Hayward Demison for ESPN

Everyone gets in a funk and currently I’m in one, but then I remember stories like this and it puts things in perspective a little. We sometimes get caught up in our own little World and struggle with the day to day, we tend to forget about our blessings. When we start focusing our energy to what we’re grateful for and the positives that surrounds us, only then will we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Over the summer I got a chance to photograph a special comeback story about Hayward Demison for ESPN HS. Last year, Hayward was on his way to scoring what proved to be a game-winning touchdown in their game against Canby, but as he pulled away from the defense, he knew something as wrong. After scoring the touchdown, Hayward went over to the sidelines and told his trainers. Hayward then collapsed and blacked out.

His heart stopped for about two minutes, as the team’s training staff performed CPR. Doctors confirmed that a faulty artery wasn’t pumping enough blood to his heart. Hayward had two options, undergo a triple bypass and never play sports again, or try a riskier open heart surgery that would give him a chance to play again. He opted for the latter.

Five months later, Hayward is getting to make his comeback. He suffers no ill effects from the surgery and isn’t on any medications or special diet. His goal for this year, one of which is to rush for 2000 yards. *Interviewed by Mike Grimala

Quavondo Shoots on the Beaches of Maui

Whenever I travel, whether it’s for work or pleasure, I always try and find time to seek out local models to photograph. For me, the idea of being in a new place and a chance to shoot a fresh face is exciting! It’s always a low key situation, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to bring it. =)

When I was in Maui, I found this wonderful model name Brooke. We hit it off right away. The hike in took some time, but it gave us a chance to chat a little bit and get to know each other. By the time we started shooting, she was comfortable with me and moved like a pro. If she was in the States, I would definitely suggest her to my clients for one of their campaigns. I would have to put her on my list of must shoot models in Maui. Til next time Brooke! Check out the mini video.

Thomas Tyner for ESPN

About three months ago, I got a chance to meet the soft spoken Thomas Tyner from Aloha High School for ESPN HS cover and spread shoot, but don’t let his nice guy persona mislead you, on the football field he’s an animal. Thomas led his team to the State Championship last year and won it! Not bad for a Sophomore. Thomas also clocks the fastest time in the State for the 100 meter track event. Speed and power is a great combination for a running back. Can’t wait til he hits the college ranks.

Here’s a clip from our shoot.

Sneak Peek at Hieu & Kimi’s Wedding

Besides helping out some friends this year on a couple of wedding shoots, this is the only wedding that I booked. Hieu, a friend of my cousin, contacted me towards the end of last year to shoot his wedding. We marked it on the calendar and it came in a rush. It’s amazing how time just flies by. Here’s a sneak peek of the wedding that I shot 2 days ago.

Congratulations Hieu & Kimi on your special day and marriage!

Gear that I used:
Canon 5D Mark II
50mm 1.2
35mm 1.4
50mm macro
16-35mm 2.8
70-200mm 2.8

Sports Photography

Up until the beginning of this year, I haven’t done really much of sports/fitness photography. I love and concentration was mainly set on fashion photography. But it was December of last year that I decided that since I was living in the Pacific Northwest, I was going to have to refocus my energy and adapt myself in order to stay afloat in this economy. There was no fashion work for me here in Portland, I would have to go back to New York and I really didn’t want to do that, Summers and Winters are awful there.

So in January of 2011, I hit the ground running and reworked my portfolio book to include a sports/fitness section which ultimately lead to work from ESPN and Adidas. I also did my first ever, underwater photography. That was quite a learning experience and exhausting because I was holding my breath under water, sink myself to the bottom, framed the shot, timed it perfectly, get everything dialed in correctly on the camera settings, and take the shot. Repeat these steps over and over, and with the lack of oxygen, your body gets tired real quick. Next time, I’d do it with scuba gear. Here’s the underwater shot.

Here are some shots for adidas:

Nic Batum of the Portland Trailblazers.

Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons.

I’m currently doing post production on Andre Miller (Portland Trailblazers) and Martell Webster (Minnesota Timberwolves). Hopefully Derrick Rose will be in front of my camera soon.

Sports photography is a little bit harder than fashion for me. With sports, you have movement and timing. You’re never going to get the same shot twice, whereas in fashion photography, I can have the model hold still and I can recompose and/or change pieces of the shot.

A few things to keep in mind is shutter speed and AI Servo tracking. If your shutter is not fast enough, you won’t catch the action. Your images will be blurry. There are some exceptions where it’s acceptable, like you want to show movement. You can do this with a slower shutter speed or a camera pan as you take the image. With the camera pan, your background will be in motion but the subject will be somewhat in focus. Here’s a sample of that:

The image of the baseball player diving to make the catch was shot by me in March of this year. This week it received great honors from iStock and was named image of the week.