Food Lifeline is a great organization that is fighting to end hunger in Western Washington. “Working with the food industry and its surpluses, we come up with creative solutions to stopping hunger, including redirecting good food from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants that might otherwise go to waste.” – Food Lifeline website
There are some pretty staggering numbers on food waste in America, so it was especially gratifying to work on a project like this that I know is going to have a positive impact. For example, did you know nearly 40% or 170 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in America will go to waste? – via Food Lifeline website
I worked on this ad campaign with the folks at Green Rubino, who I also shot The Recommendeuer with last year. Big shout out to my friends Joe Quatrone and Dennis Budell who I love collaborating with!
Here is a fun little post production fact I thought you might enjoy. I photographed each of the subjects bare arms and legs, and those assets were used to make the arms and legs on the apple and carrot. Gigantic Squid did a fantastic job retouching these, and you can’t help but feel happy that the apple and carrot found good homes.
Here is the first behind the scenes video of Arrows by Fences featuring Macklemore. This is so fun to watch for me because the last 2 months have been such a blur. As you can see, all of the sets were built in a warehouse and shot on green screen. Ian Hubert, Nate Taylor, and Ian Goode did such an amazing job bringing this to life with stunning imagery and VFX. I hope you enjoy it.
It’s official!!! Jason Koenig and I directed a music video for the song “Arrows” by Fences featuring Macklemore and it comes out this Monday! Holy Smokes I am excited about this. You will be able to see it on Youtube, so get ready. More soon. Thanks for watching!
I’m back in Seattle after some busy, yet fun trips to Portland and LA. Lot’s to catch up on, but I thought I would share a few of my recent iPhone portraits. The project continues to move ahead, and as always you can see more of them in my project section as well as on my Instagram profile. This is something I have been working on for the past 9 months or so. I have photographed over 200 people to date so far. All with an iPhone, and some natural light. Nothing fancy. Just getting caught up in a moment, enjoying no frills photography and meeting new people.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my most recent shoot with Macklemore for the cover of The Source. We also thought it would be fun to share a behind the scenes video to show you how the magic happened. Thanks for checking it out. Shout out also to Just 2 Guys for putting this together for us. Cheers.
For many people, Ferran Adria needs no introduction, but for those of you who are not familiar with Ferran, he is one of the most innovative chefs and people in recent history. He has been on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list multiple times. His restaurant El Bulli was the best restaurant in the world until he shut it down in 2011 at the peak of it’s success, with the idea of reinventing it. Not many people have the vision and willingness to take great risks the way Ferran does, and that is a big part of what this feature is about.
This assignment came up very quickly, and within 3 days of getting the call, I was off to Barcelona. Aside from creating some awesome images, my secondary goal was food. Get food. Just a piece of cheese or a scrap of bread would suffice. To be able to say I was handed food from Ferran Adria, that would be pretty cool.
Right off the bat, I want to thank and acknowledge the creative team at Wired UK. The Photo Editors, Dalia Nassimi and Steve Peck, Art Director Andrew Diprose, and Executive Editor Greg Williams. Greg and Andrew also traveled to Barcelona for this shoot, and we first met up with Ferran at El Bulli Workshop not far from our hotel in Barcelona. It was a busy morning between meetings, the interview and photo shoot, but we worked with Ferran in small chunks of time throughout the day. Ferran is one of the most meticulous and driven people I have ever met. As you can see from some of these images, his attention to detail and planning is second to none. Every room in his workshop as well as his kitchens are lined with whiteboards covered in notes, diagrams, and plans. His spice rack at El Bulli Workshop is so thought out, he probably knows how many grains of salt are in the salt jar. Perhaps most impressive was the play dough portion size and design templates for each meal he has created. Nothing is left to chance. His passion for his work and innovation also seem to be very contagious, because everyone he works with seems to completely buy in. I was able to learn some of this before the shoot through my research, but it is never as fun as the real deal. It was really amazing to pull some of the intensity and passion out of him, as you can see in these images.
Ferran now has a new tapas bar with his brother, Albert, in Barcelona called Tickets. From what we had gathered, it is quite an experience in it’s own right, with an impressive menu, including several famous dishes from El Bulli. It’s also next to impossible to get in to. Greg brought up the idea of getting a table during the photo shoot, but we were told it just wasn’t possible. While Ticket’s would have been the ultimate dining experience, we were in Barcelona after all, and Ferran recommended some of his favorite tapas bars and restaurants to us, which were all amazing. Later that evening, we caught up with Ferran at a local museum which has a wonderful exhibit on the history of El Bulli. They closed the museum down, and we got a private tour from Ferran.
We had 2 days of shooting scheduled with Ferran, and after a long and eventful day one, we got up early the next morning and drove a couple of hours outside Barcelona to El Bulli. It is still closed as a restaurant, but currently is filled with computer programmers and large white boards of plans and code. Big changes are coming to El Bulli before it re-opens in 2014. Going out there, we knew the kitchen was closed, so we were not expecting food, but we were also not expecting the surprise Ferran had instore for us. Ferran pulled Greg, Andrew, and myself over to a corner of the outdoor patio and brought us into a tight circle. He held out 3 fingers, looked at us in the eyes, and said, “9:00 tonight, Tickets for the 3 of you.” Kids at Christmas! We were through the roof. More on that below.
This issue has only been out about a week now, and we are already seeing this cover being recognized as one of the best covers of 2012. Pretty exciting to be a part of that, and an honor to work with AD Andrew Diprose, who is one of the best in the industry.
Ferran at El Bulli Workshop talking with two of his computer programmers, who are working on some exciting new developments for the El Bulli brand.
Working with Ferran on the how best to hold the E, and balancing it with the proper way to hold a knife and cut. Pictured with Ferran’s interpreter, Andrew Diprose and myself.
El Bulli kitchen during the remodel / reinvention of El Bulli.
Portion sizes and shapes of all ingredients served at El Bulli made out of Play-dough.
Two dishes served at El Bulli made from Play-dough, next to a photograph of the actual dish.
Below are pictures I took of our meal at Tickets. In all of the excitement and euphoria, there were several dishes I forgot to photograph. That being said, here are quite a few images of many of the amazing things I got to eat that night. Our server’s name was Claudia, and she added so much to the experience. We didn’t feel qualified to order, so we told her to bring whatever she wanted to serve us. She talked to us quite a bit throughout the night, and brought the dishes in an order that flowed and paired flavors. Ferran even came in to say hi and introduce us to his brother Albert. It was by far the most amazing food experience I have ever had. We asked the concierge at our hotel for walking directions to Tickets before we left, and he told us he could make several other restaurant recommendations because we would not be able to get in. Greg tried to explain that we had reservations, but he just laughed at us. Silly tourists.
Confit potatoes with pork rib jus and boiled iberian ham
Liquid ravioli of Payoyo cheese
Warm lava cake of “turron de Jijona” with raspberry sorbet. We ordered 2 of these.
This short video about Tickets gives you an awesome behind the scenes look at the food they create and what the dining experience is like. Eating at one of Ferran’s restaurants really is about the whole experience and using all of your senses.
Wired UK AD Andrew Diprose, Ferran Adria, John Keatley, and Wired UK Executive Editor Greg Williams
I would encourage you to pick up a copy of the October issue of Wired UK which is currently on stands. You can also see a great documentary on Netflix called El Bulli: Cooking In Progres. There are also hundreds of fascinating videos online of Ferran and El Bulli. I can tell you I have already invested countless hours watching many of them.
I would like to thank everyone who worked with me on this assignment. Dalia, Andrew, Greg, and Steve at Wired UK. Awesome people. Thanks to my rep Julia at Redux Pictures for all her support and hard work on the backend to make this all happen. Thanks to Gigantic Squid for the awesome retouching. Thanks for stopping by and enjoying my work.
It didn’t take long for the humans to panic. Government had been spiraling out of control for 60 years, fueled by greed and corporate corruption. Mankind had finally taken all it could from the earth, until the earth had nothing left to give. The humans had long embraced the idea, live for today and take what you want. The cries of those who recognized the consequences of such behavior were left to the minority and written off as crazy. Men had convinced themselves they were invincible. Once the Nelson Report came out, and Amazon’s infrastructure collapsed, people began hoarding resources and grabbing all they could for themselves. Telecommunications were quickly shut down, and in less than 18 months, the US population had been cut by over 75 percent. Riots, fires, murder, starvation and sickness spread with very little resistance.
As life has always demonstrated, sometimes it takes the loss of one thing to gain another. Ironic and painful as it was, it took man’s near destruction of the earth to bring about a new relationship between man and animal as it was in the beginning of time.
The Rider has not survived in the new world these past 5 years because of his strength, or because of things taken. He has survived because of relationships. Primarily a relationship with his bear and with nature. These things, which were seen as weak and useless before, have now become what is held most precious in the dark days.
I love and hate these pictures. From a photographic standpoint, I am really proud of this series of images taken at the PREDA Foundation. On the other hand, I hate that these pictures need to exist, and that this is a story which needs to be told. It seems impossible to ignore the devastation and loss of innocence these images also represent. But fortunately I do see hope in these images as well. I believe we were created with the capacity to choose great evil, but thankfully we also have the choice to love, which I believe has the power to overcome all else. At PREDA, I met some wonderful people who have made the decision to simply love, and care for the people who have been exploited and experienced so much devastation.
I arrived at PREDA with only 2 hours to work with before Becker and I had to take a taxi to Angeles City. It was a bit hectic when we arrived, and we didn’t have much back story or time to prep for this stop. After meeting Alex, the program director, I asked if I could take a tour and look around. The tour started in the administrative offices, followed by the kitchen and then some classrooms. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for or interested in. Eventually, we went down a hall and into a large room filled with colorful metal bunk beds and bright blankets. Half of the room was lined with large windows, streaming in midday light. As I took it all in, I asked my tour guide what the room was, and she told me it was the girls dorm, for children 9 and under. To clarify, these are children age 9 and younger who have been sexually abused both commercially and domestically. Unbelievable.
I started the day expecting to make portraits, but this room was speaking to me, and drawing me in. I didn’t have my camera with me, and after looking around for a moment, I burst out of the room, and down the hall to get my camera and tripod. I think my guide thought I was a bit strange, leaving the way I did with no explanation, but I couldn’t move fast enough. I was in a zone. I spent maybe the next hour shooting these images of the girls dorm, although it felt like I was only there about 5 minutes.
Primal therapy room.
Father Shay, founder of PREDA Foundation in Olongapo, Philippines, on Subic Bay. Father Shay has dedicated his life to fighting for children who have been sexually exploited both commercially and domestically. He has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 3 times, and I sincerely hope he is recognized by one in the near future.
I just can’t decide between these two portraits. It is usually pretty easy for me to make these kind of decisions, but there is something about each of these that I can’t get past. It doesn’t help that everyone else I have asked have said both as well. What do you think?
Father Shay’s desk. Nearly 40 years of hard work has happened here. I can’t even imagine the phone calls, letters, and meetings that have taken place here over the years.
PREDA Foundation is a service provider for sexually exploited children in Subic Bay, Philippines, which infamous as a destination for sex tourism. From their website:
“In 1974, with Filipino helpers, Fr. Shay Cullen established the PREDA organization (Peoples’ Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance Inc.) to give shelter and protection and recovery to victims of abuse and more importantly to change this unjust situation in society that abandons children and criminalizes them and prostitutes them or allows them to be abused without getting help and justice.”
PREDA provides many crucial services to the children, including residential care homes organized by age – one for girls as young as 9 years and under.
Last month I wrote about an upcoming assignment in the Philippines for an organization called Arts Aftercare. Here is a link to the post if you are interested in the backstory, but basically I was working with the story of sexual slavery, human trafficking, and the work people are doing to help survivors. I was gone for 10 days in the beginning of March, and I got back to the States a few weeks ago. After taking some time to rest, and reflect on the trip and what I saw, I finally feel like I am at a point now where I have processed enough of the trip, and I can share my thoughts and more importantly, my pictures. I feel like this project makes the most sense when split up into 4 or 5 different stories. The first part of the story is arriving in Manila and getting somewhat acclimated to my surroundings.
I have never had to think so much about an assignment as I did on this trip. There are so many variables to consider, which I have never had to think about on past assignments. One of the things I found myself thinking about a lot on this trip was journalistic integrity. Thankfully I was traveling and working with my close friend, and filmmaker Eric Becker who I learned so much from. It would have been a totally different experience for me if I didn’t have him there for support, and just overall great companionship. When I was in Liberia last year, I took pictures of anyone, because everyone in the entire town I was in, was effected in one way or another by the lack of clean drinking water. It was something that had a broad reach, and just about any person, place or thing seemed relevant to the story. In the Philippines, I was trying to tell a story about sexual slavery. Although prostitution seemed to be everywhere I turned, it is not so easy to create a visual story without being painstakingly careful. For example, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort when we visited Angels City. Just in the short time I spent in the lobby during a 24 hour period, I saw 20 or so men bring back, or meet prostitutes in the lobby. Everyone knows what is going on, but at the same time, seeing a 65 year old American man and a 20 year old Filipino girl walking to a hotel room is not proof of what is going on. Sometimes the age difference was not so great, and it certainly isn’t fair to assume every white guy and Filipino girl are in anything other than a serious relationship. Being a portrait photographer, I wanted to photograph so many different people, but I knew I needed to be careful what I was implying by including someones portrait or picture in a series like this. I didn’t photograph the bellhop at the hotel I was staying at and say he is somehow a part of the story, anymore than I would want someone photographing me in the Philippines and saying I was somehow involved. There is actually a lot of human trafficking that happens in Seattle. Seattle is a major player in human trafficking unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean you can photograph anyone in Seattle and say they are part of the story. Some of you may be thinking what I am saying seems pretty obvious, but it was new for me, and took a lot of thought to work through.
With all of that being said, these images are from our travels to Manila from Seattle, as well as wandering around and exploring Manila after we first arrived. Which I might add, we didn’t have much time to explore. None of these images are linked to or are intended to be linked to prostitution or human trafficking, but they help set the stage for where I was in the Philippines, and what my surroundings were like.
I am really excited to share more from this trip in the coming days and dive into the images I am most excited about. As always, thanks for your interest!
On another note, all of these images were edited with VSCO Film which is an amazing image editing tool for Lightroom, Aperture, and Camera RAW. It has totally sped up my workflow, improved my images, and is one of my favorite tools as a photographer. Check it out for yourself here. I also wrote a couple of reviews here and here with processed images if you want to find out more.