michigan

Renting Space

Studio Space

As I plan for my next portrait project, the idea of renting a studio space keeps popping up. Wouldn’t it be nice to have my own dedicated creative space, instead of relying on environmental portraits at other people’s studios or homes?

So I started shopping around, and asking friends and colleagues about potential studios.

The kicker is the set of conditions I’ve set on myself: strong window light, with an east or west-facing window, semi-centrally located in Jackson (for easy access), plenty of wiggle room for materials, and convenient availability to fit my work and family schedule. I’ve seen a few places around town that fit the bill, but another complication is that I’ll only need the space for a month or two. If I rent, I’m not sure how many landlords would be up for a 60 day lease.

But we’ll see. I’m starting to make phone calls and get my bearings. It’s a whole new world.


Rainy Autumn Days

The fall colors this year have been a lot of fun to watch, especially here on campus. So I couldn’t let a little thing like a rainy day stop me from wandering and grabbing a few images.

Orange, yellow, green, muddy browns – all the October colors were there. Although the rain would knock many of the more colorful leaves down.

I haven’t had the time or energy to get out and take autumn photos like I’ve wanted to. We had the weekend up north, and lots of Halloween fun, but I feel like I’ve watched this autumn pass by. Thankfully, an umbrella makes dreary day image making possible.


Bad Ground

On the first of October last year, I took a walk in the Whitehouse Nature Center in Albion, Michigan. It was a beautiful fall day, one that only hinted at the darkness to come. The leaves were just starting to fall, and I wanted to play with the light and see what I could capture.

This what I came up with – edited and processed more than a full year later.

I’m doing this more and more: letting projects sit for a while, and then addressing them months (or a year) later to see what sticks out, creatively. For these leaves, I knew I wanted to let them marinate for a while.

Here’s to the last days of October.


Weekend In Northern Michigan

Last weekend we traveled up to Harbor Springs, Michigan—a beautiful little bayside town along the Little Traverse Bay, on Lake Michigan—to visit family for a birthday party. These little weekend vacations are a nice, quick getaway. We need a distraction from selling the house, and who can say “no” to northern Michigan?

The autumn colors were gorgeous, of course, but so was the light coming in from the big living room window. It’s one of my favorite situations to shoot in; we’re lucky enough to have a big window in our living room back home.

But for this weekend, with all the cousins playing together and quiet fall mornings spent sketching or watching the game, we soaked up all the light and seasonal spirit we could.


Pumpkin Patch

One of the benefits of living where we live: two orchards five minutes away, out in the southern Michigan countryside.

The seasons come, the rhythm of life beats on, and every year we visit these places to take part in these family rituals. Cider and donuts, apples, fresh produce (squash season!), and picking out pumpkins.

Adams Farm is the closest to our house. It’s less touristy than the other place, farther down the road, and that means less people, less noise, less hornets. This is where we come to grab our pumpkins – a big green field full of orange.

Soon, this place will be a longer drive away. So we soak up all the pastoral goodness we can now, while the season is right.


An Archeological Exercise

Pentwater, MI: Old Fashioned Family Vacation

My family took a short vacation to northern Michigan over the weekend to visit family. On the way back, as I usually do, I made it a point to stop at the little towns along the way and grab a few photographs.

Capturing small towns in Michigan is long, ongoing project of mine. I find the sights of these little communities so fascinating. And it highlights the benefit of getting off the interstate highway system and travel the two-lane highways all across the countryside. It’s on these little side trips that you see the memorable stuff. There’s space, time, and a lack of traffic that makes pulling over easier, too.

Making photos of these small towns is almost an archeological exercise for me. I feel like I need to capture the quirks and personalities of these towns and villages before they disappear. Or in case I never come back.