Santa Con 2016

What is Santa Con? 

My knowledge of Santa Con is basically a excuse for people to get dressed up as santa and go to local bars drink while in costume (which always opens the door for a little more rowdiness) and take part in what seems to be another holiday tradition around the country.  There are some good things like a open donation to Cure Starts Now but the event is free... UNLESS you want the drink specials!  15$pre order tickets gets you 6 beers at local bars, 20$ day of specials.  Which if you think about the cost of a beer at a bar being 4 to 6 dollars thats a pretty solid discount.  It also means that the majority of Santas will be drinking 6 beers and walking the streets.  

Now I don't want to sound negative I went around and photographed people this year dressed up as Santas for a couple hours.  I met a lot of good people having a great time.  I also meet a lot of people who were having to good of time and I stopped shooting at 2 or 3pm.  In any event there are always some "bad apples" or "bad santas" I should say which is unfortunate.  I don't condone going out and having a good time but being mindful of your surroundings and not running across the street and making fools of yourselves because your wearing a beard and no-one can recognize you.  All and all it was a fun experience to get out and take portraits of the Santas and who knows maybe it will become my own tradition. 

Thanks to all who participated and to my assistant Gabe! 


Kit & Ace

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to photograph Alex Derkson & Casey Hilmer who are Kit & Ace style ambassador's.  We photographed both Casey and Alex in studio and then had a little extra time with Alex to walk around and shoot some images on the street. 

Zalto Glassware

Teaming up with the BOCA Group here in Cincinnati again we had a shoot showcasing the beautiful hand blown Zalto Glassware the restaurant uses.  I have never seen glassware like this before the care and detail in the construction is amazing with knowing these are hand blown.  

Here is some history about the company from their site.

"The development of theDenk`Art series was as influenced by the earth as by the universe beyond. The curve of the bowls are tilted at the angles of 24°, 48° and 72°, which are in accordance to the tilt angles of the Earth. The ancient Romans utilized this triumvirate of angles with their supply repositories, finding that produce stayed fresh for a longer time, and that it also showed improved taste. Due to these cosmic parallels, we believe that a wine can reach its utmost potential in a Denk`Art glass, developing everything that is possible in the nose as well as on palate, due to these cosmic parallels.

In the northern part of Lower-Austria the tradition of glass blowing goes back to the early 14th century. The Zalto family, a glassmaking dynasty whose roots reach back to Venice, settled down in this region six generations ago. Since then Zalto has been producing high quality hand-blown glass in Neunagelberg. 

Our company was established 2006 in Neunagelberg, to give special focus on outstanding,hand-blown stemware with the acquired brands Zalto and Denk`Art. 

True to tradition of the Zalto brand, today the Zalto glass house offers connoisseurs superior and state of the art glasses. All of them hand-blown by highly skilled glassblowers."


All white everything!  

A few months back I rented out one of MUJO Studios two floors in downtown Cincinnati for a photoshoot and then I ended up working with the great ladies at MUJO photographing them and their space.  They occupy two floors at on 7th Street in the Central Business District of Cincinnati that is nearly a black and white haven.  At least with all white floors, wall, furniture, fixtures, with some splashes of grey, black and a few colors.   


Kevin Hart of Hart & Cru

Taking the wine game shaking it up and then make sure everyone get a taste.  I am not really sure what I mean by that exactly but what I am trying to say is Kevin Hart is amazing at what he does and wants to make sure people know that he doesn't believe in the stereotyped highbrow nature of a successful Sommelier.  

I was contacted by Kevin to updated a headshot and some other promotional images for him and his company of Hart & Cru.  When we first spoke about the shoot and what he wanted to get out of it was one typical headshot to be used for publications but the rest of the images were to be fun and showing his personality.  We wanted to make sure that when people saw the images they knew it was Kevin's real personality and I think we did just that.  

A couple hours a bottle of wine and one head injury (split my head open from a c stand falling, grabbed some paper towels determined no stitches were needed and powered on!) 

I am looking forward to the even more creative and off the wall shoots we are working on.  Now that we have knocked out the basics and some fun shots. 

For more information about Kevin and Hart & Cru look him up here -



Cody Gunningham

I stopped over at Cody's studio to take a portrait of him and talk about a couple upcoming projects. What started as a quick visit turned out to be hours.  It was great watching his process as he moved around the studio cutting up a large canvas that he ended up liking small sections of large work better then the whole.  Cody had just arrived back in town from a having a show Harper's Books in East Hampton, NY.  After the opening he was then commissioned to paint a mural up there. He mention it was a good time but was happy to be back in his studio working. For the next few hours I followed him around taking photos of him working along with all the textures and uniqueness in his space.  The 15 x 30 foot studio with the canvas drop cloth on the floor with stenciled shapes and spilled paint next to the clean white walls was just like his works with a balance of texture, bold colors and clean whites.  It was good hanging out with Cody and talking shop with him.  

To take a look at more of his work go to


I packed a small kit shooting to a SD card on my Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 and Phase One DF body with a the Schneider 55mm LS lens. I used my Profoto ProB2 pack, ProB head with a large deep white umbrella and ringflash to light Cody and his studio. 

Cody Gunningham

Table Scraps

A few weeks back there was a shoot in the studio where we cooked up a huge hearty meal.  With mashed potatoes, pees, bread, a roast and wine.  After all the hard work went into the image and creating the perfect place setting and layout for the image and text.  

Only one got to enjoy the spoils....  Rambo!  Though with his timidness on the table and everyone watching him he only mustered up the strength to take one bite of the roast beef which was close to his size and lick the mashed potatoes a few times.  


R&R weekend

Sometimes you need to just take a trip with friends to a lake house and just take some R&R. 

morning coffee

I recently upgraded my camera system and have been testing it out and pushing the camera harder and harder. This morning I was taking some photos while making my morning coffee and thought I would share.

Before when shooting with my old Phase One P45 back anything above 200 ISO would have been to noisy to use for work but now with the CMOS sensor on the Mamiya Credo 50 I was able to shoot these at 800 & 1600 ISO! I am completely blown away with the image quality of this sensor. Images captured with my trusty Phase One DF body, Mamiya 120mm Macro MF and the Mamiya Leaf Credo 50

A shout out to Dodd Camera for working with Phase One / Mamiya Leaf  and getting me the upgrade to the Credo 50.  The medium format platform that uses the a CMOS sensor vs the CCD. Allowing you to capture up to 6400 iso images!  After working with the Credo 50 for the past week I can't believe the versatility of CMOS chip. Being able to shoot at even 800 iso along with the file size, dynamic range, sharpness / Leaf Shutter lenses and color of medium format is huge for location portrait work.  Last shout out to my favorite local coffee roasters Deeper Roots Coffee and Chemex Coffee Maker.  

Malice Ball

Images for the Malice Ball a masquerade ball in Cincinnati, Ohio Over-the-Rhine district.  The concept was playing along side the inkblot test (also called the "Rorschach" test).  While using dancers from Pones Inc. to create the shapes and forms. 


Fun times at work! (behind the scenes of Cincinnati Ballet photoshoot)

Over the past couple years of working with the dancers at the Cincinnati Ballet my shock and awe of their talent and physical abilities has grown tremendously.  I have become more accustom to their timing, their terminology but their strength and flexibility... well thats not going to happen!  This year the crew and I decided to give some of their moves a try.  I am not going to lie we skipped a couple because number one priority was finishing the photoshoot and if we tried we most likely would have hurt ourselves.  We had a blast trying our best and as always a big thanks to the dancers and the rest of the team! 

Recreating a classic | Cincinnati Ballet's Rainbow Legs Poster |

In 1981 Photographer Corson Hirschfeld & designer Dan Bittman created a classic, the Rainbow Legs poster for the Cincinnati Ballet.  The poster was a hit landing and was award winning.  This poster soon became an iconic image of the ballet. Many people recognize the poster and the legs without even being from Cincinnati or the surrounding areas. 

I have been working with the Cincinnati Ballet for 3 years now creating their advertising imagery and there has always been talk about recreating the poster but we needed a reason.  Then as the 2016/2017 season was upon us we realized it's the Creative Director Victoria Morgan's 20th year her "platinum" year.  So the planing begin.  How do we recreate the iconic image with Victoria's anniversary in mind but still tipping our cap to a classic.  Multiple ideas came to mind one using metallic colored tights and shoes so they had a reflective nature to them.  Another thought was to create the metallic look in the finishing of the prints by printing all the posters on a metallic paper.  Then after a little brainstorming session at the hardware store while I was picking up some wood and cinderblocks to build a platform for the dancers to stand on I came across insulation panels.  I have used the panels before as very large bounces but never as a background.  As I remembered the panels normally have seams, text printed on them or an unappealing texture.  As I was flipping through I came across a stack that reminded me of the same texture you find inside soft boxes. So I thought I would give it try and picked up 2 4x8 sheets.  

When I arrived back to the studio I started building the set and working though the lighting.  I knew that I need to pull the legs off such a reflective and textured background.  So right away I set up two Profoto RFi 1.0 x 4.0' Softbox to edge light the legs powered by Profoto D1 Air 500W/s Monolight.  Then I started working on the key light a Elinchrom 39" Rotalux Deep OctaBox and a the fill a Elinchrom Rotalux 59" Indirect Softbox powered by my trusty Profoto Pro-B2 1200R Ws Power Pack.  The last light didn't come until the dancers arrived.  I took plenty of test shots but with just me.  I didn't account for how 7 dancers would shadow the light and create an uneven gradient shine in the background.  So finally I pulled out the 86" Extreme Silver PLM umbrella from Paul C Buff with a old Profoto Compact 600 set on very low power right behind camera to solely create the reflection in the silver boards behind the dancers but not flatten out the legs.  

The images were captured with my Phase One DF and P45 digital back with a Schneider Kreuznach 80mm f/2.8 LS with one of those big LEE Filters Universal (Medium Wide) lens hoods to help with all the light shining back into the camera from the silver background.  Post processing and making sure all the colors of the purchased tights and the custom hand dyed shoes from the wardrobe department at the Cincinnati Ballet was handled by the Digital team at OMS Photo here in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Now after my long winded explanation here are the images.  But one more thanks to all the Cincinnati Ballet dancers the Creative Director Victoria Morgan, the great team from the ballet and everyone else who helped put this on and one more tip of the cap to Corson Hirschfeld & designer Dan Bittman, we will see if my rendition of the Rainbow Legs can stand up to the original.  

Visit Follow along as Cincinnati Ballet recreates the iconic Rainbow Legs poster in celebration of Victoria Morgan's 20th season as Artistic Director & CEO.

and a behind the scenes from the shoot with Victoria Morgan standing in the middle. 

Shelby Keith

I had Shelby Keith in the studio to update his promo images for the release of his new album.  To work with the subject and style of the album we wanted to kept the tones of the images cool and a few even a little desaturated.  

First set used multiple lights, a blue gel and a little haze in the air. The Key light was 39" rotalux deep octabox, followed with a 53" rotalux octa bank behind the subject softly lighting SHELLZ and the background.  In front of the octa bank was the bare bulb with a blue gel wrapped around.  Last was a large white interior umbrella filling in any shadows from the key light along with pieces of foam core and v flats both white and black. 

Second set was simplified to just the 39" rotalux deep octabox.  Right over the camera and close to SHELLZ's face.  Then with the use of two v flats on either side and one black flag above his head to knock down any bounce and create the deep shadows around hit face.  

Third and final set was two lights the 53" rotalux octa bank with only the interior diffusion along with a 7 inch dish with a 10 degree grid.  The octa bank filled the set with light but cast a deep shadow on SHELLZ's chest where he was leaning forward and his jacket opened.  So I used the dish and grid to just send a little light so we could see the lapel of his jacket along with the design on his t shirt. 

Shelby Keith instagram

SHELLZ - "M.A.D." Music Video

New Work for Frameri Eyewear | Machina Collection |

Frameri Eyewear is the only interchangeable lens eyewear company.  Making it easy to have multiple changes of frames and lenses by just snapping in and out the lens.  

They have multiple styles and countless colors but now with the introduction to Machina they have now introduced metal accents into their most popular frame shapes and also adding a couple new styles. 

Go check out Frameri at