Friday, September 17, 2010

Third Time's a Charm

Long time no post! But I did recently shoot some promos for Third Time's a Charm, here are a couple of them:

I've known TTAC's drummer Matt since high school and I have to say this is the coolest band he's been in. Matt asked me to come out and shoot some pics for them, so with extremely limited resources (a flash and two lamps) this is some of what we came up with. At the start of the shoot I was having a hard time with the limited lighting, but as it went on I began to really enjoy the challenge of lighting them down in a dark basement. It really helped that the guys were down to do whatever I asked and we tried out a whole bunch of ideas, its really awesome when bands are just as excited as me to take pictures!

You need to check out Third Time's a Charm on their myspace page, and also check out this video of them playing at the Chicago stop of the 2010 Van's Warped Tour beacuse, well they played Warped Tour! ... which is seriously rad.

So there you go for now, I'm planning to get off my butt and start making more work on a consistent basis again so stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Promo pic for DK&S (kinda old now)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

every day at least one bird will poop on my van

Another project from my humor class in the spring! This project was kinda strange for me- as weather was warming up this spring I started to notice the birds coming back up north, or more specifically I was noticing that they were pooping all over my van! Every time I would climb into my van there would be a new 'surprise' left on my windshield and every time I would clean it off, there would be a new one right away! I had my camera in the van and I don't really know why, but one day I decided to photograph one of the 'presents' from above. From then on I made it a habit to park under trees whenever I could and after a couple weeks had compiled a rather large collection of photographs!

When it comes down to it this series is about, well, poop. So to sort of 'elevate' the presentation of the photographs I decided to put them into a book in an ironic sort of juxtaposition as a way to make the viewer's experience with the images a more intimate one. Mandie was awesome and bound a book for my critique.

A lot of people really enjoyed the one book, so Mandie and I decided to make an edition of 20! Here are some blurry pictures from my phone of one of the nights spent assembling all of the books:

We have sold quite a few books and we have about 8 of them left. if you would like a copy of the book they are $10, and I would be more than happy to get one to you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stalking Jon Horvath: A Prop to Fulfill my Assignment for FA381

A series of photographs documenting the spaces to which I was led within the pursuit of my Humor in Contemporary Practice instructor. Chance, a number of internet searches, and help from Tara Bogart, Naomi Shersty, and Lara Ohland led me to Jon Horvath's door. This imagery results from the 36 hours that followed.

This series was for my final assignment for my Humor class, and is a parody of my teacher Jon Horvath's series, Stalking Michael Stipe that can be seen here. I tailed Jon to his home after class on a Wednesday night and continued to stalk him through the following Friday afternoon, all without his knowledge. These are photographs that were made along the way in his neighborhood, his office, and on his lunch break at Alterra. I thought he almost caught me outside Alterra, but turns out he was unaware the whole time and thought the project was quite funny!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Last Thursday I had the pleasure of shooting some press pics for the dudes and dudette in Direct Hit! I shot them quite a bit for my thesis project and they are pretty boss, you should definitely check out their jams here.

Nick told me the that the second photograph might be included in a write-up about Direct Hit in
AMP magazine, so that would be pretty rad.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We Finally Made It!

This year's Senior Thesis Exhibition opened at MIAD this past Friday, and it could not have been more fun! Everyone's work and installations looked great, and all the seniors worked extremely hard to get them done. All of the photo faculty and staff were really impressed with our work, and I heard that Professor Larry Chatman said that this year's exhibition is arguably the best he's ever seen at MIAD. I definitely had a stressful week leading up to the opening-I helped three classmates install their work before I even got to mine, and by the time I was getting ready to hang my work, all of my prints had warped! After a quick fix with some wooden dowels and epoxy I got my work on the wall, a little later than I had hoped but on time nonetheless. It was all worth it, and I was happy with the positive response that my work received. The best comment on Gallery Night came from a guy a little older than myself, he was staring at my work for a bit and just said, "Yes... Damn right." Definitely my favorite moment of the night!

In addition to the first postcards I posted previously, I had two more sets made for the Reception:

I also had an alternative form of promotion, I thought it would be a great idea to put together a compilation CD featuring music of the bands I shot for the project:

Mandie was a HUGE help and light etched all of the cd's for me and they turned out to be a big hit- I ran out halfway through the reception!

My good friends Devon and Heidi, who I photographed countless times during the project came up from Chicago and played a couple songs in front of my work. They did a great job and they definitely attracted some people over to our corner of the gallery. Here is the first song they played:

In addition to the six photographs that I posted previously, here are a few more from the exhibition:

It was really amazing to see my and my peers' hard work over the last year finally come together, we all made the whole night tons of fun! 

Interview with Matt Glass

In our senior seminar class, we were asked to interview an artist in our field. I chose to talk to Matt Glass about his images and photographic process. I have been following Matt's work for a little over a year, and I really enjoy the cinematic qualities of his work, especially his sensitivity to lighting and directorial skills. Below is my favorite image by Matt,'Famine' from the series Apocrypha, followed by the interview. Much more of Matt's work can be found here.

© Matt Glass 2008
1.) All of your work shows an interest in tableau, but the elaborate/dramatic lighting did not appear until about 2008. Was that a natural progression or did you make a conscious decision to incorporate artificial light?
It was a pretty natural progression. My earlier work had tableau elements but there were pretty one dimensional. Once my photographs really began to act as narratives and tell stories, having more control over the lighting seemed necessary. Lighting is a great way to convey emotion and set a tone for a photograph. It became impossible to depend on natural light to achieve the dark moods I needed.

2.) I completely agree that lighting has the ability to get a tone or emotion across in the photograph. When you began to work with lights were you figuring things out on your own or did you have any guidance, from school or otherwise?
I mostly learned on my own. I'd throw in a DVD of a movie I liked and try to figure out how it was lit. I also looked at baroque paintings and try to emulate their light.

3.) Are you influenced/inspired by other artists and photographers working in tableau? If so, who?
Most of my influence comes from movies, but a few photographers that I enjoy include: Gregory Crewdson, who is the master of large scale cinematically lit photographs. Kahn & Selesnick whose tableau work goes beyond photography and includes props and histories and all sorts of supplemental material. They do a lot of work with miniatures. I have their book The Apollo Prophecies. It's a very long panorama and quite cool. Robert and Shana Parkeharrison whose work (especially The Architect's Brother) is very imaginative. Like Kahn & Selesnick, they create whole new worlds in their photographs. They don't take place in reality.

As for filmmakers, I'm a big fan of Terry Gilliam. Brazil is probably my favorite movie of all time. Very imaginative. Another one of my favorite filmmakers is Guillermo Del Toro. He does a lot of big budget action movies like Hellboy and Blade 2, but his more personal films like The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth pleasantly juxtapose his more commercial work. He's also one of the most well spoken individuals I've ever heard on a Directors' Commentary. He's very knowledgeable about fairy tales, horror and film making in general.

4.) You also like including material for viewers other than just the photograph such as text or an underlying story, like you described Kahn & Selesnick do. Are these supplemental parts of the work in your initial vision or do they develop along with the image making?
Usually their content is part of the initial vision. I usually have pretty specific stories in my head. The fun part is figuring out what elements are needed to tell the whole story. These elements can come in the form of photographs, a few paragraphs of text, videos or music. I like the idea of providing back stories for my photographs. It's not something I've perfected or even fully implemented yet, but I expect to continue experimenting with it in the future.

5.) Your imagery and lighting setups have a strong cinematic sensibility, do you see that as an extension of your video work?
I don't really take any of my video work very seriously. I don't have the tools or skills to do it right. I'd rather not make a serious film until I know I can get the results to match the vision in my head. I began doing photography so I could learn to perfect the single frame in hopes of one day perfecting the moving frames of a movie/film.

6.) There seems to be a strong balance between humorous and serious subject matter in your work. Do you prefer either or does one come more easily than the other?
When I start a new project or get a new idea, it always seems to start out fairly light and sometimes comical. As the project progresses, the imagery seems to get darker and darker. I'm not really sure why it happens that way. In my newest series The Origin of Waking, I'm trying to create a cohesive series of photographs that are not overly violent but still have a strong impact.

7.) Besides your Apocrypha series, do any other bodies of your narrative work draw inspiration from existing stories?
An old series of mine “Office Murder” is loosely based on an old CLUE book where you see a before-and-after drawing of a crime scene, and you have to investigate to figure out how the people were killed.
Some of the photographs in my newest series, The Origin of Waking, share titles with old fairy tales. The titles are the only things that they have in common. The stories in the photographs are different.

8.) I notice you show work primarily in Utah, do you find it difficult to show your work elsewhere, or is that a concern for you?
I mostly show in Utah because I don't feel I have a big enough body of work to show in any bigger markets. Plus, for my Apocrypha series, I made the mistake of having HUGE prints. Shipping them to out of state galleries would be quite expensive and risky. For my Origin Of Waking series, I'm hoping to have the photographs easier to transport. They will also (hopefully) be available in book form and come with a CD of songs that act as a soundtrack to the photographs.

9.) Providing a soundtrack for the Origin of Waking series seems like an interesting idea. Do you feel that this might direct the photographs in too specific of a direction or mood? How important to you is it that they are read in a certain way?

The songs DO give the photographs a pretty specific mood. But listening to the music can expand on the imagery of the photograph without spelling out exactly what is happening and what it might mean. A good example is “The Rise and Fall of the King of Stone.” The photograph shows a sad man sitting on a thrown in a big empty cave holding a crown. When you listen to the song, it starts out pretty happy and joyous, then seeds of darkness begin to grow until the epic destructive ending. The songs don't have specifics, just moods. It can give the image in the story a bit more impact.

10.) Being an artist with a studio practice isn’t the most lucrative career. Do you do any commercial work, considering your sensitivity to lighting?
I don't make enough money from my photographs to make a good living. I've done some photo assisting, and I've come to the conclusion that commercial photography really isn't for me. There are too many people involved in the process and the original vision usually gets lost. I'm sure if I was offered a great job by people that understood my style, I'd give commercial photography another chance, but right now, Its just not for me. I'd probably have to get much more well known before anything like that would happen.

More Elective Projects

This first series was for another assignment for my Framed Narratives class. We were asked to create a loose photo essay.

℞ (Prescription Take)

For the past six years my dad has been in and out of hospitals and has suffered some extremely severe medical problems, each with their own complications. In this project I stepped back and for the first time took a subjective look at the ridiculous amounts of medications that my dad has to take to stay alive. I've just become used to it but really all of the pills he has to take and insulin he needs to inject on a daily basis is truly incredible. Every time he is in the hospital one doctor will adjust one of his meds, and then all of the other meds need to be adjusted to compensate. These photographs are only a brief look and the series is far from finished.

This next series is a work in progress for my humor class. The assignment explores satire and dark humor. These images draw inspirations from Les Krims' series "The Incredible Case of The Stack O'Wheat Murders."

Monday, March 29, 2010


Mailer/ Takeaway card for my thesis show!

Be there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Overdue Post, New Photographs!

It has been too long since my last post, so here's a bunch of new projects for you to look at! I haven't taken any photo electives at MIAD for a while, and so this semester I decided to take two of them! I have been really wrapped up with my thesis work lately, so the assignments for these classes are a welcome break. 

The first class I have is called Framed Narratives: Storytelling and Practice. The second assignment we had was to create photographs that tell a story using the tableaux format. Tableaux photography incorporates 'actors' and usually include costumes and props, and can involve theatrical settings and lighting. The stories we presented needed to be contained in single images. For my photographs I used lyrics from the band Streetlight Manifesto's album Everything Goes Numb, and I picked out visuals that I got from particular lines in the songs. Each photograph is titled from the song the lyrics are from.

"Everything Went Numb"

"Point/ Counterpoint" 

"Here's to Life"

I'm not entirely happy with the 'Here's to Life' image, and I hope to reshoot it a bit differently soon.

The other class that I have this semester is called Humor in Contemporary Practice, where we get to be - you guessed it- funny! Our first assignment was to explore the themes of irony, pun, paradox, parody, or the unexpected. I chose to create some visual puns:

Couch Potato

Sleeping Bag

I made five or six of these visual puns for the critique, but I'm hoping to make many more in my free time (what free time?).

Our second assignment addressed the themes of deadpan, futility, tragicomic, self-deprication, and the absurd. Out of the many examples that we looked at, what stood out to me were old Buster Keaton silent films from the 1920's. With that in mind, I tried to focus on the deadpan aesthetic and the idea of the tragicomic hero. Here are two images from my series Using Ladders Where They Aren't Necessary:

There you have it! This is some of what I've been up to outside of my thesis work so far this semester!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More thesis photographs

Here are some more of the images that I'm considering for my thesis project. I'm shooting two shows this upcoming weekend, one in Madison and one in Chicago, so hopefully when I put some photographs up from those shoots I'll have some stories to tell.

Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb the Music Industry at Ronny's, Chicago, IL

Devon Kay & The Solutions at their rehearsal space, Chicago, IL

Mike and Nick of Direct Hit! at The Snake Pit, Madison, WI

Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Post - Thesis Preview

I've been meaning to establish some sort of web presence for the longest time, so I've finally gotten around to creating this blog! I plan on updating with photographs and artwork that I'm making, so check back here often. To start off, I've included some of the photographs that will tentatively be a part of my thesis exhibition this Spring at MIAD. I have been working on this project for some time, so the next few posts are probably going to include some older images from the past few months.

Devon and Doug of DK&S outside Ronny's, Chicago, IL

Danny and Robbie of Direct Hit! at The Snake Pit, Madison, WI

Nick W. of Direct Hit! at The Borg Ward, Milwaukee, WI

I have been photographing a number of younger rock bands, shooting them at rehearsals and shows, traveling with them, and covering everything in between. These three photographs are some of my favorites in the project so far...