*Shooting Portland’s newest, whiskey-centric bar, the Bit House Saloon for the @ELKcollective


There is always an emotional transition when one longstanding bar transforms into another.  The Eastbank Tavern was a stalwart on the industrial east side in Portland, at least for as long as I can remember.  One of those bars along Grand that you’d pop into after heading back across the river from a show downtown for a nightcap.  The smell of smoke and fried food, lingering in the air engrained into the DNA of the establishment, like a good, working class bar should.  Times though, they are a changing.  The neighborhood is now looking to appeal not just to the growing group of more astute imbibers, but to the younger, newer Portland crowd.  A population that values aesthetic over quirk perhaps, and sees the quality of their surroundings as important as the quality of their drinks.  A trend happening not only in that MLK/Grand corridor, but all over the city.  Evolve or get left behind as it were.  While there are many venues I’ve visited in town, I feel too many of them aim for a wine bar feel for those with a champagne budget, too easily classified as gentrificated snobbery which is totally out of place to many who have watched Portland transform over the last twenty years or so.

The beauty of this new iteration is that is still holds much of the Eastbank’s character, but has helped move this saloon into the new age of more discerning quaffers.  This newer, hipper, fancier version of Portland that has followed in the wake of the boom over the last decade has asked these venues to offer up a bit more ambiance.  What I love about the Bit House Saloon, is that it has taken the rough, grimy portland, and like many of its longstanding residents, gone from damp carpet, PBR and flannel, to wood, whiskey and leather, and well, $1 High Life Ponies for those of us looking for a back, or no frills option.  I’d always seen Portland as a working class town even if Fred and Carrie have shown us that retirement can be achieved early as long as we’re willing to not do much of anything, and it’s good to see that there can exist a bridge between this new era of craft cocktails and earlier, perhaps simpler times.  Change doesn’t have to happen entirely overnight…

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*Shooting the Multnomah Whiskey Library’s new, Green Room w/ @ELKcollective

The Green Room at the Multnomah Whiskey Library

What do you do when you’ve become one of the most popular libation destinations in the Pacific Northwest?  Build a satellite bar, that’s what.  For those who’ve tried to get a table at the Multnomah Whiskey Library, you may have found it difficult over the last two years since it has opened.  I’ve been in there a few times as a photographer, but never as a patron, much to my chagrin.  While the apparent exclusivity seems a bit off putting, what is really going on is a bar that has chosen to seat fewer people in order to provide a far better experience, assuming you can get in to experience said experience.  Still doesn’t help those of us incapable of waiting for an hour or more to have a drink and bite to eat, that is until now.  The Green Room offers a pared down selection from the library, with some signature design holdovers, all while providing an entirely unique space in its own right.  The Green Room gives us a palate whetting for what we are in for, but may just end up being a destination in and of itself.  C’mon in for more shots…


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*A weekend with the Canon EF 200-400 f/4 L IS USM zoom lens.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM lens

What a weekend.  Sore arms and shoulders and my eyes are still recovering from the sun glare off the water, this weekend found a large, North American regatta fall into our backyard.  As a sponsor of the regatta (representing two sponsoring companies) I was able to talk my way onto a customer and friend’s chase boat.  Of course, it provided me an opportunity to rent one of Canon’s super tele monster lenses, so that’s what I did.

C’mon in to see some shots and read my thoughts on the EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM lens…

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*Shooting Levant for the ELK Collective

ELK - Levant

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.
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*Shooting the Kennedy School

the kennedy school

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.

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*Shooting tattoos

Tattoos by Josiah Laughlin Photography by TysonRobichaud

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.

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*Eat, Taste, Love. Like Summer camp for grownups.

The excitement of leaving home behind, getting to meet new and interesting people all while getting to participate in exciting activities, Summer camp was always a memorable experience.  Flash forward a couple decades and I found myself a married, slower and more experienced version of my childhood self with a much better music collection.  I’d like to think I’ve held onto my sense of wonder and desire for understanding things which I’ve yet to experience, but honestly I think I’ve just become more accustomed to following a certain routine which I’ve garnered a comfortable relationship with.  I’ve learned all that I need to survive, why branch out right?  Well, as I often find when forcing myself out of my self constructed framework, I still enjoy experiencing new things.  Mrs Squeeze and I were fortunate enough to be invited to help document an event that combined all those things I’d enjoyed in years past, but this time it included wine.  Lots of wine.

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