Saturday, September 28, 2013

There Is A Saying

There is a saying that gets shared around...well, it is shared around my little world and around the great big world as well. When someone has a child who has a it something that has a name and a doctor's diagnosis or simply an extremely annoying child, someone always comforts them with a line that goes something like this:

The universe gives us things for a reason.
You wouldn't have been given this child if the powers-that-be didn't think you were up to the challenge...

Now is this true? Of course not.

People are handed struggles every day that they are ill equipped for. But after spending the day with Adrianna Hannon and her son Jayden at U.C. Davis' Mind Institute, I realized that here, maybe just this once, this was the perfect fit.

Adrianna had a hunger for life and a direct line to her son Jayden. They could love life and learn together, letting us photograph all of it, as they share the laughs and joys together. And at the end of the day...Jayden's her son, Adrianna's the mom...and her love is there in support and wonder for this fascinating child.

Monica Bradley, Scientific American photo editor and I have worked together for years. We fleshed out exactly what we wanted this spread to look like. Two tight face shots that brought the mother and child face to face, with the reader and with each other. After meeting everyone and we started shooting, I realized this was not going to happen at all...not even close. We had to let all these ideas go. They were never going to work out.

After letting go of that, I really just prayed that I could create a photograph that did justice to the two of them- two super special people who were thankful for each other, on this journey they will walk together for the rest of their lives. At the end of the day, I thought I had it.

See these images in all their splendor HERE.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Keith Cotton Comes To Town

Photographer Keith Cotton comes to San Francisco, and of course we try to get together. The fact that we have never met doesn't damper our curiosity.

Saturday evening we have a shoot set up, a project my intern Barbra Walker and I have been working on, finally coming to life.

Keith and his wife Emily arrive, we say hello, and the sun is setting...we need to make our photograph. I never saw Keith move a muscle...never knew he really had a camera on him. The next day these images from Keith arrive: epic and biblical, with hints of painter Mark Tansey and photographer Gregory Crewdson. We are waist high in the flood, the waters are rising, but the show must go on.

I only hope our image can match these stills.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Guest Artist Photo Ninja Suite

So it goes like this:

After a bit of negotiating you accept the offer, hiding the fact that you are more than flattered.

You ignore the task for a while, then you get antsy and realize you need to prepare.

You put off the preparation for days, weeks, and then are watching the calendar and counting the days. It's not really an issue of giving the institution their money's worth....that is a consideration but a secondary one. The stomach ache and sense of terror you feel as the days creep up is one of absolute unquestionable failure. A loss, a social humiliation, a chunk of public ridicule that threatens to strike you at your most personal space. It risks touching you at your core. A deep wound or even as a surface wound...either one will do the damage and be banging around your psyche for a long, long time.

The Guest Artist is the Photo Ninja: you sweep in with Yin and Yang. Exhausted and filled with adrenaline.

You find a reserved but willing audience. You cut to the chase- no nurturing, no hand holding, nothing like that at all. You deliver the goods, toss out your opinions and advice with little to no backround to their projects at all. It's all about you, sharing your steroid-driven opinions with them, letting them live with it, as you fly off into the night.

The next day, just like are gone. Poof.

But it's the large public lecture, usually scheduled at night, that can destroy you. Small talk before the lecture about the challenges a known photo rock star ran into during his lecture...a guy I know is overflowing with charisma. These things sit in your brain and make you un-easy...and worse. You can hope for the best: attentive students, great questions, solid response from the crowd. But any sign of apathy, any sigh, any glance at a text will dent your photo libido for months.

This time...I got away with it. I tricked them all...all 200 of them...with some form of mass hypnosis. Whew. You never know what next time holds....


I flew out to University of Kansas on September 11, 2013. Having some time on hand at the airport, I posted this note to Facebook:

Here it is, 9/11 and I'm at the Oakland Airport.

Life as usual all around. Cliche as it sounds, one never forgets.

So thankful for the opportunity to celebrate art and life and passion and all that we are able to create this week as a visiting artist at University of Kansas. Thankful for the joys that come with just totally geeking out with like minded art geeks as well.



And wow....what can I say? We really had an absolute blast. Thank you everyone at U of K for slaughtering the pig and celebrating your work with me so openly. Bryon Darby, Luke Jordan, Daniel Coburn, Emma Kisiel, Nathaniel Jones and every student who shared their work.

Thank you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Open Source Robotics / What's Not To Like?

Morgan Quigley, Open Source Robotics Foundation, Palo Alto California.
Photographed for MIT Technology Review, September 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kansas City Calling : Free Public Lecture

Hallmark Symposium Lecture Series Presents
Timothy Archibald
Thursday September 12, 2013
Budig Hall, Room 110
Ticket Cost: $0.00
Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored by The University of Kansas Department of Design.

More information to be found HERE.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hashtag History Week in Review

Had a great time embracing manic camera phoning for Smithsonian Magazine's Instagram page this week, all collected on
Like all things of our time, there was some good stuff that bubbled to the surface, as well as some long standing Instagram clich├ęs coming in with full force.
Here is a selection of some highlights.