Oregon Humane Society | Brooks Rescue Dogs

blog new image of dogs

It’s a pleasure to be able to use our talents to help the Oregon Humane Society. In late January, the OHS rescued more than 100 neglected dogs from a failed rescue facility near Salem Oregon. The dogs came to OHS in terrible condition. We were given the opportunity to photograph only some of the healthier dogs–and I think you can see from these photos, what even while the body can be harmed, a dog’s spirit, is well, dogged.

We fell a little in love with every dog. Wiggly, scared, proud, curious or playful. These delightful spirits let us capture their expressions and their feelings. We hope our photos help some of the dogs find their future families. Who do you like best?

Go here for the latest news about the Brooks Rescue Dogs. And here’s the link to OSH’s facebook page.

OHS-rescue-dogs04 OHS-rescue-dogs02 OHS-rescue-dogs09OHS-rescue-dogs05 OHS-rescue-dogs06


Yoga, larger than life

Drove past these, um, tearsheets the other day and they really made me smile big. Almost as big as the images are reproduced.  Shooting in the studio with Portland Yoga Arts was incredibly rewarding, and making pictures with the charismatic Francis, the 93 year old yoga practitioner reminded me what life should be all about; mindfulness & flexibility.

exterior view of yoga studio showing large photo murals by John Valls

close up detail of large photo murals at Portland Yoga Artsclose up detail of large photo murals at Portland Yoga Arts

detail of photo mural at Portland Yoga Arts shot by John Valls


Black Enterprise Magazine

valls_blk_ent_mitchell_054

A good portrait is one of my favorite challenges. There’s so much to think about. Figuring the shot, building rapport and coaxing out the “moment” while at the same time working with the light, timing, and keeping out distracting elements. To top that off, there’s an art director somewhere with his or her requirements, too. In this case, a double page spread.

It’s hard enough to figure out what I want from the photo, but add to that high winds, harsh light and that exaggerated off-center layout. Here’s my answer: plenty of negative space for copy on the left side and a strong vertical element anchors the subject on the right side of the spread.


Dave Allen: Gang of Four

valls_PDXM_daveallen_010

This assignment was somewhat a departure for me. For one, a post-punk rock musician is stylistically a bit different than a well-mannered, white coated chef. Also, the tight (basement!) quarters were a little snugger than what I’m used to.

A wider lens, harder light and some groovy gels give this portrait a little more “edge” befitting the subject.


Luxe Mag & the pleasures of shooting B+W

valls_luxe_pfnschmt_122

When I went to Martha Pfanschmidt’s studio for Luxe Magazine, I knew the image would run full page, B+W.  Which was great, since I really miss the process of shooting specifically for black and white. Before digital, switching to black and white film forced you to reinterpret the setup in a new way.  In this instance, knowing it would run B+W, I set up a strong composition that simplified the environment into graphical elements. I like how the image reflects her unfussy nature and the old school equipment of the printmaking machinery.