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Personal Project: 24 Hours in San Francisco

This has been a very busy year with new clients and some amazing opportunities, but it’s been increasingly difficult to make time for personal projects, which are an important part of growing as a photographer and developing a creative skill set. On my recent trip to the SF bay area, I was determined to come up with a personal project that would push me to think outside the box in terms of lighting and composition.

The below series of images is a departure from my usual work as an event, headshot, and commercial photographer and attempts to see the common place through new eyes while recreating the feeling of being face-to-face with the subjects.

All these images were made during a 24-hour window on August 25 and 26, 2015, during which I walked throughout San Francisco asking strangers if I could make a portrait of them.

Everyone I approached were generally willing and kind. Some of them I spoke with for only a minute – the longest conversation lasted a full hour after I made his portrait. This personal project reminded me the value of walking with nowhere in particular to be and making conversation with complete strangers.

Ten of these images are currently hanging as 60×15 inch prints in Flying Fish Coffee in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, DC. None of the images are for sale.

Note: If anyone who was photographed is looking for a copy of their image, I plan on emailing it to you. I’m currently on travel and have not yet finished editing all the images or emailing them out. Thanks for your patience!

San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project
San Francisco Portrait Project

Gothic Study

Hearst's Gothic Study

Another shot from Hearst Castle: The Gothic Study was W.R. Hearst’s executive board room and the main place where he conducted business while at the castle. The room was quite dim and I was doing this without a tripod–phew, that’s a lot of breath holding and concentration!

Red Carpet Affair, DC Style

The Happy Hosts

Last Saturday some friends hosted a theme party in honor of the birth of Blue Ivy, the new-born daughter of music artists Beyonce and Jay-Z. To give the party (hosted at a six bedroom house in Mt. Pleasant) a club feel and some red carpet pizazz, the set up a backdrop and red carpet runway at the entrance.

I have to say that the runway idea was brilliant! It added the extra touch needed to pull the theme together and get people in the mood, even if they didn’t come dressed up. Personally, I had a great time photographing all the beautiful people in their club attire. From the photos you would think that this shindig happened in NYC or LA, not the middle of a residential neighborhood in DC.

As for the party attendees, everyone seemed to love it. It was the perfect icebreaker before people headed upstairs to hang out in one of the “VIP lounges” or hit the dance floor. I think more house parties should incorporate a photo op at the entrance–and it’s easy to do!

Tracey, Giselle, and Paul, you throw a hell of a party! Some photos from the event below:

It has to start somewhere…

Welcome to my new photoblog!

This is a project that I’ve been meaning to start for some time, mainly as a place to post updated photos and keep people updated on my latest projects.

This place is best described as a “go with the flow” photoblog–I’ll update when I feel the impulse and when it makes sense.  I’m not huge on social media, but this is a start.  More than anything, it will finally give me a forum to share photos with others that would otherwise sit on my hard drive (until I decide they are good enough to fall into one of my portfolio pages).

In any event, I’ve already thought of what my first posting will be… cherry blossoms in DC’s tidal basin!  I know, there’s a million photos of these, but hopefully mine are a little unique.  Hey, at least I get the satisfaction of putting them where others can see them.

For now, a small preview of the cherry blossom photos…

Sunrise over DC's tidal basin during the cherry blossom full bloom.

-J