Sunday, June 20, 2004

Brand X Savior, Bottom

Went out to The Boardwalk last night to see Brand X Savior perform and it was great. There was a sizeable crowd too! The band took control of the stage and wailed. Everyone really worked it, put on a great show and were musically strong. The lead singer Jason prowled the stage and sang hard! They have been nominated for a Sammie too! Go Brand X Savior!
It's surprising how many bands get onstage, do their thing and get offstage without a word. These guys really engaged the crowd.
The second band was a trio of women-- Bottom-- loud, screaming, intense. The bass player was just fun to watch because she was flinging her burgundy red hair and smiling so big the entire time... having so much fun!!

I also took part in a Miller vs Budweiser taste test. millergirls-1
These are the nice girls who administered the "scientifc survey". First I looked at the color, then experienced the aroma, then tasted the beer. Miller won both the sight and smell portion but I went for the Bud in the taste sampling surprisingly. But then I am a lightweight and like a lighter flavor. I asked how the results were going overall and one of the girls told me it's been about 50/50. Interesting. Oh, and thanks for the rabbit ears guys!
They had this odd little computer printer camera all rolled into one and at the end of the test took my photo with Kevin and Mike and made me a "I'm voting for Miller" wearable button, which I did not wear. Some cute young guy put himself right behind us dead center and got in the photo too. I didn't know it till I got the button. Funny.

Saturday, June 19, 2004


The Sacramento band Tesla performed to the hometown crowd last night at Memorial Auditorium and thanks to gal pal Anna Marie I was equipped with a photo pass, which took me to the photo pit and solid photo access-- for the first three songs. Such has become the protocol for nearly every arena show and I think it is bogus.. however, it certainly makes it easier to shoot when you don't have to fight the crowd so I'll get over it!
This is a view from the balcony during the last song or two of the show. I took the artsy path on this one because it has such an odd feel to it anyway. Each of the band members seem to be in their own little world. The crowd was in heaven.
1770231_aa1232e2daFrank Hannon wails on the guitar... but Tommy, Dude! Didn't they tell ya? No smoking indoors!
And what would event coverage by me ever be without this-- Yup, me and the lead singer...
Brian Wheat, the king of Tesla, sits back during the after show meet and greet and kindly autographs this woman's breast. Word is that this is one of the perks of being a bonafide rock star! Brian was so nonchalant about it I guess it really does happen all the time... I'm told that one band member refused her.
Oh, and happy birthday to Chris, the guy on the left of Brian.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Light fun

The awesome photographer Jesse Vasquez, posing for me, painting with light...


A little piece of art just for you... Artwork by me from photos by Kevin Graft!

bumper sticker

Saw a bumper sticker today that read "What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about" and it gave me real pause to wonder...

But on a different day, yesterday, I found myself in the evidence building of the police department shooting pics and we passed by "the gun room"... NOTHING BUT GUNS IN THIS ROOM.. each one carefully tagged as evidence and put away in it's own tidy little box. This is Gary, a very nice man, handling the job! I love my job. I don't care for guns, they scare me... but I love getting to see and photograph things other people may never get to see. So I went in to talk to him a bit and see up close and personal some of the firearms, which were fascinating in their variety, shape and size. Anyway, he's holding an odd looking, long snouted gun in this pic though it's hard to see it. As I unwittingly touched one of the envelopes I kinda froze up while simultaneously noticing the white cotton gloves he's wearing, and in a paranoid moment said (out loud like a dufus) "OMG my fingerprints will be on this envelope!" Silly girl. I am probably the most law abiding citizen in the world but a paranoid freak when it comes to any kind of law enforcement! I'll be driving down the street, see a cop car from the corner of my eye and suddenly this mountainous check list arrives in my brain to check myself for any possible infraction or reason the cop might want to get me...

Sunday, June 13, 2004


Went to a fantastic show today at Raley Field-- the Hullabaloo concert put on by 101.1 fm-- hired to shoot Gary Puckett for his hometown paper in Minneapolis that is doing a feature on him. It started out with Beatlemania, then the Crystals and The Kingsmen, Gary Puckett of course, BJ Thomas and capping it off was the Blood Sweat and Tears man himself David Clayton Thomas.
This is a picture of me and BJ Thomas before his performance while backstage. I don't think he quite got the concept. An interesting tidbit-- another very cool man I met, Ken, was wanting to take a picture of BJ and BJ says "c'mere Red" and pulls me over to be in the photo with him... twice... chances are those are better pics but I continue the series "101 horrible photos of myself with famous people" nonetheless. (and in this case the unfortunate lack of much needed lipstick!)
Gary Puckett got it... he was a doll! And huggy too!
Remember Louie Louie? Well here's me and the lead singer from that group-- The Kingsmen. This is the one photo I didn't shoot.
Then I met some other very interesting people along the way-- how about these two girls who had their chests autographed with a sharpee. And I quote-- "I have no idea who they were but I gave them the pen and let'em go to town!" She is sure they were band members though-- which band is the question and there were many! (Upon closer inspection the band was "The Kingsmen". One of the kind bandmembers wrote that across each chest.)
During BJ Thomas, another killer performance, this woman and her man came up to get a pic of her in front of BJ.. but the security guard was telling her to stay low... so what does she do? See photo and see. It worked too! I happened to catch it at the precise moment the man's flash went off. That's BJ onstage in the background.
So, here is one pic from the show of Blood Sweat and Tears-- man they were great! I was totally lucky. I had a backstage pass so I went back and forth for the right angles, for candid stuff and to meet and greet etc. but there was a front row seat that somehow remained mine for the entire show, whenever I wanted to be out front there it was. Soon it just became understood that it was mine. Thank you! It was a great spot.


I noticed it was beginning to appear as if I never shoot myself with women, but not so... This is me and Arianna Huffington at a recent book signing at Tower Books on Broadway.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

yeah that's right!

Me and Bobby Jackson of the Sacramento Kings, hangin' in the hood, uh I mean the parking lot at the tire place... :)
And then there's the charming Lasalle Thompson, former Sacramento Kings player... that's Bobby's Hummer in the background. Lasalle has a black Hummer with a Expedition front end. It's fabulously beautiful even if you don't like Hummers!

Fashion Ennui

Now, about this shoot of the group of models at the ice cream parlor. I call the photo Fashion Ennui cuz that's how they look, bored to tears. Tough shoot. The girls were great, but the make up and stylist stuff was ridiculous. We had the location for three hours and arrived by 7am to set up and test lighting. I had to have the pictures shot and and the equipment broken down by 10am-- the time the ice cream parlour opened for business. By the time the make up and clothes stylist people released the girls I had twenty minutes to shoot and two costume changes and re-posing to deal with. I was none too pleased. I also had to be in Fairfield for a press conference at 11:30-- a full hour drive from where I was and they wanted me to be early. Yikes.
Got it done just over the time slot but the owner was cool, whew! In the last five minutes insanity ensued as people behind the scenes kept yelling out directions to the girls and all I could do was try to talk louder than the others to direct the girls. Kevin says he's buying a bullhorn for the next shoot. Good idea Kev!

yay media

Meet Jennifer Smith, one of the local TV anchors in Sacramento, and a totally talented fun woman. Got to shoot her today with a few more local media types. Got this cute outtake of her preparing for the shoot. Go Jennifer, you are beautiful!

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, June 05, 2004


I think I finally figured it out! There is the coolest technique that I have seen three photographers do but I could never figure out how they did it and none of them would tell either. The one I spoke to at length was so non-specific despite all my questions and some (very) minor pleading. Obviously it's considered a prized trick. And it is! Well, today while fooling around in Photoshop, my favorite occupational hazard, I stumbled upon the very look they were doing and it was so unexpectedly simple I almost don't believe it. I'm not gonna tell either. This is a picture of a local art gallery owner, Shirley Dubnick of Solomon Dubnick Gallery, and I used it as a test. Now I will refine the technique further, and am eagerly working on it, but for the moment this is a very good start!

Thursday, June 03, 2004


Marya has a long lean body that photographs beautifully. Her long pale blonde hair is elegant and lovely. There is an Eve-like quality about her and she moves and poses so gracefully. In contrast to Elena she wanted pictures of herself that conveyed more emotion-- wicked, intense, quirky too. Sometime soon the final images will be part of my portfolio and can be found on my website...

happy elena

Elena is tall and dark-haired, has a strong and powerful amazon quality about her. She is mainly a photographer who only recently began to model both because she is beautiful and because she wanted to know how it felt to be in front of the camera. Her work is great too. She has a wonderful artistic eye. Most photographers want to use her dark features and stong looks for darker pictures-- "the vampire look" she called it. She was delighted to have some photos that convey the sweetness of her true personality and she really lit up when we did these simple pin-up kind of pictures.

the russian women

The Russian women were fabulous! So nice, so full of great ideas and so fun to photograph! We worked hours and hours, one then the other back and forth, and if we all weren't so exhausted we would have done more more and more. View the chaos that is my living room and the poor tired women taking a break before the next round...

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

A good life

This is life in my house today... the kitties loll about and sleep in delicious comfort while I toil cleaning up preparing for guests-- beautiful russian women I am photographing today. Oh to be a house cat... this is Toby, one of my two beloved gigantic felines under the amazing quilt Karin made. My friend Karin, also a cat lover, adores pics of kitties (particularly tabbies) and inspired me to elevate my own precious ones to the public arena... This one's for you darling Karin!

Larger Than Life

I was going through some pictures from the past month and came across this one-- I just think it's cool-- Larger Than Life, a KISS cover band cool enough to be in the Tribute bands documentary movie you can see playing on cable these days. They played at the Roadhouse with a band out of Oakland, the Servants and a local band, Strangehouse. It was a great night for fun and music!

Victory Gin with Honeyspot

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Losing Victory Gin

Victory Gin is a great loss and I for one am so sad to know they have broken up. I went to Old Ironsides for their last show and took some pics. A couple of the guys from another great band, Honeyspot, got up and did a song with the Gin too. If anyone reads this and happens to have a copy of their first CD, Missouri Flat, I would be estatic to have a copy! Tower doesn't have it either, boo hoo.

Home Sweet Home

A lovely nightscape of the California State Capitol... and the thing in the sky is a light reflection hitting the lens. Shot around 10pm with a fisheye lens.

woo hoo


Lucky me! Taking a photo of myself with Mike Bibby of the Sacramento Kings! This is one in an ongoing series I like to call "101 horrible pictures of myself with famous people." Right after the photo I told Mike Bibby that and it made him laugh pretty hard.

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