Monday, June 23, 2008

3 minutes with Kevin Welch

A while back somebody asked me on a internet tv show what I did to prepare for a shoot. Other than make sure my batteries are charged the night before that's about it. I used to stress for days before a shoot visiting the location over and over looking for the perfect set up and it seemed the more I planned the less happy I was with the results. Now I just show up and let the surroundings "speak to me". Last week I had a shoot with Kevin Welch at Blue Rock. The day of the shoot I was contemplating my set up and decided to keep it simple. 2 lights with Kevin sitting on a stool with his guitar. When I arrived at Blue Rock Billy told me we needed to keep it simple because we didn't have a lot of time. I guess the stars were in alignment that night. I did about a 10 min. rig with my profoto kit and waited for Kevin to finish his sound check. When he came back stage we had about 3 min. so I had him sit on the stool, knock out a few chords while I released the shutter a few times and we were done. I couldn't have been happier with the results either. I need to rush them all and quit letting my head get in the way of the creative process. For more on Kevin go to

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Joe Vitale Succeed cover shoot

A couple of weeks ago Joe Vitale contacted me about doing a photo shoot for the June/July '08 edition of Succeed magazine. As always it was a blast working with Joe and he is always the gracious host. The best part of the day was photographing Joe with his new Panoz race car that was previously owned by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. So, to read more about Joe and to check out the amazing photos head over to to get your copy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Stepping back in time

I recently had a fashion shoot for LA designer Marrika Nakk. Marrika's clothes are very cowgirl inspired so I was looking for a really great barn to shoot in but since it was going to be 100 degrees the day of the shoot I decided to find something indoors. There is an old 1940's opera house in my home town that I have always wanted to shoot in and it ended up being the perfect place. I called up my good friend and make up artist Carol Wagener out of Houston to see if she would be interested in coming up for the shoot and fortunately for me she was available. I had to get at least one more shoot with her because she recently signed with Timothy Priano and is heading to New York in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rocking with Ruthie

I LOVE my job! I had the pleasure of spending today photographing the phenominal Ruthie Foster. I have been wanting to photograph Ruthie for a while so long story short I contacted her manager last December to see about setting up a shoot and after working around her tour we finally got a date set. It took us five months to finally hook up but it was well worth the wait. I contacted my good friend Billy Crockett at Blue Rock studios who I shoot for every month to see if I could borrow his studio for my shoot with Ruthie. He graciously accepted my request and gave me access to the studio for the afternoon. Not only did I get some amazing photos of Ruthie I also got my own free 2 hour concert. If you aren't familiar with Ruthie check her out at, you won't be disappointed. Thank You Ruthie for a great day!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Oh I Wish....

After 37 years on the planet I finally saw the Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile in person and I actually had my camera with me.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Little rubber buddha visits Joe Vitale

Last weeeknd Joe Vitale invited me to his annual Mr Fire House of Blues concert that he has at his home. This is the 3rd year that Michelle Malone has played there. A great time was had by all, especially Michelle when she got to go for a spin with Joe in his new Panoz race car that he bought from Steven Tyler. Hey Joe, I'm Next!

Michelle also travels with a rubber buddha that she photographs in different locations from the road. Check them out on her myspace page at

Friday, April 11, 2008

Elvis, Jesus and funeral food with the New Agrarians

The New Agrarians: Kate Campbell,Tom Kimmel, and Pierce Pettis

The shows at Blue Rock have never disappointed and this past show was no exception. Kate, Tom or Pierce would have incredible on their own (in fact Pierce did do a solo show at Blue Rock about a year back) but the three of them have joined forces to create the New Agrarians. They have gone back to their roots and sing about what they know best, The South. The power of their songs was amazing. I have never seen an audience so affected. Their were several songs where there wasn't a dry eye in the room. It was a very powerful night. They haven't cut an album under the New Agrarians but they each have several albums of their own so be sure to check them out and hopefully their will be a New Agrarians album out soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm an uncle

Brooklyn Elizabeth Bursiel was born March 26 at 12:07am in Austin,TX to my brother Mark and his wife Kari. She's going to be a super model or is at least going to feel like one with all the pictures I will be taking of her. I like her little dew rag.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

MMMM MMMM MMMM, That Knuckle Yummy sho is good

What's a Knuckle Yummy? It's the hottest thing to come out of the Austin, TX music scene. It is the latest vision of Dony Wynn. Dony was Robert Palmer's drummer for about 20 years and is now producing his own thing in Austin. Dony has teamed up with the incredible guitar stylings of Pehr Smith and the vocals of good friend Elizabeth Lee. How do you describe the sound? You can't. It is one of the most original sounds to come around in a long time but the first time I heard them I knew exactly the shoot we needed to do and the photo here is exactly how they sound. As Dony puts it the sound is red mud, sweat, cobalt smoke, whiskey soaked dancefloors, freedom. Elizabeth is currently on tour in Europe with her other band Cozmic Mojo but when she returns they will be hitting the stage at Continental Club so keep your eyes open and don't miss it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mac McAnally takes a break from cheeseburgers in paradise to enjoy Apple pie in paradise

One of my greatest joys of photography is being able to shoot the shows at Blue Rock Studio right up the road from my house. Once a month I get the pleasure of hanging out with some of the greatest musicians in the business and last night was no exception. You might not have heard his name but you know who Mac McAnally is. Mac has toured with the best, including Roy Orbison, Hank Williams Jr., Amy Grant, Travis Tritt, Linda Rondstadt, Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, Alabama, Patty Loveless and many more. Mac has also had his songs recorded by more than 30 national recording artists including Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffett, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait and Sawyer Brown. Mac is is also currently part of Jimmy Buffet's Coral Reefer Band.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Willy Porter was in my mailbox

The other day I received a really nice surprise in my mailbox. The very first show I shot at Blue Rock Studios was of Willy Porter. Shortly after the shoot Willy's manager contacted me about using the photos which have now been used in several ads for Fishman Amps, one of Willy's endorsements. They also asked me about possibly using one of the photos for his tour poster. Several weeks went by and I hadn't heard any more so I didn't know if they were going to use it or not. In fact I had forgotten about and then it showed up in my mail. I think it turned out really nice. So keep an eye out for Willy Porter coming through your town and my poster hanging in the window.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More from Blue Rock....with Terri Hendrix, Lloyd Maines, Sam Baker and Walt Wilkins

I've had two shoots out at Blue Rock Studio since my last post. The first was a two night sold out show on Dec 13th &14th. The Hill Country Christmas with Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines. They were also joined with Billy Crockett, Susan Gibson, Ray Bonneville and Sarah Jarosz. Terri is an amazing singer song writer out of San Marcos Texas and has recorded nine albums, her latest being The Spiritual kind. You can see more about her on her website at Lloyd Maines is an Austin based musician and producer who has had his hand in just about everything to come out of Texas. He is probably best known for producing Natalie Maines (literally), the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks. If you have the opportunity to meet Lloyd be sure to ask him about his Columbia Records contract.

Sam Baker and Walt Wilkins took the stage February 14, Valetines Day. Sam and Walt were a true treasure to photograph and hang out with. Just down to earth great guys with incredible talent. Sam was the victim of a terrorists train bombing in 1986 while traveling through Peru. He lost most of his hearing and severely damaged his left which forced him to relearn to play the guitar but he didn't let this stop him. Sam is a unique talent. His latest album is Pretty World. Be sure to visit his website at

Walt Wilkins is another amazing songwriter and producer from Texas. Walt spent the last 10 years of his career in Nashville but has returned to his roots in Austin, TX. Walt has written songs for Ricky Skaggs, Pam Tillis, Ty Herndon and Pat Green's "Songs about Texas". Walt and Sam are great friends and it shows. If you get an opportunity to these these guys together don't miss it. You will be highly entertained with great music and non stop laughs. Walt's website is

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cabalgata de Cristo Rey

Three days in the saddle for 10 hours a day is not something I would recomend to any one but I did it. A few years back a friend of mine who runs Coyote Canyon horseback excursions in San Miguel told me about the Cabalgata de Cristo Rey. It is a 3 day horse back pilgrimage where 2000+ cowboys ride to the Jesus statue in the middle of Mexico. It had to be done. I never thought twice about what I was really getting myself into. I've ridden a horse for four or five hours at a time without any problem so I didn't think it would be that difficult to double it, times 3. Boy was I wrong. That was the most grueling experience I have ever taken part in.

Rodrigo picked us up at Casa de Sierra Nevada (our amazing host) around 5 am. We had to be saddled up and on our way before sunrise. We started out from the ranch with about 25 people and as the day progressed other ranches began to join in with us. By the end of the day there were horses as far as you could see. It was quite an amazing sight. We travelled through lands and villages off the beaten path that not many people will ever see.

We made our first stop that afternoon in a small village for dinner and well needed sleep. After dinner we began setting up camp but somehow my equipment didn't make the transition to the truck that dropped everything off for us. Fortunately Rodrigo had an extra sleeping bag. Of course I had brought all my REI gear to help ease the "roughing it" factor but when it got left behind I was officially roughing it. Of course sleep was difficult being surround by hundreds of horses snorting and fighting all night.

The next morning we were up before sunrise and finding a place to use the restroom was not an easy task but finding a 4 foot ditch to fall in and rip all the tendons in your ankle is pretty easy to do. Somehow I managed to pull myself out of the ditch and make it back to camp in time to saddle and head out for day 2. Day 2 was much like day 1 just with a lot of aches and pains. I wasn't sure how I was going to make it but I had no choice so I sucked it up and headed out. It was a little easier to block out some of the pain because along the way we were making more friends and had more people to talk to. We also learned more about what the pilgrimage was really about. The most exciting part of the trip were the kids along the way. Each village we rode through, the children would come out give the riders letters for them to take to Cristo Rey. It was much like children giving letters to Santa. In return all the riders would throw candy to the kids.

We made it to Cristo Rey by the end of the second day where we attended a 2 hour long mass on horse back then headed back down the mountain a ways to our camp. Fortunately this time the van that had my equipment was there so I was able to sleep in a little more comfort but it was still rough sleeping. Especially when my boot almost wouldn't come off from the swelling in my ankle.

The third day was all on horse back but not as much riding. There were a series off masses at different locations at Cristo Rey. At the end of the day we loaded the horses into the trucks and drove home. Not sure I would have made it back by horse back. Not sure the horses would have made it back. It was a long grueling trip. Am I complaining? NO! I think I'm just trying to get my point across as to what these riders sacrifice every year for their beliefs. It was a true experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. Not sure I could do it again but I'm so glad I finally got to experience it. Hats off to you guys that do this year after year. My heart goes out to you and thank you Casa de Sierra Nevada for the nice cozy bed upon my return.