Tag Archives: Harrisburg Magazine

Perserverance & Passion: Harrisburg Hip-Hop and R&B

Maybe a year or two ago, I was coaxed into going to karaoke. A few songs in, the DJ broke up the requests and announced Nova… A young, handsome dude in a bow tie. What an incredible voice, what an awesome presence. This dude is from Harrisburg? HELL YEAH! Harrisburg rules.

When Harrisburg Magazine asked me to photograph the Harrisburg hip-hop and R&B artists, I wasn’t surprised that Nova was one of them. We’re so lucky to have talented people like him, E.P.O.C., Alonda Rich, Saint, and Young Swerve hailing from our city. They were just the best people to photograph… they were excited and engaged. It made my process so easy and a ton of fucking fun.

I’m really trying to not be too hard on myself for not getting around to blogs until much later than I’d like… being busy is a blessing. I’m very lucky. But the thing that was truly weighing on me is that I didn’t get to thank them. So:

THANK YOU to all the artists. You guys are literally the best. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re an inspiration and an asset to Harrisburg. I appreciate you so much.

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Harrisburg Women

There are literally five different posts that are sitting in my poor, neglected blog’s dashboard just waiting for me to muster up some time to write something to accompany the images. I’ve been running around shooting a million photographs and unfortunately, I don’t always have the immediate time to write and showcase the people that I want to here. But life is happening and it is full and satisfying and I love all of it… All in due time, right? Now, time for some ladies!

I understand that Harrisburg Magazine uses the the word “Harrisburg” loosely, but “Women” is spot on and strong women are my jam! Sure, not all of these ladies live in Harrisburg, but they are all certainly the like of steady, kind, inspiring people that I admire. I’d hang with them, for sure.

I felt like I was going to photograph the Women Entrepreneurs (Linda Green//Reinventing Spaces by Linda//Harrisburg, Jai Delp//Esaan Thai Restaurant//York, and Nicole Vasquez//That Shuu Girl Boutique//Lancaster) just to become a woman entrepreneurial sponge. My photography business is young. I admittedly have a lot to learn and I wanted to soak up as much of their bright existence as possible. They’re so sharp.

I watched Linda work with clients that were staging their home for sale in Hershey. She communicated so objectively but not without compassion for how difficult it must be for a couple to sell a home that was so dear to them for decades. Linda was kind, but firm with which colors were going to help buyers see the potential of the beautiful historic home and frankly, which furniture was just not going to work. When she stood out front of the house for me to take her portrait, she guffawed and I loved her heart.

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Jai Delp proudly invited me into her restaurant that is blazon with red walls and beautiful wood furniture that she and her husband built together. I shot her photo and it seemed like no time or effort for either of us. She was comfortable, confident, and joyful in her business. When I was finished, she sent me off with pink guava gelato. It was absurdly delicious. Methinks she knows the way to my heart.

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Nicole Vasquez was just about finished getting her hair and makeup done when I arrived early to her boutique in Lancaster. She was incredibly prepared (a trait I feel we all should mimic)–having every detail taken care of to ensure that she was ready: the shop was meticulously neat, her outfit had been steamed, jewelry and shoes picked out, etc. I’m pretty sure that opening this store was her dream and you can see how much work she put into it. It just seems to me like her soul radiates outward from that bright blue wall.

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“Cultivating Individuality” resonates with me a lot more than just “Women’s Style.” For each woman, this is her taste. It is, quite literally, for herself. This is how she is confident, comfortable, and outwardly unique. Respect that for them. Respect that for all women.

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Harrisburg Dudes. Harrisburg, dudes.

So far, so good. I haven’t run out of excuses to photograph interesting people.

Back in March, Harrisburg Magazine asked me to photograph Harrisburg area dudes for their men’s issue that came out in April. Cool Harrisburg dudes.

Cool.

Some I hadn’t met before, some are good friends; all were pretty darn handsome fellas. All are active and community-conscious: they are the kind hearts that we want to keep in the Harrisburg area.

Here’s my unabashed introduction to “the dudes” in which I will repeatedly, purposefully, and a little obnoxiously, overuse the words “dude, man, and guys”:

-Bob Welsh, a heart of gold who was unapologetically wearing an “ANALOG” t-shirt. (Hell, yeah. Let’s keep this real life, guys.) Responsible for Jump Street. Do you know it? You should, dude.Bob
-Louie Marven from the Harrisburg LGBT Center, who continually inspires me and so many of our friends. Also, one of the most well spoken people I know–knowledgeable and articulate. Always a dude doing some kind of good thing.Louie
-Jordan Hill, a kind, patient, soft spoken, giant… no really, he’s tall, man. Pennlive recently spotlighted him training with the kids from Steel High in his off season after a very successful rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks. Roots, man. He has them.Jordan
-Mike Landis works for Dickinson College and is a loving family man–but I grew up listening to him play music in fire halls, youth centers, VFW basements. Man, those nights shaped who I became.Mike
-Graham Hetrick, the Dauphin County Coroner, the man with the bow tie, the first one to arrive. He’s been the coroner in Dauphin County since 1990 and I think it takes a special kind of man to be around death all the damn time and keep his wits. Good on him, man.Graham
-Jack Moore, the best dude. He asked me, “Say, you’re a photographer–so that’s your job, huh? What does that mean?” I told him that it just meant that I got to hang out with cool people and make portraits of them. He wants to hang out sometime. He has a lot of cool people for me to meet and make portraits of… perfect, man.Jack
-Eric Moon, the man behind my coif. HA! A talented stylist that laid his roots in Harrisburg but continues to travel and share his brilliant colour knowledge with other people. The best guy, the best of friends. He hasn’t just “taught me”–he has SHOWN ME that professionals in creative fields grow and change and continue to learn. Dudes, he’s one of the best guys.Eric
-Peter Allan, not a Harrisburg enthusiast, he is THE Harrisburg enthusiast. A Temple graduate, a boomerang, a mover and shaker, a friend, a musician, a kind and familiar face at Little Amps, and a damn good high-fiver (you know the kind). He’s the man with his finger on the pulse of Harrisburg. Thank goodness for that man, man.Peter

ALSO, did I mention that I got the cover? Friends, seeing one of my images on the cover of a magazine will never cease to bring great joy to my heart.

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On the Matter of Marriage

Last month in Harrisburg Magazine, Jen Merrill wrote an article about marriage equality laws in Pennsylvania and I was asked to provide images. I love collaborating with Jen… She’s a smart lady, a kind heart, and I’ll even say that I think we’re kindred spirits.

Also, back in July, the ACLU asked me to shoot photos of their press conference for marriage equality in Pennsylvania. I am fortunate enough to have the freedom to choose for whom I will produce work. I believe in what the ACLU is doing to fight for the civil liberties of people in PA and I hope that my images are supportive of their endeavor. If I’m going to make photographs, I want to see them used for something I believe is positive.

Some of those images for the ACLU are also seen in Jen’s article, as well as a photo I took of Louie Marven, the executive director of the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania. I’ll keep it short and sweet about Louie: he’s well spoken, aware, knowledgeable, and he’s such a warm soul. I’m so glad that I was able to tag along when Jen spoke with him.

Cheers to all you wonderful people! I hope that I can continue to support what you do through images.

http://www.harrisburgmagazine.com/December-2013/On-the-Matter-of-Marriage/
http://www.centralpalgbtcenter.org