Friday, January 29, 2010

The rewarding nature of some of photography.

Cody, kitted out.

Over time I've found photography to be a cruel, vile beast on one day and an amazingly rewarding job on the next. I try to be involved in the latter as possible (which helps keeps me humble and thrifty).

One way in which photography rewards me personally is on the shoots where you meet someone with an amazing heart and some magnetic charisma that just make you feel good about being alive. That happened to me in December when I went to Smyrna, Tennessee for Regions Bank to photograph an amazing high school senior named Cody who has a unique place on the football team.

You will like Cody. It's a non-negotiable. He will win you over by sheer force of will and you'll be buddies before you have time to think about how nice he is. He's is a tour de force of team spirit for his Smyrna High School football team and was recently honored by them for his outstanding service as a motivational coach. He gives all of himself to his team and his team surprised him recently by making him honorary captain and bringing him out for the coin toss, and even kitting him out in a proper uniform for the occasion. This may not sound out of the ordinary but it stands out here because Cody was born with cerebral palsy. You'd never know it to talk to him.

He's one of those classic cases of someone "overcoming" an obstacle with an indefatigably positivity and passion. Football and friends seem to be his life and he makes life sound Amazing.

Please read more about him at the See The Good blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



So in looking through Allison and Adam's wedding for a shot of her to post (to go with Adam, you see) I found this shot and I love it. I love simple.

Adam on his wedding day


Here's Adam.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

David and his veggie oil purification stuff.

david and his veggie oil contraption

David does really like a billion things and I feel like he's a human version of the game Katamari Damacy based on collecting awesome hobbies and skills.

One of these myriad occupations is his Veggie Oil collection and processing. He and a friend collect oil from all over the city and purify it and run it in their vehicles. This is a random portrait of him with some of the gear used in this process.

outtake of me

hey its me

Outtake of me for some Whiskerino shots. a bit of a lazy post, for sure. And late at that! Soon I'll be able to post some 8x10. I STILL HAVE FREAKING 5 SHEETS OF THAT CRAP TO DEVELOP.

So this is more or less what I look like right...Now.

Monday, January 18, 2010


really bad josh, courtesty of electric lion

So getting used to this new schedule is freaking me out a little. I'm so very used to posting every day.

Recently I took my first 8x10 photos. My [OLD and shitty] scanner will only do up to 4x5 transparencies so as of now I'm left without a decent way to reproduce / scan the images I made (and will make). The office Rob and I have been working on is now done, as is the darkroom he and Bob had been working soon I will have plausible access to making contact sheets of these admittedly massive negatives. The first real image of these is posted above. Real really isn't the proper word. This is a digital photo of the negative sitting on top of Bryan's light box. Really, really bad.


I actually under exposed this shot by around two stops, as well. I normally shoot HP5 in my 4x5 which is ISO 400 and the 8x10 I ordered is student grade (which, at 8x10, for me, is pretty unimportant) but it is ALSO only ISO 100. By habit I metered at 400 and out pops a grey masterpiece. There is a sheet I haven't run yet of Bob that I THOUGHT I totally blew out, but I think it'll end up being the closest to properly exposed in the end. So in the future, nerd noters, you'll likely see 8x10 contact sheets printed on VC paper (so I can filter them) and then scanned in their massive format glory.

Anyone wanna buy me an Epson v750? Please? I'll shoot a ton of stuff for you for free! I promise!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ready for SPRING!!

It is a warm day in Virginia Beach today. After weeks of 30 degree weather...(We are not use to that here). It is feeling like Spring. It wont last, but it also wont be much longer when the sun warms the ground and we start to see some little flowers reaching up.
I have been trying so hard to stay ahead on my holiday designs, and this year I am finally getting things done early. I just love making heart plush pins, rings and bunnies. So today I listed a bunch of them. Hope you enjoy them!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Valentine Plush Ring

I just love making things for Valentines Day!! Yesterday I started making some little plush heart shaped rings. I started with a felt heart which I added some flower trim to. I added sequins and pink glass seed beads. To top it off I added some pearl beads all around the heart. Fits any size!!
I just love making them!! I am making more today!!!! See them at my shop

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

year three /david\

electric lion /david\

This week on Whiskerino it is "your own theme" week and David's theme is "things I built with my bare hands". While on a location for his shots, I took this ridiculously wide angle photo.

Monday, January 11, 2010

3x5 Bill

electric lion three, bill

So here's Bill, the groom of a wedding I shot in DC back in December. 4x5 in slightly directional open shade during a snow storm. Wedding should post tomorrow. Lots of Lecia, little bit of 4x5.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Steph's dad's beard

Electric Lion x 3 / Steph's dad's beard = (4x5)^HP5

Steph's dad is doing whiskerino with us, just in an unofficial capacity. It is pretty brilliant.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Stephanie's parents

electric lion 3 stephs parents

I figure with a different format, I'll change up the title as well. No more "Day" this nor "Day" that.

Above are Stephanie's parents attempting to give a performance as awkward as their two daughters, below.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Year three.

(me, totally looking super hard into the future. to the max)

Holy crap.

Two years of this photo blog are done.


I'm sitting at my desk and really have no clue where to start in terms of talking about how I feel about 2009 or where I hope to go with 2010. I guess I'll just dig in...see what happens.

First, WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE. We can now say Twenty-ten, et cetera. Kevin will be sure to encourage you to call them the Twenty-tweens until we get to 2013, by the way.

But seriously. I'm 30 years old, live in a world filled with insane (and relatively nascent) technology, have information at my fingertips very literally at all times. We are steadily moving forward in gaining understanding of the universe and can take a gagillion megapixel image with our BRAIN*. And yet, despite these advancements and the state of digital photography, I continue to find my voice and vision with older and older cameras. It's pretty awesome actually. I really enjoy the fact that, in a world grasping desperately at anything to reach terminal velocity, I'm yanking on the emergency brake. Going slower on purpose. Taking time to try to make photographs instead of 48,000,000,000 digital snaps in 12 minutes and then sort through them all later only to realize none of them MEANT anything. I'd rather take one photo in 12 minutes and it have it convey a sense of meaning or emotion. Call me old fashioned.

*so not true.

In that light, I think I'm going to make some changes to how I approach things.

  • Element one: Format change. After two years and over 700 photographs posted more or less every day, I think I'm going to shift to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting regiment. I don't actually expect anyone to notice, but then I may underestimate the give-a-shit percentage of the 12 readers I have. Actually, it is weird to think about it like that as this blog started as a semi-covert persona project that turned into a place for people I know to see stuff I'm doing if they so desire. For a long time my name wasn't listed anywhere, even. Which leads to...

  • Element two: An eventual change of venue. Somewhere along the way I realized how much posting a billion images could be as a means of keeping people I want to WORK for up to date with what I'm SHOOTING. I am in the process of creating a new site for my photographs that will FINALLY be geared towards me pursuing work. It amazes me, truly, that for almost a decade I have worked as a photographer with no work really coming from any sort of advertising. So a new site is on the way and it will, when launched, host whatever Electric Lion becomes. For now, it'll stay here, but in the future, it'll have a new home, likley at

  • Element three: So with giving myself a bit of break with the posting of the images, I'm hoping to do a few things

    • Slow down my photography a bit. Take time to Really craft something I can be proud of.

    • Market myself, for fucks sake.

    • Emerse myself further into large format photograph. Specifically, 8x10. Hoping to borrow Jason's to some degree in order to get this ball rolling.

    • Live life a bit more. Read. Write. Spend time with Stephanie. Continue to lose weight. Et cetera.

  • Element four: And finally a change I'm pretty excited about. PHYSICAL RELOCATION OF MY OFFICE! My friend and fellow photographer Rob Culpepper and I are taking an office on the south side of town and I couldn't be more excited to remove myself from my home specifically to work nor to share space with a human being (A PHOTOGRAPHER EVEN!) again. We've now finished sanding the floors and apply polyurethane soon, and then we can paint and move in. I'll still be living downtown but will have a place to go to work. It has been a while since I've had either a destination or a cohort. 2010 is going to kick ass.

So yeah. Not so much goals as much as how things are going to change. I'm excited about trying to shoot 8x10. If I get REALLY ambitious, I also have a process camera that will expose up to 14x18 which actually sort of blows my mind. Gonna have to figure out how to hack that into something I can use.

As for photographs: Here are, in no real order, some of my favorite photographs I took this year, and why.

Just a wonderful moment. I was glad I could do Allison and the light some justice.

Pretty recent addition to EL but I like it because I feel like it was a triumph of sorts. I used lights, made a good photo (if tame) out of a semi-bad situation.

Went with my gut and like the outcome

el2_113 Damien Jurado
HOLY SHIT IT'S DAMIEN JURADO. This was fun and now I have a new friend.

It was also nice to meet and shoot Denison Witmer. In particular, I like this one because it was after daylight dropped and was lit very poorly but I was able to get a good shot...thanks to his ability to stay still DESPITE getting bit by a mosquito at the time of the image.

Yeah. Pretty people. Costa Rican rain forrest. Yeah.

Also speaks for itself.

One of my first tight, 4x5 portraits I was REALLY happy with.

A true darkhorse. It is an honest moment while shooting a family (the shot was for Bham Magazine and was 4x5. This was a digital outtake)




el2_139 Alan Barton in bike gear


I loved a lot more..but I've got to go to bed.

Happy new year, everyone.

Day 365


So. 2009 is done. 2010 is here.

This is Taylor Shaw and I'm ready for his new year!

2010 post to come.

2010 will Be a Great Year for all!!!

So glad to bring in the New Year. I hope all of you have had a safe Holiday!
I am so ready for Spring. We have had my father-in-law staying with us for the holidays. My daughter is lucky to have him here. I wish I had had more time with my grandparents. We don't think about how important our family ties are until we are older. Isn't that true?
We are blessed to have him with us this holiday season! But, I am already thinking of Valentine's day, love, and the beautiful warm Spring weather that is ahead here in Virginia Beach.
I have to say, I love the winter months at the Beach. No tourists, just quiet waves...just beautiful...but I am ready to plant flowers!!!
Here to help us celebrate the Spring are some wonderful plush pieces at my Etsy shop...come see!!