Monthly Archives: November 2014

10666175_323175974550854_1906251297_n

It’s World AIDS Day tomorrow!

The cause is amazing and we may actually see an AIDS FREE GENERATION in our lifetime.

When people buy the (RED) content in the app @Over 100% goes to the fight against AIDS!

ARE YOU IN?

WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

HAVE TWO SECONDS TO HELP?

Go (RED) using @Over and join the fight for an AIDS FREE GENERATION with @RED #AppsforRED.

Please consider joining the fight. Help spread the word and use your social equity and donation to eradicate this horrible disease once and for all.

A thought…”History will judge us on how he responded to the AIDS crisis in Africa… whether we stood around with the watering cans and watched while the whole continent burst into flames…or not!” —Bono. Lead singer U2 and co-founder (RED)

10809720_396020180548833_1388797862_n

It is often recited in self-help circles “to always move forward and never look back.” Although I understand this philosophies intent, I believe that reflecting on past experiences can provide great insights and growth.

While on Bantaya Island one year ago after typhoon #Yolanda hit, I constantly heard the loud buzz of chainsaws, machetes and hand saws cutting all of the destroyed coconut trees.

This boy who was not much older then my own son was responsible for spraying oil on the moving chainsaws to keep them from over-heating. Dangerous, hot and work that a seemed to age him as I watched.

I could not image how it must have felt to loose everything and yet have no choice but to start rebuilding from the devastation that was left behind.

#oneyearagoyolanda

10747818_1553076728263135_954144493_n

One year ago today, I spontaneously flew to be he Phillipines to help those devastated by the worst recorded typhoon in history! #Yolanda.

Although I was totally unsure how I would respond or what I would see, I felt “driven” to go.

While I was there, I would distribute every remaining solar light we had in the @wattsoflove offices. It wasn’t much compared to the enormous need but, it was everything we had on our shelves from our little new non-profit.

To honor all of the amazing people I encountered and worked with, I would like to share some of my thoughts and photos one year later.

The greatest things that stuck me about the Filipino people was that they were very humble yet also very, very proud!

When I asked to take this man’s picture, he insisted on gathering his entire family and to be “seen” as though he was currently rebuilding his devastated home. He insisted on being represented as resilient, strong and taking action.

Although I was very nervous about him grabbing that beam with his family so close, he would NOT be be seen standing still or passive.

I completely admired and understood his intentions!

#oneyearagoyolanda

10808906_347954135386064_697175692_n

A new beginning or The End?

10802665_465017733636727_834487242_n

Mountains are meant to be summited. Rules are meant to be broken. Records will always be surpassed. And some faces were MADE to be photographed. This is one of those faces!

Thanks Danny it was an honor to photograph you. @mybodycomplex. Outtake from @caffeinatedclub shooting.

10784801_765623416842999_703220559_n

For years women have been fighting in wars and conflict.

Although the US ban on women fighting in combat was only lifted 1994, throughout history other nations have allowed women to fight alongside men for of years.

Nearly 800,000 women served in the Soviet Armed forces during WW2.

The Soviet Union deployed women snipers extensively and to great effect. The Soviets found that sniper duties fit women well, since good snipers are patient, deliberate, have a high level of aerobic conditioning and avoid hand to hand combat.

This women I photographed at WW2 days represents Ukrainian Lyudmila Pavlichenko who is believed to have killed over 300 German soldiers.

In my last post I failed to mention all the women that have suffered and served to defend our current freedoms. I post this image now, to honor all the women that served to protect us.

1538454_734953246571700_1384319607_n

As the final minutes of Veterans Day draws to an end and I have watched my last Veterans Day tribute, I can’t help and think about how many veterans faces their biggest ‘demons’ while sleeping.

One of my former co-workers ‘Smoker’ who proudly served in Vietnam used to tell me all the time how his greatest fear in life was his walk to his bed to begin the process of sleeping.

At night ‘I see all the faces again and relive what I try and forget’. Smoker was a Special Forces ‘tunnel rat’. From the few things he shared with me, it was obvious that he had seen and encountered things that no man should ever experience.

To anyone who has ever served in combat, I wish you a peaceful, and uninterrupted sleep tonight.

Thank for providing me and my family the ability to sleep safely in our beds. Our words of gratitude and thanks will never be enough for the price you were willing to pay for the freedoms we enjoy!

10808883_377215632441636_1848524917_n

They say there is always two sides to every story.

This is @balanced_babe. She is a professional model and found it very difficult watching other professional models who had extremely unhealthy eating habits and low self-esteem.

Beauty on the outside however they did not see themselves as beautiful on the inside.

Motivated by this problem, Sarah took action and created a company that teaches proper nutrition and its benefits.

I wanted this ‘out take’ photo I took of her from my recent @caffeinatedclub shooting to reflect the internal duality that we all sometimes carry.

Keep up the great work Sarah! You are truly making a difference!

10735458_538521076292287_2126446502_n

Another one of the 34 editorial portraits I shot for @caffeinatedclub.

This is @jeannettecherie. She was so move with compassion by what she saw was happening to street children in third world counties that she started her own non profit call @charity4life. She has amazing courage and drive!

To me nothing is more valuable than investing into the life of someone who needs help! Please check out her work at @charity4life.

My creative collaborator on this project @scottyrocks allowed me to use his daughter’s ACTUAL piggy bank for this shot. Also a brave girl!

The fresh new $100 was mine. Perhaps I should have left it in the bank for her as a rental fee?

10747904_806948949367433_1028214070_n

The ad campaign I shot for @caffeinatedclub was just release all around Chicago. 34 unique editorial portraits in two days. Wow!

Teamed up with my long time creative collaborator and fantastically talented @scottyrocks on art direction.

This is the image I shot of the lovely and equally talented painter @sarahraskey.

When I met Sarah and told her I wanted to cover her in paint her response…”let’s do it!” So great to collaborate with talented people and great clients.

If you are in Chicago and see a billboard, poster or bus ad by @caffeinatedclub I hope you enjoy the work.

10802654_1538613599714281_1276205635_n

How would you respond if you were suddenly paralyzed?

This is Joseph. Although he lost the use of his legs and needs a wheelchair to now move, his spirt is NOT bound to his crippled legs.

In his own words before he lost the use of his legs, “he was angry, lost, bitter and resentful”. Now Joseph exudes a radiant happiness that is infectious and palpable.

In his own words… “There is a difference between funny and joy-filled. I am am joyful filled, happy and loved.” Excellent!

Right on @josephkosma. Thanks for allowing me to photograph you. I will always remember your words. —The Natural.

10787725_785236948188714_1096884460_n

You mess with the bull, you get the horns.