Wednesday, August 20, 2014

While we're on the subject of raising awareness...

Let's raise awareness for other causes as well!

We've seen the power that people have when faced with a challenge, most notably the "Ice Bucket Challenge". Viral, fast, fun and spreading like wildfire.. Amazing results started with a great idea. I donated and completed the ice challenge, calling out some industry professionals along the way (Blair Bunting, Zack Arias and Andrew Fingerman). I challenged these three friends because of their large following, hoping that their social reach will raise more funds, because that is the name of the game in the ALS world. Money means research and research means results. My ALS video can be seen here:

If you haven't donated, you can do so at

But, while we're on the subject... the whole point of this post is to talk about another issue in our country. This one is not a disease, or a virus, or starvation. It's a moral one. One we've seen all over the news... think Ferguson. Think Donald Sterling. Think... Racism. A large issue, and a tough one to talk about for almost everyone. There have been so many racist acts reported on the news this year, and lots of uproar. How can we turn uproar into a positive message, educate people and spread "awareness" for the damaging results from such acts? Let's think about some ideas. We all share this planet.. so, let's SHARE.

Continuing my "I'll say it for you" photography project, I recently collaborated with a good friend and model, Steven Whitfield (along with a kind passer-by), for the following image. A message he strongly wanted to share. Racism is still alive.

I'll say it for you.

"I'll say it for you" - thought provoking messages begging for a reaction.... a change. 

Till next time,

Brian James

Monday, June 16, 2014

When it comes to shooting Fashion.. it's all about style, but..

When it comes to shooting Fashion, it's all about style.. but, it's the talent, teamwork, and good attitudes that are the keys to success. If you don't have a good attitude, I don't want you in my studio (or at my barbecue, for that matter). I like working with positive, like minded people.. no Debbie Downers allowed.  Nothing personal, Debbie...

Thanks to rockin' model, Kathryn Komarnicki, alongside the hair/makeup talents of Monique McLaughlin, this recent photo session showing off styles from MISRED Outfitters was a breeze. Nothing misread about about this shoot:

Thank you again to a great team. Positive vibes..

Till next time,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tools of the Trade: Film, the Darkroom, and the making of Photographs..

I am so fortunate to have started my photography adventure shooting film. Learning proper exposure, light, and the development process of film is what made me the Photographer I am today. For four years of my life, the darkroom was my getaway, my place of solace.. Just me, my photographs, and some running water. Peaceful.

I haven't been in a darkroom since I had the pleasure of photographing the talented Jazz Photographer, Herb Snitzer, as he made prints in his studio darkroom. That was more than 3 years ago! Here is that photograph:

Legendary Jazz Photographer, Herb Snitzer.

Nowadays, shooting digitally, I spend my "developing" time in Lightroom, sitting in front of a computer. There is no running water in my printing process. I have lost my place of solace.

Recently, a friend of mine had a family friend pass away and he was willed many old photographic tools. He had no personal use for them (and these days, they don't sell for much).. so he called me up and gifted me all of these nostalgic pieces I used to cherish... and still do. I decided to make photographs of these items, which brought me that peace and those great memories of why I fell in love with this artform, the "magic" of making prints in the darkroom. These are the Tools of the Trade:

I hope these bring back some memories for others.. and for those who never used these tools, let this be a lesson on the true craft that this industry is. We take our technology for granted sometimes..

I strive to get images right, in camera, as the tools above were the only "photoshop" you had.. and you couldn't just "fix" it later. Get it right. Right NOW.

Till next time,