When I started Friend Request: Accepted, I remember a friend asked me, “What is your end goal for this thing?” My answer was simple and not out of the ordinary for most artists. It wasn’t to make a million dollars so I could buy a big house and a new car. I simply wanted to show my work in galleries. The idea of all 788 photographs filling every single inch of a gallery’s wall space sounded like a dream come true for me. Before Friend Request: Accepted was even an idea in my head, I had always wanted to show my art in a big gallery in New York City. I had no idea where to even begin, so I left the idea on the back burner for a few years. However, now things are starting to fall into place. At the end of this May, I will be showing my work in my first ever art showcase! The show is through an organization called RAW. They put on shows all over the country, and I believe out of the country as well. The show will be May 29th at the Russian Lady in New Haven, CT. I don’t plan on doing many shows until the project is completed, but I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to catch a glimpse of what the photographs look like in person. If you’re interested in checking out the show, you can purchase a ticket on my artist profile page here:
By no means am I trying to rush to the end of this project so I can get it into a gallery as quickly as possible. This project has been incredible so far, and I am so excited for what it will bring to me over the next few years. In terms of where I’m headed next, I will be setting out to meet up with some old friends in Nashville, TN this coming May. I’ll be stopping in about 8-10 other states along the way. My goal is to take 25 portraits over a two week span. I’ll be crashing on a lot of couches and camping out wherever I can. You can follow all of the progress in the “Updates” section at
I leave you with a photograph/video update of my experience with my good friend Eric Millinger (click the photo for the video).
Maybe I’ll see you on the road!
Here it goes…
Over the past week and a half, some wild, crazy, unimaginable, scream as loud as you can at the top of a mountain kind of things have happened to me. I launched a project I’ve had in the works for quite some time. I’m not going to sit here and plug it left and right, bombard you with links, or even tell you to go look at it. I’ve been doing that on every social media website imaginable. It probably seems like I’ve been neglecting this blog lately (chances are I’m the only one that really looks at this one anyways). That is not the case. I just needed to keep a place to clear my head from time to time.
I’ve always naturally been a reserved person. I keep to myself, especially when it comes to my work. This project has been a huge step out of my comfort zone, and I’m really happy about that. I’m sick of playing it safe. Nothing was going to happen if I didn’t make it happen myself. This idea was bottled up inside of me and it was driving me absolutely crazy. The time had come to show it to the world. I’m sure people will say I’m selling out for this and that reason.
This is what I love to do. Photography. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped get me to where I’m at now. You have all allowed me to take that road less traveled, and I want everyone to follow closely behind.
I promise, I will do a better job keeping up with this blog…and I promise I won’t rip off any more Robert Frost poems I learned in 8th grade.
Friend Request: Accepted is a film/photo series I am currently working on. Over the next couple years, I will be seeking out every single one of my Facebook friends to take their picture…all 788 of them. The idea is to capture everyone doing something they are passionate about, while filming the whole process.
While planning this project, people kept telling me to make it easier on myself and make a friend cut. Chances are, at least half of those 788 people, I’ve never even spoken to. However, don’t you think cutting out all those friends would defeat the purpose of this project? The goal of this project is to reconnect with people. No more hiding behind the screen of social media. Stop looking down at your phone and pretending you’re texting your BFF when you walk by an old friend from high school. Lets get out there and remind people what it’s like to have a face to face conversation with someone.
This project will obviously take some time with the vast amount of pictures that need to be taken. The idea here isn’t to get everyone in a room and fire off hundreds of pictures one after another. I want to sit down with everyone and witness what gets their blood pumping. That is why I am shooting everything with an old 8×10 camera. The process of shooting with this camera is long and tedious. It can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it also allows me to spend time with these people. Each portrait takes about an hour to complete. If I were to shoot this with a digital camera, I would be in and out in 2 minutes- that’s barely enough time for a handshake. My journey will consist of plane tickets, train tickets, and a lot of fuel. All that traveling calls for more than just a hello.
The funding I am asking for will be going towards film, darkroom chemicals, and a little bit of gas money. After it’s all said and done, the sheets of film will run me about $4,000, with a little leftover for traveling to everyone. I’m going to do this the old fashioned way…like back in the day when the idea of a photograph was more than just something to post on the internet.
So what do you say? Friend Request: Accepted?
I have a really big project in the works that I’m super excited about. Without giving too much away, I wanted to give you a little glimpse at what I’m working on. Stay tuned this week for the real deal.
I just got home from shooting a show tonight. Photos of the band will be up soon enough, but I think after today we could all use a little bit of the innocence you in this face. While everyone sat back in their chairs and enjoyed the show, this little girl rocked the dance floor in her PJ’s like it was nobody’s business.
My heart goes out to everyone in Newtown. There are no words that can make everything all better. Just know that you can take comfort, even if it’s just for a second, in the faces of the little ones like this.
This past weekend I was finally able to finish setting up a darkroom in my basement. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been going crazy since I left art school. I have so many new ideas and so many undeveloped rolls of film. It’s been driving me nuts to watch them sit idly by. I just need to get everything down on paper and out of my brain…and now I can! Before I make any real moves, I need to brush up on my printing. I’ve been going through some old negatives from my intro classes to refresh myself. It feels really good to make work again. Stay tuned…
This is a shoot I did the other week with some of my good friends in Ladyhips. I always love shooting these guys because they pretty much just let me do my own thing. A few of us were college roommates, so we’ve been working together before I even knew how to really use a camera. It’s really cool to see how we’ve all progressed in our craft over the past few years. Working with other artists, no matter their medium, is a great way to push your boundaries.
If you haven’t heard them (or even if you have), check out their new album, Best Friends, at: http://ladyhips.bandcamp.com/album/best-friends
Last week I took a visit to the lovely city of Montreal. While walking the streets of any city, I always like to check out the giant billboard fashion ads. Personally, fashion photography is not my favorite. Granted, if Vogue were to call me up tomorrow and ask me to shoot for them, my bags would be packed. Sometimes I like to use fashion ads as practice. I’ll play a game with myself and try to figure out how the lights were set up in each shot. It’s always a plus when I find some Photoshop fuck up that was overlooked.
Anyways, I came across an ad by the shoe company, Aldo, that rubbed me the wrong way. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I actually really liked it. So much so that I shot almost the exact ad two years ago for a class assignment. I’m not going to complain that someone stole my idea, because obviously somewhere in the world, someone had a similar idea. It just got to me because it let me know I could definitely be doing work at that level…and I’m not. I guess if anything, I should be using it as inspiration. Enough of my complaining. I’m not allowed to be annoyed if I haven’t even given it a go. So, I’m currently working on a badass portfolio. We’ll see where things go from here.
You be the judge…
Sidenote…people in Montreal are SO NICE. Us Americans could learn a thing or two from them, EH?