Saturday, May 31, 2008

a walk home

out of focus. blurry. certainty, uncertainty. certain in the ability to be uncertain. choices. hopes.
memories. dreams.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

human study 2

A few for more here from the portrait session at a local gym. The first two are diptychs.

Monday, May 26, 2008


testing the lighting before a shoot the other day..

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oak Hill Cemetery

Boy Scouts mark Civil War veterans' tombstones with American flags.

Friday, May 23, 2008

the alley

clearing my mind after grabbing a cup of joe

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Kansas meditation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Papa Keno's patio

Monday, May 19, 2008

Can you?

Sunburned. Windblown. Hot taste of asphalt in the dry, pre-summer air. Not quite the Midwest humid I've learned to dread but that inbetween stage, this beautiful month of May.

I spent last week driving through central Kansas. Baseball and swimming and soccer and baseball. Manhattan. Topeka. I-70. Gas station coffee at 10:30. 15 minute nap in a mall parking lot. Sunburned arms. Paste white shoulders.

All that time and no time to photograph for me. Yesterday I made time. Carved a couple hours out of my day, pulled off the interstate and stood on my red, battered Jeep in the middle of a great plains grass.

See here's the thing. Anyone can love the mountains. That's easy. But can you love Kansas?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

OGB Youth

Here are a few more pictures from a self-assigned essay I wanted to continue about the youth of the Old German Baptists Brethren. Members of this religion number up to 6,000 nation-wide. As I listened to sermons, talked with members and the sons and daughters of those members about rejecting television, radio, the Internet because of temptation I thought about how I would feel growing up with the religion. Divided.. or curious about those temptations... or maybe perfectly happy without them...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Future of the Faith

Each year the Old German Baptists old a conference to discuss changes in society, how they affect the church and the future of the church. This year that conference is being held in rural Douglas County. 5,000 of the estimated 6,000 members of the church travel to the conference. Inadvertently the youth, and the future of the church, are in tow. Yesterday I worked on a story about the youth.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

red for love

Friday, May 9, 2008

soldiers i know

I stood in the tiled bathroom, looking at the prosthetic limbs. Matt was
using the toilet in the stall. Another soldier, James, waited with me, and
we talked.
Out of curiosity I asked if it hurt.
Maybe it was a stupid question, but what really do you ask someone who
had both of his legs and his left arm blown off in an IED. Part of me imagined
it would hurt, but then you think about all those movies and think, isn't
shock supposed to kick in?
We were riding along, like any other day, he began to tell me. Cracking jokes,
making fun of one another. Typical bored 26-year-old behavior.
Then the explosion hits.
He looks down, sees body parts, some fingers. He picks them up. They obviously
belong to someone else on his team, he thinks. He needs to keep them safe.
He tries to get up but falls to the humvee floor.
Tries to get up again but nothing works.
Climbing out of the humvee, with one arm he crawls about 30 yards. It was still
rolling when he fell out.
He's losing a lot of blood.
It squirts from his legs with the rhythm of his heart beat.
He realizes this, says a little prayer, and focuses on calming down. If his heart
beats slower, he'll lose less blood. This means he'll live longer.
Later, the medics tell him he lost a gallon of it.
When they were sawing off what remained of his three useless limbs, there
was no pain killer. Nothing to relax him.
About this time, he tells me, it was hurting.
I got more than I asked for when I asked him this. But once in awhile you meet
someone so open about his life, something as traumatic as this, and everything
is still fair game. Brutally honest, no hesitation. And still the same or more
poignant sense of humor along the way.

He put on his legs and walked out into the lobby. Matt was accepting an award
on behalf of Senator Dole. He could have just allowed me to photograph him
outside, in the reception with everyone else. But instead he let me in to the
bathroom, I can't shake what he told me.

He made me think of Cody, my best friend's little brother. You know, Cody,
four years the younger, never quite old enough to hang out with us in high
school but always game for a good pummeling when we're sitting around the house.
I thought of Cody over there in Baghdad.
A few days later I would learn Cody is alright. He's back on leave actually.
But the rest of his unit, they're not so good. While Cody was on leave their
humvee was hit by an IED. Most died.

I just don't get the whole war. Matt graduated from high school in 2001 for
Christ's sake. So did I. His buddy, James, the soldier who now travels with
Matt and helps him, he's not even 21. He tells me his birthday is coming up,
and it'll be nice because he can finally buy beer. Hey, go to Baghdad, get
shot at, but don't come home on leave and drink a beer. You're only 20, kid.

And now my best friend, Skyler, he's deploying in November.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Hanging outside the Pig... more strange characters and shapes forming in my life. They materialize and I go with it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Lownmower" and "The Kid"

A couple from a high school pitching staff portrait session. The first guy's last name is Lown, while the other kid is the freshman of the bunch.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

so so much

Long day today. Productive, difficult and enjoyable. Went from starting to work on my farmers tan to being straight burnt tomorrow. About to drive to St. Louis for a day with the family, then photographing Cinco de Mayo in the evening and my first couch surfing experience later. I wanted to post the picture of my couch but don't have it on this computer. Ahh if there is wifi at the hotel room tonight with my family I'll post more.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


It's May 3 and I haven't been this excited about anything in a long time. I don't know what it is in particular that I'm even excited about, but I feel it. Everything is buzzing and happening right now. I'm in one constant state of stretching.. like I'm getting out of bed fully energized and take that one huge, happy inhaling stretch and now I'm stuck in the most beautiful way.

Man this blog has kept me afloat for awhile. It might not seem like I write much.. and I really don't. But when I post photos I'm thinking and it's been therapeutic. Thanks for looking, those of you who do.

Friday, May 2, 2008

That made orange your color.

The fruit of a portrait shootout between Laura and myself while walking around downtown Kansas City last night. A storm was brewing all night and we walked around in the wind and laughed at the lightning.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

max on the mountain

Ole Bittle catching his breath in a powdery snowbank. It was his second day being on a board and he did very well.. considering the people we rented the board from set him up goofy when he shouldn't have been. The other half of his exhaustion is pretty much my fault... I'm notorious for taking people down black diamonds on their first day...