For the past twenty years, photography has definitely been the most dominant factor of my life. Pretty much everything has evolved around it in some shape or form, and many of my successes and failures are tied to it. Those who are familiar with my work of the last ten years typically think of me as a landscape photographer, and while that’s always been my favorite thing to photograph, I also had a good ten-year run as a sports photographer. Ironically, the first photography job that I ever had was as a portrait photographer for a small studio at a camera shop. It was a very difficult job for me, honestly, and I was totally in over my head. I did it for about six months and ended up being happily demoted to a camera salesman / film processor. To make matters worse, when my photojournalism career started a couple years later, I still struggled with portraits and almost got fired by the Associated Press for submitting some terrible portraits of a CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world.
But photography has always been an outlet for me to challenge myself and continue to learn, and about a year ago I decided to really push myself to become a much better portrait photographer. My goal is to photograph people who I think are cool and interesting and have the setting help compliment who they are as a person. I’m hoping to focus this mainly on the residents of Reno, Nevada, but I will definitely be deviating from that at times. So here is my first Portraits of Reno blog post, and it features something that the world really needs a lot these days, some young guys who can rock! Rigorous Proof, featuring Jessie Gaddis, Johnny Bailey, Adam Landis, and Wes Forster, is one of Reno, Nevada’s best up-and-coming bands. Landis was in my English 101 class a couple years ago at Truckee Meadows Community College and wrote his first essay about his band’s victory in the Clash for Cash band competition where they rocked the house with their amazing cover of The Clash’s “Train in Vain.” I laughed and never forgot about his oh-so-important opening paragraph about, “munching on a spoonful of bran and raisins,” while learning about the contest through an email on his phone from a promoter.
So while brainstorming about this project a couple months ago and noticing the band’s name on display upon the Knitting Factory’s marquee on Reno’s Virginia Street, I decided to send Landis an email to see if Rigorous Proof would like some new photos. They said yes, and it all fell into place a month or so later. Upon arrival, they gave me a copy of their CD, Perspectives, and I think it’s really good. They’re cool dudes who can play their instruments and have good songs. I haven’t been to a live show yet, but I watched some clips on You Tube, and it looks like they can get a good crowd of folks to show up to see them perform. Their website is rigorousproof.com.
I want to continue this project and have purchased lighting equipment that is far superior to anything that I’ve ever used. For the most part, I’d like to keep this project in Reno and feature on-location Renoites in a setting that compliments and helps to define them. Please email me (email@example.com) if you have any suggestions about people in Reno who really need to be photographed, thanks!