Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I am pleased to announce the book release for my first book! Here is the press release:

Escaped to the Future book release at Visible Voice books, Friday, Feb 25th, 7-10pm.

Local photographer Ken Blaze has released his first book: “Escaped to the Future: A Series of Speak in Tongues photographs by Ken Blaze.” Come out and hang with Blaze and his friends Brian Straw and DJ Party Sweat for a night of music, memories and fantastic photographs from the good ol' days of Speak in Tongues.

Speak In Tongues was a center of culture, art and music in the Cleveland, OH underground scene from 1994 until Dec. 31, 2001. The venue played host to thousands of underground bands, parties and art shows over its nine years of existence. Now ten years this year since its’ demise, Escaped to the Future has been released as a photo retrospective. Escaped to the Future is a photo essay chronicling the people and ambiance of what was Cleveland’s most unique and volatile venue. The book contains over 145 original photographs as well as memories and quotations from some of the people that went to events at the venue.

The title of the book comes from a photograph of Cleveland scenester, now Los Angeles scenester Sean Carney painting the words “Speak in Tongues has Escaped to the Future” and “We Did It” on signage hung in the windows on the final days of SIT’ existence.

Blaze, 38, is a resident of Lakewood, OH and has lived in the Cleveland area his whole life. He works primarily as a photojournalist in the region.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Visual Music Opens Saturday.

I am happy to announce that Visual Music: A North East Ohio Photographic look at Rock & Roll curated by Anastasia Pantsios at the We Gallery & Musicain Akron opens on Saturday, November 6th.

On view at the We Gallery. Eleven different photographers who documented the Cleveland/Akron music scene from the 1960s until today will be showing their work. Both local bands and memorable area shows by big-name acts will be included.

Visual Music features the works of:
Ken Blaze, Jay Brown, Bob Ferrell, Neal Hamilton, Janet Macoska, Keith Marlowe, Karen Novak, Anastasia Pantsios, Stephanie Saniga, George Shuba, and Linda Wood.

I was asked by Anastasia to show some prints of my photos from Speak In Tongues. Speak in Tongues was an important venue for the Cleveland music and arts scene from 1994 until 2001. I spent many days down at SIT, and this exhibit will have 16 prints from the series.

This is a bit of a precursor to the ST book that I am finishing up and will be done this winter.

The WE Gallery is located at 20 N. High Street, Akron, OH 44308. We Gallery

Hope you can attend and see some Ohio music history.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer is gone already.

September. September! Wow. Between shooting and staying home with my son Luca, summer vanished in an instant. Wedding season kicked in for me in June, and it hasn't let up since. Good for me! Bad for my blogging. The thing that always takes a hit is the blog when I get super busy. I gotta try and get my editing down in as timely a fashion as possible and blogging just takes away from that for the most part. But today, I have some time, and I thought I'd make a post

I had a birthday in July. That was pretty fun. I used the opportunity to shoot some of my pals as they toured through our new(ish) house. We moved in December, but we never had the chance until July to have people over to see the new digs. This was fun and everyone that participated was great. These are my favorite 8.

I also thought I'd put up a couple of engagement sessions shot in August for couples I will photographing next year.

Engagements are fun for me to get a chance to know my couple and try to create photos that show off their personalities. I think these latest sessions did a good job of that so here's some of my favorites from each session. First up is Erin & Chris and then we have Darlene & Owen.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association) just announced the 2009 Photographer of the Year. From the WPJA email that went out this evening:

"The WPJA proudly announces that the 2009 winner of the Photographer of the Year (POY) is Carlo Carletti of Italy. First runner-up in the 2009 WPJA POY competition is Ken Blaze of Ohio. Ian Bursill of England has been named second runner-up in the WPJA POY contest. If this feels like deja vu that's because Carletti won the title in 2006. Taking this year's top honor makes him the first to win it twice. A WPJA member since 2005, Carletti has gained international prominence for his award-winning black-and-white photography. The WPJA congratulates all the honorees for their outstanding achievements, which help make the Wedding Photojournalist Association the most respected wedding photography organization in the world."

I would love to say that it was me. But alas, it was not. 1st runner-up ain't too bad! You could say I was this close - *thumb and index finger millimeters apart.* I had the title in my grasp but a photo that placed 2nd in the last quarter contest was disqualified. (It was my own fault. I should have entered the photo in a different category.) Without that that 2nd place finish it looks like I was pushed back to 1st runner-up.

I am honored to be selected as the #2 wedding photojournalist in the world by the WPJA. I sincerely and humbly appreciate the award and am thankful for the all the couples who have trusted me to shoot their weddings in 2009.

Many congratulations to Carlo Carletti and Ian Bursill.

Full story about this year's winner HERE

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An athlete, a politician, and a strike.

Aside from moving into a new house and having a new office built, I was busy with some editorial work over the last few weeks:

Mentor, Ohio is home to Katie Spotz, a 22-yr-old woman that will attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean from South America to Africa. I shot a portrait of her for the New York Times.

The story is here with the photo they ran.

This was my favorite shot of her from the shoot.


Scene ran a story about Cuyahoga County's new government scheme and the restructuring involved. The head of that restructuring is Martin Zanotti.

See the full story here.


The Cleveland Orchestra was in the news and I was there for the New York Times. The orchestra threatened to strike, and they did on Monday, January 18, 2010. A writer and I covered their concert on the preceding Thursday and had a good piece. Story is here.

These are the two photos they used in the paper the day of the strike. The web had additional images from the concert night and strike day.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two 1st Place awards from the WPJA

The WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association) just announced the winners of its quarterly clip contest for Q3, 2009. (From their website: The WPJA, an International, membership-based organization, represents professional photographers skilled in the documentation of weddings and events in a candid, unobtrusive style. The WPJA was founded to uphold excellence in the area of wedding photojournalism.)

I am happy to say I was awarded 1st place in two different categories for Q3, 2009. The first photo was from the wedding of Beth and Jimmy and placed in the "Getting Ready" category.

The second image was awarded in the "Dancing" category and was from the wedding of Paul and Lisa.

Full text and contest winners here.