Big Dreams

Humans are mammals. That means we want to keep each other warm at our core. One thing I love about Santa Cruz is all the families having fun on the beaches and at the parks. Santa Cruz is an outdoor lifestyle place and has a ton of opportunities for cool little moments like these.
The Literary Guillotine has been a favorite bookstore for a long time. I can’t say how many hours I’ve spent looking through those shelves let alone how many days, weeks, months, spent engrossed in books that I picked up there. Getting to work with Ziesel and David to do some Social Media Marketing has been a great joy and a huge honor. 

My sister is one of my best friends and she opened an organic brewery ten years ago. Now the brewery is in the midst of a major expansion and she also owns an amazing restaurant in Felton, The Cremer House. Today they held a New to Brew Class introducing all these lovely people to the art of home brewing. 
Impossible to think about Mitchell’s without remembering Barney. This is were he had his last surf. This is also the surfer he wanted to interview as surfer of the year, Joe Hudson. 
This is a season of change. My life has been one of continual improvement. I believe in the power of work to create desired change and I consider myself to be a hard worker dedicated to my beliefs in art, the natural world, and diversity both cultural and biological. 
The Cremer House is growing and getting better all the time. It’s really cool to see so many creative minds and people passionate about food coming together to create a restaurant. 



Going to get brunch at the brewery on the weekends is a favorite thing to do. Most weeks, Saturday or Sunday, I’ll pick up my daughter Ollie and meet my assistant Jackie at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing for some delicious breakfast fare chased down with Portland’s own Stumptown Coffee.
Tom Ragle is a business owner who started out at 41st Avenue Liquors as a clerk. You can still find him behind the counters most days conversing with patrons about the nuances of his inventory. It’s not a liquor store as much as it is a living museum of alcohol. From local craft beer to rare and exotic bottles, this place has the ingredients for sophisticated and elegant parties that you can brag about on Facebook after the fact.


Brewing is an art. Making great beer is a magical thing. Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing has a dazzling lineup of flagship ales, but they are also always working on new seasonal beers to keep things lively and interesting for everyone involved.

Love over Likes

Sunrise Magic
I’ve been going to this spot for a while looking for backwash wedges. You can see the hump of backwash charging toward the barrel. Two waves colliding create vivid abstract paintings of light. There’s a window of 20-30 minutes when the light and the waves line up right.
This little Blackberry shoot in the morning sun is ready to harness the power of the sun to grow plump and juicy berries.



Interview Wish List

This blog is dedicated to thinking about the intersections between art, ecology, and commerce. We want to be in dialogue with other artists and lovers of creativity, with people engaged in thinking about environmental solutions to our industrialized problems, and with people interested in thinking about business and marketing.


Some of the artists we plan to interact with on this blog include:


Visual Artists:


Ryan Chachi Craig

Jim Denevan

Yvonne Falk

Gary Irving

Casey Landaker

Mattie Leeds

Norman Locks

Joel Magen

Jennifer Pond

Jimbo Phillips

Taylor Reinhold

Robbie Schoen

Anthony Tashnick

Rob Sean Wilson

Adrienne White


Musical Artists:


A$AP Ferg




Cannabis Artists:

Hard Candy Farms


Panacea Farms

Redweed Farms

Utopia Farms


Culinary Artists:

Friend in Cheeses Jam Co.

Andy Potterfield from the Cremer House

Chris LaVeque



Some of the individuals and agencies we want to interview include:


Alterra Solar

California Cannabis and Hemp Initiative 2016

California Certification of Organic Farming

Clean Oceans Project


Grey Bears

Homeless Garden Project

Second Harvest Food Bank

SC Labs

SC Veterans Alliance

Affirming the Good


Portraits are an engine of artistic production. In the past, only the powerful were able to afford having an artist make a portrait of them. Today, with cell phones and selfie sticks, there’s a lava flow of portraiture erupting with volcanic intensity. More people have been both photographer and subject than ever before. Portraiture is a force.


Social media is driven by portraits. A big percentage of the photos that are made every day are of people. From the covers of magazines to the profiles of social media platforms, good photos of people are more in demand than ever before.

We want to help you to look great. We want to show your friends how confident, happy, and interesting you are, these days. We want to show your clients or employers how on top of the game you are. We want to show your love how attractive you are. We want to show the world your beauty, shining from the inside.


Portraiture is a great way to affirm the good in others. We want to bring out the best in you.






Dancing Uphill

I invented a dance. It started with my assistant. Last year, I grew busy enough to require help. I was lucky enough to have a colleague at Sleepless Media, Jennifer Gallagher, introduce me to her daughter. Now, Jackie helps me run my day-to-day operations: editing photos, assisting on shoots, and providing administrative support. Together, we update various social media accounts with fresh and original content that we create.

One of my favorite things about doing social media was enhanced when I hired an assistant: it’s a lot of fun. Like all creative work, it is also competitive and difficult. Some people may not take social media seriously, but if you want a business to pay you to provide them with social media marketing, then being as professional as possible is key.

Part of that means keeping a vital connection to the material. It means renewing and retaining a spirit of joy in the work. When we represent a business, we make the case that they are the best choice in their category. In order to express this claim clearly, we need to have creative flow happening in our work. As an artist/writer/thinker/maker/seller, I have a lot of experience being able to consistently find inspiration and that is partly because of the techniques I’ve developed over time to stay fresh, tuned up, and ready to be creative.

Social Media Marketing requires a lot of work, including: photography, editing, research, and writing. A good deal of this activity happens in the studio in a typical office space environment. Lots of sitting at a computer doesn’t necessarily lead to creative flow or great ideas. When I was working on my own, I would use skateboarding to keep me feeling creatively awake, but this El Niño season has kept the roads pretty wet, so I wasn’t able to get enough time in to satisfy my desire for balance. This plus having an assistant who is now also spending a lot of time at a computer and the ever-present need to come up with new marketing strategies led me to invent a dance.

The dance is based on a physical therapy exercise: the lunge. It is a walking lunge in four parts that goes to a four count rhythm. I named it the Time Slap in honor of my friend Shawn Barney Barron, who passed away last May. He called time lapse photography time slap and so the dance is a way to honor, remember, and to heal. Barney was a great break-dancer. He was also a great marketer.

The dance, as well as being a daily practice that increases creativity, is a marketing technique. We are recording ourselves doing the dance in various places in public with the goal of reaching the Ellen show to perform our dance and to talk about our marketing ideas. Artists who have some facility with multimedia are well equipped to provide social media marketing for small businesses. Social media are channels you can use effectively to reach relevant audiences.

The Wave Artist

Anthony Tashnick getting his daily dose of wild life as he surveys the ocean reading its code.

Anthony Tashnick is a great American artist working in the medium of waves. The debate about what surfing is (is it a sport, is it an art form, is it a lifestyle, is it a religious practice?) continues within circles for whom the subject is important, but surfing is so versatile that it can fulfill a range of needs. For Tazy, it seems to be first and foremost a source of fun. Yes, he’s a gnarly guy who charges terrifying waves on the Big Wave World Tour, but he’s also a frothing grom who refuses to comply with so-called norms. Tazy is a hellman, a wave warrior, an artist of the highest order.


Tazy has a sense of humor and a love of potato wedges and chicken strips after surfing.
Basically, Tazy is in an unending quest of artistic exploration in and around the ocean.


Collaborating with Tazy is an adventure. He goes wherever he wants to in pursuit of waves. When you are in his presence you get some sense as to the steeliness of his will. He is driven, motivated by knowing what potential is still untapped. Dreaming big about the future of boat surfing or taking a finless half-broken foamy to surf small shorebreak, every day is about interacting with the ocean, about deepening his relationship with surfing, about leading and listening to his fellow surfers through interacting with them in and out of the water.

Tazy is a guy who is happy when he sees clouds rolling in from the Pacific Northwest. 
Anthony Ruffo is a favorite for many a Santa Cruz surfer. 
The rains came last night in Felton adding another half an inch to our season’s total. 
The food at The Cremer House is a great way to treat yourself. 

www.others: Working Well With

Collaboration is a buzz word, an idea you hear a lot.
These Cypresses present an image of the kind of collaborations we are seeking and building: symbiotic ones. 

Even so, it is something we really value and we’ve recently been undertaking some great collaborations.
We’ve been working with Gary Irving having a great time following his Seven Deadly Sins series. This was after a photoshoot at New Leaf while the spirit of earth ravaged by the greed of humans relaxed and ordered a sandwich. 

As a photographer, working with other people is natural, but we’ve been trying to push further to create more extensive collaborations between businesses and artists.
One cool thing we’ve learned about collaborations is that when you add a costume into the mix, fun inevitably ensues. 

Doing social media with small businesses is in its very nature a collaboration. One specific example is bringing together El Salchicherio and Aptos St. BBQ to create the 831 Sausage.
Another example of how collaboration creates growth is in my deepened appreciation for smoked BBQ. By working with Aptos St. and Mission St. I’ve come to appreciate the art of slow cooked smoked meat. 

Barney vision was a collaboration between Shawn Barney Barron, Jake J. Thomas, and Santa Cruz Waves. Adding Jackiemacro to the Jake J. Thomas Photo team is a form of collaboration. Working with Gary Irving is a collaboration. Filming with Anthony Tashnick is a collaboration. Working with the chef JP Doiron at The Cremer House is a collaboration. working with Dark Horse Pottery is a collaboration. The list goes on and on.
I watched the sunset with Ollie again last night. Her curiosity and hunger for knowing what things are is my current inspiration. 


Solving Interesting Problems

Yesterday (Monday morning) the day after Valentine’s Day, I woke up at 4:45am as has become my habit. Lemon water drank, coffee brewed, I sat down at the laptop and woke it up with a gesture. Immediately, in my Facebook Timeline, I saw a video that drew my attention. It was a clip from an episode of the television show Nature. This one was following a group of Innuit hunters through the process of building an igloo and going beneath the sea ice during the low portion of a King Tide to hunt for mussels. Watching these people attune themselves to the rhythm of natural cycles in a life and death dance with time inspired me. That’s the kind of thing I like to view: different ways of being that leads to imagining the lives of others.

Just after sunrise this chunky little barrel kegged through. Photographing the inside of waves, the flares and flashes of light, keeps me connected to the ocean and draws me out to the coastline each morning for sunrise.

Then, wanting something to listen to while I edited photos, I went to Timothy Ferris’ podcast and clicked on his interview with Seth Godin. Timothy Ferris is a self-help guru who is interesting and worth the listen. I always learn cool new things from his podcasts, so they are a go-to edifying source of background noise when I’m working. It’s definitely more than just entertainment, as he is constantly asking questions geared to find actionable takeaways in an effort to always provide value to his followers. Ferris does it right. He’s interested and so he’s interesting.

We visited Chris LaVeque yesterday at El Salchichero to photograph this awesome Udon in a bowl made by Dark Horse Pottery. He’s doing R&D for his upcoming Matambre Restaurant.

He had high praise for Seth Godin and I was ready to like him too, but upon listening I grew more compelled by the minute. Funny and self aware, Godin is a fount of wisdom and useful advice. He’s the kind of guy you’d be lucky to have as a friend. Non-threatening, but entirely badass, he’s a ninja of thoughtfulness. Out of all of the cool things they discussed in this podcast, however, the one that stuck out the most was about parenting. Godin, in answering Ferris’ question about what advice he might have for parents, said: “Busy is a trap. Busy is a myth. If you spend two hours a day without an electronic device, looking your kid in the eye, talking to them, and solving interesting problems, then you will raise a different kid than someone who doesn’t do that.” Such a simple idea, but profoundly true.

Last night, I took Ollie to Aptos St. BBQ for dessert and to listen to some live music. She’s learning a few songs, hereself, and it was fun to see Billie on stage singing “Natalie” with the Broken Shades. Live music makes the world a sweeter place.

How we spend our time is the most important decision we make on a daily basis. Carving out two hours a day to spend with your kid solving interesting problems is the most important investment you could possibly make as a parent. The intricacies and nuances of parenting are so varied and important, but spending time is the foundation.

Karma vs. YOLO


Planning is key to success, and it’s an idea that rewards regular revisiting because so many things about our context change on a daily basis. Defining success is key to achieving it. We find ourselves in the middle of multiple critical junctures at home and abroad. If ever there was a time when the fate of the human species would be determined, this is it. The stakes are high and with their elevation comes an increase in excitement and anxiety. We all know that change is both needed and inevitable and yet the vision of how this change will be produced is not entirely clear.


What does success look like in this day and age? Who do we consider to be successful and why? How can we transform the idea of success to suit it better to our present situation?


I think that the title has the keys to our future. The concept of You Only Live Once has become a license for reckless behavior, which is good for some people and bad for others, but there’s definitely merit in the idea of living with commitment. The more important concept is balance, though. The outgrowths from YOLO include: Zero Fucks Given, No Chill, and the Turn Up movement. This blooming of Dionysian energy is core and the need to celebrate life in a primal and raw way will likely endure. Some ways of expressing the lust for life are more effective and productive than others, though. If you really want to seize the day, you have to make something new; you have to contribute. If this is your only chance to experience life, why not make a positive impact?

Blues musicians turn pain into something that is full of good feelings. They are the ultimate alchemists of the soul. Turning heart break into art is a form of emotional intelligence that is cathartic and teaches you how to be with grief. Working with the Blues artists at Aptos St BBQ and Mission St has deepened my appreciation for this art form. I admire and respect all of the artists that perform there, but last night listening to Paul Oscher was something special. The guy was cool as they come, a living legend, a direct link to the roots of American Blues music and I’ve never felt more American and happy about it. Listening to his stories of getting started and working with Muddy Waters was classic to say the least. A huge thanks to Larry Ingram for bringing this amazing artist to Aptos. Truly, that was a success!


Living well means more than feeding your desires. Finding ways to live that make you feel good about the impact you are having on your environment and on the people in your life are building blocks of positive change.



Shaping Your Success

12633588_1165221260157669_1658468532157851524_o (1)


Good Social Media broadcasts a vision of the world to an audience. Presenting your business in the best possible light and achieving a desired outcome requires skill and expertise. Constantly learning more techniques through experimentation, Jake J Thomas Photo strives to provide their clients with the best possible Social Media Marketing.

A first step in achieving successful Social Media Marketing is identifying a goal. By identifying a goal we are better able to come up with a strategy that will create purposeful posts designed to achieve that outcome. For example we wanted to create a collaboration between businesses that we represent. It was a natural fit to work with El Salchichero and The Cremer House since they’re already working together but we enhanced this collaboration with this situation of a dish.

We also wanted to see if we could do interesting food photography in collaboration with a ceramic artist. We met Joel Magen of Dark Horse Pottery at Santa Cruz Pottery and he gave us this awesome vessel to work with. Next we got some Chicharrones from El Salchichero and some Forbidden Fruit Marmalade from Friend is Cheeses Jam Co. and took them to chef JP Doiron at The Cremer House. He came up with this amazing pork belly over jam glazed wheat batard, with arugula, red onions, and blood oranges. 12622182_790052254474257_5835912835101804534_o12615264_1165994980080297_7299998676419207397_o12605506_973148872779501_9212299076362799780_oJJT.BPT.HTC.9.February.2016-2JJT.BPT.HTC.9.February.2016-12JJT.BPT.HTC.9.February.2016-16JJT.BPT.HTC.9.February.2016-20JJT.BPT.HTC.9.February.2016-50