Five Man Gallery Show | Portraits and Stories

I was excited to photograph these guys all of whom are artists here in my hometown. Each one of them has different personalities, style and art. 

Shooting women is a far different experience than shooting men on a number of levels one of which is that men tend to start asking if "we are done" after an hour or so while women may more often ask "we are done already?" after 2-3 hours of shooting.  When shooting men I am trying to make them look rugged and masculine which lead me to choose a popular shooting locale that I knew had the right textures. Normally, if there is a popular spot that other photographers like to use...a lot...I tend to avoid it like the plague but in this case, I felt like we could make it cool without really revealing where we were shooting.

Follow @Inspero.Birmingham on Instagram and check their website for news on this and other upcoming shows and events.

Michael Whitten
@wmwhittenjr @alliancepublishing

Michael describes his art: My work is sculpture: figurative and abstract in nature. My art typically represents the gift of life thru creation, the beauty of life, ones struggles and victories faced in life and ultimately death. Materials: foam, plaster, wood, scrap metal, cast iron, bronze, aluminum.

Ty Smith
Instagram: TSmith02

Ty describes his art: Painting is engaging in a way that I find being among close friends and loved ones. It is a visual conversation, speaking and listening at the same time. Good painting connects to our sense of humanity and imagination. It presents something personal and public.

Matt Underwood 

Matt describes his art: Primarily, I use acrylic, but I love to experiment with other materials and mediums to create texture on canvas. I have an on-going love affair with color and like my paintings to be bright and full of energy and passion. I am amazed by the creative process and I'm fascinated by what evolves on the canvas; the serendipitous quality of creating is very exciting to me.  When people encounter my work, I am rewarded by the fact that this experience is not just a two dimensional experience, but can be a three dimensional by encompassing sight and touch.

Marty Balencie
Instagram: @freesoul_777

Marty describes his art: An artist and photographer I experiment with new materials in order to create innovative portraits and pieces of art.   Producing original works that can tell a story and leave the viewer in wonder can be a challenge, but being able to create is a form of therapy and meditation.   I stumbled upon using blue painter's tape as a medium over the past year and seeing people's reactions inspires me to want to continue to grow in my craft.  

E Bruce Phillips

Bruce describes his art: A marriage of precise perspective with the mystery of the abstract. Vibrant or sultry colors mixed with palpable textures on an architectural framework of lines and spatial relationships. These are descriptions of my mixed media fine art. I want my art to evoke emotion and create a forum for dialogue that can only come when people bring their own experiences and openly share their perspectives with others.


Birmingham Magazine Fashion Feature Photoshoot

It's always the people who makes any organization great. Laura Buchanan is a great creative director because she's smart and knows what she wants but is also just a down-to-earth real person. I like that about her and I always want to make her successful as I do with anyone who hires me. Afterall, isn't that why we are photographers?

We had a small team this day but a great team and Matthew Yarborough showed his amazing eye for styling with each outfit he selected for our model, Kara.

Here are a few of the tearsheets from the Birmingham Magazine story.

I also want to share a few of the photos that weren't selected for the story but ones to which I am partial.

Anna Kathryn

It is always a pleasure to shoot with a model for her/his portfolio and Anna Kathryn was no exception. I knew that she would be professional even though she is only 16 (I could tell from our communication and planning) and give us both images we can use. AK works with the beautiful Ursula Wiedmann out of Atlanta, GA. Please check our her incredible pool of talent at

I always want to continue practicing my craft while refining my style with lighting and composition but also to learn new things. What I have noticed from Atlanta-based models is how very little they have in their portfolios of lifestyle images (happy and smiling). The majority of what they have is editorial and fashion and when they seek me out they know they will get lifestyle images and I will definitely make them smile and not always have that fierce expression.

For those who are interested to know....I used a speedlight inside a reflected softbox camera right held by my assistant. It's always tricky to get that right amount of light on a face without it becoming "strobey" looking.  Photographers know what I mean.  I really like my new Yongnuo speedlights and the commander trigger that allows me to adjust the output and the zoom myself if I want to without having to burden my assistant.

As far as the look I wanted, I worked with Anna Kathryn's mother to style her this way: youthful. Converse sneakers were a must and of course skinny jeans and some simple graphic T. I chose a highschool bleacher for the setting to add to the feeling that she really is 16.

Ok, so this is a tad editorial. I helped to direct the styling for this. I knew a western style hat would work well with a denim shirt but I thought a braid would be something unique. Anna Kathryn did the rest with her posing and experience in facial expressions. No fear with her.

Lighting...giant octobox outside the cab read window (over her right shoulder) on a light stand in the middle of the dirt road pumping light in to wash the cab with light.  Again, trying to keep it looking naturally lit.

I was back on the youth orientation for this.  Baseball shirts are always cool and AK can pull it off and the fedora added a lot. She is a professional and when I asked her to give me the peace signs she readily indulged me! We were riding down a country road when I saw this building and the American flag so we stopped and started shooting.