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MIR Magazine Looks at Portland

Got to spend a few days with the wonderful Pete Brook who writes quite thoughtfully about Prison Photography and photography in general for Wired Magazine.  He acted as the Portland tour guide for the Russian travel and lifestyle magazine, AFISHA-MIR (mir means freedom, also the same name as their space station, get it?) while I documented the trip.  The theme was "above and below ground," so clever that Peter Brook.  So we traipsed about, taking lots of instagrams of each other and the lovely writer too.  Our adventures included the Japanese Gardens, Frank's Noodle House, Voodoo Doughnuts (no line!), Tasty and Sons, Biwa, the Burnside skatepark (where for once, no one tried to beat me up), The Fresh Pot, the Portland Museum of Modern Art, the Portland Aerial Tram, Powell's Books, Noble Rot, Departure Restaurant and Lounge and the unforeseen highlight, Pioneer Courthouse.Whew, now I need a nap.

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Feature Shoot State Fair Group Show

Feature Shoot, the fab photo website that showcases photography from all over the world just posted the winners of their State Fair Group Show.  And who just happened to win a one-year subscription to Squarespace? That's right, moi.The photos were for a project I did a few years ago for 1859 Magazine about, you guessed it, Fairs.  Over the course of July and August I hit the Oregon Country Fair, the Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo and the Oregon State Fair, all weird and wonderful in their own way.  It was a hell of a summer and the magazine asked be to write the text to accompany the essay, which after some arm-twisting, I did.

Oregon Fair Nostalgia

"Nothing says summer like the classic american fair. Nostalgia pervades the air with the smell of dust and cotton candy. last july and august, I road-tripped down the state, documenting fairs along the way, trying to hold on to summer for an eternity.

My first stop was Veneta, home of the Oregon Country Fair. Now in its forty-fourth year, this fair is more spiritual journey than 4-H and is set in woods along the banks of the long tom River. Highlights include handcrafted wares, live music around every corner and hippie culture on shameless parade.

Next, to Canby for the Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo, where the focus is small-town america, livestock, cowboys and blue ribbons. Here rodeo queens are royalty, and rooster crowing is a prize-winning endeavor.

My tour wouldn't have been complete without a trip to the Oregon state Fair in salem. think steel mechanical rides covered in neon, fried foods and life-sized stuffed animals.

These transient worlds give us a chance to be a kid again. screaming in the air as we ride the Kamikaze, working caramel corn out of our teeth or dancing in our bare feet as local bands wail. For who can be anything but nine years old as you head home at the end of the day—sleepy, face sticky and sunburned?

In the end, the summer fair is a mirage of community emerging from thin air to embrace a few days of revelry and celebration that returns to its nostalgic nothingness when the lights go out."

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The Comfort of Acceptance - Life with Asperger's

Vision Project has been lovely enough to feature my multimedia project about Anna Bauer and Asperger's Syndrome (now officially called Autism Spectrum Disorder), titled, "The Comfort of Acceptance."  This is part of a multi-year, multi-person project I did examining diversity across the spectrum, called, "A Different Kind of Normal," which you can check out here.  It was made possible by a RACC grant and by Street Roots.Leah NASH-ComfortOfAcceptance

Alpaca Fever - Latin Magazine

I will go on record as saying that alpacas are adorable.  They look like llamas, walk like camels and act like cats, curious and lovable, but not necessarily affectionate.  Now the reason I have such first hand alpaca knowledge is because The Latin School of Chicago, a co-educational independent day school for students in k through twelve, recently hired me to shoot a profile and the cover for their Alumni magazine.  The man of the hour was '59 alum Barry Bolewicz, who raises Alpacas and sheep at his EasyGo Farm in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Barry and I had a great time tromping through the fields as I snapped away and asked endless alpaca-related questions.

Me: "How long have you raised them?" "Have you ever eaten one? What do they taste like." "What do you use them for?" "There are alpaca shows? That is crazy."

Barry: "More than 20 years." "Yes. Gamey chicken." "To stud, for fleece, and to show." "Yes." "No."

Photographing the alpacas reminded me a bit of dating.  If I ignored them, they would look at me with great interest and immeasurable cuteness.  But as soon as I would get near them or try to approach, they got skittish.  Probably worried that I was about to press for a LTR.

But luckily all of us were able to work out our commitment issues, the weather held, Barry smiled (eventually) and I spent the day surrounded by adorableness.

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Willamette Week Bar Guide - 2 Covers in 1

Willamette Week asked me to shoot not one, but two covers for their 2013 Bar Guide issue, and several billion bars around town (ok, I exaggerate...). Needless to say, it was a blurry week.Victory Bar was the place to beat this year, christened Bar of the Year. I dig Victory, and their laid back, easy drinking feel, but runner up, Hale Pele has a special place in my heart (and the cover). Maybe it is the thunder, rain and smoke that randoms emits from the walls, or that fact that it is located in a strip mall next to a nail salon. However, if you are looking for a place to take your Dad (if your Dad had his Kerouac phase) then I recommend runner up #2, the Blue Diamond, where folks from age 22 to 72 can be found shaking what their momma gave 'em.

Other bars to add to your list of places to get tastefully drunk at are: BarwaresMoonshineBar Dobre (booze and kielbasa!), Free HouseThe TanneryThe RookerySauvage and Velo (get your bike fixed while drinking beer, brilliant).  It is an amazing thing, this town's propensity to birth bars like Kate Gosselin.

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Astoria...all the cool kids are doing it.

I love Astoria...I really do.  This is REALLY where hipsters go to retire, or at least this is where they go to open up cool restaurants and breweries and coffee shops and vintage stores where you can furnish your très cool 1910 Craftsman Bungalow.  And did I mention it is where the film, The Goonies, was shot.  I mean, really.  The New York Times apparently also agrees, such a smart group of folks.  I would worry that this place is gonna get way overrun with tourists, but the often, uh...wet weather takes care of that, with sunny days making you wonder if you've done something good in a past life.Astoria140 Astoria032 Astoria095 Astoria081 Astoria105 Astoria128 Astoria133 Astoria151 Astoria056