A Tale of Sword and Drum

It’s Feudal Japan, on a bright May morning. The cherry blossoms and tulips are making way for draperies of wisteria. All around, the beat of the Taiko drums reverberates through the air. In the distance, there come the sounds of kiai, and the crash of bamboo striking bamboo, threatening to drown out the shouts. A dog calls and yips as the nearby boats drift past, the low thrum of their engines interspersed with the occasional horn…

The Older They Are, The Harder They Party

A number of years ago – maybe 3 or 4 – I did a class project, designed to make use of my major for someone’s benefit. My mother manages nursing education at Sanctuary at Faser Villa, a Metro Detroit senior care center, part of the Trinity Health System. This particular center hosts a number of yearly parties for their residents.

In other words, things lined up nicely.

Throughout the growth into my career, I got a boatload of experience shooting events and operating on-site photobooths. For a couple years my girlfriend and I brought a photobooth setup to the senior center; she ran the booth, I shot candids. Over time I began dabbling in video and eventually brought it into the mix. Now each time we attend an event, she shoots pictures, I shoot video.

It’s kind of interesting, working within a set group of people. When you shoot any given event, be it a wedding, or Mitzvah, or company picnic, you have to read the crowd and get a feel for the people.  Pinpoint the couple guests who are super outgoing and seem to exude happiness into whatever group of people they happen to be near. You’ve gotta learn the venue and figure out where the best light is. You also have to try to anticipate the event schedule and be in position before things happen. In the end, you’ve gotta do the best you can and work with what you’re given.

But shooting the same event each year gives a different edge. It’s especially pronounced in a setting like a senior center.  Activity schedules tend not to change much (it’s difficult for the residents if things change all the time). The setting is the same (it’s in the same building each time). Also, for the most part, the residents live there full time, meaning the attendees at the parties tend to remain fairly consistent.

So, instead of a reset each time, I get to work with the information about the event, guests, and venue I had from the previous party and build on it.  It’s unique in comparison to my experiences shooting parties and events.

The most recent party we attended was the Annual Harvest Ball, an Autumn-themed event they host every October. Check out the video below!

– Jon

The Retriever Cometh

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You may have been on the internet recently.  Heck, you may be on the internet RIGHT NOW.   So in all likelihood, an internet aficionado like yourself may have noticed 1 or a few hundred thousand trends rocketing their way around cyberspace.

Ignoring “Grumpy Cat” (whose name is Tartar Sauce), Gangam Style, and Reality TV, you’ve likely noticed there is a – close to overdone – trend rocking Youtube.  I am, of course, reffering to Electronic/Dubstep-soundtracked montages of things like action sports, skate boarding, or people hurting themselves.

Well, try as you might, you’ll never leave ME out of the loop!

Unfortunately I am not mind-bogglingly athletic.  I am neither surprisingly, moderately, or remotely athletic.  This isn’t to say I weigh in at a svelte 750, but more that if I attempted an inverted kick-flip followed by a dark-house nose-grind, I’d likely find myself in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the half-pipe, soaking in the snickering humiliation of 2 dozen overly-developed tweenagers.

But back to the point…

I don’t have an affluence of athletic ability.  I DO, however, have a golden retriever.

His name is Murphy and he is possibly the coolest person you’ll ever meet.

SHUT UP!

He is TOO a person…

Enjoy.

– Jon

I Made a Book!

Hey!  I made a book!

 

In fewer than 2 months, a handful of things will happen: Christmas pandemonium will be upon us, I will engage in my first “holiday break” in years without molecular bonding between myself and a Zelda game, and I will participate in a portfolio/career show – where I will be presented to prospective contract-ees much like a slab of cow-meat is waved at overweight Americans on the 4th of July.

But I suppose I’m clinging too strongly to my personal feelings about the whole thing.  In the end, I could wind up in a contract with Diesel Jeans or something… I guess we’ll see.

The super-awesome-fantastic-great-plus side of the whole ordeal is that it has forced me to finally make the portfolio book I’ve been avoiding for quite some time (years).  Of course the benefit of me waiting this long is that the thing is rather up-to-date.

I could explain the finer aspects of the ProLine Paper, the beautiful image-wrapped cover, or even the hours of nervous twitching as I meticulously determined which image to place next to which.  But, in the end, you probably don’t care and may not ever touch, caress, stroke, or in other words fondle this glorious, printed, eye-seducer.

So, I’ll just show you an Issuu render of the thing.
Enjoy!

– Jon

(OH- and in you’re interested in a superb coffee table book, shoot me an email and we’ll make some magic happen!)