I love people of courage. It comes in all forms. When I met Jason I told him a guy friend had asked me to thank Jason for coming out. He thought for a minute and said “Tell him you’re welcome… It’s strange to be thanked for being honest about who you are.” During our shoot and listening to his interview with Jennifer Medina I was struck by his humble grace amid what was a media storm. He still went and worked out the morning of our shoot, between taking calls from President Obama and Oprah. He seemed so happy about finally being able to be open about who he was, and grateful at the great response he had gotten. He will make the road better for young men, athletes and African-American men who are gay. He is a hero.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/sports/jason-collins-took-personal-steps-before-coming-out-publicly.html?_r=0
I have wanted to shoot Cub Swanson for the last year. Something about him was so likeable. I was thrilled when Fight Magazine called to ask me to shoot him for the cover and feature of this month’s Fight Magazine. I went to Palm Springs where he lives to meet him. Writer R.J. Clifford was there to interview Cub between shots. I was fascinated hearing about his life growing up hard in Palm Springs and all that he has overcome. He is open and honest about growing up around gang violence and drugs, and getting to where he is now inspiring youth who are in the same situations. Cub has an easy smile and a great energy about him. It was way hotter than I expected in Palm Springs and we were going to hike up the hills to shoot Cub running the cliffs. Cub walked out of his house with a pair of shorts for me. It’s those kind of gestures that you remember, and help define a person. We had a great, fun day. Even when R.J.’s truck got stuck in the sand by the wind turbines and we all had to push it out, it was somehow a fun group effort. I’m really happy for Cub!
Personal projects are so important as a photographer. It’s when you get to create just for you. I saw Myles and Tayler coming out of Trader Joe’s and was struck by their beauty and contrast. I never approach people, but finally went to their car, handed them a card and said I’d really like to shoot them because they were so beautiful . Myles and I looked at each other wondering if we knew each other. I got an email a day later saying Hi and he was one of my son’s friends. Of course…Myles! I love my son’s friends. They are all such incredible individuals. So the start of a personal project began in a parking lot. The day I was shooting Jeremy Sisto I had them come to the studio before, and we did a shoot. I love these images so much. Tayler and Myles have no idea how beautiful they are, which makes them even more extraordinary.
I flew to San Antonio Texas to photograph Tom and Katy’s wedding. It rained the day before I got there, and the day I left. But the skies were sunny for their wedding day. The ceremony was held at Soldier’s Angels since Tommy is an Army Ranger. It was the most fun I have ever had at a wedding. Their families were so fun! Continue reading
I headed to Silverado, CA for Memorial Weekend to Lightning In A Bottle Festival. It was a gathering of the kindest people I have ever met. When was the last time you were somewhere with thousands of people and never heard one negative word. Every smile is returned with an even bigger smile. It is a cleansing from the materialistic LA environment to a simpler time. There are sound stages playing music and dancing at all hours of the day or night. There is yoga and lectures up on the hill for those who need a break. We sat in the grass and ate delicious food made by the local vendors. Lightning is the largest Green festival in the U.S. Every trash site has compost, recycle and landfill bins, and someone to help you decide, if you aren’t sure. People are free, happy and carry a piece of this weekend with them for a long time after. Special Thanks to The Do Lab for making it all possible. Everyone associated with them was stellar!