The 2015 Drama League Awards

This past May I had the pleasure of rejoining the Drama League for their annual Drama League Awards ceremony, honoring the talented theatrical community members of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. It's always such a pleasure to work with the Drama League and their amazing crew, so needless to say this was one of my favorite events to cover over the spring (I also got to meet Joel Grey, a personal favorite of mine, and it easily made my day - I'm so glad he received the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award). 

Not only did everyone share wonderful speeches and anecdotes about their peers and coworkers, but there were enough jokes all around to fill the room with humor and enthusiasm the whole time. My personal favorites were when Nathaniel Parker started reciting Herman's Hermits lyrics and when Kristin Chenoweth decided to stand atop her chair to make up for her petite size; she had the whole room doubled over in laughter. Every person there had a special story to share, and it was lovely to hear so many heartfelt words of appreciation and gratitude for the theatrical community and their fellow actors.

Here are some of the highlights and my favorite shots from the day, and can't wait to be back working with the Drama League again soon!

 

Michelle Jones; Experimenting with Light

A few weeks ago, Adorama asked me to do a review on a light kit they were launching, and so I jumped at the chance to do a light test with my good friend and fabulous actress Michelle Jones. We really wanted to play and experiment with the versatility of the light, and spent a good portion of the afternoon into the evening shooting a variety of different looks and aesthetics, and I could not be more thrilled with the results. As someone who started on traditional natural light techniques, working predominantly with studio lighting that day was a welcome change and happy exploration of how dramatically imagery can change with simple lighting adjustments. While it was a lot of firsts, I enjoyed the process of experimenting with the possibilities and discovering what would make the photograph.

Here are some of my favorites from our photo play-day, hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Marvel's Daredevil!

I'm so happy and proud to share with you all one of my most exciting jobs yet; working with Marvel & Netflix to promote the worldwide premiere of Daredevil! I was asked to document the installation of street art going up in Hell's Kitchen in NYC, and it was easily one of the most interesting jobs I've ever had. I've always wondered how the process worked for putting these large graphic elements on the sides of buildings, and loved getting so see how in a matter of minutes, a blank space turned into a giant work of art. It was so much fun to be a part of this project, as the same thing was happening simultaneously in 12 other cities, including London, Berlin, and Mexico City, and I couldn't wait to see what the other pieces of art looked like. I also was thrilled to be working for Marvel and Netflix, clients I only dreamed of having previously, and now having seen the show, I'm so proud I got to be a part of it, even if only in some small way. Here's to getting more jobs like this in the future!

New Portraits: Gabryal Rabinowitz

I always know it's going to be a great shoot on a day that I'm working with Gabryal; He's wonderfully charming, undeniably handsome, and one of the most genuine human beings I've had the pleasure of knowing. On top of all that, he's a truly amazing actor, so when he asked me to work with him on creating some new and improved headshots for him, I couldn't have been more excited. Casting directors, take note and check out his phenomenal website!

We chose to try for a more GQ-eqsue aesthetic and stylized portraits, and I am so thrilled with how they turned out! We elected to experiment with using a ring light in some of the shots, and I think it worked wonders for bringing out the texture in the velvet suit he wore for the first part of our shoot. It was an adventure using a new light that is not a normal piece of my lighting kit, but I absolutely love the results it produced. My favorites by far however are the sunset shots we created at the end of the day after scaling to the roof of my apartment building. We couldn't have asked for a more vibrant and beautiful sunset, and it paired spectacularly with his wardrobe; serendipity at its finest.

It's always such a joy to work with your friends, and I am so fortunate that I've been able to work with Gabryal for so many years now; here's to many more in the future!

IndieWorks: Best of Fest 2015!

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of photographing IndieWork's Best of Fest 2015, and it certainly did not disappoint. A great event that allows indie filmmakers an opportunity to have a more personal interaction with their audience, IndieWorks gives up-and-coming directors a safe and inviting space to share passion projects, personal creations, and indie films with the local community. It's a sure bet that you can find me there every month to see the beautiful films being shown, and I love every minute of it. Not only is it a fabulous professional network to branch into, but it has also afforded me the opportunity to make many wonderful friends which I am forever grateful for. 

I was elated when one of my personal favorites from the past year, Q.U.E.E.N., written and directed by Brittany Fennell, won the coveted Golden Whiskers Award this year, and it could not be more deserved. The  talented Hye Yun Park took home the Audience Choice Award for her wonderfully funny web series Hey Yun, and there's no question as to why the audience loved it. Here are some of my favorite moments from the night, and be sure to come join us at the next screening on June 10th!

The VelociPastor!

If you read my blog with any regularity, it's no secret that I work on film sets often, and that it's one of my favorite places to work. I love my film-family, it's such a large and supportive community that I am unbelievably blessed to be a part of, and so I try to return the favor as often as possible. That's why I'm so excited to share with you news on the newest project some of my best friends are working on, The VelociPastor

Illustration by  Wyeth Yates

Illustration by Wyeth Yates

The film is written and (to-be) directed by my fabulous friend Brendan Steere, whose previous feature, Animosity, not only received global distribution, but was also well-received enough to show at many film festivals in the last year, including Fantasia, where it screened alongside Guardians of the Galaxy and Boyhood. It also won Best Picture and Best Actress at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in 2013; As you can clearly see, he definitely knows how to make a good movie.

Originally a spoof trailer of epic comedic proportions, Brendan's finally ready to develop VelociPastor into a full-length feature of dark humor, and I for one could not be more excited about it. If you want to see the concept's origin, you can check it out below.

Not only is it retaining Matt Ziegel from the original short as the lead and VelociPastor, but it also will star Alyssa Kempinski as his college educated and provocative love interest. I've also had the pleasure of working with her several times, most recently on the set of Six Windows! They were also both cast in Animosity, and I'm so excited to see them work together again. Not only are they both immensely talented, but they are both joys to work with on set, which I can personally attest to.

Along with Steere, two of my closest friends, Brandon Taylor and Gabryal Rabinowitz, have joined the teams as respectively Producer and Associate Producer. Not only have I known them for years, but had the pleasure of working with them on many previous projects including Six Windows, The Remembrance, and They Hunger. With a killer crew such as this one, I have no doubts this film will go above and beyond in the realms of creativity and craftsmanship, with a touch of insanity-bordering brilliance.

If you believe in this project like I do (which, in all seriousness, you really should) please check it out on Facebook, Like/Share, and Donate to help make this project a reality!

Johnson & Johnson: Innovation!

Back in February, I was able to photograph one of my most interesting and fun jobs yet; Johnson & Johnson's Innovation Showcase, where their best and brightest have the opportunity to share what they've been developing with the rest of the J&J community. And let me tell you, they're working on some crazy cool things! Not only did I get to see all the creative new products that Johnson and Johnson's been putting to the test, but I was also blessed to meet some of the most friendly and inspiring individuals I've had the pleasure to work with. From scientific advancements in skincare and sunscreen to 3D printing and technology, it was easy to see how hard working and imaginative this community is. I do not say community lightly either, because from the first moment through the door, it was quite evident that this company does not treat its employees like faculty, but rather like family; it was immediately apparent that they love to create together and produce the best products possible for the world they serve. Never mind the fact that they all have got a killer sense of humor! While their symposium may have been work-oriented, they made a day of it with skits and shorts, contests and jokes, and by the end of the day everyone had some great laughs. I can't wait to do it again, and see what new things this innovative company is creating, because if there's one thing I learned, it's that they love INN-O-VATION!

Headshots: Ellyse Burnett

As a photographer often working within the film industry, I get to meet a lot of fabulous actors and actresses, and many of them come to be my closest friends. The beautiful and immensely talented Ellyse Burnett is certainly no exception, and I was thrilled when she asked me to do her headshots for her. If you recognize her, it might be from the upcoming web series I worked on a few month ago, Six Windows. While she may seem a bit shy at first take, she's got a smirk and sense of humor that will steal the show, and I loved trying to bring those aspects of her personality through in these images. Which, if I may as so bold to say, I think I achieved fairly well. I can't wait to see where her career will take her, because it's definitely leading to bigger and better things!

-Hair & Makeup by  Jodi King Makeup-

Behind The Scenes of Six Windows, Round 2!

Back in January, many of my good friends and I were hard at work filming the second block of Six Windows, a web series exploring six people's different experiences dealing with the challenges of New York City. Despite a blizzard or two trying to interfere with our last few days of shooting, we successfully wrapped in a little over a week, with a lot of fantastic footage. While the series won't be released until this coming summer, I have a few images from behind the scenes of the project that will hopefully hold you over until it's finished! Directed by my inspiring and deeply talented friend Brandon Taylor, this series is sure to remind you of the growing pains of life, love and loss. Starring such pretty fabulous actors, including Tracy Willet, Shannon Terrel, Gabryal Rabinowitz, Ellyse Burnett, Cornelius McMoyler, Susan Moses, Hamza Zaman, Nicole Im, and many others, I'm positive this series will turn out wonderfully, and I can't wait to see the finished project. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes on the set of Six Windows!

"Not Our Living Room:" Promotional Stills

This post is long overdue, but I am happy to say I am finally getting it out to you all! Back in August I was finally able to work with the immensely driven and talented director Christina Raia on one of her two upcoming shorts, Not Our Living Room , written by her fabulous partner in crime  Kelsey Rauber. I also was lucky to reconnect with fellow Penn State Alum Adam Jepsen, who stars in the short alongside Rob Ceriello, both of whom nailed their parts as brothers dealing with unusual and unexpected circumstances. While I've had the Behind-The-Scenes images out for a while now, the editing process for the promo stills took a little time, so I am happy and proud to finally unveil them to you! To see more of Christina and Kelsey's projects, as well as great indie film events, make sure to check out CongestedCat Productions, the producer of Indieworks (where you can find me almost every month!).

Side Note: A few promo stills have to wait due to some pretty substantial spoilers, but as soon as the short's premiered, I'll be sure to share the ones still under wraps. Hope you all enjoy these as much as I do!

A Night for James Earl Jones

Near the end of January (where has the past month gone!?) I had the immense pleasure of working with the Drama League photographing their annual Gala Fundraising event. Every year, the League honors someone with their Lifetime Achievement award, and they selected none other than EGOT winner, Mr. Darth Vader himself, the larger-than-life James Earl Jones. Not only was I honored to be part of such a prestigious event, but I also had the opportunity to meet and photograph many prominent members of the theatrical community, which was truly an amazing experience. From the star-studded list of guests, to the fantastic live performances, it was a night I'll never forget, and hope to have the opportunity to attend again. Everyone had only words of the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Jones as an artist, peer, and human being; Kelsey Grammer's near outburst of tears stood as a testament to the genuine and heartfelt words he expressed about James, and he was not alone in that night full of emotion and support. The Drama League put on a flawless event, and I am so proud and happy to have helped support all the important work they do for aspiring actors and actresses, as it is both necessary and progressive. Congratulations to them for hosting such a successful fundraising event, and may they have many more in the years to come.


PDN's Photo of the Day!

I am so thrilled to share with you all that last week I was fortunate enough to be featured on PDN's Photo of the Day along with my fellow YPA mentees, which you can see here. It was truly amazing to not only have my work shown on such a prominent and reputable news source for photography, but to also have such a positive response to the work I submitted. While it may seem a small thing, this has always been a goal and dream of mine since I began pursuing photography professionally. I can't believe how far this organization has helped me come, and I have so much gratitude and respect for our mentors Andrew Hetherington and Steve Giralt, as well as the photo editor of PDN, Amy Wolff, for all of their encouragement, support, and enthusiasm about our work.

I got a wonderful little reminder of this step forward by seeing it in a weekly PDN newsletter email I received today. It's so surreal to see my photo on such a mainstream news source, but I am forever grateful for it, and couldn't help myself but instagram it. It's so validating to see how hard work pays off.

On-Camera Interview!

I'm so happy to share with you all this fabulous promo video my good friend Brandon Taylor directed and produced for my upcoming exhibition with the Young Photographer's Alliance. It was my first on-camera interview, so please forgive any awkwardness or long-windedness! I can't believe how wonderfully this turned out, given my nerves about making it, but making artwork is all about pushing boundaries, including our own comfort levels. I am so proud and excited to share my new artwork with all of you, and hope that you can join me on the 24th at the Art Director's Club to come support all of the artists showing in this sure-to-be-spectacular exhibition. You can buy (donation based!) tickets here. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Boy Code: Behind The Scenes!

I love getting to work with new people, and this film was certainly no exception. Not only was it my first experience working with talented director Christian LaMorte and his fabulous crew, but it was also the first time I was fortunate enough to work with Elijah Trichon, an up-and-coming actor who plays the lead role in Boy Code. A witty yet critical film that explores the difficulties of growing up in the hyper masculine world of teenage adolescence, this coming-of-age story not only appeals to me artistically, but also culturally. I was thrilled to put my skills to work helping bring this film to fruition, and I can't wait to see the finished project when it premieres at the The Dusty Festival, hosted by the School of Visual Arts in NYC. 

Musikfest 2014!

There's nothing quite like Musikfest, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, which is easily the one of the best cultural aspects my hometown has to offer. A huge 10-day endeavor, with over 1 million visitors every year, it easily is one of the most inspiring events I've ever encountered, and always becomes a source of inspiration. Not only does it boast some of the best musical performances to be found, but it also pays beautiful tribute to this historic town with its commitment to protecting the Bethlehem Steel, as well as highlighting it as a backdrop for some of the largest stages. The food and craft vendors are just as fabulous as the music, there's never a shortage of amazing buskers, and this year's festival was no exception. As we've hit that mid-winter peak, full of cold and dreary days, I thought this would be an appropriate post for a wintry day and bring a little summer back into this snowy season. 

Boy Code: Promotional Stills!

December was a big film month for me, one of the projects being a short film titled Boy Code, directed by Christian LaMorte and starring Elijah Trichon. A story about the pains of growing up in a hyper-masculinized environment, Boy Code follows a young man through his last days of senior year at an all-boys Christian Academy, and reveals the pitfalls of trying to live up to his peers' expectations. It accurately portrays the pains of adolescence, but also explores the awkward nature of our first romantic encounters. 

I wanted to be a part of this film since I first heard it was in development, and am so glad I was able to contribute to a story I found so valuable and necessary. It not only shines a justifiably-harsh light oh the sex-obsessed, macho bubble young men grow up in, but it also brings into question why our culture has these unfortunate and detrimental societal standards in the first place. 

I was only able to be on set for one day of shooting, but I can't wait to see the finished product of what I truly believe will be a fantastic short film. 

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Elijah Trichon as William Coleman in Boy Code; © Alyssa Meadows

Six Windows: Behind The Scenes!

This past month held one of my favorite projects from the past year; working as a Unit Stills Photographer on the set of the web series Six Windows, directed by one of my wonderful friends, Brandon Taylor. Not only did I get to work with some of my favorite people again, but I also was fortunate enough to meet some fabulous new cast and crew members that were simply amazing to work with. We spent a whole week shooting 3 of the 6 episodes that will encompass the first season, and I can't wait to see the finished product. Not only was the cast absolutely solid in their acting abilities, but the amount of love and enthusiasm invested in this project by everyone involved was undeniable. Starring Ellyse Burnett, J.W. Harvey, Alyssa Kempinski, Michelle Jones, Lauren A. Kennedy, Gregory James Cohan, Zach Sciranka, and Carolyn Blair, this project is sure to reveal the challenges and growing pains of navigating New York City. 

Here are some of my favorite moments behind the scenes  of this fantastic production; I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Kensi + Tommy Anniversary!

I was so excited when one of my favorite couples called me and asked me if I would like to do their one-year anniversary photos! Needless to say, I immediately and enthusiastically said yes, as I couldn't wait to take their pictures again. They wanted to do a little twist with their 'family' photos however to include their two adorable fur-babies, Nala and Harley, which I couldn't have been more excited about. They were easily some of the most beautiful pups I'd ever photographed, well behaved too! I love working with Kensi and Tommy because of their big hearts and the personality they bring to our photoshoots, and the love they have for each other is readily apparent. I never have to wonder if the shoot will go well, and we're always guaranteed to have a lot of fun, which I think shows through in the photos without question. Happy anniversary you two, and here's to many more!

Halloweird: A Halloween Extravaganza!

This Halloween, I had the pleasure of photographing a fabulous party called Halloweird at the City Winery in Lower Manhattan, hosted by ML Presents. While the weather may have been a little cold and drizzly, that didn't stop attendees from coming out dressed to the nines in some of the most creative costumes I've ever seen. They also had a fabulous 80's tribute band called Jesse's Girl, which also plays every Saturday night at Le Poisson Rouge, and they most definitely rocked the house! Not only did they perform some awesome tunes, but they also pulled the crowd up on stage at the end of the night, making for some great photo opportunities. These are some of my favorites from the night, and looking forward to next year's!