Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year in Photos

Please check out the great work done in 2008 by the Naples Daily News staff photographers. Go HERE.

or here:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Mejor Amiga"

Miss Tracy Crazy Miguel is becoming Señora Navarro this weekend. I have the honor of shooting her wedding. Here are some pre-wedding portraits I shot of her and her fiancé, Kiko, today.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Normally, I don't give a hoot about golf, and especially about photos of golfers teeing off. But, I like the intensity in Greg Norman's eyes in this picture I shot yesterday at a tournament here in Naples. This is the same intensity he gives you if you take a picture before his club hits the ball. I made the mistake of letting him hear my shutter on Saturday. I knew better then, and certainly knew better after. He turned and looked at me with the look of death (but I swear the club wasn't even in his hands). Didn't matter.

And I just thought this squirrel was funny. He seemed to like attention.

In search of irie

In a dimly lit room filled with dust and handmade tools, Matt Nickell carves the perfect wave.

Cascades of white foam barrel away from his fingers and break to the ground.

Surrounded by the color of the sea, Nickell moves his arms back and forth, shaving away millimeters at a time.


It is what Nickell hopes to achieve in his art and in his life, and it’s the name of the surfboards he’s been making since 1992.

Irie is a Jamaican word that means to be in tune with nature and the planet, and the way he feels on the water, said Nickell, 38, who admits Jamaica is one of the few places he hasn’t surfed.

A Naples resident since 1977, Nickell, 38, grew up in the shallow surf of the Gulf Coast, but has chased waves just about everywhere. He rattles off a few of the places in no particular order — Nicaragua, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands.

“The waves are fickle in Jamaica,” he said. “If I’m going somewhere to surf, I want to know there are going to be waves.”

He continues to shape the board, referring every-so-often to one of the hundreds of handmade templates he’s created. Rock and roll music pours from a radio in the corner, surrounded by clutter: Music that is less for listening than for filling empty space, as he sands from the tail to the nose and back again.

His boards are used by some of Naples’ best surfers and sold in Olde Naples Surf Shop on Third Street South. He does it less for the popularity, and more for the love of creation.

Just like a wave that is sucked out to sea, only to become the next wave, Nickell’s passion and inspiration is recycled every time he is on the water.

He watches the way other surfers will come off of a wave, giving him ideas for the tail of his next board. Maybe instead of a thumb tail, he’ll create an octagon, giving the rider more maneuverability.

“The water is like a canvas,” Nickell said.

And a place to attain irie.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dos and Don'ts

Found a Goodwill and an Urban Outfitters today. So happy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Little People in Savannah

I drove to Savannah, Ga. yesterday. I guess I just needed my own personal silent retreat. Get out of Naples. Get away from work and everything familiar. My cousin asked me why I was coming here. I didn't have a reason, except that I've always wanted to see this city. Unfortunately, I arrived with five dead camera batteries and no charger. (I thought it was in my car. Apparently not.) So, I'm shooting with my point and shoot. It's ok, though. I love my little camera and it definitely lightens the load. I walked around for five hours today (good thing for new shoes) and I've probably only said a couple dozen words all day. That includes ordering a coffee at Starbucks and food at Spanky's. I find myself thinking in Facebook-speak — not to be confused with Bob Dole-isms. (i.e.: Lexey loves Spanish moss. or Lexey thinks the light is always good in cities like Savannah. or Lexey is effing cold.) I can tell when looking through my pictures from today, that I had no desire to really talk to anyone. Hence why everyone in each frame is itty-bitty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fair Prep

I may run away with the fair.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Moved by Change

There is sense of relief in the air. Whether it is because they voted for Barack Obama or because they are just glad the presidential election is over, most people I see are smiling today. A weight has been lifted and the country can move forward. I felt lucky to be covering the news last night. I felt lucky to be a journalist and witness and report on an historic moment in time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

'Tis the Season

Shot a few portraits at our local haunted house.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good Things


Eating food straight from the ground.

Dogs that smile

Parents who still love each other

Pretty light on pretty faces

Long and windy roads

Remembering when it was fun to photograph flowers

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Carson City

Spring used to be my favorite season. There was something about the smell of spring in San Jose. It was the sweet smell of cherry blossoms outside of the journalism building on my way to another class. I would close my eyes while walking just for a moment as I felt the breeze on my face. But, after living for six years in Florida, I have come to cherish the Fall and the reprieve from heat and humidity. It is even better when I can spend a little time in a place that is already well in to the season while summer feels like it may never let go of Naples.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Traveling Wall

Naples has the honor of hosting The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall. Our whole photo staff has covered it through the week. I was speaking with my friend Tristan today about the Vietnam Wall and how it is the most moving and sentimental monument in our country. He lives in D.C. now and every time he goes by the wall he says there is always someone standing before it who is moved to tears. Vietnam is still so fresh in everyone's memory and life. There is hardly an American my age or older who doesn't know someone connected to that particular war. There are so many names on that wall.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Summer's End

The water is warm and the night is wet.

Couples trickle along the beach Sunday, flirting with each other and kicking at the sand. A woman with a cigarette and sunglasses hanging from her mouth skims the surface of the shore with a metal detector, stopping every so often to pick up a little treasure. Or maybe trash.

The pier is slightly less busy than a usual night just after sunset. Electricity lights up the sky as the sun falls farther past the horizon.

A young boy runs toward the water, a white cast net in tow.

Seth Barrios’ 8-year-old upper body twists all the way around as his feet dig into the sand. As if on a spring, he twirls and flings the net out into the water in front of him.

“Go all the way out to your waist” yells his mother, Jo Foster, as she and her boyfriend, Justin Maschue, embrace on the south side of the pier and watch her two sons play.

Seth is quiet. He diligently continues with the net, holding one end of the rope in his mouth as he straightens out the webbing. He raises his lanky arms to pull it out of the water.

“When is it going to be my turn?” Josiah Barrios pleads. Seth’s 7-year-old brother occupies his time playing a game of tag with the water that laps at the sand.

Josiah screams with glee as he outruns the shallow waves that move closer to his feet. Then, he turns around to chase them down as they head back out to sea.

In the 20 minutes he spends in the water, Seth is unconcerned that all he has caught is one large sand flea.

“Seth, it’s time to go,” says Foster for the fourth time. He doesn’t hear her, or chooses not to. The summer is coming to an end and he is determined to make every moment last a little longer.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

adoro bailar

I couldn't help but shake it while shooting the Willy Chirino concert. I love salsa music. I'm lucky anything is in focus.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It was a hard day

Today, about 250 custodial employees for the Collier County School District found out that their jobs will be outsourced to a private company. They will possibly be rehired by the company, but are subject to salary cuts and loss of benefits. It was intense after the decision was made by the school board, 3-1, to cut the jobs. After the vote, people immediately left the meeting, went outside, held each other and cried.

Read the story Here

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stood Up

Had an assignment to photograph a girl tonight at the beach. She didn't show up. So, I amused myself.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Tonight, I photographed a demonstration and candle light vigil held by district custodial workers whose jobs are being threatened by privatization. There is something I like about both of these pictures. Each for different reasons. I'm putting them both up on my blog hoping you all will give me your opinion. Which do you like better? Why? Also, please feel free to say if you don't like either....

Thanks. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cel-e-brate good times, come on!

Tonight, Gulf Coast High School beat Naples High School in a volleyball match. It wasn't really an important match except both teams were undefeated until tonight. And the fans at Gulf Coast LOVE their volleyball team.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pick-up ball

I walked out of a volleyball game tonight at FGCU and saw some guys playing pick-up basketball on the wet courts outside. They told me that if I end up writing about them in the paper to be sure to say that it's "B.S." that the school doesn't open the gym back up after the volleyball game. Apparently they didn't like having to play outside. It was bad for them, but good for me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Page up

Sacha Samotin, 16, remembers as a young child that his grandfather bought him a book called "Ghosts of the White House." He was reading about the Presidents of the United States while other kids were exchanging Pokémon cards. He remembers at the age of nine watching the 2000 elections with his mom as the nation learned about hanging chads and the ballots were counted and recounted. All eyes were on Florida as the battle for the presidency was fought. It was an impressionable age, and Samotin found the whole ordeal fascinating. Two years ago Samotin began volunteering with the local Democratic Party in Naples and Sunday he will begin a semester as a page with the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. He doesn't know which side of politics he wants to be on, in the spotlight or behind the scenes, but he knows he wants to a part of it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Election Night goofup...

The Supervisor of Elections office in Collier County needed a little help with their web updates last night. They reported that 100 per cent of the votes were in. But, they failed to say it was 100 per cent of the absentee ballets that were counted. Anyway, this photo was taken after the woman running for school board (fourth from the left at top) was told (unfortunately by a Naples Daily News reporter) that the count was wrong, that the race was not yet over, and she had not, in fact, won. This photo was made as the news was announced to her supporters. She did eventually still end up winning the majority of the votes. But, the premature announcement was a bit annoying for some.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dry run

Looks like Fay might become more of a storm for the northern part of the state. She blew through Southwest Florida with some wind and rain, but no real damage. I was in Everglades City during the night of the storm and hung out at Leebo's Rock Bottom Bar, where the locals didn't seem too concerned, and then ventured out the next morning.... If nothing else, we'll be prepared if a stronger storm comes our way.