Photography

Godspeed, Ken Block.

The first time I met motorsports legend, DC Shoes and Hoonigan founder Ken Block was in the pits at the ARX Rallycross at Circuit of the Americas on July 14, 2018. I took this photograph of Ken as he studied his performance statistics driving his Ford Focus RS RX while between practice sessions.

Honestly, I didn’t know who Ken Block was when I snapped this picture, but this photo definitely changed the trajectory of my interest and passion for motorsports, car culture and especially automotive photography.

After getting home later that day, I googled Ken’s name just to learn who he was, and to put context into this picture.

This photo introduced me to Ken’s amazing successes on and off the track, the automotive photography of Larry Chen, and in the spirit of the “butterfly effect,” led into many subsequent opportunities for me to meet and photograph some of the most amazing automobiles and car craft personalities.

In addition to being one of the most amazing drivers and competitors I’ve ever met, Ken Block had an infectious laugh, exuded an overwhelming competitively positive attitude, and was generous with his time with the fans every time I saw him at SEMA or at the track, or watched his unbelievable rally team successes, Gymkhana videos, Hoonigan endeavors, and so much more.

All the condolences to his family, friends, millions of fans, and business associates. He’ll be missed but not forgotten.

Godspeed, Ken Block.

Photography

What soccer legend Pelé taught me about Marketing…

During the 1994 FIFA World Cup in Los Angeles, I had the privilege of spending a few days with Brazilian soccer legend Pelé as we travelled around Los Angeles with Mastercard, presenting scholarships grants to support local soccer programs.

At every stop, Pelé was greeted by throngs (many hundreds+) of adoring fans who could barely contain themselves just being in the presence of this legendary athlete. I still remember it as my “on stage with the Beatles” moment.

After a few appearances, I asked him how he managed to stay engaged with such a high level of ebullience during the never-ending screaming fans trying desperately to get his attention and an autograph.

Pelé told me that even though it was an everyday occurrence to him, he knew it was a once in a lifetime experience for his fans and their forever memory, even if it was just from the stage.

Pelé shared that he knew how important it was to make each of those moments count for his fans.

And, that’s the lesson he taught me… every interaction with our customers and prospects may be an “everyday” and largely forgotten occurrence to each of us, it can be – and often is – a forever memory to those we serve – so make every interaction with a customer – no matter how happy or not the customer is – count as an opportunity to connect with your fans.

P.S., That’s a much younger me on stage with #Pelé and two recipients of the generous grants from #Mastercard and the 1994 World Cup mascot at Southern California’s Glendale Galleria – a #WorldCup memory and #marketing lesson I’ll never forget!

Photography

Salem the Mountain Lion 2004 – 2022

Salem, we’ll miss seeing you – and taking your picture…

If you never met Salem, here’s what her caretakers @thelivingdesert wrote… “Salem was born on April 14, 2004. She was found as an orphaned cub by Oregon Fish and Wildlife and came to The Living Desert on June 16, 2004. Salem was known and loved by so many. From her playful nature with guests and love of toddlers at the window, disdain for people wearing baseball caps, and fondness for her clifftop perch, Salem was one of a kind. And to know her was to love her.”

#mountainlion#puma#cougar#thelivingdesert#salemthemountainlion

Photography

Skateboarding: California’s El Gato Classic Skateboard Legends

A few decisive saves and styles from the “founding fathers” of skateboarding turned out the tricks and saves at this weekend’s El Gato Classic at the La Quinta X Skateboard Park in Southern California.

Since I was volunteering to help Eddie and the rest of the team stage the event, I needed to leave the R3 at home and slipped a vintage digital point-and-shoot in my pocket to make these photos in between my duties.

Photography

Pacific Air Show this weekend!

It’s air show season in Southern California! Next up this weekend is one of my all-time favorites… the Pacific Air Show in Huntington Beach starts Friday morning!

One event I’m looking forward to seeing is the Rum Run offshore powerboat race that begins off the Huntington Beach Pier and takes competitors across open ocean to Catalina Island, where they circle the entire island before returning to Huntington Beach for the finish. The race course covers 112 miles!

The last time I saw the Rum Run was thirty years ago in July 1992. I was a volunteer with the Pacific Offshore Powerboat Racing Association, helping to coordinate the media coverage of the event. Jim Duvall won the 1992 race, which began and finished in Long Beach that year. I’m looking forward to seeing those amazing boats and fierce competitors again!

Photography

“Remember, Bernie, you started it all.”

She’s 26 feet tall and forever Marilyn. Seward Johnson’s sculpture in downtown Palm Springs was inspired by photographer Bruno Bernard, best known as “Bernard of Hollywood.” Bernard’s famous photograph of Marilyn Monroe, titled “Marilyn in White” captures her in her wind-blown dress from the movie The Seven Year Itch”. The photo was selected as the “Symbol of the Century” by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Bernard first photographed Marilyn at the Racquet Club in Palm Springs in 1947 when she was still Norma Jeane.

Her towering presence can be enjoyed in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum, where I captured this portrait.