Sometimes you have to take a look back in order to move forward. 2011 was an incredible year. My post last year took almost a month (off and on) to complete. This time around has been no different trying to balance actual work with personal projects, while maintaining a social life can be challenging. 2011 was a year of travel and exploration. I’ve done my best to narrow down the photos to one image per event (in some cases 2 or 3) to highlight the year’s events and experiences.
As always I’m looking forward to documenting another year and seeing what lies ahead, but for now enjoy the journey that was 2011.
Fatlace opened up a new store location in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. Being part of the Fatlace family, I was very excited to have them come down to So. Cal. The grand opening featured a performance from one of my favorite artists Del tha Funkee Homosapien. I particularly liked this shot as it framed the crowd in attendance along with Del.
DUB magazine wanted to feature the Project Lincoln MKX we built for the previous SEMA tradeshow. For the cover shot notable LA photographer Estevan Oriol shot the vehicle with designer James Bond of UNDFTD. I backed up him up on the shoot and a few of my images were selected for the article. Great experience working with a photographer as established as Oriol.
I was selected to be a Lipton BRISK Influencer and take part in a summit in New York. This was a fantastic trip as I was able to celebrate my birthday in New York with a few close friends as well along with the once in a lifetime experiences on the trip. From bowling with actor Danny Trejo, hiking through Central Park for my first time, to partying at the Ace Hotel with Q-tip (A Tribe Called Quest) as the DJ.
I was part of the “Lean In” project with Puma and Ducati that featured a few Ducati owners speaking about who they are and why they love to ride. The project took me across the country to meet these unique individuals and hear their stories. The first video we filmed was a friend of mine, Eric Hseuh, the founder of Livery Design Gruppe.
After building the 2011 Scion TC I was able to partner with Incipio Technologies to design a custom iPhone 4 case. The case took inspiration from the livery of the build and about 50 were made and given out to select friends, industry and media. It was a great first collaboration to be a part of and I look forward to more in the future.
The Project Lincoln MKX received plenty of attention and after seeing the car in person. Travis Barker, drummer of Blink 182, wanted to have his Escalade wrapped. We documented the project for Wraptivo and I was able to grab a couple quick shots of the musician in front of his vehicle.
A close friend since high school asked me to shoot his wedding engagement photos. Of course I couldn’t say no (I was also his best man). We selected a beach location in Orange County and couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful sunset. The happy couple got married a few months later.
Another one of my close friends asked me to take their family portraits. I happily obliged and we selected the perfect location in Orange County that reflected the family’s fashionable and youthful spirit. This was one of my favorite photos from the shoot showing a very photogenic Harlow, while Mom and Dad stood by her side.
Continuing with the promotion of the ID Agency Lincoln MKX project vehicle I was invited to check out the shoot that James’ from UNDFTD was directing for his new collection for the Adidas David Beckham collection. It was a good experience to see the crew in action and see the final look book later.
The annual TED convention returned to Long Beach and one of the favorite photographer / artist JR was awarded the 2011 TED Prize. As part of the project he showcased a gallery next door to my place so I was able to check it out. It was very inspiring to see how much his work effected people and made a statement.
As part of the “Lean In” project with Puma and Ducati, I was introduced to Raymond Roker. Roker founded URB magazine and has lead a very interesting life to say the least. As a creative director, DJ and graffiti artist he has traveled the world and done some incredible things. This photo was captured in Los Angeles where he was showing a wall where some of his graf work used to be.
The “Lean In” project brought us to the South East and we visited Army Captain, family man and part-time racer, Andrew Sidwell. Sidwell is a very inspiring individual as he served our country, races for fun and still makes time for his family. We followed him into Roebling Road race track in Georgia, where we witnessed him win both of his races that day.
We continued the “Lean In” project by visiting the only female master technician for Ducati in the US, Hannah Johnson. Hannah is a very unique and talented person. She invited us to join her at her shop, at her day job at Ducati Miami and at a Ducati meet. Her life involves bikes and she does what she loves to do.
Each year I look forward to the Long Beach Grand Prix. Living in Downtown Long Beach has its perks and this is one of them. Having worked with both Formula DRIFT and the LBGP for the past few years also has its perks. During the practice during media day for the Toyota Celebrity Race I was able to match up Formula DRIFT driver Ken Gushi with MMA veteran Tito Ortiz in the classic stare down. Tito ended up crashing out in the race, while Ken beat out all of the other pro drivers.
Street art was recognized at MOCA’s “Art in the Streets” exhibit. Featuring notable artists such as KAWS, Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Mister Cartoon, Retna and more. This was by far one of my favorite art showcases I’ve ever seen. I was fortunate to receive an invite to attend the opening night of the exhibit and shoot a few photos of the displays.
Formula DRIFT Driver, Tony Angelo, was featured in “Lean In” as we followed him through the streets of Brooklyn, NY. After debating who has the best “slice” of pizza in the city and having dinner at one of his local hangouts we filmed him at his apartment’s balcony that overlooks the Williamsburg Bridge.
The most unique and interesting character I was able to meet on the “Lean In” project by far was Duncan Quinn. Quinn is a bespoke fashion designer from the UK and opened up about his upbringings and inspirations behind his collections. We filmed him at his boutique in SOHO and followed him through the streets of NY as he road his Ducati with a red and white striped helmet wearing a 3-piece suit.
Sometimes you need to make the most of your trips. On this second trip to New York for the year I was able to attend the New York Auto Show. The show unveiled a host of new vehicles including the debut of the Scion FR-S. We hosted a media junket for Signature Car Collection and took journalists on a tour of the city in an impressive fleet of exotics, supercars and luxury vehicles. Seeing the city from the passenger seat of a drop top convertible is simply amazing.
I tested out the new Lexus CT200H for a feature on Fatlace.com. To truly test the vehicle’s gas saving performance as well as get a feel for the new car a road trip was in order. Traveling to Needles, CA for a weekend at the river the CT200H was the perfect car for the trip. I found an old train station to take a few shots of the golden colored Lexus against the old red paint of the train, which created a nice contrast with the fading sun in the background.
The conclusion of the “Lean In” campaign was filmed at a loft in Hollywood of the lead singer of the band the Bravery. The band sat down to talk about their music, traveling and of course the thrill of riding. The overall project turned out to be a huge success and great experience. The video campaign received plenty of attention as well as the trailer was used for a commercial on Fuel TV. I look forward to doing more of this type of work in the future.
I took a quick trip to Seattle for a work meeting, which I extended through the weekend. It was a relaxing and much needed trip which involved a lot of walking, sightseeing and eating. We had the chance to visit the EMP (Experience Music Project) and checked out the various exhibits from Jimi Hendrix, Battlestar Gallactica and the new Nirvana gallery. This was a snapshot of a photo that stood out to me and showcased the relaxed and rebellious nature of the band.
One major accomplishment in one’s life is graduating from college. So when my friend’s asked me to bring my camera along to their sister’s graduation from USC, I didn’t hesitate to snap shots through the evening. It was the perfect celebration at the J Lounge in Downtown LA.
After traveling much of the first part of the year. A much needed and relaxing break was in order. But knowing me I took the time to travel on a camping trip to Lake Powell and Zion National Park. Taking the ID Agency Lincoln MKX made the trip much easier and comfortable. I haven’t posted these photos before (computer issues) so here for the first time is my rendition of Peter Lik’s famous “Ghost” taken in the same caves in the Antelope Canyon. Traveling with a couple photography friends made this a little easier to navigate through and know how to work the now popular tourist destination. Timing is key to get the right amount of sunlight to peek through.
During the second part of this camping adventure to Arizona we visited the famous Horseshoe Bend near Lake Powell, AZ. While we waited for sunset and fought the high wind, which caused sand to fly everywhere (not the best scenario for photography – or to wear shorts for that matter) I turned the camera on Danielle as she picked out her spot to wait for the sun to set. The second image is what I shot afterwards…not entirely happy with the results, but best I could do given the conditions and without exposing my equipment to the elements.
On the way back from Lake Powell we stopped for the evening at Zion National Park in Utah. This beautiful and scenic park had gorgeous landscapes and great trails for hiking, which I was reminded quickly how much a carbon fiber tripod would of been appreciated. I was able to experiment in the evening with long exposures and the above image is the result.
Part 2 of the Year in Photos to come soon.