Weekly iPhone Selects - January 25th - 31st

I'm constantly going back and forth with the idea of ditching my iPhone all together. It's expensive and a time waste, an addiction that I don't care much for. Problem is, many of my creative outlets go directly through my iPhone. It's a catch-22 of sorts. What to do, what to do?



Authors Note : This is the first of many Blog posts about my Portrait Project, People of Anchorage. With respects to this project I will be writing on a wide range or topics. I'll be posting stories of the People I meet, the approach I use to getting these portraits ... success' and challenges and many other aspects of this endeavor. If you'd like to tag along, and I hope you do, check back next Monday for my next post. >>>

So, I spent this past Summer in Portland, OR. I'd been through a few times before, but never for more than a couple days. Whenever I find myself in a City I'm not all too familiar with I always pick up the local free paper to help get a finger on the pulse of the City. Portland has two of these papers, The Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury. I like both, but I found in The Willamette a section which appeals to me in particular. It's a section, about half a page, of just portraits of Portlandians from all walks - no names, no captions, just portraits. 

I arrived back in Anchorage the last week of September. The first week of October I pitched People of Anchorage to the Anchorage Press. For those who may not be familiar with the Press, it's Anchorage's version of Portland's Willamette and Mercury papers. In my initial email to the Editor I included a grid of nine portraits I shot in Portland over the course of Labor Day weekend. The nine images were part of a larger set, The Portland 100, which was an attempt to photograph 100 stranger portraits over that 4-day day weekend.  I made about 70 portraits before time ran out on the project.

The Portland 100 - All photographed in Portland, OR. Labor Day weekend 2015

People of Anchorage is an exploration, through portrait photography, of Anchorage's people & environment and how the two intertwine. I reckon that if you asked me to define this project a year from now, I'd probably give you a completely different answer. I say that as just in the short time that I've been photographing this project, I find my thoughts on it constantly changing. Just prior to leaving for Portland last Summer I undertook what could be best described as a Portrait a Day project which quickly affirmed what I already knew. I like working in short bursts of inspiration rather than forcing the issue.

Even now People of Anchorage, in it's published form, is still evolving.  We started with the intent of publishing weekly and with no words. Now it's published bi-weekly and with words. Ultimately I'd love to incorporate captions, but with limited spacing it's proven a challenge. Today the sixth edition of the series hits newsstands and I couldn't be more pleased with the work done and the people I've met along the way. >>>

Portrait a Day - From Left to Right : Misha Skulstad in the backyard of her Westchester home. Ella & Amanda at Gay Pride in Downtown. Stefanie waiting on a bus in Downtown. All Photos, Anchorage. Summer 2015.

Portrait A Day - Dave Mead & Charity Blanchett on the Downtown Parkstrip. // Anchorage. Summer 2015

Nick Jenkins out for a walk with his son, Cedar and his Pup, Bora. Mountian View, Anchorage. January 2015.

Mira Debeba skating on Westchester Lagoon. // Issam Tutu smoking a cigarette in Downtown. Anchorage. November 2015

Tony Banks in outside his Downtown Anchorage Home. // Michelle Anderson at Alaska Federation of Natives. October 2015

Misha Skulstad at Alaska Federation of Natives in Downtown, Anchorage. October 2015.

West High School Senior, Paul Marsch, raking leaves on his Hoverboard in South Addition, Anchorage. October 2015.

Charles & Braydon - Micro Photo Set 1/10

This past Saturday I had a chance to catch up with Charles and his son Braydon whom I've known since 2007.  We met for a micro photo set out on the inlet. It had been a while since I've seen Braydon and seeing him, grown up, was one of those little reminders that life keeps on moving. I'm constantly amazed when I see kids I know from a younger generation as teenagers and adults. I think we all go through that at some point.

Weekly iPhone Selects - September 1-14th

I missed the last couple weeks of iphone selects primarily because I've been shooting with my DSLR. Between photographing a personal project, The Portland 100, and photographing weddings on the weekend my iPhone has been coming out less and less for photos. But I wanted to get back on track so I went through my camera roll looking for images from the past two weeks. These are some of what I dug out.

Photo Sep 07, 3 36 28 PM (1).jpg

Fuji Instax 300 Wide - A Review

One word, fun. Actually two words, fun & expensive. Depending on where you score your film each image comes in at about a buck a photograph, give or take. Beyond that, I haven't encountered so much 'cool factor' from people since shooting my Hasselblad. Film, gotta love it! So far Ive banged out about 3 packs (60 shots) and have been pleasantly surprised with the results. 

Aesthetically, I love just about everything about the camera save the little lens which comes out when you turn the camera on. I don't know, that part just seems cheap. Granted, the camera itself only costs about $130-140 retail and of course .. is made in China. Aside, it feels right in my hand and the viewfinder, which reminds me of old rangefinders, frames subjects beautifully.

I've done a little experimenting with the different settings of the camera and also covered the flash with tape in some low light settings. With respects to covering the flash, don't. You'll pretty much end up with a blank image. Being used to shooting with digital, I can capture low light aesthetics with a dslr. With the Fuji or a Polaroid you have to accept the camera for what it is and what it can and can't do, that's part of the beauty.

One side note about the camera - If you're like me, and sorta haphazardly throw your cameras in your messenger or your backpack I would suggest taking one of the batteries out prior to doing so. The reason being, it doesn't take much for the power button to get nudged into the on position. If that happens, out comes your lens and from there it doesn't take much for it to break. I learned the hard way. Luckily the good people at one of the downtown Portland camera shops were nice enough to exchange it out.

All in all, it's a fun little camera that responds well to great light. Sorta curious about he longevity of the film itself but we'll cross that bridge in another post. That said, If you don't mind the cost of the film or are a one-and-done type shooter, I would definitely encourage you to pick one up.