Creative: August Self-Publishing Project, Chapter Six

Wyoming: Day One

My goal here is to give you a sense of this place through images that convey a specific mood.

Several things have changed.

1. Didn’t think I was going to use Hasselblad, but I now KNOW for sure I won’t be using it. Too many techniques.
2. No Instax. Sorry FBJ. Again, too many techniques makes it too crazy.
3. ONLY using Fuji for stills and motion.
4. Writing A LOT.
5. Goal is ONE image per day for the book, designed as doubletruck, with copy over.
6. There is no way I can get done what I want, but that’s okay. And I have no choice.

This technique of using digital and “live booking,” or creating one or two spreads a day while in the field, is something I’ve not thought that much about, but over the course of a 600 mile day I had plenty of time to think about it. The idea of attempting to make ONE great image per day with accompanying copy block is such an enticing thing to ponder. It makes things SO much more enjoyable because I now have a target. Will I make more than one image per day? Yes, hopefully, but when it comes to the book do I really need more? Will my family pay attention to more than that? The answer might not be something you want to hear.

Funny, cool or strange things that happened.

1. The weather was unreal. Everything. Rain, hail, sun.
2. Took the truck through some great country. Lots of mud. Even got mud INSIDE the car.
3. Desperate bartender comes us and just flat out asks “Who are you and why are you here?” I explain. She says, “Finally, someone who knows how to dress.”
4. Drunken guy at table next to me says to his friend. “I think I wanna fuck that guy up,” as a tourist walks down the street.
5. Laramie and surrounding area has not changed that much. Locals might differ but I was shocked.
6. Within a quarter mile of my hotel is a truck stop. Within a hundred yards of this truck stop I saw four mule deer, one whitetail hawk and various other creatures. Nature still fights on here.

This entire trip is about the book. Don’t forget that. The book drives my truck, my mindset and my plans. This might seem crazy but it’s actually quite fun and incredibly educational if you are someone who wants to put a story into the world. This trip is also a luxury but I can’t pay attention to much else, including the fact our country seems to be coming apart from the top down. So I work.

How is your book coming?


In Rwanda and Europe, Images of Creativity and Survival

Amelia Umuhire, Still from Mugabo, 2016Courtesy the artist

Amelia Umuhire, still from Mugabo, 2016
Courtesy the artist

Amelia Umuhire’s fictional web series Polyglot (2015) explores the lives of young black artists in Europe. The cinematic series is set in Berlin and London and focuses on ideas of home and identity in an increasingly hostile environment. Polygot was screened at various international festivals such as Film Africa London, Tribeca Film Festival, Festival D’Angers, and the Geneva International Film Festival, where it went on to win Best International Web Series 2015.

Umuhire’s most recent project, Mugabo (2016), set in Kigali, Rwanda, is an experimental short film about the return to the homeland and the question of what to do with our past. Umuhire, who survived the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 with her sisters and mother, explores the millennial survivor experience with unconventional sound and dialogue collage, mixing genres and tones to convey the complexity of loss, uprooting, and finally acceptance of the collective and individual past. Mugabo premiered at the 2016 Film Africa festival in London and recently won Best Experimental Film 2017 at the Blackstar Film Festival.

In this podcast, the first episode of Contemporary And (C&)’s conversation series “Second Glance,” Aïcha Diallo sat down with Umuhire in Berlin to talk about her practice as an image maker and storyteller. Listen to their conversation below.

Podcast by Aïcha Diallo and Bassano Bonelli; editing by Bassano Bonelli; mixing by Manuela Schininá; music by DJ Zhao, Cecile Kayirebwa, Daz baba ft. Ferooz, and Isang Yun; texts by Mara Senaga and Françoise Vergès.

Aïcha Diallo is Associate Editor of Contemporary And (C&) and contributing guest editor of Aperture’s summer 2017 issue “Platform Africa.” Amelia Umuhire is a Rwandan-born filmmaker, raised and educated in Germany.

This article is part of a series produced in collaboration with Contemporary And (C&) – Platform for International Art from African Perspectives.

Read more from Aperture Issue 227, “Platform Africa,” or subscribe to Aperture and never miss an issue.

The post In Rwanda and Europe, Images of Creativity and Survival appeared first on Aperture Foundation NY.


My Very Serious Team!

A Look Inside my Studio and latest setup

Hey all – what’s the current State of Affairs of my computers and gadgets and goodies? I made a video, but remember you can check out my KIT for a listing of all my goodies!

A Big Thanks

I’ll take this opportunity to send a big thanks to the whole team that helps out around here. There’s a lot of things behind the scenes you don’t see. They all work really hard to make everything happen. Thanks again guys and gals! 🙂

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Daily Photo – My Very Serious Team!

Hehe – they are all great. Here’s three of them. That’s Tane, my assistant in the front left. Then Olya is on the right, our crazy Russian videographer. They are both kind of like models, so I take a lot of photos of them looking wistfully in various directions. In the back is Seth, our other videographer! I took this in Budapest right before the Hans Zimmer concert.

My Very Serious Team!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-01 19:21:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias


Photoessay: Hagia Sophia, part I

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Hagia Sophia is not only an incredible piece of engineering and architecture – but also one of faith. Constructed in its current form between 532 and 537 AD, it has served as church and mosque (and now museum). Even today, you can’t help but be inspired, humbled and in awe of the work behind it; given its sheer size, it would still take a significant effort to build with modern construction techniques, and that’s excluding the huge amount of specialised handwork required for decoration and outfitting. I’m pretty sure very little of what we build today at that scale will still be around in 1500 years. The question of faith is quite interesting, too: the sheer resources and determination to construct something of that size places huge demands on the population of the city and its rulers. There was probably no economic return model, either – unlike say the European market towns of the Middle Ages. What impressed me the most wasn’t so much the sheer size or unsupported internal volume (though this was still significant) – but the detail given to every surface. Not all of it was completed by 537, and renovations and restoration have been pretty much ongoing non stop thanks to wars, earthquakes and simple entropy – but it’s nevertheless what makes it a truly colossal undertaking, and because of this I think of the renovations as much a part of the building as anything else. Other buildings like the Pyramids might be larger, but they simply don’t have the same kind of finishing requirements, or continual evolution and sense of being an active, alive part of history rather than merely a passive observer. (And I can’t think of anything modern except perhaps the Sagrada Familia that comes close, and even that is still not finished after more than a hundred years.)

I had the opportunity to shoot it for perhaps a few hours total; nowhere near enough time to do justice to the structure (and obviously not around the scaffolds, tripod restrictions etc.) – even so, there are so many images this photoessay will be split into two parts. Enjoy! MT

This series was shot in Istanbul with a Hasselblad H6D-100c, 50, 100 and 150mm lenses, and post processed with Photoshop and LR Workflow III (and the Weekly Workflow). Get more out of your voyages with T1: Travel Photography.

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Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards. All rights reserved


The Book of Film

How do filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Goddard and Sofia Coppola translate moving images to the printed page?

By David Campany

Jean-Luc Godard, Journal d'une femme mariée, Méril, Paris, 1965

Jean-Luc Godard, Journal d’une femme mariée, Méril, Paris, 1965

We have all heard photographs described as poetic, sculptural, painterly, literary, or cinematic. It is commonplace to look outside the medium when trying to account for it. But it will only get us so far. If a photo- graph is described as “painterly,” what might that mean? Caravaggio, Constable, or Kandinsky? If it is “cinematic,” does that suggest Kurosawa, Kubrick, or Cronenberg? Raised on a diet of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch movies, you might reasonably feel a Gregory Crewdson photograph was “cinematic.” If that diet was movies by Claire Denis and Béla Tarr . . . maybe not.

Beyond the single image, we often reach for filmic comparisons when discussing photo editing and publications. Of his book New York (1956), William Klein once declared: “Only the sequencing counts . . . like in a movie.” Given its flowing layout and informal framing, we can see what he meant. But it’s also nonsensical—how can only the sequencing count? On page or screen, there can be no sequencing without the images themselves. The late Allan Sekula thought of his photo-text works as “disassembled movies,” but he didn’t say which movies, and some of the directors he admired—Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Rouch—described their own movies as “disassembled.” Cinema’s aesthetics and modes of production are no more unified than those of photography. All the arts can be anything—and they can be like anything.

Arnold Fanck, Wunder des Schneeschuhs, Enoch, Hamburg, 1925

Arnold Fanck, Wunder des Schneeschuhs, Enoch, Hamburg, 1925

Such happy confusion aside, there is a particular kind of photographic book we can legitimately call cinematic, and that’s a book derived directly from cinema. Film became a form of mass entertainment alongside the emergence of the popular illustrated press. By the 1920s, all kinds of books related to movies were appearing, both mainstream and avant-garde. Across the ensuing decades, “cinema on the page” became a familiar part of visual culture.

The most popular publications presented movies much like cartoon strips of images and text. Sometimes the photos were frames of the movie itself; sometimes they were shot as stills, by specialist photographers on set. Peaking in the 1940s and ’50s, these cheaply printed magazines and little books were perfect for viewers hungry for a physical souvenir of the movie theater’s projection of pure light. Holding something cinematic in your hands was exciting. In Italy especially, these fotoromanzi of the latest releases were consumed in vast numbers.

Arnold Fanck, Wunder des Schneeschuhs, Enoch, Hamburg, 1925

Arnold Fanck, Wunder des Schneeschuhs, Enoch, Hamburg, 1925

There were also more graphically adventurous experiments. Printed movie frames featured in many interwar avant-garde publications, notably László Moholy-Nagy’s landmark Malerei, Photographie, Film (Painting, Photography, Film, 1925). Moholy-Nagy took inspiration from a remarkable project about skiing, of all things: in 1920, the photographer and filmmaker Arnold Fanck had made an instructional film and was experimenting with printing frames from it. Fanck became fascinated with the dilemma of whether action was better expressed by a single, well-timed photograph or a sequence from a movie camera. The two-volume Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs (The miracle of the snowshoe, 1925) presents copious examples of both, with filmstrips printed on spectacular, unbound foldouts. Studying this book in your lap may not be the best preparation for launching yourself down an alp, but it’s a fascinating presentation of a visual problem.

Indeed, the challenge of how to present the time of moving images on the page has never gone away. It is bound to fail, but there are endless ways of failing which can still be instructive, and attractive. The video artist Martin Arnold works with found footage from classic movies. He’s interested in cutting, combining,
and repeating shots, often toggling back and forth so the image appears to flutter on the edge of perception. The effect cannot work in print, and yet his 2002 book Deanimated, designed by Anna Bertermann, is remarkable. The pages have a timeline marked out in dots. Along this line, the shots from his films are reproduced in sequence. The longer the shot is held on the screen, the more dots it must span, and thus the larger it appears on the page. In this way, image dimension corresponds directly to image duration. Clever.

Martin Arnold, Deanimated, Kunsthalle Wien and Springer, Vienna and New York, 2002

Martin Arnold, Deanimated, Kunsthalle Wien and Springer, Vienna and New York, 2002

In general, most movie-related publications have not attempted that kind of equivalence. The elegant book
of Le sang d’un poète (The Blood of a Poet, 1930), Jean Cocteau’s first film, is an elegant example, with elliptical moments from the script punctuated by striking photos shot on set by Sacha Masour. With its antireligious sub- text, the film caused a scandal upon release, but it gained a reputation as one of the key Surrealist films. Published much later, in 1948, the book is a recognition of this. It doesn’t attempt to recreate the film; the relation between page and screen here is complementary rather than supplementary.

With the rise of television in the 1960s, such books began to die away. Then VHS made films “possessable,” and DVD supplied the supplements beloved of fans and scholars. But as the cinematic book waned, European filmmakers began to make books as a means of revisiting and expanding their movies. Alain Robbe-Grillet converted his scripts written for films directed by Alain Resnais—including L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961)—into what he called “ciné-novels,” halfway between illustrated script and novelization. Although radically hybrid, the ciné-novel has qualities all its own. Here is Robbe-Grillet explaining in the foreword to his self-directed L’Immortelle (The Immortal One, 1971):

“[A] detailed analysis of an audio-visual whole that is too complex and too rapid to be studied very easily during the actual projection. But the ciné-novel can also be read, by someone who has not seen the film, in the same way as a musical score; what is then communicated is a wholly mental experience, whereas the work itself [the film] is intended to be a primarily sensual experience, and this aspect of it can never really be replaced.”

Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet, L’Année derniére á Marienbad, Calder, London, 1961

Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet, L’Année derniére á Marienbad, Calder, London, 1961

The translation of a film into illustrated text opens up an interpretive gap; cinema’s fixed duration is converted into the more flexible time of reading. On the page,
text and image can be contemplated at will and, in the process, the film can be “laid bare” for analysis. In 1965, Godard suggested that “one could imagine the critique of a film as the text and its dialogue, with photos and a few words of commentary.” Godard published print versions of nearly all his films of the 1960s. The book based on Une femme mariée (A Married Woman, 1964) recreates the episodic, first-person structure of the film. Whereas the film showed the married woman confronted with representations of consumer femininity (on billboards, magazines, and movie posters), the book appropriates various styles of layout from popular culture.

Jean-Luc Godard, Journal d'une femme mariée, Méril, Paris, 1965

Jean-Luc Godard, Journal d’une femme mariée, Méril, Paris, 1965

In the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, the decades of European “auteur cinema,” dozens of illustrated books appeared for films by the great directors—Antonioni, Pasolini, De Sica, Tati, Truffaut, Bresson, Rohmer, Fassbinder, Bergman, Buñuel. I should confess here: this is where my affection for photography began. The film stills in these old books were the first images that really impressed me. Cinema seemed to be the means of making the sorts of photographs I wanted to look at. Years later, I was thrilled to come across a video of a 1974 lecture in which Walker Evans described Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) as “a marvelous bunch of photography.” He was right. Vilmos Zsigmond’s impressionistic camerawork on that film was a kind of photography not seen before, or since. For many years, I knew it only though images in books.

It is important to note that cinematography was included in many of the early books on the history of photography. Then, as film history began to establish itself, the two were split. For example, the first edition of Beaumont Newhall’s Photography: A Short Critical History (1937) included a chapter titled “Moving Pictures,” and even featured Eadweard Muybridge’s sequential locomotion studies on its dust jacket. That chapter was dropped from later editions.

Sofia Coppola and Corinne Day, The Virgin Suicides: A New Generation’s Companion to Film, vol. 1, no. 1, American Zoetrope, 1999

Sofia Coppola and Corinne Day, The Virgin Suicides: A New Generation’s Companion to Film, vol. 1, no. 1, American Zoetrope, 1999

If our histories of photography were to include the innovations of cinematography, the whole map of the medium would need to be rewritten. The exploration of light, composition, visual rhetoric,
and communication has always been far more advanced in cinema than in still photography, especially when it comes to color. You only have to look at Jack Cardiff’s Technicolor cinematography for the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger to see this: A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948)—nothing in the still photography of the 1940s came close. In working with light projected through a subtle positive-transparency film, color cinema made enormous leaps, aesthetically and technically. Meanwhile, color still photography was held back severely by the practical problems of color print reproduction, which was not very good until well into the 1980s. If you want to see the very best color imagery that was possible between the late 1930s and the late 1980s, look to cinema. But the printed publications dedicated to those color movies are awful!

Surprisingly few cinematographers have made visual books about their work. Man with a Movie Camera (1984) is Néstor Almendros’s illustrated account of how he shot some of the most beautiful films of the 1960s and ’70s. (He won an Academy Award for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven from 1978.) Christopher Doyle, renowned for his work with director Wong Kar-wai, has published books of his collages and photos taken on set. A Cloud in Trousers (1998) is his remarkably honest and sidelong account of how he understands images.

Sofia Coppola and Corinne Day, The Virgin Suicides: A New Generation’s Companion to Film, vol. 1, no. 1, American Zoetrope, 1999

Sofia Coppola and Corinne Day, The Virgin Suicides: A New Generation’s Companion to Film, vol. 1, no. 1, American Zoetrope, 1999

The “book of the film” remains split between tedious Hollywood blockbuster franchise cash-ins and more experimental publications for art-house movies. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, David Lynch, Larry Clark, Wes Anderson, Mike Mills, and Sofia Coppola have issued innovative books related to their films (little coincidence that all these directors have had a deep love of still photography). The sumptuous photographs taken by Roger Fritz on the set of Fassbinder’s highly theatrical Querelle (1982) predate by a few years the seedy glamour of Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1986). The book of Wenders’s Paris, Texas (1984) tells the road movie in double-spread frames. In this form, it is easy to see just how much he and cinematographer Robby Müller had learned from the imagery of photographers Walker Evans, William Eggleston, and Stephen Shore.

Two years later, some of Eggleston’s photos appeared in the book of the musician David Byrne’s only feature film, True Stories (1986). Along with Eggleston’s photography, there are images by Len Jenshel, Mark Lipson, and Byrne himself. At once script book, scrapbook, and photobook, it’s a thoroughly idiosyncratic publication, entirely in keeping with the film. (The True Stories revival starts here!)

Alain Resnais, Repérages, Éditions du Chêne, Paris, 1974

Alain Resnais, Repérages, Éditions du Chêne, Paris, 1974

Eggleston’s photography has influenced many filmmakers of the last twenty years, but none more so than Sofia Coppola. All her films are accompanied by publications. One of the most engaging is the fake teen zine of The Virgin Suicides (1999), with Eggleston-esque photos by the late Corinne Day.

I have barely scratched the surface here. Cinema has given rise to such a great range of photographic books. I finish with my favorite, Alain Resnais’s Repérages (1974). It is a collection of photographs
he shot over many years in New York, Paris, Lyon, Hiroshima, and London while looking for locations for his films. The majority are for projects he never completed. The format is wide and the full-bleed images with black pages help to suggest a screen in a darkened room. The photographs are documents: raw, grainy, and factual. They are also richly evocative promises that the late director never managed to keep—love letters to the future of cinema. Perhaps someday someone else will pick up this book and make those movies.

David Campany is an author, photographer, and curator. His books include Photography and Cinema (Reaktion Books, 2008) and The Cinematic (Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press, 2007). He recently cocurated The Still Point of the Turning World: Between Film and Photography for Fotomuseum Antwerp, which was on view from June 23–August 10, 2017.

The post The Book of Film appeared first on Aperture Foundation NY.


Aurora HDR 2018 is coming to Macs and, yes… Windows!

Drum roll… 100,000,000 HDR photos (actual number!) have been made with Aurora HDR, and now… more dramatic drum roll… The NEWEST iteration of Aurora HDR is announced, and this time it’s launching for PC and Mac at the same time! Yes, finally, all of you Windows people (including me nowadays), can experience the greatness of this software!

It’s now gone through 10 iterations. I can’t spill all the new features yet, but I can say the HDR algorithms are at least twice as fast, there’s a fresh new user interface, lens corrections, and a whole lot more. The Mac and PC versions are identical and both will be available for pre-order in the Stuck in Customs store on September 12!

Subscribe to my newsletter to be notified first when Aurora HDR 2018 is available for pre-order!

Watch this awesome (and silly) video about Aurora HDR 2018!

Mark your calendar for September 12!

Aurora HDR 2018 will be available for pre-order in my store on Sep 12, and released on Sep 28. Current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade at a special pre-order price of $49. New users can pre-order Aurora HDR 2018 for just $89.

Aurora HDR’s Key Features

If you’re new to Aurora HDR, here’s some of the best features!

  • Total HDR editing experience with the most complete set of tools available
  • Fast, powerful RAW processing engine
  • Tone-mapping algorithm to achieve both realistic and dramatic HDR images
  • Over 70 presets that give photos an amazing HDR look in just one click
  • Luminosity masking that automatically makes advanced selections within HDR images based on the Zone System
  • Unique layer system that supports blend modes, custom textures and using original exposures as source images
  • Image Radiance, brushes, masks, lighting, vignettes and much more help users achieve their artistic vision
  • Highly versatile batch processing
  • Works as a standalone app, or a plug-in to Photoshop and Lightroom

A sneak peek into what’s new in Aurora HDR 2018

  • Lens Correction Tool – The new Lens correction filter easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel to pincushion, to chromatic aberration and vignetting.
  • New User Interface – Redesigned from scratch, the modern and responsive user interface brings a powerful, yet joyful experience to HDR photo editing.
  • Cross-platform version – Aurora HDR 2018 will be available both for Mac and PC users. Files are interchangeable and mixed-computer households can share the same product key.
  • Speed Improvements – Up to 4x improvement in RAW image processing, and up to 200% faster merging and masking performance means that Aurora HDR 2018 is dramatically faster than the last version.

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Creative: August Self-Publishing Project, Chapter Five

So the book is coming along. A Blurb, 8×10 portrait book, designed in InDesign using the Blurb plugin.(It is awesome!) I’m thinking of using Proline Uncoated stock, and I’m also keeping in mind something NEW that Blurb has coming in September.(hint, hint)

I would describe this book as ugly and strange. Not a classic book by any stretch, but again, the only audience for this little publication is my family. I’ve designed about forty pages so far, maybe more. There are six chapters, some dealing with historic imagery and others dealing with things like paintings.(What I’ve had the most fun with.) I’ve also got a truly horrible looking section at the back that details the history of the bookmaking, including the blog posts I’ve created to cover this story, something I’ve never done before. I’m also toying with using Google Earth for a section, just to make things even uglier…IF THAT IS POSSIBLE.

There are spreads with simple, full bleed imagery, spreads with all copy and each new chapter has a spread. It’s somewhat organized, but if I was going to make this for the public I’d really have to rethink the design.

This has been SO much fun, and I can’t wait to surprise the klan with it. Let me remind you why I’m doing this. Primarily it is to show people how easy and rewarding this kind of bookmaking really is. There is no pressure, no “right way” of doing this. There is only doing it or finding some reason NOT to do it. Creating books like this makes you sharper as an imagemaker, a storyteller, a bookmaker and all around creative. It’s liberating actually. You solve one section of the puzzle and suddenly a door opens up and you see something else to inspire you. I just came up with a new idea, for a new book and work making strategy, something I had never considered before I began assembling this story. I’m as excited to try this new idea as I am to finish this project.

Key steps to get this far this fast:

1. Chose trim size based on specific needs, wants and past history of bookmaking.
2. Made material decisions. I’m not stuck with them but it feels good to have a plan for the final look and feel.
3. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. I made a tight edit of existing family photography and work from prior trips to the region.
4. Came up with general design plan. Again, not stuck with it, but it’s nice to have a target.
5. Worked in short, focused periods of time.
6. Kept ideas and designed focused solely on being as personal as possible, ignoring the “rules.”
7. Never lost track of how much fun this is compared to the rest of life.

Any questions hit me up below. Good luck on YOUR projects.


Come and Eat {Bri McKoy}

I tend not to put a ton of pressure on myself when hosting friends because I’ve learned it really doesn’t help me or them have fun. However – every now and then I have an expert come over….and I get a little nervous. The first person to spend the night in our studio guest space was an author who had written a book on hospitality. All we had at the time was an air mattress on the floor. It turned out fine and he taught me a lot about how to be a gracious and thoughtful guest.

A year or so ago my friend Bri and her husband stopped by on a cross country road trip. I had met Bri on a trip to Ecuador with Compassion International. Her smile lights up a room and her joy is contagious. At the time Bri was working on her first book – all about food and gathering people at your table. Cooking for a cook is a bit stressful to me. I decided to go safe – Pioneer Woman’s Lasagna, Smitten Kitchen’s Stacked Wedge Salad and dessert. I timed everything just right, so the lasagna would come out just when Bri and Jeremy arrived.

The table was ready. We sat down. I pulled out the lasagna….IT WAS COLD! Evidently, that was the night my oven decided to break. We heated the lasagna in the microwave and I chose to laugh about it. To make it up, I assured Bri we would have 2 great cups of coffee waiting for them in the morning.

The next morning the coffee machine broke.

Every time I welcome someone in my house, something goes ‘wrong.’ I’ve learned to roll with it and laugh when I really want to cry.

Bri and Jeremy were, of course, gracious and acted like it was really no big deal. It really wasn’t and I was thankful they for their kindness as guests. We parted ways physically, but I keep up with Bri and have ANXIOUSLY waited for her to finish that book!

While we were in China Bri’s book arrived at my doorstep…the Oklahoma doorstep. Ugh. It was pretty hard being so far away and knowing her book was waiting for me. I am so very happy for Bri and thrilled for those of us that get to read her words.

As part of SnapShop Online Photography School, I try to bring variety to the content of lessons and interviews. I was thrilled that Bri agreed to an interview on the topic of food photography.

Use the code FOOD for $20 off registration your SnapShop registration. Expires 8/17/17.
SnapShop Online Photography School membership includes access to ALL the courses and content for one fee – including how to to go from Auto to Manual and the Phone Photography course.

sign up now to grow as a photographer


Bri’s book, Come and Eat is all about celebrating life at the common, everyday dining room tables. She includes funny, heartbreaking and warming stories of her own journey to the table as well as inspiration to help people get to their own tables! Combining her love for food and people, Bri invites her readers to take steps forward in opening up their doors and inviting others to come and eat. Bri makes it easy by including recipes, tips and even questions you can use to spark conversations that make others feel seen and known.

I’m so grateful she poured herself into this work – it is timeless, but also timely for a culture that increasingly looks at their neighbors’ plate on a phone screen more often than at a shared table.

Come and Eat releases on September 5th, but is currently available for pre-order.

Those that pre-order will also get:

  • First 4 chapters in PDF format
  • Early access to the 21-Day Adventure at the Table (includes 21 recipes and questions for the table)
  • Digital print download
  • Exclusive early access to Bri’s “Secret Recipe” and Kitchen Tour videos
  • One entry to win 1 of 3 Hedley & Bennett Lemon Bistro aprons

You can find Bri in the following places:

Blog | Instagram | Come and Eat | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter



A Photo’s Journey

sit room OBL kill

I have often been asked which photo of last ten years would enter the record books and retrospectives. There were many contenders, but as far as cultural impact, the photo above, taken in 2011 of President Obama’s National Security team during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was a touchstone.


It is now a default scene against which political dramas and comedies are measured. Political Animals, a melodrama about an ex-president and his secretary of state wife, paid an early tribute in August 2012. In 2013, Veep (above) had a two-episode storyline which parodies Washington politics inherent in any politically charged moment/photo such as this.


In 2016’s House of Cards (above), Clare Underwood occupies President Obama’s position, and another woman replicates Hilary Clinton pose. Not just political dramas are playing the homage; in the corporate world of 2017’s Okja, the photo is restaged, with Tilda Swinton again having hand over the mouth — this is the closest reproduction.


Even the White House photographers might be taking a page out of the Obama photo. For the longest time, the Kennedy-era photo of a president as aloof and cerebral, an isolated man lost in the burdens of presidency,  was the go-to image, with The West Wing recreating it in its opening titles. Perhaps no longer. When President Trump called for a missile strike in Syria, he and his advisers were photographed in a similar angle: the president was no longer a single striver occupying the Loneliest Job in the world, but at the head of a ‘team of rivals’ — as Doris Kearns Goodwin once wrote.