Stonescape - Frame Magazine

Norman & Norah Stone, Stonescape

 I was asked to photograph Norah and Norman Stone for the Dutch design magazine Frame.  The Stones own Stonescape.  Stonescape is one of the coolest museums you'll ever visit right in the Stone's home in Calistoga.  There are are art works throughout the property, in an "Art Cave" and throughout their home.

Upon arrival to their home I was about to put my camera bag on a chair and Norah politely asked me not to put my bag there because it was an art piece.  Upstairs there was another chair I was asked to stay clear of because of it's fragile nature.  It was a Frank Gehry designed chair.  But that wasn't what made it special;  It seems that another artist burned the chair to a charred state, which then made it that artists piece and more valuable.

For one of the exhibits in the cave gallery they had white t-shirts made that read "Police The Police".  I was told I could take one, so I did.  I wear it often and 100% of the time while wearing it someone inevitably says out something like "yeah, Police the Police!" or someone will point and say "look at his shirt".

I realize it's a timely topic and fairly controversial, but I honestly didn't think the shirt was something people would notice.  The best response happened while I was in New York inside a shop and a man walking by saw the shirt and yelled at the top of his lungs to his friend down the street: "Hey Frankie... come check this out.  This guy's got a shirt that says Police The Police.  Fucking-A police the police!".  Only in New York.

The Stones were probably some of the nicest people I've ever photographed and seem like a fun and quirky couple.  I really appreciated the time they were willing to spend with me on the shoot.

Troy Carter - Handelsblatt Magazine

Troy Carter In The Mission San Francisco

I photographed Lady Gaga's manager, Troy Carter for Handelsblatt Magazine.  Troy was great to work with and a really nice guy.  The article was on black entrepreneurs and tech people in the Bay Area.  We were originally supposed to shoot at Sightglass Coffee in the Mission, but they wouldn't let us shoot there. As we were walking around looking for a new location I noticed that this building and garage door perfectly matched Troy's outfit.  It's always nice when plans fall through that something better pops up.

Norman Winarsky - Harvard Business Review

Norman Winarsky at SRI International headquarters

Norman Winarsky at SRI International headquarters

I was asked to photograph Norman Winarsky, the creator of Siri, for Harvard Business Review.  Upon arriving at SRI International I was expecting to be greeted by robots and voice automated systems throughout the building.  Sadly that was not the case (at least, in the areas I was permitted) and Dr. Winarsky was much more pleasant to hang out with than I imagine Dr. Tyrell would be.  That is, if it really was Dr. Winarsky.  Deckard!

Norman Winarsky

Norman Winarsky

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review

Venice Beach Skatepark

Venice Beach Skater

Whenever I'm in LA I head over to the Venice Beach Skatepark.  There is always a great group of skaters there and I can spend hours watching them skate, wishing I was as good as I was back in the day. 

When you go there, you'll notice something a bit different from a lot of other skateparks and the rest of Venice Beach; there is no grafitti and the place is immaculate.  This is primarily because of one man:  Jesse Martinez (I picked up one of his SMA decks on my last visit).  Jesse spends most of his days waking up before the sun in order to clean the park and remove any new graffiti before anyone else arrives.  Jesse has been doing this on his own time with no pay for the last five years.  He's also using his own money and money donated by locals.  Whatever minimal support from the city of Los Angeles he did receive was stopped about six months ago due to budget cuts.  And if that wasn't enough, the truck used to clean and maintain the park was stolen a few weeks ago along with the power washer used to remove graffiti.  Check out this article for the whole story.

I know it may not be the most glamorous or heartwarming cause, but if you love skateboarding or just want to help keep the skatepark clean and help a guy who's put a lot of his own personal time and money into keeping it clean, head over to this GoFundMe page and donate if you can.

John Chambers - Harvard Business Review

Cisco System's CEO John Chambers for Harvard Business Review

Before I was a photographer I was an engineer at Cisco Systems.  Since I'm often being asked to photograph CEO's of the valley's tech companies I assumed it was only a matter of time before being asked to photograph John Chambers, Cisco's CEO.  I've been back to the Cisco campus on a few occasions to shoot engineers, but it was Harvard Business Review who finally sent me to photograph Mr. Chambers.

It was a strange experience going back to Cisco to photograph the CEO.  The Cisco campus is large, but we did the shoot right next to the building I spent most of my time in while at Cisco.  When I was at Cisco in the late 90's they were the largest company in the world, so John Chambers was a bit of a legend to Cisco employees (he's still considered the third best performing CEO in the world according to HBR).  I remember going to the company wide meetings where he would speak and everyone left the meetings motivated and proud to work for Cisco.  I guess that's what a good CEO does.

Of course, when I told my mom I would be photographing John Chambers, the first thing she said was to "make sure to ask him if I can get my old job back."

John Chambers for Harvard Business Review