Man boobs.

Yes, you read that correctly: man boobs. Long-time Austin resident Crazy Carl Hickerson is working on growing out his man boobs. Austin residents might recognize him as the guy who twirls carnations on his finger out front of Esther's Follies. 

For this Austin Monthly photo shoot, we took Crazy Carl (his legal name, by the way) out behind Esther's Follies and I let him do his thing in front of the awesome mural by Kerry Awn. What you can't see in this image is that we happened to schedule the shoot during primetime beverage delivery hours, so every few minutes, we scrambled out of the way of trucks in the alleyway. Crazy Carl was nothing but the ultimate trooper, and could not have been sweeter. I brought some carnations for the shoot, and he took them home to his wife at the end. Don't let the man boobs scare you, if you see Crazy Carl downtown, stop and say hello to him, he has plenty of stories to tell!

His story is available now in the June issue of Austin Monthly, so go ahead and pick one up!

The experts on getting home safely in Austin

As every weekend approaches, there are friendly reminders across social media, sharing safe ways to return home from a night out, and places you can leave your car overnight in Austin...courtesy of ATX Safer Streets. I was honored to shoot the feature photo of the founders of ATX Safer Streets recently for Austin Monthly Magazine - Neil Diaz, Joseph Boyle and Sara LeVine. This is a city that has an unfortunately high rate of DUI's and hit and runs. The death of friend spurred them to action, forming ATX Safer Streets. Please head over to or pick up the June issue to read the in-depth article for more information on this organization. Glad I could be a part of shedding light on this issue.

For more information on ATX Safer Streets, click the link:

Link to the article:

A Creative at Home

Switched things up a bit for the February issue of Austin Monthly Magazine. Instead of making a portrait for the “Character” section, which typically features those people doing their part “keeping Austin weird”, this month, I did a portrait for the “Creatives” section, which highlights members of the creative community in Austin. 


Mark Bristol was very gracious in letting us come into his home studio for the shoot. Seeing his storyboard art and movie posters he had worked on was a treat. He had told us ahead of time that he was a big fan of Austin Monthly, which always adds another layer of enthusiasm into the shoot itself. 

He came across as a very sincere and thoughtful artist, and I tried to portray that in his portrait. Pick up a copy for yourself, on newsstands now, and read his story, written by Austin Monthly’s Executive Editor, Sarah Thurmond.

Geeks Who (Don’t) Drink

Last month, I did a shoot for Austin Monthly Magazine featuring Geeks Who Drink trivia champ, Bobb X. Ha, who actually doesn't really drink during trivia contests. In a pretty cool twist of events, we were able to setup the shoot back where Bobb’s trivia career began — The Highball over on South Lamar. This place was very much still a construction zone, so what you see is a sneak peek into the new bar area. It was pretty cool — they turned the old bowling alley floors into the bar floor and upstairs is private room-style karaoke paradise. I recommend the Super Mario Bro.’s room. 

Bobb. X. Ha for Austin Monthly Magazine

Bobb. X. Ha for Austin Monthly Magazine

Said other shoot with booties, on set for a shoot with Dhani Jones

Said other shoot with booties, on set for a shoot with Dhani Jones

We loaded in the gear with hard hats on, and did the shoot in surgical booties. Oddly enough, this was not the first time I’d done a shoot in booties, and I certainly don’t expect it to be my last.

Bobb, escaping from his day job for the shoot, came with his typical gear for trivia contests - a shopping bag full of notes. Apparently, this is just a fraction of note sheets he has. Also, not pictured, was a giant check from a recent win for his trivia team, Team Dong (insert joke here). All in all, a fun afternoon shoot, and as always, it’s so fun getting to help highlight all the people that make Austin the great city it is for Austin Monthly Magazine.

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"Pistol Pete" and The Roadeo

For the May issue of Austin Monthly I had the pleasure of photographing Capital Metro bus driver Porfirio "Pete" Rivera. Unbeknownst to many public transit riders, every year there are state-wide, national, and international competitions between bus drivers  on timed obstacle courses…there's even a division for the mechanics to show their stuff, as well. Pete is continuing his 13-year streak as the winner in the 40 ft. bus division for Texas….this year's international results are TBD, but it will be Pete's fifth appearance there.

I have to give the CapMetro staff a big round of applause for how helpful they were during this shoot. After bringing in all my heavy gear into the lobby, everything was loaded onto a forklift by the maintenance staff and brought right over to our set. My back didn't even register that I was at a shoot that day. Also, another plus to shooting a 40 ft. bus is that it doubled as a talent trailer/magazine interview location. Bonus points since it was raining that day. 

magic forklift

magic forklift

Thankfully we got about 10 minutes of clear-ish skies, and Pete was able to muster up the courage to hang out the bus window and whoop it up like there was no tomorrow while his co-workers kept stopping by asking if we were shooting a movie. I got the impression this wasn't the norm at the CapMetro office. 

Scroll on down to see the final shot, and wish Pete good luck at the International Bus Roadeo in Indianapolis next month…go ahead and pick up the May issue of Austin Monthly, too!

Pete Rivera - Austin Monthly [May 2013 issue]

Pete Rivera - Austin Monthly [May 2013 issue]