DSC_4918 Already knew when I started this post it would be a two-parter. Have way too many pictures and not enough time to go through them right now, but I wanna stay true to my word and post a couple photos a day while I'm up in Alaska. That handsome devil with his chin resting on a ice block is me! My bud Brian and I walked through the ice festival carvings here in Fairbanks with our DSLRs. It is thee location for this stuff and where the world's best carvers come to compete. I wouldn't have believed it myself if I didn't see it in person. Absolutely amazing ice sculptures, some almost 30 feet tall! Granted we walked through the park after the festival was over and the sculptures had been there for weeks. Another unfortunate issue with the ice is that Fairbanks has been surprisingly warm this last week, with temps rising above freezing in the later afternoon. So the ice has melted a bit and the sculptures lacked the once amazing detail from when first carved. However, one benefit we had going for us was that since the event was over we were able to walk in and around the sculptures that are normally roped off.

matty_3.5.10_ 013 DK and Morgan, two improv comedians from the Bellingham area, were a blast to shoot. They asked me to shoot some funny situations that they could use for marketing their show. As a photographer, it's usually my job to entertain and make my subjects feel comfortable, in-turn getting a relaxed, fun image with a genuine smile. The guys made my job easy, in fact, I was the one who was entertained. Instead of worrying about getting a expression on my clients' face I had to worry about missing good ones 'cause theses guys stayed in character and kept the jokes rolling. I don't think I've laughed my way through a shoot quite like this before. I turned on the lights, pulled the camera out of the bag and these guys started a little mini improv show without me even asking. We setup a couple different scenarios that we thought would be comically strange and a good improv environment for advertising these goofs. Kinda like the... "caption this picture" situation.

matty_2.13.10_ 188 Last weekend I spent a couple hours with the kids of the Mossor family. The family wanted some individual and various group shots of the kids. Another glorious rainy day in Washington, of course, which limited our shooting possibilities. But, this is why I love Tacoma, especially the downtown district. There are countless little nooks and crannies with cool walls and textures that can be found under cover and out of the rain, you only need about 20 feet of covered space to rock a shoot like this. Rain or shine, I can shoot all day long in Tacoma, love it.

IMG_0435 The QSA Club put on a masquerade dance last Saturday evening in Bellingham. It was one of the first dances I've been to where almost everyone actually danced, and they danced the whole 4 hours! Some came totally decked out some pretty amazing costumes, some in whatever they were comfortable in. Regardless the attire, their was a very positive energy in the air and everyone had a great time.

IMG_9790 Started working with a new client the other week, Tiare Floral Design. A floral designer local here to Tacoma. Doesn't sound too exciting, eh? Yeah, well he's not exactly the kinda guy who is taking calls at flowers-r-us. When you think of a floral arrangement I can guarantee you it's not anything close to what Tomasi, the designer, is creating. I've had the pleasure of seeing his work in person, and it's not something you'll find the Safeway florist slapping together. Tomasi approached me and said he really liked my work, I said the same, and we were booking shoots that day. I'd never shot flowers specifically, but after seeing Tom's work, I was very excited to take a shot at it. We talked about present and future projects. The most interesting aspect of our future work coming down the road for me is the mixture of portraiture and the floral design. So there will be many posts coming at you in the months to come with many variations besides just flowers on a pedestal.

IMG_9668v2 I had some roses in the house for a couple weeks, they aged very well, and... like many things they inspired a photoshoot. They kept their form, yet darken in color and gained a nice texture. I shot a couple with a butterfly beauty light configuration, but my main focus was a darker, more mysterious shot. Setting up two lights with 10 and 20 degree grid spots, I lit only key parts of the composition, giving it a nice look. I love having deep, dark shadows in my photos, and these have lots of that indeed. For me, the most interesting photos are always the ones where there is a part of the photo in darkness, just something about it.

We finished the Smokin' Hot Espresso calendar project yesterday with a bang. Came up with this concept after seeing similar ideas. I decided to used 6 girls in undies playing video games. Does it get any better, guys? Didn't think so...

It was a long, cold, yet very productive weekend for the Smokin' Hot Espresso calendar shoot. Got three more months out of the way, with only two more to go. This project is going about as smoothly as could be expected, mostly due to Josh...

Yes, that's right, June in October. At least when you have an entire calendar year to shoot in three weeks and you are in the end of October, you don't have much of a choice. Large, challenging, and fun hurdles are riddled throughout this project,...

IMG_6090 You may recognize Tiffani from another shoot not too long ago. She accompanied Spencer for his senior pictures, and was in a couple of the shots. She loved Spencer's turned out and asked me to capture her as well. She made the drive up from Olympia, and we shot her around the Museum of History in Tacoma. I really love this place. There tons of cool walls, all kinds of different shaped and style staircases, ramps, handrails, all coming together to make a large number of shooting locations in a very small area.


Squeaked in a sunny morning shoot with Myrriah and Rhiannon the other day, ya know... before the weather here in the PNW will make something like this impossible for a good six months. It was a Saturday morning, the sun was out, and the light was behaving fairly well in my friend's backyard. We had mom and daughter come over and pose with the apple trees.

The senior pic season is starting to wind down, at least that's what I've been hearing from some of the students. Some schools are requiring seniors to have their photo turned in by the beginning of October. It's been a while, but I wanna say...


What a fun shoot. Despite the fact that we had to get up at 5:30am to do this one, everything else was awesome. The Lakeway Best Western in Bellingham, WA, was very nice in letting us do this in their indoor pool. The only catch is we had to be out by 9am. As in hair/makeup prep, light setup, troubleshooting, shooting, and teardown by 9.... aka early morning.


Meet Spencer, a senior in high school this year. He'd been on the books for about a month and our date was all set for the first weekend in September for an outdoor shoot (the type you can typically plan far in advance for in the summer). The day before an outdoor shoot I'll use good ol' for hourly reports for the coming 24 hours, the thing is pretty darn accurate. It wasn't looking good, the chances of rain happened to peak the same hour we scheduled to shoot, awesome... A backup location was selected and we would reroute to it last minute if needed, and boy did we. Though we are not officially in the Fall season yet it certainly felt that way. Rain coming down in sheets, hardest I'd seen since the Spring. Wind blowing in gusts, so even if we got lucky and had a dry window, a good puff from the Gods would use my softboxes like sails and toss my lights to the ground, most likely shattering the bulbs. While shooting in an old garage the wind still found one of my lights and tried it's darndest to trash it before I could get a sandbag on the base, but Spencer was heads-up enough to catch the thing to lessen the blow on the way to the ground (thanks, bud ;)).


Summer is coming to an end, days are getting shorter, and I have still only gotten out to ride my motorcycle a handful of times during our 4 good months of riding weather here in Washington. While looking at this set of photos it occurred to me, I think I've photographed my bike more times this year than I have ridden it. But at the same time, I like looking at the machine almost as much as I like riding it, it's a piece of art all by itself.

I wanted to shoot something extremely simple yet visually engaging, and this shoot provided just that. I've recently been playing with a lot of color gels, creating vivid backgrounds on the seamless. I posed the bike in front of the seamless, threw a single strobe behind the bike with a color gel, and popped the picture. I wanted a nice gradient light falloff, which the single light did perfectly, while also keeping to our "simple" theme for the shoot. Lisa stood in as my shadow rider (I wouldn't recommend following her riding technique out on the streets ;) ).

IMG_2913 So I ponied up some dough and bought the AlienBee RingFlash system a couple weeks ago. Just got out in the studio to finally play around with if for the first time. Lisa, the brave soul for most of my lighting testing, stepped in to let me blind her at point-blank range for an hour or so. I will feel fully responsible if this poor girl looses her sight by the ripe old age of 30, cause at the current rate, it's totally a possibility.


A couple weeks ago I posted a blog about nurse camp, an event I covered at Tacoma General Hospital, along with a few pictures. As I mentioned in that post (click here to view it), I shot video as well. I mainly shot the video as a little afterthought, thinking it would be nice if the hospital staff would want some rough, stock video of the event. Well, one thing led to another and I ended up editing a video piece unexpectedly after I got the idea in my head. Working close with the nursing staff, I cut together a video in hopes that it will help promote the nurse camp and generate further interest for the hospital.

IMG_3906 The Fairhaven Village Inn, located in Bellingham, WA, was in need of some new promotional material, and I was happy to help. Another early morning, 3:30 am I believe. I was shooting in tandem with video producers from P-51 Pictures, as they were shooting a commercial for the Inn as well. Our first scene called for an early morning breakfast look, and the only way to accomplish a real early morning sunrise look on video in the summer means a really really early morning for us!

IMG_0410 Tacoma General Hospital put on Nurse Camp last week. An event where high school students get the rare opportunity to shadow working nurses in the hospital, as well as learn much of what nurses do and are responsible for at the facility. Hundreds of students applied and only one hundred were accepted after the selection process was all done. However, before even the selected were allowed to partake, they had to fill out gobs of paperwork, attend orientations, and get their immunizations up-to-date. Having to put in all that work before even getting to experience nurse camp lets you know that these students really wanted to be there, learn, and find out if nursing was a profession they'd be interested in pursuing. The nursing crew, wanting some quality photos of the event, asked if I would be available to capture it for them. Granted I'm that last one who wants to be in a hospital and be reminded of sickness and death on a regular basis, not to mention I can't watch a needle go into my own skin without passing out, I was relieved to find out that the event would just be exercises on dummies and pig parts.