80mm f/2

Vir. G. Inia.


Here's how I write a blog post. I sit down (possibly with some sort of vague outline of what I want to write about) and just start writing. Usually with a beer (this time it's with an "Old Rasputen" a 9% stout. And for a stout it's pretty darn good, but I'm not a huge fan of stouts.) Sometimes I stay on track, usually not. Coherence is not really a goal but it's nice when it happens.

As it is my office is in my garage, and my fingers are semi-numb; making typing not so much difficult, as just weird. For all you funny people who will make fun of a Californian complaining about the cold: It is colder here than in most parts of the country. We don't have well insulated houses, nor do we have good heaters. Every morning its well under 60 degrees in the house. And we don't want to put on a sweater when we go outside (even though it's the high 30's or low 40's, because in a few hours it will be in the 60's…).

I'm selling some gear (to make room for even newer (to me) and cooler gear. Which will of course make me happy. 'Cuz that's what new stuff does). In order to sell said gear I need photos of said gear. I had three choices. A. Shoot it with film, and way a few weeks to get the scans. B. Shooting with polaroids, scan them in and use those, or C. Snap some digital photos. My brain and my heart took it outside (leaving me looking for OZ), and my brain won. After taking some lame shots of my non-lame camera (was selling my Pentax 6x7. It's a huge and awesome camera and it sold within 10 minutes) I snapped a few of my daughter (you know, those pretty shots from above focusing on her eyelashes (I had a macro lens on)). After dragging it into photoshop and working on it for 20 minutes, I gave up in disgust. I just couldn't make it look even nearly as awesome as film.

In case you were wondering, I don't have a point. Onto one of the coolest families in the whole state of Virginia (which, from the small population I saw when I was there, has the highest beard per capita outside of Oregon and Mother's Market).

Disclaimer: I was assured that Kelly and her family are not confederates.

Now that we have that out of the way… If all my clients were as awesome as Kelly, I'd be a very happy man. She contacted me a while back, asking if I ever plan on traveling to the east coast, and if I did to let her know. Fast forward a few months and I had my wonderful east coast trip planned. Kelly contacted me and we made it happen. And she didn't complain at all when my lab took double as long as usual, "quality takes time" she said. I agree.

I actually took a train there. I'd love to say it was interesting. It wasn't (I did sleep though), but the shoot was.

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Little boys with their blankets and sticks...

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Rachel + Yitzie // Los Angeles, CA

I have typers bock. It's a rare yet harsh malady where although one may have much to say, or even write, those tiny muscles in fingers refuse to translate the impulses sent by the brain into action. Instead somehow I end up in front of the fridge, wondering how long I've been there for.

So I grab a beer (or, if there isn't one in the fridge, I storm away fuming), head back to my computer and type with my toes. Yes, this blog was typed with my toes.

I also used seven cameras for this wedding. Seven. Why? That is a very, very good question. My back and shoulders would like to know the same.

Rachel and her family were part of our community since, well, I can't remember when we didn't know each other. It's amazing to see people grow up into truly unique and special people. Yitzi was always grown up. He may have been a child once but we only met a few months before the wedding, so I have no proof. I do know that he is über smart, witty, and kind. Not a bad combo. There's a lot to tell about this beautiful wedding, with beautiful friends, and beautiful families, but I'll let the photos tell the story.


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Announcement + Mental Dump

Hello and welcome to summer. In honor of this monumental season I am offering up a special deal. Just for you (Middle Eastern haggling).

Family portrait session will be $500 (that's my normal price) but now (until October, in which I need more money for all the beer) that includes a disc with all the Full Resolution photos (around 50 per session). Which I normally sell for an additional $400. It's a good deal. So act quickly, and book that thing!

For some reason, bloggers have always liked listing things. It's easier than having to put together sentences and thoughts (all those conjunctions and prepositions!), and people like reading lists (top ten ways to stop procrastinating...).

Here a some of my lists.

Three downright awesome photographers.

  1. Nick Brandt. The only wildlife photography I care to see.
  2. David Burnett. Sports and event photographer. Shoots with a Speed Graphic (4x5) and a Holga.
  3. Kitty & Craig Fritz. I love weddings and I love shooting them. They're real, important, and loads of fun. And there are some really good wedding photographers out there. But its rare to find a wedding photographer who produces real art. Someone whose images are so crazy good that people who have no clue whose wedding it is have their photos on their wall. These people do it. All the time. If I'm not available book them. (Yeah, pronoun overload. Deal with it.)

Some recent books that rock.

  1. 52 Loaves. Best book I've read since Catch 22. And that was ten years ago.
  2. Little Heathens. Decently written, but great content. A glimpse into the 1930's farm life.
  3. Portraits of America. Photo essays from middle America. It portrays an America we all know exists but have never seen. The photography is amazing but it doesn;t show itself off. The content is king, and only after looking at it for a bit do you noticc the perfect lighting, composition and moments. Really good stuff. Buy it used.

Cameras I own (this is a bit crazy).

  1. Nikon D700
  2. Nikkormat FT2
  3. Nikon F3
  4. Nikon F4s
  5. Canon QL
  6. Canon AE-1
  7. Minolta XG-2
  8. Polaroid 100
  9. Polaroid SX-70
  10. Yashica D
  11. Holga 120N
  12. Mamiya RZ67
  13. Pentax 6x7
  14. Contax 645
  15. A borrowed (indefinitely) Mamiya C330

Current favorite beers.

  1. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale
  2. Mad River Double IPA
  3. Stone Ruination IPA

Favorite sandwich ingredients.

  1. Fresh sourdough bread (cut thickly)
  2. Fresh & Kosher Mozzarella cheese (the best kosher mozzarella out there)
  3. Onions from the garden
  4. Tomato from the garden
  5. Homemade pink sauerkraut
  6. Mustard
  7. Avocado
  8. One of the aforementioned beers (not technically part of the sandwich but an integral part of the meal)

In the spirit of oversharing here is a barrel full of recent(ish) photos.


Side note: Pushing four kids in a stroller (two on the seats, two finding places), uphill, over grass, with an RZ67 hanging over your neck, is not easy.

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Shovels and hammers >; toys anyday

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Check out that eating position. The kid takes his food very seriously.


yeah, that's me, pushing two kids on the swings, with a kid on my back and somehow focusing and shooting.

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Making lemon juice (with lemons from our tree of course)

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Zusha: "dadadblgambujj"


Zevi: "Chanaleh, shhhhh, we're in a library, tatty says it's okay" Mendel: "TATTY, LIBRARY SLEEPING??"

Yeah, we got kicked out.

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No random post is complete without cows.


Geek speak: Most of these were with the RZ67 and the 110 lens, a bunch with the Contax 645 and the 80mm. All on Arista 100 Edu (a few with Delta 3200 shot at 1000), processed at walmart and scanned by me. Besides for the last three.

The Pribyls - Documentary Family Session

I have SOOOO much to write about this shoot but I don't want my mediocre writing skills to take away from the awesomeness of this family, so I'll make it short.

Family documentary photography is really where I want my business to be heading. It's something I feel is important, real, and not nearly as common as it should be. Recently I was given the opportunity to shoot this absolutely delightful family in Santa Rosa. This is exactly what the family does on a normal Monday. What they wear, what they eat, where they go, what they play etc. And as the years go by they will have these awesome memories documented, not just what they looked like but how they were. How cool is that?

Yeah, I thought so.

Enjoy, and thanks for looking.

We started off with some homeschooling (them, not me :))

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Learning makes you hungry (well everything makes ME hungry, but we're talking about normal people here), so mom makes some yummy looking cheese sandwiches (wherever I go, cheese sandwiches seem to be following me).

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I think it was someones birthday here (mom's sis?) so they all (actually we) sang happy birthday (well Frank sang happy boothday, and I think he thinks we were all laughing at him...)


Hannah looooves dressing Violet up, doing her hair etc. And she has very pretty hair. All I noticed was that coffee though. I love coffee.

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Back to some reading drills with mommy. Schools cool, but how awesome is snuggling up with mommy and reading some?

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Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power. Hence the biceps.

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That. Is. A. Big. Book.

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I love how all the siblings play together!! It's really sweet.

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Off to the chopping block (it's not easy, I tried, and, well, it wasn't pretty). If I was that block I would not underestimate the power of a Frank. Even if he's seven.

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Getting the mail was a very important daily ritual. To be met with shoed feet and appropriately attired hair.

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Jasmine was in awe over mom's wisdom. Yes, holding those yellow flowers under your chin will make your chin yellow (sadly it won't make my beard blonde).

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And off to the front yard for some ballage and rideage.

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Jordan would be proud (check out that wrist motion!)


I'm not sure if she made it in but I'll lead you on :)

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They have this park nearby which makes me want to pick up and move. Now.

This is one of the very few posed shots we did. Figured we'd get one or two nice family shots (the other's at the end). How cute are they?!

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Mom's sister (birthday girl?) and her family came to join. She's laughing at me.

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These ducks were scary. I'm serious. For some reason growing up we had a duck as a pet (bad idea) and it terrorized me.

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I was told I was doing a good job.


This is Jeney's grandson. It's amazing how much everyone oogles over him, (not that I blame them, and how edible are those cheeks?!)

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How handsome is David? (and how awesome is his hair?)

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For some reason I'm doubting he caught it...


And for some last family photos... (I'm already missing this family)

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How proud is grandma?


Normally I'd finish there. But the family only asked for two shots. The mail one and one with me in it. As they put it: "If we are documenting this one day, then you are very big part of it."

Good point.


Light 'er up!

A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness

There's a debate that dates back to the golden age of Jewish philosophy (and probably even further) of whether darkness is a creation or just the lack of light. But all agree that we are capable (and therefore obligated) to fill the world with as much light as possible.

So light 'er up baby!

In light of the above (shoot me now) here's what our Chanukah looked like (actually ours was in color).


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