Yesterday we celebrated the life of friend, husband, brother, and father, Greg Henderson. It's been a hard month for those of us who loved Greg, and I cannot begin to imagine the loss that his partner and their young daughter must be feeling. I will leave the photographs to tell their story; an afternoon gathering of old and new friends, family, work associates, and students sharing stories and memories of a beautiful human. Greg, you are so very missed.
I have never been more proud to be an Angeleno than I was today, as hundreds of thousands of men, women and children descended upon our city center to march for all those disenfranchised by the rhetoric of Donald Trump and his administration. Thank you, Los Angeles, for representing with such light, love and humanity. This is what democracy looks like. God Bless America!
Birthdays have always been important in our little Venice family and rarely does the occasion go unmarked, whether the attention is welcomed or not. And then there are those milestones years. This past weekend we celebrated our own Jessica Beeman in a truly fitting way; in Mendocino County on a private reserve surrounding a lake where the only access is up a winding (and intimidating) nine-mile dirt road deep into the redwood forest. At once spectacular and erie, arriving at the compound was truly surreal. It was really wonderful to share the weekend with this crew, surrounded by the stunning scenery of Northern California. When we weren't kayaking, hiking or fishing, we could be found cooking and sharing meals together either under the stars or in the charming mess hall of the “Big House". Leonard Lake Reserve is a must see. One can only imagine what a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday would be like in this magical setting, but let us keep that our little secret.
A villa with unparalleled views of the Côte d'Azur, dotted with sail and power yachts of all sizes. Exploring the pedestrian-only communes of Saint Paul-d-Vence and Antibes, lined with cobblestone streets and filled with tiny artisan store fronts, bustling cafes, and the ghosts of centuries past. A speedboat ride to the sun-splashed, seaside village of St. Tropez for a lunch of moules et frites, with a stop on the return for a dip in the warm, clear, salty waters of anthéor cove in Agay. The pièces de résistance; a wedding set on the grounds of a glorious Chateau in Mougins, high in the hills above the bustling city of Cannes.
To know Marianne and Mickael Trintignac is to know love; a true, strong and unwavering love. I am grateful to be able to share that love in photographs. The celebration of their union along the glittering French Riviera was brimming with food, laughter, wine, and the warmth of family and friends. It truly was a celebration worthy of their love.
So much time has passed since my last blog post. My father whom I affectionately called "pop" left us a month ago after battling a very long illness, and while I was physically prepared for what may come, the emotional struggle caught me by surprise. Couple pops long decline with being forced to relocate from my beloved Venice bungalow of 7 years, and it's no wonder I've been void of creativity as of late. So I made a change. A big one. Suddenly I find myself in a loft in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. Yes you heard that right... DTLA is my new home. A giant light drenched, concrete and airy, factory windowed home. Tonight, watching the city flicker to life through those factory windows, I realize I have finally found my inspiration. Here is to change, and opening new windows.
I recently celebrated my 46th birthday and to mark things a little differently this year I decided a little spontaneous adventure was called for. I had been considering either Sayulita, Mexico, where a friend of mine summers, or San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma & Napa. While I'm definitely a sun and water baby, it was my craving for oysters, wine and a long, winding road that eventually won me over.
I covered a lot of territory: visited with my East Bay family and my "getting-ever-taller" god-daughter; had an impromptu rendezvous with a fellow Venetian which included oysters at the Ferry Building, a bike adventure to the Mission District and a first ever cable car ride; and then made my way solo up the coast and eventually ending up in Napa Valley. Along the way I stopped to sample the wares of some of my favorite watering holes and food shops; Hog Island Oyster Farm, Four Barrel Coffee, Bouchon, Model Bakery, Flying Goat Coffee, and the Andaz Hotel in Napa.
Mexico may have taken a back seat to wine & farm country this time, but after this last photography escapade I'm guessing a trip to Sayulita may be sooner than you think...
Enjoy the gallery!
The only thing I need to say about this little film is that I am still covered in glitter. Happy Birthday Christian. Your Venice Village loves you so very much!
"It was a very good year...", as good old blue eyes sang it! Though things started on a bit of shaky ground (an accident at the beginning of our holiday sail and the loss of our dear Christians mother) there was plenty to celebrate in 2013. In fact, we have much reason for gratitude here in our lovely village that we call home. So rather than try to detail our year in prose, please allow me to share with you our past four years as a Venice family. I love each and everyone of these people with all of my heart.
Happy New Year
“I like on the table, when we're speaking, the light of a bottle of intelligent wine.”
~ Pablo Neruda
If you follow my instagram and Facebook pages, then you are very familiar with my love affair with wine. Nothing is more compelling to me than the story of the grapes journey as it struggles from clay, rock and sand to your glass. The unique characteristics of each bottle of wine is a reflection of its history and becomes imprinted on your senses. Very few products we consume are made with such affection and zeal.
This is a story of such a wine. I have been blessed to document Tanner DaFoe Winery from its first crush over four years ago, and last night a milestone was celebrated - the very first public tasting. Instead of boring you with textual sentiment, I will let my photos tell the tale. I hope you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed capturing them.
Tanner DaFoe releases its first wine, a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, in October.
Scotch & Soda opened its 100th store, and on Abbot Kinney of all places. While continuing "gentrification" creeps toward the outward borders of our once sleepy beach town, the presence of yet another "chain" store on our beloved main street is controversial. Having said that, I really enjoyed working with the crew of this Dutch based company. Their design and work philosophy seems to foster a creative and independent spirit that is at home in Venice.
The event was designed and curated by Stephanie Kimes of OneNine-Designs, in collaboration with Natalie Davis of Parish. The festivities took over a home on the sand at the foot of Santa Monica's famous incline, and included dinner by Leo & Lilly and entertainment by Q-Tip, whose spin on the turntables had us grooving well into the morning hours.
It has been a little while since I updated my photo blog. Seeing that it is the start of summer, I thought I would share some captures from Labor Day weekend, 2005. These were taken in Montauk and Noyak Bay in the Hamptons, and while definitely vintage work from me (and taken with my very first Canon camera) I absolutely love revisiting them; they have a ghost-like quality that is reminiscent of summer adventures from a forgotten past. I hope you enjoy, and happy summering!
I need to preface this post: if you are not a supporter of marriage equality, nor a believer in the separation of church and state, you will be offended by these gallery images. For this I will not apologize.
For the past five years I have stood on the front-lines of many a rally and march in support of repealing Proposition 8. This current fight for basic human rights has been a long time coming, and the battle isn't even close to being over. Even if the Supreme Court votes in favor of overturning 8 (and DOMA), society's homophobia still drives young people to bullying, violence and suicide. I am a forty-plus year old gay man who remembers all too well the pain of wanting to fit in... to be "normal", and while the younger generation as a whole has had a sweeping change of heart when it comes to accepting my fellow gay & lesbian brothers and sisters as members of their own community, this violence, abuse and isolation will not end until religious leaders and elected officials everywhere stop using ideology and rhetoric of hate.
These images reflect the faces of those fighting for equality, whether straight, gay, black or white.
If you are not familiar with Livngiv yet, you will be soon. A few years back a start-up by the name of Givigiv was founded by local Venice entrepreneur, Kenneth Hepburn. Givigiv was designed to be a cross marketing platform for restaurants and businesses. One could easily send a friend in Manhattan an electronic gift certificate for, say the Otheroom in the West Village, where the recipient would get a link via instant message or email to show the establishment.
After some rebranding and tweaking, the little start-up that could is back, and in a very big way. Now known as Livngiv, it has partnered restaurants with local charities, and is a terrific way to send a gift or dine with friends at top-notch restaurants, all while giving back to your community. I am thrilled they have selected me to photograph their partner businesses and charities; what could be better than shooting food & wine? The gallery below is a sample of work I've done locally for Livngiv, and is soon to be seen on their website and mobile applications. After browsing the photos, go to their new website, sign-up, and start paying it forward.