To Each His Own Place is an ongoing portrait series of real people in their own environments; in the place they are most comfortable. I started the series this summer with my family in small town Idaho, where I grew up. I chose the locations that made me think of them. Some where they live and some where they spend their free time, but always where they feel at home.
What would bring the biggest touring musicians and performers to the middle of Pennsylvania Amish country? It's a space the size of an airplane hanger with 80 foot ceilings and great acoustics known as Rock Lititz. I photographed co-owner of Rock Lititz, James "Winky" Fairorth for the current issue of Philadelphia Magazine. Here is the article and some outtakes.
The NFL draft was held in Chicago for the first time this year and I am so proud that my images were a part of it.
I made the trip out to Chicago in the dead of winter to shoot grand cityscapes. I bought every hand and foot warmer I could find and the art directors and I used them all. We shot for 3 days at dawn and dusk in the brutal cold, but it was totally worth it. The images came out great and they were everywhere in Chicago for weeks, especially in Draft Town, the area open to the public for watching the festivities. Here are some the final images as well as some of the images in action, including on the big stage and in ads. A huge shout out to Chad Griffith for his fantastic shots of the player in the last image.
Chi-town is Draft Town!
Relocating from Chicago to Philadelphia was bittersweet. It's been a few weeks now and it was definitely the right decision, but Chicago had become home for the last couple of years. It was very enjoyable for me to stroll the little over a mile from our apartment in Bucktown to my shared office space in Logan Square. I made the walk nearly everyday and I got very used to what I saw as I walked northwest up Milwaukee Avenue. So during my last week making that walk I tried to really take in, and of course document all the cool little vignettes that I passed. Here is my walk to work; pictorially.
My favorite place we went in Ecuador was the park surrounding Cotopaxi, an active volcano. We were only able to go for one day, but Sarah and I totally want to go back and spend more time camping and climbing. Even in the one day we spent there, we saw some incredible landscapes. There was the peak of Cotopaxi itself which would occasionally peek out from behind huge clouds and all around were other jagged peaks with vast flatlands in between them. It was a magical place.
The main reason for making the long trek to Alausi was to ride the rails on a scenic train ride through the mountains. The train trip is called Nariz del Diablo (the Devil's Nose). It was a wonderful and exciting 2.5 hour trip in a old wooden train through the lush green canyons. We also found out there is a 3 day trip you can do from the mountains to the sea. Next time!
My friend Miklos is an amazing guy. He's a sculptor and a fantastic cook. This year he finally took me with him on an annual foraging expedition. Our prey was stealthy. We went foraging for morel mushrooms in the wilds of Illinois. I won't say exactly where we did it, as foraging grounds are a prized and guarded secret, but i will say that we were mighty successful. We found lots of mushrooms and had a ton of fun doing it.
Sometimes getting around in Ecuador can be a chore. A trip that you expect to be 5 hours of driving is really 8 hours. Then when you factor in stops for lunch and sightseeing, it drags out to 12 hours. Such was the case with our trip to the beautiful little town of Alausi. Once we were there, however, it was all worth while. Alausi is a quaint little mountain town with friendly people and stunning views in every direction.
While traveling through Ecuador and visiting the South American side of Sarah's extended family, we got to see some incredible places. On one of our first afternoons we went to lunch at a beautiful restaurant near Mitad del Mundo. The restaurant overlooks a beautiful valley. Or at least, that is what we were told. When we were there low lying clouds filled the valley and sadly we couldn't see into it. But the food at the restaurant was delicious and when we walked up to it we were greeted by a welcoming committee of a couple of tethered llamas. We saw llamas all over Ecuador, they are a common livestock, but these two were particularly photogenic.
Being back in Chicago has been good. Well, in most ways it has been good. In one very prominent way it has been bad, which is to say cold. This has been the worst winter Chicago (and the rest of the country) has seen in years. I had the chance to escape the cold for a few days for a great shoot down in Houston, but the rest of the time we've just been enduring it. On one particularly cold day Sarah and I went down to the edge of Lake Michigan to see what a 92% frozen lake looks like. In a word, beautiful. It almost made the frostbitten ears worth it.
I just finished my second project with AdAsia and Subaru. The creative teams were fantastic to collaborate with as usual. We had some unexpected weather related hurdles to overcome when snowstorm "Electra" hit New York. But we rose to the challenge and with the help of a great team we created a wonderful final image in which you can't even tell that it's winter. Big thanks to Nancy at Frog Hollow Farm for furnishing the location and the excellently trained horses (one of whom was an Olympic hopeful).
Once Sarah and I left Los Angeles, the goal was to get back to Chicago as quickly as possible. Despite not wanting to get back to the worst winter in Chicago in decades, we had a job to get to in New York. We decided to fly rather than risk getting stuck in the snow with Timmy so we had to drop him off in Chicago first and make our flights. The last several days were longer with an average of 8-10 hours of driving a day, but we did manage to stop at a couple of cool places like The Salton Sea and Petrified National Forest for picnics and photos.
On our recent road trip, hands down our favorite part of this trip was the four days we spent driving down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco down to Los Angeles. The route took us through Monterey, which is now one of our favorite places on earth since it is where Sarah and I got engaged, and through Big Sur, another of our favorite places because it is simply amazing. It's so incredible to have majestic redwood forests adjacent to beautiful beaches. And, 70 degrees in January was a bit better than the slew of plolar vortices that were attacking Chicago.
Sarah and I had far too little time to spend in Death Valley National Park on our recent cross country trek. Sarah and I plan to make another trip there dedicating an entire week to it. We stayed at Furnace Creek Resort where we enjoyed having a drink at the bar and chatting with fellow travelers. It was here that we learned that the winter weather and road conditions were going to prevent us from making it to Yosemite. We only had time for one early morning at Zabriskie Point and a leisurly drive through the valley. On the drive we stopped on the highway for 10 minutes watching two coyotes that were strolling alongside of the road. At one point I had Sarah let me out of the car so I could run several hundred feet up hill to photograph the valley below and Timmy the Trailer driving through it. Sarah subsequently got yelled at by the park rangers for stopping on the highway, so she had to keep driving down the road leaving me in the dust. I was out of breath running to catch up with her. Worth it.
Sand Hollow State Park in Southern Utah was a wonderful accidental find. On the drive toward California from Monument Valley, we needed a nice place to rest for the night and found it in a google search. It ended up being one of our favorite spots of the trip. It didn't hurt that it was beautiful and warm with a crisp blue sky.