Archive for November, 2011

I am going to start this post out a little wierd, but trust me, there is a point, and yes, it will end up tying into photography…

Back in August 2009 I purchased a new car, now I am not going to brag about it or anything, and I am not trying to show off, but the car I purchased was a Brand Spanking New… drum roll please… 2009 Nissan Versa. Ok, you probably thought I was going to say a car other than a Versa, or heck, any car other than a Versa. I can’t recall every hearing a girl say, “Hey, check out that sexy guy over there driving that Versa”. Nor have I ever seen a Versa in a Fast & The Furious movie (and dont they like Japanese cars in those movies??). But I do remember some wierd little Japanese dude being all excited about a Versa in an episode of Heroes. But then again, Nissan did pay them to put that car in the show.

So, back in August I get this car. It is the first ever brand new car I have ever owned. Up until then I had used cars. So to say I was excited, was an understatement. Now, the thing is, I never really liked driving, and I still try to avoid driving long distance by myself. So, up until then, I never really put many miles on my car. All I would do would drive as far as Wilmington from time to time, or just stay around the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area. I even recall putting only 1,000 to 2,000 miles on one of  my older cars back in the early 2000’s. So, when I bought the car, I did not expect that I would put 1,000 miles, let alone 3,000 miles on it very quickly.

Now back when I bought it, I was working at Peace Camera, which is located on the ANYTHING BUT PEACEFUL STREET called Peace Street. And the intersection of West and Peace is really one of the worst intersections in NC. So one day in early October, I am leaving for lunch to meet a friend. I take a left out of the shop and pull onto Peace St. Unfortunately, as I was pulling out, another car came speeding down Peace and came crossing over the top of the hill (which is where the intersection is). All I could do was slam the gas to try to avoid getting T-Boned by the guy. Luckily I was able to avoid major impact which would have resulted in him slamming right into the driver’s side of the car. And since I am in a Versa, that would have been an ugly scene. However, the car still hit me, but in the driver’s side rear of the car. It was still major damage, but no one was hurt.

The repair for the car was something like five or six grand. But it meant me being without a car for over a month. So, while I was carless, I was using a loaner from the shop. I do not even remember what car it was, but I dont remember being too excited driving it (and this is coming from a person driving a Versa). Now by the end of October I started seeing someone, Mariea, and she happens to live out in the middle of nowhere, about an hour from where I work. Well she and I clicked immediately, and it wasnt very long before we were together almost all the time. The funny thing is that she worked close to where I worked, so it was about an hour drive for her everyday, too. Well, by early November, I had but almost moved in with her.

So finally, here comes the photography part.

After a few weeks of dating it was time for me to get my old car, so we went by the shop and picked it up. At this point, the car did not have more than 300 miles on it. It was still pretty new in my opinion even though it had been trashed in the accident. So Mariea and I start carpooling, and sharing my car to work, since it got better mileage than her car. Then after a few months, she completely got rid of her car and we became a one-car couple (kinda sweet right, lol). As we start doing our daily commute back and forth I start seeing those miles start increasing faster than the price of gasoline during the holidays. Not only did I hit 1000 miles faster than I have before, but I was close to 500o miles by December. I realize than the 10,000 mile mark might be coming sooner than we thought.

Now, since we are doing this drive, and she knows how much I like to shoot, she starts pointing out a few different locations that she wants us to shoot at. I remember seeing an abandoned store that would have been cool, then there was an old bar, and I think we saw some emtpy field that looked like it could be cool. But the one that was number one for us was this old tall and skinny tree that kinda reminded me of what Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree would look like if it were given 100 years to grow. The tree was on one of the side roads we took to go from work to home, and every time we passed it, we would start imagining shooting there.

So, as we are driving home one day in early January, I say to Mariea, we are around 9,000 miles right now, how about we make a deal, that wherever we are when the car hits 10,000 miles, we shoot there. Doesn’t matter where it lands, we will shoot at the 10,000 mile mark. She thinks about it, and quickly agrees. We both know that we drive a huge portion on Hwy 55 and I-40, not to mention all over Raleigh, but we were both game to play “Photo Fate”.

As the car hits the 9900 mark, we start thinking, what if. What if it hits it at the tree, wouldnt that be incredible!!! But seriously, the odds of that were not in our favor. So we continue going about town as normal. I believe it was the next day that we figured we would be hitting the 10,000. We started to think about where that would be and we looked at how many miles were left before we were there. As we did the math, we both realized that there might be a possibility that it would be at the tree. But we figured that the tree might be a few miles off the mark. However, even if it hit 10,000 miles a few miles away we would be happy. As the odometer continues clicking up to 10,000, we get closer and closer to the tree. Finally we are only a few miles short of the tree and the mark. As we drive down the road, approaching home, the odometer hits 9999. We look at each other, smile, and drive down the road holding our breath. As we see the tree approaching, we watch anxiously awaiting the 10,000 mile mark. And low and behold, I kid you not, as we drive right by the tree…    click….  10,000 miles!

We started laughing and screaming as if we won the lottery. Since Mariea and I have been dating, we were always believers in fate and something out there more powerful than us. And when that 10,000 mark hit, rather than being pissed off that I have put on 10,000 miles faster in three months than I would have in two or three years combined, I was happy that I knew I was on the right course, headed in the right direction, following my instict, and being rewarded in an odd kinda way.

So, Mariea and I lived up to our agreement, happily, and this is the image we got. If you have been to my newly updated website already, you will recognize this image. But I feel it is the right image I need at this stage of my life, to help continue to lead me where M and I need to be. With us being in a new city, new state, about to try to make all the things we have talked about and worked toward, a reality.



After a month of preparation, I finally updated my main website It has been almost three years since it was last updated, which is sadly, quite common for most photographers. I wanted the new website to reflect the newer work that I have shot the past two years, as well as take down some of the shots I took back when I was starting out. Back then I was addicted to shooting in grungy abandoned locations to try to create something beautiful and emotional out of something so broken down. But, I will admit, I still enjoy doing that from time to time, however, I have more interest in all types of locations, and I am always looking to challenge myself with finding something new and different.

Lately, I have enjoyed getting back to the studio, and while I do not have a new studio in Florida this very moment (but that will hopefully be changing soon), I now like to turn whatever room I am in, into my studio. And this leads me to the title of my post. Coming in the next week or two will be the updated version of this blog, as well as a brand new site that I think will be very informative and entertaining to not only photographers of all skill levels, but to fans of photography and video. It will be my new educational website and it will follow photography techniques, equipment, as well as start slowly making its way into video. I have looked forward to doing this for some time, but I needed to get a few things knocked out before I could start making time to do it properly.

So, if you are interested in seeing the next stage of this, please continue to follow this blog and check back for updates.

Thanks, Greg

G + M Halloween Shoot

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

M and I decided to throw something together for Halloween and make a shoot out of it in our living room. Luckily, a week earlier, we were in Old Town in Orlando where we picked up this cool African Style Ceremonial mask. It was perfect for us to use with some old customized vintage frilly dress in order to get your not so ordinary look. Plus, I was able to put to use my new Elinchrom ECO ringflash. I have had the ringflash for close to three months, and this is the first time I have been able to use it in a shoot. I have to say, I am in love with it. I know ringflashes can get over-used, but I feel that when used properly, and subtly, they are an invaluable tool for lighting guys like myself.

Hope you enjoy the picture and hope everyone has a wonderful, and safe Halloween…