Be content with what you have;

rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize there is nothing lacking,

the whole world belongs to you.

Lao-tzu

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February 17, 2020

Good leaders care about their people. They just don’t say they care, they actually do. And that is demonstrated by their actions. But mostly it’s something we just feel. That care. It’s tangible. Palpable. Because it’s love. 

Love makes leaders that last. Love makes leaders effective. Think about the leaders you’ve admired. There’s love there. Not authoritarianism, love.  

Empathy flows from love. Affection flows from love. Love, simply, is the recognition of another heart. I love everyone I photograph. I see their hearts. I try to. And often that is reflected back. 

Edward (above, or below depending on how this is posted) opened his heart to me on many occasions, not just on the day we took this photo. So I knew our time together would yield the kind of portrait you can feel, not just see. 

That’s the secret to my ‘success’. If I take a great picture it’s because the person I am with is open, and willing to be seen. And that begins with me. I must also be open and willing to be seen....

January 29, 2020

We carry around our stories. They drive us, they define us. Our stories are who we are. Beneath this skin, this frail facade, we are a collection of experiences and ideas. 

Sometimes they are heavy and we strain beneath them. But that only makes our legs and shoulders stronger. Over time our stories make us impervious to the weather of our lives. If we choose that. If we insist on growing. If we have faith in ourselves. Because our stories can also buckle us. They can break us. How we tell the story matters, not just to others but to ourselves.

The glass is always half full. Things can always be worse. If you are alive and breathing you are in the game, you can help people. And if you can help people then your life has meaning. Our meaning does not derive from what we can do for ourselves. 

I must always ask myself ‘what story am I telling?’ and ‘who am I helping today?’  That is my anti-depressant. That is my raison d’etre. My story is only complete if it includes yours. And it does. Not...

December 18, 2019

You earned your acronym. You worked hard for it. You are to be congratulated, and celebrated, not for your title, but for your human qualities. You are a person. You may manage a team but you’re also a member of that team. Let that human side shine.

Look at me, look into the camera lens because those are the eyes of all the people you work with, and will work with. The difference between a portrait and a headshot is that in a portrait you are looking, not being looked at. You are listening, and open. The energy and attention comes from you, not to you. 

I don’t do headshots. Not because I turn my nose up at them but because my style engages the subject in a way that turns the energy in the other direction. I draw out and absorb energy. Not that I have any special skill or powers. It’s just that that’s my style, developed organically over thousands of portraits. 

The world needs more listening. The world needs more real people. The world needs more honest witnesses. That’s what I do, I rec...

June 7, 2019

The eyes, they say, are the windows of the soul. The portals, the doorways, the access points through which we feel a human being. There’s something about the shape of them, the way they set off a face. We can tell in an instant the demeanor of the person we’re looking at. We can sort of see into their heart. How does this happen?

It’s more than just mood. You can certainly gauge a person’s mood. But it goes deeper. You can also assess their intent, their goodness, they’re stability. People often say to me “I can’t do photos until I lose some weight.” But it’s not your belly I care about. It’s not your arms. All I want to see is your eyes and their size doesn’t fluctuate. You’re born with the eyes you will always have. That’s what I want to capture, that childlike look in your eyes.

I understand that you want to feel good about yourself/your body. If you don’t it will show in your photo. But fat doesn’t matter. Confidence does. All you have to worry about is being your authentic self. Sh...

May 30, 2019

I want every person to just pop out of their photograph. I want you to feel as if you’re standing in front of them. I want to erase the barrier between what is seen and what is felt so that when you look at a photo you are filled with emotion. I want you to feel a person, not just see them.

To that end I ask you to look at me. To really look. You know when you’re a child and you’re arguing with your parents and they say “Look at me!” ? It’s that level of focus I ask though not in a condescending way.

When I was living in New York, and spending a lot of time in Manhattan, I learned how to break down barriers quickly so that a person would become an instant friend. They say you’re not supposed to look people in the eye on the streets, in order to avoid conflict, and that’s mostly true, but it also works in reverse. You can make friends by looking a person in the eye. So it becomes a case of discerning who is who.

When I do portraits, everybody is a friend. I arrive at each situation with so...

May 21, 2019

You are a story. And a portrait is a wordless version of that story with no beginning, no middle, and no end, There is no arc to the now. If you look at your portrait, and assign to it moments from the past and future yet to come, you will be distorting it, and may not like what you see. It’s human nature to create some sort of Gestalt composed of memories and expectations but that is wholly unnecessary and potentially counterproductive. Your portrait is a slice of the now. And by the time you even see it, it is in the past.  

Part of my job is to take the picture. But another part is to help you to interpret it. When I see your photograph I see beauty, no matter what you see. I have no filters, I create no story where none exists. Unfortunately I can’t be there for every person when they see their photo for the first time, but that’s the kind of photography I want to be doing. I hesitate to call it therapeutic. Let’s call it guided. The whole experience, from the moment we meet through...

January 22, 2019

People assume I’m some sort of poet or artist but what I really love to do are team photos - portraits of people who work together. I’ll do your About Us page, your speaker bios, your LinkedIN photos, your C-Level execs.

About Us is more than words. It better be. You’ve heard the axiom show, don’t tell. You can say whatever you want about your people but if it doesn’t show up in their photos it will ring hollow and people won’t care.

About Us conveys the spirit and energy behind a brand. It’s supposed to make people feel like they know you. You want perspective employees to visualize themselves there. And potential clients to want to know you. About Us is your own zeitgeist. It has to feel good.

I can help you feel good. I can help you exude joy. I can help you to capture that energy that lets people know you’re the real deal.

For the NPM shoot (of which the above photo is a representative slice) I was working with a generic conference room. But it had good natural light, good northern exp...

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