A Bit About Me

I’ve been futzing around building my visual chops for … depending on how you count them … a few years or a several decades. A career as a photographers agent kept my artistic desires pretty well in the closet. Yes, the money was good but I always did like having a decent camera held to eye. I started and stayed with Nikons through the film era, with not an automated feature on a one of them. Then digital came along and I was scanning negatives, opening files in PhotoShop and putting my photography degrees to work on family and vacation photos. My dad did say he had the best historical record of grandkids, ever.

Somewhere in the oughts the guys at a 3D boutique had me handle HDRI chores for integration of real environments and 3D objects. Very technical but right up my alley. The recently purchased Canon 5D MkII yielded amazing results on some local still shoots for musicians as well as that technical work.  Then along came a request for a special effects laden TV commercial and I was tasked with the video side of that project. Some would say that winning a national award for your first commercial might make it tough to grow from there, but I’ll take the chance. My thanks to the folks at The Concept Farm and Related Grey for that opportunity, by the way.

Starting a local production company gave me some very local opportunities. Realtors and mortgage brokers, insurance agents and CPA’s were good projects for me to start with. The YMCA project came along and I got to re-live some of the days I spent in what was then called Indian Guides with my daughters. Another project for the local senior center arrived and was fairly consuming for almost a month. This is where I found out about immersion, really becoming a comfortable part of the community that I was recording. These were semi-local work, surely not the national stage, but the opportunity to shoot how I wanted to and edit as I saw it was the real value in those projects.

Back in school, and that is back a ways, one of my favorite assignments was EDL’s, short for Every Day Life. We had to shoot at least one per week. The exercise was to capture a moment in reality that told the story of what was going on, captured the eye, and made the viewer pause to consider it all. Not an easy task, and not always achieved, but wonderful when done right. That is what I am now trying to do on every shoot, be it still or motion.

There was a time when I chased nothing but the almighty dollar. It is still good to get some fresh ones every now and then, but I have found that the reward of work well done on projects of significance, with collaborative people, goes far beyond the things that money can buy. Good sleep isn’t a commodity, and neither is peace of mind nor friends that will jump in a car or on a plane with scant notice. Those are the gold worth keeping.

May it always be so!


Active Seniors

When asked by a friend to create a video for the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center to show at their annual fundraiser and donor appreciation dinner I simply said, “Yes.” This is what one does when a friend asks so nicely and has done you several solids in the past.

Thus began a fairly amazing journey into the world of the aging here in the Santa Clarita Valley. I found that age does have its downside for many, but for the most part you are only as old as you and your health want to be. I found people well into their 80’s exercising, learning languages and computers, going on trips and playing cards. Yes, cards are a great social and mind-maintenance pastime.

I also found an adult day care center that deals with the range of stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Many seniors there were in the early stages and just a bit forgetful. Others were further advanced and needed almost constant supervision.

In all the various programs there are leaders, staff and volunteers, that truly care about each person there, that take the time to teach at the given person’s level of understanding and ability.

The volunteers in all areas – food prep and delivery is huge – range in experience from first timers to decades-long contributors. Each has their own story of how they got involved, why they stay, and usually a favorite memory of one person that they touched along the way making an impression on them that stuck through time.

I hope you enjoy this video and that it inspires you to volunteer somewhere near you, or, if a senior yourself, that you find a desire to get out of the house and go meet some new and interesting people.


Paused Motion Video

A bit of a plum gig has been being a “marketing consultant” for a local business, Priority Pak. I hadn’t even thought about what a fulfillment shop might do, never mind that there was such a thing. Being asked to re-brand the company from logo through an advertising campaign is a wonderful responsibility. Working with the two owners as creative liaison with an agency I found for them was made easier from my years of being an observant agent while in client meetings with big agencies and clients. I hope I am a good client now!

What I found at Priority Pak was a dedicated and hard working crew.

From the shop floor into the front office, these people stay on task, find solutions to complex problems, and work in a collaborative manner to get things done efficiently. Imagine have 400+ big boxes to pack with 200+ different assortments of marketing materials and having to get each of them to the right place with the right stuff. That is just the start of their day with several other projects all going out at the same time.

My thanks to Ray Davies for the opportunity.


YMCA Adventure Guides

YMCA Adventure Guides is a great program that connects parents and their children.

It sounds a bit funny – that parents need to connect with their kids – but for many families, mine included, that can be the case. I joined the program with my two daughters when they were ages 7 & 5. At the time I was working 8-10 hour days with a commute of an hour and a half each way. By the time I got home they were often asleep. When dinner time rolled around at the first YMCA campout we went to my daughters came up to me and asked “We’re hungry, Dad, where’s Mom?” That may have been the first time they saw me as provider.

Adventure Guides is a program for one parent and their child(ren).

This video was shot in one long day. Travel to San Diego with an assistant early in the morning and return that night. No prep on the interviews other than names of likely candidates. No worries. We shot with one of my cameras – a Sony NX-70, and a GoPro Hero. All natural light and on-camera microphone. Edited, as all my work is, in Premiere Pro.

Worth noting – this video was one of the first I created for a client, in 2014.