Delvin Choice Smoke Portrait: Delvin is a cool dude. There is no way around it. The guy just exudes charisma. I wanted to create a simple portrait but felt that one more visual element was needed to capture a bit of the drama of being a performer. Smoke was that magic element that brings more depth to a very simplified portrait.
‘Star Wars’ in the Classroom Photo: When you are photographing a story about “Star Wars” and the assistant director of the Roper Mountain Science Center says he can get you a guy in a Stormtrooper suit, you thank the photography gods. Needless to say, this was one of the most memorable shoots of the year.
Solar Eclipse Portrait: Interns are great to have around the office. They can get you coffee, hold your light stands on windy days, and, of course, willingly look ridiculous for the sake of a great image. I mean, the only thing better than one pair of solar eclipse glasses is four pairs, right?
Southern Tide Couple Jumping Photo: Sometimes we have to take a leap to make business stories a bit more fun. Our Upstate Business Journal story on the business of Southern prep clothing took a quirky twist when it came to photography. Shoutout to Victor Collins for jumping about 2,000 times before I nailed the shot. Modeling is hard work. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Hollywild Baby Ibex Portrait: When you take a trip to Hollywild and end up in the pen with a rhino, you don’t expect your best photograph of the day to be a shot with juvenile ibex. However, there is just something in this shot that captures a spontaneous moment of humor that is priceless. Thank you, Lucia and David Meeks, for such unparalleled access.
Mari Steinbach Biking Portrait: Mari Steinbach never slows down. Besides being the director of Greenville’s Parks and Recreation Department, she is a seasoned triathlete. The hardest part of this shoot was keeping up with Mari. I had to ask her to slow down each time she rode past me. Thirty attempts later, I finally slowed her down enough to capture this frame.
Sean Brock Portrait: Sean Brock is kind of a big deal. And photographing someone who has already been photographed by GQ and the New York Times is a bit daunting, to say the least. Instead of introducing obvious props like kitchen utensils or food, I wanted to strip away all distracting elements — even color — and just focus on Sean himself. Sometimes less is more.
Ken Christy Woodworker Portrait: Ken Christy has the hands of a craftsman and the mind of a philosopher. Shooting artists opens a window to their creative process. What most struck me about Ken was his laser-sharp focus on this craft. I hope this image captures just a bit of that intensity.
Charis Jackson Barrios Portrait with illustration: My best images come when the subject plays an active and collaborative role in their creation. Charis Jackson Barrios, Greenville Center for Creative Arts Brandon Fellow and illustrator, was the perfect creative partner to create an image that played to both of our skill sets. Charis’ digital illustration of herself paired perfectly in comedic juxtaposition to my photographic portrait.
Caroline Caldwell-Richmond Portrait: Caroline Caldwell-Richmond has soul. She also happens to be the curator and director of the program team of TEDxGreenville. As soon as I listened to her TEDx talk, I knew I wanted to create a portrait of her that stripped away all unnecessary elements. I wanted the power of her expression to carry the image. Sometimes, other elements like complicated backgrounds serve only to distract from the real intention of a portrait. A black-and-white portrait against a simple white background has nothing to hide behind. There are no bright colors, no cool space, and no props. You have to create a portrait that has soul. I hope you feel her soul in this image, as well.
Evan Harris as Dr. Watson Portrait: Theater lends itself well to photography. The elaborate stage designs, costumes, and special effects all help bring an imaginary world to life. Looking at this photograph, it’s hard even for me to believe we were not actually surrounded by the bitter cold of a dreary London winter in the late 1800s. Instead, we were simply standing on a stage with a painted wall as a background and two smoke machines humming as I hollered for more fog.
‘Spring Awakening’ Actress Portrait Eliana Marianes: This shoot with actress Eliana Marianes was for the Warehouse Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening.” It was a chance to use light and color to create a mood. Try as I might, I could not create the light I wanted, so in a moment of desperation I stuck my light behind a red velvet curtain, and low and behold I stumbled across just the right dramatic, saturated red light. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good.
Kylie Odetta Musician Portrait: Sometimes the best shots occur once you take away all the rules and structures of the original planned photo concept. This was definitely the case with my photo shoot with local modern-pop musician Kylie Odetta. We started with very posed portraits, but they lacked the incredible energy Kylie possesses. Once I asked her to do whatever she wanted, the energy and charisma came roaring back, and we ended up with final images like this.
Morgan Stinson FOTT Shoot Hair Flip: When you are doing a fashion shoot for a hair salon, you have to do a hair-flip photo, right? This is especially true when you have lovely locks like Morgan Stinson.
Pierce Curren Snake Portrait: Some people really like snakes. Pierce Curren and his parents take liking snakes and other reptiles to a new level. They host the internationally distributed educational TV show “Scaly Adventures.” Me, I am not much of a snake guy, but I am always willing to get as close as I need for the shot.
Mike Sablone Portrait: Sometimes you have to wait and build a bit of rapport with your subject before asking them to do something quirky and less conventional. After two hours of standard portraits with Mike Sablone, the moment of truth came when I brought out the stool, and this magical moment occurred in only five minutes. I mean, you can’t just do a boring portrait of a guy who is the producing artistic director for the Warehouse Theatre, right?
Olivia Perreault Double Exposure Artist Portrait: When planning the GCCA Brandon Fellow profile series, I knew I wanted to create a single image for each artist that found a way to blend that artist’s work into a portrait of herself. For Olivia Perreault, an artist who paints landscape scenes found near her home, I thought it would be perfect to blend her landscapes with a portrait of her using double exposures. This blending of her paintings and her body creates an image that captures her strong personal connection to her work.
The Francis Vertigo Band Portrait: With a band name like The Francis Vertigo, how could I not try to create an image that captures that feeling of unsteady energy and seeing double, as the name evokes? Long exposures that employed a mixing of constant lights and flash helped create these motion-blurred portraits.
Welding Tommy Pike Customs Portrait: This moment at Tommy Pike Customs shows the magic of being able to freeze time with a camera. Photography allows a dynamic process to be captured in a way that the human eye simply cannot.
Victoria Wyeth Portrait: When I met Victoria Wyeth, I immediately realized that she possessed a frenetic energy that is nearly impossible to match and seemingly never ran out. Every photo I had found of her in other publications and websites seemed sedate and static compared with the fireball that stood before me. After spending 30 minutes setting up for a very static, serious image, I scrapped everything and let her be herself. All we ended up needing was one light, a white wall, and Victoria’s infectious charisma.