Texas Photo Roundup

Starting Thursday and running through the weekend, right here in good ol’ Austin, will be the Texas Photo Roundup. There will be workshops by the likes of one of my Texas heros, Wyatt McSpadden. Presentations by peoples like the infamous Dan Winters. And talks on things like money by people like me. As in me. And other people who know a lot more than me.

I’ll also be attending a lecture Saturday morning by Andrew Hetherington and Monte Isom. I’m hopeful that it’ll be insightful enough to justify me to get up early on a Saturday.

A lot of things are sold out, but some of the things I’m personally the most excited about, and feel are the most valuable, still have a few openings. If you are in the Austin area and haven’t taken a look, check it out here:

Communication Arts Typography Annual

I just got the CA type annual and was flipping through some really great work, pleased to see some friends represented, when I stumbled across a magazine that my pals at Pentagram Design did. First I said “Wow, more Pentagram work in here,” then I remembered, “hey, I shot that!”
A few months back our friends at Pentagram called us up to photograph some water abstracts for a cover story. Designer Barrett Fry created the cover copy, and thought it’d be interesting if it were distorted by ripples of water, so he sent the type my way and I started to play.
We simply printed it out and set the copy under a tank with an inch or so of water in it. And some food coloring. Then we just splashed up a storm. I tried to keep the distortion to a minimum for legibility, but art director & legendary designer DJ Stout called me up an demanded more ripples and splashes. And good thing he did. The results are below…

PONG & Bye bye 2012

In addition to being the 40th anniversary of Pong, the world not ending, and Leonard Cohen releasing another album, this year has been a lucky one for us. I went to NASA twice, hung out with a space robot, we created what feels like thousands of photographs for dozens of magazines, and I began a massive personal project that I hope to complete by the end of 2013.

Sooooo much work hasn’t even been published yet, so I’m not allowed to show it (no matter how much I want to!). Some of it has, but we’ve been taking so many photos I haven’t had the time to share anything new. Ugh. Oh well. Until I get my act together….

PONG!!! <click the link, click the game, start>

All your base are belong to us!

Happy New Year,


PDN – Turning Objects Into Ideas

A few months back writer Kris Wilton interviewed me about conceptual still life photography. I forgot all about it until I flipped a page, and there I was, along with a few fellow practitioners. According to the article conceptual still life is really hard. So if anyone out there has any aspirations, you might as well give up now.
For me, I feel like the hardest part is making an idea satisfy the masses. Not thinking a good one up. There are tons of great ideas. Once you have an idea to illustrate a story, you simply need to make it fit the magazine’s look, satisfy the style of the photo editor, the photo director, the art director, creative director, and obviously all of the editors, and all of their spouses, and the office cat.
If an idea can do that, all you have to do is take the picture! One time I had an idea for a magazine that I knew was perfect. But they weren’t going for it. So I went ahead and did the shoot, but added this extra option. It ended up running as the cover. Maybe I just did a terrible job sketching the idea out? Who knows. The cover looked good though!
But there are two sides to this coin. Frequently an idea is okay, but after a few back and forth emails and a phone call, that idea can become something really special. I think there is a perfect place between collaboration, and art by committee. Wherever that place is, I’d like to be there as much as possible.
Side note; the article mentioned this type of work typically does not look photoshopped. That made me happy.

Communication Arts Advertising Annual

I’m humbled that our campaign for Caesar’s grabbed a full page in the current CA ad annual. As simple as the images were, it was a massive amount of work for Robin to style, me to not just shoot, but also retouch, and creative director Mike Ferrer to concept, and harder still, sell to his client. I’m very proud of this project, and glad to see it gain some more recognition. Also thanks to my c-stand for holding up the magazine while I photographed it.

American Photography 28 – WE’RE IN!!!!

Question: What’s the most exciting email the studio received this week? Answer: The one from Ernie Monteiro of Time Inc. custom publishing letting us know an image we created for Proto Magazine was chosen to be in American Photography 28 along side some really amazing work. All we can say is Woo-Hoooo!!!! Read the original blog post about the image and see construction pictures of the wire brain here.


Interview on Chris Crisman’s Blog

My buddy Chris Crisman started interviewing prominent people throughout the industry and posting their wisdom on his blog. But for some reason he also decided to interview me. Not only that, but he used a portrait by Matt Rainwaters that every single magazine I’ve sent it to has refused to run as a contributor’s pic. But not Chris. He knows how good a chick-o-stick is with grape flavored mad dog. Also known as a PB&J.

You can read the interview here.

Our New Studio – A work In Progress

We are moving into a new space, just a few blocks east of downtown in Austin. It’s an old brick warehouse refurbished into studios and workshops. We have a lot of work ahead of us. This is it so far.

3D Type book

A while back we were asked by the London based design studio FL@33 to submit some of our photographic typography for their upcoming book; The 3D Type Book. Two different type jobs we’ve done over the past couple years were selected, and we just got our copy in mail last week. For the furniture font, thanks to The Buttler Bros and their intern Stephanie Chan for dreaming up the project, and Cody Haltom & Adam Mendez for art directing us and dragging furniture around all day. And for the ‘Help Wanted’ type, thanks to Robin Finlay for doing pretty much all of the work.

If you like this sort of thing I have more here,

And you can find the 3D Type Book here,