town·ship
/ˈtounˌSHip/
noun
…(in South Africa) a suburb or city of predominantly black occupation, formerly officially designated for black occupation by apartheid legislation.

Soweto, a township southwest of Johannesburg, has seen rapid development since the end of Apartheid in 1994 and while it’s still a very low-income area, it remains incredibly significant in South Africa, both historically and culturally. Nelson Mandela and Trevor Noah are among a few of the names you might recognize from people who spent time there before rising to fame, and it played an important roll in building the resistance that eventually ended Apartheid.

I had a short amount of time in Johannesburg and felt I needed to head down to Soweto to see what it’s all about. I spent an afternoon walking around chatting with people, taking photos, and trying to understand where this place had been, where it is now, and where it’s heading. It’s always a challenge to understand so much historical context from an outsider’s point of view, especially in a short amount of time, but Soweto is a good place to start. It’s vibrant, exciting, the people were friendly, and the braai was one of the best meals I had in South Africa. Photos below:

White Rim Trail. A 100-mile 4WD road through famed Canyonlands National Park. It’s a favorite among mountain bikers and jeepers alike, and because permits are limited there is hardly anyone there any time of the year. The landscape is something to behold, but it’s the stars that will change your life. Basically, western Utah is a gem among gems and I can’t wait to get back. Enjoy some photos of bikers, stargazers, and mostly just the incredible landscape that is Utah.

I can’t say I ever drank a ton of wine on a regular basis. I love food and it comes naturally to pair the two, but living in Colorado I drink much more beer than anything else but that all changed last fall. For some time I had been meaning to sink my teeth into the world of wine so I was pumped when I got pinged for a job in wine country a few weeks before the harvest. My old friend Colin Gordon had me out to Napa and Sonoma valleys to shoot a bunch of content and branding photos for his first wine label, Bydand Wines, that he was launching with winemaker Tim Beranek. To do it I spent three days between four vineyards and a winery learning about their process, studying the differences in grapes and soils, watching incredible sunrises and sunsets, and learning a ton about the artistry of wine and winemaking.

Conceptually we wanted to relate the personal side of a small but high-end wine brand to potential customers, while showcasing that it was no amateur production. To accomplish this sort of goal I always start by looking for a narrative within a brand that strikes a chord with it’s people, the product, and every step in-between. Winemaking at this level is an inherently artisan practice from soil to bottle. It also happens to take place in a relaxed California farming community where the grapes are cared for better than some children; I wanted to make sure we spent a lot of time getting our hands dirty and showing the grapes the love and attention they get on a daily basis. The other half of the story is inside the winery where the production can take years until a bottle is finished and can feel more like an industrial laboratory inside. Ultimately, we walked away with a library of lifestyle and formal portraits, product images, landscapes, details, and action shots. Every one of these images is meant to stand alone on a social platform like instagram, but also to connect as a series or whole to produce a stronger story that will help outsiders understand the brand and the artistry behind it. Below is a collection of my personal favorites.

*On a personal note:* Bydand’s Pinot is phenomenal and I look forward to the next time I’m in Napa to hit Colin up for another house bottle.

Pinot Noir Grapes on the Sonoma Coast

Colorado’s food scene is blowing up, in case you didn’t notice. In the 10+ years I’ve been here I’ve watched Denver go from being a blip on the map to a full blown food-town with nationally recognized chefs, new restaurant openings seemingly every few days, and new ways of looking at how we view food as a culture. No one exemplifies the last point as well as Kimbal Musk, who heads The Kitchen Restaurant Group, which includes restaurants like the Kitchen, Next Door, and Hedge Row. With Next Door, Musk takes the fast-casual Chipotle-style restaurant (another Colorado based food brand that has changed the industry *cough*) to the next level by bringing fresh food to a fun and fast-paced community-style restaurant. Ultimately his goal is to bring real food, healthy and delicious food, to middle America, at an approachable price point, which is no small feat. To do that, he’s devoted time to his Square Roots platform, which educates young people in urban settings about the process and business of healthy food and urban farming.

I had a chance to sit down with Musk for Full Service Restaurants Magazine and shoot a few photos in his new Stapleton location of Next Door. We only had a few minutes after his interview but we managed to catch him feeling loose, happy, and vibrant. I almost can’t imagine him any other way, honestly. In a few more words, I would say he was intense, entertaining, lively, and ever-so-slightly cowboy-esque…but really he was just a super nice, very sharp guy. We only had a few minutes before he tore off in his Tesla back to Boulder but below are some of my favorite shots. And if you’re interested, check out the article at FSR, it’s a great read.

Kimbal Musk at his Next Door Restaurant in Stapleton for FSR MagKimbal Musk for FSR MagKimbal Musk at his Next Door Restaurant in Stapleton for FSR MagKimbal Musk at his Next Door Restaurant in Stapleton for FSR MagKimbal Musk at his Next Door Restaurant in Stapleton for FSR Mag

World Champion triathlete Josiah Middaugh is a bonafide crazy person. Well, he is in my mind anyway. I woke up at 5am in the dead of winter to catch the end, just the end of his workout at the outdoor salinity pool at the Weston in Avon. He trains there before dawn, three days a week, and I’m glad I didn’t have to get in the water with him. He gave us a few minutes after his workout to shoot some quick portraits for Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine, and was even a good enough sport to stand out in the cold, soaking wet in his swim gear, which is essentially nothing at all. Check out the shots: