60-some years ago Asghar Ghahraman wanted to live in america but he couldn’t afford the trip – so he did what any other level-headed iranian would do: he joined the iranian navy, waited 9 years to dock in america, jumped ship, and swam to the land of liberty. the next few months took him far south, then far north. being homeless in nyc, he realized the american dream of building something out of nothing. at the time of this interview, mr. ray (he learned spanish to forge a drivers license/new identity as “raymond alvarez”) is 81 and has been running his candy store on avenue A. for 40 years without ever taking a vacation. i love this guy, i love his store, and i love his chocolate milkshakes. this is my tribute to the nicest guy in the east village.
Posted in fitness/sports on June 25, 2014
i was walking through a park when i saw some mega-beefy guys getting awesome on some of the playground equipment. all kinds of crazy exercises were going down. pull-ups, push-up, diagonal-ups, handstand-ups, flip-ups, twist-ups… and apparently it works because those dudes are more ripped than my acid washed jeans in the 7th grade. they call their crew barstarzz. i chatted them up and a few weeks later came back with my camera and took some pictures.
Posted in lifestyle on June 24, 2014
logicprep is kinda like a brain hacking company. they take your existing mental hardware and re-code your software to make your brain do cool things. the hackers are a team of mega-smart genius-types disguised as young, fun people. in fact they were so cool it was actually pretty easy to forget that they were all einsteins, especially since the instructor who’s last name is actually einstein (no kiddin) ended up doing hand stands for my camera. they reached out to me (quite shocking since my brain still runs on copper coils and cathode ray tubes) to refresh their photos, so we spent two days shooting portraits of the staff and capturing the learning experience.
Posted in documentary on June 16, 2014
Posted in ad on May 12, 2014
this is my face on a snickers bar. no biggie.
photo by my good friend, monte isom
Posted in video on May 11, 2014
i shot (and was the superstar) in this web commercial for scotts lawn care
Posted in documentary on February 4, 2014
his family records say he’s 99 – his military records say he’s 100. nobody really knows, so next year he’ll celebrate his 100th again just to be sure. you would NEVER KNOW he’s 99 (or maybe 100). his mind is sharp as a tack and his body is in better shape than most americans half his age. in fact the last time we visited abuelo, he was all stove up because he fell while riding his bicycle. all that and the guy plays a mean game of dominos. see you next year at your 100/101 year party, abuelo.
so the wizards over at magic lantern have figured out how to hack canon software to shoot raw video. no more compressed .mov files – but real raw video. it’s gorgeous. kind of dreamy, even. but it IS a hack, and the workflow is a little less than dreamy. like everything else, once you pass the learning curve it starts feeling more comfortable. there are still some bugs in the system and glitches happen – but it’s an open-source work-in-progress and gets better daily. i actually shot this piece a few months ago and the quality of the builds lately have been a lot more reliable.
i whipped up this spec commercial to get my feet wet with the whole canon raw process. my inspiration was, “what if a girl loved running so much she ditched her date to go running?” so i built the storyboard, called a couple friends, and we went for it. it took maybe 4 or 5 hours to shoot everything. my favorite part of the night was shooting the running scenes. i conned my friend sam to drive me around on his moped so i could track our runner. we dropped off everything but the bare bones at our base camp and headed to our location. now imagine this, me on the back of the moped, sitting backwards – wearing a backpack on my chest with a c-stand arm jutting out supporting my key light (a small LED setup) – holding my steadicam merlin 2 rig – and best of all, i left my gaf tape at our base camp, so i had to cover the moped’s brake light with my leg so it wouldn’t hit my actress – all the while trying to balance and not fall when speedway sam took off like he was racing a funny car in the quarter-mile.
big hug and sloppy kiss to all the wizard-magicians over at magic lantern for making raw video on an SLR possible. xoxo
Posted in ad on September 13, 2013
here’s a sneak peak of an ad campaign i shot for Kind Snacks. these photos are from NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, and SF. check out a few more here:
full story coming soon…
you ever heard someone singing while listening to headphones? they’re all wrapped up in the music feelin the flow, and in their fantastical daydream they’re totally crushing it – but in reality they sound like a dog howling at the amberlamps. i see it all the time on the subway and it eventually inspired this spec commercial.
thanks to actor gerard renison for responding to my email, “i have a project i want you to be a part of – it’ll make you look awesome. and ridiculous. you interested?”
thanks to rachael, the subway passenger. she had a very, very long day of shooting before she met up with us and i’m pretty sure the pissed-off look was authentic. thanks for hangin in there.