Well, I’m a little behind on posting my favorite images of 2014. But between working, packing, moving to Pittsburgh, and that little ‘blizzard’ we had in Boston, I only ended up entering one contest – the Boston Press Photographers Association contest.
That’s one of the best contest’s I’ve ever entered. Why? Because at the end of the year you get to put your work up next to your friends who covered a lot of the same events in the same city. It’s the best way, I think, to see how well your year came out. And because it includes so many people who care about pictures and photojournalism, it was an honor to be a part of that group of folks in New England.
Onto the next chapter in life! Enjoy the pictures…
If everything we asked for and chased after resulted in our ideal outcome, what fun would that be? As an artist, I’d never learn how to get better at my craft nor would we strive to become better people.
We would be stagnant and boring with nothing to surprise us.
Why am I bringing this up? Because my quality of life will soon be in a much better place: Pittsburgh.
This February I will be moving back home to the city of bridges.
I’ve been three years removed from the place that taught and gave me so much. And even in such a short time, it has changed a lot. Just ask my good friend and artist, Baron Batch, who is making things happen over at Studio AM in Homestead, a part of western Pennsylvania that is especially close to my heart. It’s where my grandfather, or ‘Pap’ as I called him, grew up and made his living for so many years. The same man who introduced me to the city, Three Rivers Stadium, and the Stillers.
Whereas Gerald Wickerham, or Pap, was executive director of the North Side Development Council working on constructing new offices and landmarks during the height of the steel industry, this generation of young creatives are finding ways to repurpose those same interiors with their own ideas designed for today’s world while still maintaining the blue-collar mentality.
One foot firmly planted in the past and the other proudly moving forward towards the future.
It’s exciting to have the opportunity to put my own stamp on a city that was molded by previous generations of my family. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my time in Boston. I met some really great people, experienced historical moments, both good and bad, and made some pictures that I’m proud of. And for those things, I am truly grateful.
But it’s time to come home to the place I truly belong.
Being back in Pittsburgh is a feeling unlike any other. It’s a combination of the tangible and intangible moments. There is certainly a general sense of feeling welcome in such a friendly part of the world. But there’s also a self-confidence that comes with being in a place that is open to change and taking chances. There are no limits to what someone can accomplish in such a progressive place.
Don’t get me wrong – nothing will come easily. There will be a new set of challenges that await. But with the support of friends (let’s face it, they’re really family at this point) like Jeff & Beth Swensen, Justin Merriman, Stephanie Strasburg, Mickey & Molly Miller, Andy Russell, Jasmine Goldband, Baron Batch, Sean Beauford, and the rest of the folks I’ve missed dearly these last few years, I can’t go wrong.
And not to mention all of the Pamela’s hotcakes I can eat!
Not because it’s located in Homestead, Pennsylvania – a place where my family grew up and that holds a special place in my heart. Not because the walls of the former Smoke BBQ restaurant are now covered in amazing artwork and awesomely painted movie props. And not because it would make for one of the greatest bachelor pads.
It’s because of the people who spend their time inside this space – excited about life and collaborating together. Genuinely good people. Friends. And I meet new ones every time I visit.
I may live in Boston but this is always my first stop when I come back home and will be working closely with all of these guys in the coming months, showcasing the great relationships being forged and things being created.
In my first Studio A.M. post, here are some fun portraits with artist Baron Batch curator Sean Beauford and from my most recent visit to 8th Avenue. There are certainly plenty more creative individuals involved and I will be bringing you their story soon!
Well, I’m a bit more than a month back into the freelance world and thought it was time to throw an update of recent work together to show that I wasn’t just sitting on my butt at home the last few weeks.
Anyways, here are 20 of my favorite frames from the months of July and August. Enjoy!