MIGHTYKILLERS®

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GET/TOGETHER @ MUIR WOODS/MT. TAM

Travel, GET/TOGETHER, Lifestyle, EventsMarvin King | @MIGHTYKILLS

Our very first GET/TOGETHER meet was by far one of our favorite events we've organized. It definitely wasn't the biggest nor did we make any sort of profit, but that is part of the reason why it was as successful as it was. We went into planning this event without the intention of bringing in the largest crowd or trying to make as much money as possible through sponsors. It was just us, and a small group of people getting together and connecting through a shared passion; photography. We were blown away at the amount of commitment these individuals showed for hanging out with us all evening. Even though we hit some dead ends along the way, we hit them together. When something came up, we made decisions together. When we were freezing our asses off on top of Mt. Tam, we froze together. No one voice was left unheard, and that's what makes this easily one of our favorite times. We really got to bond with everyone there and just chill. We've learned so much about others and we were hella lucky to have randomly chosen such a diverse crowd. From all over the Bay Area, and even ones from Los Angeles, from different backgrounds and personalities, and of course, all different types of shooters. It was just a dope melting pot of a evening. We are definitely looking forward to our next GET/TOGETHER and you should be on the look out. Here is a compilation of images taken by our team.

You can see more images from the evening here.

MAKE YOUR CAMERA AN EXTENSION OF YOUR VISION.

Lifestyle, TravelMarvin King | @MIGHTYKILLS

I've learned so much through photography just based off of my on-going personal experience with it. I almost never ask anyone how they shot something, how they edit or anything along those lines. I feel like the best part of doing any sort of art is figuring things out on your own. No tutorials, no instructors, no advice or tips. Just gun for it and see what happens. One of the things I've been most stoked about is finding out what hides in the blacks in a photo when you first shoot it. Of course, as soon as you take that picture and look at your screen, you think that the photo is super underexposed so you end up knocking up the exposure more, and more, and more until you feel like its correctly exposed based off your screen but find out when you get home to edit it, you've lost so much of the photo that can't be saved. This is different for all shooters, and all cameras. For me, I've really pushed the manual settings on my Sony a7ii to its limits so that I could really make the camera the tool of my vision and creativity.  Once you know your camera, and trust it, magic happens. This is a shot that I took at Monument Valley right before the sun peaked over the horizon. The silhouettes of the the monuments were what I really wanted to capture and to really bring out the perfect gradient of a clear morning sky so I did just that. Even though that the other half of my other was completely black on screen, I knew what was hiding in the dark. Check out images in comparison side by side.

[square cropped- unedited vs square cropped- edit]

EARLY MORNINGS IN TOKYO

Travel, LifestyleMarvin King | @MIGHTYKILLSComment

Going to sleep early and waking up even earlier has been rough but it's had its advantages of catching Tokyo dead silent and watching the sunrise. Was up and out at sunrise yesterday and decided to get some time-lapse shots outside of our room. It was pretty damn cold. I didn't expect it to be in the 30's and 40's here but which means I definitely didn't pack for cold conditions like this.

COLD

Lifestyle.Comment

Life is cold AF. 

I don't know when it starts or what prepares us for it, but there's a moment when you realize that shit starts to get real. You're standing there faced with this giant cave of uncertainty. As you enter, a cold draft of emotions smacks you in the face. It hits you, and you realize that gust is everything from excitement to fear. 

These are the moments I really enjoy because they're what truly define us in the end. The destination is never where we learn our lessons, but rather the journey. As we move through the cave, we follow a path that we hope will eventually lead us out. And in the end, it always does as long as we keep moving forward. When we make it out we're greeted by bright skies and the winding roads of the mountain side. As we're cruising we look forward towards the sea of green in front us.

"The destination is never where we learn our lessons, but rather the journey." 

Much like staring at a vast forest- families, relationships, and careers can all be extremely daunting. But these are the moments where you take a step back and simply enjoy the view. Because at the end of the day, you might find yourself standing on a pier staring out to the horizon watching the day break. You won't know how you got there, but it doesn't matter because the snow will be untouched, the water still, and everything perfect. 

FIRST STOP; THE FIRST STOP.

Travel, LifestyleMarvin KingComment
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Our plans as soon as we landed in Anchorage was to grab our bags, hop into our rental, and strike 9 hours straight up to Fairbanks. We didn't get far before we came across some views we just had to pull over for. I've mentioned before, we tend to stop a lot during our trips. I mean yea, having a location A, B, and C mapped out is cool and all but there is always A.1, A.2, A.3, A.4 before getting to B. Then there is always B.1, B.2, B.3 before getting to C. It goes on... That's always half the fun and excitement about traveling. You are expecting to get to location A, B, and C but the surprises of the unexpected finds that come along with the journey is what makes the adventure, an adventure. We exited Glen Hwy 1 and climbed down under the highway and here we glided across thick translucent turquoise ice of the Matanuska River. Wish I could just live in a huge house made of ice like this. That would be awesome.

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE

Travel, Urban, LifestyleMarvin King | @MIGHTYKILLSComment

As we approach the end of this year, I always like to go back to the very beginning of the year in my archive and just relive some of the moments. Moments that took my breath away. Moments that I forgot even existed. Moments that continue to inspire me everyday. Moments with old and new friends. Moments with my family. Moments that changed my life. The fact that I am able to do this makes me appreciate what I do and what I’ve done a million times more. Photography has been a huge part of my life and I seem to get caught up with everything that’s going on that I tend to easily forget what it is about photography that I love so much. However, when the years end nears; I’m reminded. That there are so many precious moments in your lifetime that slip away. Regardless of how good you think your memory is, you can’t deny the fact that when you look through an old photo album, there are always a few photos that make you relive a moment that you had forgotten existed. 2015 has been nothing but a blessing. I had the opportunity to travel the world, meet a ton of cool ass people, shoot non-stop with good company and best of all, I got married to my number one. I can’t help but to feel as if I’m on top of the world… I’m living a dream. But for me, the dream resets every time that new year ball drops. We always want to top the previous year; in health, in wealth and in happiness. Seemingly very hard to top but that’s when ambition kicks in. I can’t wait to bring on 2016 and see how it unfolds. 

I’ve put together a collection of photos all taken from this year that are my favorites. Reasons being that they hold some sort of sentimental value or for that moment in time, I realized exactly how blessed I am. What a time to be alive.

2015

Lifestyle, Travel.Comment

What's your goal each year?

 

You may have a resolution that you've set to accomplish or you may just want to live each year to the fullest. Whatever the objective is the end result is always the same, to be better than the previous year.

For MIGHTYKILLLERS, 2015 was HUGE. The #MKEXPLORE hash tag grew from 50,000 posts in the beginning of the year to 777,000 as of today! We even had the opportunity to connect with people from around the world through our MKEXPLORE meets. As we made stops all over from Mumbai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Pacific Northwest, Sacramento, Boston, Toronto, and the list goes on and the support grows with it. Being able to host meets across the U.S. and internationally has always been a shared dream by everyone in the company. This wouldn't of been possible if it weren't for the community and the support you've shown.

Not only did we get to connect with individuals, but with companies as well. Collaborating has always been a huge part of our core beliefs, so it was exciting to work with many industry leaders from Jaguar Land Rover Motors to SanDisk, and even other creatives such as Duarte Inc. We can’t thank them enough for letting us bring our own sense of style and touch to each project, and we look forward to any new projects in the future.

Many may not know, but MIGHTYKILLLERS first started out as a clothing brand. We may have evolved a bit from a basic clothing brand, but our roots are still very much in fashion. We believe that everything is connected from fashion and styling to photography and travel. This year, we pushed out even more product while designing each piece with high quality materials that we wear everyday. The amount of support we’ve received from each drop has been incredible. For the next year, you’ll be sure to see more releases with the same dope designs.

 

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Now for me personally 2015 is probably best summed up into one word, unexpected. If you told me in the beginning of the year that all of these things would happen I probably wouldn’t believe you. That’s not to say that I live a boring life with no excitement, but rather it’s a justification as to how amazing the year was. It definitely had some rocky times and moments of uncertainty but honestly would life be any fun if it didn’t?

One thing that stayed pretty consistent was my group of friends who've stuck with me for sometime now. Year in and year out they have always been there for me, and always continue to push me to do better. Whenever I see my friends/family succeed it always fills me with a sense of pride, and this year was a testament to that. From passing the California attorney bar exam to getting married, I’m pretty sure all of them had it covered. It was a big honor to not only see two of my best friends get married this year, but also be apart of their special day.

I had the opportunity to travel a lot this year; not just with a group of friends but also by myself. Up until this point I never realized how life changing traveling alone can be. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest just taking a trip by yourself somewhere. It doesn’t have to be far or expensive; just get out of a familiar surrounding. Every time I went away, I found out something new about myself, and improved on something old.

Within these last few months, it really started to hit me that I'm getting older. I realized that people come and go in your life, but when some people come in they really make an impression and help you see things in a whole new perspective. Those are the people you really have to thank because a fresh new perspective will always give you a whole new outlook. So with that, I'm excited to be looking towards whats in store for 2016.

Cheers.

 

IN LINE AT LAKE MCDONALD

Travel, LifestyleMarvin King | @MIGHTYKILLSComment
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Our first stop heading into Glacier was this lake that I had come across while researching this destination, Lake McDonald. I saw plenty of photos of this place, in all different seasons and none of them came short of breath-taking so it was definitely a must. I didn’t know what to expect getting to this place, which is all the reason for me becoming completely speechless when I turned the corner from the parking lot and saw this expansive view of the lake. The water was clear as glass and super calm. The sky was blue with clouds full of character. It was going to be one hell of a sunset, this we knew. 


to be continued...

December Storms

Travel, LifestyleJared | @tadlockaComment

Creativity is a strange concept. 

If I'm honest, I've been in a huge rut. The past 4 months have been draining. While I've spent the majority of my time in classrooms and studios on campus, my mind has been elsewhere. Sure, there are some people/professors who have served as inspiration - People who are focused and on task; however, the college culture of procrastination is killing me. Being surrounded by people who are dodging deadlines and cramming sub-par efforts into projects is tough. Classrooms can teach technique, but they can't teach passion; and passion is necessary to fuel your creative processes. 

I've begun to see the importance in surrounding yourselves with people who are passionate; the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are striving for excellence. It reminds me of the old "if your friends jumped of a bridge, would you?" I want to be surrounded by people who are jumping headfirst off the bridge into the unknown, people who are following their dreams so heavily that failures not an option. People that aren't fueled by deadlines and obligations, but fueled by a burning desire to create and progress. My friend Micheal said something that stuck out to me today. He told me when he was 18, he figured out what he wanted to do, made a plan and gave himself no outs. He said he was either "going to make it, or end up homeless"; and years later, that commitment shows in his work and his success.

These past few days I've been surrounded by two of the heaviest hitting photographers in the state of Colorado - Garret (@short_stache) and Luke (@victorofvalencia) - guys who's work is constantly pushing me to refine my own craft.

You'll never be in a creative rut if you surround yourself with the right people - This last semester is going to be lit

 

Halloween in New York

Travel, Urban, LifestyleKarl Orotea | @KARLNIKOLAIComment

Hasselblad 500CM + Fujipro 400H, Kodak 400 Tri-X & Portra 400NC

It was my first time visiting New York during autumn. I never catch a flight out at the time, but my friend Eric and I got lucky with the Jetblue sale (scored a $188 round trip ticket, sorry kind of have to flaunt that). Anyway, usually trips to NY are just mostly meant for leisure time away from hectic school schedules. Had the pleasure shooting alongside with the homies Insighting and marcel_white during my few days there. 

On another note, shooting street photography is quite challenging on film, but it also made me quite bored of just straight documenting. After getting the photos developed and scanned (self-processed) I found it amazing how color correction on scanners can easily make photos taken on a 4 or 5 decade year old camera give digital a run at its game. Well, this will probably one of my last posts of strictly focused documentative and aesthetically pleasing photography. Hopefully I'm able to bring more of conceptual, meaningful photos, either it be surrealism or series, without falling on the spectrum of fine art photography. That'd be the day honestly.

IN THE BAG WITH MARVIN KING

IN THE BAG, Lifestyle, TravelMarvin King | @MIGHTYKILLSComment

A few weeks back I took a trip to South Lake Tahoe with my family in search of our first sight of snow this winter. Living in the Bay Area and being spoiled with year-round awesome weather has definitely made me miss the snow, especially so during the Holidays. So since snow doesn't come around here, we decided to go to the snow ourselves. Here are some of the essentials that I carried on my trip to Tahoe at our stay at Basecamp Hotel:

  • Incase Ari Black Edition Camera Bag
  • Incase Leather Zip Wallet + 6x Sony Batteries
  • Basecamp lantern
  • iPhone 6
  • SanDisk 64GB SD Card
  • Klipsch R6 Headphones
  • MIGHTYKILLERS x Mophie powerstation XL
  • Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L
  • Basecamp room key
  • Nike Stormfit gloves
  • MIGHTYKILLERS Basic Navy Cap
  • Timberland 6" Helcor Rebar

The Glacier Tour

Travel, LifestyleSam Graves | @thesamgravesComment

To me, nothing says "adventure" like a trip through the mountains and there are few things that I anticipate and enjoy more than standing in the presence of them. Something about them have always had a way of taking my breath away and making me feel both powerful and insignificant at the same time. It's a crazy feeling, one that I find incredibly hard to find words for. 

We took a trip into Glacier National Park, knowing it was winter and that most of the park would be closed but little did we know that even the outer edges of the park still top the worlds most beautiful sceneries. We shot sunrise, mid day and sunset every day of our five day itinerary and while it was very cold, and a non stop schedule, it was one of my favorite trips to date. We toured through icy roads, hiked miles through bear country and had the most epic snowball fight the world has ever known. Ever. 

We came and we conquered. And who knew that frozen Sour Patch Kids could be so good? 

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Lifestyle, Events.Comment

We've recently teamed up with visual storytelling powerhouse Duarte Inc. on their latest series "One-Shot" to give you all an inside look at a day in the life of a KILLER.

A special shoutout and thank you to our friends at Duarte and all those who helped with this project. It's been a dope experience working with the best. 

 

CREATIVE COLLABORATION

Events, Lifestyle, Travel.Comment

It's rare these days to come across a company that truly believes in your vision, let alone is wiling to help you achieve that vision. Typically if there is no monetary return than the likelihood of a helping hand is slim. However, like with most things there are certain exceptions to this case, and Duarte Inc. is a prime example of that exception. Having built a reputation as masters in the art of visual storytelling, Duarte has become a powerhouse with a client list ranging from ESPN , former Vice-President Al Gore, Shiseido, and many moreIt's an honor to have such dope mentors guide us as we find our own voice within visual story telling. 

At first we had trouble trying to decided which MIGHTYKILLERS story we wanted to represent. We wanted to include all aspects of the brand our audience has come to know and love, but at the same time we also wanted to shed some light on things you may not of known before. We wanted this story to not only be a reflection of our past but also a look into what we have planned for the future. Simply put, like a pair of Royal Jordan 1's this story needed to be timeless. 

This creative collaboration didn't simply happen over night, but after many months of office meetings and countless emails we decided on our final story. Through trial and error, what seemed like disagreements at the time were just the opposite; instead healthy creative criticism on both sides. As a creative, its easy for constructive criticism to be perceived as a negative insight; however, its the true creatives that look at this criticism as a positive and a chance for growth. 

Stay tuned.

The Sunken City

Lifestyle, Urban, TravelNOLISComment

I tend to hit the LA every few months for work but this time I wanted to switch it up a bit. During my trip, me and a few friends decided to take a trip outside of the city and head down to coast to a place called The Sunken City. When I first walked into this place I felt like I had landed on another planet. What used to be a populated neighborhood street is now an explorers dream due to the landslides and graffers that have transformed these ruins into what it is today. Thanks to my homegirl Minnie (@minniemorkie) for being my muse for the time we spent there. After that day I realized that there is much more to SoCal than just LA. I also realized that you should never snapchat while climbing loose rocks or you'll slip and smash your camera against a rock as you attempt to stop yourself from falling down a cliff.....

48 Hours in the Swiss Alps (PART I)

Travel, LifestyleJohannes HoehnComment

As the year turned to its best season fall, we decided to jump on a car and do a little weekend road trip to Switzerland. Together with @hannes_becker and @daniel_ernst I hit the road towards south on Friday noon. The car was packed with tents, camping goods, two Oru Kayaks and all the stuff you need to enjoy a weekend in the alps.

After 8 hours on the road we finally arrived at our destination: The region of Wallis. We camped near the suspension bridge in Bellwald because we wanted to grab the sunrise at the epic wooden bridge the next morning. The night was super cold and short, but we managed to get out just in time to be at the spot for sunrise. The view was epic, we were really lucky and had some fog rolling through the valley, which gave us some super nice shots.

After that we moved on to the city of Sion to meet up with our friend Patrick (@gullerpat). He is born and raised in the Wallis area and knows it better than anybody else. Also Patrick is pretty much the nicest dude to spend your time with, so we really looked forward to meeting him. 

Our first stop brought us to a lake inside of a cave... 

 To be continued...   

First Snow

Travel, LifestyleJared | @tadlockaComment

First snow is something I hold close. Being raised in Colorado, I always spent my childhood anticipating that first sight of snow in the fall. It always meant more than just a weather pattern to me; it signaled a change of life. When the weather turns cold, things become more clear and priorities have a way of reorganizing themselves; you don't have the ability to just roam, you have to be focused and direct in order to keep warm. I'm thankful to have been able to document this years first snowfall

Night Adventure in Seattle

Urban, LifestyleConnor SurdiComment

It's been a while since I have gone out for the pure fun of shooting at night...I think it's been because I've been in a slight funk with my photography and personal life but tonight was definitely needed. But I saw a quote the other day that said... "The only way out is through." and that really struck home for me.

I recently just sold my 5D3 and upgraded to a Sony A7Rii and I think tonight was a good test run. Lots of shadows, lots of highlights, levitating photos, etc. And to sum it all up, it did the job quite well! It's a big change coming from using Canon for 7 years. The buttons are very different and menus are way different. It's a learning curve but the only way to learn is to keep shooting! 

Rachel joined me and was my model for the night. Being as she's behind the camera 99% of the time...I think she did a pretty damn good job.

Nocturne with Paris Call

LifestyleSilas SaoComment

One of my favorite aspects about photography is human connection. Being able to come together with another person, or even multiple, and create something is very gratifying. Paris is a traveling model from southern Oregon who consistently shoots here in Portland. She reached out to me a couple months before writing this post wanting to shoot. I was in Chicago at the time, but made a point to contact her when I arrived back home. With our matched love for dark beauty and moody portraiture, I couldn't let this opportunity pass. We set a date for middle of November.

Fast forward two weeks, she contacted me on a Thursday night telling me she would be in town the next day. This was about a month or so earlier than we had scheduled. She asked if I would be down for a last minute shoot since she'd already be in town. I wasn't busy that day and everything kind of just fell into place. We linked up in the afternoon, grabbed a quick snack then headed to my apartment to look through some photo props. At home, I have a box of stuff for photo shoots. Anytime I'm looking to involve something extra for a shoot, I go to the box. I had never shot with body paint before and neither had Paris. We both decided it would be fun to try out. We grabbed some black body paint and headed to the forest.

I love using my friends and strangers as subjects, but working with experienced models is totally different. They've done this before. They know how to pose, they know when to switch poses and they know what works best for them. They have a confidence in front of the camera that is very admirable. It allows for more photos (and more keepers) to be taken away in the same amount of time or less. After a couple hours of shooting we called it a wrap.

Paris and I are scheduled to shoot again in a few weeks. You can expect to see more work with her and myself. Until then, please enjoy this set I've put together.

You can find Paris on Instagram via @paris_call

I have put other photos from this set on my website.

Hope you enjoyed reading :)