Hawthorne Blvd, a photographic stroll

Posted in Photography, Portraiture, Travel by daybf on March 16, 2011

Portland is divided north to south by Burnside St and the Willamette river divides east and west. I primarily stayed on the west side, since my hotel was in the northwest and the transportation via the streetcar and the MAX get you everywhere on the west side. You have to take buses to get over the river (except for the airport and IKEA where the MAX goes). I knew I had to make my way over to the Hawthorne District in the southeast where all the hipsters hangout (supposedly). Kind of like the Mission District in San Francisco. I also heard Hawthorne Blvd. in particular be called the Haight-Ashbury of Portland. In any case, I took a bus over and got off at 30th and Hawthorne and walked down to about 41st where there seemed to be less to walk to and see.

The vibe was instantly different. A little grungier (in a normal city kind of way) and reminded me of my hometown Santa Cruz’s downtown.  Neat old buildings housed coffee shops, diners, boutiques. Unique privately owned stores promised one-of-a-kind finds, such as vintage clothing and vinyls. On this day I decided I would conquer my fear of photographing strangers. So, I made a promise to myself that I would ask at least one stranger if I could take their picture. It turns out I asked many  more and none of them said no! However, I also carefully chose who to ask.

I initially wanted to photograph some hipsters, since Shannon’s mom Sarah was still unsure of what a hipster was. But, it was 38 degrees and I think the hipsters were hiding (indoors). Or, were not simply roaming the streets on a Sunday like I was. I got to photograph super nice and interesting people, don’t get me wrong, but I was expecting more over-the-top hipsters. In any case, I’ll let my pictures speak for themselves now.

My first subjects were these teenagers in ghillie suits hiding in bushes and scaring pedestrians.

This violinist was super talented and taken aback when I asked if I could take his picture. He thanked me and said that most people don’t ask.
Doesn’t he have a great smile?
Another musician, who was very serious for someone who seemed to be a young teenager. But I’m bad with ages…

This man had a booth for PGE (Portland General Electric, too similar to PG&E) and I stopped and talked to him for awhile about this new thing you could sign up for to save energy, etc. Then he graciously let me take his photograph. Love the hat and beard, and check out those eyes of his!
I went into this herb shop to buy some loose leaf tea, and photographed the employee who had impressively long dreads. She was sweet and timid, but didn’t even flinch at the idea of having her photograph taken.

Most of the dogs I saw wore little coats to keep them warm, but this little guy had a furry parka!
I stopped at The Fresh Pot coffee shop inside of Powell’s Books on Hawthorne. When I asked this woman for her picture and gave her my spiel she just said “I used to do that.”

Caught a Powell’s Books employee on a smoke break. “Uh, sure you can take my picture…what should I do?” “Oh, you can just keep smoking.” But then he continued to look right at me, which was what I really wanted.
It was a nerve-racking day full of firsts and I was constantly amazed at how kind everyone I ran into was. I gave all of my subjects my business card and told them to contact me if they wanted to see/have their photographs. About 4 of them got back to me, which I was pleased with.


Band Shoot #4: PK

Posted in Music, Photography, Portraiture by daybf on October 26, 2009

I had my longest photoshoot yet, with the San Luis Obispo (Paso Robles) band PK last Sunday. I am very pleased with the results 8D The guys were up for my goofy ideas and in high spirits despite long days at work, and sickness. We met in Paso Robles where we took photos at a winery and their practice space near an airport. The weather was beautiful, and I was lucky the natural light was so nice-especially close to sunset.

Listen to PK on myspace and purevolume

Train car at the winery:
Mikel made whistling sounds with grass at the swans.
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Out by the airport near the practice space:

A plane landed behind us while setting up the next shot. Not the best photo of PK, but I’m glad I caught the plane! [as the sun set too]
Matt walked out to a cluster of watermelons and discovered it was very muddy…resulted in some pretty dirty sneakers.
My trusty assistant Karolin! I was thankful for her help.
Bass (Mikel Van Kranenburg)
“Made in San Luis Obispo”
We went into the practice space so I could take photos of PK playing.
Nick Fotinakes:                                              Matt Depauw:
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Travis Hawley (vocals):

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Kevin Menesez:
Painting with light (luckily PK is easy to write, so the possibilities were endless):
This was a favorite…
My personal fave:
Me with the band:
Day With PK

Band Photo Shoot #3: Axia

Posted in Music, Photography, Portraiture by daybf on October 17, 2009

My first formal group photo shoot was with Axia. They’re a hard/metal rock group out of San Luis Obispo, Ca. Listen to them on myspace and reverbnation.

This photo shoot was a challenge, because we met after dark. I ended up just using a single strobe off-camera and a white reflector for slightly softer light. Overall they were a lot of fun to work with and really easy going. Their spirit came through in the shots thanks to their energy!

Outside their practice space on Tank Farm Rd. (think industrial).






Inside the practice space:
Individual Shots
Ian Forbes (keys):

Dusty Rhoads (drums):
Chad Land (rhythm/lead guitars and vocals):
Steve Gourley (bass, backing vocals):

Ian’s tattooed hands:




Fall 2009-Senior Project Time! Band #1: Siko

Posted in Event, Live Music, Music, Photography by daybf on October 9, 2009

My first photos for my senior project. Siko at San Luis Obispo Mission Plaza September 4, 2009. They’re a fun funk rock band. Check them out here

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