Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas is a time for Change?

No pictures this time. Just my words (which I hope are worth something...)

This Christmas was special. My entire family was here in Ohio, together, celebrating the holiday. That doesn't happen so often anymore, nor will it (probably) in the future.

Things change.

As one gets older, I suppose, Christmas becomes less about one's self and more about others – in fact, life itself becomes more about others. It's not about what you got... it's about what you gave and how it was received.

When I was younger I would reciprocate questions to my dad: "What do you want for Christmas, dad?" I never really understood then why he always answered that he didn't need anything. Of course he needed things, right? He needed some longer, baggier pants so he would look cooler (he still needs those!). He needed a really cool computer game to blow off some steam (he still plays Tetris and Minesweeper on Windows 95, God love him). And what guy doesn't need more ties to wear to work? (my dad has hundreds of ties, actually)

I guess there are bigger things in life that just mean more. Maybe it was something that us kids would make for him. Or just being with us. Or just seeing us smile. Maybe that was what made his [Christmas] Day. Maybe that's why a computer mouse that I bought him five years ago hasn't even been opened, and every single photograph of mine that I've ever given him has found a place on his desk, dresser, or mantelpiece.

I'm able to see some of those same sentiments in my own interactions with my neices and nephew, now. Just seeing them healthy and happy – just getting a heartfelt two-second hug from a three-year-old, is enough. I've learned a lot from my family, and I'm sure I'll continue to.

But, things sure change.

One could go so far as to say that things will never be like they were... that things are as they are. My family will continue to grow. My family will continue to change. My family will continue to move about the country. The dynamic is just that... ever changing.

My family has spent Christmas at my late maternal grandmother's house for about 40 years. We've held-on to that tradition for several years after my grandma passed away, but eventually, Christmas won't be celebrated there anymore. It's easy to say that it's not about where you are, and that it's who you're with. But it does matter where you are. I know that the tree will be in the living room, with the same lights, and ornaments, and angel. I know that the nativity will be in the family room under the window with that little light bulb (our "star from the east") over the manger. I know that everyone I know and love will be there, sitting in their usual spots as all the kids open presents. To boot, I've never missed a Christmas. Next year, since I'll be the newbie at my new job, I'm not so sure I'll be able to keep my hot-streak going.

Many people enter our lives. A relative few will actually accompany us along the entire path. Being able to understand that is often hard, but perhaps imperative. Whether they stay with us or not, others make a change in our lives that is sometimes as slight as the ripple of a pebble thrown in pond, and sometimes as great as an ocean wave. We desire people who will stay, to help us weather all of the immense change, as well as share in it. Nobody said it would be easy, but nobody said it would be all bad either.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


At the Eddie Adams Workshop, I spent two days documenting the lives of residents in a nearby drug rehabilitation facility. It is a therapeutic, residential treatment community, focusing on self-esteem and strength in fighting addiction rather than other means or medical treatment.

This is the first in a series of about three posts. These photos are from the facilities graduation ceremony for about seven folks who healed themselves of their addictions. There were lots of balloons there...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Loomis in the house...

Rick Loomis of the L.A. Times visited OU on Tuesday. We love him... here are some photos by Kevin and I.

... he did portfolio reviews for students...

... he was so intrigued by kevin's mullet wig...

... that he tried it on himself...

... and he loved it...

... and he gave a great lecture...

... and he answered people's questions really eloquently...

... and then he signed some posters...

... and gave playful glares for the camera.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Kevin Martin: "Well, you made a nice picture of a tree today."

Thanks for your support, dude.

Trees in a field outside of Coolville, Ohio, 9/29/06.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What is it?

Aerial photography over Vinton County, Ohio near MacArthur. This was in the middle of a lake and I have no idea what it is. Thought it was purdy...

Saturday, September 16, 2006


last weekend was not photography... this weekend I finally made some photographs.

this last frame was hard to take. It's hard to take photographs of people when they're emotional because you often feel invasive. Initially I thought they were breaking up... when the boy walked away I talked to him, he gave me their names and explained, "She likes to flirt with just about everybody. I come to one game – I see that and I told her I was gonna leave."

Very "high school." I think in the end this wasn't invasive. I think it illustrates some of the drama of high school life.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Back in Athens

I was in a mood and needed to photograph something. I went back to my roots and shot high school football and it was not my best night. I guess these are alright, but it's time to step it up.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Shopping stinks...

I grabbed this feature while on a business assignment in a furniture store. Photographs are everywhere. This really reminds me of how much I hated shopping for stuff with my folks when I was younger.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Lambeau Field is unreal. Miller Park is pretty cool, too.


Two recent portraits... one for the cover of our home improvement tab on outdoor ambience (I thought the light looked lantern-ish)... and the other for an article on a plastic surgeon who developed a machine that does hair replacement.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Coming Home

Wisconsin Army National Guard 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry


A local high school football team has the annual tradition of forming a stronger team bond through a multiple-day lock-in in the school's wrestling room. At the beginning of the week all players must get a crazy haircut, per the tradition. The one player below chose to get a relief of his uniform number.

Barn Fire

Barn fire in Calumet County. There are no fire hydrants in rural areas and all water must be trucked in. Over 20 tankers and over a handful of area fire departments worked this fire for the entire night. I focused on their dedication to their work.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


just a test to see if my RSS feed is working!

Please excuse,

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Balloon Glow

From the annual Balloon festival in Seymour, Wis.

National Night Out

This annual holiday is sometimes a toss up when it comes to finding good art. Personally, I find it very odd that we deem it necessary to designate a day on the calendar to exit our homes and say hello to our neighbors. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

For a brief moment, this little guy was king of the lawn sprinkler.

The Ice Rink

I was early to an assignment and decided to stop by the nearby public ice rink. I noticed that in a certain spot from the stands, skaters (assuming they skate by the right spot) are reflected in every pane of glass.

Fest-this, fest-that...

We have a lot of fests... when it comes down to it, they are probably an excuse to serve beer. But nevertheless, they're fun and they can make for some good art.

This was from PaperFest in Kimberly.

Back in time...

We did a story about restaurants that have maintained the 1950s look... in hindsight it would have been fun to photograph it the way a "press photographer" from the 50s would have shot it. Speed Graphic and flash bulbs! :)

Catfish extravaganza – Greenville

Some people race cars, others horses...

... we race catfish...

... and gamble on it...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

EAA's not big... it's huge

That's what my uncle said when he told me about the Oshkosh, Wis., annual airshow and fly-in.

It's pretty cool. I went on my day off – for fun – and made a couple nice photos. Well.. at least I think they're nice. I'm pretty happy with the shot of the sad kid.

What? Huh? Come again?


It's a play – A play that I had never seen.

And in all seriousness – just to set the record straight – with 12-years of Catholic education and 21-years of like upbringing in my past, I do, indeed, love God.

But for various reasons, this production just confused me.

I shot the rehearsal, but I also shot the pretty pattern on the floor. :-)

My artsy image for the week.