep you posted.
In between volunteering shifts at Rockaway Beach where Sandy wreaked havoc, I made some iPhone pictures. This one was featured on Instagram's weekly roundup. The new technology is no longer just a trend. With TIME magazine using an iPhone image on its cover it's undeniable that being a contemporary photographer means embracing this new form of visual communication. Will be adding a gallery of iPhoneography to my homepage soon. Follow my Instagram feed here.
Karrin Anderson, a contributor to Bag News Notes had a whole lot to say about an image I shot for The NYTimes recently for a story on new mothers and maternity leave.
We’ve all heard of a pregnant pause, but for some women, childbearing no longer means pausing one’s professional life. After tech rock star and incoming Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced her pregnancy (and her intention to work through a truncated maternity leave), discussion ensued about the practicality and advisability of her choice. The New York Times, for example, profiled women like Maria Seidman (pictured above) whose professions and financial circumstances either require or enable the comingling of their maternal and professional responsibilities immediately after their babies are born.
The modern portrait of “supernewmomhood” seen here both replicates and challenges the dominant narrative about the uber successful CEO supermom—the woman made possible by the second generation of feminism but privileged enough to “have it all” in ways that her feminist foremothers could not. Ann Marie Slaughter’s much debated piece in The Atlantic sought to debunk the notion that even women who exist in the stratosphere of economic privilege can realistically “have it all,” and Rebecca Traister rightly pointed out that the “have it all” standard was unproductive—for women and for feminism. Nonetheless, the arguments in that debate are reflected visually in this photo......
If you know anything about Amanda Palmer, you know she's a badass rock star. I got to shoot a couple of pretty spontaneous videos (with Nights in Ultraviolet creator Matt Cook) of her and the band for Gothamist at the South Street Seaport Museum. In other words, front row seats with only about 5 people in the audience! Check 'em out!
Read the story below, and visit the gallery here.
At age 10, Danny Ghitis moved with his family to a suburb just outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He relocated to New York after college but still heads south to visit his parents a few times a year.
On a trip in 2009, he started taking pictures at various spots along the city’s seven miles of beaches. The ongoing project has allowed him to rediscover a familiar place.
"Being a guest in your own home is a strange feeling," Ghitis says. “But in my case, it helps me let go.”
It led him to a slower kind of photography than the “run-and-gun approach” he learned shooting for newspapers. Now he often uses his vacation time to explore life along the Atlantic shoreline.
Fort Lauderdale gained popularity as a spring-break destination in the decades after it was shown on the big screen in the 1960 film "Where the Boys Are."
“I was not around in the ‘80s to party with the spring-break crowds or hang with the bikers,” Ghitis says. “But I have seen the boardwalk change over the years.”
By 1985, the city had passed a strict ordinance against public drinking to help shed its image as a mecca for college students. The strip where most of the shops, hotels and restaurants are congregated has gotten more upscale since then.
Ghitis says the culture and nightlife of Fort Lauderdale has always felt just outside of his reach.
“As a teenager I looked on from a distance, not being old or perhaps bold enough to be fully involved,” he says. “When I reconsidered the city as an adult, I felt my opportunity to dive into the debauchery had past and I was once again an observer.”
When he’s cruising the beach with his camera, Ghitis isn’t looking for anything in particular. But he likes to have a “balance of sincerity and awkwardness” in his images.
After years of redevelopment, tourists still flock to Fort Lauderdale. Despite the down economy, the area hosted a record 11.1 million visitors in 2011.
“I find the supposed paradise concept of the beach amusing,” Ghitis says. “Because to me it's just home, beautiful but imperfect.”
– Brett Roegiers, CNN
An ongoing discussion about anti-Semitism on the Rutgers college campus has drawn national attention. Aaron Marcus, a senior, has been at the center of the controversy. Since transferring from Yeshiva University three years ago he says he has encountered several incidents that crossed the line from anti-Israel to anti-Semitism. Last year he appealed to the Zionist Organization of America, which filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights accusing Rutgers of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to afford Jewish students the same protections against discrimination it would afford members of other minority groups. Dr. Charles Haberl, director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers was responsible for the investigation into anti-Semitism allegations against one of his department's staff members. Read more here (original link requires subscription).
Potentially the most powerful gay couple in the world, Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge are getting married at their Garrison, NY estate in June. Hughes is a co-founder of Facebook and organized Obama's 2008 online campaign and is now editor-in-chief of The New Republic. Eldridge is an investor and political director of the Freedom to Marry organization. Quite the combination. Read the story here.
During the second half of April I'll be attending the Wassaic Project briefly as an artist in residence. I'm looking forward to taking some time away from the city to breathe easy and make pictures without the daily pressures of the city. Check out their website here.
If I hadn't met the Mob Wives cast in person I wouldn't believe they were real. These ladies are intense and larger than life (in more ways than one, wink). I had to shoot two groups at separate locations because any little comment could set them off into a battle. And the producers of the reality show want to be there when the shit hits the fan.
Collaborating on this shoot for the Growing Chefs program at Eagle Street Rooftop Farm was loads of fun! Set to the song Utopia by Yacht, the concept was to show the little ones in a perfect place where they learn about connecting food with the environment. Thanks to the Goddamn Cobras collective for making it happen.