Friday, December 31, 2010


Posted by Michael J. Cargill

It's been forever since I added anything new to the stream so thought I'd correct that.

I've been shooting a lot with film cameras lately. A Yashica Mat 124, A Cannon 35mm, and a Lomo Diana F. 

The more I shoot, the more I realize that my post work is made to look like the shots were done on film, so figured I'd cut out the middle man, and actually give film a shot. It's a lot less precise, and sometimes a bit of a crapshoot as you don't know what you got until you get it back from the lab, but thus far, I've been pretty pleased with the results. 

Here are a few of my favorites

Monday, September 6, 2010

As Shot: 365 - Fin

Posted by Michael J. Cargill

On Wednesday September 1st I finally completed my year long photo project. The goal was to shoot a picture a day for 365 days that could stand on its own without being photoshopped. And to my surprise - I did it! Some people had asked the reason why I started this crazy endeavor in the first place, and the reason was simple. A few months before I began, someone was looking over my work and commented that while they liked what I was doing, they wished that I focused more on getting the picture right the first time, as opposed to relying on photoshop after the fact. Me being me - a person who has never been fully secure in my abilities as a photographer - this filled me great feelings of doubt. Looking back over everything I'd shot in the 5 years since I bought my first camera, I felt like a hack. That I really had no talent, skill, or understanding of what I was doing, and that if it weren't for photoshop, every one of my pics would have been crap.
So my personal goal in this was to answer the question - am I really someone who can call himself a photographer, albeit a casual one, or was I simply a delusional hack? By forcing myself to shoot and image that I knew couldn't be altered, I hoped to improve my answer this question for myself, and improve my skills at the same time.

Now, a year later, I'm ready to admit that while I'm no Ryan McGinley, Annie Leibowitz, or Ansel Adams - I'm not too shabby if I say so myself. After taking the final shot on the observation deck of 30 Rock, I felt a insanely happy and relieved that I had done it, but also a bit melancholy that the project was over. For the last year it's given me a goal, a purpose, and a direction for my often flailing creative energies. And without this daily task hanging over my head, I kept thinking to myself - well what am I gonna do now?  The answer I guess is to keep shooting til something comes to mind. But in the meantime, I hope you dig this last group of my favorite shots from the final month, and I thank everyone who has followed along as I've pursued this goal. Stay tuned for whatever happens next.

The Final Shot

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jeffery And Cole: Live!

Posted by Michael J. Cargill

On Friday night I had the pleasure of seeing the comedy team of Jeffery Self and Cole Escola live at Joe's Pub in New York City. After working with these two for the last few months on their LOGO comedy series Jeffery and Cole Casserole, I've come to expect the unexpected. But still NOTHING can prepare you for the experience of seeing these two live.

It seems as though Jeffery and Cole approach everything they do with a sense of reckless abandon, and a throw it at the wall and see if it sticks attitude. But while it might appear that they are making it up as they go along, their routines are actually rather well thought out and constructed for high comic impact. Joining them on stage this night were writer/actor Michael Creighton, singer/performer Erin Markey, and singer/force of nature Bridgett Everett who's rendition of What's Up was uhm.....let's just say you had to be there. REALLY! I couldn't explain it if I tried. (though I will say it involved a strategically placed bottle of vodka, a pink razor, a pair of leopard print panties, and a revelation that a very surprised young man in the crowd won't be forgetting any time soon!)

If you ever get the chance to see the Jeffery and Cole posse live, don't think about it, just do it. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

365 As Shot: The Best of July

Posted by Michael J. Cargill

My favorite shots from my 365 project in July.
One Month to Go!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Behind the scenes with Jeffery and Cole Casserole

Posted by Michael J. Cargill

For the better part of the summer, I've spent my days in the company of the insanely  talented, insanely funny, but mostly just plain insane writer/actors/pop culture junkies Cole Escola and Jeffery Self. I've spent so much time with these two nut jobs because I'm producing their TV series Jeffery and Cole Casserole (Fridays at Midnight on LOGO.)

Over the years I've worked on big shows, I've worked on small shows, and now I'm working on this! There's no budget, there's no crew, sometimes there’s no script, and on the surface there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the lunacy these two cook up. But at the end of the day it has been the most fun, most fulfilling, and the one show that I am probably the most proud of.

Jeffery and Cole Casserole began as a series of youtube videos written, directed, shot, performed, and edited by Self and Escola.  After grabbing those videos from the net, and running them on air last year, LOGO decided to throw a handful of cash (literally!) at the project, and brought in a big time production company (Michele Armour’s Marobru Productions, the kind folks behind Chappelle’s Show, Strangers With Candy, and Upright Citizen’s Brigade) to help take the show to the next level. And even though there’s now money to buy props, rent locations, pay the actors, and buy the occasional banana costume – not much has changed. Jeffery and Cole are still the driving creative force behind this hodge podge of sketch, sitcom, and pop culture deconstruction, and they’re still two of nicest, most humble, and brilliantly creative guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.

In addition to being a showcase for the talents of Jeffery and Cole, the show has also been a playground for some of the coolest names (and coolest people) in New York, theatre, music and cabaret including Erin Markey,  Justin Bond, Pandora Boxx, Bridget Everett,  Max Steele, Geo Wyeth, Max Vernon, Lisa Lambert, David Alex Andrejko, Christian Coulson, and Rachel Shukert.

Below are some of the photos I’ve snapped of the guys on set (also know as Jeffery’s bedroom) throughout the season. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the new episode tonight at midnight on LOGO and be sure to catch the rest of season 2 throughout the summer.

Full sets at

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All Photos Copyright Michael J. Cargill Photography