Most regular folks don’t necessarily enjoy the process of being photographed. Terri Kurczewski is no exception, but it was her turn to grace the cover of this April’s SLO Life, and it was my pleasure to meet her and photograph her for the magazine. Terri runs the Child Development Resource Center of the Central Coast (CRDC) as well as the Sm(ART) Studio, a community art studio, gallery, and classroom that benefits the CRDC.
Terri and I worked through a number of different scenarios, to see what might work best in the magazine, including some images of her in the Sm(ART) Studio, an outdoor setting with a small studio backdrop behind her head, and even an off-the-wall idea where glitter was raining down on her from above. But in the end, my favorite were these simple portraits on white, shot for the magazine cover. The final image that ran on the cover was made with one of my digital cameras, but these frames – from the two rolls of film that I ran through my Hasselblad that afternoon and developed at Richard Photo Lab in Los Angeles – are my favorites.
Usually I make these blog posts after the latest issue of SLO Life hits the stands as a way of sharing some of my personal favorite images that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it into the magazine. Recently, I’m more and more confident shooting and submitting fewer, [I hope] stronger images. For me and for the magazine, that’s great news. The negative side, for the blog anyway, is that most of the images I select make print. Those two portraits of local baker Dan Berkeland up top are outtakes, but other than them, I think most of the rest of the images that I’m proudest of were featured in the issue. The only added value that I can offer here is a little backstory…
Dan invited me to come over to the bakery to see him in action – he would walk me through the whole process of preparing the baguettes that he and his team make for 16 local restaurants. The “catch” was that he wanted me to be there at 7:00 in the morning, because, as he promised, “the morning light coming into the bakery is incredible.” I’m not usually out of bed by then, but I wouldn’t be much of a photographer if I weren’t willing to roll out early to chase a lead on some nice light. Thank goodness Dan wasn’t messing around, because I might have been grumpy, otherwise.
The details of the rest of my time with Dan, including the making of the image that made the cover, was already documented pretty thoroughly in the issue. A big thanks to Dan for this time and willingness to entertain even the craziest of my ideas, and to Richard Photo Lab in Los Angeles, who processes all of my film. Since all of the above images are from my digital cameras, I’ll close with one from the cover session, shot on Kodak Portra 160 film in my clunky old Hasselblad, and processed at Richard Photo Lab. Cheers!
The SLO Makerspace is a new collaborate workshop in San Luis Obispo. Brittany and I have been project that Brittany and I have been working to help the Makerspace launch over the last several months, and we’re having our first open house today, so it seemed like a good opportunity to share the series of portraits that I made of the SLO Makerspace Board of Directors. They needed something crisp, clean, and consistent for the Makerspace website, and it was a fun challenge to come up with a little bit of a concept for each board member, without over-propping, or falling too deep into cliché. I’m pleased enough with the result that I added the portraits to the list of projects on my portfolio site, so if you’re interested, click over and view all of the images there.
The most recent issue of SLO Life Magazine hit mailboxes at the beginning of this month with one of my images on the cover (and a few more inside). I’m a little shy about this kind of stuff, but Tom, SLO Life’s publisher, wrote another nice piece about my work on the cover, wherein I prove that I’m better at taking a picture than talking about the process.
This month’s cover is of Naomi Neilson Howard, founder and CEO of Native Trails. Native Trails sells sustainable kitchen and bath products made by local artisans and craftspeople. Tom wanted another clean, white background image for the cover, as well as some images of Naomi in her beautiful yard (unsurprisingly decorated with beautiful locally-made furnishings from her Native Trails). We shot the cover images on color film, but we were planning to run the cover in black and white (the color film I usually use – Kodak’s Portra 160 – takes black and white conversion particularly well). Since that image is already out there, I thought I’d share one of the other frames, in the original color.
The rest of the images were made in Naomi’s back yard with her two kids running around – more of a run-and-gun process than the more controlled environmental of the portable studio.
As with last issue, Richard Photo Lab in LA did a fantastic job processing my film. They’re an absolute pleasure to work with, and do amazing work. I had a couple projects in the works for 2014 that I’m super-excited to share, and look forward to processing with RPL. Until then!