You have probably seen the products of Woodchuck Case around or admired them on other people's devices and thought "Whoa, this is cool!" I was definitely one of those people and when I got the call to go and photograph this team for Minneapolis / St Paul Magazine, I had no idea how inspired I would be. First, these dudes are young and they are killing it. It's pretty impressive to see the business Ben and his team have built in such a short amount of time, but what is most inspiring is their genuine excitement and passion for the business and products that they are creating. It's clear that these U of M graduates are growing as individuals and a team, just as well as their business is expanding. They are smart and have a great sense of entrepreneurship. They are kind, they are happy and they totally appreciate the hustle. Woodchuck case just launched a new website, where you can get everything from tech accessories to custom products to pocket squares (yep - pocket squares). Here are some of my favorite photos from our shoot! You can also read Ben's interview and learn more about the company here!
This past fall, I was commissioned to photograph a story for Minneapolis / St Paul Magazine, about the Minnesota company, Thousand Hills Cattle Company. Like many of you, it's important for me to choose my food wisely and I've always been a fan of grass fed beef, but I also never really thought about it. It was a fascinating project for me to work on and I really enjoyed my time on the Thousand Hills farm. Todd Churchill, the owner of Thousand Hills is a family man, an incredibly knowledgeable farmer and above all, a respected business man. Beyond how refreshing it was for me to spend a day on a farm, I also learned so much from our small talk together. Churchill's business is one of the fastest growing beef companies in the country. Some of these portraits are amongst my favorite that were taken last year. You can still read the entire story, cleverly entitled, "What Would Jesus Grill?" online at mspmag.com.
Sometimes you get a call for a job that is perfect for you. When it comes to taking portraits, I have a 'wish list' of some local people who I hope to photograph someday. Then there are other days that you get calls for jobs that totally surprise you. Either way, my approach to portraiture is pretty simple. I am documenting a person and their story with my tools - my camera, my eye and the light. So far, this has been a pretty great year for portraits. I have photographed some people that I knew absolutely nothing about that surprised me, like the Milkweed crew and Forrest Wozniak. And I have been able to check some dream shoots off of my list, including Dessa and now Jeremy Messersmith. I've always loved Jeremy's music and it was so great to be able to photograph him, right before his new album, Heart Murmurs, came out! (You can officially buy his album now or you can listen first at the Current.org website.) Jeremy is an amazing musician and a really cool dude, all around. For his shoot, we wanted to play with scale a bit, so we found a big, wide open, studio space to be in. The space actually also surprised me, because it had all of these other elements that not only allowed us to play with scale, but also work with a light vs dark contrast. I love these portraits and wanted to take a moment to share them with you all!
Forrest Wozniak is the shit. He's a sign painter, he is an artist and he also listens to mixed tapes. He's a badass dude who grew up in South Minneapolis and still lives and works out of his original neighborhood. In a way, Forrest is a bit of a Minneapolis institution. He's a hard worker and a true artist who has created more work around town than one might realize. I didn't know how much I would appreciate Forrest before I walked into his shop to photograph him for MPLS / St Paul Magazine's Best of Issue, where he was named Best Sign Painter in the city. I loved his space, I loved his energy and his message. I also really love these images and wanted to share more with you all!
The people of Milkweed Editions might just be some of the coolest people you have never known about. I was able to photograph them for the "Best of Twin Cities" issue for MPLS / St Paul Magazine. The company was voted 'Best Bookmaker' and their entire staff was pretty impressive. The more I researched this organization, I discovered that they are a little powerhouse in the literary world. As the writers described. " In a world overrun by teen-vampire books and marginally literate detective novels, Milkweed has flourished by, gasp!, catering to the tastes of people who like to read, who appreciate quality writing, and who have come to trust the press’s carefully curated sensibility of accessible intelligence." If you like to read, most definitely check out this amazing non-profit! Here are a few more of my favorites from our shoot, in addition to the images that ran in the article!
For the December issue of MPLS / St Paul Magazine, the feature story was 'Best of the Twin Cities'. I photographed some people, some places and some very special things for this article and in the coming days I will be sharing a breakdown of these shoots and some of the images that didn't make it in print. In the meantime, I wanted to share the complete layout with you all. Can we take a moment to recognize how awesome this layout is? Those letters? I have SO enjoyed collaborating with the team at MPLS / St Paul Magazine in the past few month, but more specifically, I have been incredibly inspired by the art and design director, Liz Gardner. With each coming issue that comes out, the design and layouts get even more visually interesting. I think it's simply the best to work with people who are forward thinking and push the limits. Liz and her team make me look good on these pages and for that, I thank you!
Dessa is a badass. She's the lady in town that every dude has a crush on and every girl does too. She's just one of those people that is that cool. In October, Dessa released her first book called A Pound of Steam, published by the folks at Rain Taxi. We all know that Dessa can write. Her lyrics are some of the most brilliant I've read, so to venture into the world of poetry seems to be a natural transition for her. I was lucky enough to photograph Dessa for MPLS / St Paul Magazine and wanted to share a few more portraits than what ran in the issue. What I learned about Dessa in our short time together is that she is equal parts vulnerable and confident, outspoken and sweet, yet approachable. She is a talented beauty and voice that we are are so lucky to have here in our city. And yes, she is that cool. Check out A Pound of Steam, Tour Dates and the full article with Dessa here!
I met this woman named Aurora years ago. I first knew her as a graphic designer and she is the brain-power behind all of my branding! I've gotten to know her over the years and just adore her! She is a woman of many talents and she can now add the title of Author to her list! Her first novel, called Bloodmark just hit the bookshelves and I was honored when she asked me to photograph her head shots, specifically for her new book + promotion. The book is a young-adult-fiction novel and is described as such
"Bloodmark is the classic tale of love and good verses evil with the juxtaposition of an ancient Celtic culture of werewolves and present day. This story features a strong heroine—no damsel in distress—who must fight for the freedom of love. Bloodmark is the first of the Bloodmark Saga trilogy. Readers of young adult and paranormal romance novels, like Twilight, Beautiful Creatures, and The Hunger Games will devour Bloodmark."
To match this vibe for the book, I decided to take Aurora into the woods. A studio just wouldn't fit this description. We needed some movement, some energy and a space that eluded freedom and mystery. Here are a few of my favorites from my time with Aurora. Her book is carried in Barnes and Noble and available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes. If you are interested, you can check out the Bloodmark Facebook and Twitter for more information!
With a name like Satchel B. Moore, how can you not be an interesting person in this town? For those of you who aren't familiar with Satchel, he is part of the team at Black Blue, a great shop in St. Paul. More than that, Satchel is crazy passionate about good, quality denim. I had the pleasure of photographing Satchel for MPLS / St Paul Magazine for the current issue and for this portrait, we were invited into Satchel's home. This dude really takes customer service to a whole other level. He cares so much about his clients that he personally hems their jeans in his home for them. I think that is pretty cool. Make sure to check out Satchel's full article in the October issue, which is on newsstands now. This space was soooooo cool that I just had to share a few more portraits that didn't run in print. Enjoy!
David Schwen is most definitely the most clever dude I have ever met. I am lucky enough to call this guy a friend, but the more I see his work, the more my jaw drops in that "Why didn't I think of that?" way. David is the mastermind behind his design brand dschwen. He is a bit of an instagram/pinterest hero to many of his followers and mostly because his ideas are both inspiring and fun, yet simple. If you haven't seen his work yet, you must check it out. These are just a few portraits I took of the man-behind-the-talent for Urban Bean Coffee's I ♥ MPLS blog! If you want to learn more about dschwen, head on over and read his interview!