With just 10 stools and a rented kitchen, Will Preisch presents a pop-up vision of high-end eating: casual, personal, and thrilling. Want to make it to one of these amazing feasts? Called holdfast dinners, Will describes them as such, "holdfast is a “pop-up” restaurant operating out of kitchencru, a commissary kitchen and culinary incubator in nw portland. holdfast is a refined dining concept - not refinement in the sense of luxury - just pared down to what we consider to be the essentials of a wonderful meal; great food and drink, with excellent and unobtrusive service in a casual atmosphere. this is our opportunity to cook and feed people outside of the trappings of a traditional restaurant. clean. thoughtful. primitive. modern." Looked pretty delightful to me, and Portland Monthly.
A funny sort of twist of fate that I ended up on two section fronts for the Sunday New York Times last week. One was the Travel Cover, which ran a story I shot last year about backcountry skiing in Oregon. This involved me learning to backcountry on the job, while attempting not to kill my cameras (this is a mission I failed). Huge thanks to Three Sisters Backcountry for ensuring I didn't die.The second was for Sunday Business, a profile of intel's director of user experience research, Dr. Genevieve Bell. Not everyday you get to a bond with a robot and roam the halls of Intel.
Two very different projects, both ones that pushed me as a photographer. Which is what I love about working for The Grey Lady. Plus, I'm not gonna lie, seeing your pictures printed huge is kinda cool too.
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: Barwares, Moonshine, Bar Dobre (booze and kielbasa!), Free House, The Tannery, The Rookery, Sauvage 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.
Mark Scott, professional skateboarder and owner of Dreamland Skateparks, stood still long enough (1/250th of a second) for me to take his picture. 1859 Magazine's Into the Soul profile. Mark was a good sport, performing tricks for me over and over again, while still managing to keep a pencil tucked behind his ear. He also managed not to laugh outright as I slide up and down the sides of the skate park, trying not to kill myself with my lights. Was feeling rather proud of myself until I realized when I got home that I had sacrificed a sandbag to the skatepark gods of Lincoln City. D'oh.
Artist Chris Johanson posed at home for me, and the New York Times. Chris is low key but is making big waves with a monograph out this year on his work out from Phaidon. Such an interesting guy, sweet, quirky, with a knack for saying things unlike anyone I'd ever heard. Example. Instead of saying, "Should I smile?" he says, "I'm feeling happiness now, would you like me to show it?" Perfect.His home was crammed with art (a man after my own) most of which he had swapped with his fellow countrymen, all of which had a story. Spent about 45 minutes with him and then an extra 30 with that cookie cutter, figuring out the best way to shoot the damn thing (note: kitchen background most successful). When I finished and am out the door, Chris peeks his head out of his front door and says, "You have a nice way about you. I had fun."
Both Feature Shoot and Hunger.TV recently featured a profile of some work I did about AIDs in India. Done for my Master's Project and supported by a Fulbright Grant, I lived in India for six months, documenting their epidemic and drinking heavily. It was a topic I feel fortunate to have brought to life, in however small a way, but it was often hard to sleep at night. And that's probably enough about that, read the interview for more.If you don't know, Feature Shoot is a great place to see new and fresh work and if you ask, they will deliver it all quite tidily to your inbox everyday. HungerTV is this edgy British web site and magazine that had the brillant idea of combining Art & Culture, Fashion, Music, Film and most importantly, photography....but not just celeb or fashion photography. They have a whole section devoted to documentary work, which features not only upstarts like myself, but also Martin Parr, and Magnum photographer Rene Burri. Not a bad crowd to run with.
Pulled out all of the stops and all of the speed lights (well, all four) to light a portrait of Eleek co-owner Sattie Clark for Oregon Business Magazine.Sattie was gracious and fun and Eleek is a pretty amazing green company and is considered a pioneer in the design and manufacture of energy-efficient lighting. While I was there the place was humming as they worked on a huge project to recreate lighting fixtures for Seattle’s 1906 King Street train station, based solely on historic photos. The monumental fixtures differ from the originals only in their durability and that LEDs are replacing gaslight. Eric Kaster, her hubby and co-owner took a brief moment from production to pose for a few pics as well.
Plus no toxic substances are used in manufacturing, and local scrap metal and other recycled materials are first choices, as well as products that come from sustainable businesses and from within a 50-mile radius, in order to help reduce their carbon footprint. I also found out that Eleek hires from the neighborhood, pays full benefits, offers flexible scheduling and pays bonuses to employees who walk, bike or bus to work.
All things that add up to an amazingly cool and progressive Portland business. Oh, and did I mention that Sattie and Eric met while both performing at Berbati's Pan some years ago? Yep, I know. It's like the perfect Portland love story.
Back in January NPR asked me to drive up to Longview, Washington to photograph Maria Peyer, Mike Bixby and their family for a story about interfaith couples with the lovely print and radio journalist, Deena Prichep. They were such a wonderful and thoughtful family, makes you realize you don't have to have the same type of relationship with God (or even one at all) to love and respect each other. (Listen to the story here)