Viewing entries tagged
Christine Zona



Most people know that three of my favorite things are traditional photography, Pit Bulls, and collaborating with other unique artists. Really, any excuse to pull these things together is a real win/win for me, so recently I asked local analogue guru Christine Zona (of the famed Zona Foto, celebrated expert Lomographer, toy camera teacher, and world traveller) to put me in front of her camera. I wanted to articulate in a fun and easy visual way the complexities and beauty of analogue photography- from loading my camera, to hand-processing film, making darkroom prints, metering my subjects, etc. Christine's creative mind decided to take the entire story out of context and into the studio. Genius! So 842 photographs later(!!), we had a stop motion video that goes a little something like this:


Between Bullet (that handsome hunky Pit Bull) licking my face and Christine making me laugh, it was hard to remain serious through our entire studio shoot. But then again- this is art we're making. Art that I am so incredibly passionate about, proud to be keeping alive, and honored to be able to share with my clients. Traditional photography is a mysterious, difficult craft. It takes years of practice and focus. But it's also a lot of fun and sometimes I just can't help smiling when I'm doing one of my favorite things of life: taking pictures.


Want to learn more about my process and help carve out your own niche in the world of analogue photography? Then be sure to sign up for one of my upcoming classes - you can find a list of them here: TRAVEL/CLASSES


A big THANK YOU!!! to Kristen and Bullet for being such willing, patient, and sweet models.




The moment that everyone has been waiting for is finally here!

I want to thank my amazing team for all their efforts and creativity in making this a reality.  Also, a special thank you goes out to all the Doggie Gaga models - to everyone's surprise, they didn't mind the costumes (behold the power of peanut butter blueberry treats!!)  The experience is really indescribable in words, thus this time around, we are not only launching new photos, but also a behind-the-scenes video. Come take a look at the madness of the shoot, meet the doggie models, and see me manning one of my favorite stdio cameras.  I hope you enjoy this series as much as the first.  So without further ado...

Official photos of the Round 2 Doggie Models.

More on Facebook!  Become a fan and check it out!

During the shoot, two of my favorite Portrait Photographers in California  (Meg Messina and Christine Zona) were documenting the magic behind the scenes. You can visit their amazing blogs to hear their thoughts on the project, and see their behind the scenes photos:

Meg Messina' blog

Zona Photo's blog




Today's guest blogger is a good friend of mine, Christine Zona ( She has been getting more and more attention for her daring and beautiful work with toy cameras, and I consider her an expert in the field. Not only did she sign a contract with Urban Outfitters after winning their Urban Nomad competition, her toy camera photographs have won juried spots in international contests, and are currently on display at Cafe Royal in San Francisco. Her work celebrates the beauty of imperfection, and really captures that perfect balance of spontaneity and incredibly strong composition. Here's what she has to say... When Jesse asked me to guest write on his blog about toy cameras I was so stoked. There is nothing I love more than photographing with my army of plastic cameras!  Yes, an army, I own over 30 and I am always looking to expand my collection. Toy cameras, like the Holga, represent the basics of photography.  For those of you who don’t know, a plastic camera only has a few ‘technical’ options:

2 shutter speeds: 1/125 or bulb

2 apertures: sunny (F11), and cloudy (F8)

4 focusing ranges: one person, three people, many people, and landscape

(very, very technical, hope you are still following along)

These limited options whittle you down to the core of photography: capturing images.  It’s not about megapixels, HD video, expensive lenses, fancy digital backs.  It’s about you and your subject.  So many people think that because they own the best digital camera kit they are guaranteed to take amazing photographs.  It’s just not true. People make photographs, not cameras.  And that’s what toy cameras are all about. Their mechanical simplicity tear down the walls of our digital world, and force people to live more in the moment.  While most digital photographers are pushing buttons, jumbling lenses, and staring at every picture they just took, toy camera users are taking in their environment and capturing pictures that someone gazing down at their screen may have missed.  It’s so freeing, and that is why I am so drawn to them.

The toy camera underground cult is now taking over the world of photography with stores, blogs, competitions, magazines, and books.  The vignettes and dreamy-like quality have everyone in a craze. Everywhere I look I see something related to it.  Besides the rising prices, I think it’s great!!  It is supporting film, and bringing more business to local processing labs.  As a result, this form of photography is getting more respect and is starting to be seen as a professional way to photograph.  One company that supports professional photographers that use the Holga as their medium of creative expression is Holga Inspire.  It is a great organization and they strive to “reinvigorate classic photography and inspire creative originality.”  I suggest everyone check them out.  You can even find me on the resource page.

Here are a few more of my favorite toy camera resources:

Light Leaks

Michelle Bates ‘Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity’

Don’t Think Just Shoot

Lomography Film Shop

Four Corners Store

Below is a collection of photographs from a few of my favorite toy cameras.  To view my full portfolio, feel free to visit my website,