Custom Photography for Westside Psychotherapy Website

I recently finished up a website project for Westside Psychotherapy, a therapy group near Hildale Mall in Madison, WI. Sandra, the owner, had a vision I loved: a clean, classic, black-and-white look that would stand apart from the typical pastels-and-nature imagery therapy website. When designing the first draft, I used a few personal photographs as filler images, and Sandra liked them so much she asked me to illustrate the entire website with my work. A stiff challenge to find over 80 images strong enough and wide enough to use for headers across the site! But what fun to find just the right image to pair with topics like Chronic Illness, Existential Angst, Trauma and so many more essays Sandra composed in an amazing display of compositional persistance. In the end, we have a deep, meaningful, educational site that I think will be really helpful to those seeking help and a great lead-generator for Sandra and the Westside therapist group.

If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!

Mallon Tree Service, Evansville, WI

Arborists are folks who take care of trees. And trees need some care if you want them to be healthy, good looking and not fall on your house or kids. When I was a kid, dad always did the tree hacking around the yard, so I grew up thinking it was normal for homeowners to climb, trim and take down their own trees. Then I grew up and realized Dad just does everything on his own, no matter how dangerous or if he knows anything about the thing. He's real DYI.

Photographing arborists is one of the few spheres of work where my camera and climbing skills overlap. I have climbed trees with ropes a number of times, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to ride a lift truck up. It's easier! But I gotta say, it was much less flexible. I got up there, established an anchor, and then I couldn't move much. But the guys could move themselves and the truck around me, so it worked out.

Mallon Tree Service is based just outside Cooksville, WI, one of my favorite little towns south of Madison. Whenever we paddle Badfish Creek, we stop at the general store there for ice cream. I don't know how or why Cooksville got so cute, but they have a great collection of little brick houses, plus a couple great old churches. I would live there.

I don't know much about tree work, but I can say Emma & Kyle are fantastic to work with. Kyle learned his trade with the City of Milwaukee; some time after, he and Emma moved out to the country, where some family land became available. Turns out Emma's grandfather is John Wilde, whose work I've seen at MOMA; her dad is Jonathan Wilde, whose work I often admire at Artisan Gallery in Paoli. So the Mallons are carrying the family heritage forward, taking care of the earth and making it beautiful too. Really fun to help with their project.

Forte Research Systems Business Conference at Monona Terrace, Madison WI

Forte Research Systems asked me to photograph their Fall Clinical Research Operations Forum at Monona Terrace earlier this month. While a conference for computer software developers and users may sound pretty dry, the meeting was actually a lot of FUN and a chance for cancer research software users throughout the country to come together to discuss common problems, solutions, goals, new ideas, etc. Forte has had trouble capturing that excitement and spirit visually, so that was my assignment. This bi-annual conference has been running for a number of years now and many of the attendee know each other, so there is lots of conversation, laughter and interaction... all I had to do is catch the moments. The folks at Forte are fantastic and gracious hosts, super personable and engaging... I could not ask for better information or logistical help. I felt lucky to connect with these folks for their Madison business conference.

As part of the gig, I had the opportunity to photograph and listen to Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2011, general non-fiction) and an incredibly articulate and engaging speaker. My time in science education has inured a deep respect for the rare scientist who can translate research into a digestible, interesting story for the general public, and Dr. Mukherjee does it REALLY well. A perfect fit for the crowd of cancer researchers in attendance.

Environmental Artist Portraits with Briony Morrow-Cribbs

I first noticed Briony's work at last fall's semi-annual Gallery Night, a MMoCa-sponsored event where many Madison artists and galleries open their doors extra-late and host special shows to stoke the city's art scene. A print of hers, Buzz #5, was included in a faculty show at the Humanities building, and stood out from the other talent there. Maybe a month later, I noticed more work in the Artisan Gallery, my favorite Madison-area destination for an art fix... and then I saw her stuff at the Overture Center... and then at the new Madison Central Library. Who was this great new local talent? It seemed she had suddenly been discovered and exhibit venues were snapping up the opportunity to feature her.

I sent Briony an email to compliment her work, and we ended up discussing websites. Soon we started a new project to update her online presence, which wasn't wasn't reflecting the quality of her work the way it should. As part of the website development process, we did a studio shoot  to capture some of the gestalt of her working environment and process. The above images are a few of my favorites.

If you like etching, or printmaking in general, check out Briony's portfolio; it's a treasure trove of nature-inspired pieces, rendered in a great old-school style. The watercolor she applies to the prints reminds me a lot of hand-tinted photographs, but somehow the effect comes off way better here. It's worth pointing out that the online-images don't hold a candle to the real thing; just like photographic prints, seeing them in-person makes a world of difference.

Morrow-Cribbs soon leaves for Vermont, but if you act fast you can still catch her show at the Central Library. Or check out her website for future shows/events.