Eat Pomegranate Photography
© Copyright 2017.

First

Beginning something is always hard. This guy was the first person to step in my studio. He was standing behind me as I was setting up and I asked him if he would let me photograph him; without saying a word, he slowly walked in front of my light.

Street Corner Studio

During July’s “Arts Night Out” in Old Town, I set up a mobile backdrop backdrop and one really powerful studio strobe on a street corner; these are the portraits that resulted from an hour of talking to strangers. I am always so interested in how many people we pass by every day and I hope this projects preserves cross-sections of those passing moments. I was just reading a paper about how most people only look into each other’s eyes for a few short moments.

“Most animals look at each other to signal threat or interest. In humans, this social interaction is usually punctuated with brief periods of mutual eye contact. Deviations from this pattern of gazing behaviour generally make us feel uncomfortable and are a defining characteristic of clinical conditions such as autism or schizophrenia, yet it is unclear what constitutes normal eye contact (Binetti, 2016).”

When we look through a portrait series like this, we allow ourselves to look into a person’s eyes and layers of personality slowly start revealing themselves. Isn’t that cool? Gah! I can’t get over this pilot project. I will be doing a lot more of these around the state. Keep an eye on this blog for more versions.

Binetti, N., Harrison, C., Coutrot, A., Johnston, A., & Mareschal, I. (2016). Pupil dilation as an index of preferred mutual gaze duration Royal Society Open Science, 3 (7) DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160086



Dance

This guy was walking/jogging around and dancing. He was full of life and I barely caught him in time to get his attention.

Andrew Farmer

I only stopped him because of his awesome beard and really cool jewelry. As I was photographing him, he told me that he was a musician.

Whitney

She has swag.

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Work

“You Owe it to all of us to get on with what you’re good at.” W. H. Auden

In June, Angela Southern and I launched a monthly collaboration project. We start the month by giving each other a prompt, then, I spend the first 15 days working on a photo and Angela takes the second half of the month to letter. Here is the second photo in our series and I am in love with it. We decided to work with a one world prompt: work. Instead of the obvious imagery that is associated with work, I wanted to explore how beauty and toughness can communicate the same thing. I think this W.H. Auden quote goes along with the image perfectly.

I can’t believe how well Angela worked with the busy background and was able to give both the subject and the quote equal attention. I am feeling pretty thankful for being surrounded by such creative minds.

Lastly, a huge thanks to Mallory Goldman for dusting off her ballet shoes.

Aaron and Laura

June 28, 2016
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At the Broad

The Eli and Edythe Broad Museum was a perfect backdrop for this wedding’s color palette.

I really hope you are ready to see an awesome wedding because this one blew me away. Meet Aaron and Laura; they are two of the kindest people I know. On top of that, they have a great sense of style and their wedding definitely showcases their aesthetic. Before I get too far ahead of myself let me tell you a little bit about them. They both live in Chicago but Laura went to school at Michigan State University and they decided to have their wedding at the MSU gardens.

They met each other on a train … yup, just like in the movies. As you can imagine, with a story like that, everything that follows starts having a romantic snowball effect. I hope these pictures can give you a glimpse into how much they love each other and little cross-sections into their wedding day.

If you hover over (tap on mobile) some of the pictures you can read more of a back story about each of them.

enjoy!

 


Aaron

I still can’t get over this but Aaron’s suit was the definition of how a suit should fit. He got it custom made for his wedding and had incorporated a bunch of details to match his style.

Dress

Much before the wedding, Laura sent me an email with photos of this dress. I had been waiting to shoot it since that email.




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Khalid Angela Exchange

The final product from the May 2016 collaboration with Angela.


This reminds me of those long runs when you keep repeating a mantra. After a few miles everything starts happening in a beautiful rhythm of your cadence, your breathing, and you heartbeats.


Angela Southern and I are launching a new collaborative project. If you haven’t seen her work already, be sure to check out her portfolio. She is an absolutely incredible lettering artist and illustrator. We have known each other for years and I am so excited to bring our work together. Every month, we will be working from one prompt and creating a joint piece at the end. I will be sharing these collaborations here on my blog and on Instagram.

Flint

A photo of Dr. Mona (she goes by her first name) outside Hurley Children’s Center in Flint.

My camera brings me across some incredible personalities. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s name is synonymous with “Flint Water Crisis”—her research blew the lid off the lead poisoning of thousands of people in Flint. She has been interviewed on CNN about her work, written for the New York Times, and most recently named one of the Time’s 2016 100 most influential people. A few weeks after her research findings were announced, I was asked to go to Flint to photograph her for an Inspirational Woman of the Year Award.

Before arriving, I knew I would have just a few minutes with Dr. Mona. However, as soon as I shook her hand, I felt a sense of calm. I’m grateful for her time spent taking portraits amidst a day of her clinical obligations. Sometimes, I have a very small window to tell someone’s story. In the little bit of time we had together, these photos were my impression of Dr. Mona.

Sara and Corey

March 20, 2016
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Guests

A third of the guest at this wedding were kids. Sara and Corey had all the right things to keep them occupied. I loved the personality these added to the wedding and whenever the adults started to slow down, the kids brought them back to the dance floor. The film rolls from this wedding are off to the lab tomorrow but here is a quick next-day-edit of the digital images for Sara and Corey. enjoy!



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Playlist for a Stranger

February 20, 2016
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I saw this woman taking pictures in Downtown Chicago and I made her a playlist. Check it out:

Coast to Coast

February 12, 2016
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Water

This woman traveled to the West Coast to collect a bottle of water from the ocean. She walked along the beach as that bottle clinked against her shoe. When she was ankle deep in the water, she dipped in her bottle, and then walked all the way back. This whole ritual was so simple and beautiful.

On a separate note, I couldn’t get over how perfectly these clouds registered on this film stock. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, film.

Travel

Some of my oldest memories are of laying on top of the speakers behind the back seat of my parent’s light blue 1975 Datsun 120Y. My parents would take me and my brother on long cross-country road trips using difficult/technical trucking routes. At a relatively young age we had seen every province of Pakistan. We had been to the forts of Multan, the peaks of the Himalayas, the desert of Sindh, had seen the flow of the Indus, and the beaches of Karachi. This wanderlust has been passed down to all of my siblings. Last year alone, me and my siblings visited four continents including extended stays in Africa and the Middle-East.
I really wanted to end 2015 on a strong note. I was originally going to go to Pakistan but the overlap with my sister and my mom was only two days. For the first time in years, I was left with a block of unscheduled days. I decided to go on a coast to coast adventure; from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast.

Pacific Ocean

The crashing waves of the Pacific Northwest minutes after arriving in Seaview, WA.



Film

A friend recently asked me if I am always looking at the world in terms of how I would photograph it and my answer was a resounding “no.” It is so much more important to look around and let pictures reveal themselves. If I was to look at everything through the cross hatches of a view finder, I would probably miss the all the beauty. The act of shooting without a digital viewfinder helps me slow down. For this whole trip, I only took my film camera and a few rolls of film. I hope you enjoy all of this medium format goodness.

Camera: Mamiya 645
Film:      Kodak Portra 400 and Kodak Ektar 100
Lab:      Indie Film Lab


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Looking Up

December 3, 2015
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Here are two photos from my last trip to NYC. I drove across the country with my parents and sisters to surprise my brother at his favorite restaurant. It was a really memorable trip—almost too memorable for me to be behind a camera the whole time. After we found him, I was walking through the city and came across the building on the left. I loved how the clouds were rolling over us and I knew that film would have enough dynamic range to capture the building and the bright sky. That was the last photo on that roll. Right after the exposure, I huddled down to replace the film. My next shot was the photo on the right. It wasn’t until I saw my film scans that I realized how these images perfectly mirror each other. Even the clouds in each photo seem to blend together across these frames.

The time it takes to receive your film scans from the lab is perfect for inducing deja vu. It is almost like they wait to scan the images till this tipping point just beyond a fading memory. I have been traveling with only my film photography gear for the last few trips. Film makes me shoot a lot less and I get better at remembering my environment aside from the camera’s viewfinder. Ask any film photographer and they will tell you about the joy of receiving your scans.

Once in a while, those scans reveal correlations like this one. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

If you want to hang these prints on your wall, check out the Eat Pomegranate Market.

P.S. I am writing this blog post from a coffee shop in Portland, OR. Just as you start forgetting about this post, I will upload photos from my current trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Pink and Blue

November 11, 2015
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hands

I always go after hands in shoots because they tell so much of a story.

When I take pictures I am thinking about how that set of images will look hung up a wall. People are usually looking for patterns and we are stringing together a story from a series of images. I take pictures with the hope that my audience will piece together a story or maybe let their imagination take them beyond the images. Here is a mini photo series with Alexa.

Bow

I loved this moment and I was even more excited to see it captured when I got the film scans back.

A note on film

Film captures color better than the majority of digital cameras. I really love picking the right camera and the right film for each shoot. Even the process of shooting an image is more thoughtful and intentional. All these things combined make up for when photographers say “there is just something special about film.”
These images were shot with a Mamiya 645 film camera using Kodak Ektar 100 film.


Blue and Pink

Most times the simplest photographs become my favorites. This image is a perfect example.

look

I keep looking at how well Alexa’s eye color registered on film