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Shutters & Shears

I, Am an American - August 15, 2014

I, am an American. And when I awoke this morning, 4 days into the continuing tragedy that is taking place in the St. Louis area, I was appalled, reading about the events transpiring. I will not act like I know what it's like to grow up, scared of those who are supposed to serve and protect, scared of those who make the laws, or even scared of someone because of their ethnical differences. I'm very fortunate, but my fortune is not lost on me. As I drove to shoot this photo tonight, I saw the poignancy in everything that dotted the landscape of my drive. Two, massive American flags, one teal haired teenager crossing the street, 2 lesbians out for a walk with their dog, one Italian fixing his car, 5 African-American kids playing beside the street, one police cruiser speeding the opposite direction as me... all within 2 miles. This, is my America. And when I shot this photo, I didn't see any colors besides Red, White, and Blue. Will today be the day that we all stop seeing color and start seeing humanity? Parros for the #JG365Project, Day 226.

Samantha - Senior Photos

Samantha
Samantha
One thing inevitably leads to another. A few weeks back, I shot some Senior Photos of a girl from my hometown, here in Seattle. Within a few days, I received a message from a mom, requesting some time to shoot w/ her daughter for the same thing. After picking a date, I did some research for where I wanted to shoot, trying to incorporate all the scenic elements Samantha wanted for her photos. Of all the places in Seattle, I opted for Discovery Park, a massive swath of land, formerly a Military base and barracks on a peninsula in the Magnolia neighborhood. Located along the Puget Sound, there are hiking trails, beaches, meadows, interesting architecture, and tons of wooded scenery. For a few hours, we shot and captured some really wonderful memories on camera. When I started this daily project, I didn't envision this turning into something where people would actively seek me out for their photographic needs. Somehow, on certain days, it has become that and I'm feeling more and more thankful with every opportunity I get. With that being said, here is Samantha, showcasing that picture perfect smile for Day 235 of the #JG365Project.

The Schefter Family

 : I'd say that I don't have a lot of experience shooting photos of children, but then I realize that I actually do considering that I'm a parent myself. So, when I was called by an old friend to shoot photos of his brand new baby boy, I jumped at the chance. I would approach it like any other photo shoot that I have: I know what I want to see and more than anything, how I'm going to accomplish it, which is making me feel consistently better about the material that I'm producing. However, when approaching this shoot, I didn't expect that an 8 day old would have his eyes open for the entire time I shot photos. Bright, attentive, and obviously so full of personality, it was hard not to be completely impressed by this young one. For day 237 of the #JG365Project, I captured this future Super Man in his signature stance, not willing to rest an eye until his photos were finished. Mr. Dawson Schefter, newborn son of my friends Mike and Laura.
I'd say that I don't have a lot of experience shooting photos of children, but then I realize that I actually do considering that I'm a parent myself. So, when I was called by an old friend to shoot photos of his brand new baby boy, I jumped at the chance. I would approach it like any other photo shoot that I have: I know what I want to see and more than anything, how I'm going to accomplish it, which is making me feel consistently better about the material that I'm producing. However, when approaching this shoot, I didn't expect that an 8 day old would have his eyes open for the entire time I shot photos. Bright, attentive, and obviously so full of personality, it was hard not to be completely impressed by this young one. For day 237 of the #JG365Project, I captured this future Super Man in his signature stance, not willing to rest an eye until his photos were finished. Mr. Dawson Schefter, newborn son of my friends Mike and Laura.
Shot w/ Mamiya RB67 & Fuji FP100C Film
Shot w/ Mamiya RB67 & Fuji FP100C Film
Mike, Dawson and Laura
Mike, Dawson and Laura
Mr. Dawson Schefter
Mr. Dawson Schefter
The Schefter Family
The Schefter Family
Dawson
Dawson

Prints are always available... (Mt. Rainier and Tipsoo Lake)

This is a long exposure, shot at Tipsoo Lake on the evening of August 2nd, 2014.  I used two neutral density filters, a tripod, and a wireless remote to trigger the shutter.  We watched the clouds move, the sun set, and the light change for over an hour before I got this exact shot that I wanted.  There is a lot of waiting around for the right moment when shooting scenery in nature and it doesn't just happen quickly.  These photos are composed, light is tested, focus is set, and then the shutter gets pressed.  And again.  And again.  Landscape photography is time consuming, in the most peaceful of ways, but it tests your patience and removes you from the day-to-day grind of city life.  If interested in acquiring a print of this, or any of my other work, please contact me for pricing and print options.  I work very hard to create images that are visually compelling and it is an honor to have people interested in hanging my art on your walls at home.  

Russ Banham - Author - Head Shots

I just got back from Los Angeles, CA, where I shot head shots for New York Times Best Selling Author and Pulitzer Prize-Nominated journalist, Russ Banham.  These were for his latest book, out this fall, detailing the history of Boeing.  We shot these in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles at a bookstore and a French Cafe. I used my Nikon D800 and Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens, at aperture 2.0.  


Kelley & Nathan's Georgetown Wedding

On Sunday July 27th, old friends of mine, Kelley & Nathan made it official.  They said their "I do's", signed their paperwork, and sealed it with a kiss.  The nuptials took place at The Stables, in Georgetown, adjacent to Boeing Field.  Prior to the wedding, we met at the Star Brass lounge and snapped a few photos inside, before walking out to shoot against the old Rainier Brewing Building.  Take a look for yourself and see what a beautiful wedding, couple, and location it was.  


California!

I'll be heading down to Los Angeles, California in mid-July (17th) to shoot the inside cover of "The History of Boeing" and will then be making my way back up to 2nd shoot a wedding in Modesto, CA on the 20th.  While down there, I'll be visiting my little girl (praise God) and hopefully booking a few more shoots to help cover the cost of getting there and back.  If anyone is interested, please e-mail me via jake@jakegravbrot.com.  The dates in So. Cal would be the 16th and 17th.  

Finch - Warped Tour Portland


Deon & Anberlin Day 178 & 179 of the #JG365Project

Deon
Deon
Every day, I relate a story to a photo, and most days it comes fairly easy. Certain photos have more words or stories than I could possibly begin to relay and today is one of those. How does this guy fit into my life? Where do I even begin? Pictured here, is Deon, who plays bass in a band that has been one of the biggest inspirations in my life since I started paying attention to them almost a decade ago. Anberlin would record their albums in Seattle, mere blocks away from where I lived. They'd stay for a month and we'd hang out almost nightly/daily. The bond went beyond the music, beyond the haircuts, beyond the late night jam sessions at the recording studio. We'd sit and smoke cigarettes, drink beer and talk about life. I went and visited him and his wife in St. Petersburg, FL a few years back and I envision I'll have to do that more in the future, because at the end of the year, Anberlin is calling it a career. I'd probably write a chapter in my book of life to justly give Deon his place, but for today, he's day 178 of the #JG365Project and that'll have to suffice.
Anberlin
If you want to know the honest truth, I wrote this band off when I first heard them in the winter of 2003. It was on a sampler CD and I judged them off of one song. Somewhere around a year later, I was exposed to another song off of the same debut record and I realized that I had been gravely wrong. Had this taken place in 2014, chances are, I wouldn't have even had the opportunity to give them a second chance. In an over saturated market of cookie-cutter music now, I'd have probably moved on to the next band, and forgotten all about Anberlin. Thankfully, this was a decade ago and there wasn't the same 2 second attention span that so readily exists with music now. Fast forward 11 years later and I'm watching the beginning of the end, relishing each and every song that they play, even as I've heard them now countless times over the years. You realize that nothing is permanent -- but some things can be. For every album, every song, every photo there is a memory associated with it. I'll keep those memories long after the band is no more, but I won't ever take for granted the final moments that exist this year as they take the stage every last time. There's a final line on their new record that goes like this "We'll live forever" ... and in my heart, my mind, and in the soundtrack to my life, they always will. #JG365Project Day 179.
Anberlin

Consolidating

Since selling the salon and moving to Zero Zero (which I love), I've seen some major changes.  I'm back to making paychecks again, and the term "living from paycheck to paycheck" has never been scarier.  Without putting too much information out there to the public, the State of Washington has been absolutely destroying me financially, because of past due child support and current child support being more than I actually make per month. Every month, I fall further behind, but the state is taking considerably more than I was told they would out of my checks.  For example, my last paycheck was $33 dollars.  You read that right.  I just received a paycheck for less than the cost of ONE haircut with me.  My previous paycheck was $240.  Prior to that, it was just over $300.  So, for the past month and  half, I've had less than $700 to live off of.  Rather than spend 4 days working full time, but not being fully booked, I'm going to consolidate my days to 3 days per week and try to fill those up as much as I can.  In my spare time, I'll be focusing on building my photography as much as I can.  It makes more sense for me to maximize salon hours and keep myself busy with my existing clientele and spend the remaining time I have editing photos and making myself available for paying photography gigs.  Zero Zero will basically be a place I come to work at, so that I can continue paying off child support.  I'm sorry if my new hours don't accommodate everyone and I'm sorry that I'm not doing longer hair anymore (it's too much of a strain on my body).  I've done hair for 11 years and for as much as I love it, I can't be making paychecks like this.  It's impossible to live.  I hope you all can understand.  

Mike - Senior Photos - #JG365Project


Thom Powers - The Naked and Famous - #JG365Project Day 156

Today was one of those days, that I will remember for the rest of my life.  I woke up this morning, around my usual time at 7 AM (Eastern) checked where we were, then went back to sleep.  Around 9, I awoke again and from there, I started getting ready.  Once we hit Pittsburgh, my job was about to start.  I'd found a location that I wanted to shoot TNAF in desperately.  An old, historic steel mill, integral to the history of this fine city.  It still is operated for tour groups, photographers, and even graffiti artists.  This city bleeds history AND art, which is why I find it so fascinating.  We got our photos and if it weren't for this guy, pictured here, I wouldn't be out here.  This is Thom, singer of TNAF.  He contacted me the day after Sasquatch and asked if I would come shoot portraits of them.  156 days ago, I started this project with the intention of just shooting photos of a person a day for 365 days.  Today, I realized more of the dream than I ever have before.  I feel humbled and blessed.  Grateful and fulfilled.  Thank you Thom, Alisa, Jesse, Aaron and David.  You all are so dear to me.  #JG365Project.  

Schedule AppointmentInstagram

Man Overboard (Photos)

One.  Five. Oh.  Halfway to 300.  When I started this project, on the streets of downtown Seattle, with a homeless man on New Years Day, around 1:00 AM, I didn't really think this whole thing through.  Then two weeks progressed and I took the project to California.  Two weeks later and I was in New York.  At some point, I realized "I've got to keep this up.  I can't let it die out."  But some mornings, I wake up and I legit have NO idea who I'm going to shoot that day.  Today, was one of those days.  By 9 pm, I still didn't have anyone.  And then I realized that Man Overboard was playing tonight at Chop Suey and I phoned a friend.  20 minutes later and I was on the guest list, with photo access.  30 minutes later and I arrived at the Chop, camera in hand.  Within 2 minutes, Nik, the singer of Man Overboard walked right past me.  I tracked him down, introduced myself, and told him about my project.  He obliged, I shot a photo and then a homeless man photobombed us.  This is real people.  2014 is about making commitments and sticking to them.  I spent my marriage breaking a commitment.  This project isn't just about photos.  It's about sticking to what I said I would when I started it.  #JG365Project, day 150. 

Schedule AppointmentInstagram

Tour with The Naked and Famous

On the evening of Tuesday, June 3rd, I will be leaving for a brief stint to jump out on tour with The Naked and Famous to shoot their concerts in Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.  As well, I'll be shooting promo photos for them as they wrap up their tour cycle for "In Rolling Waves", their sophomore record.  This is quite an honor to have been asked to shoot these photos and I'm looking forward to this opportunity.  I chose Pittsburgh as the location for the promos because of how visually stunning their city is.  I've been before and have always loved the architecture, art, natural beauty and urban decay that exists all over the city.  In the coming weeks, I'll hopefully have a teaser photo to show from the shoot, but I'll be blogging daily while on the tour.  I return June 7th and promptly shoot family photos for clients here, before returning to the salon on Monday the 9th.  I'll be working that week and two days the following week, before leaving for Hawaii from June 18-25th.  Once back from Hawaii, I've got a wedding to shoot at the end of June and 2 dates of the Vans Warped Tour. Then, it's JULY.  Book your appointments now for photos and hair, because I'm starting to fill up.  Thanks!  

Schedule AppointmentInstagram

Isaac Johnson / Lake Pend Oreille - Sandpoint, ID


I went all the way to Sandpoint, Idaho for Day 145 of the #JG365Project.  Here, I met up with my cousin Isaac, the day after his Senior Prom and now, less than 3 weeks away from his graduation.  I believe this is the part of the project that makes me feel "old".  He's off to Boise State for college, having earned an academic scholarship that'll pay for most of his schooling.  he sweated through 4 years of h.s. football and will be playing lacrosse at BSU while pursuing an engineering degree.  Today, we adventured around Lake Pend Oreille, finding a spot where the lake was low and all the driftwood had accumulated.  We pursued an abandoned shack and came upon a few spots for photos that were absolutely magic.  
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