The Newspace Center for Photography Spring 2013 Class guide is out, and they’ve asked me to teach one of their fantastic photo field trips. We’ll spend the weekend at the Portland Rose Festival, which means floats, beauty queens, parades, and carnival rides galore. Plus all participants will get media photo passes to get some behind-the-scenes action.
Some of the topics include:
Learning the building blocks of documentary work.
How to approach strangers. (Ahhhh!)
How to create environmental portraits.
Seeing things from a new perspective
Plus I will be doing one-on-one sessions over our shooting time, so everyone gets a little love. Friday – Sunday, June 7 – 9. June 7: 6 – 9pm |June 8 & 9: 9 – 5pm
Cost is $315. Sign up while we still have space!
As always, had an amazing time co-teaching an editorial photography workshop with Joni Kabana. The best part of the class is that the students will have their images published in an upcoming issue of 1859 Magazine, a publication near and dear to my heart (and not just because the give me awesome assignments).
Participants learned some insider tips regarding fulfilling a magazine editorial assignment and then hit the streets to put the work in action. So excited to see which images will be selected for the layouts. The selected photos from the weekend shooting and critique have been uploaded to 1859 Magazine, where the creative director will select final images for print and online use. Special thanks to Sarah Cross and Christopher Onstott for helping out with the class, and taking these awesome photos. Couldn’t have done it with out you.
I love shooting for the Willamette Week Cheap Eats Guide every year. Perhaps because it is so in line with my sensibilities. Those who know me, know I have a reputation for being a bit….thrifty (I find that word has a bit more dignity than cheap). And here I have a whole guide that says, “Hey Leah, it’s ok you drink pabst. We get you.” Some of the tasty highlights include Boke Bowl, Baowry, Helser’s, the mini-food world that is Ocean and the new, but very popular kid on the block, Bar Dobre. Plus, I got to shoot the cover, which I always love. Can’t beat that poppy yellow background (also known as poster board). Thanks to Lela’s Bistro for providing the local and the slurpable noodles.
This year PhotoLucida is kicking off Portland’s Photo Month with Then. Now. Here. a city wide photo exhibit featuring recent and historical images of Oregon. The exhibit was curated by the fabulous Oregonian photographer Motoya Nakamura and after I slid him a little cash he choose 6 of mine (that was a joke). Had to have the slightly awkward but amusing conversation where I tell a few of my friends that their naked bodies will be splashed along the sides of buildings. Also love that four of the images were shot on film (uh, what is that?) on my trusty TLR Yashica. The first of many screenings will be at the Oregon Historical Society Wednesday, April 3rd 8pm-9:30pm. Hope to see you there.
Hot off the presses….the most recently photographed Alberto Salazar and his stable of runners for the March/April issue of 1859 magazine. Had maybe 5 minutes for the portrait, so it involved a fair bit of lighting set up before hand, dodging raindrops and stealing….ahem, borrowing, a ladder (thanks Nike!). Alberto was a nice guy but definitely not one to let a portrait shoot get in the way of practice. He is an in demand man and I enjoyed watching him seamlessly juggle jogging the track while talking on his phone and giving encouragement to his athletes. Way to multitask Alberto. And thanks to 1859 Editor Kevin Max and my producer Christopher Onstott for keeping me laughing as I lay belly down stalking muddy tennis shoes.
So in love with the layout that Portland Monthly did for my March story on synagogues, The New Shul. One thing I was really intrigued by was the different ways the religion is interpreted. On one end of the spectrum you have a female Rabbi, Ariel Stone, leading the congregation at Shir Tikvah (they even share a space with a Gay-friendly church). On the other end is Congregation Bais Menachem, an ultra-Orthodox Chabad Shul where men and woman are not allowed to touch. And in the middle was Shaarie Torah and Rabbi Zucky, a former Israeli soldier who owns not one, but two purple suits and a pink felt pool table that holds a place of honor in his office. One thing all these places did have in common was how welcoming everyone was. The assignment was a swirl of bagels, sacred scrolls, elaborate stories and open arms. A fabulous blend of down-to-earth-sensibilities mixed with mysticism. Perfect for a girl born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother.
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter contacted me to photograph Portland’s world renowned bookstore, the ever fabulous, Powell’s. As a girl who spent a lot of her youth at the library, Powell’s gives me that same warm and inclusive vibe. Maybe it is that slightly used, cozy smell, which the guy in my photo below seems to be drinking in. Or maybe it is the homeless people. Regardless, Powell’s is one Portland institution that everyone can agree is pretty amazing. And just one more reason I love this city. And Sweden agrees! Or at least I will assume so, because, hey, I can’t read Swedish.
Hung out at Noble Rot, the restaurant above the city and their kick ass rooftop garden, which was totally amazing, as was the weather. Chef and owner of not only the restaurant but the best rock star name ever, Leather Storrs, gave me a tour. Then he picked our lunch from the roof, got to cooking and I fought writer Lynne Curry for the spoils of our labor. Or rather of his. But whatever.
I come from a family of educators and so I know, yeah, those summers off look like a pretty sweet deal, but teaching is hard. So it was a real treat to photograph a positive story about education for Willamette Week. Visit the cafeteria of David Douglas High School and you feel like you are at the United Nations, 55 plus languages bounce around amidst chocolate milk and tater tots. But it seems like they make it work.
There is nothing like spending a few days back in high school to make you take a little stock in your life. As I creep up on my 20 (holy crap) year reunion, I think back to that time, fondly I guess. But I am also struck by how much cooler kids today seem. Do I blame the internet? Cable TV? Back then couldn’t see and didn’t know too much past my own town and these kids can access the world in their pocket. Does that make them happier? More worldly? Or more weighted down? Things definitely seem a lot more complicated now, then they did back in 1993. If you are feeling the need for a little teenage angst revisited, check out the world of Lincoln, Catlin Gabel and Century High School, which I shot for Portland Monthly Magazine’s February issue. (read the story online here)
Tim Gallagher is the mad scientist of designers. He’s pimped out Snoop Dog’s Playstation3, had brass knuckles made for a client, and has an office space that includes a soccer field, a pool and a skateboard ramp. Plus he let me photograph him with a bedazzled skull for 1859 Magazine. I want him to adopt me. Just for a little while. This is where I write nice things about my trusty producer, Christopher Onstott, who took this picture of our lighting setup.
Private U.S. high schools, particularly religious schools, are enjoying a tuition windfall from high-paying Asian families eager to give their U.S. college-bound kids a head-start through enrollment on U.S. campuses. A few months ago I photographed students at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon for the Wall Street Journal story about U.S. academies luring a growing number of Asian students. It is such an interesting mix of cultures, religious school with Communist students, and irony that seems to work for everybody though. I was also struck by the fact that so many Chinese are clearly now wealthy enough to send their children across the globe and pay $49,000 a year for tuition, room and board (it is worth noting that locals only pay $12,000). All with the hopes of getting them into a US college where the acceptance rates are much higher (even Ivy Leagues like Harvard!) than any college in ultra-competitive China. Want to know more about this fascinating two about a clash of cultures and countries? Read the full story here.
I had the pleasure of photographing Argentine-inspired Ox, One of Portland’s newest and hottest restaurants for Portland Monthly’s Eat and Drink section. Anytime I can shoot a portrait when someone is holding an ax, I’m pretty stoked. Luckily, Ox husband and wife owners Gabrielle Quinonez Denton and Greg Denton seemed to share my sentiment.
I love any job that involves stringing hand-made snowflakes and drinking bubbly. Thanks to MIX Magazine I got the chance to spend a holiday brunch with the owner of Compote Cafe, Shana Lane-Block. I arrived early to photograph Shana cooking and found myself pitching in on the holiday festivities which included taste testing, wardrobe consultation, and decorating. It is always a treat to be invited into someone’s home to share in their merry making, especially when it tastes so good.
The day after Christmas in Newport, the docks sat full of idle boats, as crabbers from northern California to Washington waited for inspectors to give them the go-ahead to fill their holds with the meaty Dungeness crab, the jewel of Oregon’s seafood industry. I joined Wall Street Journal reporter and old skool music junkie Joel Millman on a trip to the coast to report on the crab season. For the second straight year, the eight-month crabbing season is starting late, after inspectors determined that crabs along a stretch of Washington coastline needed more time to get to ‘meat’ size. The gods of sunshine and of reporters that have to work on holidays took pity on us and we had some gorgeous weather and some very tasty seafood (I had clams, not crab). See the slideshow online at the WSJ.com