A local actor recently hired me
to create an online portfolio and some promotional materials for him. Here’s the post card I came up with:
The front features our home city of Pittsburgh in a washed out photo as the background. It also emphasizes his build and history as a boxer.
The back uses a plain white, non-distracting background for sort of a minimalist effect. It also shows a few different look variations with the small images as well. I’m sure he won’t mind the contact info being out there, after all, that’s the whole point of promotion isn’t it?
I made sure to use a fairly interesting font but also tried to keep it simple enough to be easily readable.
Here’s the online portfolio I built on his behalf:
Have you ever had one of those experiences
in which you hear about a movie coming out and think to yourself – “wow, that looks pretty good” but somehow life gets in the way and the film slips from your mind. I think we’ve all been there. But sometimes, we’re lucky enough to come across that movie again months or even years down the road. This was the case for me with the film “Won’t Back Down.”
First off, considering it is based on a true story and set in my hometown of Pittsburgh, I knew there would be lots of Pittsburgh scenes and that’s always something I enjoy in a movie. The subject matter seemed interesting the film features a talent-filled cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Holly Hunter, Ving Rhames, and Rosie Perez just to name a few.
The plot focuses on a failing public school within the city’s district and one desperate parent’s fight to do something about it. That parent encounters resistance from the principal, teachers, some other parents, the school board and the powerful teacher’s union along the way. But she never gives up and her determination wins over and inspires others in the process.
If you like movies with both entertainment value and a message, you really should check this one out.
Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and others in Won’t Back Down Courtesy of EV.com
As most of the Creative Dreamers readers probably know, I’m a proud Pittsburgher. And as such, there are a few locations in my neck of the woods that I really like to use for creative inspiration. One such spot is known simply as “Seldom Seen.” OK, technically, the official name is the “Seldom Seen Greenway.”
There’s a reason for the name – very few people are aware that the scenic, tranquil spot even exists. And even for those of us who do, it’s really hard to imagine that this woodsy and isolated space is literally inside the city boundaries.
A while back, I created a walking tour of sort and posted it in several parts on Youtube. Feel free to check it out for yourself. Even if you can’t get there in person, maybe the very visuals will help to inspire you as well as they do me.
When I shoot with models…
I love to work with all sorts of looks. One of which, if you’re even a casual reader of this blog you probably know, is alternative models. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, that commonly includes women featuring body art and subculture styles.
Another really cool style is the classic pin up look that came out of support for U.S. troops during the wars and battles of the mid-20th century.
So, why not combine both for an amazing model photo session?
The photos below are from a recent shoot with the stunning Brittany Jordan. They were taken at my studio location in Pittsburgh and I hope you enjoy them.
This one makes use of a cool, classic vibe with the retro bar stool and the black and white coloration.
This one uses a spot color effect on her vibrant hair mixed with a classic pin up pose to have an almost Andy Warhol like quality.
Moving away from the pin up look for this one, it has sort of a sexy / naughty teacher theme if you will.
The spot color effect with a pose that accentuates the models chest makes for a fun, flirty photograph.
Last but not least, this one lends a little edge to the model’s look with the cigarette and the black fedora.
Over the last decade or so…
I’ve been lucky enough to encounter and meet some of the local, Pittsburgh-based musical artists that have helped to keep the long tradition of fine musicians from the region alive and well. And in this post, I’d like to take a a moment to introduce you to the work of these outstanding talents.
Now, if you’re from the “Burgh, or have spent some extensive time in the city, you might already know about these artists. If not, in my opinion, you’re in for a real treat.
I’ve known this talented rap/hip-hop/pop-rock artist since he was about 6 years old. His music is entertaining and energetic and will really get you pumped up.
This young man has a music degree from a local university and has been working with some of the biggest names in the local music scene. I believe he’s released 4 or 5 albums to date.
I AM JEDI
I met the lead singer a few years back while while she was delving into modeling a bit. I was one of her first model photographers. She and her metal band are awesome lyricists and musicians. And unlike a lot of metal bands, the lead singer can go in and out of traditional vocals and “screamo” singing with ease.
This band is comprised of several middle-aged guys and a hot young front woman. Together, they make for a great combo. I’ve only come across them recently as that the aforementioned lead singer is the girlfriend of one of my old neighbors.
THE AWFUL WAFFLES
Like I Am Jedi, this band’s front lady came to me first while experimenting with modeling for goth pics. She also has a degree in music with a focus on education. These guys seem to have a heck of a lot of fun doing what they do.
I first met this guy at a local artist market. He just randomly began playing for a crowd. At that time, I think he was about 16 but far beyond his years in vocal abilities and especially in the way her could handle his guitar.
This video is a quick “behind the scenes” if you will of a photo shoot I did last month along with another fellow Pittsburgh photographer. I figured since Summer is now almost over, this might be a fun little think to post as we wish the season goodbye until next year.
To date, since the 1989 “Batman” film starring Michael Keaton and the legendary Jack Nicholson, there can be said to have been seven follow-ups including the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises.”
While many may argue that the Dark Knight Trilogy if you will, can be considered a separate series of films than its several predecessors, for this purpose I’m going to classify them in the same grouping.
Clearly the aforementioned 1989 film set the standard. The 1992 sequel “Batman Returns“ was a decent follow-up but as is typical, sequels rarely live up to the original.
Then we get into what I personally consider the disposable Batman films, 1995′s “Batman Forever” and 1997′s “Batman and Robin.” Both featured a notable lineup of Hollywood big names but as we all know, that’s no guarantee of a quality film. To the contrary, these movies seemed to feature second-rate acting, less structured plots and somewhat laughable villains. Val Kilmer was OK in the lead role but as has been typical of his film career, George Clooney bombed.
At that point, it looked like the franchise had sunk into a death spiral from which there would be no return. That was until Christopher Nolan decided to resurrect the series with the film “Batman Begins” in 2005. The new lead actor Christian Bale restored the series to its original glory and possibly even more. And Heath Ledger’s amazing portrayal of the Joker in 2007′s “The Dark Knight,” kept the top-notch productions going.
So here we are, just days away from the release of “The Dark Knight Rises,” partially filmed in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. While of course I haven’t seen it yet, I have to presume it will keep with the trend of the Nolan versions and be another masterpiece. But of course, only time will tell.
As an artist from Pittsburgh, it only stands to reason that I would take the chance to attend our region’s largest annual arts festival. This year is no exception.
Here are a few mobile phone images (excuse the quality, as I said they are from a cell phone and not a “real” camera) from the event.
Street musician and his loyal friend
Browsing the art
Recycled art – The Big Catch
Vendors at The Point
More from The Point
There is so much emphasis on originality in the art world today.
Whether your medium is photography, literature, film, sculpture, dance or whatever else may be the case, originality is something that we constantly stress. Even in the cyberspace, Google emphasizes the importance of “original” content in raking well on search engines.
However, if you stop and think about it, over the course of human history there have been billions of people. Many of these people where artistically inclined or creative minded individuals. Coupling that with the tens of thousands of years worth of inspiration out there since the dawn of civilization, it is hard to believe that anyone today can come up with a truly original concept.
In fact, someone notable once said something along the lines of – “There are no original ideas, only new approaches to old ones.” While I don’t believe this is 100% true, I do think it is reasonably accurate. In some cases new technology and discoveries come along that can allow for some originality. But for the most part, the person who spoke these words was dead on.
For example, as one of who knows how many photographers in Pittsburgh PA over the course of the last 100+ years, I can tell you that the city’s amazing skyline has been shot gazillions of times. So while the subject itself can never be original (except for the very first person who photographer it of course), the angels used, colors in the sky itself and any number so f other factors can allow you to put your own spin on it.
This is the case with every art form out there today.
So as a word of advice, stop struggling for something totally original. Find your inspiration and make it your own.
OK, so day two of American Idol is now history. And the Pittsburgh auditions yielded some excellent talent. And as opposed to the first episode, it seems there might be a few candidates to walk away with the title in a few months.
Here’s how I rate the confirmed Golden Ticket winners:
1. Hallie Day
2. Samantha Novacek
4. Travis Orlando
5. Eben Franckewitz
6. Reed Grimm
7. Heejun Han
8. New York
9. David Leathers Jr.
10. Schyler Dixon
11. Ashlee Altise
12. W.T. Thompson