Personal Work: Jesseto


My new personal series Jesseto is up on my site. “Little Jesse” is a series about a friend who was born with a major heart defect.  His first mode of transportation was a helicopter ride from one hospital to another to save his life.  Jesse is 5’6″ and at the time of shooting  weighed 115 pounds.  Childhood may have been a challenge but as a 23 year old adult he is healthy and happy and this series explores appreciating life and self expression through photography.

I want to mention that throughout my career I had many project ideas that I talked myself out of, thinking for whatever reason it wasn’t worth it.  Nothing informs clients on who you are more than personal work, it helps round out your portfolio and can get you work that you want to shoot.  I like to encourage photographers at all career stages to follow through on ideas.  Remember you’re shooting personal projects for yourself and don’t need approval from anyone.  If anything Jesseto was fun to shoot, pushed me and helped me grow as a photographer.  I’m happy I saw it through.

Olympic Skater Ashley Wagner



I had the pleasure of photographing Ashley Wagner for OC Register Magazine.  The magazine wanted something urban and mentioned shooting Ashley in the city eating an ice cream cone.  I didn’t know Ashley lived in Southern California and wanted to play with the concept of her on water as if it was melted ice.  I also wanted her to be in her skate attire so she was instantly recognizable.  I pitched the idea to the magazine and they wanted to run with it.  Now the hard part, where were we going to shoot?  A few small lakes/parks came to mind but I knew we couldn’t ask her to stand in the usual muck that surrounds lakes.  We scouted and found the perfect location with rocks for her to stand on in Irvine, CA.

COAST Magazine’s 50 most influential people cover



COAST celebrates the influencers.  I know it wasn’t an easy task but going through the list of 50 I think the magazine made great choices, many people who I have photographed before, many friends.  The magazine mentions picking people whose influence spiked in the past year and cover personalities Eric Rignot, Courtney Conlogue and Amar Santana lead the way in their field.   Scientist Eric Rignot educates on the threat of climate change.  His research made enough impact to be featured on the cover of New York Times Magazine and convinced world leaders in Paris to sign an agreement to reduce carbon emissions.  This was my first time meeting Eric.  I have photographed Courtney a few other times, one of which was an assignment documenting her grueling workout.  Her year included becoming the first California surfer, man or woman to be ranked No.1 since 1990.  I’m convinced that the hard working 23 year old will go down in history as one of the very best in the world.  I have photographed Amar and a few of his dishes before.  He was considered a teen prodigy in the culinary world, just opened his second restaurant VACA, which I went to hours after this shoot and is competing on the current season of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

There were concerns about having different personalities on set but everyone got along so well, as a matter of fact Amar invited Courtney and Eric to his new restaurant and I heard they got together for a day of surfing with families.  I think it’s great to have a photoshoot bring people together.

Creative Director: Karen Kelso  Makeup: Simon Rihana, One Represents  Hair: Harper, Exclusive Artists