Jaffa Fishermen

When I visited Israel, I wanted the opportunity to shoot portraits of folks that ordinarily weren't in the spotlight.  The awesome folks at Kinetis pulled some strings and got me access to the Fishermen of Jaffa Port, and from what I was told, these guys don't often if ever grant photographers permission to shoot there. Not only did I get the opportunity to shoot them, but they wrangled 20 fishermen for me.  The guys were surprisingly older than I'd imagined - some of them into their 80's.   Real salt-of-the-earth folks that have been fishing these waters for generations.

Once I started shooting, Sado, the union manager began wrangling fisherman for me in rapid succession.  I imagined I'd get the chance to shoot a couple guys and next thing I know I've got fishermen coming at me left and right.  I ended up shooting over 20 fishermen's portraits over the course of an hour and a half.  I realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I had make the most of it.  I had to slow my mentality and make sure that I was creating a cohesive body of work and decided early on that I would make a full-body photo and close-up photo of each of the men.  That way I could have a contextual portrait and one of their face.  

All of the images were shoot with natural light with a Canon 5DMKIII and 85mm f/1.2.  I positioned the men about 20' in from a large open garage bay door.  The light outside was very intense, but nicely diffused into the space and lit the men really well.  I shot pretty wide open because I wanted to blow out the background that was very busy.  

The guys were all good sports and I had a blast doing the shoot.  I felt honored to be in their space and wanted to respect the space and their tradition.  When my time was up, I was spent.  Directing and shooting over 20 subjects in a short time frame is intense.  Afterwards, we strolled down the boardwalk to a café and had a fantastic lunch.  I had the fish entree :)

[Click the images to advance thru the gallery]


I was tasked with shooting portraits for PVH Corps' annual report.  PVH aka Phillips Van Heusen, owns several clothing brands including IZOD, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, Arrow, Calvin Klein and more.  Shooting corporate portraits can be creative and fun and working within a company's environment can be challenging.

We had only a day to produce four portraits with four subjects.  Sounds easy?  Not at all!  We were moving locations for each shoot, being sure to tie in the environmental aspects of the shoot for context.  


I also had to keep in mind from a design standpoint that my subjects had to be positioned on the right side of the frame to allow for their designers to overlay text.  And keep all of these shots consistently shot with lighting and framing.


I really like how the designers created the layouts.  The imagery looks clean, consistent and the text works well.  

Special Olympics Swimmers

I had a lot of fun attending a practice session with some local Special Olympics swimmers.  These men and women were stoked to pose for portraits - and some of them really hammed it up.  I look forward to working with them again! Some more background from their coach and my good friend, Carey Bertolet:

Michael is a really accomplished swimmer--he's Brooklyn's best competitor.  He went to the State Games this past year--he goes a lot actually as he has been active in the organization a long time.  Everybody in the organization knows Michael.  He competes in the 50 m free and 100 m freestyle and has tons of medals from the regional and state special olympics meets.  Michael and I race across the pool once during every practice and he's tough to beat!  He's also a really good bowler.

Oluu is sort of the baby of the group--he's still a teenager (he's 18 or 19) which makes him younger than the other regulars.  He keeps his mom super busy taking him to swim practice and the million other activities he's always involved in around town.  Oluu is probably one of my 'most improved' over the past 1 1/2 year.

Michael and Oluu both live at home.  The other guys you met--for the most part--live in group homes throughout Brooklyn.  Frantz and James are both musicians--they play in a band Melodic Soul.  Frantz is a total ladies man and James is hands down the hardest worker on the team.  They both compete in events at the Special Olympics Aquatics meets and both have won a bunch of medals.  It probably is worth noting that Frantz always knows the name of every girl that's in the room.

Jill lives by herself and works 5 days a week for the Board of Ed.