portrait photography

Too Far in Between - Surreal Mag

Wow it has been almost two months since I've updated my blog. As of lately, I've been at home and working on portraits very heavily again. At least until the next tour, whenever that may be. That's one thing that's been on my mind. You're not guaranteed anything and anything can happen. You may be employed for a month and then unemployed for like 6. You never know. What sucks about that is with someone like me with anxiety, losing that control sucks. But I'm dealing. Through portraits and just random photo taking with friends, I've found some solace. This portrait session wasn't planned to be published or anything. It was just friends that wanted to create some cool stuff, and we did! We used @bioglitz for the makeup and @betsyjohnson for the jewelry. Thanks to Surreal for publishing and to Taylor, Clarice, and Katya for the beautiful art we were able to make together. Be sure to follow all of them on instagram. 

model - @katya_estes
mua - @tayfrieds
stylist - @claricebc
makeup - @bioglitz
jewelry - @betsyjohnson

Purchase the magazine here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1468667

Below are all my favorite photos from the shoot.


plain jane

model: https://www.instagram.com/easterxdaily/
his photography is dope - http://www.easterxdaily.com
our outfits were curated from thrift shops this day.

"Ride with the mob, alhamdulillah
Check in with me and do your job
Ferg is the name, Ben Baller did the chain
Tourneau for the watch, presi Plain Jane"
- A$AP Ferg


deadly valentine

model: https://www.instagram.com/porcelain_kween/
makeup: https://www.instagram.com/r3makeup/

"With this ring I thee wed, with all my worldly goods I thee endow
To love and to cherish according to God's holy ordinance
You have declared your consent, may the Lord fill you both with blessings
From this day forward, for better, for worse, until death do us part

To love and to cherish according to God's holy ordinance
Hey! If a man can show just cause why they
May not lawfully be together
Let him now speak or hereafter
For ever let him hold his place
As it says I am my beloved
And my beloved is mine

With this ring I thee wed with all my worldly goods I thee endow
To love and to cherish according to God's holy ordinance
You have declared your concern, may the Lord fill you both with blessings
From this day forward, for better, for worse, until death do us part

Damn! Can't even remember my name
You are my thing, I'm my own shadow
You are my little hurricane
Pictures are gently left behind me
Somewhere a face that I can't find
You are my deadly valentine"
- Charlotte Gainsbourg


Moments from 2017


1:22:2017 - Falling in Reverse.jpg

I came into 2017 with not a lot of goals in mind but a lot of ambition. I had been taking photos a bit more seriously in 2016, shooting more shows and delving a bit more into portraits. I’ve always tripped into photo opportunities up to this point. I chose this photo because this was when I launched into a world where people may start taking me a bit more seriously. I had spent maybe 2 months consistently emailing artists for jobs, for a single show, a promo session, or tour. I finally got one response from Tyler from Issues and I was able to shoot a single date from the End is Here Tour headlined by Falling in Reverse. This was the day I met those guys and would lead into an important part of this year.


Just a month later, I would go on tour with Falling in Reverse for the Rest in Space Tour. Up to this point, I have had only done I think 3 local tours. That’s it. All I did was ask Christian if they needed someone to finish the tour since Brandon, who took photos on their last tour, was leaving after the first half. Then there I was. Two weeks after messaging him, I was on an airplane to meet them at their show in Detroit. First time on a bus. First time shooting a large crowd; the reason I chose these photos. First time staying at hotels. Nice hotels. First time touring in Canada. I would receive a phone call from Ashley during this tour about shooting a show in March when I got back.


3:13:2017 - The American Nightmare Tour 2.jpg
3:13:2017 - The American Nightmare Tour 3.jpg

This leads to these photos of Bring Me The Horizon. Ashley would be unable to finish the tour so BMTH would need to get local photographers to shoot individual dates. I was asked to be at the Chicago date. Never would I ever have thought I would get asked to shoot a band of this caliber, especially a band that I thoroughly have enjoyed for a few years. 

3:28:2017 - Stephanie (First Pub).2jpg.jpg
3:28:2017 - Stephanie (First Pub).jpg

On the other side of things, I had been shooting shows so frequently that I wanted to put my foot into more serious portrait sessions and getting published that way. Stephanie and I have wanted to work together and planned this out. We had to reschedule. Day of, we both weren’t feeling too great but we shot anyways. Both of us just woke up, met up at Cherokee Park and shot. I loved what we did and wanted to share it. I looked into Kavyar and submitted this Elegant magazine. I got a response the next day and the tear sheets maybe two weeks later. This was an instance of random, spontaneous luck. This was my first published portrait set.


4:29:2017 - Sum 41.jpg

I was asked to shoot another band. This time it was a band that I have been listening to since I was like 10 years old. I jumped at the opportunity. They started using my photos and I was ecstatic. I love this band and at this point it didn’t seem like I was slowing down. Almost halfway through the year and I did the most I have ever done in so long.


5:23:2017 - Promo Mag First.jpg

I wanted to organize a shoot for once. I wanted to plan it out and think bigger, concept wise, on a shoot. Clarice, a stylist here in Louisville, reached out to me with an idea and we got Jaela and Tyrah together with Victoria doing makeup. We planned as much as we could but it was still just plain luck on how we got setup. We spent a lot more time than we had thought getting ready; we were running low on time. We rushed to a location and shot in about an hour. It resulted in a set we were all really proud of. I submitted this and got this published through Promo Magazine. 2nd attempt at getting published. I was two for two and was damn proud.


6:28:2017 - Wy & Tyrah.jpg

This photo was another instance of spontaneous, pure luck. I had wanted to do a studio shoot because I felt I was lacking in practice of that. Wy, Tyrah, Meagan, and I planned this shoot and as soon as the makeup was done, the power went out. It was a beautiful day outside and I had driven by this abandoned gas station. We decided to say “fuck it” and just shot outside. This photo came out of that set. Another random moment that got turned around into something great.


7:19:2017 - Knocked Loose Cinci.jpg
7:19:2017 - Sworn In Cinci.jpg

I shot warped tour last year and I went into this year with high expectations from myself. It was sweaty, it was gross, but I think got photos from two bands that showed the veracity and aggression that can happen during bands’ sets. That’s pretty much it for this one. Knocked Loose and Sworn In. I missed taking a good portrait during a band set. This is where I bought a piece of Hundredth merch that would lead into the next few months.


8:6:2017 - Kaylynn.jpg

It started with this shirt. Not usually how a story would go I guess. I wanted to do a session using band merch. It seemed like all of these new streetwear clothing lines and retail stores kept banking on Metallica and Motley Crue tees. I said “fuck it” and used merch from a band I like and listen to and turn it into something a bit more. I wanted to do a shoot with Kaylynn and this was the result. This would lead to Chadwick, HUndredth’s vocalist, to reach out to me and ask me to do some work with them.


9:23:2017 - Hundredth Lookbook.jpg

A month later, I organized a lookbook shoot. First time shooting with more than two people and organizing a project like this. I was very stressed out. I wanted to get this done, I wanted to get this out, and I wanted it to be great. This particular photo was one of the last photos I took that was completely spontaneous. There was a cop car and it just sat right. Took about four photos and walked away. Come back to my computer and it ended up being my favorite. Another random moment.


10:1:2017 - LTL Beartooth.jpg
10:1:2017 - LTL Rise Against.jpg

Wow. Just wow. I was at Louder than Life to shoot Thrice and Rise Against. Another couple of bands that I remembered listening to you in my more angsty years. I’m constantly trying to improve on taking portraits during shows that represented more than just “here’s a guy playing.” I felt like these photos were the best of the best of what I had done up till this point to represent that. I was so happy with these photos.


During this year, I had starting working with MNSTRM and RESTLESS DIGITAL to shoot shows. I have heard of COIN but never delved deeply into them. I saw they had a following, heard a single, was like “yeah, I’d like to take photos.” Wow. I listened to the album maybe a week before the show and I lost my shit. Suddenly I was amped to shoot their show. I show up and they have all these colors and production that blew my mind. Their set was incredible and the colors were my absolute favorite.

Winter is usually a tough time for me. It may be due to the cold, but I just feel particularly lonely and unproductive during this season. Even though I shot maybe 4 shows and done maybe 5 portrait sessions, I was still feeling so unsatisfied. One day, I just HAD to shoot. If I didn’t, I was going to lose my goddamn mind. My friend Derrick answered my call and just shot with me. I saw Nabil’s black and white photos of Frank Ocean and was inspired. I had been practicing with color for so long, I wanted to take a step back and keep it simple. These photos were the result of me needing to fill my artistic need to keep my head and depression at bay. I think you can see how I feel a good majority of time in these photos. 


Since September, I had been staying in touch with Hundredth and was able to go on their headlining “RARE” tour with them all of December. This all started with a shirt. A fucking t-shirt. If I didn’t understand the definition of luck before, I do now. I got to travel the country, with a band who’s music I thoroughly enjoy, and learned a lot about patience and character during this tour. 

It’s insane how this year ended. My goal was to do one US tour. I did that. To get published in a magazine for portraits. I did that. Shoot a music festival. I did that. Shoot a music video. I did that (it’s just not out yet). This was a successful year despite all the distraught and downfalls I had to endure throughout. I don’t have the same friends I had last year, I don’t have a girlfriend anymore, I moved out, and I’m still breathing. Got to say, it was a progressive year. I only can wish for more and hope that my notions of anxiety and depression will become less and less significant in my decisions. I’m still not done.

spice girl

model - Samantha Roman
stylist Anya Lee
makeup artist Izzy Nolan
used Shine Papers