Tag: comedy

A Project of Furry Proportions

Hooray!  I’ve been waiting quite a while to share this one with you guys, but I had to iron out the finer details first.

Way back in the spring, I began doing video work for The Michigan Animal Rescue League.  The promo spot caught the attention of one of their TheUrbanDogD56aR07aP01ZLsponsors, The Urban Dog, an all-natural dog food and supply store out of Rochester Michigan.

After a fairly lengthy amount of planning and conceptualizing, we settled on an advertising project that would include a promo video, a series of ad posters, and a collection of interviews about the store.

Then the fun started.

Probably a good 80% of the dog owners I know graciously allowed me access to their furry family members.  After a couple months of video, photography, editing, audio selecting, and post processing – the project is locked, loaded, and ready for you, the loving audience.

Also, be sure to swing by TheUrbanDogStore.com to see what they’re all about.  I learned a lot on this project I wish I had known years ago about maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle for your dog.

And I’d also like to mention how massively thankful I am to everyone who helped my out and let me borrow your dogs for the afternoon.

Check it!

Jon

Getting into Character

Through a fortuitous chain of events, I was recently introduced to an acting group in the Canton, Michigan area by the name of the “Spotlight Still Got it Players.”  They are the senior acting troupe associated with The Village Theater At Cherry Hill.  Recently the Still Got It Players, picked up a stage play by a Mr Howard Kingkade called “One Foot In The Gravy.”

They, being performers, and I, being a photographer, naturally found ourselves in a mutually beneficial situation.  A couple nights ago, I stopped by the theater to get some headshots and a few candids for their promo in the local news outlets.  Of course none of this seems terribly interesting, but please try to remember that I am (somewhat) unused to the presence and mindset of actors, backstage.

I arrived before my contact –  the only person from the group  that I knew or had ever even spoken to.  When I went in to study the building and find the best place for lights, I met a rather friendly gentleman who had no idea who I was, why I was there, or even that I was planning on taking pictures.

He also happened to be holding 3 incredibly over-padded bras, trying to decide which was the best fit…  Also keep in mind that I had no real idea what the play was about or who the actors would be portraying.

So of course, as friendly custom dictates, he inquired as to my opinion on the bras and which he would look best in.   That was my introduction to these people.

These folks are HILARIOUS.

We started off with the head shots and I don’t even want to elaborate anymore.  They each sat down, INSTANTLY got into character, and I got awesome shots in less than a minute per person.  Straight “pro” all around.

Check it!

– Jon

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Back In The Day

Yesterday, I got a chance to revisit my childhood.  It was an… altered experience.

Went up to Crossroad Village, in Flint, Michigan.  For those of you unfamiliar, it’s kind of like Greenfield Village (a city of historical reenactments) set in the mid to late 1800’s.  This time of year is specifically interesting there because they break period-character a bit and deck the entire place up in quite a lot of Christmas lights.

When I was a wee lad, it was just crazy to go to a village in the middle of nowhere and see people who still live just like they had 100 years prior.  I would take the train ride out into the country and wave to Santa, who would have, of course, been kind enough to grace us, and only us, with his presence as we rode the tracks, listening to the most traditional, old-timey of Christmas carols (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer).

Now the illusion is a bit lost on me, but that’s not to say the experience is not enjoyable – far from it.  In my current mentality of “if there’s something I can learn, you best be sure I’m gonna learn it,” the magic of the holiday spirit has been replaced by super-fascinating historical facts.  As an example: The train you can ride (on the Huckleberry Railroad) is actually a real-life coal-burning engine from the late 1800s, pulling a dozen cars from the same period.  This, of course, is quite an accomplishment, since people have had to maintain the machines in working and aesthetic order for over a century.

A little side fact:  Reindeer are ticklish… let me explain.   In the spirit of all things festive, a reindeer had been brought in from a local farm for photo opportunities.  As you enter the barn, there is a sign near the entrance instructing you not to touch the reindeer as it is “too ticklish” to them.  Being a reasonable adult, I deduced that the comment was a friendly, whimsical way of keeping children from taking an antler to the face.  Of course, if I were to wait for the impressionable youth to leave I could have an adult conversation with the reindeer’s handler and explain that I would very much like to pet the reindeer and that I would not do something stupid like hang my coat on it.  She informed me the sign wasn’t actually a joke and demonstrated by VERY VERY LIGHTLY petting the reindeer.  If the reindeer could have spoken it would have said something akin to, “What in the hell do you think you’re doing?!  Get away from me.”  In conclusion, reindeer do not like to be petted.

While the antique train and the reindeer with personal space issues were fascinating, the clear winners of my trip were the historical actors.  It wasn’t so much the convincing illusion (they didn’t wear Wolverine work boots back then) but the nerdy factoids these folks had in their heads.  I got to see a 100-year old typesetting machine printing a news article, found out that frontier towns sprang up based explicitly on the vicinity to the blacksmith, and learned how to use a straight razor (which I was just recently gifted).

And, OF COURSE, there were some pretty nifty photo opportunities.  Here are a few of my favorites.

– Jon

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I Know This Dude Who Tries To Build Everything Himself…

My buddy, Carl Amyoni, has a particular set of skills… skills that make him a nightmare for people like IKEA.

Carl is one of those unique individuals that grew up not with The Rugrats or Inspector Gadget, but with the likes of Norm Abrams and Tolstoy – essentially the makings for a modern-day Renaissance Man.  However, instead of a hoity-toity Palisade, Carl found enlightenment in things like raw steel, hand carved mallets, and sandpaper of varied grits.

He was well on the way to a life of hand-crafted stuff.

One day, Carl became interested in photography.  (He still won’t tell me exactly what happened – it has something to do with Public Access Channels and a substantial quantity of artichoke and onion guacamole).

Anyway – after meeting him through a photography class, it became clear that Carl was more interested in building, himself, what could otherwise be purchased at any department store.

About 3 and a half years have passed and, as such, other friends and I discuss how it’s likely Carl, in the search of imagery-perfection, designed and forged his own camera.

I think it probably went something like this….

– Jon

I scream, you scream, we all scream…

It’s rare that I get this geeked about a project, but this one really came together – and we aren’t done yet.

You may recall this post and this post from the last couple months.  I have been part of assorted groups focusing on art direction and team-oriented projects.  For this round – the assignment was “dessert.”  We may have gone a bit off the reservation…

Our focus was on taste – specifically, a taste that you would go through horrible experiences just to enjoy.

As with each previous set – our teams got shuffled before-hand.  This time around Jessica McIntyre, Brian Doig, Nancy Garcia, and myself got our sweet tooth on.

– Be sure to swing by in the next week or so – we’ve got some video with your name on it.

**No dogs, street-fighting girls, or business men were seriously injured in the making of these images.**

 

– Jon