With any job, you have to give and take what you have control over. As a photographer, I get the opportunity to capture an image to fit the context of an article. Sometimes I'm the only person from City Paper that actually meets the individual being photographed. This is due to a number of logistical reasons, i.e. phone interviews and email interviews. Because of this personal interaction, the finished images that result are from my understanding, imagination, and interaction with the subject. Another way I like to describe my position is as a creative problem solver.
With that said, there are a number of reasons why an image won't see the light of day. The composition doesn't fit in the allowed space for layout. The image won't hold ink well on newsprint, causing large smudges. The powers that be might just like a different image from the roll better than my selection. But one Wednesday a year CP let's me play art director and reveal my faves. The following photographs are without filter from me to you. I hope you enjoy.
Stefanie Santana answered the call for the photo shoot and promptly said she could do the shoot right then. I hurried over to her place and was able to knock out the shoot within two hours of making the call. The songstress said she was nervous during the shoot. I couldn't tell from the outcome.
The Ricotta Toast at The Lot was a finalist for the DISH cover a year ago. This simple dish was beautifully constructed by then-head chef RJ Dye. He used Root Baking Co.'s porridge bread as its base. While this image was cropped in print, it did appear online. But one good turn deserves another.
Michael Flynn has been making music in Charleston for over a decade. The music man released his self-titled album back in 2014. Flynn was shot here at his home for his show at the Commodore back in September. My intent was to capture his introspective nature with a side of humor. These characteristics are echoed in his melodies.
I love it when I don't have to come up with an idea for a shoot. When the subject has a plan, idea, and is ready to shoot, it makes the creative process that much easier. The Amazing Mittens had just that. They wanted to have a picnic in Hampton Park. From the looks of it, their picnic was a blast!
Alyssa Pierce trains hard. At Hurricane Boxing on James Island, Pierce trains and competes against other women in her division. She hasn't let black eyes and cracked ribs stop her from keeping in fighting shape. Stop by James Island for a round or two. Pierce is always looking for a sparring partner.
Kairo Myth brings an intensity to a photo shoot as he does through his music. For our photo shoot, we wanted to set up his full DJ sound equipment, including the large speakers. He blasted out music at a decibel that I was sure would get us questioned as we were in the middle of Cannon Park. Luckily, the authorities have bigger fish to fry. I shot this quick portrait of the masked musician at the end of our session.
Anson's revitalization after a fire took almost a year. The outcome? A beautiful building with spins on the classics. Here the Carolina Cup Oysters are served in a cast iron skillet rock salt.
Finnegan Bell picked the coolest location for a photoshoot of 2016. The Historic Old Brick Church of St. Thomas & St. Dennis had an eerie beauty that left me wanting to come back to hear the acoustics of this seemingly abandoned church.
The lovely folks at Spoleto were gracious enough to give City Paper an exclusive photo shoot with the leads of Porgy and Bess. Here Alyson Cambridge struck a pose for me. I couldn't help but include this image of the striking actress.
For the 2016 Best of Charleston issue our theme was Retro Sci-Fi. We took inspiration from The Twilight Zone, Mad Max, Alien, Mars Attacks, and even the original West World. For the Best Local Gym Orangetheory Fitness took the honors. Each of these shots were a challenge to capture fun while creating a solid composition. Orangetheory pumps out classes every hour on the hour from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., so this shot had to take place within a 15 minute window. These guys were down for the interstellar shoot.
Catherine Moye harvests oysters for her friends near Capers Island. I had the pleasure of accompanying Moye on her venture. Oyster harvesting is not a clean activity and this woman has no problem getting her hands dirty.
Proper fish and chips with mushy peas. The Codfather does this English staple the way the lads across the pond have always done it. This is one of the coolest 'off the beaten path' spots in Charleston. Don't like fish and chips? Don't bother. That is what they do, and all they do, and they do it well.
Hugh Howey lives the life. The self-published former CofC professor lives on a 55' catamaran sailing the world. The boat boasts two cabins, and a kitchen that dwarfs my measly apartment. Not to mention his company on this day was a lovely English woman who hopped on the boat somewhere around Cape Town, South Africa.
Lewis Barbecue opened up this summer after much hype and anticipation. The 'Bad Ass Brisket Boy' did not disappoint. For City Paper's Dish Dining guide, we tackled sandwiches. The 'El Loco' pictured here is a monster of meat composed of brisket, pork, and sausage, all of which are smoked on Lewis' self made smokers.
Ray Fischer brings Elvis alive with his impersonation of the King. We need a good backdrop for our July cover story. The newly opened Commodore gave us what we needed with the old school interior, complete with velvet wallpaper.