within reach: inside

condensation on the front window © kjm

It's starting to get cooler.

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


new kid

© Matthew Monteith, from the series Art School

Syllabi? Check. Lunch money? Check. It's my first day of class today - wish me luck.


taste of memory

© kjm

My brother recently gave me a stainless steel water canister, which along with being quite stylish, has probably already saved the planet of about 100 plastic water bottles. I've been using it lately to save iced coffee in the fridge, but yesterday called it back into service and filled it with water. After a shoot in Chicago, I took a drink, and the water had a very slight coffee taste. It instantly brought me back to the taste of water from my dad's red Thermos cup, handed carefully to me by my mom on a family trip. My spot in our green station wagon was front and center (can you say projectile?), while my brother and sister fought over vinyl territory in the back seat. I think the family vacations were fresh in my mind, as the subjects I had just photographed were a family from Chicago, who'd spent the last 5 months touring the country.


within reach: note to selves

note on the front door © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


pencils down

report card, 1973

My mom recently found a folder containing all my student report cards, from junior kindergarten through college. The early marks were good, though I was apparently a little reserved (one comment in the margin from my kindergarten teacher: "Not as pokey as he used to be.") What's noticeable (and disappointing) is a drop in the grades, beginning in mid-junior high and only picking up again during my sophomore year in college. What was I doing with my time, if not studying?

I'm preparing to teach my first ever class, for junior-level photography majors at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. I'm really excited and nervous, and plan to write about the experience here. No time to be pokey. Stay tuned.


within reach: ac/dc

shadows low on the office wall © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


within reach: streaks

rain on the bedroom window © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


i love this photo, #30

© stella kalaw

I love this photo by the photographer Stella Kalaw. I'm a huge fan of Stella's series Family Spaces, and envy her ability to make pictures that are both intimate in subject, and yet graphic and pristinely composed. The photo above is from her blog, where she's been posting photos in a series called Wandering. About the series and photo, she says,

"Wandering is a collection of photographs from my occasional observations of everyday life. It is a means for me to reconnect to what drew me to the medium in the first place. And that's really all it is: my repeated attempts at recapturing that feeling which energizes me to continue taking pictures.

One day, I had an hour to spare before going to work. I wandered around Union Square and I was drawn to the morning light falling between the buildings. I saw this shop window and composed the image. I was about to click the shutter when a stranger entered the frame. It just happened serendipitously. It was after I took the photograph that I noticed the details from that encounter: the lady twirling her hair and the mannequin on the right that mimicked her hairstyle."

[See past 'i love this photo' entries here.]



© kjm

Today is the eighth anniversary of my first date with Marilu. It was a ridiculously hot summer night in Milwaukee, and we sat much too close to the restaurant's open kitchen, which made it even warmer. But we shared a long night of conversation and white wine, and while a lot of the details are a bit fuzzy (we both have terrible memories), I do remember drawing a horribly rendered picture of my cat on a cocktail napkin. Anyway, the result was: I got the girl, and the girl got the boy.

We have a somewhat unconventional relationship, what with living apart and traveling so much. But not a day goes by that I'm not thrilled to be partnered with such a smart, funny, independent and caring person. Happy anniversary, sweet pea.



Jimena © kjm

I've been really swamped lately. In this economy, I'm incredibly grateful that my phone continues to ring, but I've been feeling overwhelmed, worried about my preparation for an upcoming class I'll be teaching this Fall, and feeling like I'll never be caught up. I haven't been very pleasant, but thankfully, Marilu has been patient with all my stressful whining.

On a day home between trips to Michigan and Missouri, I had my second shoot at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee for Flashes of Hope. The project, which coordinates photo shoots of kids with terminal illness, recently got some great and just exposure on A Photo Editor. If you're so inclined, please seek out your local chapter of the group - you won't be sorry. In short, it's a day full of kids and families, big-hearted volunteers from the hospital and community, giant smiles and proud posing.

And very little complaining. It's nice when things are put so clearly into perspective.


RayKo show

5054B-19617 (bed) © kjm

This photo from Camp Home will be included in a group show, It's Still Life, which opens this Friday at the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco. I met gallery director Ann Jastrab at Review Santa Fe, and was thrilled when she asked to include a piece in the show. As I've said in the past, it's important to me to show this work on the West Coast, where the story is embedded in the history of the region and it's residents.

I won't be able to make the opening, but if you're in the area, the info is below. If anyone can make a few shots of my work in the gallery setting, let me know, and I'll send you a 38 booklet and print!

It's Still Life, August 6th - September 22, 2009
(Opening: Friday, August 7th, 6-8pm)
RayKo Photo Center
428 Third Street, San Francisco, CA


within reach: timeline

oddly molding banana © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]