‘Cold Brewed’ gets a show

 

I have a new show opening this week. From NO (solo) shows in the past 10 years to TWO shows in one year… it’s a bit of a jump. I’m freshly familiar with how much work goes into planning one of these things. 🙂

I’m super excited about this one though, as it’s dedicated to my absolute favorite project to date… Cold Brewed. The show opens this coming thursday evening, with a  reception from 6 to 7:30, at Post Memorial Art Reference Library (it’s in the back of the Joplin Library, JoMo peeps). FREE ‘cold brew’ coffee will provided from the one and only Bearded Lady Roasters… Bearded Lady’s own master roaster, Adam Francis, is also an actor from the project.

 

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If you’ve followed me for a bit, you’ll remember this project from a couple years back. But let me fill you in. As a matter of fact, I’m going to pull this straight from the artist statement for the show:

WHAT IS COLD BREWED?

’Cold Brewed’ was a project that basically started as a dare. A dare to ourselves. A ‘you know what would be really fun?’ that actually took form.

 

cold brewed film noir photonovel_0008

 

The idea was to collaborate. My photos, with words by my good friend Lance Schubert (writer). It would be a photo series that served as a tribute to the old ‘film noir’ style movies, interspersed with text from the story that Lance had penned.

We took the script and mapped out how it would work. And we began producing and co-directing what became an infinitely larger endeavor than expected.

 

cold brewed film noir photonovel_0001

 

The final product is actually an i-book told in a format that we sort of made up… the photonovel. It goes back and forth between words and pictures, each doing their equal part to tell the story.

 

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You can find the whole thing for a whopping 4 bucks by search out  ‘cold brewed’ in the iTunes store.

 

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THE STORY:

Jett Cropper is a 1940s detective caught in a world in which it was not alcohol that the prohibition rendered illegal… it was COFFEE. Staying true to both Joplin and coffee, we shot the entire series locally and used a cast entirely comprised of true-life-baristas. All slang from the period was swapped for coffee terminology, which makes for a tongue-in-cheek tale that sways from serious action to genre-honoring campiness.

MEMORIES:

I have the fondest possible memories of this project. Moments like it being 11pm, and Lance & I are directing a scene via walkie talkie, whilst a generator runs 7 lights in a warehouse-turned-set, complete with 6 actors, a coil of rope, and a variety of weaponry…

 

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I think that moment was one of the first in which I felt TRULY in my element. (& Lance certainly shared the excitement).

 

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We’re still proud of that project, even if it didn’t turn much of a profit. A print from it (also in this show) was a finalist in the national ‘photospiva’ competition. the i-book got front page under Noisetrade’s ‘books’ section.

 

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we ran a ridiculous grassroots marketing campaign, complete with posters on telephone poles and signs in bathroom stalls…

 

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And now, as a sort of final farewell, here’s a bonafide, non-virtual presentation of some of the favorite sections of our little story.

Hope you can make it. 🙂

 

 

 

S U M M E R

School starts this week… whoa.

Let’s back up.

for my family, summer was…

getting little hands dirty.

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Popsicles.
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Chasing fireflies.

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fireworks (‘the poopy puppy’ becomes the pinnacle when you have young children).

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vacation bible school (and reluctant posing in their matching shirts).
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lots of water.

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boredom.

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floppy hats.

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extra time with mom and dad.

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sunshine.

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fishing.

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and sheer, un(ADULT)erated joy. That’s what you get when you can just be a kid…

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NEWS // NEWS // NEWS

While, I kinda dropped off the face of the earth there for a little bit… ok, not really… but that’s certainly how it feels when you’re off for two weeks and are missing your phone for most of it.

The time off was planned, the phone absence wasn’t… I learned a great life lesson, which is never to underestimate the power of a kiddie ride at worlds of fun. The tiny semi I stuffed myself into (because my 4 year old daughter was 2 inches too short to ride anything on her own) may not LOOK like it’s going to go very fast. But that doesn’t mean it can’t suddenly lurch forward with incredible velocity, throwing your phone out of your hand and on to the tiny tiny track where it it will run over said phone 5 times before the ride is over…

But that’s not to complain. It was no FANCY vacation, but taking two weeks with my family- some of it away, some of it at home- was much needed and very good for me and mine. I read (like, a whole book), water parked, swam, fished, played board games, introduced my kids to Andy Griffith and ‘Star Trek:Next Generation’ and ate more greasy spoon breakfasts than I care to confess to.

Anyway. I’m back in business, literally and figuratively, with a new (old) phone in hand and plenty of work in front of me to catch up. The first thing to catch up on is letting you guys know what’s going on. So here’s a couple of announcements, especially for folks in the Joplin, MO area this week:

#1:: I HAVE A SHOW! 

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I’ve kept pretty quiet about it until now, but I have my first solo show in over 10 years (yep, since college), hanging RIGHT NOW at Joplin Ave Coffee Co in downtown Joplin. I’m so excited to be able to say that. A big, big thanks to Cleo’s framing, Cherry’s framing, and especially to Shaun Conroy from Spiva for helping me get everything matted and hung.

So yeah. Stop by and see it. I would post pictures, but then you wouldn’t have to go see it, would you? 😉

The show will hang for the entire month of August, so if you don’t make it in for the art walk, you’ve still got plenty of time to take look at it.

#2:: PHOTOBOOTH!

Tomorrow marks the second ‘1st thursday’ art walk this year, and I’ll be present at Spiva Center for the Arts with my photobooth. This months’ theme is ‘superhero’… an old favorite of everyone’s, with a prize this time going to the best original costume idea. Of course, we’ll have plenty of props on hand, as always…

3TH- 2015, 08aug superhero

#3:: NOW BOOKING FALL SESSIONS!

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It’s crazy to think that school is almost here and I’m even mentioning anything about fall, but… well, it’s not too far away and it wouldn’t hurt to start thinking about it if you’ve considered booking a portrait session this fall. You can take a look my main site for more info about that.

That’s all for now… new shoots and announcements are rolling in soon, so keep an eye out!

-Mark

Goings on with spiva

I think one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do in my career, is partner with Joplin’s local art gallery (Spiva Center for the Arts). It’s easy to look at photography as a commodity, a hobby, or even a necessity (‘We HAVE to get family photos done before our kids move out of the house’…) but not always as art. Spiva’s dedication to photography as an art form, is always inspiring.

This is the time of year when a lot of Spiva’s focus goes into photography. Not just encouraging folks to admire it in a gallery setting, but encouraging whole families to directly participate in it.

3 things I’m fortunate to be involved in right now:

#1: Teaching a class for photspvia tweens.

Here’s the description from Spiva’s website:

“If your budding young photographer was disappointed to age out of PhotoSpiva Kids, and is interested in photography, have we got the class for you! This class builds on photographic skills and introduces fun challenges that will make the PhotoSpiva Tweens exhibit in April especially fun. Two photos from each participant will be chosen and framed for the exhibit.”

The class is THIS Saturday (the 14th), from 11am to noon.  Registration is $35. I will, *gulp*, personally teach the class…. so it may be a little crazy. 🙂 I’m so excited though… this is a super fun age, and I get to help the kids think about photography in a different way.

#2: Judging the photographs from photospiva kids.

The cover photo in this post is one such photo (photo credit to Addison Teeter). Here’s another (this one will receive a ‘most likely to make you laugh’ award, which will be awarded to Kathryn Hart):

My beautiful picture

These images were from the younger age group of kiddos, and it’s always so fun to be able to see the world again from their point of view. It was a good exercise for me to ‘judge’ photos based not on technical ability, but on sheer imagination & the ability to capture what it means to be a kid.  Lots of laughing and ‘awwwww’ing and moments of surprise as I looked through them.

The reception for that event is March 8th… you should come if your’e a Joplinite, if nothing else to see the looks of pride and excitement on a bunch of little kids’ faces as they see their work on a real gallery wall. 🙂

#3: Two of my own photos made it in to the main photospiva exhibit this year… I’ve made it in before, but never with more than one image, so that’s pretty cool.

For those unfamiliar with Photospiva, it is an annual, national photography competition, the longest running competition of its’ kind, and happens to be based here in Joplin, MO. Photographers from all over the country submit work- last year’s 1st place winner was from Brooklyn, NY. It is, of course, my favorite exhibit of the year at Spiva. My pieces are being mounted and framed this week to prepare for the show, which kicks off March 7th- in the meanwhile, you can take a peek at the digital versions of the winners below.

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This is a photo from a family session I did last fall, with some of my very favorite ‘regulars’. I’ve been taking pictures of this little girl (Caroline), her big sister, and her little brother since they were born; and while the madness increases with each shoot, I continue to be inspired by these little ones just as much, every time I work with them. I’ve joked about them being ‘muses’, since many of my favorite child portraits have come from sessions with them.

This quiet, ‘in-between’ moment caught my attention when I was trying to decide what to enter this year. And I love bright colors…

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This next photo I’ve showed a couple of times… it’s actually a senior photo I took, of an aspiring young composer with a lot of talent. Alex wanted something creative and original for his photos- basically, portraits that didn’t FEEL like ‘senior portraits’.

When he told me about his love of making music, the idea for this image popped into my head. No photoshop, by the way, for those who are wondering… just  his mom and sister, just out of frame, throwing papers. over. and over. Until we got it…

and yes, I know, it also looks like a Harry Potter tribute photo. We’re ok with that…

joplin mo senior portrait from 9art photography1

That’s all for now. Hope to see you around Spiva! 🙂

-Mark

whiskerino flashback:: inspiration comes from the weirdest places

If you’ve known me for awhile, then you’ll remember me having mentioned this awhile back. If not, let me introduce you to one of the weirdest things I was ever a part of: WHISKERINO.

Whiskerino was an event of sorts that happened every 2 years. The originating concept was kind of like ‘no-shave-november’ on steroids… a couple of creative dudes in Nashville decided to promote creativity and beard growth by starting an online beard growing competition. The rules for ‘members’ of the online community were simple:

#1: shave your facial hair on november 1st
      #2: don’t shave (or preferably, even trim) again until February 28th. 
      #3: post daily pictures of yourself and your ‘progress’.                                                                                                                              

      #4: post the photos, comment on others, enjoy the community!

whiskerino nov 16

I started working at starbucks in Joplin in 2007, a few years after the thing had first started rolling. Somebody brought the website to the attention of the barista brotherhood, and now you know why every male that worked at the 4th street starbucks during that 4 months looked like a hobo….

There were members of the online community in Nashville, Joplin, California, the UK, Australia, and beyond. At the end of the ‘growing and showing’ time there was a big party in Nashville, with over 300 attendees.

(see if you can find me. I don’t think I have yet…)

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So why was this a thing?

What made it fun?

Why did people even take part in such a ridiculous idea?

Two things…

Community and creativity. And these two things are never strangers to each other…

whiskerino nov 25

Any time you can set up a (no-pressure) community for creative folks, you are also fostering creativity. The setup of the website- with (healthy) competition, some loose deadlines, and a simple element of goofy fun- was the perfect recipe for getting a lot of folks to do something unique and original. Even if it was silly.

I still have fond memories (2009 was the final whiskerino, as it had outgrown its’ creators and was becoming a monster to admin). It got me outside of my box, and solidly gave me my first thoughts about creating a cohesive series of images. That kind of thinking and experimenting later led to projects like ‘cold brewed‘ and the current photonovel I’m working on.

There’s still so much to be learned from this ridiculous little exercise of growing a beard and snapping pictures of it.

Sometimes, as an artist, you have to stop taking yourself so seriously. Remember why creating is FUN (when you let it be). And be intentional about community, whatever the reason for its’ forming.

I’ve including a few images from my whiskerino series here, from 5 years ago in 2009, when I decided I’d just take a picture with my (then) 1 year old son each day. I thought I could hold that up for about a week… but it went all 4 months. 🙂

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whiskerino Dec 23 whiskerino Dec 19 whiskerino dec 16whiskerino Dec 31nov 2whiskerino dec 02whiskerino Feb 08 whiskerino Feb 16 whiskerino Feb 18

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You can see the whole 4 months’ worth of photos here.

After the jump (just click ‘continue reading’) is a brief series featuring film noir and robots (and the accompanying captions). Hope you enjoy seeing these shots and my sons’ very chubby little cheeks from back then…

Continue reading

photographer recovers from burnout (written for creative folks)

The person who creates from the noise simply adds to the noise. The person who creates from a place of listening, however, can actually make something worthwhile and enjoy his work in the process.

-Michael Gungor, ‘the Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse’

 

-5b

 

warning: this post is way more personal and rambly than most of what I post on here. If you genuinely want to know more about what’s going on in MY personal life- or if you are a creative soul who’s ever hit a brick wall and can identify with that feeling- read on! If you’re really just here for cool pictures, well, scroll really fast, I’ll throw a few in.  😉

I took last week off.

I needed it.

Like, REALLY needed it.

Businesspeople get burnt out by being in a constant state of connecting, orchestrating, planning, selling… artists get burnt out by pressure, by creative dry spells, and really, just by themselves. The mind of an artist is worse than any 11 headed, fire breathing, Justin Bieber crooning, used car salesman, dragon-demon-monster that you could conjure.

And businesspeople run the risk of wearing everyone AROUND them out by being mentally withdrawn and seeing everything in such a practical light that emotion is shut out completely. (My wife calls this ‘business mode’ and HATES it when I’m in that state of mind).

When you find yourself in the precarious situation of having to be both things at once- an ‘artist’, who is also running a business- I won’t lie, it can be a bit much.

That makes me sound ungrateful, which I’m not. I have a job in which I get to sit in a local coffeeshop much of my workweek. I get to interact with fantastic people. I have the honor of having an employee that loves her job and does it well. I found something I love to do, and I’m DOING IT, full time. My work is fun, rewarding, unique. And, for the most part, it puts bread on the table and supports my little family. I don’t take any of that for granted. I’m thankful, beyond thankful, in a state of praise to God who granted me this life.

 

bryndi maternity session, springfield mo family & baby photographer, 9art photography30b

 

But it’s hard. It’s hard to market yourself. It’s hard to be a photographer in one of the fastest growing fields in the country. ‘Everybody and their dog has a good camera and thinks they’re a photographer now’, you hear people say.

Well, it’s true. Everybody. And their dog. I got underbid on a commercial shoot by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier last week. And by a poodle just this morning.

ok, ok, it’s not THAT bad yet. But I don’t want to lie… sometimes, business is slow. It’s a competitive field, and I don’t want to build up a facade, in which everyone thinks ‘wow HE’S got it made! he must be ROLLING in it!’ because, truth be told, I’m not. It’s one of the hardest summers yet.

But in the end… I love what I do. I’m called to do this. God will provide. And the jobs will trickle in as they always do.

So why the rant? Why this personal?

It’s the result of a whole lot of soul searching this past week. I’d hit a wall… my creativity waning, my focus gone, anxiety clouding my days. It’s a dark place to be.
 

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I got some answers this last week. I got some refreshment for my soul. I got away from the noise. I re-connected to my maker. I re-learned how to appreciate the ART side of what I do by appreciating the existence of art to begin with.

How’d I start that process? And, to echo another friend of mine also combatting a creative slump, how do you RE-SET yourself as a creative person?

That’s just one question out of many. There are so many questions for artists… and by artists, I mean anyone with even an inkling of creativity (and honestly, that includes businesspeople too).

I’d like to help answer some of those questions. Not because I HAVE all the answers by any means whatsoever, but because I’m on a quest to find them, and am discovering some helpful resources on the way. I’d like to designate a post here and there, on this blog, to fellow artists.
 

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So keep an eye out. More to come. In the meanwhile, as always, we’ll have more work from recent shoots, as well as some new ideas rolling in for 9art, including a limited edition Joplin prints series.

And if you are an artist- whether established or novice- if you are someone who loves to create- I would love to connect with you.

-Mark

in my dining room

The other day, I babysat 5 kids for three hours… my own 2, + 3 of their best friends. Yes, all at once, and yes, by myself . (My wife was in a training session at the time, and I’m pretty sure she was worried about me…)

We had swordfights. We had nerf gun fights. We danced. We played dress up. We watched Toy Story.

And we had a little portrait session.

Impromptu, the very best kind. I had might light on hand, got my camera out, and set them up in front of our new dining room curtains (which turned out to be a really nice backdrop). Then, I took a crocheted blanket and hung it over the front of my soft box to further diffuse it.

I’m not a technical perfectionist, whatsoever. If you’re not a technical perfectionist and you still want to take awesome photos, then you’d be better be damn good at improvising within your craft… and I need to do just more of that. Hence the blanket and the curtain backdrop…

And I LOVE how it turned out.

Began with my own flesh and blood…

the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography01 the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography02

the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography03

tried to catch my other kiddo, but the most I could get out of her before she hid behind a chair was a ‘HEY LOOK!’ shot while she yawned…

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Then, Elie, Anie, & Levi. I love seeing the difference in personalities in these.

Elie= dramatic/actress
Anie= spunky/playful
Levi= fun/giggly

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the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography18

And then (mostly) the whole group… except for Maggie, who was still hiding behind a chair somewhere…

And no, I have no explanation for why they were each holding a horse. I love kids.

the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography11 the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography12

the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography13

I’ll end it on these last two images: Elie took a picture of Harry, and Harry took a picture of Elie. Kids love to direct other kids to make funny faces. I don’t think Harry had a chance to develop his though… a rare ‘between outrageous expressions’ moment…

the spierings' kids portraits- by joplin mo family & lifestyle photgraphy studio, 9art photography14

2013:: the year in…well, what else?

January has been my time to organize, to catch up, and to reflect. No, I haven’t had the month OFF, but I have been ‘under the radar’… getting back in gear and planning for 2014 so I’m ready to roll when the next busy season hits.

So, to celebrate 2013 before it gets buried in the excitement of this NEW YEAR, here’s the annual year-in-review, for both my family and my business…. stuff that happened, in no particular order of time or importance.

In pictures. and a few words.

But mostly pictures…

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In 2013, my family & I bought a house. This was probably the coolest thing for us this year… buying our first home. God blessed us with a perfect house for our needs, walking us through a ridiculous number of obstacles to get it. it’s old (we love old) and it’s just a few blocks from downtown, where I work.

The kids ran through the empty space until they pretty  much just collapsed the first time they were in it…

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This is the sweet older couple who lived there before us. Took me a while to realize these two photos (which were left in the house on different floors before everything had been cleared out) were the same couple. Before you get teary eyed, they are both alive and well and now live in Louisiana.

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And the house truly felt like home to me once I got my record player set up… yes, this completes my hipster self.

records, vinyl, ghostbusters 2 soundtrack, nat king cole

I had the honor of a photograph making it into the national photography competition ‘photospiva‘ at the beginning of the year, with this image of my assistant Michelle’s beautiful daughter.

I also had this photo of a young composer, earn best in the ‘seniors’ division (tied with an image by a local competitor and friend) for a print competition put on by the Missouri chapter of the Professional Photographers of American organization.

9art photography, seniors photographer- alex's senior session06

 I drank a whole lot of coffee and enjoyed time in my favorite local coffeeshop, Joplin Ave Coffee Co, working alongside good friends. My studio can feel a little cavelike without windows, so I’m very happy to have such a great establishment to work out of downtown. The owners are kind to not charge me rent at this point, I’m there so often…

I also enjoyed homemade iced coffee at home and an occasional fancy cup at some sweet spots when I travelled, such as ‘coffee ethic’ and ‘the hub’ in springfield, and ‘Oddly Correct’ in Kansas City. That’s always my favorite thing to do in bigger cities… try out the snobby coffee. 🙂

coffeeshop photos from joplin ave coffee co, springfield missouri

I worked a LOT with the convention and visitors’ bureau to visually represent the city of Joplin, Missouri, showing the best of this town in photographs. I’ve enjoyed that challenge greatly, taking pictures of every attraction and local restaurant you can imagine.

What made it even more fun was working under the direction of my good friend Carrie and alongside the CVB’s new copywriter, my good friend Lance Schaubert.
(and yes, when I took pictures of food, sometimes I got to eat the leftovers. Just know that as delicious as they were, they were always cold by the time I got to them…)

basil dish from kinaree, thai restaurant in joplin mo, taken for the joplin convention & visitors bureau

This also gave me the opportunity to shoot really cool things like ‘the Grassroots’ (google em’. You’ll recognize most of their greatest hits, I promise) in concert and the route 66 festival. Backstage access, BOOM!

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My kids got bigger for another year. 

kids portrait, joplin mo photographer 9art photography

This is Maggie June. She just turned 3.  She’s feisty  & independent but also very sweet…. happy talking to herself in the corner with a collection of stuffed animals for an hour, or (if she’s in the mood, of course) snuggling with us on the couch.

portrait of Maggie, from family and kids photographer 9art photography in Joplin mo

  
This is Harry Louis. He just turned 5. He thrives on people and interaction and laughter and is very expressive. No idea who that reminds me of.
*ahem*.

portrait of Harry Louis from joplin family and children's photographer, 9art photography

kids playing

Harry tried a lot of new things… like his first sport, his first reveal of Darth Vader’s identity, and his first tire change.

harry watching the end of star wars II

Harry#1

Harry has also become a budding photographer. I decided to hand him my camera more this year (I can hear folks  gasping that I’d let my 5 year old hold my bread n’ butter), and he acts like a veteran… holds it perfect, takes time to compose, and even directs his subjects. He took the picture on the right of  my wife Autumn and I…

Harry taking a picture

Maggie, meanwhile, has just worked on being generally cute and putting not just words or sentences together, but perfectly phrased paragraphs.

maggie decorating tree

I started curling my mustache. No really, that’s big news.

mustaches, joplin mo

I shot the biggest project of my career (*so far)… and the dearest to me.

I’ve talked enough lately about ‘Cold Brewed’. The only new thing I’ll add is that it’s currently available for download as an iBook. You can download it here, or find out more about it first by visiting my last blog post on it.

cold brewed cover photo... jett cropper racing to a discovered body

cold brewed outtakes

With the momentum of this personal project behind me, I also began an ongoing series late in the year that will extend into 2014 and I am VERY excited about… because it’s a personal concept series that your own kids can be a part of.  You can find out more about that, here.

9art photography, concept & lifestyle photographer, joplin mo- fairytale sessions2

This was also a big year for the 9art photobooth. I’ve never run this event for the purpose of drumming up business to get hired to do more photo booths… but rather, to connect to the community, take part in ‘third thursday’ and show our support for downtown. And of course to have fun and just let people know that 9art is here!

We had our usual run with it, but also new opportunities… including:
Taking pictures of folks with Lightning & Mater themselves at the route 66 festival. The life-size cars were sent in directly from Pixar in August… it was pretty sweet. The first shot is Michelle & I, posing with Lightning. (shot by our friends at Whitney Scott photography).

'cars' themed Photo Booth with lightning mcqueen and mater, route 66 festival, joplin mo

Attendance was huge in 2013 for our monthly third thursday photobooth events…

costumed minions & steampunk alice in wonderland- from joplin mo's third thursday 9art Photo Booth dolphinboy... from joplin mo's third thursday 9art Photo Booth

a favorite from our black and white film noir theme- from joplin mo's third thursday 9art Photo Booth

And even better, I had the opportunity to run a couple of photo booths that went beyond fun (not that they weren’t still fun) and into deeper meaning.

After taking this photo during a ‘thankful’ photobooth for my church, this gentleman came up to me afterward and told me I’d ‘helped an old man stop hurting’. That was an unexpectedly powerful moment for me as a photographer.

emotional Photo Booth photo from college heights christian church 'thankful'

Oh yeah. And we even had a MARRIAGE PROPOSAL at one of our photobooths this year. No, this was not staged. 🙂

marriage proposal at 9art 'photoobooth' during 2013 third thursday event in joplin mo

I met and worked with fellow creatives- some old friends, some new. Hugely inspiring and exciting. One my favorite experiences was getting to know Jorge Leyva, a Peruvian painter/sculpter with an amazing talent and a humble heart. He is probably one of the most fun (and goofy) subjects I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing. I plan to continue taking portraits of artists as an ongoing series.

Jorge Leyva + fire, joplin mo, photo by 9art photography

I also worked with an eccentric writer named Lance Schaubert so much that we almost finish each-others’ sentences these days. We both worked for the CVB, (he’s their copywriter as of 2013), directed & promoted ‘cold brewed’ together, worked on a project in which HE was the actor during some studio sessions, and bounced ideas & debates back and forth as we worked across the table from each other at the local coffeeshop. Lance and his wife Tara… who are great friends to my family… are moving to Brooklyn this year.  You can find out more about their mission and how to support it here.

cold brewed script, held by lance schaubert

(that’s Lance holding the first copy of the ‘cold brewed’ script on our first day of shooting…)

I challenged my fear of heights, often. 
I stood precariously on so many iffy chairs, ladders, rooftops, etc this past year… that Carrie from the CVB started saying ‘it’s not a real shoot if Mark doesn’t stand on something.’

 

mark standing on things

by doing so, I got shots like this…

downtown joplin, from above

so of course, it was always worth it.

In a very exciting development, I had my first photo ‘miemed’. I realize that 2013 is a little late to have a photo become a miem, But I don’t care. I’m still proud.

miem stormtrooper star was Photo Booth picture

I got MY face on a mural (along with dozens of other locals for an Art Feeds downtown project) and landed one of my photographs of downtown Joplin as the cover to the ‘Names & Numbers’ phonebook this year.

art feeds mural + joplin names and numbers phonebook

Here’s the full shot:

downtown joplin missouri at night, main street, by 9art photography

Expanded 9art’s commercial side even more, doing work for organizations like CIY

 

CIY commercial shoot by 9art photography in joplin mo... with pandas

and regularly doing covers for the freshly re-designed ‘Joplin Business Journal. Also started a new ad campaign that premiered in the ‘biz journal.

joplin business journal cover and ad campaign

And last but not least, I gained some fantastic new family and wedding clients… and  watched kids grow within families that were already beloved 9art ‘regulars’. 

the Eidson girls, graduates of 9art photograph's 'baby's first year' plan in Joplin, MO

NEW BLOG!

Well guys… after a lovely 2-year run on WordPress, it’s time to find the blog a new home. No offense wordpress, but we’ve moved to tumblr so we can use a sleek new template with more color and BIGGER pictures! It ties in much better to our main site as well. So this is the last post here… from now on, visit:

www.9artphoto.tumblr.com

Be sure to click ‘follow’ on tumblr if you want to see each update as it becomes available!

Harry Louis: 15 months.

There are two things this weekend that made me feel like I’d discovered photography all over again; a new wide angle lens (tokina 11-16mm 2.8, for you techies out there) and a toddler in a new pair of rain boots. All the shots below save two were taken with the new lens.

This is my little guy, now full in that go-go-go exploration phase and more challenging to take a picture of than ever… but in a good way.