Thursday, May 24, 2012

Smoke in the Valley

The Las Vegas skyline looked a lot like Los Angeles yesterday. The smoke from a wildfire 400 miles north in Wellington had drifted into the valley because of high overnight winds. It was quite a sight at sunset from the hills of Henderson.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Big, Bright and Loud

Last weekend was Mariachi Madness in Las Vegas. Here are some photos and a slightly cheesy paragraph that I wrote for the Mariachi photo page that ran in the Las Vegas Sun today:

 Mariachi is big, bright, loud, garish and unapologetic. The colors of the Ballet Folklorico dancer's dresses swirled as they swished and twirled to the music both on the stage and in the aisles of Reynolds Hall. About 3000 students from 16 middle schools and high schools in the Clark County School District's Mariachi and Ballet Folklorico programs performed with Mariachi Cobre, a renowned Mariachi group, during the Latin Chamber of Commerce Mariachi Festival at Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas Friday night. Photographing Mariachi does not do it justice, because without sound it's tough to capture the exuberance. I tried my best to show in photographs the color and emotion, but Mariachi truly lives in all five senses.

See more photos and read the article about Mariachi in Southern Nevada.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prom Comfort

I have to admit that photographing proms is my comfort zone. Get me to a teen dance and I'm a happy photographer. I love the drama of prom; the highs and lows, the colors, the emotions and the hormones. I also love learning all the new dance moves that the kids are doing these days. One of the reasons I like photographing the teen demographic is at that age they haven't put up the barriers that most adults have settled behind. They are more open and honest. This is especially true for the current generation of teenagers, much more so then when I was in high school in the 1990s. They are so out there already on the internet, sharing every single emotion and self-portrait with the world, that one newspaper photographer following them around doesn't seem to faze them at all.

Here's a sampling of my favorites from this year's Mojave and Chaparral High School proms. Included in the documentary work is a set of black and portraits I did this year at Chaparral prom that were definitely inspired by Mary Ellen Mark's amazing Polaroid 20×24 Land Camera prom portraits.