In Texas, vendors are only allowed to sell fireworks in specific locations two weeks before New Years Eve and two weeks before Independence Day. Running the stands is a way to make quick cash, though I wouldn't say it's particularly easy. I've seen people camping out in tents and trailers next to the stands with the whole family helping out. This Fourth of July I drove right outside of Austin to photograph some of the people working fireworks' stands dotting the sides of country roads and highways. There's something about the selling of fireworks that feels very American. And it's an activity that accurately represents the true diversity of our country— all people, no mater the race, age, gender, or ethnicity seem to enjoy buying fireworks, big and small, colorful and loud, to blow up with loved ones.
Holland Photo asked me to participate in their monthly Speaker Series and give a presentation about my career and work. It was a good opportunity to redo my website (welcome to my new website!) and have an open conversation with attendees about what it's like to freelance full time as a photographer and videographer. I had a great time presenting and was grateful for all the insightful questions people had, which always makes talking in front of a crowd of people easier :)
A nice start to the year! The Austin American-Statesman featured my East Austin churches project in their paper. I had been in contact with the reporter Michael Barnes for almost a year in regards to publishing this piece, so it was nice to finally see our efforts come to fruition.
As I wrote my list of goals for 2018, one of them was to either complete or continue this project. The Statesman's recognition of the photos reinforced the feeling that I'm not quite yet done.
Below are some snaps of the actual paper. Here's a digital version too: https://atxne.ws/2KMaxKS
My photo of the taxidermist Rachel Ahern was spotlighted in the August 2017 issue of the Texas Observer. The magazine's Eyes on Texas column features Texas-based documentary photography, and I was pumped to show some love for my project on Texas taxidermists, one of my favorite assignments to date.
Check out the virtual edition here: www.texasobserver.org/eye-on-texas-fantastical-taxidermy
“I think people who are involved in taxidermy look at animals in a different way,” Ahern says. “As much as I love them and love them alive. …At the same time I can look at a dead animal and still love it just as much in a different way. As morbid as it sounds.”
When I heard Donald Trump was coming to Austin, I knew I had to go. I was curious to meet people who like the presidential nominee and ask them one question— why do you support him? Photos and responses below.
"I have grandchildren. A good country must have a military man. It must have a commander in chief." - Marcos
"I don't believe in politicians. Politics has never changed my life in any significant way. But Trump said what do African Americans have to lose by voting for him. And he's absolutely right."
"Trump has a lot of the same values as me. And my husband is a small business owner and I think he could help him." Annette, Ashleigh (quote from her) and Rebecca
"Trump isn't a politician so he's not going to put up with any of their shit." Tim
"Trump is the best candidate that has ever run." Ariel
"I'm a Republican." Art
"Trump is a complete departure from everything going on. I want a totally new effort." Beth
These were taken during the Texas State Fair in Dallas. I had always wanted to go to a state fair so I did the three 1/2 hour drive there and back on the same day. Not sure if I'd ever do that again, but I'm glad I did it once. Shot with an Canon AE-1 on 35mm film.