Photo Stories - pictrola mobile image

On this page are the stories of my images.

The objects I photograph are chosen based on nostalgia, either from my direct relationship with them, or through my appreciation of their purpose in time.

I call my work "object portraiture", as the subject of each image is approached with the same intent of sharing a story with mood and emotion, similar to the portraits of human beings.


burn in hell.

burn in hell.


The subject of this image is an old matchbook from a concrete burial vault company. My grandparents had about twenty-five of them in the house. Their generation was taught to save everything, because you never know when you might need it. And items that were complementary usually ended up being taken in multiples. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the matchbooks were actually taken by my Great Aunt Martha who I've mentioned in a previous story.

Although I'm not a religious person, I am fascinated with the concept of heaven and hell, god and the devil, good vs. evil. I think I was about 27 years old when the realization struck me that I would someday face off with my own mortality. This image addresses that moment for me, in a playful way that winks at the business of death.



mixtape.


These cassettes were discovered in their original packaging at my late Grandma Wizzie's house. The generic labeling allowed them to stand alone from the popular brands of the time.

Cassettes were a huge part of my childhood. I was plugged in to my foam headphones nightly listening to various artists as I fell asleep.

click. wake up. turn. press play.

The composition is incredibly straight forward. I felt it necessary to not overcomplicate this image, and let the pink line maintain the connection of the diagonal throughout the image.



right, left, right.


I purchased this old lock at a local antique shop. I was intrigued by the shape, the natural patina, the lettering/numbering, and the fact that the original combination label was still attached.

Initial images I took of the lock and label itself appeared too plain, so I introduced numbers into the background by writing them diagonally, by hand, on some light blue paper. The composition became more interesting, but the visual impact was fairly tame, and the contrast between color and number was minimal. My solution was to type and print out letters to provide structure to the image, increase the overall contrast, and draw attention to the use of numbers in our world.



if you're happy and you know it.


This German alarm clock was sourced from a local antique shop. Chosen for its color, the font, and the classic alarm clock style, I was excited to photograph it. I wondered about its history, about who its owners were through time.

My intent with this image was to focus on the happier reasons we humans rely on an alarm clock. It's easy to view it as a source of frustration, but I wanted to display it as an object of celebration. The idea for the sprinkles came from my wife Jen, and I created the background with rolls of colored masking tape I had at work. 




step off.


These Converse one star shoes cushioned the steps of my son as he began making his way around this world more independently. Every scuff, every bit of loose thread, the faded sections of canvas, and the worn rubber soles were earned with hours of play and curiosity. He’s a big reason there were gaps between my photos in the recent past. It felt good to just be dad and Todd for a while, to spend time with my son Iggy, my wife Jenny, and our two goofy dogs Motörhead and Dio.




knock, knock.


To set the stage, as my brother Greg and I grew up, we fondly called my grandparents Grandma & Grandpa Gee Wizzie. This came about because my grandfather took to using the phrase "Gee Whiz" around the grandkids, in place of the more curse laden version.

The door in this picture is the entry to my late grandparents home. Our family entered this door countless times to visit or for holidays. I have very fond memories of playing with matchbox cars on the three foot square section of tile directly in front of the door, and adjacent to the luxurious shag carpeting.  



sharp.


As an art teacher, Dixon Ticonderoga pencils are my absolute favorite, and have been the subject of several of my photographs. I've always enjoyed objects in multiples, as they immediately strike up a sense of order. I'm a collector by nature, so this can become a costly obsession.

In this image, it's clear that the subject is a pencil, which is why I didn't assume the viewer needed to see the foreground pencils in focus. In actuality, this image is about the pencil at the top of the frame, as I play with the depth of field. At first glance the entire picture may appear to be blurry, but my intent was to make the viewer look more closely as they look down the leading lines of the grid.


displaced.

displaced.


As an art teacher, you end up with a myriad of odds and ends, misfit materials, and donated weirdness. I inherited these small one inch hinges from Jeff Moore, an exceptional artist & art teacher who was well loved by colleagues and students, and who was the art teacher before me.

The hinges sat for close to ten years in a plastic hardware drawer. As you'll see, I 'm a fan of multiples. Most often, I will try to create order within the chaos and look for size and shape relationships in a composition. The idea behind this image was to display the hinges in a non-traditional setting, flat, with no chance of performing their intended task. The idea of displacement and feeling of isolation is enhanced by the lone screw pointed directly at the empty space in the lower left hinge.


the wanderer.


the wanderer.


I found this empty plastic match case in my Great Aunt Martha's house. She was a collector, and often we were partners in crime smuggling glassware out of restaurants. I remember her for her sense of humor, her honesty, and her love of tiny trinkets and toys. 

I knew for certain that I wanted to include some matches in the image, so I grabbed a handful of the large candle type. When composing a piece, I like to play with size & shape relationships. The matches interlock when offset and create a sense of movement in the image. The background is a play on the graphic design and text on the box, intending to be a minimalist landscape of a non specific "very important place".


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