Hey all, What a month. I’ve been busy working on a long term documentary project all this month in addition to all of the normal daily assignments and I’ve just now had a chance to post my recent work. Whew! My project “For the Family” debuts tomorrow! Stay tuned. For now, a look at some of the more successful images I’ve made this past month. Thanks for looking. -M
I’ve been in Montana for a little over a year now after moving here from California. While the normal routine in the past was for me was to always bring a camera out on my fly fishing missions, for 2012, I decided to take a break. I’ve stayed pretty busy at the newspaper throughout the year and my weekends became my place to get out and step away from it all. I wanted to be totally present and just study my new Montana surroundings. Also, I was too busy having fun fishing myself to set my rod down and make images. This past weekend I got after it, fishing two days in a row – one on the Madison River with my buddies Jimmy and Camille and the second floating the Yellowstone River with my buddies Sky and Ryan. The decision was made to bring along my camera. While I primarily fished throughout the weekend, I did manage to snap a couple pictures and even got the big brown trout I caught documented on camera (thanks Ryan for taking the picture). Look for more fly fishing photos throughout the year. The fly fishing photography hiatus is over. I’m ready to start documenting the Montana rivers again. Here we go. -M
Some recent work from the last week or so. Thanks for looking. -M
“Primeiro você deve comer com os olhos”
Years ago, I was out to dinner with my Brazilian friend, starving, fork in hand and about to dive into my just-delivered, fancy restaurant dish. Before I could take a bite, she interrupted me with a smile, put a hand on my forearm and repeated a Portuguese phrase. It’s translation… “First you must eat with your eyes.”
The concept of giving your body food was something, up until that point, that I had taken for granted and had given little thought to why my brain was attracted to whatever meal I was about to eat. Things looked and tasted good; simple as that. Now a more mature cook in my thirties, I’ve started to think about the psychology of food. Of the chefs I’ve met over the years and the books I’ve read about cooking, the consensus is that the better looking a dish, the better you expect it to taste. For the past week, I have been ruminating on this concept and her phrase as I’ve watched the morning sunshine creep through my kitchen windows and illuminate my countertops. Not being a seasoned food photographer, I was interested in the idea of what makes our food look so appealing and realized it’s not so different as to what makes a successful photograph. Color, light, mixing up textures, shapes and the arrangement. Highlighting a natural focal point that draws in your attention to the dish. As a working photographer, I’m constantly observing and studying how light illuminates everything around us. I decided to do a visual study. With my limited window of good sunlight, I started documenting my go-to breakfast scramble I routinely prepare with the goal of slowing down and seeing why my taste buds salivate with anticipation of this dish again and again. Bon Appétit! -M
Happy New Year everyone! I ended my 2012 on a high note and have been working hard to keep the momentum going into the new year. As always, I’m looking for ways I can develop and grow in my photography and I hope to improve on some things for the new year. So far so good. Here are some of my favorite images I’ve made so far in 2013. Thanks for looking, -M
Montana has been in need of some snow. It’s been a while since we had much and the local ski mountain crew have been holding their breath for a boost. Yesterday they got their wish. I woke up to reports of over 23 inches of snow and it seemed like the whole town called in sick with “powder fever” to go ski it. I was lucky enough to be assigned to document it . Love my job at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Epic ski day!
What a year! Looking over the photos I made from this past year, I found it difficult to pick favorites. How do you narrow down the very best photos after such an interesting year? For me 2012 was a new beginning. I started my year in a new place after having been hired at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and spent most of my time in a state of creative reconnaissance, exploring all the beauty southwest Montana has to offer.
In the end, I chose photos that made a personal connection. I wanted to show you all photos that make you feel something. So much of what photojournalists do everyday is bring readers into the lives of their subjects through captivating, storytelling images, to quote SI Photo Editor Jim Colton, “that reach down your throat and give your heart a tug”. Whether they succeed is in the eye of the beholder.
As I was editing down this year’s take of images and trying to pick out ten for the printed newspaper, I realized that trying to capture the essence of the Gallatin Valley in a handful of photos was a fool’s pursuit. Thankfully, the people in this community that make it such a great place are too vast and rich in culture to show in its entirety within a select few favorites within my “Best of Photography” slideshow. I have much more exploring to do.
I look forward to what the new year will bring. Thanks so much for all of your support and I hope all of you have a bold, adventurous new year! -M
I recently finished up a portrait marathon for an assignment for our weekly business journal. In three days I made twenty portraits of individuals in the Bozeman community that have made an impact on the community through their personel drive, local job creating endeavors and their overall contribution to the betterment of the community they live in. It was a fun project for me. I don’t get to work in the studio that often, so I decided to challenge myself by trying to make different portraits all with keeping the same lighting set up in the studio here at the newspaper. I wanted the photos to be about the subject and not their clothing. With this in mind, I chose to have this series be in black and white. I liked how it turned out. To read more about each individual’s story you can check out our interactive story on the Bozeman Daily Chronicle’s website. Thanks for looking.
My newspaper has this great section in every Sunday newspaper called “Viewfinder”. It’s a full page deticated to displaying photographs of whatever we photographers want. I look at it as a visual study of a random topic where we have free reign to explore and tell that story however we see fit. I use these opportunities to try to push myself into a new way of seeing. Last week it was my turn to have a go. I decided to check out the dress rehearsal of the Montana Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker that was going on at the Wilson Auditorium. Here are some photos that stood out to me from my time there. -M
Tis the season…to catch up on blog posts! I’ve been meaning to get some new work up here for a while now but I’ve been pretty busy as of late running around Bozeman and documenting all of the festivities of the season. Without further ado, here is some of the better images I’ve made in the last month. Thanks for looking, -M
About a week ago, I was charged by my editors with coming up with a way to illustrate a story about how Montana State University football fans should prepare for the cold weather playoff games. It’s been a while since I’ve done much photography in our Bozeman Daily Chronicle photo studio so I elected to break out some lights to make some photos that would pop off the page. It was a fun, little experiment that challenged me to think more about wardrobe of my subject (an enthusiastic co worker in the advertising department) and how best to convey the story within a limited number of images. Yes, the photos are a little corny but I think it turned out to be a fun, informative story. Best of luck to the Cats as they take on Sam Houston State University tonight under the lights of Bobcat Stadium. -M
I have always been jealous of my photographer buddies in Portland, Oregon who get to photograph the muddy, up-and-coming sport of cyclocross. It looks like such a wonderfully goofy social sport event and the photos they would bring back from it made it look like just a blast to photograph. Last weekend I finally got the chance to photograph it when my roommate clued me in on a race that was happening here in Bozeman. It was awesome. For some reason I decided to pack light and use just a 35mm lens to photograph the event. Using such a small lens can be very limiting on what I can do with it but it forced me to think more in layers and/or force me to use my feet to get closer to the action. It was a fun photo exercise on my day off. The rest of the images are some favorites that I made from this week at the newspaper. Thanks for looking, -M
Here are some images I made for the newspaper during the last two weeks. The first snow has arrived in Montana. Welcome winter. Thanks for looking, -M
A week or two ago, I had an opportunity to photograph some Montana State University football. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed any sports and I was looking forward to getting back into the saddle. The home game was against Eastern Washington University and according to all the buzz in the newsroom sports department, it would be a game that would likely determine the Big Sky Conference champs for the 2013 season. I always like photographing sporting events that matter. You can feel the added intensity from the players and crowd which ultimately make for a more exciting game to photograph. I decided to go early to the tailgates so I could document the tailgating scene here in Bozeman. It ended up being a long day (working 11 hours straight) but it was a fun one. I was pleased to wake up the following morning to see a big photo spread in the Sunday paper. I still geek out seeing all my images displayed big in newsprint. Love it! -M
Here are some of my more successful images from the last couple of weeks working at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The battle continues. Thanks for looking. -M
In my line of work as a photojournalist, I’m fortunate that I get to experience people and places I would not normally come across in my daily life. The challenge then for me is to document and capture the essence of the story I’m trying to tell through my images. Through these experiences and personal connections with the individuals I meet, I learn not just about their story but they help shape my own for the better. A couple weeks back, after many years of debating and being encouraged by close friends, I finally experienced my first Burning Man festival in Black Rock City in western Nevada and found a part of myself I never knew existed. The week long event has been happening in one form or another since the mid 80’s as counter culture, artistic, self expression annual celebration that accumulates as a city of 60,000+ individuals from around the world in the dried up alkali salt lake beds a couple hours northeast of Reno. It’s a surreal environment to live in for a week complete with white out dust storms and intense heat. It’s hard to put into words exactly what makes the event so special. To the outsider, the event could easily be written off as a bunch of hooligans partying out in the middle of the desert. On the Burning Man website, organizers state that “Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.” I really had no clue what I was getting into. But what I found was more special to me than anything I could ever have imaged. I danced, I laughed, I learned, I experienced, I dreamed, I loved. I would describe it as the most fantastic lucid dream where acceptance and a sense of community rein as king. For much of the week, I refrained from taking any images with the hopes of absorbing all I saw completely unfiltered. Obviously, that didn’t last long. For someone who was trying to take a vacation from creativity, I found myself at ground zero for creative expression and I soon gave myself completely to it gaining an intense gratification for all the wonderfully weird, creative, intelligent and inspiring group of people I encountered along the way. These photos are but a glimpse of the profound people I connected with for a week on the playa who showed me how to truly celebrate life to it’s fullest. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. -M
About a month ago, I headed over to Missoula, Montana to spend the day documenting the locally famous “Empanada Lady” for Montana Quarterly Magazine. These are the kind of assignments that I really love to do. Shooting for the magazine is a way to continue the long form journalism that we don’t get to do that often at the daily newspaper. For these I get to spend more time with my subjects and try to show more of what they are all about. The story was about Kimberly Olson who with her young daughter Lucia, has created a buzz around the local Missoula farmers markets as the “Empanada Lady” and has turned the small South American snack into a popular foodie favorite around town. What is unique about her business is that she uses all organic, local ingredients and operates her empanadas business all from the back of her bicycle. It was my goal to try to show her process of running her small business and give the readers slice of her life through images. When I was traveling down in southern Chile, my brother and I lived off of empanadas so this was a bit of a trip down taste bud lane for me. This woman is a talented chef and a hard working single mother. Her empanadas are delicious. If you are ever in Missoula during a weekend, be sure to swing by her food stand and try them out. Cheers! -M
When I was covering the recent Battle Under the Big Sky state roller derby tournament, I took the time to setup a portrait studio to capture all of the colorful character that participate in this up and coming sport. While roller derby is a team sport, it’s also a venue for the individual to shine through both in their game play and their decorations of their outfits. These are some of my favorite portraits I made that day. Thanks for looking. -M
About a month ago, I was assigned to document the rise of Women’s Roller Derby throughout the state for Montana Quarterly Magazine. The sport is growing both in participation of ladies who dig contact sports and with their fan base who like watching girls beat the crap out of eachother throughout many Montana towns. This year, the Battle Under the Big Sky state tournament was held in Billings, Montana and I spent the weekend hanging out with many of the teams with the goal of shedding some light onto this quickly growing sport and the artistic culture/comradery around it. These girls don’t mess around nor are they afraid to give or take a hit. These are some of my favorite images from covering the event. While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the rules of the sport, it is apparent that this high energy contact sport isn’t going anywhere but up. Thanks for looking. -M