Thursday, August 13, 2009

Norah "Loose Cannon" Levine

Did some shots of my good friend Norah last week... still trying to narrow them down... technical difficulties...

After struggling with light for about an hour, the sun decided to poke out and we went with it.

It's a little 'senior portrait'-y for my tastes but nonetheless she looks beautiful, eh?

Jokingly we did a 'Platon'-style shot... and surprisingly I really like it!

That's Norah.

That's it for now. In unrelated news, anyone want to buy me a new laptop?!?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Long time, no see (Part 1)

Yeah, I know I haven't posted in awhile. It's been ridiculously crazy - when it rains it pours, right? Been getting a lot more photo work lately, which is nice. I've also been bartending and waitressing and picking up any odd jobs I can. Work work work...

Also, one of my greatest friends, Dave Hyams, just moved back to Santa Fe... couldn't be happier about that!

So, I'll try and catch up with some random shots I've been doing here and there...

The beautiful rainbow over my super-lush backyard. Bet you didn't know there was a rainforest in Santa Fe!

Here's an older one of Alyssa that I never got around to putting up. I love it though... shot on the last day of the winter season 2009, at Backroad Pizza.

Emily loves our beautiful lace curtain-thingy.

Jonah with wine, while making epic meatballs for the roommates and I.

Emily enjoys sparkler fun with us after epic meatballs.

DJ DirtGirl (she's ridiculous) 'spinning' at the Pandemic Dance Party at Meow Wolf.

Another shot from Meow Wolf.

The 'greeter' at the Pandemic Dance Party... love it.

More to come...

Friday, May 22, 2009


Lessons in Family Portraiture
by Karen Lenz
with help from

1. Don't vignette a high-key background... (gotta love those costumes!)

2. The 'lean-in' pose was cool for the graduating class of 1993. Since then, not so much.

3. The 'prom pose' ONLY works for prom (and really, not even then.) Do not attempt with families!

4. At a certain point you have to reconsider what kind of clientele you're bringing in. Repeatedly.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: If for any reason during the session something feels 'wrong' or (god-forbid) 'dirty,' STOP IMMEDIATELY and try something else.


I suppose I should just shrug and laugh!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

website updated

Couple of fixes to the ol' website, including:
-fixed the logo (it was pretty 'choppy')
-created three categories under PORTFOLIO and added a ton of new images
-updated my bio and contact info
-changed the lead image

Check it out.

Per usual, feedback is appreciated and encouraged!


This beautiful woman hasn't even seen these shots yet...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Girls...

The three Course Assistants from the Winter 2009 season here at the workshops.

From left to right: Lauren Devon, Jenny Lee Trest, and Alyssa Bowers.

I've been trying to do more 'groups' of people - seeing as about 99% of my experience is with SOLO people. So I thought to myself, "Self, you should do a portrait of the CAs as an end of the season 'gift' to them." So I did. Now all I have to do is get prints and mail them out... ;o)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Donnor, Part Dos

...or this one... I'M SO INDECISIVE!


Since I recently retired a shot of my good friend Mike Donnor out of my portfolio, I was re-inspired to do a shoot with him when he showed up to visit this past weekend. It was a tough edit but I really like this shot - I'll probably settle on it later tonight. I'm up for comments.

Mike has a new photography portfolio out called "Silent Moan" and it's truly stunning and heart-wrenching work... You MUST check it out under the 'fine art' category on his website. This kid is going places.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hard at work...

One of my participants took this picture of me yesterday and I thought it was funny... It's me hard at work on a Friday (Fridays are CRAZY during the season.)

I just love the TWO laptops (there are three more around that you can't see), the post-it notes, my Pistons calendar, thank-you notes, the random film on my desk... this has been my home base for eight weeks now...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kira Pollack and Gillian Laub

Our instructors this week: Gillian Laub and Kira Pollack.

I can't say enough how much I admire and adore both of these ladies. There are both ridiculously open and generous with their knowledge and experience, and I've had SUCH a great week working with them. I can't wait until I get to work with them again (hopefully!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Nothing in the world makes me miss Michigan more than March Madness. Especially this year, with the Final Four tournament in Detroit!

GO GREEN! GO WHITE! (As I type the score is MSU 30, Louisville 27 at the half)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

George - AKA "The Rodent", AKA the "Desert Mammal"

This adorable little devil kept me up for THREE NIGHTS IN A ROW. Well, in his defense, it wasn't just his scratching and scuttling about that kept me up. It was mostly my cats tearing my bedroom to shreds trying to catch him...

But I digress... I present to you: George. The very large rodent, AKA the 'Desert Mammal' (as Elliott, my savior and rodent capturer, put it).

How do you know you're a photography nerd? When the most logical thing to catch a rodent in is your FILM DEVELOPING TANK. Another sign might be when you CAN'T WAIT to process some B&W film using only coffee and powdered Vitamin C (check out for details.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doug Merriam

The instructor here in the studio last week was Doug Merriam - and we had a blast! It was a beginning lighting class, which tend to be my favorites because the students are always so humble and eager to learn, and they still get SO excited when they get a good image. It's so refreshing!

Doug was nice enough to set for a portrait - and he gave me plenty to work with!

This image was my favorite and probably going to get printed for my book.... but we couldn't resist the opportunity to play around a bit:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aron Kalaii

I love this man. He's ridiculously tall, cut as if out of marble, sweet, funny, and he smells like incense. Also, he makes me feel beautiful, which is quite an accomplishment. I'm lucky to know him.

Max Vadukul

A shot I did of Max Vadukul, who was out here last week to teach a class with Jodi Peckman called "The Collaborative Portrait." Just another in my series of photographs of photographers... :o)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mawgie... oh Mawgie...

No photograph ever could really do this woman justice. She is a whirlwind, a force of nature... one of my most favorite people ever and honestly the most beautiful woman on the planet...

Been trying for two years now to get a good picture of her... I don't know if this fits the bill but I'm ok with it. I mean, I've set the expectations so high...

The setup may look familiar - I set it up for my shot of Joe McNally but Mawgie was free for a few minutes so I plopped her in there. I have so few opportunities to shoot during a crazy workshops week, so I tend to shoot the hell out of each setup...

I'd be interested to see which image everyone is more attracted to. I love them both, for different reasons, but I'll be printing for my book soon and I'll need to pick one. COMMENTS PLEASE!

More to come...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Doug Berry

Doug Berry was a participant last week in Heisler's class, Choice and Vision. This is the 2nd time I've worked with Doug - he was out here last season for a workshop with Paul Elledge and Leasha Overturf. He is a great editorial, commercial, and stock shooter from Telluride, CO, and also becoming a good friend of mine...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ashley Davis

Ashley Davis was a participant in my class last week with Greg Heisler, called Choice and Vision. She's a very talented wedding photographer from Boulder, CO and also a really sweet chick. As soon as I saw her ratty, super comfortable 'mitties' I knew that I had to get a shot of her wearing them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Heisler's First Assignment

Bright and early Monday morning, Greg Heisler had every participant in his class grab their cameras and run outside for what I can only call a firing-squad portrait session. Basically everyone shot a portrait of everyone else, and in each shot you had to be making a different expression.

Fun - and educational! I mean, you tend to get in a rut as far as your subject's expressions go. I know I have... This exercise provided a loud and clear reminder that the human face can do a lot more...

Shot in open shade against white foam core by four of my participants (not sure who...)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Joe McNally

Shot on location today at the Scottish Rite Temple in downtown Santa Fe...

Gotta love Joe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reid Callanan

Reid Callanan, the director of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, asked me a few weeks ago if I would do a portrait of him, and I jumped at the chance. I've been working at the workshops for four seasons now, and over the last two years I've gotten to know Reid and come to truly admire him. Not only is he an amazing director and a brilliant businessman, but he's also a very generous and kind soul...

I believe that these are very successful pictures and I owe it all to his openness and warmth.

I feel incredibly honored to have been asked to do his portrait, and I hope that he is happy with what we came up with...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Back to work...

I'm about to take off for the first day of our 'prep week' at the workshops. I'm very excited to get started on what is going to be a great season!

I got out here a week and a half ago and I've been working hard to get this new database system up and running. We're moving the entire studio inventory and our equipment checkout system to a barcoded system... I don't know why I thought that would be easy! Regardless, it's done and it's been tested and tweaked and should be a real timesaver.

The weather out here was great when I pulled in, sunny and 55 degrees. For most of last week it was the same, beautiful cloudless blue skies and warm afternoons... until yesterday. We got hit with a wild thunderstorm that dumped piles of sleet and snow on us. The lighting and thunder were crazy and I got covered in nastiness just walking in from my car!

My house is gorgeous and HUGE! It's way to much space for just me. Good thing there's two BIG doggies and two kitties to help fill out the space, huh? They're great; the doggies follow me around from room to room and lay on my feet to keep them warm. Can't ask for much else!

Sometime this week if it warms up a big I'm going to go out back and get the hot tub running. No use in having it out there if I'm not enjoying it! Gotta find a place to get firewood to help keep the house warm during the cloudy days (passive solar heat requires SUN to heat the house, apparently...)

Ok, I'm off to work. More to come...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm out!

Bright and early tomorrow morning I get to wake up and catch my flight back to Santa Fe, NM! I'm very excited to return, and I'm especially excited about my new home and the critters I get to live with!

Altogether, my 'extended visit' to Detroit was a success. Meaning: I survived. The economy here is very bad and I had an extremely hard time finding work. I did get to work with some great photographers while here, including Patrick Costa and Davo Scheich, and I got to spend time shooting and building my portfolio - so no complaints!

I'll be back at the workshops starting a week from Monday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mej and Patrick

This past weekend my good friends Megan (Mej) and Patrick came into town and we helped them celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. Mej was my very first roommate my freshman year in college and we've been good friends for years.

On their last night in town I coerced the two of them into sitting for one roll on the Hasselblad - figuring if I got something good I could make a print and send it to them as an anniversary present. This shoot was the maiden voyage of one of my new toys, the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom that I got for Christmas from my awesome little brother. Because of it I was able to shoot these in VERY low light, the only light is from the dining room hanging light fixture across the room. Even then, I had to push the film one stop.

I chose this shot from the heroes because it proudly displays Patrick's gift from his wife, a very nice 'Movado' watch. All weekend he kept staring at it, shining it on his shirt, and showing it to strangers... and I know that years from now they'll look back at this picture and remember their Movado Anniversary. :o)

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's


I just got back yesterday from my trip to Chicago and Minneapolis and I am TIRED! I had such a good time! I hope that everyone had a safe and happy New Year's! I'm so excited about 2009!

I didn't shoot nearly as much this week as I should have, but I did manage to get a few shots in on Friday night back in Chicago. My brother and I went out with a handful of my friends that were in town... we spent our evening at a dueling pianos bar in Wrigleyville. The bar had the 'dueling' pianos in the center of the room, and there was a conveniently placed 'stripper' pole in between.

Before I left Chicago for Minneapolis my brother, David, and I had visited the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at The Art Institute of Chicago and I had explained the idea of "The Decisive Moment" to him... I just I love this shot because it seems like the 'decisive moment' to me...

This is my good friend Beth... I took my camera outside to snap some pictures of the neighborhood and when I turned around I noticed how beautifully the neon bar signs in the window were lighting her face... Who needs expensive lights when you have beer signs?

So, nothing to write home about but altogether it was a good time. More to come soon!