Stories From London

I had the honor of being one of just three vendors invited to the inaugural NineDots Gathering of photographers – with an incredible speaker line up. I’d never been to London before. It had been almost 20 years since I’d set foot in Europe. From the ages of twenty one to twenty six, all I did was travel. I’d been to over twenty countries and lived in three, becoming conversational or fluent in three new languages.

If you are looking for an intimate event in Europe with off the hook speakers, this is the one for you. From the education, to the ping pong to the insane after party – was an event to be remembered.

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The moment my feet hit a cobblestone street in London, the years melted away. Having my wife on this trip was even more special. We left the kids behind and it was like our trip to Paris and Venice together in 1996 before we were married.

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Taken by Ben Chrisman, as he stole my Leica about 800 times during this trip.

Street Photography

As many of you know, street photography is my passion. London is like a playground for street photography. So many different kinds of people, different neighborhoods, different atmospheres. People are comfortable being captured and don’t care. And the light. Every few feet, there was a little alley way, a la Harry Potter, beaming down soft directional light.

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Our Epic Night Out

On the evening of the first day of NineDots, Ben and Erin Chrisman invited us to join them at the coolest bar in the world with Lanny and Erika Mann of Two Mann Studios and Tyler and Pam Wirken of Wirken Photography. Nothing like being surrounded with photo royalty while you are drinking absinthe with Ben and cocktails with everyone else. This bar was so cool. It had two tables and a few stools at the bar. It had bookshelves on all of the walls, floor-to-ceiling with photo and art books. Ben suggested that I do a portrait of the bartenders and give them a print with my Instax, that I carry everywhere. So I did just that, and felt so proud. Yep, here I am with these awesome photographers making photos and prints.

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Then all of them chime in (mostly Ben and Tyler) saying I needed to do better. What proceeded was a mini workshop with Ben and Erin providing lighting between candles and Ben and Tyler critiquing my shots. I think this is the most nervous I’ve ever been while taking photos. Here are the results:

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Exploring in London

On Thursday, I planned a group photo shoot with my friends from Romania, Gabriella Matei and Marius Tudor (multi-award winning Fearless Photographers), my friends from just north of London, Chris and Verity Sansom (just named to Rangefinder’s Top 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography) and Segun Olotu of Sottu Photography — a Fearless Photographer living in London. We spent the day exploring how we might shoot for the album story just as a director might shoot scenes in a movie. We’ll be publishing a blog post on this subject later.

Here are some of the shots of that day:

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Go, Explore, Seek Stories

This was one of those special moments in life where everything comes together to reinforce all of the things you love. Fall can be incredibly busy and stressful and this trip recharged the batteries and then some. I hope that all of you had a trip this year or one planned next year that will recharge your batteries.