This City’s on Fire

On the way to a friend’s house in Southfield, MI, I drove over an intersection with good visibility and saw a plume of smoke on the horizon.  Thinking it would be something close, small, and insignificant, I picked up my buddy and we went to check it out.  (We are photographers after all).

Well, as we were heading in the direction of the smoke, we realized it must be bigger than I thought because we didn’t seem to be getting closer.  Turns out it was actually 20 miles away.

From what I gather, it was an abandoned factory complex on Detroit’s West Side and the PD have no idea what happened.

To reiterate the scale, we met up with a volunteer firefighter from a northern suburb.  He was there because he saw the fire from Auburn hills – almost 40 miles away.

Here are some of the shots.

– Jon

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

A Good Old Fashioned Celebration

It was a brisk fall day in northern Montana… OK – that’s a lie.  It was the last day of June in Detroit and it was HOT.  Like really, really hot.

But that’s all I really have to whine about.  The rest of the day was super awesome.

Based on this post, some of you may know that I don’t regularly shoot weddings.  It’s not so much because I don’t like them (’cause I do).  It’s more that shooting a wedding for someone you didn’t know until they hired you has some drawbacks:

– They aren’t your buddies and there’s a chance they may feel a bit uncomfortable with a camera pointed at them (regardless of how good you are).

– You don’t really know a lot about their personal lives, so striking up conversation/making them laugh is pretty much left to the stock commentary that gets used with every client.

– (This is my big one) – Their personal bubble is a LOT bigger.

Those are just a couple of reasons why I only shoot weddings for family and friends.  I can get closer, make them laugh more consistently, and – most importantly – it seems like less of a job and more like fun (which GREATLY improves image quality).

So anywho – a friend/former instructor of mine got hitched at the end of last month and I was there along with Ashley Lawler and Laura Raymond for picture takin’.

Here are some of the nifty shots we got.

– Jon