When we were talking about the new Blowgun Album cover and how to shoot it we were looking for a shot that was iconic to LA without it being in your face about it. “What about behind the hollywood sign” got tossed around but every tourist can see the Hollywood sign from behind it. “What if we could get past the security fence” you could have Jon right close to part of the sign with LA skyline in the background. Sounded far fetched when I said it because no one gets past that fence but everyone loved the idea we have ourselves an adventure!!
Since even before I was a photographer I have always had the worst luck in Montreal. From hotels being robbed to car crashes, gear being stolen from music venues, vans broken into, flat tires, cameras shutters locking up its always certain something will go wrong. That’s why its no surprise that over the years Ive tried to avoid Montreal at all costs and even when I book something in Montreal I always try to move it just out side of town because I am forever worried something will go wrong again.
However This trip I couldn’t turn down. One of the casting companies I have been doing an ad campaign for wanted us to go down to the UFC training gym in Montreal “TriStar” and photograph the up and coming UFC fighter “Ragin” Kajan Johnson training in the octagon. There is no way anyone could turn that down and how would you find a more fitting location than that training facility??
I’m glad to say that this shoot may have broken the bad luck track Ive had in Montreal because the only thing to go wrong was having a hard time finding the gym. It is pretty hidden being unmarked in a series of apartment complexes just off the highway.
The shoot was fun It was amazing to meet and talk with some of the UFC guys I really don’t follow the sport but I have always had a lot of respect for them. Even more now that I have had the chance to talk to them.
Here is an outtake from the shoot.
I got a cool chance to be in a doorless helicopter flying over Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice and Downtown during my last trip to LA! I had to film B-roll of Iconic LA landmarks for a casting company. What made the shoot even cooler is that Our chopper pilot was actor Lorenzo Lamas from Renegade! Turns out the actor just loves helicopters so he does it on the side.
Not much to say about the whole shoot itself I have been in helicopters in the past but never ones where you are harnessed in and can lean out with cameras so that was a neat experience! I shot a couple stills from behind the scenes of filming I will add in to here!
One of the most fun B-Roll shoots Ive done in a while!
From December 28 – January 17th I was working across California, Nevada and Arizona. Chances are if you follow my work you’ve seen the commercial and editorial shots I did.
What you didn’t see is the shots I took on my days off. If you are interested in seeing where I wandered off to between driving and being on set here is a hand full of shots to show you! Everywhere from San Diego to Malibu, The Mohave Dessert, Vegas, The Grand Canyon and everything in between.
The photos do no justice to how cool it was to actually be those places! Enjoy.
I have only been to Cuba a few times and only ever to help with charity work. Its funny though how positively impacting people even just for a short time will stay in a memory forever. On this most recent trip back every time I ran into someone I had met or helped in the past years I was greeted with a hug and they even remembered my name.
As much as I work with my friends to help the kids down in Havana it is forever becoming clear that they are helping me just as much. I have met a lot of people around the world some of my closest friends and friends I am most in common with are in different countries. Cuba is no exception! On the days I wasnt helping with the development of the Do It For Others / Amigo Skate projects, or supplying shoes and sport equipment and helping with contests I was hanging out and sharing stories with local friends since the last time we saw each other. I even let one of them (Chepa) Tattoo the Amigo logo on my leg. The logo is worn by locals of Havana and a hand full of people across the Americas who are fortunate enough to call them friends.
It looks like I will be making a third trip down to Havana this year with some of the team mates to help in the ongoing push for youth sports in Cuba!
Here is a couple outtakes from the most recent trip.
This marks another year with the “Do It For Others” project my friends started over 6 years ago. I made an update last year when I went on the trip to help the kids of Havana but this year we had some huge steps forward!
In the new year the team went back down to do what we always do. bring skateboarding and other sport equipment and footwear for the kids of Havana. We hold competitions for them to win prizes and of course we give away new product and clothes to help them. This time we timed it to meet with an American organization that has been doing something similar for the last few years as well and when we met up and got to talking it looked like we were on the same page with just about every one of our goals to help the cause!
This was the birth of Amigo Skate Canada!
We partnered with not only the American organization but also a small Brazilian one who also just wants to help the kids. This opened huge doors in potential to get the Cuban Government recognizing us as a support group and recognizing Skateboarding, Biking and other activities as real sports in Cuba.
We went back two months later in April to meet again with the Brazilians and the Americans and timed it to do business and work on potential opportunities with the government. Its official now that we will have the first ever Cuba “Go Skateboarding day” ever and it looks like the government is willing to give us a real location to build a skate and bike park for the kids in stead of the DIY park we have been helping the locals with out in the forest.
We also met up with a couple youth boxing organizations and brought some new shoes and gloves to them. We are hoping to help the support on that end in the future as well. For us and for all of the Youth in Cuba who just want to be out playing and having fun!
Over the weekend I had a chance to shoot an ad for mens cologne company Ignite. The shoot was quick and dirty but we managed to get exactly what we needed and have a blast while doing it! Big thanks to the team and the extra “hands” on set haha!!
I met up with the one and only Lola Jade, Owner of Wikked Surfboards. a couple weeks ago down close to San Diego in an amazing beach town called Oceanside. The purpose of this shoot was to get some lifestyle and editorial photos for 2015 publishing’s for Lola and her brands. We had discussed the concept of fancying up a shaping room with a couple props and I loved the idea but I wasn’t entirely sure how we could make a shaping room look that interesting because well a shaping room has a couple purposes but none of which involve cameras haha. My skepticism instantly changed when I saw all the props that Lola had crammed into her car. Now we have a location and options to do whatever we want in the room best feeling to have! The first half of the shoot we turned the shaping room into something functional but that really brought out Lolas personality. For the second shots we toned it down a bit and got Lola actually working on a board.
This shoot was one of the most fun ones Ive been on in Southern California and just hanging out with Lola and the people at Hydroglass was an amazing time. I cant wait to catch up with them again next time Im down there.
I was recently back in California shooting an editorial piece on the Muscle Up Kings of Venice Beach for Fitness Star Magazine. Oddly enough I had ran met Andrew the muscle up king himself on my last trip to LA when I went to Venice to train at the outdoor gym. He is a calm and quiet guy when you meet him but when the tourists come walking by he stops at nothing to put on a show drawing crowds around the little beach side gym. When I came back down to shoot the Fitness Star piece on him he remembered me as soon as he saw me and it made getting the shot really easy and fun. Some difficulties using pro gear and studio lighting in LA (the same as NYC in an older post) but the permits are easy to get at the city and no one will stop you if you have them.
Here is an outtake from the shoot. For more pictures and to hear the full story wait until the March issue of Fitness Star Agency!
While I was down in Vancouver working I had the pleasure of meeting one of the top 30 CFL players of all time and best kicker, “Lui Passaglia.” I met with Lui to shoot his editorial for “Man Of The Year” in the CFL’s alumni association magazine.
Its always cool to sit down with the people you photograph and hear their stories I could have spent hours talking to Lui. A very humbled guy he even let me try on one of his 4 Grey Cup rings!
The pics we took did well for the editorial and even made the cover of the magazine. I lef the pics below including a couple outtakes. for more check out http://bankomedia.com or http://cflaa.ca