Wednesday, January 15, 2014


It was a beautiful autumn day when my assistant Kathleen Ching and I drove down to West Chester, Pennsylvania to photograph 10-year old runner, Nikolas Toocheck for SI For Kids. Photo editor Annamrie Avilla's directions were to make it "colorful and fun" and shoot him somewhere "beautiful."  I spoke with Nickolas' mom weeks in advance and asked her where her son usually runs and she described a park by a lake.  Perfect.  

While I tried all kinds of posed shots, I knew THE SHOT had to be one of him running.  But, it had to be a portrait not an action or a sports shot and it couldn't be taken from across the lake with a super-long lens.  So, my concept was to have him run towards the camera, so I'd catch him close and he'd be relating with the camera.  Kathleen and I marked a spot on the ground and set up portable strobes on either side of the spot.  I pre-focused on the spot so Nikolas would be in focus and "frozen" when he hit his mark.  I also had an on-camera flash to add some front fill on my subject.  I had Nikolas run back and fourth about 20 times, which he was more than happy to do, and happily, most of the frames were pretty good.  The above selected image which ran in the magazine provides, for me, (and I assume the photo editors of SI) the perfect balance between portrait and action shot.

Thanks to the Toocheck family for taking great behind-the-scenes photos!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Caits Meissner's Saga of Daisy Skin

Poet/performer/writer/designer and all-around renaissance woman Caits Meissner designed a nice piece based around my portrait of her for her new project 'The Saga of Daisy Skin: Jan '14.' Check it out here:

Also, the photo originally comes form my photocomix profile on Caits, which illustrated a lovely poem she wrote called, "Dear Roger", which can be viewed here:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Day thoughts

I have high hopes for 2014. 2013 offered many challenges both personally and professionally.  There were hard times for my family, which we will continue to struggle with in this new year, but I'm confident we will persevere. I struggled with my career as a freelance photographer in a still down economy and dwindling publishing industry. Not to say it was all bad. I got some plum assignments and my work made the cover of a national magazine. Turning 40 helped me remember how lucky I am to have so many supportive friends and family members.  2013 was also the year where I made major leaps as a creator of content. Over the past few months I began developing five exciting new comics projects, (with some excellent collaborators) some or all of which I hope to see come to fruition during this new year. A big book collection of my Schmuck webcomic is in the works for this year.  It's also looking like I'll have a new book (which I can't yet discuss, but can say it will feature my photos) out in time for next holiday season. Things are looking up. 

Today, I spent New Years Day ice skating with my family. It was a great way to start the new year.  

A happy, healthy and prosperous 2014 to all!