This shoot didn't work out exactly as planned (but when do they ever? Dramatic sigh) but I had so much fun assisting on this shoot. I secured the location at a storage unit facility located right next to my church in the South Side of Pittsburgh. The owner was super kind and let us wreak havoc for a few hours and let us shoot inside one of the units. The talent (one of my sweet residents and then my brother) looked incredible together. Note the photo of me and Justin majorly posing in that second row. These are just some iPhone photos that I edited in Afterlight pretty quickly, but I can't wait to see how the final photos from my classmates turn out.
1.) Jeff Johnson -- Patagonia's professional adventurer. I first heard about Jeff from watching the documentary 180 Degrees South. His work is exceptional.
2.) Shutterback (Konrad Utterback) -- an econ and psychology student I found on Instagram. Lots of nature photos, but he excels in portraiture as well.
3.) Ashley Osborn -- music photographer. My friend's band opened up for Being as an Ocean and she photographed them and I've been following her work ever since.
4.) Jayscale (Jamal Burger) -- chances are, if you have an Instagram, you've seen Jayscale's work. He started taking shoe photos on rooftops and has now formed a lifestyle photography empire. I first fell in love with his stuff while looking at a picture he took of a street corner in Canada.
5.) Stephen Burchill -- He's a Canadian native but has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, London, England and most recently Berlin, Germany.
6.) The Wade Brothers -- I found out about the Wade Brothers through their Reebok campaign when I was working at a shoe store in high school.
7.) Luigi Bussolati -- His product photography feels like a Wes Anderson film.
8.) Jeremy Cowart -- Healthcare. From a journalistic standpoint, this is an impressive project. I love his ability to capture some of the most raw, difficult and exciting parts of life.
9.) Ari Marcopoulos -- "A Photographer From the Streets." I first fell in love with Ari's portraits of Andy Warhol. I stayed a fan strictly because of this picture.
10.) Alex Prager - master of staged photography.
If you were to describe rugby club president Elliott Carr most accurately in one word, it would be unconventional. Professional would come in at a close second.
Carr, a biology major, feels that he fell into the presidency in a sense, claiming he felt he thought he lacked the extroverted nature that being president of such a large, successful club would require.
“I was very surprised at the nomination,” Carr said. “We did the election, and somebody said, ‘I nominate Elliott Carr,’ and the next thing I knew, I’m president.”
That somebody was Jakob Como, last year’s team captain, who Carr bonded with on and off the field. Despite Carr’s newcomer status last year, Como recognized a distinctive ambition in the freshman.
“I know Elliot has the perfect mix of drive and personality to continue to grow the club and accomplish more than every president before him,” said Como, who graduated in the spring.
Aside from reuniting the closeness within the club and kick-starting a female organization, Carr is focused on two objectives: recruiting new members and getting the team to playoffs.
Carr considers his focus on recruiting this year more prevalent than past presidents’ efforts. Carr himself was recruited for the club during the annual activities fair last year. This year, he was the one behind the rugby table, this time as president, getting signatures from students and inquiring about interest in a women’s club, something he’s determined to spearhead.
“The idea [for a women’s club] needs to gain some serious momentum. We need more interest. A lot of the girls are already in a sport or have musical theater or dance requirements, and it’s tough to work around that, because of potential injuries,” Carr said. “But we do have people who have interest and want to make it happen, so we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure those who want to play can eventually find a way. It would just be nice to have that sister club.”
Teammate and Rugby Club Secretary Brady Winner agrees that forging the path for a women’s club is doable, especially with someone like Carr in the presidency.
“I think it’s something that could definitely happen,” Winner said. “It would be a lot of work, and I feel like they would need someone like Elliott to get things rolling. Elliott needs to find a female protégé. All it needs is that big push and then it’s good to go.”
If there’s anyone who knows Carr’s character, it is Winner. The two locks were inseparable during games last season, both playing the same position hip-to-hip and in the scrum.
“That made our friendship stronger,” Winner said. “We had that chemistry on the field, because we were by each other throughout the entire game.”
While the club isn’t hyper-focused on having a perfect record, Carr hopes this year will be the team’s best, thanks to an average of three practices a week, foreseeing more weekend tournaments and eventually playoffs.
“We do care about our record, and we have high hopes to make playoffs this year,” Carr said.
Aside from being an organized and optimistic president, Elliott proved himself to be a promising player and athlete last season, winning “Man of the Match” during the very first game he ever played for Point Park against Robert Morris University.
“Everyone has to be in-sync with each other in order for it to work; you can’t just have one good player,” Carr said. “What I really like is that at any point, anybody can play. Even if your star player goes down, somebody else has to fill in, so it gives everybody a really good opportunity to be able to play and enjoy it.”
Although Carr said the philosophy of rugby is innately community-driven, his individual performance in matches did not go unnoticed last year, including during a match Winner recalled last season against University of Pittsburgh Johnstown (UPJ).
“One of UPJ’s players was cutting across the field towards Elliott, and it was an open field tackle,” Winner said. “So it was either Elliott tackles him or this kid scores. He tried to hurtle Elliott, and he wasn’t having any of that, so Elliott just stood up and kind of threw his shoulder and flipped the kid in mid–air. It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Aside from rugby, Carr is focused on figuring out his future; something he’s unsure of, but knows will undoubtedly involve serving others. Carr, a trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), sees rugby in his future as well; claiming he never wants to stop playing as a way to stay in shape and have a brotherhood he can count on well into adulthood.
“We’re not just a team; we’re a brotherhood. I think Elliott can definitely lead that charge,” Winner said. “He’s done so much to make the team more of a brotherhood than any other year that I’ve experienced. He’s done a hell of a job.”
For my final documentary project, I decided to photograph churches around Pittsburgh that were no longer churches. My camera is currently out of commission, so I was forced to take these on my iPhone. I also accidentally took a photo of the WRONG brick brewery (top middle) that was located maybe HALF A BLOCK away from ANOTHER brick brewery (bottom left). Upon realizing this, I had to speed bike three miles right before sunset to get a picture of the correct building THE NIGHT BEFORE this final was due and got a flat tire. Life smiled on me that day.
Mr. Smalls Theater & Funhouse -- Millvalle, PA
Pittsburgh Brewing Company -- Lawrenceville, PA
The Altar Bar -- Strip District, PA
The Church Brew Works -- Lawrenceville, PA
FLIP Vape Supply -- Downtown Pittsburgh, PA
(I don't own the rights to this song please don't arrest me and take all of my money and dignity, internet police)