Tag Archives: Midwest

A Techno Kind Of Night

19 Apr

This last weekend, I had the privilege of hanging out with some of the finest DJs the Midwest has to offer. The crews over at PhulPhunk and Kansas City Techno got together and put on one hell of a free show for the internets. Come and take a look at just a few of the snapshots I took that night.

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Katie Graduates

4 Apr

Life always come full circle. I know this. I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.

What am I talking like Yoda all the sudden?

Simple.

This last weekend, I had the honor of photographing my high school English teacher’s daughter for her senior portraits. Yes. You read that correctly. I am now that old.

I had a blast photographing Katie and reconnecting with her mother. Her mother, has always been a huge inspiration to me. Whether she wants to be associated with the credit of teaching me the fundamentals of writing or not, she was the one who pushed me to write even when my writing was the absolute shittiest it has ever been. And to this day, I couldn’t even begin to thank her enough.

Anyway, come take a look at what Katie and I got into at Hodge Park in the good old Liberty, Missouri.

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The Callahans Get Hitched

1 Mar

This wedding? Yeah. Absolutely gorgeous. But don’t take my word for it. Come take a look for yourself!

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Betrayal

21 Feb

Well, it’s week two of the IndieInk Writing Challenge and I have to say, things are about to get all kinds of crazy up in here. We’ve expanded the challenge to not only include our own lovely editors, but we also opened up the challenge to the internets.

So, what does this all mean?

Simple.

We have some of the best writers around challenging each other from across the world-wide webs to weekly writing duels. If last week was a geeky writer’s version of You Got Served, then this week has to be more on the level of The Fast and the Furious. Well, without Vin Diesel. And without cars. And without…aw, fuck it. It’s nothing like The Fast and the Furious. I give up.

Anyway, this week’s challenge comes to me from San Diego Momma (@SanDiegoMomma on the Twitter machine). I love her challenge because it’s just a single word. I totally appreciate and admire this dark and twisted word in so many ways.

“Betrayal”

With that said, this word also scares the shit out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love that one word can take me down so many different paths. But my tiny brain is a flurry with memories, thoughts, and ideas based on just this single eight letter noun. This is definitely going to be a tough one. I guess that’s why it’s called a challenge, huh?

****

The look in her eyes that night will forever be seared into my soul. As each tear streamed down her cheeks, they amplified every single emotion you could ever imagine as they danced their way past her nose and trickled slowly onto the pillow that cradled her weary head.

This time, her tears were because of me. A direct result of the words that struggled past my tongue just moments before. Even though we were inches from each other in the same bed, we were miles apart in our minds.

This time, an explanation of the thoughts rolling around in her mind would not be necessary.

This time, there would be no guessing, no map or key.

This time, I knew.

I could read the hurt, the shock, and the blatant betrayal written on her face as if someone had tattooed those very words in large black letters across her pale skin.

Then again, I knew the tattoo artist all too well.

As painful as the silence was, nothing could have prepared me for the words she spoke next.

“I would have never expected this from you. Not in a million years.”

Her words were delivered with such a softness that you’d never expect just how heavy, how razor sharp they actually were.

But she was right.

Nobody in their right mind would have expected anything like this out of me.

Not her.

Not me.

Not a soul.

As dawn neared, I knew things would never be the same. Life would go on, but not in the capacity we both had become so accustomed to.

You see, with a few words I changed everything.

My failure was out in the open.

And with just a few words, my betrayal was hers to live.

 

 

 

A Zarda Wedding

17 Feb

Wow. Just wow. That’s all I have to say about these two. When Brandon and Monica asked me to photograph their wedding day, I was absolutely thrilled. They promised a chill and relaxed wedding that would make me feel like a guest and not a hired hand. And you know what? They totally delivered. I had an absolute blast photographing these two. But don’t take my word for it. Come and take a look at what I saw through my lens that day.

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It Seemed Like A Good Idea

16 Feb

All of us awesome editors over at IndieInk recently got together and threw down the gauntlet geeky writer style. What am I talking about? Simple. A challenge. A modern day duel, if you will. We decided to play a little game and challenge each other on the weekly with anonymous writing prompts. Think of it as You Got Served, but with less rhythm and more nerdy white kids.

This week, my writing prompt is, well, challenging.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Okay, so I *wanted* it to be a good idea.”

A challenging writing challenge? Well, I’ll be damned!

****

Underneath this mess, there is pure unadulterated emotion.

But you’ll never know it.

You’ll never catch a glimpse of love, anger, happiness, guilt, elation, or even sadness.

My expressionless face is strong and fiercely robotic.

Or so I’ve been told.

You see, I wasn’t always like this. As a kid, I vividly remember expressing each and every emotion my heart could handle. It came naturally. I wanted the people that surrounded me to know exactly how I felt. If I loved you, I wanted to tell you I loved you. If I was happy, you could hear my laughter from miles and miles away. The simplicity of life allowed my emotions to take control. Logic was no longer a factor. Content with the smile on my face, I allowed myself to just be.

Until he died.

I can still see the frailty of his bones outline his figure as his paper thin skin stretched out across his ravaged body. The chemo and dialysis had taken its toll. As I watched the hospice nurse sit in a chair next to his bed, I knew this was the end.

Struggling to comprehend that each labored breath could be his very last, my ten year old mind broke. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t covey the emotions running haywire through my brain. The direct link between my heart and mind had crumbled. In that moment, I turned cold.

Two days later, he was gone.

What was this pain I felt in every limb of my own body? Why did I want to cry and vomit at the same time? Frantically, I searched for a way to eliminate all that hurt and confused me. I didn’t know how to ask the questions needed to cope. I didn’t know how I should react. Defeated, I just shut down.

It was all I could do. Just shut down every emotion I was used to. Keep everything inside so I could never be hurt again. I never wanted to feel this way. And I would be damned if I would let it happen.

Shutting down seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted desperately for it to be. Hell, I needed it to be. But how do you come back from that? I am 31 years old now. Two decades have passed and I still find myself trapped inside my own mind. Even to this day, if I even so much as find myself thinking of that moment, I completely shut down.

He was still in his bed the last time I saw him. He didn’t even know I was there.

I was just a boy.

A boy, broken by reality.

 

A Night At Belle Epoque

28 Dec

Being that I am a penis carrying member of the Y Chromosome Club, getting my hair did really isn’t that big of deal to me. In fact, I really only have three requirements:

1) Cut it short.

2) Not too short. I still want the appearance that I have hair.

3) Make me look more “not homeless”.

See? Not too hard, right?

For the last couple of years, I have been insanely loyal to my hair cutter extraordinaire, Leslie. So loyal, I would literally drive 205 miles southwest of the Kansas City area just to get all my hairs cut. Insane? Possibly. Awesomely devoted and loyal? You bet!

With a 200+ mile drive becoming more and more inconvenient, I decided it was time to test the waters of Kansas City hairstyling once again. And this time, I knew exactly who to call.

Given my propensity for procrastination and indecision, I sent out a SOS text to my good friend Jamie. You see, Jamie is in the know. Actually, she is more than “in the know”. By being a hairstylist and also holding the titles of web coordinator and social media maven for Bell Epoque, she is on the front lines of all that is hair in the  Kansas City area. (Side note: Not only do Jamie and I go way back to the 8th grade together, she gave me the honor of selecting me to photograph her wedding day.) So, within seconds, she demanded I come in and visit Belle Epoque. (And by “demanded”, she sent me a lovely invitation to check out the salon and see what they were all about.)

As I entered Belle Epoque, I was instantly impressed with the style and layout of the salon. Bright colors and plush fabrics graced pretty much every single corner. The lighting was dim, but just enough to give a feel of intimacy and relaxation. The high ceilings and exposed brick of the old downtown building gave off an illusion of industry with a dash of fashion mixed in for good measure. No sooner did my foot cross Belle Epoque’s threshold, I was greeted by a very nice gentleman named Luther. He quickly and politely asked my name and who I was scheduled with. Approximately 25 seconds later, my stylist Jane appeared.

Now, this isn’t my fist experience with Jane or with Belle Epoque as a whole. This summer, I did some photography work for not only the salon, but for Jane and her beautiful family as well. Professionally speaking, we weren’t strangers in the least. But being that this was my first time at the salon as a client, I was even more impressed than I was during my professional interactions with them. And that says a lot given their excellence as a business.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Jane.

Total time elapsed from the time I arrived until the time I sat down in Jane’s chair? Maybe 57 seconds. Maybe. As efficient as that was, I never felt rushed then entire time I was there. In fact, never in my life have I spent more time at a salon willingly. From top to bottom, the whole process at Belle Epoque is different from anything I ever experienced elsewhere. With a smile on her gorgeous face, Jane sat me down, handed me a Boulevard Wheat, and started asking me a series of questions regarding what I wanted to accomplish with my hair and my expectations from her and Belle Epoque. Clear and to the point with a dash of accountability BEFORE you even get your haircut? Other salons should be taking notes.

After the questionnaire was finished, Jane immediately went to work. I was astonished by the skill and precision that Jane possessed. She mastered my short haircut without even resting a set of clippers to my head. Yes, you read that right. Belle Epoque doesn’t take shortcuts. In fact, they don’t even allow them. Jane spent all of her time with me not only concentrating at the task at hand, but being a great and extremely personable conversationalist as well. For a guy that self admittedly doesn’t like new people touching him, let alone taking sharp objects to my head, I never once felt nervous or out-of-place. And that, my friends, says A LOT.

With Jane’s mastery complete, I was out the door as quickly as I came in. To say I was satisfied with my first personal experience with Belle Epoque would be the understatement of the year. I am already hooked and booked for my second haircut in January. As you guys know, I very rarely pimp out anything unless I just had amazing service or an absolutely kick ass time. In this instance I had both. And if you know what is good for you, you’ll follow my lead and grab an appointment with Jane or any of the other fine stylists at Belle Epoque. I promise you will not only be hooked, you’ll thank me later.

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