The second half of 2012 continued to be busy and eventful. Looking back on the year it has truly been a blessing to be able to have had all these amazing experiences work with so many great people and companies. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in store.
Nike continued to innovate and take excercising social with the Nike+ training and basketball launch. #gameonworld became the hashtag promoting the new technology incorporated within the footwear and in turn taking training to a new level. Held at the Montalban theatre a special event was held that showcased the new products that measures your achievements.
Skotch Davis is a hip-hop artist based out of NY and has been around for a minute. Looking to release his debut project soon we linked up at the Illest Downtown LA location to talk about what’s next for the rising star.
With all eyes on the Olympics and the next basketball Dream Team being assembled it was a blessing to be invited to the Nike World Basketball Festival in Washington D.C. The event had many facets revolving around the love of the sport of basketball. One memorable experience was visiting the remodeled Barry Farm Recreation Center for an exhibition match between Team Nike and Team Goodman League. The Goodman League is one of the top summer leagues in the nation and home of top NBA stars such as Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. Players that competed consisted of standout street ball, college and old NBA players such as “2 Hard 2 Guard”, “Baby Shaq”, and Boo Jackson.
Converse hosted a block party to celebrate the World Basketball Festival and give back to the community with special performances from The Dream and D.C’s own Stalley.
One of the highlights that will forever stand out was my experience at the Armory during the Nike World Basketball Festival when the members of Team USA took center stage for a practice session and scrimmage. With media access to the sidelines it was a surreal experience to see the best players in the world working together in unison on their way to winning the gold medal.
Nike hosted a dunk competition that took the art of dunking to a new level. Jus Fly won with an array of dazzling dunks including his under both legs dunk and his signature dunk of a front hand spring to grabbing the ball on the ground to in between the legs dunk.
Nike opened their 6th and Mill skatepark and invited us to join in the release of the latest Paul “PROD” Rodriguez signature shoe. Along with Nike teammate Theotis Beasley, Paul answered a few questions and gave a quick skate demo. These two guys are so talented and to see them in person both makes me miss skating and also realize how far ahead of the game they are.
Nike was the title sponsor for this year’s US Open of Surf in Huntington Beach, CA. The event lasts almost a full week and consists of everything from surfing to skating and more. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was a blast just hanging out and watching the competitions. It was a good break from the regular work life.
We traveled to Boston on our way to Maine for a family reunion and it was the first time in years that I’ve been to the city. We made the most of the couple days we were there doing some of the usual tourists things such as walking along the Freedom Trail. It’s a great city with so much culture along with amazing food. Highly recommend the lobster rolls from Neptune’s and also a must stop is the Bodega boutique (if you can find it.)
This was the first family reunion I’ve ever experienced and it was perfect. Anytime that you gather family members from across the nation in one place is good enough, but the addition of visiting the gorgeous state of Maine made this a trip of a lifetime. This part of the country is simply amazing and full of picturesque scenes and landscapes. I’ll be sure to come back to both take more photos and eat more lobster.
I visited a friend’s new shop RSTRADA that specializes in tuning Porsches and other high-end machinery. The space is the ultimate man cave.
We took a trip back to the east coast for a wedding in Brooklyn, but took a day to visit with relatives in Connecticut. They gave me a tour of where I grew up in the small towns of Wingdale and Dover Plains. It was quite the trip down memory lane as I haven’t been back here in over 25 years.
The traveling continued with my first trip to Montreal. NOS Energy Drink entered the MMA world with their sponsorship of the UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show and welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. I was on hand to work with MMA media to announce the partership.
Illest launched their first collab with Hasbro’s Transformers with the first collection. The much anticipated release saw hundreds of fans line-up to be the first with the exclusive apparel.
Auto Concierge, a boutique club for members with exotic rides held their launch event for their Los Angeles location. The event showcased a few hot hot and even a plane. I was asked to provide event images for the company to use for their marketing use.
And so the work began on the first project car of the year, a 2012 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. I wanted to keep the project under wraps until it debuted at SEMA within the Hyundai booth, but also wanted to showcase the partners products involved as well as tease the debut so I lined up the aftermarket parts and decided to shoot it an “essentials” style. Every time I work on a new project I am reminded how fortunate I am to have the great sponsors and clients that I have that make it all possible.
Toyo continued their campaign with MMA fighter and UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz. Unfortunately, Cruz is rehabbing for an injured knee and so we kept the photo shoot to a portrait style shoot with a few rounds of him punching the heavy bag. He is a great guy and I hope he recovers soon to defend his title.
Another wedding of the year took us to the beautiful Dominican Republic. It became a week of relaxation, food and plenty of rum.
This year I worked with a new client, Scosche Electronics to produce a project vehicle for their booth at SEMA. With a love for action sports they wanted to partner with a brand to showcase their lifestyle. I was able to work with Alpinestars to showoff their new global luggage collection and use the material for the interior upholstery of the vehicle. The car is definitely one of my favorite builds.
SEMA is always a crazy time of year and leading up to the week long tradeshow can be overwhelming, but it was all worth it when I surprisingly won the inaugural President Choice Award for the JP Edition Veloster Turbo. I am very honored to have this award for this car that had a lot of work done to it in very little time.
Sanctiond Car Care continue this launch year with a major announcement with the partnership with Snoop Dogg (Lion). I assisted to bring media members and influencers to the booth to see both founder Mister Cartoon and Snoop including members from DUB, RIDES and even MMA legend Rampage Jackson.
Nike celebrated 10 years of skateboarding with their “Made for Skate” exhibition at their 6th and Mill skate park. The event was great with a DJ performance from Atiba Jefferson and his brother, “The Blackouts” and with a classic display of skate kicks from the years. For being only in skating for 10 years they have helped bring the sport to the next level.
When my close friend Gene asked me to shoot his family again I was honored as I shot them before when little Harlow was only a baby. To see how quickly and fast kids grow-up it has made me realize the importance of photography and holding on to these memories. This was possibly my favorite image of the entire year.
The motorsports world met the electronic music world when Nitto Tires signed Steve Aoki. A small and intimate group was invited to see Aoki learn to drift for the first time. Formula DRIFT pro’s helped get the superstar DJ going sideways in a car.
Each year I make sure to attend the annual Los Angeles Auto Show during their press days to see what the next year has to offer in vehicles. There is definitely some hot cars that will come out soon, but the vehicle that caught my eye the most was a full competition race car – the Bentley GT3 that made its debut.
Following the press day RECARO held a special event that invited journalists, industry VIPs and a few influencers to gather to see a collection of cars (including the JP Edition Veloster), watch the premiere of the ID Agency’s Devil’s Playground video and see the famous Mitsubishi EVO that crashed at Pikes Peak (or at least what was left of it) in person. Guests included a who’s who of drivers and friends from Ken Block, Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr, Tommy Kendall and Dai Yoshihara.
With an all-star line-up I couldn’t resist the invitation to check out the screening for Gangster Squad. The movie was great and the after-party hosted by SA Studios was the perfect way to end the evening.
It’s always heartwarming to be with a family for their first newborn. When asked to photograph these events my goal is to find the genuine moments that really capture the feeling.
A new client for the year was iZZi Gadgets and I helped with their launch event at the Crewest Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. A collection of iPhone photos using the iZZi Gadgets were put on display featuring work by skate photographer Atiba Jefferson, Willie T, Yuri Hasegawa, ManOne and pro skater Arto Saari. Arto is not only an amazing skater, but fantastic photographer.
With the holidays quickly approaching it becomes photo season for holiday cards. This image was one of favorites as it shows little Luke with his sister twirling in the background. This was especially rewarding considering that Luke couldn’t sit still for more than a few seconds unless he had Pinkberry.
The third project vehicle for the year went underway. This time around it was with a Toyota FJ Cruiser for Scosche. It became hectic towards the end to get it ready for the CES show in Vegas, but came together nicely. I’ll have to wait a week to post the final images and shots from the Scosche booth at CES. Stay tuned…trust me it is worth the wait.
Ducati invited me to photograph their press conference and activation at the International Motorcycle Show held in Long Beach. With MotoGP star Nicki Hayden in attendance and a collection of fine bikes, Ducati had one of the best displays of the show.
Maternity photos have become popular in the last few years. Not having done many I was excited to try a few shots using props to symbolize the newborn. Mike and Katie kept all their original ultrasound images and we hung them by a string and clothespins across the small bridge for this shot.
After the last maternity shoot I found that I like to use props and when Mary and Anthony showed me what they brought it was perfect. Mary’s little “Lambie” is due any day now and I’m excited to meet the little guy.
Continuing with their newly formed partnership and to celebrate the season finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” NOS flew in Georges St. Pierre for a special interview on FOX. I was on hand to assist with the media interviews and customer activation for NOS.
My nephew’s first Christmas. It was only fitting that I started the year with his birth and end with him. Thanks 2012 it’s been real. 2013 let’s do this!