Exploring Hood River Valley's Cider Scene for Travel Oregon - Oregon Travel Photography

Summer is officially here and that means the season of the road trip is upon us. An easy, one-day adventure along the Hood River Fruit Loophitting all the cider houses along the way is a great way to keep your out of town guests feeling warm, fruity and boozy.  More details can be found at Travel Oregon.  The not so short list includes: The Gorge White House , Fox-Tail CiderHood Valley Hard CiderOVINO Wine and Hard Cider and Brian's Pourhouse. Who knew there was so much cider to be had?  Don't forget to hit the backyard of Solera Brewery in Parkdale, for some amazing views of Mount Hood.

EatingWell Editorial Photo Story on Tumbleweed Farm

Spent a down and dirty day at Tumbleweed Farm, which is owned and operated by Andrea and Taylor Bemis for EatingWell Magazine.  Their produce is quite literally hand picked with love for their CSA, local farmers markets and restaurants.  Plus Andrea has the most fabulous blog called Dishing Up the Dirt where she pairs beautiful food photography with some mouth watering recipes that seem simple enough for even me to attempt.  Mornings start early on the farm and we were there at 6:30 am, staggering about and looking for coffee. For the Bemis clan it was just a typical day and they treated us like family, plying us with the much needed caffeine, home baked bread and farm tales. Thanks guys, can we come to dinner sometime? Just asking....

Travel Photography: Taste of Summer Cover and Feature for National Geographic Traveler

So when the photo editor of National Geographic Traveler calls you up and asks if you want to spend a few days down in the Foodie-est place on earth, Sonoma, California, for an upcoming story and COVER about the holy trinity (that would be cheese, pork and olive oil), what can one do but put the phone on mute while you scream, and then unmute and very calmly say, "why not?" as if this were nuthin' but a 'G' thang. 

And so you go, and are embraced by Sonoma, the people (who can't stop smiling), the food (which is always organic and amazing...even if salsa does cost $8), and the weather (which is jacket optional even in November).  You stop at Barndiva, a restaurant where the herbs are picked out back, you take part in a cheese and wine pairing at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens, you pet baby goats and see cheese wheels as big as your head at the family run Achadinha Cheese Company, you sample pie and ice cream at Chile Pies Baking Co., then wander the hills with free range heirloom pigs at Front Porch Farm and Acorn Ranch and finally drive like hell to hit a 360 degree sunset at Jordan Vineyard's Vista Point  And that is just day one.

So it goes on, a blur of sunrises and sunsets and shutter clicks. Just when you think you have to rest you attend a party at DaVero Farms & Winery, where almost everything on the menu has come from less than a mile away. You sit at a table with a group of newly made friends, under a circle of willow trees, drinking wine with the winemaker, and think how you tightly you want to hold on to this moment.  But then you think, "Crap, I better get up and make some photographs." And so you do.

Washington Post - Building a Better Bee

Had the absolute pleasure to spend the day with badass Beekeeper Henry Storch in Corvallis, OR for the Washington Post. The scary part of this story is that new research shows bees continue to die at unacceptable rates. And their range is shrinking as they fail to migrate northward during warmer weather, suggesting things could get worse as global warming progresses.  Over the past decade, billions of bees have been lost to colony collapse disorder, an umbrella term for factors thought to be killing honeybees in droves and threatening the nation’s food supply. Amid the die-off, beekeepers have begun to use creative measures to save both their bees and their livelihoods.

And here is where Henry comes in. Using animal husbandry, or what he calls “cowboy science,” he raises his own queens and works to accelerate natural selection to increase honey production and disease resistance. Storch’s mountain-bred “survivor” bees are like open-range cows: tough, and hardened.  These new bees are a result of crossbreeding feral colonies with his own personal stock.  While we were there, Henry retrieved a colony from a dead tree, not even blinking when he got stung.  I was not so lucky, ending up swollen for a week afterward. 

The good news is these efforts may finally be paying off. New data from the Agriculture Department show the number of managed honeybee colonies is on the rise, climbing to 2.7 million nationally in 2014, the highest in 20 years. Earlier this year, Storch separated five breeder queens from his survivor colonies and gave them to beekeepers in California. He hopes the bees, bred deep in Oregon’s thickly forested bear country, might be a first step toward saving bees around the world.

Want to see more of Henry and his bees?  Check out the Washington Post image gallery here.

NashCO gets in bed with Nina Freeman for Game Informer Magazine

Always love working with Game Informer Magazine because photographing game designers just begs for a little edge. So when they reached out to us about about photographing Nina Freeman, the first thing I thought was, "Hell yeah, a gal with pink hair.  Then I checked out her game Cibele and got even more enamored.  The description goes like this: 

Cibele is a game based on a true story about love, sex, and the internet. You play as a 19 year old girl who has become close with a young man she met in an online game. Her relationship with him heats up, becoming more and more intimate with each phone call and private chat.  

And Nina didn't disappoint (even though now the hair is blue).  Got to rummage through her humongous wardrobe (and settled on aFrozen dress!) and her even more humongous collection of stuffed animals and Japanese plushies, which there was no way I wasn't using in the photo shoot.  Thanks for letting me channel my inner Sailor Moon, Nina, you rock.

 Nina Freeman, creator of Cibele, a computer game that explores an internet relationship. Photographed for Game Informer Magazine.

Portraits of Steve Grove for The Guardian

Oh, The Guardian.  It's not every day that you get asked to do a story about someone stabbing themselves in the chest.  Finding out he was a commercial fisherman and that it was an accident made it all a little less gruesome.  Then add to the fact that afore-mention stabber and victim Steve Grove is incredibly good-looking, humble, and has a photogenic dog, and suddenly, bam.  The sun comes outs, the wound has since healed, and all is right with the world.

WW Double Cover Action: Big Burgers and Little Boogers

Banged out a few covers for Willamette Week, our sassy, local alternative newsweekly that has actually won a Pulitzer.  Photographing burgers and children is actually quite similar.  Do all your lighting and prep work first, warm them up, and then try not to fuss with them too much.  Oh, and have a backup, just in case. So want to know where to get Portland's most iconic dishes or where to knock back a few with your kids in tow?  Or course you do.

Playing Around on The Job for Education Week - Environmental Portrait Photography

Pretty proud to have a hand in the photography and video for Education Week's2016 Leaders to Learn from special section. The section is highlighting the work done by Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Webb and his Chief of Staff Tom Hagley Jr. for their work for and leadership in developing Family-Community Resource Centers throughout the Vancouver district.  These FCRC's are pretty magical places where kids can get snacks or coats or just get in from the cold.  They also have parenting classes and food pantries.  I dare you to watch the video and not fall under the spell of Dr. Webb for his honesty and energy.  Plus, you've got to love grown men who will play on the swings.

 On Tuesday, January 5th, 2016  Superintendent for Vancouver Public Schools Dr. Steve Webb (rt) and Chief of Staff Tom Hagley Jr. (lt) pose for a photo at Fruit Valley Elementary School in Vancouver, WA. NashCO Photo for Education Week.

More Eat'n and Drink'n on the Willamette Week's Dime - Authentic Portland Food

I love shooting food and drink for the various Willamette Week Guides, gives me a chance to see what is up and coming in PDX and what to order.  Recent meal/photoshoots include Toro BravoAviarySmallWaresOXThe Knock BackBamboo Sushi, and Kachka.  Seems like Crispy pig earHerring under a Fur CoatCoppa SteakFried Kale, and Clam Chowder with Bone Marrow are on the menu. Mangia, Mangia!

Editorial Portrait Photoshoot for AARP Oregon

Always a pleasure to create environmental  portraiture for AARP.  They always do such a great job covering some pretty important issues for those over 50, and it is great to hang out with people that have so much life history to share.  

Over the last year we did a myriad of stories for them, including a story about how many older adults who were laid off during the recession were caught in limbo until their Medicare kicked in. Kathleen McCann, who we photographed in her amazing forest of a backyard says that without Medi­caid to close Medicare gaps, she would be overwhelmed by hospital, doctor and prescription drug bills.  

Then we shot RCA Moore for a story about family caregivers and how a new law called the CARE Act is being put in place to help keep them informed and involved. RCA was a caregiver for his wife but said he often didn't know how to help her.  

Next was Debi Friedlander and how she sometimes experiences food insecurity. Debi, a photographer herself, was a fantastic subject and her husband even lent us the light to put inside the fridge for the photoshoot, now that is teamwork.   

Finally is Kathy Goeddel, who has volunteered for over 30 years at Tax Aide, created in 1968 to helps seniors and low- to moderate-income individuals file their income taxes so they don’t miss a single deduction or credit. I sat in on one of her classes, and wouldn't have wanted to try an do it on my own!

Thanks to all these folks who shared a glimpse of their worlds with us.