10 Years In NYC

10 years ago today I moved to New York. I had planned on moving to NYC a year earlier but I was managing a band called the Gaskets at the time and decided to stick around until they graduated. Eventually I made plans with a friend to move with a friend but it didn’t work out so I signed another year lease in Richmond and figured maybe I could try again later.

Two weeks after I signed that lease I was in Brooklyn for a Gaskets show and I ran into a friend at an after party. He needed a roommate and could probably get me a job at the restaurant he worked at. I went in and met his boss the next day and they hired me as a bus boy. I broke the lease I had just signed and a couple of weeks later I had moved to Williamsburg Brooklyn into the same apartment I live in to this day.

For the entire first year I lived in NYC I worked as a bus boy in a hotel restaurant. I still had dreams of managing bands and working in the music industry but The Gaskets were on the verge of breaking up and there weren’t a lot of music jobs available believe it or not… I started going to parties in NYC to meet people and hit on girls and I would always bring a camera. I was a photo major in college but that was more just to have a useful trade while I did my own shit. I never thought I would be a photographer but I knew I would always take photos.

In late 2006 party photography had just blown up. Cobra Snake and Last Night’s Party were all the rage and when I would take photos at parties people would ask me what website it was for. I had started Driven By Boredom in 2001 but I rarely updated it but apparently I needed a place to post my photos so with the help of some friends I redid my website and became an accidental party photographer.

I would go out around midnight every night and shoot until 4am. I would come home, dump photos, and then shower and head to work. I had to be set up by 6am so I would get there around 5:30. I would work until 3, head home, upload photos, update my website and sleep for a few hours by doing the whole thing all over again. I hated being a bus boy and being broke constantly so every hour I had I free I spent working on photography.

Almost one year to the day after I started I quit my bus boy job. I really thought I could make it as a photographer and I did… for about 8 months. When I ran out of money I ended up getting a job digitizing books for Archive.org. It sounded like a cool job, working for a tech non-profit, and I got to work with cameras, but it was really closer to an assembly line factory job than anything else. I would turn the page and press a button and two cameras would fire and then I would do that again and again, thousands of pages a day.

When the economy crashed in 2008 a massive amount of Archive.org’s funding was cut and they had to lay off the night shift. They said I could re-interview for the day shift or take 6 weeks severance. So on December 23rd 2008 I worked my last day at a “real job” and tried once again to make it as a full time photographer.

Right around the time I got laid off I got a freak advertising gig. A Swiss ad agency saw one of my photos and asked me to re-shoot it for them. They paid me $2500 which was probably way less than I should have asked for but it was way more than I had ever made taking a photo before. In January I decided to go to LA as a little severance vacation and while I was there I randomly got hired to work Sundance for the main liquor sponsor. It turned out that because of the economy crash the company couldn’t afford to hire a real photographer so they paid me $3k to work five days. Again, it was not nearly enough but more money than I had ever made as a photographer before.

Within a month of being laid off I had nearly $7000 in my bank account and was on unemployment. I kinda looked for a job but mostly I was just trying to find as much photography work as possible. I was hoping I could make it longer than 8 months this time. When my unemployment finally ran out I didn’t have a job but I still hadn’t run out of money and many years later I still haven’t.

To this day I have no idea how I haven’t run out of money yet, but somehow I keep paying my bills. I still live in the same apartment and I have rent stabilization so my rent has only gone up about 10% in 10 years. The rents in the neighborhood have basically doubled so basically I can never leave.

And that’s my New York story. NYC isn’t nearly as inspiring as it was for the first few years, and I certainly have a lot less fun than I did in my 20’s but I still love it here and haven’t made that move to LA yet despite thinking about it all the time. So here’s to my 10 years in Brooklyn and to the next 10 years wherever I end up but I wouldn’t be surprised if I was still in this same god damn apartment.

To celebrate my 10 years in NYC my friend Betty Rose hooked me up with a New York City tattoo. Someone once told me when I first moved to NYC that if you make it 10 years you can finally call yourself a New Yorker. Not sure if that’s true or not but I guess I finally made it.

NYC Anniversary Tattoo By Betty Rose

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2016 SXSW FloodFest

After a few days to recover getting up this year’s South By Southwest posts is going to be really easy. I didn’t shoot the film fest and unlike in past years I pretty much just suck to one event during music week. I got hired by two different clients to cover Flood Magazine’s FloodFest day parties at Cedar Street Courtyard. I was there starting at 11am so I had to be up every day by 8:30 or so. Normally I would just get no sleep all week but it was my 13th SXSW and for once I decided I would take it easy. I did shoot two other parties but one of em was a private thing so I only have one update after this one. Praise rock music Jebus.

So yeah, FloodFest day parties! 30 bands over four days! I could list them all or you could just look at this list over here. I was there for Sailor Jerry again who had Keith Underwood and Phillip LaRocca doing tattoos all week and Original Penguin the classic men’s wear line that was gifting bands and had one of those evil photo booth things set up that cost me jobs (just kidding).

Let’s just bang out some highlights.

Best band: I really loved Sir The Baptist. Gospel, hip hop and r&b mixed with a hell of a live show. Real worth checking out.

Most fun band to hang out with after: September Girls were these rad Irish babes who played on St. Patrick’s Day because of course. I ended up running into em later in the day too and they all got Sailor Jerry tattoos.

Worst/ Best tattoo: The winner of the best and the worst tattoo goes to the front man from the band American Bombshell who got SXSW 16 tattooed to his knuckles. Holy shit.

Best babes in Austin: I had Ela Darling and Carter Cruise come visit me. Always good to see my worlds smash into each other. Ela was in town for the Interactive part of SXSW and was giving talks on VR in the Adult industry. Carter was in town DJing and ended up getting a pretty sick SJ tattoo.

Other friends getting tattooed: The homies Ho99o9 came to get tattooed and get some free Penguin gear. It was awesome to see this savage punk band in button up shirts. Hollywood Holt also came by to get his hand tattooed. My friends Keaton and Tess came by and got little jammers too and while not that interesting as far as the write up goes it was nice to hang out with them.

Other bands I dug: The Heavy, Deap Vally, So Pitted, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and although they were a little to chill for me Polica was a huge crowd favorite. Over all most of the bands were pretty good although there were a few exceptions that made me want to murder all of music but I will probably just go ahead and not mention their names.

Anyway, go look some photos and thanks to Sailor Jerry and Original Penguin and Flood Magazine for having me out. Also thanks to Phil for the absurd SJ tattoo! Now go look at way too many pictures!

Click here to see a TON of photos from the 2016 SXSW FloodFest at Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin.

Deap Vally



SXSW Kuckel Tattoo!

SXSW FloodFest

Sir The Baptist

CJ Linde & Phillip LaRocca

The Heavy

Keith Underwood Tattoos Carter Cruise

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Amy Shapiro

I love bartering for stuff. I try and do a lot of print trades and things like that to collect my friends art and I certainly love trading photo work for tattoos. At least a quarter of my tattoos have come from trading photo work for them so when tattoo artist Amy Shapiro asked me to photograph her band for a tattoo I was totally psyched.

Unfortunately by the time Amy actually tattooed me she was no longer in the band. The tattoo also took much longer than the photo shoot did so I told her I owed her some more photos. A couple months ago Amy reached out to me saying she needed some press photos. I was working on my new “Arts” zine at the time and it seemed like a perfect reason to head over to Amy’s studio and get a portrait for my zine while at the same time helping Amy out with some press photos. Everyone wins.

I also though these photos would be a great opportunity to promote the Arts zine that Amy is in and all these other amazing artists are in and you should fucking order it right god damn now.

Also, you should go get a tattoo from Amy at Three Kings Tattoo because he rules and Three Kings rules and yeah.. do it.

Now click here to look at some photos of Amy Shapiro looking adorable as per always.

Amy Shapiro

Amy Shapiro

Amy Shapiro


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Schott & Sailor Jerry Celebrate The US Navy – 10.14.15

October has been a big month for Sailor Jerry. I already shot Lucero in Nashville and in NYC for their SJ Presents tour and last night I went down to Schott’s Soho store to celebrate the US Navy. Before Sailor Jerry was a rum company they were a clothing company based on the designs of tattoo legend Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins and to this day they still sell the clothing. They also do some really cool clothing collaborations like when I went down to Miami for the release of their Iggy Pop designed collection. Yesterday they teamed up with the iconic outer wear brand Schott to create a pea coat for the 240th anniversary for the US Navy.

Schott started making pea coats for the US Navy during WWII and Sailor Jerry Collins was in the Navy and was tattooing Navy men in Hawaii during WWII. The connection makes total sense and the pea coat they collaborated on is pretty fantastic and it even has a semi secret flask pocket so of course they had to design a leather wrapped flask as well. The whole thing was a pretty inspired idea.

Meanwhile tattoo artist Oliver Peck became friends with the Schott’s after his favorite 60 year old Schott leather jacket started to fall apart. Schott ended up fixing his jacket and since the pea coat release timed perfectly with Oliver being in NYC for the Ink Master live season finale they got Oliver involved in the release party. He was doing free Sailor Jerry tattoos all night and everyone had a blast.

On a slightly related note I have owned a bunch of leather jackets in my life but they never felt right to me. I finally got one that I like (although the zipper is broken) and it was actually a vintage rip off of the iconic Schott Perfecto made by Sears. I should have worn it last night… or maybe I should just sell it and try and buy a new Schott jacket since they are pretty amazing.

Anyway, click here to see all the photos from the Schott/ Sailor Jerry pea coat/flask release to celebrate the 240th anniversary of the US Navy!

Oliver Peck

Steve Lewis Gets Tattooed By Oliver Peck

Aaron Sagers

Oliver Peck, Audra & The Schotts

Buff Monster

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The SXSW Sailor Jerry Gallery

This is by far my biggest post of SXSW! Get ready for a LOT of photos.

Sailor Jerry flipped the scrip on South By Southwest this year by abandoning their yearly takeover of the Gypsy Lounge and decided to do stuff completely differently. Everyone has a million bands playing at SXSW every year but not everyone has priceless original Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins art work to show off.

Sailor Jerry took over an art gallery and over a four day period showed off original paintings, stencils and drawings from the most legendary tattoo artist of all time. I have been a fan of his art and have worked for the company that shares his name for years and I have never seen more than a handful original pieces and most of them were just stencils.  This collection had never been show in the US and it was amazing.

Aside from showing off the art during the day, in the evening Sailor Jerry turned the space into a private invite only lounge featuring free cocktails that changed every night. Instead of having a bunch of bands play, they had a bunch of bands DJ and it kept the thing way more mellow and a way to relax and get away from all the madness for a bit. The DJs included members of Thee Oh Sees, Spits, Ice Age, Lust For Youth plus Cheetah Chrome, Andy Animal, Al Lover and a bunch more.

You could tell the parties went really well because you could find editors of major music blogs hanging out drinking booze in the air conditioning instead of catching the new hip buzz band. Plus the homie Hannibal Buress came there straight from his Jimmy Kimmel appearance and came back the next day as soon as we opened. You know it’s a good time when the spot is bumping from the moment it opens until the weird after parties we had back at the Sailor Jerry house!

Anyway this gallery is MASSIVE and it features four nights of partying plus some day time shots of the gallery. It’s worth the click through. But the real question is how am I going to pick just 5-7 images to represent the whole week? I guess we are about to find out…

Click here to see all the photos from The Sailor Jerry Gallery at 2015 SXSW.

Hannibal Buress

Sailor Jerry Gallery SXSW

Sailor Jerry Gallery SXSW

King Tuff

Sailor Jerry Gallery SXSW

Sailor Jerry Gallery SXSW

Sailor Jerry Gallery SXSW

Sailor Jerry Gallery SXSW


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Dinner With Igor Release Party – 1.8.15

Despite it being 16 degrees out the book release party for Dinner With Igor and Food Tattoos was pretty fucking awesome:  Free booze, cheap tattoos, cupcakes with my face on them and an appropriate amount of nudity. When I am throwing a party I tend to take significantly worse photos but I still took some and you should look at them.

It was the opening night of Prince Terrence and Haruka Salt’s new party Club 81 at the Woods and the first few hours were reserved for my book parties. I had a few cute girls selling books (Thanks!) and took some mildly dirty photos of them in the bathroom which is always nice to get back to my roots and all. I had the super babe Ashley Holt make cupcakes with photos from the book on them so people were eating my face all night. And then of course we had the food tattoos!

You guys should go get tattooed by Chris Johnson at Venus Body Works in the Lower East Side and Rukus at Black Square Tattoo in Williamsburg Brooklyn because those dudes killed it with the $40 food tattoos all night. Chris started the night of with a sushi tattoo near this cute girls vagina so I knew the party was going to be good right away. Rukus ended the night by tattooing a terrifying anthropomorphic sandwich on my leg. It was a blast. Go hunt those dudes down cause they killed it. Tell em I sent you and you might get a hand job out of the deal.

Huge thanks to Terry, Haruka and the Woods for making this party happen and Tullamore Dew for the free booze. Obviously huge thanks to the girls selling my book for almost nothing. Thanks to the tattoo artists for tattooing in a bar despite good common sense. Thanks to Inked, Vice, Village Voice, Flavorpill and Shaw Promotions for getting the word out about this madness. Thanks to Ashley Holt for the most Instagrammed cupcakes ever and essentially making them for a free radish tattoo. And of course thanks to all my friends and fans that came out and bought the book.  You guys rule.

Now go to my etsy store and buy a book or two from me!!

And then you can click here to see the NSFW and delicious photos from the Dinner With Igor book release party!

 My Books!

Very Classy Sushi Vagina Tattoo

Competitive Eaters Crazy Legs Conti & Maria Edible

Peanut Necklace Meets Mr. Peanut

Prince Terry & The Boobs Of Bushwick

Lena Marquise & Her Face

Ashley Holt

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Food Tattoos

If you don’t know by now that I am having a release party for my new book Dinner With Igor you probably aren’t looking at my website which would mean you can’t possibly be reading this sentence. But I will remind you again anyway. Dinner With Igor comes out tonight at 10pm at the Woods in Brooklyn.

But you know what else comes out tonight? Food Tattoos! Food Tattoos is my slightly less hyped zine that is hopefully the first in many full color zines. I am really happy with how it turned out and I have done a tiny bit of press for it this week.

Inked Magazine did a short interview with me about it the other day and Vice Magazine ran a gallery of photos from the zine.  The best part of those articles is that strangers keep Tweeting me their food tattoos which I love since I love food tattoos.

Come get your own food tattoos tonight! $40 for any tattoo on this flash sheet by Chris Johnson or this flash sheet by Rukus. Make sure to show up early cause I have a feeling there are going to be a bunch of people wanting cheap, rad tattoos. I know I am gonna try and get one if I have time…

Here are a couple more write ups about the event:  Village VoiceFlavorpillShaw Promotions

I hope to see a bunch of you at the event and take your picture. If you have a food tattoo bring it so I can take your photo. Perhaps there will be a second issue!

Now here are the links to buy books: Dinner With IgorFood TattoosDinner With Igor/Food Tattoos set

Lastly, here is a big gallery of 35mm food tattoo photos. I put this together for the Vice gallery but I didn’t send all of them so this gallery has everything that ran on Vice plus a bunch more. But not all the ones in Food Tattoos… You need to buy a zine for that!

Click here to see a bunch of photos of food tattoos!

Baby Burger Tattoo

Eat Sandwiches

So Many Cupcake Tattoos

Sweet Tea Tattoo

Darth Vader Tattoo

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Dinner With Igor Release Party!

Dinner With Igor officially comes out on Thursday! The book, 7 years in the making, of nothing but photos of people eating is a reality. I somehow raised nearly $6000 on Kickstarter and with that money I was able to make the book bigger and better, create a SECOND (although much smaller) publication called Food Tattoos AND I was able to throw this sweet party you are about to read about.

The Dinner With Igor and Food Tattoos release party is happening this Thursday at The Woods in Williamsburg Brooklyn. It starts at 10 and technically goes until 1am but the party will continue until 4am. It cost $5 unless you donated to the Kickstarter or are in the book. The Kickstarter peoples are already on the guest list but if I told you that you are in the book and you want to come let me know and I will put you on the list.

We are doing $40 food tattoos! Come early to get tattooed. I have a feeling there will be a line. Plus there is an open bar from 10-11 so getting there early is a sound investment.

I got Cap Chris Johnson from Venus Body Arts and Rukus from Black Square Tattoo there from 10pm – 1am although they might go later if you guys are tipping them well. They will also be doing $20 Driven By Boredom tattoos!

Now a food party wouldn’t be complete without food so we have food supplied by Landhaus and free cupcakes from the super sexy Ashley Holt who won Next Great Baker season 3. I am both a huge fan of Ashley and reality shows about food so I was psyched that she won. And now she will be giving you cupcakes with my photos on them so that is really important.

This party is actually the launch of Prince Terrence and Haruka Salt’s new weekly Downtown 81 themed party Club 81. So they will be DJing during my half of the party and then they will be keeping the party going until 4. There’s another late night after party and I will be there all night taking photos so stick around!

I feel like that is all the info I can offer and you probably won’t read all this anyway so let’s just get to the flyer and Chris’ lovely flash sheet. Remember any of these tattoos are just $40!

Oh and if you can’t make the party you can get both books here!

Dinner With Igor Release Party

Food Tattoo Flash Sheet By Chris Johnson

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2014 Brooklyn Vegan CMJ Parties

CMJ festival happened again and I shot the two Brooklyn Vegan day parties at Baby’s All Right. I want to get these up now even though it’s Sunday night because tomorrow I want to do the last post about my new book Kickstarter before it ends on Tuesday. There are a TON of photos and a ton of bands but I want to make it quick so let’s break this down.

I was shooting the parties for my favorite client Sailor Jerry (with the Iggy Pop party in Miami I worked for them on four straight days). They were doing another free tattoo and free booze event with free SJ drinks all day and a free tattoo raffle. Instead of doing a ton of small tattoos they did some big nicer tattoos but only did about a half dozen each day. Matt Marcus from Three Kings was doing them and he’s a boss.

Here’s the line up from both days.

Highlights from Friday included King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Single Mothers who both killed it. I dug most of the bands that played on Friday actually. It was a pretty serious show.

On Saturday I was glad to get to see Fat White Family again and Bo Ningen were really intense. I was really into Girlpool when they started but they got a little slow for me after that. I would love to see a full set of their uptempo stuff. Residual Kid were pretty fun. They were a bunch of skate boarding teenagers playing grunge which I didn’t hate at all. Beverly were pretty rad too and I feel like there are a lot of really good female fronted rock bands that exist right now which rules.

So go look at all the photos and then donate to my Kickstarter before it’s too late! Less than 48 hours to go!

Click here to see all the photos from the 2014 Brooklyn Vegan CMJ day parties at Baby’s All Right.

Fat White Family

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Bo Ningen

Brooklyn Vegan CMJ Parties


Matt Marcus Of Three Kings

Titus Andronicus

Brooklyn Vegan CMJ Parties

Single Mothers

Drew Citron Of Beverly

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