Stay tuned for a wacky one.
Stay tuned for a wacky one.
Shoutout to all the professional fauxtographers who are out there breathing new life into this industry with self-aggrandizing workshops and $70 video downloads that you'll never get for half-off by entering promo code, "EARNEDIT."
Now before you guys go getting yourself in a tizzy; you have to understand the client said "it probably won't get made." Additionally, one might find it funny only because I misread an end-of-day email on a beautiful Friday back in July when a client of mine was interested in seeing what I would do with a bear and a bull in "STOCKS" (the prototypical trope to show two different financial markets).
Rather than giving him that, I dreamed up six directions of a bull and a bear in 'SOCKS.'
BACKSTORY - Nick Mrozowski is the creative director at Women's Wear Daily, and the subject line of his email read - "RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY." He basically had a hand in making my name when he was creative director at Adweek because they'd holler at me with these crazy last minute things, and I'd be able to pull them off in sometimes 60 hours - like the Snapchat ghost concept back in early 2014. For this reason and others, I'll always be ride or die for the guy...
As I jumped into the email, I was thinking "how the heck MROZ know I love socks so much because this is a fashion mag, and I know when that one crazy article on socks come thru Nick gonna be like 'Ash - holler at CLINARD because I know my man got this crazy affinity for socks'."
Because I'm always marrying things together, the email didn't strike me as odd. While playing records backward that Saturday evening, I jumped right in, and - without re-reading the email - I banged out six directions for delivery Monday morning.
Because the bear and bull are typically being cast as adversarial types within this long held, "traditional" trope, I felt it my duty to make them lovers in one scenario because same-sex marriage had just been legalized on a national level (as it should be because it's a right to be who you are and be with who chooses you!!).
Other goofy stuff with an idea that a person could be costumed as either animal, or we get taxidermy to accommodate a sliding budget. Moral of the story - you definitely going to misread some emails when those kiddos come along, so you've got to always go back and re-read those emails young-blood.
More stuff like this soon, along with updates on new personal work and reports from the front lines of fatherhood.
A sudden uptick in the number of posts to my blog is due solely to this costume I was able to score from Halloween City for half off.
The lady working said that if you look into the guy's eyes long enough, you kind of teleport into him like one of those "Being John Malkovich" moments.
More soon, Mike
Y'all get a bunch of candy in your Halloween baskets this year?
Tala and I had a second to kick it over a cup of juice the other day and map out our trick-or-treat plan of attack.
"I heard you like Halloween, Mike."
Keywords: fatherhood, eye-opening, transmutation, flux. See also, Transmogrification.
Had occasion to shoot the amazing contemporary artist, Addie Wagenknecht, after Tala made friends with her at the Seattle Art Fair.
Don't mind this image of her gallerist, Steve, either. If you're ever out in the big apple, you've got to get to his space, Bitforms, to see some of the most groundbreaking and technologically-advanced art I've ever seen.
I'm excited to be a part of, EMERGING, a group photo show that opens this weekend at the Annenberg Space for Photography.
Guest curated by the editors of PDN, it showcases art and photography from over 90 photographers around the world.
My image of the Skittles rainbow being rerouted to the mouth of a completely stoked Zillow employee is currently on view.
This exhibition is free and open to the public. Get out in this sun and enjoy some art!
I will be on a PDN's 30 panel discussion at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 20th examining contemporary strategies young artists may take when navigating the commercial photography market.
Holly Hughes has asked me to share some of the key lessons learned over the last few years, so I'm pulling imagery from the archives to help illustrate some thoughts on assisting, self-promotion and the development of a unique photographic style.
In hindsight, I thought they were joking. Then I thought he couldn't speak English. Either way, I quickly grew to appreciate it.
On the fourth day, Andreas had resorted to wiping excess water from his mini-wave maker contraption onto his clothes like a farmer in overalls.
Even after he instructed that nothing more would be required of me, I flew in from across the set with my handkerchief because I thought the guy needed it.
In a show of genuine admiration, he cocked his head and nodded in agreement as if he'd made significant improvement to a work in progress.
We spent that day and the next trolling Ebay for a Hosemaster he could take back to Europe but struck out.
The lesson, while not immediately apparent, is that one must be fearless at times - put yourself out there and get dirty. One should devour the small challenges and invite the bigger ones in.
I've explored this notion of "field work" in my PDN 30 interview with Conor Risch and look forward to doing so again next week with some of the other panelists and audience members.
Stay tuned to the website in the coming days for a new gallery which examines the theme of fatherhood.
More soon, Mike
I have been wanting to say thanks for all the kind words lately regarding the twins and some of the awards received over the last few months regarding my art and photography.
At 36 years of age, I'm so incredibly grateful for each opportunity given to me. With new eyes, I welcome every bump and bruise.
I'm excited to continue pushing the limits of vision; I hope you'll come away with me from time to time.
Stay tuned for a smattering of updates via the blog along with updated galleries on the website featuring personal work and new advertising projects.
Self-portrait at 36, 2015.
These guys from Droga5 made an ad that wasn't an ad but worked better than the ads you buy during the Super Bowl.
A fun exercise in imagination and a trusting client, read all about it here in this week's Adweek.
Shot less than two weeks ago at ShootDigital in New York, I had a blast collaborating with Margo Didia of Adweek on the final tailgating scenario.
Above is a sketch depicting the rough placement of nine people in the horizontal option. Seen below, an early tailgating comp from the ever-talented Gretchen Hilmers of G-tou.
Had a couple other harebrained ideas, but I love where we landed on these.
Just found these dudes under a mountain of paper in the office.
Top left is from a pitch I made to Esquire for a portrait studio bus at this year's Sasquatch. Under that is what-would-have-been the most amazing portrait of the band, Mogwai, overlooking the festival.
At right, a portrait bust study of a cross between Clark Griswold and the Toxic Avenger. A man can dream, right?
You may recall this previous post where I shine a light on my Seattle Met cover shoot with Jermaine Kearse, star wide receiver of the NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks.
In addition to the cover, I had the distinct honor of shooting an extensive feature on the city's legion of diehard superfans as a visual guide on Seattle's unique brand of 12th Man culture.
Over a two-week period, I documented the odyssey of seven "12s" as they transformed themselves to the distinct and recognizable alter egos we've come to love.
If you're wondering about the meaning of 12th Man, it could loosely be interpreted as the mutual camaraderie shared by a group of football fans whose collective cheers and boos from the stands directly influence the outcome of a game. Of course it is way deeper than that, but our crowds are known for pushing the idea of the 12th Man to Richter scale tipping proportions.
As I learned from all of the superfans, 12th Man culture is a kind of magical place. Ruining an opposing team's snap count is seen as a higher calling for true 12's and on a completely different level from, say, the peewee league cheers that ask for a defense to push em way back.
In November 2012, when Brad "Cannonball" Carter put a knee on the fifty-yard line at CenturyLink Field and popped the question to his longtime partner, Laura Healy, better known as "Hawkychick," he was capitalizing on a certain electricity that seemed to be in the air.
They wed in 2013 and count the team's Cinderella season, and eventual Lombardi win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, as the most immaculate wedding gift a couple could receive.
Over pizza and pints, they coached me on what to expect from their next door neighbors — the superfan-juggernaut couple, Jeff and DeDe Schumaier — more affectionately referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk.
The morning of my shoot, Jeff had already slipped into his Mr. Seahawk persona. He showed me around the home - decorated floor-to-ceiling with Seahawks memorabilia — all the while enjoying his signature cocktail, A Blue One, a 50/50 blend of Gatorade and Vodka.
They spoke candidly about their undying allegiance for the Seahawks, and how it was customary for them to start their transformation on Sunday mornings as early as 5 a.m.
In 1998, they wed on the 50 yard line of the Kingdome, and have been referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk ever since. Their Campbell's Chunky Soup commercial with standout cornerback, Richard Sherman, and his mother, Beverly, ranks as one of the most exciting opportunities to arise from their years spent supporting the team.
I had wanted to try an option of Jeff and DeDe perusing the wardrobe racks at Fred Meyer, but I didn't have much hope because it was a Sunday and locations like that tend to require liability insurance.
Grinning as he picked up the phone, he stated, "They love me down there."
Years of being a respected, wig-wearing member of your community means you're afforded certain luxuries that we commoners aren't often given. After a five minute chat, Jeff said, "their corporate lawyer is sending you an email, but I think we're good."
Better known as Seahulk, Tim Froemke, takes the idea of fan devotion to a completely different level. On gameday, he drives some 220 miles from Ritzville, Wash., to the home of his body artist outside Seattle.
So it was no wonder that after a week-long series of texts, he and I finally met in Mt. Vernon, some 60 miles north of Seattle.
In two hours, an already muscular Froemke transforms into the Seahulk, a persona Tim debuted at the 2005 NFC title game.
After a chat about our favorite records, I scheduled a date with Kiltman.
When I met Neil in Everett, he quickly jumped in my car to show me all the bars that were hawk-friendly since he had a long drive ahead of him back to his home in Bremerton, Washington.
A few darkly-lit bars declined our offer of repeatedly-flashing strobe lighting, so we took the show outside and let Neil do his thing.
I bid him adieu and prepped for my meeting with the most enigmatic superfan of the bunch, Mr. Mohawk.
After a couple of false starts, I met Phil Andruss at his girlfriend's home on Queen Anne Hill.
The only portrait subject ever to help get all my gear into a location, Phil waxed philosophic for a three hour period about the advantages of being gifted with good hair and height.
The only disadvantage seemed to be when his 6 foot, 5 inch frame contorts through doorways to accommodate the new, footlong spikes atop his head.
An absolute dream assignment, I'd like to thank James Ross Gardner, Matt Halverson and Jane Sherman of Seattle Met for the opportunity to show the culture of 12th Man through my lens.
For all the long days and nights, I extend my deepest gratitude to the crew of Gretchen Hilmers, Brian Jones, Nicolas Carle, Oliver Ludlow and Easton Richmond.
Stay tuned to the blog as I continue to highlight other 2014 projects for Esquire, Lucky Peach and Scientific American.
I'm off to Portland for a shoot tomorrow but managed to get my books bound and ready for a couple meetings, too.
2014 has been busy on both the personal and professional fronts, and I look forward to sharing more from some of the projects that's made this a great year.
For now, enjoy this picture of my daughter Tala at our favorite haunt, Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, on the day she finally got the pink gumball from the machine.
Logs on the fire, boys. I'm settling in for a chill weekend.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my Seahawks Superfan odyssey along with news on my first big national ad campaign dropping for Marriott next week.