More often than not, when I take a photograph, I have a pretty good idea of what I want the final product to look like. But sometimes, it’s fun to fiddle around in Lightroom and Photoshop, and see what I can come up with. Some images are like blank canvases, and I can usually find a look that seems appropriate for the image, that fits the person or composition well or best.

Sometimes it’s hard to choose, though. Today I made this image, a fairly simple shot of Brandy, that took all kinds of different coloration and contrast quite well. I couldn’t choose which one was ‘best’ to my eye. So I thought I’d share them all. Here goes, beginning with the original, unmanipulated image:

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  • February 16, 2008 - 6:56 pm

    Randy - It’s always hard to decide which direction to take an image. Especially when it has so much working for it on it’s own. In this case, I personally prefer the first image most.

    Great work, as always Fritz!

  • February 21, 2008 - 1:12 pm

    Chelsea Nicole - Sometimes it just takes walking away from it and coming back later with a fresh look. For this photo – the last one is my favorite by far! 🙂

I took my Environmental Portrait Class (at PNCA) out for a location photography shoot today. Every now and then I’d butt in, and take a few photos myself, as examples for my students. These are a few favorites from the morning.

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Yoshihiro Kitai is a Japanese printmaker, living in Portland, Oregon. We went to art school together, and now we both teach at that same school: Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Since we were in school together, he has ‘burst’ onto the art scene, and his work can be seen online and in person at the Pulliam Defenbaugh Gallery. He’s received some fine reviews; here’s a favorite line from one of them: “Although the gentle miasmas and fog banks evoke Tibetan cloud tangkhas and the mist-enshrouded outcroppings of traditional Chinese landscape painting, the shiny metal leaf (an element in Japanese master drawings) also suggests the bling-obsessed glitz of contemporary Western hip-hop culture.”

I photographed Yoshi in the printmaking studio at PNCA, as he worked on one of his prints.

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  • February 11, 2008 - 6:12 pm

    Anonymous - More talent. Neat!

While in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, one of my jobs was a bridal fashion shoot on the beach. I had the privilege of working with a dress from one of my very favorite local Portland dressmakers, Sarah Mansfield. The veil is by August Veils, also of The Bridal Loft. Working with model Andrea Castanette, we had some fun photographing on the beautiful Playa Madera. Here are some sample photographs:

View more of our destination wedding photography, from Mexico to Thailand, New York to Portland, at

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I’m in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, to do a little shooting. This morning I got up early to walk the beach and see what morning would bring. I always find that, to see local culture in full swing, early morning is the time to be out and about.
We saw dolphins in the bay, hummingbirds in the air, watched the frigate birds diving for fish, and watched the locals fish off the promenade. Rather than fishing poles, they have fishing line wound around a piece of wood or bottle, attach a weight and hook to the end, and put a palm-sized fish on the line. Then they’d swing it around, toss it out into the water, and wait.

As I photographed them, one pescador had a fish on the line, and offered it to me. So I took it and started reeling the fish in, hand over hand, walking back and forth along the boardwalk as the fish swam this way and that. Finally we could see the fish in the water below us, and it was big! One of the boys hopped down on the rocks, and picked the fish up out of the water and brought it up to us. It was a yellowtail, nearly 3 feet long.

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Between 30-50 Kenyans were burned to death, and many others severely burned,
in a church, similar to this one pictured here, in Eldoret, Kenya. (In this photo, people are lined up for free medical care in March, 2007.)

I was grieved to hear, on this first day of the new year, that the violence in Kenya has been especially brutal in Eldoret. Today it is reported that between 30-50 people were burned to death in a church in Eldoret, where more than 250 villagers were taking refuge from the violence.

I was just in Eldoret for over a week, in March of 2007. A beautiful country. I spent my time there photographing the work that Open Arms International is doing, to create an orphanage for AIDS orphans. OA was also conducting free medical clinics in the slums, together with local churches, serving several thousand people that week.

The outbreak of violence began with outcry over election scandals, but seems to have turned into a genocidal war between tribes, akin to what has occurred in Rwanda, Iraq, the Balkans, etc. I have been reading reports that church buildings and cathedrals are packed with people seeking refuge from the violence. In my short stay there, I met many pastors and Christians from Eldoret, who worked tirelessly for the care of the poor in that city. I can only imagine the stress and danger these precious people are facing. Furthermore, friends and acquaintances from here in the States are there in Eldoret, working to build this orphanage, from the ground up.

Please be in prayer for them, and for their people: that they will be strong and courageous, that they will be peacemakers, that they will be protected.

Kenneth, a gentle, softspoken young pastor in Eldoret.

This is Pastor Esther, with one of the orphans she cares for in the slums.

Here is an update from Esther in Eldoret, Kenya, on February 7, 2008:

Praise God. The situation is bad .my car was burnt and also they wanted to burn the house .the church is a refugee camp now.people have lost direction faith no prayers no trust no spiritual likfe victimazed no money for communication ,ten people were killled at my gate when they were coming to kill us.That day ihbad over fifty people with children also two mps opposition were killed so there is alot of tension please pray for us.God has given me alot of strength and its well.

God bless you in amighty way.
say hi to everybody .many children in Kasarani are not going to school because of tension and some schools closed.

What we have seen is terrible but thanks to lord for gift of life.
many people have lost there life there is much of harted ,enemity and separation of tribes no unity.

A child plays in the plastic trash-strewn field of the Eldoret slums.

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The few weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year’s are kind of like a second summer in Oregon, in terms of weddings. Minus, of course, the sunshine and warmth of summer, and with the addition of a great deal of clouds and precipitation. Which is why, at Mike and Christa’s wedding at the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, they put everyone on Mountain Watch.

Oregon Golf Club usually has a fantastic view of Mt Hood, but not at this cloudy time of year. But the bride thought a little cloud break might just show a glimpse of the mountain in its winter majesty. Well, we didn’t get a peek at the peak, but we did get a rainbow, right about where the mountain would be. We took it as a good omen, and took a picture:

Christa works in Washington DC for Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer. She is a Legislative Assistant, covering such weighty topics as firearms, labor, civil rights, women’s issues, social security, and more. So she’s a pretty organized, plan-ahead-and-make-it-happen kind of woman. (As well as an absolute sweetheart with a great laugh.) Which is why she kept a copy of her wedding vows in a very accessible but covert part of her wedding gown. Which her bridesmaids thought was rather clever. And yes, she did end up needing it during the ceremony, and whipped it right out….

Did I mention that Christa is resourceful and organized? Here are the contents of her bridal purse: a compact, lipstick, a Tide To Go stain remover, and a list of people to thank at the reception.

Are you looking for an Oregon Golf Club Wedding Photographer?  Contact us today; we would love to be your wedding photographers!

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  • April 26, 2008 - 4:15 am

    Anonymous - Fritz,

    I just wanted you to know I am having so much fun working with the photos you took of Christa and Mike’s wedding in December. They are so beautiful and fun – such a good representation of the day!! I am making photo books for my parents and for us — I haven’t yet seen the book you made for Christa and Mike, but I hear it’s fantastic.

    Thanks again for attention to detail, and for the wonderful job you did on our family’s special day — I look forward to calling you again one day, when daughter #2 is planning her wedding!!

    Linda Shively

I’ve been toying around for some time with ways to paint from photographs. I’m regularly inspired by paintings of people (Modigliani especially, but other contemporary painters as well). I love the way, in painting and drawing, that an artist can abstract and manipulate what is before him. This is the first completed piece in this vein that I’m pleased with.

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  • January 15, 2008 - 6:49 pm

    elsie - geez, Fritz! Must you be so talented? This is lovely.

Over the past few months, as my work on the series Skeleton in the Closet has progressed, I’ve received quite a few encouraging emails and comments. These come from people who have participated in the series, people who have viewed the work online, and people who have come to the gallery shows.

While I’ve been curious from the beginning about how art can be therapeutic for people struggling with eating disorders, I didn’t go into this series with the specific intention of helping people. I really just wanted to create good work about a difficult subject. So the feedback from people who have been encouraged by the work, found healing in the work, felt less alone because of these images and words, is a beautiful side benefit.

I thought I’d share a few here:

A friend of mine sent a link to your photos about eating disorders, and I just had to tell you how wonderful I think they are. Hearing from the subjects in their own words is so moving, and the photos themselves are amazing. They really do capture that eating disorders don’t discriminate, those who suffer from them come in all shapes and sizes…the stereotypes we picture aren’t always true. As someone who’s battled an ED for over 10 years now, it’s very rare to find something that seems to capture how we really feel. I think this exhibition has done that, and I thank you for posting it. Take care.



I just wanted to thank you for your work; I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for the past four years (seems like forever) and recently ‘relapsed’. It is rare yet inspiring to see such honest, diverse depictions of individuals and their stories. Although it is still a work in progress, I am wondering if I could be added to a mailing list or possibly receive information as to when it will be published/where it will be available – I’m definitely interested in buying a copy and supporting your work.

Thank you so much,
Kristin P

I spoke to you on the ‘Face The Issue’ message boards quite a while ago. I remembered it the other day and stumbled across the website for your photographs. I just wanted to say that I think you have done a wonderful wonderful job.

Reading the introduction, with the line “I’ve seen thinner” seems to sum it all up. No matter what people expect or feel, there’s always thinner. I think you have shown-in such a beautiful way- that people suffering from eating disorders aren’t always thin and are definitely not always people who are obsessed with how they look or how much they weigh.
Everytime I look at your photos I find another quote that I relate to, the words match the photos in both their beauty and complexity.

Make sure you post a link to your photography on the FTI website, I’m sure the others would benefit from seeing it.



Hi Fritz!
I got your wonderful photo and story today! Thank you so much for putting my story, my experience, into a photo and words so eloquently. I cannot thank you enough!
-Elizabeth L


Great show. It’s so hard to do what you have done. It’s rare to see
work that balances subject and the visual, complimenting each other
in such a powerful way. It’s so easy to make seductive and beautiful
images at the expense of content. You didn’t compromise and you
treated everyone with respect including the viewer.

Jim L

Thank you so much for including me in this. I really was surprised at how much I connected with you even at our first meeting. I truly feel like working with you allowed me to let go of my eating disorder in a way that I can celebrate forever. Thank you.


i feel so honored to be a part of it. I’m going to try and make it down to see the show today. thank you so much for being an outlet for me 🙂 I would love to help with your future projects if you find a need for me!


My name is Jamie, and I guess I’m bulimic. I stumbled upon a link to your work, and I found it to be very powerful. I am 30 years old, and it made me feel a bit less alone with having an ED at my age when I saw the photos and read the stories of your subjects.

Thank you putting together the skeleton in the closet, it helped remind me that recovery is not some unattainable gold floating way out there.

I came across your photographs in “Skeletons in the Closet” and I wanted to congratulate you on how well you portrayed the suffering of eating disorders. I am in “recovery” (however, each day is still a struggle) from bulimia and anorexia and found these photos to be very well done. When most people try to portray eating disorders, they show only the 80 pound, near death girls, and this really puts a real face on the disease. The women in the picture could be anyone- teenagers, mothers, daughters, friends, teachers, doctors, etc. Job well done!


Thank you so much for the beautiful artwork. I could see a slice of my life (or a slight variation of my own pain) within all your portraits of the women and men that are suffering from various manifestations of the eating disorder. It was sort of walking through a simultaneously very poignant, ugly and beautiful, scary but all too familiar hall of mirrors.


I just needed to tell you that you have completely been able to capture the soul of so many victims of the eating disorder community with your photos. I was so moved to tears when reading the different stories and looking at the photos. I have had an ED for most of my 50 years on this earth. There is so much that the medical community does not know about this awful disorder and can never begin to uncover. You have captured that pain, the insanity, the torture, the hope, the destruction with your photos. I would love to look at these photos everyday to see that I am not alone. I am not singled out because these disorder crosses all races, ages, gender. Why don’t you present this to the psychiatric and medical community? They need to learn how to help us. Thank you so much for taking your time and your creativity to focus on ME.


I just wanted to thank you again for giving me the chance to work with you on your series. This was a huge step in the right direction for me and i’m glad that i got to express this part of myself.

Hi Fritz,
I was just browsing through your blogspot and I felt moved to say that you are such an exceptional person and I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to share such a personal aspect of my life with such an extraordinary artist. Thank you for everything.


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I was just looking through the new Pacific NW College of Art catalog for Winter 2008. They included a photo of one of my studio lighting classes (I’m the blue chest on the right), and a sweet little quote from one of my student evaluations.

This January/February, I’ll be teaching my Environmental Portrait class. Here’s the scoop:

The Environmental Portrait places a person in the context of their natural surroundings, and communicates more about them than is possible in a studio or simple headshot. Photographers use environmental portraiture to document figures in popular culture (Annie Liebowitz), make social commentary and documentary (Dorothea Lange), and more. In this class we will look at master location portrait photographers; review and critique each other’s work; and discuss how location portraits say much about the subject, as well as the social and political context in which they live. We will be working with models, available and artificial lighting, composition, camera and media choices, output and presentation. Both film and digital are welcome. The class will culminate with a portrait series as a final project.

This being one of my favorite subjects in both my artistic and commercial work, I enjoy this class a great deal. If you share this passion, and want to push your work further, consider signing up for this workshop. Spaces are limited.

You can find out more here.

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Selected images from the series Skeleton in the Closet will be on display at Portland’s DaVinci Arts Middle School from November 13-December 8. These photographs (including new work recently completed) will be in the Library, and in display cases around the school. It will also be on display during the annual DaVinci Arts Fair.

During this month, I will be teaming up with their counselor to host 6 different small group discussions about eating disorders, art, and whatever else their brilliant adolescent minds come up with. Should be interesting!

I’ve also posted 8 new images in this series in my online gallery. Feel free to take a look, and give me some feedback.

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  • November 15, 2007 - 10:11 am

    My Middle Name is "Gerous" - Cool. I have some friends who didn’t make it over to PSU to see it before, so now maybe they’ll be able to see your showing.

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