I’ve had the opportunity to photograph the Lodi Visitor’s guide for several years now and I’ve really come to love this part of California. It’s rural, peaceful, pleasant and these towns in this part of the state have what I consider, a really great standard of living. There are tons of vineyards in this area. It’s not a landscape with vast rolling hills such as Napa and Sonoma (an area where I’ve also had the pleasure of doing advertorials for promoting wine and tourism). This part of California is more flat, but also a lot less expensive. The downtown part of Lodi is quaint and charming. For the 2019 issue, we spent a lot more time in the downtown area capturing all the happening new areas and I’ll be excited to see what photos are selected for the 2019 issue.
While in Hawaii for work on Maui, I made a two day trip to Kauai to do a video story on Kai. I met her through a group of friends while visiting the island in 2013. For the past year or two, I've wanted to tell her story. I had never met anyone like Kai before and had limited knowledge about this group of people. I didn’t know her story very well, so it was fascinating learning about her during the pre interview and interview. The entirety of her life is very complex and dark at times, and deserves more than an hour to explain. The details get even more complex with her childhood, medical issues, several failed pregnancies, and more.
I like to make videos with a message that inspires us to imagine more; and so I hope this video gives a window into her life and group of people that are misunderstood and underrepresented in mainstream media. The intention is not necessarily to speak on behalf of all intersex people, but if it can reach at least one person out there who is in the same position, Kai and I will call this video a success.
When I do these videos on my own for personal projects, the most important thing to me is to just get out there and do it, so I keep a pretty simple set-up to stay mobile: Canon 5D Mk IV, various canon lenses, monopod, H1N recorder, small travel tripod, rode mic. I try to do something a little different for each video, so next time, I'll work on using my sennheiser lavs and plugging into my H4N.
Happy Earth Day! 🌎 Today, the Woodchuck team is in DC and is kicking off their launch to plant 10 million trees in the next two years! 🌳This is quite exciting as they have planted 1 million trees over the past two years. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to be a part of Ben’s personal mission to help reforest and rescue trees in Ushuaia, Argentina and create a video that shows what he has done throughout the planet. This past month, we took an expedition to Antarctica through the Explorer’s Passage with renowned climate change activist, Robert Swan, and his captivating son, Barney. 🇦🇶For two weeks, Ben and I were surrounded by an inspiring group of climate change activists and are personally changed for the better. I could see Ben throughout the trip becoming exponentially more inspired to take his tree planting and reforestation efforts to the next level. He wrote the script for the video and we recorded it on the ship. It was important to him to do this portion while in the moment on the expedition. Ben wanted an epic video, so I did my best to do just that :) I’ve known Ben for around 5 years now, and I can safely say, he is someone who makes it happen. He has a very can-do attitude, extremely resilient and he’s always lived a bit beyond his edges in his personal and business endeavors. A big part of Ben’s motivation is his future kids and grandkids. He has a lot of pride when it comes to family and a huge amount of respect for the environment. He’s committed to doing everything he can to make a difference and has built up the physical and financial means to do so.
Barney, Rob, Jeff and Ben all have these similar qualities of living outside the borders of their edges. They have goals so big that they could fail hard and possibly in a very embarrassing way, and that’s exciting. Because in the throes of past failure, they’ve had an even greater comeback. I love surrounding myself with people who like what they do and find passion and purpose in their job. If I can use my skills and give my work more meaning and help businesses further a task that is much more important than just my life, I’m all in.
I had about 40 hours of travel to get to Ushuaia, Argentina where we departed on the ship. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires while in college, but I never got the chance to go to Ushuaia. The architecture seemed like a blend between Iceland and Switzerland, except not as tidy. The structures were also eclectic and quirky due to a lack of previous building codes. I was quite charmed by Ushuaia and hope that I can go back someday when it's winter. I did both photo and video for this entire trip which was quite the task, but I got through it. Below are some of my favorite photos and candids from the trip. All photos are stills from the camera. Video stills are lame.
I had a 22 hour layover in Buenos Aires, and so did a handful of other people on the trip. This was so great because I got to hang out with people on the trip that I didn't get a chance to hang out with during the time spent in Antarctica. I only had a few hours in the city and suggested a few tourist sites to go to including La Boca - originally a very impoverished neighborhood where people live in corrugated tin shacks. Now it's become a main tourist attraction. It's very lively, colorful and you can watch Tango dancers from almost any restaurant you choose to sit at. It was exciting to be in Buenos Aires again because this was the city that where I decided to become a photographer. I was really eager to speak Spanish again while down there. I remembered more than I thought I would. When I was 20 and studying abroad there, I was too bashful to practice talking to people, so I spoke little to no Spanish the entire 4 months. Now that I'm older, I had much more confidence. I immediately feel in love with BA all over again and it made me realize how much I want to try living in another country for a while. I'll do it one of these days when the timing is right.