I think most people my age grew up partially raised by shopping malls. It was where we played arcade games, met up with our friends, watched movies, and spent our allowance on whatever toys we swore we needed. Our local mall (Meadowbrook Mall) was being filled pretty quick when I was a kid, but Middletown Mall in Fairmont was still going very strong at that point. When we wanted to visit other stores, we’d take the short drive to Fairmont and explore the Sears, Gee Bee, Stone and Thomas, Chess King, Orange Julius, and McCrory stores a town over. The whole mall smelled like a pizza parlor, and arcade next door to this pizza parlor was the best. Even in my teen years, they had a kickass record store, and the mall STILL smelled like the long-gone pizza parlor. Once again, I rediscovered the mall in my twenties. This time it was for the really awesome Goodwill store which lived in the former Fashion Bug space. There wasn’t much left at this point. Basically just the Goodwill and some stores added onto the outside of the mall. I had been keeping an eye on what was going on with the mall, and I knew there was a really small thrift store, a Dickie’s barbecue, and a Regis salon inside. The thrift store closed, the Dickie’s shut down (as they all do), and the Regis was closing the following day when I visited. I snuck my Nikon inside and shot for a bit. I had a feeling it would be my last time here. I ended up dragging myself back the following day to shoot again, but at this point, things were being removed. All of the long-locked store gates had been opened. It was like a dead mall heaven. I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy, and look forward to the Middletown Commons, I guess.
My good friend Adam happens to be a paranormal investigator and a living example that being in a wheelchair doesn't limit anyone in any way at all. He regularly speaks at conventions, hobnobs with celebrities, and investigates all things spooky and scary. We recently did some updated headshots for his website. I think they turned out pretty cool!
I’m a little late writing this, because I suck as a blogger. I always think “man, I need to update this blog!,” but I don’t. So here is a post from a few months back. I promise that it’s very cool and fun. I feel like a weirdo such as myself thrives during the fall months. I would love to be able to photograph Halloween-ish shoots all year.
As the snow continues to land on our shoulders, and Valentine's Day comes and goes, I know tons of romance is in the air. Being cooped up inside can do that to us. I am always on the lookout for interesting couples to photograph. Alright, I don't want to actually MARRY you. But I want to document the day for you. Call me, any, anytime. Call me. Well, I prefer email... or text.
I love exploring these interesting, forgotten places. I can't even explain why or what first interested me. I love the smell, the forgotten aspect, and the eeriness. Since winter is the slow season, and these photos are very wintery, I figured I'd share some that I really had fun taking. My friend Mark and I slid in the ice and wore ourselves out in the 10 inches of snow getting to this place. So quiet and lonely inside.
I was highly anticipating doing my friends' wedding photos. I had been trying to find inspiration in some stranger places. I don't normally get nervous or anything before I do a shoot, but I couldn't drop the ball on this one. I know that doing dark dreamy pictures are kind of something I've done a lot of, but I had to step up my game.
Michelle and I were in Morgantown on a Saturday in November, 2013, and planning on grabbing food and getting into something. She mentioned to me how the pet store was having an adoption day with Pet Helpers. She had shown me these two little dog brothers online. Light brown puppies with big ears and noses. One had an ear that wouldn't stand up, and the smaller one had two huge ears and a little underbite. We had joked about adopting the little fella with the crooked ear... Until we saw his little brother with the underbite. He was scared and really shy. Nobody was paying attention to him, and didn't seem to even care about him. He looked so scared and helpless. I guess we felt like we wanted to rescue him. He had been neglected and found covered in fleas, with zero human interaction. He was tiny. Almost like a baby deer without the spots. We had only just gotten engaged a few weeks earlier, and we made the snap decision to adopt him. Our dinner plans were nixed, but we had a little pupper to take care of. On the way home, he was shaking in the car. We would go over bridges, and he would shake even harder. He's still not good with cars, four years later. The people that he met in his first few weeks are still in his inner circle of trust, but nobody else seems to ever make it in. He's weird, shy, nervous, and awkward, but he's the greatest little dog that I've ever known. Michelle and I literally flew to Portland so she could get a tattoo of him on her arm. He's our little Frankie Boy (Franklin, Frankdog, FrankFrank, Bubba, Bubby, Booby, BoobyBoy, BooBoo, and WeinerDog, as the dog-name evolutions happen), and I wouldn't trade him for the most noble of Golden Retrievers.
Knuckleduster is a great metal band from WV, as you all know. I lucked out and got to do some still photos of their video shoot in an amazing abandoned factory. I sadly only got to do a few promo photos for the guys before some of the band took off. I guess I didn't quite make it known that we were doing a shoot that day too (oops). I feel like this is one of those shoots that "got away" since I sort of didn't get to do many of my initial ideas. Anyway, we got to do some cool shots, and I got to see an interesting video shoot. Plus the band kicks ass. Hopefully we can all get together again sometime for a longer session. Cheers, guys!
I went through a period when I didn't really aim to do senior sessions. I was burnt out on the local market saturation and from the stiff competition for those airbrushed/photoshopped unrealistic looking senior portraits. I want no part of that stuff. I sort of never found my style or voice in the whole senior portrait thing. After some fun subjects this year, I'm definitely into doing as much as I can.
It's almost fall-time again. The familiar nip in the air. Coffee shops smell/reek of pumpkin spices, and some of the leaves are beginning to turn that classic orange hue. Since it's not quite autumn enough to do any fall sessions this season, let's take a look back to a great shoot from last year. You can almost hear the leaves crackle under your chukka boots and corduroy pants. Thanks again, Carrie and Lance.