Authenticity is a difficult thing to create from scratch. Too often a good idea is hindered by budget or lack of total vision by its collaborative creators. When harmony is achieved in the process, and vision meets up with knowledge, skill and competent execution, beauty can be born. I introduce to you, one of the coolest spaces I’ve seen created from the ground up, the Multnomah Whisk(e)y Library.
Portland has become a Mecca for young, inspired chefs. The relatively affordable overhead alongside a genuinely interested food culture makes for a ripe proving ground. Aesthetics and spacial design can be the difference between one restaurant’s success, and it’s failure as there are so many quality venues boasting inventive, unique or simple, well done fare. Scott Snyder the owner and chef at Levant recognized the need to design his space around his vision, and ELK obliged in spades.
The historic John D. Kennedy Elementary School, in North East Portland, Oregon was given to the Portland Public Schools in 1913, finished and opened in 1915 and functioned as an elementary school until 1975. For anyone residing in Portland, the name McMenamin is synonymous with appropriated derelict properties which are converted into theaters, restaurants, breweries, bars and hotels. The Kennedy Elementary School is one of the more unique and enjoyable of the many, and continually growing list of properties owned and operated by the McMenamins which started as two brothers, raised in North East Portland, who opened the Produce Row Cafe in 1974, but I digress. The Kennedy School (as it’s known to Portlanders) has a theater, multiple bars, a courtyard restaurant, soaking pool, gym and many guest and conference rooms, all residing within the original framework of this old school. The Kennedy School recently built a new wing of guest rooms and I was asked to shoot the new hotel room additions for the company that handled this and other McMenamins property redesigns, my friends at WCI. Here are a few shots from the Kennedy School’s new hotel rooms.
As many may know, I’ve done some testing and reviewing of and for Lensbaby in the past. They even used a shot I’d done for a 6 month run in various magazines advertising the Lensbaby’s ability to key in on a “slice of focus” which was really cool. Author Corey Hilz contacted me to gain permission to use another of my Lensbaby images in his new book “Bending Your Perspective, 2nd edition” which I happily agreed to.
Shooting art can be a tricky task. Replicating the colors, texture and vibrance all while lighting it properly and controlling detail ruining reflection is challenging. Every canvas provides it’s own nuances and unique elements needing to be worked around, especially a canvas that is 3 dimensional and isn’t entirely static. All of these tattoos are original works by my friend Josiah Laughlin. He tattoos here in Portland, Oregon at Imperial Tattoo, and this is an ongoing series we’re collaborating on to document his portfolio. C’mon in to see more of his work and read through diagrams on how I shot them.
With the aroma of freshly made corn tortillas and chile rubbed rotisserie chicken wafting through the warm and inviting space occupied at 3715 SE Division Street in Portland, you may just find yourself transported to a lighter and more festive locale. Xico (pronounced “Chico”) is a respite from the grey winter gloom reflecting off of the wet Portland sidewalks, there to warm and whet your appetite. For those who’ve not been fortunate enough to spend time in Mexico, you should go ahead and just take my word for it, it is the next best thing. For those who have, this restaurant combines elements of traditional homemade southern Mexican dishes with the libations to accompany them providing a great way to relive past travel memories. I was contacted by Liz Davis, manager of Xico, to shoot some of the authentically inspirational culinary creations that she, chef Kelly Myers, and owner Daniel Thomas have brought to life here. I’m a self admitted non food photography professional, but with some other recent restaurant type work fit firmly under my belt of late, I was excited by the challenge and after meeting with both Liz and Dan, I knew that their vision was something I wanted to help capture for them, the fact that they fed me and gave me liquor didn’t hurt either.
Im not a music reviewer, nor much of a writer, but I do love music and technically this is already written, so it is what it is. In a landscape of too many overly hopped craft beers masquerading as something new, and bands “making art” you may find yourself lost in Portland if you remotely resemble someone craving a time past when keys were kept in your pockets and bikes were what you rode only because you didn’t have a friend who had an older brother with a license, when people hung out, met up instead of tweeting or instafacing each other, and partying was just something you did on a Tuesday. This, to me at least, is what the Mean Jeans, well, mean. Why am I writing about a band? This is a photography blog for crissakes, but the cool part about having a photography blog is all you really need to include is some photography, so I’ll do so. I get asked occasionally how to take pictures of live performances, and all I can offer up as advice with these guys, is hold onto your camera and it wouldn’t hurt if it were waterproof either…