James Coffee Co.

Spent the evening shooting for James Coffee Co. in Little Italy, San Diego. The most hand crafted coffee I’ve ever seen – from the roasting to the filling to the stamping to the best espresso, they have it down.

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I had the pleasure of shooting Trisha and Joe of Pigeon Hole Productions and you need to get to know these two. They are geniuses in their field and so so so (time infinity) so fun to be around. This was technically a headshot session, and what ensued was my dream headshot session . . . a smattering of JC Penny-shoulder-up-smile-into-the-camera shots, mixed with headstands and tromping through weeds and running toward graffiti walls. If you’re an ideal client of mine, you will tromp through weeds and get excited when I tell you to go into that shady alley and stand in front of graffiti.




This is how the delightful Holly makes an iced latte at the new Café Mingei, animated GIF style. If you haven’t stopped by their new shop in Balboa Park, located right next to the museum, it’s a must. Hand crafted sodas, cappuccinos, and triple iced lattes are my favorites so far.



With the help of my talented friend-tographer, Tyler, we spent a couple days knocking out more images with different lighting setups than I thought humanly possible in such a short span of time. The fun part: each recipe, handcrafted by Stone Brewing’s pastry chefs, was made with a different Stone beer. I didn’t try everything, but you still had to roll me out of the studio after day two. These are a few of my favorite shots, and you can see their corresponding recipes (and enough other pinned recipes to last Santa ’til Christmas 2015) on Stone Brewing’s “Cooking with Craft Beer” Pinterest page here.







Zombies, headshot wounds, and nose jobs, oh my!

I had the pleasure of meeting Erin a few months ago, which lead to this fun little project highlighting her skills as a make-up artist. Check out her site here. With the help of Andy Trimlett, they transformed my friends into people I wouldn’t want to meet on the street during the day, let alone a back alley at night. Since some of the images are a little intense, I’ll ease you in with these cute little humans.

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A Day with Amor in Mexico

In 1997 I went on my first week-long trip to build houses in Mexico with Amor and have continued working with them in some capacity ever since. Bruce, (seen below in creepy clown wielding truck) along with a core group of adults, played a major part in changing my life some 17 years ago and are still leading trips to this day.

In 2001 I even went so far as to spend a summer across the border, working alongside groups, living in a tent with such 5 star amenities as cold bucket showers, outhouses, and cots (sans pillow-top comfort). Ironically, living in the dirt with 12 of my peers for 3 months was one of the best summers of my life.

Since then, I’ve worked with Amor as a volunteer, a staff member, and most recently, a photographer. The thing that gets me every time is the way I see families being empowered with the tools to thrive in their communities (most importantly, a hand up, not a handout). To me, a roof that doesn’t leak, a solid foundation, and doors and windows that seal properly are a right. Thousands of families just a few miles south of me don’t have that luxury. A family receiving a home for the first time might mean they don’t have to worry about constant house repairs and can put that money toward schooling or medical bills, other “amenities” I take for granted. Or it might mean they don’t get wet every time it rains, or freeze when winter comes. To see the full scope of how Amor serves the local communities Mexico, the U.S. and South Africa, you can read more here.

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Children’s Hospital Mural

I’ve had the privilege of doing a number of shoots for Rady Children’s Hospital over the past few years. Each time I feel like I’ve been handed a gift as I am able to step into the intimate parts of these family’s stories, even if for just a brief moment. I can’t fathom the depth of emotion a family walking through these doors is experiencing, but the one thing I notice over and over again is the profound care they receive here. I’ve witnessed it in waiting rooms, surgeries, clinics, hallways, and exam rooms: nurses, doctors, and administration staff giving so much support to its village that I get a little choked up even writing about it.

When I originally took the image to be used for the mural project, I had no idea what the final product would entail. They ended up recreating my image using badge ID photos from every staff and volunteer who works for Rady’s, portraying the model of “it takes a village” or in the case of this image: everyone’s a part of the big picture. It’s humbling to see your work blown up to larger than life proportions, and even more so in an environment such as Children’s. We’re hoping to replace the mural with a new image next spring so check back!

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California Western School of Law

I’ve been fortunate to do a number of shoots over the years with Cal Western, and this last one was definitely a favorite. Just a few of us on the bay with our toes in the sand on one of the most lovely evenings of the year. Here are a couple from the shoot and the final ad they produced for the Law School. [Final ad image © California Western School of Law]

©California Western School of Law

United Way: San Diego Chargers’ Jacques Cesaire

A few weeks ago I was asked to do another shoot for United Way with our hometown San Diego Chargers’ defensive end, Jacques Cesaire. (You can see the video for my previous work on United Way’s Kids and Money project here.) Fun fact o’ the day (and no, I did not pull a Kathy Bates, “I’m your number one fan” by sharing this during the shoot): Jacques and I were born the same year and he grew up in Gardner, Mass. [If I was also an NFL player, you could insert Twilight Zone music here.] Jacques was so fun to shoot, and you can tell by these few highlight images he doesn’t take life too seriously, something one can appreciate when in the presence of a 6’2″ 295lb. defensive end pro football player.

Jacques Cesaire ©Katie Gardner PhotographyJacques Cesaire GIF ©Katie Gardner PhotographyJacques Cesaire ©Katie Gardner Photography4upJacques Cesaire ©Katie Gardner Photography4up2Jacques Cesaire ©Katie Gardner Photography


Yesterday I did a shoot at Cal Western School of Law, and although I spent most of the day taking standard group shots of the staff in front of pretty flowers, I love this background the best. The juxtaposition of the oil paintings provided a very a Harry Potter-esque feel through the hallway to Career Services.

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