French Montana – 3.16.17

I had plans right now but she’s apparently hung over and moving slowly so it looks like I have time to get up some more SXSW photos.

Thursday I didn’t have any actual work to do so I took it pretty easy. I started my day by seeing a movie. The SXSW Film Festival is pretty wonderful and I have covered it several times in the past, but this year I only got to see one movie but it was a good one. The Big Sick is a new film by Michael Showalter of the State & Stella. His movie Hello, My Name Is Doris was at SXSW a few years ago and I loved it but not nearly as much as the Big Sick. The movie was written by Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon about a real life incident where she got really sick and ended up in a coma. Kumail plays himself and it is so god damn funny and sad and amazing and I spent 80% of the movie either laughing or crying or both. I met Kumail about a week after he moved from Chicago to NYC after seeing him to stand up. He did one of the funniest sets I had ever seen and he was just in the audience of the show. One of the comedians was running late so the host Seth Herzog put him on and he killed it so hard. After that I saw him probably a dozen times before he moved to LA. For a time my two favorite comedians in NYC were him and Pete Holmes and Pete now has an amazing show on HBO and Kumail is in one of the best movies I have seen this year. Amazingly both of those projects came from a SXSW live podcast taping with Judd Appatow who produced both projects and told the story about that meetin in the Q&A.

Speaking of the Q&A one of the people to ask a question was fellow Chicago comedian Hannibal Buress. I didn’t even realize he was in town so I hit him up and he told me to come by the MTV Woodie Awards because he was giving out an award. I took forever to get there and I got there just in time to see him give the award. I got to see Rick Ross play too which was not awful. I went with Hannibal’s crew to Mohawk for the House of Vans party and saw a handful of rappers that were all from Chicago (to continue on the theme). I got to see the Cool Kids for the first time since probably 2008 and finally French Montana played.

So yeah we finally get to the point of this meandering name dropping post. French Montana (who is not at all from Chicago) headlined the Vans party. I was sort of near the stage so when he stared playing I took a few photos. Then A$AP Ferg showed up which was kinda funny because the day before I shot Playboi Carti and A$SAP Rocky showed up. Seemed like A$AP Mob was following me. Then the next song Rocky showed up again. After they left I shot one more French Montana song before calling it a night.

Don’t worry this post is almost over. I didn’t shoot a ton of photos yesterday but here are a handful of photos of French Montana and friends. The end.

Click here to see the photos of French Montana, A$AP Ferg & A$AP Rocky at Mohawk. 

French Montana & A$AP Ferg

A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg & French Montana

French Montana & House Of Vans

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2017 AVN Awards – 1.21.17

I am back from my two week LA & Vegas trip and ready to get you some photos. I do this trip nearly every year around the Adult Video News Awards. I think I have shot the AVNs or at least the events around the AVNs every year since 2008. The trip is how I got started photographing people in the adult industry and now it’s become a good way to see friends, meet new models and make some money… plus with only a few hour drive to LA it’s a good excuse to hit up LA for a week without having to pay for a flight.

Given that the AVN Awards happened over a week ago I am clearly a bit late on these photos, but I shot them for the LA Weekly and posted that link everywhere so I figured that if you really wanted to see my AVN Awards coverage you had plenty of opportunities to do so. That being said, my edit is much bigger than the LA Weekly gallery and of course you don’t get to read a long, pointless, poorly written blog about it.

This year’s AVN’s were pretty cool because a lot of my friends won stuff. Adriana Chechik won Female Performer of the Year, Greg Lansky won back to back Director of the Year awards and my friends cleaned up the acting awards. Best supporting actress went to Joanna Angel and Xander Corvus won best actor. Best Actress went to Kleio Valentien who I actually helped get into porn many years ago after sending this 2009 photo shoot to Burning Angel! (Update: That gallery is broken for some reason but you can find it on Girls of DBB!)

Also it was hosted by Riley Reid (and Aspen Rae) and a bunch of other friends won awards too like my LA landlord Abella Danger who won best Star Showcase. Holly Hendrix won Best New Starlet and we aren’t friends yet but we talked about shooting soon so hopefully we will be by next AVN.  Oh, and Sgt Kabukiman NYPD was there and he’s pretty much family.

Okay, let’s get to these photos. My shots from the Adult Entertainment Expo will be up ASAP too.

Ps. Donate to my Kickstarter. Many AVN Awards winners are in the book.

PPs. Did I mention Flo Rida performed? He did. We got low.

Click here to see all the photos from the 2017 AVN Awards at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, NV.

Adriana Chechik Wins Performer Of The Year

Flo Rida

Annika Albrite & Mick Blue

Doug Benson & April O'Neil

Kendra Sunderland

Carter Cruise & Spencer

Kleio Valentien

2017 AVN Awards

Broques & CobrasnakeBroques & Cobrasnake

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Unrealized Projects Zine Collection!

The New York Art Book Fair is this weekend and I always try and do something new for it. I am not actually selling anything at the NYABF but my new zines will be available from the Bad Books table at the new offshoot art book fair, the Independent Art Book Fair. I realize that is mildly confusing but the majority of you don’t live in NYC anyway, so you can just get my zines from the Driven By Boredom Etsy store. Anyway, let’s get in to it….

I am constantly coming up with bad ideas for projects or art shows or zines or websites or whatever it may be. Often those ideas are just collections of images that I pull together when I realize I have a few similar shots. For example my book Dinner With Igor came about because I just would take photos of friends when we were out to dinner and when I lined up a bunch of these things together they made for a pretty interesting body of work.

Unrealized Projects is a series of zines that didn’t end up being quite as interesting… or maybe they did but there just weren’t enough of them. I also wanted to do some old school black and white photo copied zines like I used to make when I was a punk rock kid in high school so I decided on making several black and white zines and packaging them together.

Each package comes with three black and white zines and an insert explaining the project with a photo on the back. Each insert is signed and numbered out of 50 and each package comes in a black envelope with a sticker designed by zine and button maker Emma Karin who also did all the titles to the zine. Also she helped me assemble all of these things and apparently now I owe her a ton of free food.

This series will hopefully continue with three more zines in the future but these things ended up being oddly expensive so you guys gotta buy them first… so let’s talk about the first three.

Unrealized Projects Volume 1: Who’s In My Rental Car?
This zine is the longest of the three zines and is a collection of photos taken in my rental cars over the years. Whenever I travel I book the rental car even before I get a hotel because worst case I can crash in the car. After a decade of traveling all over the country as a photographer I have taken so many photos in rental cars. The zine is a good mix of nudity, musicians and just way too many people crammed into a tiny car. I also made a randomizing website for these images with my friend Justin. It is incredibly stupid.

Who's In My Rental Car?

Unrealized Projects Volume 2: Fuck Yo Couch!
Remember this Dave Chappelle skit with Rick James? Well realized I had a handful of weird photos of people on my couch (technically it’s a futon) and decided it would make for another really dumb website. I didn’t actually make that website yet (mights still happen?) but I did make this zine. This zine is mostly just photos of naked girls on my couch but there’s also some not naked girls on my couch and some other weird surprises. Still, I like to think my couch has more fun than your couch, so fuck yo couch.

Fuck Yo Couch

Unrealized Projects Volume 3: Celebrity Selfies
This zine came about because I wanted to submit some stuff to a photo magazine that was doing a “Selfies” themed issue. I knew I had a bunch of photos of celebrities taking selfies so I figured that would be some sort of interesting commentary on vanity and celebrity and this culture of trying to impress people via your social media… but then I decided that was fucking stupid and just turned it into a really short zine. All of the photos in this one are digital so that’s a first for me since most of my print works are 35mm.

Celebrity Selfies

Now normally my zines are $10 each but you get all three of these, plus the signed/numbered insert for $12. The margins on these suck so I have to sell most of them just to break even, but I am pretty into these things and I hope you guys are too. Buy them on Etsy or swing by the IABF this weekend!

Ps. Thanks to Ricardo from Subdrive for helping design the zines!

BUY UNREALIZED PROJECTS HERE!

Unrealized Projects Zines

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Jeff Hardy & Juggalo Championship Wrestling

One of the things I spent extra time on at this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos was the wrestling element. I have covered it in the past (I really enjoyed doing behind the scenes at Bloodymania 6) but it’s never been a main focus of my coverage. This year was a bit different because one of the guys covering the Gathering for the LA Weekly (Art Tavana) is a huge wrestling fan and that seemed like a good angle for me because mainstream press hasn’t really covered it and there are infinite wrestling fans out there.

One night we headed down to “Strangle Mania” which was the all hardcore Juggalo Championship Wrestling event. That means lots of barbed wire, thumbtacks and a lot of real blood. I didn’t stay all night and I didn’t really have an appropriate lens to cover wrestling but I got a few decent shots both back stage and in the ring.

The second night was our main focus. Former WWE legend Jeff Hardy was going to be part of the main event at “Bloodymainia” Which is like the Wrestlemania of the JCW. This is the big event of the year. Jeff is not only a pretty big star in wrestling but also happens to be kinda an eccentric guy who wears make up while he wrestles and also just happened to have made this amazing viral video called Final Deletion that was the talk of the wrestling world. He seemed like the perfect person to profile for this juggalo wrestling story.

Jeff is apparently a bit reclusive and doesn’t do a ton of interviews but fortunately for us I met Jeff’s sister in law Reby Hardy at the Gathering of the Juggalos a few years ago. The Gathering is a seriously bonding event and Reby and I have become pretty good Twitter friends. Her husband Matt Hardy is one half of the Hardy Boyz with Jeff and all three of them made Final Deletion. For those of you who care about wrestling all of this is probably super obvious but for everyone else it’s probably mildly confusing. Long story short, Reby hooked us up with Jeff and we got the interview.

Art and I drove out to the Columbus airport to interview Jeff (and his wife Beth) in their hotel room. They were super nice and it was actually a really fun interview. Listening to Jeff talk about wrestling made me kinda miss watching it. I was a pretty big fan in high school right around the time Jeff was huge and the Hardy Boyz were involved in one of my favorite matches of all time. It was great to talk about all that stuff and to find out that Jeff was only a couple years older than me when he was doing it.

Anyway, from there we all drove down to the Gathering. I took my rental car and they all drove in the car that JCW provided. We got there at pretty much the same time and Kevin Gill who runs the wrestling picked us up in a golf cart on the way in. Juggalos were freaking out about Jeff and he posed for picture after picture and signed autographs. I got to take photos of him trying out the ropes and working things out with a wrestler named Hero who was a huge fan of Jeff growing up. He told us later went back stage and cried he was so overwhelmed.

I got to shoot back stage at Bloodymania and of course I shot some of the matches. The event actually had some pretty amazing moments. My long time Gathering buddy Colt Cabana played his cop heel character and started yelling about Blue Lives Matter until a midget (he wanted to be called midget) named Swoggle who we had met earlier kicked the shit out of him which was great. There was also a pretty bloody hardcore match that ended with kinda an emotional passing the torch moment where JCW legend Pondo made everyone in the crowd chant for the other two wrestlers involved in the match.

But the real highlight of Bloodmania was actually a low light. Violent J’s best friend The Rude Boy is a JCW legend himself and was apparently diagnosed with dementia. He was inducted into the JCW Hall Of Fame and both he and Violent J gave speeches that had the entire crowd crying including myself. It was such a weird thing to be crying at a juggalo wrestling match. I was not expecting that. Rudy announced his retirement and the crowd went crazy for him and he finally made it back stage after several walks around the ring thanking fans.

Right before the final match Violent J came back out an announced that he was going to be wrestling for the first time in 8 years. He had been in WWE back in the day and was a wrestler in JCW before he gained a ton of weight and quit. He ended up losing something like 200 lbs in the last year and somehow not only wrestled, but wrestled well. It was impressive. But not only did he wrestle but he brought out 2 Tuff Tony and the Rude Boy for Rudy’s final match before retiring. The crowd went crazy again. The match ended with Rudy winning it but after it was all over Violent J did a moonsault which is essentially a black flip off the top rope. It was pretty fucking insane and I missed the shot because I thought the match was over.

The whole thing ended with the big three way JCW Championship match between Jeff Hardy, Kongo Kong and Willie Mack. The match was a bit of a mess because so many juggalos had thrown beers and Faygo at the ring and the ropes were wet. Jeff slipped on them and then moments later took a serious hit to the head from Willie Mack’s ass. Seriously. Apparently Jeff really hurt his neck in the process and I am fairly certain he was concussed as well because after the match was over he stayed after and just started breaking shit. I think he wanted to give the juggalos a show since he didn’t perform to his standards but it was a little weird and juggalos were reporting he was on drugs or something . Honestly he seemed fine after the match was over but I am sure he was really dazed after that hit. He told us his neck was killing him but otherwise he was good.

Anyway the day was a pretty cool experience for me because even though I don’t watch wrestling now I was really into it as a kid. I loved WWF Superstars when I was little and then again I got into it in the late 90s when the WCW/NWO storyline was warring with the Rock and Stone Cold and Degeneration X. It was a pretty awesome time for wrestling and the Hardy Boyz were the best tag team in the sport.

Now, if you made it this far it’s time to look at stuff.

Go read Art Tavana’s profile of Jeff Hard in the LA Weekly.

And then check out my photos from Juggalo Championship Wrestling at the Gathering of the Juggalos.

And finally click here to check out my photos of Jeff Hardy.

Jeff Hardy's Entrance

2 Tuff Tony, The Rude Boy & Violent J

Strangle Mania

Jeff Hardy & Beth

Violent J Off The Top Ropes

Tommy Dreamer & Swoggle

Jeff Hardy @ Bloody Mania

Bloodymania

Jeff Hardy

 

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Sailor Jerry Fleet Week – 5.29.16

I spent my birthday at Pier 84 photographing the Sailor Jerry Fleet Week party. It was the culmination of a week of Sailor Jerry Fleet Week events honoring sailors (Navy, Marines & Coast Guard). They gave out free drinks, hair cuts and tattoos and then threw this huge free party with a live performance from Cage the Elephant.

I didn’t make the other events but I saw Cage The Elephant at Lollapalooza in 2011 and they blew me away so I figured this would be a pretty good way to get paid to have fun on my birthday. I have shot thousands of bands over the last 20 years and Cage The Elephant are one of those bands that really sticks out. I went out and bought one of their albums after seeing their live show

Aside from the Cage show there was a lot going on. For some reason there were a couple Playboy Playmates hanging out and arm wrestling sailors. No one seemed to mind them cheating for some reason.

Ink Master judge Oliver Peck was giving sailors free Sailor Jerry tattoos all day. I have photographed a lot of Sailor Jerry tattoo events and it was awesome seeing the right people getting the classic tattoos for their original meanings. Last time I saw Oliver he was tattooing my knee so it was nice to see him without wanting to pass out.

They were giving out on site silk screened shirts and my friend Myles was sewing Sailor Jerry patches on the shirts or whatever you wanted. And did I mention the free drinks? There were a lot of free drinks.

Shortly before Cage went on, the Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus drove a custom Sailor Jerry Harley Davidson on stage and gave a toast to the troops and the proceeded to take hundreds of selfies with sailors and other fans. It was pretty impressive to see him spend over an hour taking photos with people and signing autographs.

Finally Cage went on and after shooting their first few songs I decided I had taken enough photos to just enjoy the rest of the set. I had a couple of drinks and they got right on top of me because I hadn’t eaten or slept because I am terrible at life. So I ended up staying late talking to US Navy guys about the nature of war and service. Pretty intense way to start Memorial Day.

I finally left and met up with some friends for dinner and ended up sobering up a lot as soon as I got food in me and then started to get drunk again and ended up at some punk show and on a roof in the rain and talking hockey with some fucking Penguins fan at a metal bar and then went home and ordered $40 of delivery food before passing out while watching Game of Thrones. Did anything important happen?

Oh right, photos, sorry… let’s do this.

Click here to see all the photos from the Sailor Jerry Fleet Week party at Pier 84.

Norman Reedus

Sailor Jerry Fleet Week

Cage The Elephant

Norman Reedus & Oliver Peck

Sailor Jerry Fleet Week

Sailor Jerry Fleet Week

Norman Reedus

Sailor Jerry Fleet Week

Sailor Jerry Fleet Week

 

 

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Spike Lee’s Prince Block Party – 4.21.16

So another musical legend died yesterday and the world lost it’s mind again. Prince is a little bit different though. Not since maybe Michael Jackson have we lost a musician that is so universal. I mean I am a bigger Motorhead fan than I am a Prince fan and I know a billion people who were devastated by the death of David Bowie but a love for Prince seems to unite everyone.

I went down to Spike Lee’s 40 Acres building in Brooklyn last night and there were thousands of people of every age and ethnicity all dancing in the street to Prince. It was a really magical moment.

I put a small video clip of it on my Instagram and I had so many people contact me saying how much they wished they could be there. I am really glad I was able to be a part of it. (Also, weirdly enough, that video ended up on the Today Show (at the 1:12 mark))

The block party was supposed to end right at 10pm and at 10 some cops showed up ready to shut it down. Spike pleaded with them saying it was the last song and then everyone would go home. The cops gave him 10 more minutes and the crowd went nuts cheering. I even saw the cops singing along to Purple Rain. The whole thing was just really emotional and amazing.

After the block party I went home for a bit and then went to the Lower East Side looking for more Prince tributes but I have to go to the dentist so the rest of the photos from last night will have to wait until I get back.

Click here to see the photos from Spike Lee’s Prince block party at 40 Acres.

Spike Lee's Prince Block Party

Spike Lee's Prince Block Party

Spike Lee's Prince Block Party

Spike Lee's Prince Block Party

Spike Lee's Prince Block Party

Spike Lee's Prince Block Party

Sway

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2015 New York Comic Con

I love fans. I love anyone that is super passionate about something even if I don’t care about that thing. There’s just something there that I sympathize with. I have been a collector all my life from baseball cards to comic books to CDs to DVDs to finally, as an adult, photo books. I am an obsessive fan of the Miami Dolphins and while football is as mainstream a hobby as you can get, it’s pretty derided in the hipster Brooklyn world I live in where people live Tweet the Super Bowl so they can make jokes about how they don’t get sports. So I love fans and I love fans that are willing to dress up in a silly costume and go hang out in public without giving any fucks.

So this past weekend I went to the New York Comic Con to take pictures of fans and it was great. I went to NYCC back in 2012 and wanted to go back at some point. San Diego Con has been on my photo bucket list forever but I haven’t had the chance. NYCC is growing rapidly and was way bigger than when I went a few years ago. I didn’t spend too much time at the convention and honestly didn’t do a good of a job photographing it as I would like but it was sort of a last minute thing and I spent as much time figuring out where to go and getting through crowds as taking photos.

I still the experience was pretty wonderful. It struck me how many disabled people were there and how super heroes could be an escape from whatever handicap they might have. I saw the cutest kid who had some sort of mental disability smiling like I have never seen anyone smile. He was so fucking happy to be surrounded by superheroes and I watched as his parents took him around the convention and I almost started crying it was so wonderful. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to raise a child you know you are going to have to take care of for the rest of their life, but it has to be completely worth it at moments like that where your child is so happy to be in his element.

That is why I love events like these. It’s this moment where people who may have been made fun of their entire life for liking comic books or toy ponies or insane clowns or whatever can come be with people who get them and they hug strangers and take photos with each other and talk about cosplay designs and all of that wonderful shit that they can’t do anywhere else. And yes I get that with the huge Marvel movies and nerd culture being “cool” that comic conventions aren’t like they used to be, but there’s still these moments that are so magical that it makes even a depressing motherfucker like me happy to be alive.

Now click here to see my 2015 NY Comic Con photos that will not at all live up to the hype of my write up.

New York Comic Con

Vera Baby Cosplay As Vampirella

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

Cosplay Is Not Consent

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con

John Rhys-Davies

Jessica Nigri

 

 

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Best Of 2011

For a while I was spending hours a day going through every photo I have ever taken but at some point I stopped. I think I just got busy or something but the other day I started the project up again. The idea is to pull all my favorite images of all time into one place so it’s easier to find stuff and easier to put together some sort of portfolio page which I don’t actually have. I finally finished 2011 so I wanted to give you guys some of the highlights.

2011 was a good year. It was the first year I started working for Sailor Jerry and I got to shoot a bunch of fun stuff for them back when we were doing music festivals almost every weekend it seems. Lolapalooza, Fun Fun Fun and Voodoo Fest were some of the highlights. I had a Ryan Gosling/ Big Freedia photo go viral at Fun Fun Fun and an Odd Future set at Voodoo made national news after they attacked some photographers and I decided to defend them.

Lots of other great festivals that year including the first Four Knots festival, Mad Decent Block Party and of course SXSW. I photographed an Insane Clown Posse cruise and went to the Kentucky Derby with Prince Terry & Dances With White Girls. I was on stage for Wu-Tang and shot Slayer for the first time and spent more time with Major Lazer, TV On The Radio and the Black Lips than is reasonable. I shot Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears and I even shot a Sweet 16 party that Usher showed up at.

2011 was the year of Occupy Wall Street and I photographed the party at Ground Zero when Osama Bin Laden was finally killed.

I went on a cross country road trip with someone I had met twice. I photographed the woman that I would date for two years for the first time. I started a punk band and photographed babes in our t-shirts. I went to Art Basel and the AVN Awards and photographed a ton of naked women everywhere.

Honestly I am getting bored of writing this but there are a lot of celebrities and naked people and the general madness you might expect from my blog. Just go look at the pictures. There are a LOT of them. NSFW obviously.

Click here to see the huge gallery from the best of 2011!

Ryan Gosling & Big Freedia

Odd Future

Jessie Andrews

Blake Anderson & Donald Glover

The Big Four

Snoop Dogg

Kentucky Derby

Major Lazer

Whitney For Mishka

Pharrell & Michael Rapaport

Britney Spears

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2015 Tisch Gala – 5.4.15

My longest running client is NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and every year for the better part of a decade I have been photographing their huge scholarship fundraising gala. I always enjoy doing it because while it’s fairly upscale and fancy compared to what I normally shoot, it’s still an art school so everyone there is pretty awesome even if they are wearing a dress that costs more than my yearly income. Plus I get to wear a suit which is always kinda fun. I clean up okay.

This year the Gala was honoring Steven Lutvak, Robert L. Freedman and Michael C. Hall. So yeah, I got to photograph Dexter which was awesome. I remember when Dexter aired I thought I would never get used to him as any other character than David Fisher from Six Feet Under but now I can’t think of him as anything other than Dexter. Two of my favorite shows of all time. Also he was introduced by fellow Tisch alum Peter Krause who played Nate on Six Feet Under so that was pretty great.

After the Gala there was an after party for mostly students and some of the faculty and those things always get pretty fun. I got to eat some food and flirt with some art school girls and my hockey team won while I was there so it was all and all a great night.

Now most of these pictures are fairly boring but there are some celebrities (Ewan McGregor comes to mind) and cute girls and fun stuff like that so you might wanna click through em even though they aren’t the normal kinda thing that appears on my site. Whatever the case I will be back soon with some wild photos so don’t worry.

Click here to see all the photos from the 2015 Tisch Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center!

Tisch Gala

Tisch Gala

Tisch Gala

Tisch Gala

Tisch Gala

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