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
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.
I saw this woman taking pictures in Downtown Chicago and I made her a playlist. Check it out:
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.
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.
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.
I keep looking at how well Alexa’s eye color registered on film
So many of a wedding’s stories are hidden in the details. These were beautiful shoes and they perfectly matched Katie’s personality.
I want to introduce you to two clients who became amazing friends. Attending this wedding was like attending a best friend’s wedding and every moment of this day meant something special to me. I have put together a small set of images from their wedding to give you a taste of what’s to come.
The wedding ceremony was on Kenny’s family property and they invited their closest friends and family members. We went all over their farm for some of these photos.
This is exactly the kind of smile I was hoping to capture. I love how Katie looks here and I think this expression will be so familiar to everyone who knows her.
Katie and her bridesmaids next to one of the barns on their family farm.
When I drove up to this property I immediately gravitated towards these grain collectors; they were a perfect backdrop for the groomsmen’s photo.
This was such a beautiful intimate wedding on the farm.
I couldn’t believe this bouquet was real; I think at some point I asked if I could touch the flowers.
The night ended with lots of dancing but this one between Kenny and his mother was the first.