Austin Texas photography blog by Ben Sklar

Archive for March 2010

The 2010 SXSW experience

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I had the opportunity to photograph supermodel Karen Elson for the New York Times. Elson, the wife of White Stripes star Jack White, is making a new career as a singer. Prior to her set I was able to have a short portrait sessions with her at the venue, the French Legation.

She was a real pro and lived up to her down to earth style as everyone claims. It was in the 40s and she posed for almost 20 minutes in a thin vintage gown and even more thin shawl. We did a few different looks and then I waited for nearly 2 hours for her set to begin.

It was great to work with Melena Ryzik of the NYT who’s story I suggest you read here,

Later that night Melena and I collaborated again on a story for the NYT Arts blog by party crashing the SXSW after parties. Like a rockstar on the red carpet, I showed up with her and waltzed right through the crowd. Voka Redu, a bounce group from NOLa, opened for No Age, infamous LA punk band, at their exclusive post SXSW party. It was momentarily fun but we decided to roll out to the Green Owl record label party on a rented ranch in Oak Hill to find a different breed of SXSW revellers. Before we arrived the cops had already come twice as bands such as The xx and The Very Best jammed in a barn, that was rumored to be a rave. In the end we made it to 2 parties, retrieved my abandon bicycle and her towed car, and went to breakfast. I happily made it home at 930am!

Love the lighting team at the Parish.

The xx performing at Mohawk.

There were so many people wearing interesting outfits and they keep pushing the envelope of normalcy that I was motivated to start documenting this phenomenon of what seems to be Hipster style meets retro halloween in March. I submitted these photos as part of my assignment for the Statesman, but none were published until now.

The Very Best perform at the Fader Fort day party.

The final day of SXSW the temperature dropped into the 40s and a small crowd trickled into Auditorium Shores for the free shows. This couple did their best to stay warm.

After a week of recovery its now back to normalcy in Austin. It was fun, but I’m stoked its over.


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March 29, 2010 at 9:23 pm

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The circus that is SXSW has come back to Austin and I’m in the middle of it. Before I upload a photo of psychadelic hipsters, over hyped rock stars and the fashionista poseurs that infiltrate our city for 2 weeks every year preaching what is now ‘cool,’ I’m posting some SNAPS of life over the last month. Enjoy and stay posted for an update shortly!

The Justman farm in Colorado

Campfire in Pease Park with friends

Austin’s favorite bird, the grackle

The Black Canyon, Colorado

A slice of Palo Duro Canyon, Texas at dusk. If you’re a Texan you must go here before you die

The rouge waves in a water crossing at Palo Duro

The watch tower at Palo Duro

What else do you do to kill time when driving through snow at 10mph?

The famed 72oz steak challenge at The Big Texas Steak Ranch in Amarillo. The guy on the left finished his.

A birthday song, “Amarillo by Sundown,” for the jovial man on the left who’s hat reads “these colors don’t run.”

Back in Austin at the 87th annual kite festival in Zilker Park. The neighborliness of Austin.

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March 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

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Shooting for the cover!

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The photo above ran on the cover of the magazine.

From a fashion shoot for the Statesman’s Glossy magazine online, see link to right.

A basketball game for the Houston Chronicle.

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March 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

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High profile Athletic wedding

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Last Friday two of the University of Texas’ most prominent athletes tied the knot in Austin. I was asked to cover the wedding, reception and after party for the New York Times vows section. Its kind of like the 27 dresses movie from what I hear.

The wedding was a luxurious, high energy and highly produced event. Nonetheless it was a lot of fun. My editor made it clear before the event “you are not a wedding photographer, you’re a journalist.” There were 5 total photographers, and 2 video crews, one was from platinum weddings. I couldn’t keep track of how many stylists and planners were running around.

It was however very interesting for me to watch the other photographers work and frantically record every minuscule detail of the wedding. It gave me a unique view into how we all approach different events or assignments. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to compete with the other photographers for “the shot,” and I think that removed a massive amount of pressure and expectation. I photographed with open eyes if you will. You can see the 12 image slideshow here or pick up this Sunday’s NYT for $5 anywhere.

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March 5, 2010 at 5:39 pm

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Sunday cover in Dallas

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About a month ago I photographed Brent Krahn for the Dallas Morning News for a story Mike Brick was working on about his career. 9 years ago Krahn was selected very high as a goalie in the NHL draft and now he is playing in Cedar Park after being moved and traded as well as plagued by injury. Krahn is a great guy and the story ran this past Sunday in the DMN, you can find the link to the right.

I met him at the Cedar Park Center and photographed him on ice with lighting in multiple set ups and then outside on a berm of grass in a few different sets as well. He gave me a lot of time and his patience were outstanding. That same day I met his family and photographed them at their home to see the inside life of a professional hockey player. It was a lot of fun and very interesting to see how people’s lively hoods revolve around talent and athletic ability.

Below are the pages from the DMN that Chris sent me, thanks! Additionally some other photographs I liked from the shoot.

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March 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm

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Thanks to Lance for giving me a heads up; my photo of the Gov. was on the cover of the today. I shot it a few weeks ago for AP, first time in 4 years, during early voting. Texas politics has begun!

Read the story and see another photo here.

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March 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

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