Sunday, Monday, Happy Days...

Any self respecting child of the 70s can identify with that theme song and the swoon worthy Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, or just simply, "The Fonz" (as a one-name celebrity, he was a man ahead of his time). With his black leather jacket and megawatt smile, his entrance into a room was always met with great applause and puppy dog eyes from the ladies.  And a certain seven year old who will remain unnamed.

Fast forward 40 years, add a few grey hairs and maybe a pound or two, Henry Winkler was no less delightful and charming...and with degrees from Emerson and Yale to back it up, despite his struggles with dyslexia, showed there was so much more to admire and love about The Fonz.

Classic Wines Auction: Spring 2016 Winemaker Dinners

This is one of my favorite events to photograph and this year's Classic Wines Auction Spring 2016 Winemaker Dinners was no exception. Between their annual auction and eight winemaker dinners, a pairing of our incredible Portland chefs with award winning winemakers, they raised a breathtaking $3 million for six local charity partners. 

I had the most incredible opportunity to document four of these dinners, meet the people behind the elixir of the gods, and get a behind the scenes look into the kitchens of these incredible chefs who turn out magic night after night. Bluehour + Basel Cellars, Paley's Place + Domain Drouhin + Woodward Canyon, Ringside + Far Niente, Serratto + Chateau St Michelle. Yes, please and thank you.

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In Conclusion: 2015

...a year that unequivocally changed my life. The day after my last post, almost to the hour, my dad was hit and killed half way through his second cross country bike ride that was in celebration of his 75th birthday. 

I could barely breathe, let alone push a button those first few weeks. In the minutes, hours, weeks, and six months since, I have had to rebuild my identity, piece by excruciating piece. My dad was a devoted father, adoring grandfather to my two kids, my wing man and all around super hero. Losing him turned my heart inside out and left me feeling completely untethered.

My dad was carrying this photo in his journal, and it has given me some small measure of solace in knowing he had this with him, as well as a very tangible way to carry him forward with me. As it has always been with me and photography, *the most enduring and precious gifts I have ever received are images of people I love. This was his gift to me.

And while this shocking new reality and resulting war with grief raged on, there were still bills to be paid and kids to be fed. So I picked up my camera again. It's what I know and it's what brings me great peace. And as such, has played a significant role in helping me put one foot in front of the other, both during the course of finding some degree of normal, any normal, in my life again, as well as a way to document for myself this path and pain that I thought for sure would destroy me. 

I tell you this in order to explain the last six months of silence on my blog. And to let you know that though this process has rearranged every fiber of my being and left an enduring mark...the grief hasn't won. 

As this year closes and a new one begins, I need to express complete and humble gratitude to my clients who, over the last six months, have all knowingly or unknowingly, contributed to helping me find once again grace, humor, and connection to this life. I feel more than ever and with my whole being, that I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. And look forward more than I ever imagined possible all to come.

Hotel Eastlund Grand Opening

Two years ago, my pop and his brothers stayed here during a visit to Portland back when it was still a Red Lion Inn.  AC was an option and I'm 99.9% sure there was no big-city like rooftop restaurant.  So it's metamorphosis since then into Hotel Eastlund left me a bit speechless.  But with Portland's own Holst Architecture behind the project (the firm behind former Days Inn-turned-Hotel Modera and Ziba HQ), it should have come as no surprise.  Topped by Altabira City Tavern, the restaurant and rooftop deck offer spectacular city views that give Departure's a run for it's cash money. 

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Classic Wines Auction: Spring Winemakers Dinner

What do local celebrity chefs of Aviary, Ned Ludd, Davenport, Noble Rot, Bent Brick AND Oregon's finer winemakers Brooks, Walter Scott, JK Carriere, Roco, Cameron and Crowley all have in common?   Oh, just a cool $3.2 million they, along with several others, helped to raise on behalf of Classic Wines Auction Spring Winemaker Dinners that goes towards five local (and very lucky) organizations supporting kids and families. 

I, on the other hand, was the very lucky recipient of generous samplings from the aforementioned chefs and winemakers.

NIKE : Brasada Ranch

I photograph a lot of events, and in the course of this, have had the honor of meeting and photographing amazing human beings and subsequently hearing their incredibly powerful words.  But one event in particular stands out, and not just for the rockstar lineup of speakers. 

Eleven years of working at NIKE could not have prepared me for the week in October I spent photographing a NIKE offsite at Brasada Ranch in Central Oregon.  In that previous lifetime, I attended countless meetings, met my share of inspiring athletes, and traveled places I never dreamed I'd go.  It's an experience I will be forever grateful for.

But there was something unique about the magical elixir of this team of leaders, guest speakers, and the Central Oregon air.  I've never functioned for so long (thrived even) on such little sleep.  And never has a week of photographing been so heartfelt and uplifting.  Recent red carpet darling and author of the book WILD, Cheryl Strayed.  Two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2012 FIFA World World Player of the Year, Abby Wambach.   Legendary Oregon State baseball coach, Pat Casey.   And Todd Storch, who along with his wife, created Taylor's Gift, a foundation established after the sudden death of their daughter, that is quite literally saving lives by educating and encouraging people to consider the gift of organ donation.   They, and many others from the leadership team, shared stories that laid open their soft spots, and their life lessons learned. 

Mix in some business, "Olympic" level fun and games, dress up and dancing... and they had the makings of a most perfect week. 

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