Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall Family Photos

I finally discovered a fantastic default location for portraits in Livermore! I took these photos of the Salas/ Dress siblings last week at Sycamore Grove Park. There is a $5 parking fee but it's well worth the scenery. There's a decent sized bridge, countless crawling tree branches and several miles of trail. Except for a few joggers and cyclists, we had the place to ourselves!

If you know these guys, shhhh!
They had these photos done as a birthday treat for their mom ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oakland Riots 7/8/2010

Thursday, July 8th, former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted by a Los Angeles jury of a lesser involuntary manslaughter instead of second-degree murder in the New Year's Day 2009 killing of Oscar Grant during his arrest at the Fruitvale, Oakland BART station.

Prior to the 4:00 pm reading of Mehserle's conviction, several downtown Oakland merchants boarded up their storefront windows as a precautionary measure, fearing a repeat of the looting that occurred after Grant's death in 2009. Many businesses allowed their employees to leave early, causing downtown BART stations to become overwhelmed by outbound passengers.

The City of Oakland also took measures to reduce the potential for unrest by calling in officers from 15 different law enforcement agencies, including city police from San Leandro and Hayward, Alameda County Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol. Many of the Oakland Police Department officers who worked that evening did so despite the layoffs the department was expected to make this week.

By 7:00 pm, an estimated 800 protesters had gathered on Broadway between 12th and 14th streets, surrounded by a large force of police officers in riot gear, armed with batons and tear gas. The crowd remained tense but peaceful until sundown. Around 9:00 pm, as several protesters began vandalizing storefronts, police declared the protest an unlawful assembly and closed in on the crowd, arresting any who challenged their blockade.

Dozens of self-proclaimed anarchists wearing bandanas over their faces used hammers to break through storefront windows. Looters forced their way into a Foot Locker, beauty shop and jewelry store near 14th Street and Broadway and fled with merchandise. Piles of clothing and shoes removed from Foot Locker were set on fire in the street. Oakland Police and Alameda County Sheriff's stood guard at several banks including California Bank and Trust and Chase Bank on Thomas L. Berkley Way until 12:30 am after they were hit hard by rioters. A mattress was set ablaze in a Sears window display, but was removed by firefighters before any more extensive damage was caused to the building. Protesters pelted police and their vehicles with bottles and M-1000 fireworks, and pushed dozens of flaming dumpsters into the streets to block traffic. City Administrator Dan Lindheim estimated that 30 businesses between 12th and 20th streets sustained looting, broken windows and doors, and graffiti.

BART reported no problems on their trains or in their stations, however the 12th Street and 19th Street stations were closed for the remainder of the night. AC Transit also reported their busses were running at full service and without incident, but had been diverted around downtown.

By 1:00 am Friday, a total of 78 arrests had been made. The Alameda County Sheriff's Department reported that only 19 of those arrested were Oakland residents, and 12 were from out of state. 66 of those arrested were booked and released for unlawful assembly, and the remaining 12 were booked at Alameda County Jail for a variety of felonies including violation of parole, rioting, arson, and possession of explosive devices.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shannon's little princesses

Shannon wanted spring portraits of her one and three year old daughters at the Presidio in San Francisco. With the city it's always a toss up whether the sun will peak out or not, and this morning it sure didn't. The girls were freezing but mom and dad jumped in and kept them smiling long enough to get some sweet portraits regardless! Thank goodness for my co-shooter Lisa, who is amazing with kids and really made this shoot happen. What a relief to have her in jams such as these!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Favorite Little Family

I have been photographing Alicia since I was in Photo 101 class using 35mm black and white film that I developed by hand in the school lab. Throughout college I used her pregnancies and family portraits for school projects and practice shoots. It's no wonder these three are my favorite subjects to photograph! Yesterday we met up at a park in Tracy, CA for some quick spring portraits of the girls, and as always, Alicia's munchkins were more than willing ham it up for the camera.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Engagement Shoot

Lisa and I had the pleasure of photographing Colby and Jaclyn last weekend at the Presidio in the Marina District of San Francisco. Despite the goosebumps and wind gusts, we all had a great time! Lisa and I will be photographing their wedding in Walnut Creek next month.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 thus far

Perhaps a "hello" to the new year is long overdue considering we're now in the first week of April, but despite the steady stream of protesting emails from friends and followers, I haven't felt inspired to blog since Christmas. The jury is still out as to whether 2010 is going to bring more success than the trying year before it, but regardless, I have already found myself enjoying exciting new opportunities and friendships that easily outweigh the anxiety of a still failing job market.

In March I attended the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, as I have every spring for three years. This year was extra special since Esther Havens was invited to speak for the first time. Esther's message about the newly emerging genre of humanitarian photography became the central theme of the conference, and she something of a celebrity for the college students in attendance. I was so proud of her! If you haven't already begun following Esther's work on your own or through prior blog posts of mine, I encourage you to do so.

The most exciting new thing 2010 has brought into my life is a news writer position with YoProCo (Young Professional Connection), an online news source for young professionals set to launch at TechCrunch in New York City this May. The publication will also be a place where young professionals can follow the success of select peers who are emerging as industry leaders and innovative entrepreneurs.

I am one of many young journalists who was hurled into the news industry during a time of total upheaval. Newspapers are on their last leg, stock photography is no longer lucrative, and staff jobs have become few and far between as outlets rely more heavily on freelancers. I have blogged before about how we absolutely must view this season not as the devastation of news media but as a rebirthing that we are incredibly privileged to participate in. The best way to experience personal success in this industry is to jump on board with whatever innovations are going to become the standard of news media in the near future. I believe that the convergence of social networking, internet technology and traditional news media is the future of the industry.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”- Lucius Annaeus Seneca