Thursday, December 18, 2014

STOLEN - A Cautionary Tale

Today I present a cautionary tale about internet use. Back in 2011 I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of my friends Kaitie and Ben. It was a beautiful wedding and one of the most intensive and fun photo projects I have ever been tasked with. Afterwards I started to prepare some of the photos for posting on my blog and it was during a time when I was not at all concerned about my images being stolen by a second party. I figured my blog was just being viewed by my close friends and family so I decided to post some images at a rather large size. Fast-forward to 2014 when my friend Ben sends me an image of one of my wedding photos being used in a jewelry store in LA. This store somehow found my blog post from 2011 and proceeded to use my image in one of their store displays. I have since contacted this store seeking compensation for the illegal use of my photo, but have (to little surprise) not heard back. So, please, if you are a photographer or artist be careful about how you post and what you post on the internet. If it can happen to me then it can happen to anyone and it might just be a matter of time. And if you live in the LA area, drop by El Palacio de Oro y Diamantes at 718 1/2 S. Broadway to see a free exhibition of my photo work and tell them that Mark Pariani sent you. Thanks for reading and stay alert about your internet posting. And be a pal and don't support photo theft - Keep it REAL.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flashback Friday #29 - Mark Pariani - Productions

Hello readers! Today is Flashback Friday and I wanted to take a second to reflect on my personal photo and design brand Mark Pariani - Productions. It all started in high school when I first discovered an interest in photography and design. At that time I grabbed any camera I could get my hands on and constantly took images while out with friends, on family trips, or even just around my neighborhood. I never did it as a means to any end, I just wanted to have fun and document what was happening around me. As technology advanced I was able to pick up better cameras and I continued to always shoot anywhere I went. There were only a few times early on where I decided to try my hand at freelance and commission work. One of those early attempts was something I called "HouseBook." It started with my family wanting to document the current conditions of our house and it's contents for insurance purposes, so I photographed the entire house inside and out. It was my first venture into creating a real product and I ended up selling a few to friends and neighbors. I greatly enjoyed the process and I learned a lot, but I still enjoyed shooting for myself more. Thankfully I kept at it and even studied photography and design in college. I still to this day mainly shoot only for myself because that's how much I enjoy it, but I also love sharing my work with other people as well as helping them document their own special events. That's why I started Mark Pariani - Productions to share my work and put my name out there in case anyone needs a photographer. So, you might be saying to yourself "Mark, this is all just a shameless plug." And you would be right! Haha - But even so I hope you now have a better understanding of why I love photography so much and how that translates into what I shoot and how I shoot. If are interested in seeing more of my work you can check me out on all of my social media outlets! - Facebook - Twitter - Tumblr - Behance - Instagram - and never forget to Keep it REAL!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Picking the Right Camera

As a photographer I am always trying to stay current with technology and make sure I have all the up-to-date tech I need. As you can imagine that is very hard today with how fast technology is advancing and how constantly it is changing. Cameras are no exception. The envelop is constantly being pushed and new cameras come out every year. Luckily the job of testing and ranking new camera tech is often done for you as it is with this handy chart that I recently found in The Wall Street Journal. If you are looking to buy a new camera or wanting to get into photography for the first time then you should take a look at this chart and consider some really good current options. Feel free to ask questions too in the comments. Keep it REAL!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Remembering Betty Claire Farmer Painter

My grandmother Betty "Baba" Painter always loved to help things grow. She loved tending to her garden, raising her three daughters, and caring for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She grew several different plants in her garden, and some of my fondest memories growing up are from times spent in her backyard watching her care for her plants, making sure that not a single leaf was being neglected. And that was how she lived her life, making sure that no one was neglected. You always felt welcome in her Decatur home that she built with my grandfather and had lived in since 1951. My Mom and her two sisters grew up in that house and it was always there when they needed to come home for a visit. This weekend in Atlanta, my family and I will be celebrating her outstandingly full life of 88 years. You will be missed Baba, but never forgotten. All of my love. 1926-2014. (Photo 2012 by my Aunt Sally Painter.)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Void Music 2014

The latest Music centric issue of Void Magazine just hit the stands. It features a lot of great articles about some local Jacksonville bands and the music scene in general. It even has a a short write-up on my friend's band Civil Brute with an accompanying photo taken by yours truly. Don't miss this issue, be sure to grab your copy today. It's FREE so what's stopping you? But, as always, Keep it REAL!

Arbus Art + Architecture 2014

The May/June issue of Arbus Magazine is still on the stands and it features a full page ad I designed for my office, ELM. The theme of this issue is Art + Architecture and it covers many local artists, architects, art events, architecture firms, and current building projects. If you live in North Florida be sure to pick up a copy at pretty much any local business in the downtown area of Jacksonville. It's FREE! In the mean time - Keep it REAL!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Flashback Friday #28 - What Time is it? Adventure Time!

So, for this Flashback Friday we are not going all that far back. Just a couple of years if that. This past week I had the wonderful surprise of finding the two above comic books at my local comics shop, and what do ya know my good friend and college roommate Phil Jacobson was the illustrator on the featured side story "Jelly Wars." Phil lives out in California now, but he drew this comic back when he still lived in Savannah so it had been in the works for a little while before it reached the store racks. But it's finally here and you can read it! Go get yours today - Adventure Time #27 & 28 by KaBOOM! Studios. Be sure to Keep it REAL! P.S. Phil hid himself in the comic as a doughnut because, why not!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flashback Friday #27 - Brainstorms: A Look at Life Our Way

I would like to invite you back to a more innocent time. The year was 1999. It was a time before cell phones and keurig coffee makers. It was a time when the internet was still in it's infancy and none of us had yet heard of facebook. It was a time of writing letters and using stamps and dare I say playing outside! It was a time of poetry! I was in 4th grade and my class at M.K. Rawlings Elementary was participating in a young authors' program. We were tasked with writing poems on various subjects throughout the year, which were eventually published in a small booklet that was even sold for a few years at the local Books-a-Million. Two of my poems were selected to be included under the section "Just Being Kids." One was about the pool we were building in our backyard and the other was about Legos. I actually read these two poems recently at a spoken word event at the Northstar Pizza Bar downtown. I thought it would be fun to do a throwback reading much like how I do Flashback Fridays. The result (which you can view on my sister's instagram) was quite hilarious, and I must say very entertaining. The only thing that was missing were some beatniks in the corner with berets and long cigarette holders snapping their fingers. If you would like to read these poems too, please see below!

The Hole in the Ground

The workers came with a backhoe
and dug a big hole in the ground.
The backhoe made a lot of noise
like a train going round and round.

The hole was so big and deep
that inside you could fit an ocean of seals.
I crawled to the edge and took a peak
they'd begun to build a cage of steel.

Dirt from the hole piled high as the sky.
I tried to climb to the top to eat my pie.
Mud oozed out of the dirt mountain as I hosed it down.
It looked like the mudslide would cover the whole town.

I hope the men come back to finish their work soon.
So I can enjoy the finished project while I listen to my tunes.
In my backyard we are building a swimming pool.
I can't wait 'till it's finished - it will be so cool!


Staying up late at night
Building and building with all my might
Preparing the fort for an endless fight
When morning comes and it is light.

There are a lot of ships in my fort
The aircraft carrier comes and docks at the port
My timeship has wings for extra support
Small ships are ready in case of abort.

The pilots talk as in their ships they sit
While I look for the right piece to fit
It's getting late and is almost time to quit
But I'll finish the project in a little bit.

Hope you enjoyed that little lyrical time capsule for Flashback Friday. Check the group photo below of my whole 4th grade class including some of the 8th grade class that helped edit our poems for publishing. See if you can spot me! Keep it REAL!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flashback Friday #26 - EPCOT

This weekend is Stephanie Boilard's birthday, my significant other, and we are planning on going to the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Oh, um I mean EPCOT, haha. As any Floridian would tell you a trip to Disney World is like an annual past time around here. We are pretty much the theme park capital of the world. When I was a kid my Grandpa Max worked as a greeter at MGM Studios (now called Hollywood Studios) and he would take my sister and I to all the parks every summer. We became Disney regulars at an early age and my love for theme parks has yet to subside because of it. Recently though I have been on a Universal kick due to the Harry Potter world opening a few years ago at Islands of Adventure. I was so wrapped up in the Harry Potter madness that I finally realized that I had not been to Disney since probably the late 90's! A lot has changed since then and I am excited to see it first hand in a few days time. It will be like I'm a kid again and that is what Disney is all about anyway. So bring on the fun and bring on the magic you Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow! Keep it REAL readers. (The 1989 EPCOT map shown was found at this website, Progress City USA)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Flashback Friday #25 - Swan House / Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Hello friends! Today I want to talk a little bit about my former home town, Atlanta, GA. I lived there during the core of my childhood years and I have several great memories from time spent at Braves baseball games, splashing around in the ring pop fountain in Centennial Olympic Park, eating chicken wings at the Raccoon Lodge, and especially building imaginary worlds with my sister in our own backyard. One of the great things about Atlanta is that it has a great collection of both old and new architecture. One of the prime examples of historic architecture is the Swan House. It was originally built in 1928 by Edward and Emily Inman who occupied the house all the way till 1965. The house and grounds were then acquired by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966. It is maintained and kept open today as a 1920's and 1930's historic house museum, with many of the Inman's original furniture. The Swan House has also been recently featured in modern day pop culture. It served as the finish line for the 19th season of The Amazing Race in 2011, and in 2013 it was featured in the Blockbuster smash hit The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as President Snow's personal palace (see above photo I took in 2010 vs. scene from Catching Fire). It is so fun to be watching something like The Amazing Race or especially The Hunger Games (because I saw it in IMAX) and suddenly see something you instantly recognize! I almost shouted out loud in the theater when watching Catching Fire I was so excited. Keep it REAL!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Flashback Friday #24 - "A Page To Write"

Hello friends! Another Flashback Friday and another piece of writing for you to enjoy. I recently went to a spoken word event in downtown Jacksonville (who knew Jacksonville could be so hip!) and was able to read some old writings of mine. It got me thinking about them again and I wanted to share them with you. I already posted my story that I wrote about cities, so here is one from 2009 that focuses on writing itself! Hope you enjoy and Keep it REAL! (Photos from Cumberland Island, GA taken 2010)

A page to write yet so many memories to recount.  A page to contain just a portion of what you can create; yet only a page is necessary.  The mind can fill up endless amounts of pages.  It could go on forever, rambling about the facts of life and memories of old, but to withhold the mind in one page is to give order to the unordered.  The mind has no limits; save for the ones we think and come to believe we have.  The mind is free of all boundaries and borders; save for the ones we create for ourselves.  To create a page of writing, to pull forth a collection of words to fill the blank canvas from this limitless creative vacuum is a true task.  There are endless topics to discuss; with many more created every day.  There are endless possibilities stretched out before you when given a pen and a page.  Will you wish to write about your goals or your aspirations for the future with the all-powerful phrase “someday I will”?  Will you think of writing about what you did last night or what you plan on doing tomorrow?  Will you talk on philosophy, art, science,…….love?  Will you investigate your innermost secrets and dreams?  Or will you simply write about the here and now?  Your biggest fear may be, who am I to be creative, limitless, and talented?  Who am I to be so blessed?  But the real question is why not?  You are all these things.  You are creative, you are limitless, and you are talented, and a pen and page can help you rediscover this.  Let the borders of the page give you guidance and purpose.  Let the pen give you function and direction.  It’s up to you to decide what to do, but remember, there are endless possibilities stretched out before you, all you have to do is move forward.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Flashback Friday #23 - "Dual City"

Today for Flashback Friday I would like to share not only a photo, but also a short story I wrote that connects with said photo. In the summer of 2010 I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy with my school and take a few classes. One of the classes being offered was called Urban Form and was about the evolution of cities and how they take shape over time. We had a few on site projects, but the one we had in Venice was the most fun by far. Venice was the last big city we were staying in and before the last night we were tasked with writing a short story about a city of our own creation that combined all of the knowledge we had learned throughout the trip. You could create any kind of city you wanted and several students took this to heart as there was at least one underwater city, one underground, and one even in space! We were then asked to read that story at midnight in St. Mark's Square! That moment will always be one of my most cherished travel memories, sharing the culmination of our experience in one of the most dramatic public spaces ever designed. Below is my story and I hope you enjoy. And try to imagine reading it in an urban campfire circle in the setting pictured above...but most of all Keep it REAL!

What can be said of a city? What defines a city? Is it in its origins or how it comes to life? That certainly contributes to what a city is but it does not explain it entirely. A city is in essence duality manifested. It is pure and un-clean, bright and dark, simple and complex, monumental and humble, bold yet serene, and both public and private. People find themselves in cities and define their lives by them, but people also loose themselves in cities and can start to blend in and forget their own individuality. Everyone experiences cities differently and take away certain aspects that start to shape them and build their character. This is exactly what Dual City does with its inhabitants and visitors. But if you were to ask anyone who lived in Dual City to describe it you would not get a straight answer. A wise man once said that if you live in Dual City "You will want to reach out your hands, brush away the clouds, pierce the sky, and search for the truth, but you will never find it. All you can do is find contentment in its constant duality." And people do find contentment in Dual City. It's because you can be whatever you desire to be, and you can also hide your true self just as easily. Yes, the people of Dual City can be just as eccentric as their chosen environment. Masks, just like the facades of buildings, are common here, but it's a good thing. It's more of a renewal in Dual City. A mistaken or scarred past is easily forgotten in Dual City and one can again begin to think of building the future, a brighter future. Dual City is a city of the past, but it is also a city of the future, constantly redefining itself and remaking itself. But with every city there is a difference between knowing the city and walking the city so, please, I invite you to walk Dual City with me because, in effect, what I have just described to you is every city you will ever visit...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Four Families - Album Release - March 1st

This Saturday my friend's band Four Families will be having their album release show! I have been following them for close to 2 years now and they always put on a great show. I have probably seen them live a dozen times and they have never once disappointed. I once told Robin, the lead singer, that I always leave their shows feeling good and usually still being able to hear! But in all seriousness you should come out to the show this Saturday at Rain Dogs and support the local music scene and who knows, you might have some fun too! If you are not familiar with their music take a look at this music video they just recently released for there song "La Florida" - and check out their facebook page. Keep it REAL!

"Baseball Bat" by Chase Burke

Early last week my good friend Chase Burke had a short story of his published on the Flash Fiction website SmokeLong. His story entitled "Baseball Bat" is a tale about a young man's struggles growing up and is very well written and surprisingly emotional. It is well worth a read. When Chase's story was accepted he was asked to provide a piece of art to accompany his work and he graciously asked me to submit one of my photographs. The photo you see here is the photo that was selected. It was taken in 2010 at a 4th of July party and after reading the story I believe you will see how it compliments Chase's work. Take a look and see for yourself - "Baseball Bat" - Keep it REAL!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I have officially joined the masses of Instagram. I resisted for a long time, but now I am very much enjoying it. Since joining I now constantly find myself looking out for something to photograph and that keeps me on my toes, as well as being good practice for my more professional shooting. It also (since it's on your phone) frees me from the sometimes cumbersome large camera equipment I so often lug around. I hope you will join me on this new photographic venture and that you enjoy what you see. Thanks and Keep it REAL! - To follow me click here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Flashback Friday #22 - LEGO

Today is the opening day for The LEGO Movie and I am not even exaggerating when I say I have literally been waiting my entire life for a LEGO movie. I've been playing with LEGOs since probably before I could walk and credit them with my decision to study architecture. I wanted to share some photos from my first visit to LEGOLand Florida back in December of 2011. The park is really geared towards a much younger audience, but LEGOs will always speak to the kid in me and anyone who thinks differently I say - "You can't ruin my fun!" Which is exactly what I told my family when we were heading to the park that chilly December morning. I had somehow convinced them to go with me and they were teasing me the entire drive about how excited I was. And when I heard years later about The LEGO Movie I showed the same excitement! I plan on seeing the movie very soon and regardless of whether it's good or not - You can't ruin my fun! But, if you're still on the fence just take a look at it's current Rotten Tomatoes score! And if you want a relic of a flashback to round out your Friday take a look at this LEGO Movie I made 7 years ago. I made it the summer before my freshman year at SCAD and you can see those art school tendencies building. Keep it REAL and (as LEGO would say) Play Well!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday #21 - Sweetheart Roller Skating Rink: Bill Yates

Hello Blog People! I've been gone a long time. Sorry for the absence and thank you for returning with me in the new year! Let's make 2014 a great year. Instead of dwelling on how long it's been since I posted, let's jump right back in. It's Friday so that means Flashback time and I got a big one for you this week. Last year I was very fortunate to meet Bill Yates, a local photographer here in Jacksonville, FL. We quickly discovered that we have a similar photographic eye and started to work on several projects together. One of them being Bill's Sweetheart Roller Rink Photo Series. This is a series that Bill shot when he was about my age from the fall of 1972 through the spring of '73 in rural, southern Hillsborough County (Tampa, FL). The negatives have been in binders for the past 40 years and only a handful of people had ever seen them. But now, over the last few months, Bill and I have gone through all 800 negatives, scanned them, and have started to edit them. During this time Bill entered a portfolio of 10 images into PhotoLucida Critical Mass 2013 contest. As we continued to edit the series and work on other projects we kept getting positive feedback regarding Bill's portfolio and the images were eventually chosen for the Critical Mass "Top 50"! All of the winners will be included in a traveling exhibition curated by George Eastman House Assistant Curator of Photographs, Jessica Johnson and will be on display in March at the Corden | Potts Gallery, San Francisco as well as the Houston Center of Photography in May. It just goes to show the true power of a strong image that even after 40 years this series is getting lots of attention. Still don't believe me? Then listen to the man himself talk about his work. Click the link and watch the short video made by Bill's good friend Clif Brewer. And be sure to check out Bill's other work here! Until next time.....Keep it REAL!