The Confident Crusader

This is part of my Forever Grateful project.
As I was selling my home and placing my business on hiatus for a period of time, I took portraits of about 30 people who influenced my career over the past 12 years. This was my way of saying “Thanks” and letting everyone know that I couldn’t have done it without their support.


When you shot with me for my first portfolio back in 2003, I was still learning, but you seemed to have it all figured out. You’d been booking spots in commercials, films & on TV for a couple years already and it was easy to tell why… you are professional, passionate, positive, charming as all hell, and most importantly, you have confidence. It isn’t a cocky or overcompensating confidence (something that’s easy to find in LA), it’s more of a secure and grounded confidence that you don’t see everyday.

Amir Talai 2003

Over the years, on a regular basis, actors would come in for a consultation and say “I met Amir at an audition and he told me you took his headshots.” As your career grew, your shots became the images in my portfolio that people would make people stop and say “This guy works All. The. Time.” And then they would book with me assuming my headshots had anything to do with your success.

Amir Talai 2010

The truth is, you’re the perfect kind of headshot client. You knew what you wanted and brought your A-game every time we shot. What I had to pull out of other actors, you just handed to me on a silver platter. I assume you’re the same way in your auditions which is why you’re a successful working actor. I was just lucky enough to take photos of you along your journey.

Forever grateful,


The Story behind the Shoot:

Amir and I have a lot in common. Our love for our dogs and our concerns with the environment are just two of them. He recently posted a photo of himself spooning with his dog, Joey, in bed (very similar as what I do with my boy). I thought, “Let’s do some “romantic” photos of the two of them in bed.”

Not too long ago, Amir became a board member of The Story of Stuff, a community of change-makers, working to build a more healthy and just planet. On my way out the door to go to the shoot, I was about to throw away a zip lock bag that I used to carry treats in for my dog. Instead, I brought the bag to the shoot. I cut a hole in the bag and placed it in front of my lens. The effect gives this dreamy blur to the images that gives a more “romantic” feel to the images.

Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm lens through a ziplock bag.

photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Amir Talai & Joey 2015 – photo by Blake Gardner Photography
photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Amir Talai & Joey 2015 – photo by Blake Gardner Photography
photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Amir Talai & Joey 2015 – photo by Blake Gardner Photography

You can read more from my Forever Grateful project HERE.

7 thoughts on “The Confident Crusader

  1. Pingback: The Heart & Sohl |
  2. Pingback: Forever Grateful |

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