1. My First Team Portrait Session

    After a more than 12-hour day of helping organize and shoot casting calls, orchestrate the more than 120 model head shots, set up a make-shift studio, take the entire team’s portraits in the back, and help finish god-knows how many bottles of wine, the GFW2014 team photos are edited and live.

    Thank you everyone for a very productive First Rodeo.

  2. My First Earthskills Gathering

    Even during my temporary affair with veganism, the idea of surviving on only what you grow or kill has always been extremely intriguing to me.

    It’s romantic, hunting for your meal. Taking life with your hands, and thoughtfully and thankfully putting each piece of something to use.


    This dance is sadly something today that at first glance seems barbaric in a generation consumed by consumption.

    Once a year in the woods surrounding my tiny college town exists a gathering dedicated a self-sustaining population.

    This year I went.

  4. My First ‘Outliers of Normality’ Feature

    I was in the passenger seat of one of my more spontaneous First Rodeos, when I had a stranger point out this attraction I seemed to have towards outliers of normality.

    Well over a year later, and somewhere along the same salty southbound Florida roads, I remembered the conversation and thought it might be interesting to spend an afternoon or two searching for a few people who chose to live life a little differently and capture a glimpse of their stories.

    Captain Steve is the first of those little stories.

    He had everything he was raised to believe he ever wanted.

    But one day he decided to throw in his time card and all but 100 of his possessions to live on a tiny boat parked in a marina outside of Key West.

    He spent less than $16,000 to live last year and doesn’t have health insurance, but he’s the happiest he’s been since he can remember

    Steve’s parents grew up during the Depression.

    Growing up hungry, they compensated later in life by owning a lot of things and raising their son to believe that things were the key to success happiness.

    Steve Neil had a secure corporate job for years with Harley Davidson, a nice home in Florida, and all of the things most people spend their lives working towards, but one day he gave it all away to explore a life of minimalism, living just a little bit outside of the realm of normality.

  5. My First Time Going Home to the Keys

    Where are you from?

    To someone who hasn’t had one address for long enough to remember the zip code, this the single most annoying question in the world.

    The concept of “going home” changes regularly, but since my mother made the recent move to the small stroke of islands strung beneath Florida, I went home to the Keys this Christmas.

    Words cannot explain the feelings that came with experiencing the truly deserved joy in her I found when I finally got to visit her.

    To see one of the strongest and most beautiful women I know in love, in paradise and in the moment of a lifetime was the best present I could have hoped for.


    It was New Year’s day.

    I pedaled as fast as I could through the colorful old homes of Bahama Village exchanging warm nods and smiles with weathered Bahamian men through their long white mustaches.

    Dodging cats and roosters, I wound through cigar shops and coconut stands getting momentary peeps into the lazy porch-side conversations of aging artists and writers.

    The sky opened to empty sheets of abrupt and heavy rain, and in an instant it was only me and my bike.

    No roosters, no mustached men, nothing but 8 square miles of rain. I biked to the southern most point of the country and drank a coconut as far out on the rocks to Cuba I could get.

    When I realized the rain was going nowhere, I biked to the little spa that my mom was working at.

    The back door opened.

    One of the massage therapists whispered, “Take off all of your clothes, lay down on the table and I’ll be in in a second.”

    Who argues on New Year’s?

    While I enjoyed every second of a massage, my clothes were drying with spa towels, and the second it was over, I opened the back door to find a miraculously sunny day.

    Here’s to making every second of the New Year a First Rodeo to remember.

  6. Art Basel Miami, 2013 as seen by MFR

  7. My First job as GFW Director of Photography

    Spontaneous combustion: A substance with a relatively low ignition temperature begins to release heat. This may occur in several ways, usually oxidation by a little moisture and air, bacterial fermentation generates heat. The heat is unable to escape and the temperature of the material rises above its ignition and combustion begins.

    Sometimes in nature, seemingly unrelated elements are introduced under unexpected circumstances causing unbelievable exchanges of energy.

    Getting the job as the director of photography for this year’s Gainesville Fashion Week meant the opportunity to do just that.

    A chance to build a team of talent.

    Each segment with backgrounds and skills almost completely unrelated.

    But each with a disregard for limits on potential and a thirst for growth.

    This year, GFW is about inspiring growth with a team built on raw talent and passion.

    After working with just a few of this year’s faces, I know It’s going to be one hell of a first rodeo to watch what happens when the fire starts to burn.

    Additional Featured Artists:
    Patrick Smith- Photographer, Albey Coronel- Director, Ching Ya- Stylist, Niko Pifferetti – Make up

  8. itsmyfirstrodeo:

    My first of many

    For well over a year I’ve talked about wanting to get into portraiture.

    People talk about a lot of things.

    Great ideas and aspirations tend to find themselves followed by “as soon as the semester’s over,” “once I get that raise,” “when the kids get a little older.

    But rarely are they followed by much more than that.

    I finally set a few minutes aside and jumped in.

    With simplicity comes challenge. Composing a portrait, I realized, shouldn’t be about anything but capturing the essence of your subject. Every subtle change made a difference.

    Capturing the essence of someone I love and believe in as he too starts painting the way to the beginning of his career was almost too surreal.

    A first rodeo I hope will grow into many more.

  9. My First Suwannee camping trip.

    I got the invitation from one of my best friends months in advance, and I still almost cancelled.

    It was the first year after some had graduated and started 9-5 lives in different cities with different stories of their own.

    For me, It’s a year of trying to cram every last bit of pricey credit hours into my pocket and get out of Gainesville alive.

    Who has time to run away to the forest and pretend to be children again when we should all be pretending to grow up.

    As my absence of blog posts will show, there’s been little time for adventure.


    Being stuck in a realm of transition is something that is equally as scary as it is rewarding.

    It’s one of those things that is hard to appreciate until years down the road when people say they’d kill to go back.

    For reproduction to occur and new life to begin, awkward transitions in cellular behavior must take place for cells to split and separate. During these stages of meiosis, cells are relatively vulnerable.

    If the cells fail to separate properly, nondisjunction occurs creating the potential for various disorders like Down syndrome or Turners to result.

    In life, transitions are necessary. And often they are awkward.

    If a hermit doesn’t find a proper new pad during his moment of naked vulnerability, he’ll die in his cramped, familiar narrow reality.

    A DJ can ruin an entire set with one bad transition, but if he doesn’t take a risk the world would be stuck dancing through one stale and steady existence.


    The beauty is that

    not having any idea where you’re going to land

    means that there is absolutely no limit,

    and for now it’s important to remember that it is in fact just that,



    I apologize in that I only spent about 15 minutes shooting for this blog post.

    I got to a point in my life that I question any reason for touching a camera, and I couldn’t continue choking out readers with my mediocrity.

    At some point of watching the smiles paint and fade across the beautiful and scared faces of the people I love stuck in a life of transition, I remembered that it is the weaknesses of people that make them unique.

    I’m not the best. But thankfully no one is.

    And sometimes it takes running back to the forest momentarily escaping adulthood to remember what it is you wanted to be when you grow up.

    (Source: itsmyfirstrodeo)