Chasing Rainbows

Note to self: carry camera EVERYWHERE. It pays off. The girls and I chased rainbows tonight after seeing some amazing color on the horizon. We found several angles to see double-rainbows but I missed the killer light on a cargo ship trying to find a place to park Big Red (my truck, thankyouverymuch). I coasted into the Pt. D ferry terminal as a third attempt to catch the rainbows. Used my 24 mm vertically and took about eight shots to compose this pano.

Tacoma, you are marvelous.

You Pretty Thing, You

Having an outstanding professional image is an essential cog in the marketing wheel. Especially in professional service industries like law and real estate, putting yourself “out there” with a modern, flattering and personable photograph is vital to attracting and keeping clients.

If you’re an actor, fugettabout it. You already know that a killer headshot is second only to actually having talent in getting a gig (hey, sometimes you don’t even need talent). (Was that out loud?)

Professional Headshot Day with
Jesse Michener Photography

Sunday, February 13 from 2 – 4:30 p.m.
UW Tacoma Campus

$75 gets you the session and one digital file with a release for reproduction (print and digital). Additional files + prints available.  $50 reserves your session. Space is limited. You will be emailed a confirmation and more information once you’re registered.

1000 Words, You Betcha

The thing I love about photography is that you don’t need words to tell the story.

Modern portraiture allows us to group images together to tell the story for us. Whether it’s from a single day (wedding) or moment (turning eight and getting an American Girl doll), grouping images into a collection is a powerful way to document life and it’s the essence of what I call life. photographed. Capturing these fleeting bits of life is such an honor for me.

I know that years from now, I won’t recall her expressions of pure joy. Next time someone asks me what I do, I’m going to say, “I capture time and bottle it.”

Be well!

You’re so Cool, T.

The other day I spent the morning shooting around Tacoma to throw my hat in the ring for a guidebook project. I didn’t get the gig. My writing sample had too many simple, declarative sentences. Consider yourself warned: the end of my days of simply declaring things are OVER. I’m gonna punctuate things up, I tell you.

I wonder if the people who live in this house ever leave? How could you? Those windows would prevent me from doing anything but drink coffee and get lost in the view.

Pacific Avenue, early morning. The sun emerged after several days of rain. The light is joyful, isn’t it? I pulled over, I had to. The sun was just begging me to catch it play on the red brick.

I thought this shot, taken from my idle car at a stop light on 9th Avenue, was pretty cool what with the public transit and the historic Pantages. That old bird has seen all kinds of transportation in this city! From horses to the state’s first light rail, the stories those walls could tell…

Eleven Days

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to photography Broadway Center Conservatory’s new touring show, Eleven Days. In my other life, I worked for the BCPA and helped start the Conservatory after the demise of Tacoma Actor’s Guild. The entire organization holds a dear place in my heart, for the work it does for the Tacoma community and for the people who drive the work. The cast and crew of Eleven Days tour during January and February in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month. The show was created by Lucas Smiraldo and co-written with Charhys Bailey and Antonio Edwards.

From the study guide, about the show:

The work combines original poetry presented as spoken word with new choreography and
theater. It is meant to offer a deeper, broader view of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther
King within the context of the civil rights movement. In many cases the legacy of Dr. King has
been relegated to his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. But the movement for peace, justice,
and equality through non-violent action includes many dimensions. The poems highlight
eleven key days in Dr. King’s life, reflecting major milestones including the Montgomery Bus
Boycott, the freedom riders perilous journey on bus through the segregated south, the March
on Washington, Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize Award, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act,
as well as private moments such as his family’s celebration of his birth, the day he changed his
name, and the day he lost two neighborhood friends to racism. Each page includes an
exploration of concepts related to civics, social studies, social fairness, peaceful protest,
community and change.

To say I was moved wouldn’t be entirely accurate. What I was: thankful. I was thankful to the BCPA for creating something truly unique, truly inspiring and truly unlike anything out there. This isn’t watered-down drivel for children. The work invites the audience to actually think, actually reach for meaning. It doesn’t hand anyone a tidy message – or if it does, the message isn’t offered in the usual way, thankgod. Can we all just agree that kids can rise to the occasion of critical thought? Please? Because from what I’ve seen recently education, this opinion is not the norm. BCPA’s Education Department (headed up by Lucas Smiraldo and Nyree Martinez) knows this and settles for nothing less than excellence in the programming. Bravo.

The show is bold, combining spoken word and dance and is performed by the four cast members: April Nygard, Charles Simmons, Angelica Barksdale and LaNita Hudson.  Each of the performers offers a substantial contribution to the balanced ensemble. What they lack in polish, they more than make up for in emotionally driven, organic performances. There isn’t any pretension or “acting.”

From Day One: His Birthday

The day that he was born

he was named after his father

and slept in the crib of his sister

(who now had a bed of her own)

He was raised in a home

Passed down from his grandma

And his mother would sing

His father would preach

His aunt in her rocker

Grandmother beside her

read him the stories

Of the places he’d go.

I think Dr. King would have been proud. And super happy to move on from the whole “Dream” thing.