Let’s-A Go

My wife does a great job at themed birthday parties. Both kids have never wanted for a fun, tied-together celebration, from Lego to Batman to Daisy Duck.

This year, the boy turned six, and picked Mario for his birthday theme. So, as usual, we went all out.

My wife is big Disney fan. Her family goes to Disney World every few years, she knows all the movies and songs, her mom collects all the figurines. They’re a Disney Family.

Nintendo is my Disney, being a video game kid and growing up with Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda. For this party, I was in my element:

Birthday party

And sure, all the kids had fun with the theme, too.

Little kids in Mario mustaches? The best.

In Conversation

Steve Berkemeier

This is what I miss about portrait projects.

The conversation, the sharing of experience, the laughing and joking around. Remembering local history. Swapping stories. Sharing a complete and consuming love of music.

Last time, it was about art and creativity, about the Jackson market and the struggles of being a small-city artist.

This time, it’s a lot of same, except you swap paint brushes and cameras for guitars and microphones.

It’s good to be back.

[Help the Musicians In Jackson project on Kickstarter!]

Let’s Do This: Musicians In Jackson on Kickstarter

Away we go.

I’m launching my new community portrait project, Musicians In Jackson, on Kickstarter today.

A week ago, I kicked off the project at my studio open house. But this project has been in the works for almost a year now. I’ve thought and thought about it for so long, and now it’s a real thing in the world that I’m working on.

It involves capturing local Jackson, Michigan musicians on black and white medium format film through the summer. I’ll capture our conversations, make portraits, and share the creative love in my hometown.

Why Kickstarter? There are film costs, and the studio space to rent, and photographic prints to produce. It’s also a way to preorder prints or the book when it’s released this holiday season. Really, it’s a way to support creative endeavors like these community portrait projects.

I’d appreciate it if you could help me spread the word, and make a pledge before July 16 on Kickstarter. I also hope you’ll join me for the ride.

On Camera Resale Value

Higher Education

Chris Gampat at the Phoblographer breaks down the resale value of the major camera brands, both film and digital.

It’s such a strange way to think about buying a camera.

If I’m going to make an investment in a camera or lenses, I’m going to think about the lifespan of the equipment and how much work I can get done with it. Resale value doesn’t enter into the do-I-buy-it equation at all.

For me, I’d rather have a well-used camera that helps me make photographs than worry about selling it down the road.

Studio Lite

The space isn’t big, and it’s not that easy to find.

But after Friday’s studio open house, I learned that the space is perfect for me and what I’m trying to do.

I had a good group of friends, family, and artists join me in the new studio space. We snacked, and drank, and made music, and made portraits. The kids had a good time exploring the workout room next door, while I had fun watching the light go from “wow” to “gorgeous” over the evening.

You know that feeling where you’re kind of dreading doing something, because of either fear, uncertainty, or doubt? And then once you start doing, those feelings fade away, and you say to yourself, “Yeah, this is totally doable?”

That was me Friday night.

And this is them.

Begging For Compact Cameras


Bellamy Hunt at Japan Camera Hunter argues for a new compact film camera:

One of the large makers needs to step up to the plate and make a compact film camera. And I am not saying this on a whim or with a wistful idea of halcyon days. I get more requests for compact cameras than I could ever fulfill, even if I had the cameras. People are prepared to spend nearly $1000 for an old Contax or Ricoh, knowing full well that it could simply stop working at any point and there would be nothing they could do about it.

Hunt’s point – that the current stock of compact cameras is dwindling, and getting more expensive – tells me that there’s a market for a new film camera out there, if someone would just take a chance on making one. And with more and more companies investing in film again, photographers need new tools to take advantage of those film stocks.

Compact cameras are my favorite kind of camera, and I’m not alone. The company that stepped up and started making new film cameras again would gain more than money – they’d earn a whole bunch of goodwill.

(via On Taking Pictures)