Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rally America

Last week the axel-bending, gravel-raising sport spectacle of Rally Car Racing touched base in Portland with a Rally America tour stop at PIR, and Hood River, Oregon. Top pro drivers Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra, Ken Block, and Matthew Johnson where on hand, and served as open and approachable ambasadors to the sport. Day-one was media day at PIR and I was fortunate enough to be working out of Matthew Johnson's pit with the top-notch Red Bull team. Before warm-ups, Pastrana, a Red Bull athelete, stopped over to say hey and have a ride on Matt's swing bike. Before the day was over I actually found myself sitting co-pilot with pro driver Kristen Tabor, she swung me around a lap on the PIR course, sideways most of the run, that left me grinning ear-to-ear for hours. This was definitely an "I love my job" day. ;-}

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Keegan Smith and The Fam

Keegan Smith and his crew (aka The Fam) are an 8-member band pumping out an eclectic fusion of Jazz, Funk, R&B, and Reggae melodies with a sprinkling of lyricly driven Hip-Hop to keep the crowd bouncin'. During most shows the band is also accompanied by a small horn section and a special guest or two, giving them an even bigger sound. Driving the bus is Keegan Smith, who's passion for performing and genuine connection with his audience is obvious. In early May they played the Bagdag Theater in Portland to a sold-out crowd in celebration of their fifth album release, Special Delivery. A few days after the show we did a portrait session. All as part of a new press kit promoting the release of the new album.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Black Sheep Bakery

You've probably picked up a vegan, applesauce based, whatever pastry at your local hit-n-run neighborhood bakery and coffee shop many times... What? You don't have a place like that in your hood!? Well... Inner NE Sandy rezes have got a gem. Black Sheep Bakery Cafe. Annexed to their commercial bakery, no less! Dodge the delivery trucks outside (both at the bakery and the apparel company across the street) and you'll find a sweet breakfast nook for "working from home", or an almost guilt-free "vegan egg/sausage biscuit" to go. Don't even get me started on their assembly-line, made-to-order organic produce based sandwich counter. Black Sheep goodness, with a NE 19th & Sandy flair.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Market Watch

Portland is chock full of cool produce and specialty markets. From the bustling Farmers Market at the PSU campus, to aromatic and colorful ethnic markets dotted throughout the city. Here's some photos I made recently for a guide detailing these local markets.

Cherry Sprout Produce Market on North Sumner. Great selection of local, organic produce. And a killer bin of employee selected CDs by local musicians.

Fiji Emporium on North Interstate. This small market smells of Garam Masala and Nag Champa. Huge burlap sacks of rice varieties are stacked on a palet in a back room, surrounded by endless shelves of jarred spices and pastes. A deep freezer up front is packed full with New Zealand Lamb Shanks and Chops. They even stock several brands of Rose Water.

Lily Market on Northeast Halsey. If it can be found in Asia, chances are it can be found at Lily Market too. Isles upon isles of specialty ingredients and colorful (and often comical) pre-packaged foods and treats. Five pound bags of Pad Thai noodles? Got 'em! Not to mention the great hot food deli, which includes several versions of Pad Thai. And the always hard-to-find Gummy Grub Worms, or tennis-bal-sized Gummy Soccor Balls.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nice To Be Appreciated

It seems I've drawn some attention recently, for one reason or another. Back in December of '08 I was contracted by Playboy Magazine to do a portrait session with author Chuck Palahniuk for the Interview column in their May issue (I'll make a more detailed post about that later). When the issue finally hit the stands in late April, Phil Wright, a reporter from my hometown newspaper picked up on the story. He rang me up for a Q&A and the interview was published on the front page of the East Oregonian on Tuesday, April 29th, '09. I must say... that was pretty cool. Unfortunately, their online archives only stick around for seven days, beyond that a subscription must be purchased. A valid business decision for any print publication looking to ride out the current storm. Again, I'll post more on the Playboy shoot later, pics included.

Next, is a really cool online photo mag called Fotoritim. They contacted me in March asking if they could do a profile piece on me focusing on my Sports, Action, and Lifestyle photography. The reporter, Hülya Yeltepe, gave me some background about the publication as having an international following, designed and published in Turkey. Turkey? Chris Ryan? Anyone else asking these questions? Well, since a freelance photog loves free PR I didn't ask many questions beyond that. I trusted my instincts, and the vibes I was getting from the interviewer, and went ahead with the profile. Scroll down about half way and you'll find an English translation of the interview. I think it came out well, I think. I'd love to translate the comments. Any help from my Turkish affiliates would be most appreciated.

Part of what I do as a freelance photographer is to make sure other people know what I do, and ideally, what I do well. Free press doesn't just happen, you have to make it happen. Directly, or indirectly, you have to make it happen. Whether it's through your work, or the work you do when your not "working", PR is part of the puzzle.

Here's my cooky pic that ran with both articles.

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer