Prague - 2016
(Before I grew my goatee and mustache to feign a "badass artiste" look.)
Although it's awkward, this "About" section means I need to talk about myself.
So here's my shameless humblebrag.
For a long time I was a corporate world muckety-muck (arguably only in my own mind). I was a director of marketing / communications guru, of sorts, and had a great run before retiring from a great company -- Steelcase -- to do something else. I had no idea what that "something else" would be. I'd like to say I was a visionary and could see the Sensitography pieces falling into place. But I wasn't and I didn't. I just knew I'd always loved photography and I'd always loved live theatre. The mantra "pursue your passions" resonated. So I donned my best set of pleading eyes, struck my best "give a kid a chance" look and asked for some assignments. Several kind and daring folks in the theatre community opened the door. I suppose I came through for them because it's now 12 years later and my camera and I are still capturing the power of live theatre. Still catching performers in the act.
It all just happened. Much like life itself Sensitography is a work in process. And, hopefully, in progress.
I know enough about branding to know that a website devoted to theatre shouldn't muddy the waters with too much other stuff. But because I lack self control, I'll muddy them with just a little other stuff. It's like this: while my claim to marginal fame is live theatre photography, it's led to other photographic adventures.
Headshots, of course, are part and parcel of shooting theatre. Most of them are quickies that look way better than mere quickies. And sometimes talent hires me for a much fuller session.
Top row, L to R: Sydney, Greg, Yesenia, Don
Row 2, L to R: David, Devon, Humzah, Fred,
Row 3, L to R: Maddie, Jason, Becca, Sammy,
Row 4, L to R: Darius, Ian, Paul, Chelsea
Strange Times Called for Porchfront Portraits
The world of live theatre, along with most everything else, went completely dark during the pandemic. My camera gear was gathering dust. So borrowing an idea I'd read about, I offered to take porchfront portraits of my neighbors using a long lens for a safe social distance. All I asked in return was for each neighbor to make a donation to the charity of their choice.
Below are some favorites from a memorable time in world history. And in the history of each family.
Concert photography has many of the same challenges as shooting live theatre. Especially the constant changes in lighting,
But the biggest difference is the concert crowds are rowdier than when I shoot tech rehearsals for theatre and there is no crowd. Or alcohol (that I'm aware of).
Jim Gaffigan / Grand Rapids Women's Chorus / kenny barron quintet / garrison keillor / brandi carlile /
jeff & paige / tift merritt / mary chapin carpenter / indigo girls / grand rapids girls choral academy /
lyle lovett band / natalie merchant / tony furtado / rachael davis & jake armerding / pokey lafarge /
I've dabbled in this realm by helping some special
people with photographic needs for campaign materials.
Pro bono - occasionally goodness is its own reward
It's hard to know where to stop when it comes to giving back to our great community. I've devoted lots of pro bono photographic love to the likes of:
- Hospice of Michigan
- Ronald McDonald House
- Children's Healing Center
- Refugee Education Center
- Fifth Third Ballpark/Whitecaps post-fire re-build
- Grand Awards
- Civic Theatre's pandemic driveway concerts (see Civic Theatre menu for more)
- Loving Day Celebration (honoring the 1958 marriage of Mildred & Richard Loving)
- Meijer Gardens
Here's a smattering.
Hospice of Michigan - camp good grief
I have volunteered my photography over the course of three summers to Hospice of
Michigan's Camp Good Grief, a one-day summer camp experience at Camp Newaygo.
Here, kids who are going through the grieving process feel less lonely simply from being
around peers who are dealing with the same powerful and confusing feelings.
HOM families - It's all about grace
Photographing Hospice of Michigan families is never really about photography. In many instances I have 15 minutes to
set up, shoot and be gone. Nuances such as lighting, set design and positioning are back-burnered. It's all about
grace (not a word I often use).I am so fortunate to bear witness to the strength and compassion that invariably consumes
the precious few moments I share with these families. They are so gracious and grateful for the keepsake I provide.
But in most ways I receive far more than I give from these cherished moments of love and loss.
The Ronald McDonald House and its Riverbank Run fundraiser
Grand opening of children's healing center & an event with grand rapids civic theatre
refugee education center
Young immigrants learning their way in a new world
loving day celebration
Commemorating the 1958 marriage of Mildred & Richard Loving.
Fifth third ballpark - post fire re-build
During the winter of 2014, the West Michigan Whitecaps re-built a major portion
of the stadium after it was damaged by fire. My late great friend Larry Melton and
I volunteered to chronicle the construction with photos and a video. Brrr.
A Precious Few Weddings (but no brises)
I'm throwing this in to show that I do them. But only if I know (and really like) the people quite well. And only if I think it's going to be a very cool event.