Elrick Fashion Show Runway at South Congress Hotel

I met Rick Gonyo in 2012 when I was assigned to be the photographer for his mashup team for Austin Fashion Week.  Every year, AFW (now called Fashion X Austin) holds an informal contest where teams consisting of a photographer, makeup artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, model, and designer compete for the coveted "Golden Boot" and bragging rights for the following year.

That year, I was assigned to two teams.  The first was one that I had been asked to join by the model and designer.  The second, I was assigned to because there weren't enough photographers to go around for all the teams.  It was on that second team that I was assigned to Rick.

Rick created this impossible dress.  It was bright red and made to resemble a phoenix rising from the ashes of the fires that had devastated central Texas the summer before.  Here's the image we submitted along with an outtake of Rick and the model for perspective on how tall she is.  Rick is not a short man - about 5'8", so you get a real idea of just how tall we made her.

That team was the start of a friendship and working relationship that continues to this day.

Fast forward to Austin Fashion Week 2017, and Rick has produced his first complete line of menswear for his Elrick fashion label.  I was brought on board to photograph the label tags that will eventually go on the clothing when it's sold in stores.  We did the shoot in October 2016, and then I waited for Rick to present his fashion line.  Finally, on Sunday, May 14, Rick debuted his new line to a packed house at the South Congress Hotel.  It was a fantastic show.  Rick's line is well made, high in quality, and full of little details that make a big difference.  I was really impressed, and I'm excited to have been a part of it.  Photos from the show are below.


To see more of Rick's collection and to see more photos from the show, check out the Elrick Facebook page.

SXSW 2010

Back in 1989, I was sixteen and one of the few sophomores at my high school who had a driver's license and a pass to park on campus.  I'd pick up my friend Chris on the way, and we'd trade tapes back and forth, questioning who was the bigger Metallica fan, who played better bass (Les Claypool), all that stuff.  One day, Chris stuck Scumdogs of the Universe into my tape deck, and I've been a fan of Gwar ever since.

So cut to 2010.  I'm a fledgling photographer with a day job picking up the odd gig here and there, when I get a gig working for one of the local weekly papers following Gwar around the convention center at SXSW.  It was an amazing day!  I got to hang out with one of my heroes, David Brockie aka Oderus Urungus, and be around people who were dedicated to their art and music.  And get paid for it.  I was living the dream.

It's hard to explain how much Gwar has been a part of me over the years.  When I get too full of myself or caught up in the grind, Gwar always brings me back, reminds me not to take myself seriously, have fun with my art, and remember that life moves fast, so we should stop and enjoy the shit out of it every once in a while.

Here's a few of the photos from that day, seven years ago as I write this.

Weight Loss Day 1

It's 4:30am on a Wednesday, September 2, 2015.  I've woken from a really bad dream where I went to a strip club, met Stills and Nash from Crosby, Still, and Nash, and locked myself in the bathroom just as we were about to party.  It was so real...

Anyway, sleeping has become difficult for me.  The stress of being a self-employed business owner struggling to stay ahead in this economy causes me all kinds of difficulties.  Add on top of that my skyrocketing weight problem, and it's a wonder I get any sleep at all.  Looking around for solutions, I can't help but think of the adage that helped me quit smoking and drinking back in the day - I can't do anything about the rest of the world.  I can only control me and how I respond to it.  I can't do much about the immediate stressors - work and money come and go, and I can have some influence on it, but not as much as I'd like.  But my weight is an issue I can address, and it's something I can take hold of.

I've always been an overweight kid.  With a brief exception at the end of high school and early college when I was an athletic trainer and getting in a fair amount of exercise, I have always been chubby and overweight.  Even during that brief period, I still felt like the fattest kid in the room.

It's time I change that.  If I can fix one thing about me, it's that.  I'm not going to turn this blog into my personal diary of weight loss and change, but I am going to use it from time to time to talk about what I'm going through and how it's changed me.  I need an outlet to talk about my goals and what I want to accomplish and to keep track of how I'm doing.

Since fewer people read this than read my Facebook page, I think it's less embarrassing for me to talk about it here, too.

Anyway, today is day 1 of what's going to be a long journey.  Stay tuned.