Happy Bring an Art Director Outside Day! And other updates…

First of all, you might have noticed that things look a bit different around here. The website has been freshened up a bit, and some of the tabs across the top have changed. I felt the need to do a little re-organizing to match up with some goals I have for my career. Hope you enjoy the changes!

Second, the East Austin Studio Tour starts next weekend (more info in that link), and all of us who work out of Canopy would love to have you stop by! We’ll have work up on the walls and artwork to sell. 

And now, back to the task at hand: showing you Chad Tomlinson, Art Director for The Texas Observer. Chad was kind enough to model for me, and was also kind enough to accept pumpkin bread as compensation. 

I have been eyeing this old sign out front of the Hard Luck Bar on E. 7th for quite some time. Its “L E T SP A R T Y” just has a weary charm to it. Of course, once I had lined up Chad’s schedule and the bar’s schedule, we had a giant storm here in Austin, and the sign only said “L E T SP A R T”…not the end of the world, but not what I was looking for. I went over to measure the lettering on the sign to see if I could find an appropriate match for the “Y” at Home Depot, and lo and behold, I went over to the back side of the sign and found an older “Y” that was split down the middle. Perfect. 

So, between the giant storm and more rain, Chad and I popped over to the location and started shooting. I told him to channel his inner “I-wanna-stay-home-on-the-couch-but-my-friends-are-making-me-come-hang-out-and-now-they’re-late” version of himself. Well done, Chad. Well done. 

Side note: shot this with my Profoto B1 kit. I seriously cannot praise this kit enough. For shoots like this, it’s really nice to not have to worry about finding an external power source, or putting a battery pack down in the mud. Long live the B1 kit!


Artifact Uprising just wrapped a cool promotion for 25 free (woooooo!) prints. Not one to turn down free prints, I jumped on this. Here's a quick iPhone snap of some of my favorites from the shipment. Some are iPhone, some are DSLR. I was curious to see how the variety of photos from differing cameras would print. 

Overall, the prints look really good. The paper is nice, thicker matte paper. The iPhone shots printed better than I thought they would. Some of the skin tones from DSLR photos were a bit on the pink side, something I'll look into. Curious to see what kind of adjustments I could make/ could make through their website interface to alter that. Also, they shipped them over super fast...bonus points.

Really happy to have these in my hands. I think it's import to see your work in print for both technical and psychological reasons, ha! If you're interested in some 5x5 prints, look up Artifact Uprising!

Made in Austin, Part Four...

Final "Made in Austin" feature post, everybody! We wrapped up our week by heading over to Matthew John Winters' house to watch him make the elements of a custom "Made in Austin" piece. Outside of making this awesome artwork for us, Matt is a local artist who has created pieces for Yellow Jacket Social Club, Car2Go and many others. He also works full time as the Preparator at The Contemporary Austin

We spent time with him as he sawed and sanded wooden letters in his backyard with his dog, Ernie. 

Hi Ernie!

Hi Ernie!

Matthew John Winters and his trusty assistant, Ernie, hang out after sanding letters

Matthew John Winters and his trusty assistant, Ernie, hang out after sanding letters

Just a couple of days later, Matt brought the sign over to my studio so we could document the finished product -- which now has a home in the Tribeza office.

Thanks to everyone at Tribeza, especially Katie Friel, for making this feature happen and for having me along for the ride!

Made in Austin, Part Three...

Well, this was a fun one. Continuing the trend of people making really awesome things for us to photograph for this Tribeza feature, Windmill Bicycles did not disappoint: they fixed up a sweet Fairdale bike with accessories that matched their company colors, just for the shoot! Brother and sister co-owners Aaron and Sarah Goeth were a delight to hang out with for the afternoon. And big bonus points go to Aaron, who got out his tools and pulled down the city “Towing Enforced” sign bolted to their building for this shot of their custom Fairdale.

As a reward for Aaron’s ability to go above and beyond the normal call of duty, I’ll include this one-frame-only outtake of him inside the shop.



These two were super friendly and we had a blast shooting there. If you need a new bike, need your bike fixed, or want to customize an existing bike, these are your people! And oh yeah, they host karaoke and live music there, as well.

Sarah and Aaron Goeth, in their workshop

Sarah and Aaron Goeth, in their workshop

All the allen wrenches you could ever need...

All the allen wrenches you could ever need...

When Sarah and Aaron were building out the shop, Sarah drove all over town collecting old pallets and they created this cool ceiling out of the materials.

When Sarah and Aaron were building out the shop, Sarah drove all over town collecting old pallets and they created this cool ceiling out of the materials.

Seat stitching

Seat stitching

Teamwork...and cowboy boots.

Teamwork...and cowboy boots.

Made in Austin, Part Two...

Next on our “Made in Austin” tour was East Side Showroom to meet up with Julianna Fry, Executive Bar Manager.

East Side Showroom Executive Bar Manager, Julianna Fry

East Side Showroom Executive Bar Manager, Julianna Fry

She came up with a great cocktail for our feature, called “Due Diligence”, comprised entirely of local ingredients. Hover over the cocktail photo for the list! 

- 1.5 oz Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey from Swift Distillery  - 0.5 oz Paula’s Texas Lemon from Paula’s Texas Spirits  - 2 tsp. Dai Due Rib Rub from Dai Due  - 1 Basil leaf from Johnson’s Backyard Garden  - 2 dashes of East Side Showroom house bitters

- 1.5 oz Swift Single Malt Texas Whiskey from Swift Distillery

- 0.5 oz Paula’s Texas Lemon from Paula’s Texas Spirits

- 2 tsp. Dai Due Rib Rub from Dai Due

- 1 Basil leaf from Johnson’s Backyard Garden

- 2 dashes of East Side Showroom house bitters

Click on over to the magazine tearsheet to see all the steps for the recipe. 

Ducking into the bar on a hot Summer afternoon was a nice way to cool down for a little while Julianna made us some very photogenic sample cocktails. This image of Julianna at the iconic East Side Showroom bar is one of my favorite outtakes from shooting this feature. 

Coming down the pipe tomorrow -- our trip to Windmill Bicycles!

Made in Austin, Part One…

Last month, I had the pleasure of working with Tribeza’s new Editor, Katie Friel, on putting together this year’s “Made in Austin” feature for their August Makers Issue. And now it’s August, so I can show you what we’ve been working on! 

We visited several people and places here in Austin, to photograph a coming together of skills and talents that make Austin the city it is today. I’ll be rolling out each of these locations this week with photos from the feature, as well as some fun outtakes…I. Like. Outtakes. **

First up — Juliet, which took over the old Romeo’s location on Barton Springs (see what they did there?). 

Sign design by  Helms Workshop

Sign design by Helms Workshop

We were lucky enough to get in there on the afternoon of their opening day, just a couple of hours before service began. Floors were being cleaned, final curb appeal touches made. Funny note — We noticed that we were talking really quietly, as if using normal speaking voices would mess the place up. We met with designer, Joel Mozersky (Joel Mozersky Design), and he showed us around some of his favorite parts of the interior. I loved the “screens” (pictured below on the left part of the frame), which were salvaged from a 1960’s Bank of America and repurposed for the restaurant. For the photo below, we gathered Joel, Chef Jacob Weaver and Pastry Chef Carly Rossmeissl in a lounge area next to the bar. Probably Jacob and Carly’s last chance to sit down for the rest of the night. 

From left, Pasty Chef Carly Rossmeissl, Chef Jacob Weaver and Designer Joel Mozersky

From left, Pasty Chef Carly Rossmeissl, Chef Jacob Weaver and Designer Joel Mozersky

Amazing bar!

Amazing bar!

Venturing outside, we stepped onto the spacious patio with landscape design by Mark Word (you may know his work from the exteriors of Hotel Saint Cecilia and Hotel San Jose). 

To see the final magazine layout, check out the tearsheets (here and here), with lovely illustrations by Tribeza Art Director, Ashley Horsley. More to come this week, covering the rest of the feature!

** Did I mention I like outtakes? Here's Editor, Katie Friel, doing an A+ stand-in job!

Let's go to the prehistoric gardens

What do you do when it's over 90 degrees outside...in July...in Texas? TAKE A PRODUCTION COMPANY OUT TO THE JUNGLE TO DO HEADSHOTS! 

After scouting several locations, we settled on the prehistoric area of Zilker Botanical Gardens. Everybody brought several changes of clothes to (...sweat through...) change into, and off we went!

Revelator is a film and video production company based here, in Austin, TX, and I can say without question that each person in the company is a trooper and a master of dealing with heat. We brought a couple of people down to the set at a time to minimize human melting issues. I'd like to give a special shout out to Production Coordinator Hannah Murphy and to Kleenex Hand Towels for keeping everyone shine free. Also, a friendly hello to the big turtle and the lizards who visited the set and kept us entertained that day. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you REVELATOR...

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 AustinMonthly.com 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: http://www.atxsaferstreets.org/

Link to the article: http://www.austinmonthly.com/AM/June-2015/The-Road-Warriors/

Cover and Feature Content // The Texas Observer

This month, I had the pleasure of working with The Texas Observer for the first time. I was contacted by their Art Director, Chad Tomlinson, to photograph the cover and feature content for their May 2015 issue. The subject matter is certainly controversial to some, but the feature article, written by Alexa Garcia-Ditta, has important information to know about regarding the state of abortion laws and funding here in Texas.

On a much lighter note, I'm pleased my backpack from high school and new found ability to lay hardwood flooring in the studio all came in handy. Also, three cheers to Chad Tomlinson and his ability to design brochures and highway map covers on short notice! Here's Chad: http://sarahfrankielinder.com/blog/2015/4/13/fresh-props

It's a bird...It's a plane...It's a GIANT SQUIRREL!

It's just not an everyday occurrence that you come around the corner in your studio parking lot and find yourself face to face with a giant squirrel. Although, sharing a parking lot with Blue Genie means you see your fair share of creatures from time to time. 


I'm pretty sure this squirrel is the fixture by the pecan place on Hwy 71...maybe in for repairs. Looked like there were some little cracks on the feet. In any case, this was the most adorable version of Godzilla I've ever found in a parking lot, so naturally I raced out with my camera to snap a few photos. Good thing, because right after I finished and packed up my camera it started pouring down rain and the squirrel was taken inside. No one likes a wet giant squirrel. 

UPDATE: Kevin Collins from Blue Genie has informed us that, in fact, the squirrel is a lady and her name is Ms. Pearl.