This summer I had the chance to go on assignment for Camp Gladiator to cover the CG games over two consecutive Saturdays in July. Because of the intense Texas heat, the games started before sunrise each day and stretched through mid morning. I was eager to photograph these athletes because I had never covered this type of event before and I knew that it would present a few different challenges for me. The primary challenge was the heat. It was hot - very hot - even at 5:00 am. I did not envy any of the people who were competing in that thick summer air. I was also very conscious to not get in the way of any athletes while simultaneously being sure to not miss a moment. And I knew that I didn’t want to fall in love with any preconceived frames in my mind - I wanted to let them come to me and unfold naturally for me to document. So my patience was absolutely tested.
Looking back through the images now, I think I did manage to capture the essence of the event as well as the will of the athletes. I’m looking forward to shooting more sporting events like this and trying to improve my ability to capture live, unrehearsed moments that can’t be redone. There is something exciting about that kind of photography that I’d like to continue to explore. Below is a selection of some of my favorite images from this year’s Camp Gladiator Games.
Thanks for stopping by - JC
Last year, my friends in Junaco asked me to come by the studio to take video as they recorded their debut EP, Awry. The EP is fantastic, so if you haven’t already, be sure to check it out right now. Like for real, go to whatever streaming platform you use and play it as you read this. I’ll wait.
Lucky for me, Shahana had brought a disposable film camera and said something to the effect of, “go nuts.” While I didn’t go nuts, I did take some shots that I like so I thought I’d feature some of them below. I grew up using disposable cameras and I really miss the laissez faire attitude of shooting with them. Sometimes that shows in a bad way, but sometimes it allows you to capture a moment in such a candid, care-free way that you wouldn’t if you were using a more professional camera.
Take a peak at some images from my evening with Shahana, Joey, Tejas, Kit and producer Omar Yakar at Boulevard Recording in Hollywood, CA. Oh, Mac and Al came by to smoke, dance and hug - as they do.
I’ve thought about making a photo blog for a few years, but I never did until now. I thought “who needs another blog?” As it turns out, I do. The events of 2020 have left me with an excess amount of free time to fill, so here we are. I’m going to use this space to post more in-depth stories of my work and bits of my life. I’m not sure how often I’ll update it or who will see it other than me, but that’s fine for now. Here we go…
Last year I enrolled in a photography mentor-ship lead by photographer Carly Dame. A few weeks in to the program we were tasked with applying what we had learned up to that point and an artist’s trip was suggested. I love trips, especially road trips. I love being in the car, listening to music and seeing things that I haven’t seen before, so I really loved this idea. One of my favorite places that I’ve been to is Joshua Tree, CA. I had been there numerous times, but I had never been by myself with no agenda other than to just be there. I had also never been to the Salton Sea, East Jesus or Salvation Mountain so I looped those in as well.
My intention was to be present, so because of that I didn’t over-shoot my experiences. Instead I really just enjoyed myself in nature and on the road. I did take some astro shots at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown - one of my favorite haunts - and then spent the night in my car there. I woke up early the next morning and hit the road. I climbed up Salvation Mountain and looked around for maybe 20 minutes. It’s a pretty crazy art structure that is always changing, so there are artists who consistently work to maintain its facade. East Jesus was cool and full of junk sculptures, which was surprising to me. I met an artist who was working in front of the giant TV wall and I snapped a few portraits of her. She was nice, but I forget her name. I also snapped some portraits of a tourist who was walking through with her family. She didn’t speak much English, but she was gracious enough to pose for me. I took off heading south toward the border before cutting over to San Diego for an evening.
If you haven’t been on a solo trip, I highly recommend it. It can be very rewarding and I plan to go on another one now that I’m in Texas. Enjoy…