Monthly Archives: March 2014

Ornate vase

f5.6 – 1/125 – Speedlight with honeycomb grid sitting right next to vase on the left side aimed at background. Alien Bee light aimed at subject from left, shooting through a small white umbrella.

A few years ago, after one too many ‘things’ related to my work as a designer got under my skin and frustrated me, I resolved to find the common theme and discover how to overcome this frustration I was experiencing. The common theme was that people who aren’t designers don’t understand design, designers and the design industry. This makes sense, right? I don’t understand medicine, doctors, and the medical world. I don’t understand accounting, accountants and the financial industry. I could say the same for every other industry and career that isn’t mine. However, these frustrations were also coming from those in positions that should understand design, designers and the design industry, maybe even sometimes those with the title of designer. I would often hear statements regarding designers that range from discounting what designers do to just plain misconceptions about what we do. Many of the things I was hearing would be so opposite from my creative compass and guiding principles.

Never going away

After much reflection, I realized that this problem will not be going away as I move through my career and I need to find a way to deal with these ‘design myths’. Not being an angsty high school kid, I couldn’t revert to posting passive aggressive tweets and Facebook posts (although I might still do that on occasion). I also didn’t think contributing to something that calls itself ‘clients from hell’ was good enough. I needed a better solution to deal with these ‘design myths’. One that allowed me to fully explore my own principles and creative compass in regards to these design myths.

Two years in the making

Two years ago, I began writing about a few design myths and sketching some ideas for a website. I also started brainstorming a name for the website. I kept putting the project off because I was too busy with other projects and too scared to actually publish this thing and get it out there. Then over this last Christmas break, I created the website within a week – but still didn’t launch it. Until this week. The result is – A place where I can write about one design myth at a time and sort of debunk them – or at least provide some clear thoughts/opinions about why we should think about things differently. For me, the process of researching, critically thinking about and writing each essay helps to solidify my opinions and further hone my creative compass. Am I the only one who can’t clearly define their opinions/thoughts without first writing them out?


I’ve been using the #clientsfromhell hashtag when I tweet about This is mostly because the #clientsfromhell tweets are design myths in a way. The difference? Hopefully does a bit better than someone posting a snarky/passive aggressive post about how, ‘the client just doesn’t understand’. If they don’t understand, come alongside and educate them, but leave the snark at the door. That’s what tries to do.


Artist's Mannequin

f5.6 – 1/125 – Speedlight with honeycomb grid sitting right next to mannequin on the left side aimed at background. Alien Bee light aimed at subject from left, shooting through a small white umbrella.

Website mockup

f5.6 – 1/125 – speedlight with honeycomb grid from top left aimed at subject. Webpage on iPad added in Photoshop.

Story behind the photo

This photos features a website I built for a local business – Porterhouse Company. I’m featuring my notes/sketches which is the first step of the design process and one of the final webpages on the iPad. Check out the page featured on the iPad here.

Kodak Pony Camera

f6.7 – 1/125 – speedlight on background and AlienBees light on subject with gold reflect on right side.

Self portrait

f5.6 – 1/125 – speedlight with blue gel on background and AlienBees as key light on me. White reflector on right side.


f4.5 – 1/125 – Speedlight with honeycomb grid coming from the right upper right side. Window light from behind providing a slight rim light. Color added in Photoshop

close-up on Alienbees

f4.5 – 1/125 – speedlight a foot away coming from top left. Cross-process color effect applied in post-processing.

My desk

f5.6 – 1/125 – speedlight with snoot on right side aimed at gold reflector on left side. White paper on right side for additional fill light.

Alien Bees B800

f5.6 – 1/125 – Speedlight with snoot coming from behind (top left of frame). White reflector on right side.