Maggie without a plan

Over the years my photography has gotten more and more focused around a plan – booking studio time, working with booked models or paying clients, even basing my own family photography around trips to exotic locations in the Southwest or Alaska or Hawaii or Mexico. It has been a long time where I just went out with the camera and shot stuff without a plan.

Tonight, on a routine trip to McDonald's with the kids, the sun hit just right and my daughter Maggie's hair was just the right combination of wild and fashionable.

I feel like to get good at a creative medium, or keep up one's chops, it's important to work at it during "off" time- like an illustrator who sketches while watching tv. Shot with the Fuji X-T2 and 35mm 1.4 lens.

Maggie at the Petrified Forest/ Painted Desert

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I’ve always had a problem: I live in the Southwest- surrounded by exotic, beautiful environments like the Painted Desert- but it’s just far enough away that it’s not feasible to take a pro stylized model with me to shoot out there.  Enter my daughter Maggie, who at age 8 has been in enough of Daddy’s shoots in her lifetime to finally get styled and shot way out amongst the petrified wood.  Hair and makeup done by her mom/ my wife Vesna Miller.  We’re going to make this a routine thing- once a month- with the goal of building up a youngster to be an ultra stylized look.

All images done with Fuji X-T2 and either the 35mm 1.4 lens or 23mm 2.0 lens.

Minimal Monochrome Model Instax

I’ve come to the conclusion that instant film is the ideal format for my photography – minimalist, strange, shot with “what you see is what you get” style lighting.  These were shot with Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome Film – 10 Exposures on my Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera, and here’s a little tutorial from my YouTube on how to get the double exposure effect you see in Shasta’s image!

New Monochrome Instax w/ Alina, Devi + Mia

I’ve put together a little formula for how I’ve conducted my recent shoots, which is: some video, which takes a while to compile/ edit/ do fx + sound for etc., and then some instant film shots, which are already done the moment they come out of the camera.  This seems to satisfy the need for immediate results while giving me something to work on for the next couple months.

It’s fascinating how sometimes the work that gets the best response is the stuff that’s simplest or easiest or quickest to create like this.  These were shot with the Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome Film, my new go-t0 creative tool for stills!

On my youtube channel I have a couple video tutorial/ reviews of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera

…and the new monochrome film I use to make these!

Maggie in the Superstitions Wilderness

We have been having a pretty dramatic winter around Phoenix, meaning it’s a bit more grey and rainy than usual; the day after a storm you are guaranteed the sun will punch through and give you some amazing shots if you’re in the right place at the right time.  I went hiking with my family around 3 pm by the Peralta trail on the east side of the Superstition Mountains, and my daughter Maggie decided to get “experimental” with some of her posing.  All images shot on the Fuji X-T2, lenses were the 35mm 1.4 and 18-55mm 2.8-4.

The Clown of Bosque de Chapultepec

Lots of clowns around Mexico City. Some are small children with no parents in sight begging for money. This guy picked me out of a crowd and posed as I was the only person in a crowd of probably a thousand+ with a camera. Asked if I spoke spanish, joked around and called me Leonardo DiCaprio and my wife got called Monica Lewinsky.Mexico City (1134 of 524)

The location, Bosque de Chapultepec, is a massive area full of museums and family fun- the equivalent of Central Park in New York or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  It’s definitely a great place for anyone with an itch for street photography.

Waterbirds video

This was shot one Thursday morning at a local Riparian Preserve in Gilbert.  I remember feeling physically anxious because I hadn’t used my new Fuji X-T1 that much- new art tools should lead us to making new art.  The Gilbert Riparian is about 20 minutes from my house and it is definitely a source of peace and of great bird photography with all the unique species flocking to Arizona in the fall and winter.  The ambient music accompanying the visuals was created way back in 2005 when I used to knock these strange sound interludes out on a regular basis.