Hello Hurricane

Hello Hurricane, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Hello Hurricane, what is this, the 7th full-length album by the "San Diego Rockers" known as Switchfoot. This band has been a part of my life personally since 1997, but you don't want to hear about that. All I have to say is that they started out on top. They have truly hit the pavement to make this band happen, and despite their lackluster album sales (compared to say, the talentless Nickelback), their concerts continue to sell out and pull in huge crowds across the country, and in many other parts of the world.

Look at modern music. Most bands have a hard time staying musically relevant. Google "1 Hit Wonders" and you'll get a ton of bands you don't recognize and a ton of songs that you do. However, they have had only 1 hit. Switchfoot has had 2. So take them off that list and get listening to this new album, Hello Hurricane. My review is this:

Hello Hurricane is dirty.
Hello Hurricane is clean.
Hello Hurricane is catchy.
Hello Hurricane is not a pop record.

What I hope that Hello Hurricane is, is a bridge to what the next couple of years hold for Switchfoot. It keeps me listening and singing along, but it also satisfies the side of me that needs to drive fast and pound the steering wheel as if I were drummer, Chad Butler, himself. This album is worth a listen, and even a purchase. It comes out tomorrow, November 10th, 2009.

Highlights for me include, but are not limited to:

Mess of Me (the first single off the record)
Your Love Is A Song
The Sound
Bullet Soul


Hello Hurricane on iTunes


Owl City: Epicentre

Friday morning started with a facebook message asking if I wanted a mystery photo pass. A friend of mine had double-booked himself for Friday night, and I was the lucky recipient of said photo pass. I found out it was to see the sold out Owl City show at the Epicentre with a +1 and took the opportunity to score points with my fiance despite the poor lighting at this venue.

Knowing I would be far older than the entire crowd combined, I made my way to the side of the stage which was surprisingly empty. Actually, I was all alone. Rare for a band who currently has the #1 song on iTunes. Skeptical of a one-man-band who makes his music on a laptop and dances to happy lyrics, I watched as the lights dimmed. Out of the green room walks a small crowd. Drummer. Stage Technician (samples/acoustic guitar). Cellist. Violinist. Keys. Singer/Front Man. Impressive. The strings were perfectly integrated into the set in place of synth sounds from the record. Keyboardist/Vocalist Breanne Duren joined Owl City for the tour, taking time away from her own project.

All in all, this show sounded like the album. Fun interludes were added, unexpected changes to songs, and very little pitch correction was used (only for effect). My photos are below, please don't judge me, I just like happy music.

Owl City 1

Owl City

Owl City 3

Owl City 4 (breanne duren)

Necessary Links: @OwlCity // Owl City // MySpace


Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand 4, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So it has been a while. I'm here now, dedicated to this blog post. There's this band that a few people might know about. Franz Ferdinand. They are absolutely fantastic. I expected them to be this stuffy, boring indie band with songs I don't like. Sure, I'd heard their mega-hit "Take Me Out" but hadn't given much thought to their other stuff.

So, shocker of the century, they were good. Real good. I forgot to even look at these photos because they were the opener for Green Day and sure, Green Day got priority. In all my excitement, I forgot these were on my hard drive. Now they are online for all to see.

Thanks all, for seeing.


Rory Felton, The Militia Group

Rory Felton, The Militia Group, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

On a hot summer day, the owner of The Militia Group needed his portrait taken. In a bind, I ran to get my camera from the van. It was about a mile each way. I ran, trust me. He needed his photo taken for an article that was being written about him for Billboard Magazine. I don't think my photo was included in the article, but there was that chance. It was a great experience to work in a situation where the subject didn't know what he wanted from this 30 second photoshoot. Rory is responsible for signing such bands as:

Juliette and the Licks
Noise Ratchet
The Rocket Summer

Since then, I have had photos placed in great places and hope to continue that trend! I've sat on this photo for a long time now, time to throw it online.


Green Day

Green Day, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

On Thursday, August 20th of 2009, my musical & photographic lives met. Came full circle. Oh man.

Green Day's first hit album "Dookie" was my first cd ever purchased. It was edgy and I was often afraid to admit that I even owned it. I was just a kid. It was my first musical experience outside of listening to Amy Grant on the local pop station in the family van.

Green Day, legends, came to San Diego and thanks to www.IndieRockReviews.com I was able to nail down a photo pass and join the 10 other photographers in the over-crowded pit.

My other shots can be found on the site mentioned above. Please stop by and look at them, leave a comment too! Once they've been on the site for a while, I'll throw them up on here.


My Surgery Video

Initially I had planned on having a big viewing party with a highlight reel of my surgery, but the video the media department at UCSD returned to me was under 3 minutes long. Technically, it was the highlight reel ... and slightly boring at that. Although, you do get to see my guts for a few brief moments.

So with that, you've been warned. Don't watch if you're easily grossed out, but do watch if you're easily curious. Thanks again for all the prayers during this, and for all of your donations to help me through this time. Monetarily or not, a ton of you were a huge part of my healing process and I am really blessed to have had so much support going through this!


The Big Secret

Riley, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Apparently there's this big secret. This is something I've known for a long time, but haven't payed much attention to.

I follow my blog hits on Google Analytics, it's a great tool for seeing if you're important on the internet or not. Seriously. And my buddy Jason refers to me (in real life) as "Jonny from the Internet"

Well, the big secret is this:

If you post an entry on your amazing blog, you become "Important For A Day!" Trust me, I've tried this and proved it to be true. For the majority of the time, I'm nobody. My site gets 11 hits here, 30 hits there...but when I post an entry, I'm blasted into the so-called "blogosphere" with 78 hits! Wow! Who are you people? Where do you come from? Are you here for the photos? Are you here because you're my friend? Are you here because you have to be? (I'm talking to you, Mom)

Shed some light on this for me. I don't bite. Unlike this adorable puppy who is new to my friends family, and who recently added to my vast collection of scars by going all Mike Tyson on my ear. Thanks Riley, you bloodsucking piece of adorable dog.


Christina & Richard

Christina & Richard, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

I shot a wedding this weekend as the 2nd photographer for my great friend Anjuli. She was kind enough to have me as her partner for a wedding between two amazing people. Somehow, the bride & groom share many mutual friends with me and I had never met them! It was nice to finally meet and share in their day. They are an amazing couple and I look forward to seeing them again! Here are a few of my shots from the wedding.

Just Married!

Wedding Party

The First Dance


Fiction Family

Fiction Family, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

1998: Saw Switchfoot for the first time.

2009: Fiction Family releases their first album.

There are 11 years in between those 2 moments, but there is so much story to fill that space. In the midst of my love for local San Diego music, I met people who introduced me to a band called Nickel Creek. My rock music heart was skeptical over a band that was considered "New Grass" ... a poppier for mainstream form of Blue Grass. Whatever, I listened, I fell in love. Great songs. Incredible talent.

One day, the 2 aforementioned bands joined to form Fiction Family. Chances are, you've heard their album. If you have not, please go here:


One of the more fun shows I've seen in a long time. Too much talent on stage, and a list of great songs both originals and covers. Enjoy this band, talent like this doesn't come around often.


The Circus Lights

The Circus Lights, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

The Switchfoot Bro-Am weekend is in full effect right now. During the Switchfoot concert tonight at the San Diego County Fair (Del Mar Fair) I stopped to breath and took a completely unfocused shot of the ferris wheel and the lights of the fair. Quite calming to just look through the lens and get lost in the vagueness of life at the fair.

Thanks to some close friends, I was able to shoot the show from the pit of the 10 foot stage. Got a couple keepers. Felt WONDERFUL to hold my camera and be in the excitement of a live show. I've been recovering for a while and have been waiting to shoot a show again.

Now some photos of Switchfoot.






It's Not A Tumor! It's A Scone.

It's Not A Tumor! It's A Scone., originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Yes, I broke the doctor's orders. I went to try my hand at photojournalism. I've been eternally inspired by my friend Luke Sharrett, http://sharrett.blogspot.com , who has photographed multiple Presidents and the civilians who make up this country. So with his inspiration I pushed myself during my recovery to go photograph California's Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I got a lot of him arriving and leaving the meeting about the budget crisis, so I left and ran to Starbucks where I parked my car. Sure enough, the Governator himself was inside. So I stood in line, snapped some cell-phone shots (because my camera was on the ground outside being watched by Secret Service) and went back outside to wait for him. I caught him enjoying his coffee and scone and then he left!

Just a day in the life...

Pimp My Ride

Agent Smith

State Meets City


The Ring

The Ring, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So here's the story, for all you ladies out there.

A while ago, in anticipation of my surgery, I asked Leslie if I could take her on a date May 8th, because it would be our last free night before I go under the knife. She kept telling me "no" because she was planning a date night for us. I will be honest, I was kinda bummed. I had planned on popping the question before surgery, and now I had no chance of doing it.

Moving on to what happened tonight, May 8th, 2009.

The "date night" she was planning was actually a benefit/silent auction in my honor to assist me in medical bills. Thanks to my insurance, I have saved (in the last few months) around $40,000! Unfortunately, insurance companies aren't fond of paying money and they have put a very small portion of that on me. Small to them is big to me, so I was left with some financial woes. She surprises me with this party, so much so that I was actually SPEECHLESS for the first time in my life. It was amazing. So many friends and family. Probably around 80 people. Quite the showing. As I walked in the door, I notice jars of cash, some checks, and even a dime sitting on a table. Extreme, unselfish generosity. There was a silent auction with hand-made jewelry, photography, music lessons, gift baskets, audio books, you name it. ALL DONATED from my amazing friends! The silent auction was a hit (I wanted to bid on these things, but that would have been counterproductive to the cause of the party). All of this even coincided with my birthday coming up this Thursday.

So me, not being able to have a date night, found myself not wanting to be "out-surprised" by my girlfriend. So in true JonnyUps fashion, I planned on taking over her date, and popping the question. Only now it would be in front of all my best friends and family. I get on the microphone and start thanking people and telling them how important it was to me. Surprisingly, the crowd started making proposal jokes, and causing a stir. So I say some nice things about Leslie (obligatory of course! ha!) and then say, "Well, you're all expecting it anyways..." and I pull out the ring. A hush ran through the room, and then the loudest cheering I've heard since I was famous in Japan (I kiddddd). Leslie finally realized I wasn't joking and was soooo surprised! She of course said yes!

Moral of the story: Do not underestimate my sneakiness.

Total Raised: A LOT. ENOUGH. Enough for me to feel blessed beyond belief.

You, my friends, have changed my life. I am so blessed. Thank you! And Leslie, thank you for saying yes.



Testing mobile blogging!



JordansApproach, originally uploaded by jonnyups.


Jordan, friend and drummer of As I Lay Dying, has started a blog. He relates metal music to golf, and fills us in on tidbits of his life and touring.

In other news:


AS I LAY DYING DVD goes Platinum in Canada

AS I LAY DYING's first-ever DVD, ‘This Is Who We Are’, sold 4,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on the Top Music Videos chart. It also debuted at No. 3 in Canada, where the DVD has already shipped platinum.

Commented AS I LAY DYING frontman Tim Lambesis: "I'm completely honored to have our DVD reach so many people in only its first week out. Needless to say, it's a great achievement for our band, but it also goes to show that metal music has been opening new doors. Regardless of what mainstream media pushes, there are enough diehard fans out there to make something like this happen.

With ‘This Is Who We Are’, AS I LAY DYING steps into new territory by releasing its first-ever DVD consisting of three discs produced and directed by Denise Korycki (CANNIBAL CORPSE's ‘Centuries of Torment’ DVD) that provide viewers with live performances and a complete AS I LAY DYING audio/visual history.


What does this mean? Well, it means that my photos have reached 80,000 (according to the Wikipedia gods) Canadians in just the last few weeks! Talk about an opportunity for my shots to be seen. Thanks Canada. Thanks AILD, and thanks friends for your support!


JonnyUps, Photographer

JonnyUps, Photographer, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Remember THIS POST from not far back? Well, I traveled to Lou's Records, and bought my very own copy of the DVD! Very impressed, I must say. Please head to your local record store and get one! If they don't carry it, Best Buy will do. I will sign your copy. Trust me. ;) haha!


Let's Take Some Pictures

Let's Take Some Pictures, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So here's the deal. In just over a month, I am going into the hospital for surgery. This means, for six weeks following, I will be unable to do photoshoots. This means I will have a handful of days to edit photos.

What this means to everybody:

I would love to take your picture. Between RIGHT NOW and May 15th, 2009, I will take your picture. Bands. Models. Babies. Couples. Dogs. Wannabe Models. You name it, I want to shoot it.

My prices are cheap. Sometimes even free, depending on what needs to be shot. Sometimes I need additions to my portfolio. So what do ya say? Plus, I will be updating my website making it all new. Want to be featured there? Get on it, shoot me an e-mail or comment me here! You can find my contact info on the front page of JonnyUps.com

Talk to you soon!


Spring Has Sprung

Heaven, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Spring has sprung, and I officially have a cold. The stuffy head...when your ears can't seem to stay opened. The stuffy/runny nose, it can't seem to make up it's mind. The cough, oh the cough.

All this unpleasant stuff at once, yet I can't help but feel good. I'm wearing new shoes. It's amazing what a new pair of Sketchers can do for your day. I bought them a couple months ago, packed them away in my closet, then moved. They moved to my new closet, but I had forgotten about them until Leslie told me I needed new shoes.


What is it about girls? They have the ability to make you do things. My shoes were great. I had just broken them in how I like them...and BOOM! Time for new shoes. Who cares if they smell, look awful, or don't contain my feet at times. They were still comfy.

And we're back. Long story short, I'm looking to revolutionize my presence here on the web. My plan for the next 6 months or so is this:

* New Website
* More focused blog **with more updates & less personal commentary**
* Better Photos

I'm in the process of beefing up my gear, and metaphorically growing a pair to get myself started stronger than before. I want to be your photographer. For anything. And everything. Be patient, I am on my way.


Moving Forward

Desirae 2, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

I like to look back often at what I did last year. This photo was taken about a year ago, and it was a total mistake. I do not enjoy editing photos, although I can do it well if I try. This time around, I tried something new. I'm not a fan of it, but I'm posting it anyways to get feedback. I don't like some of the midtones on the left side of the shot. Basically, I've posted a photo I don't like, that I've edited poorly...but I am totally curious to see what you guys think. Let me have it. Thanks!


Big News!!!

Here it is, the time has come. I had to wait for the record label to release this art before I could put it out there.

As I Lay Dying - This Is Who We Are (DVD)

Yours Truly took 4 of the 5 images on the COVER of As I Lay Dying's first DVD. Don't you worry, it doesn't stop there. The back cover is my photo. The inside sports more of my work, including the image that is the background to all 3 DVD's inside, the front and back covers to the insert in the dvd, the centerfold of the insert, and a few others.

Yes, I'm tooting my own horn. Thank you very much. My photos will be released worldwide, to a very large market of people. This is a massive accomplishment for me, so let me toot for just a minute. ha! I said toot.

Seriously guys, Tim and this band have been a blessing to me and my career as a photographer and I can't thank them enough. They are all true friends, and sincere hearts.

The release date is April 14th, 2009 and will be all over the place. Look for it, buy it, and enjoy. It was a blast spending a week with these guys shooting, and seeing them go from pre-show, to post-show and loving every minute. The audio on this dvd is great and was recorded/mixed by my good friend Daniel Castleman who is a master at what he does. You won't be disappointed.

Thank you for listening to me toot. Please check this DVD out on April 14th!



PUBLISHED!, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

What do JonnyUps and Celine Dion have in common?

On AltPress.com my photo is currently published! I know, this doesn't answer your question, but it will.

The feature is called "Embarrassing Album Confessions" and my friends in We Shot The Moon were asked for their confession. Jason de la Torre answered that Celine Dion was his. Most might think this is a joke. It's not. Jason loves him some Celine. And I love me some Jason.

Needless to say, this isn't a huge accomplishment. However, it is an accomplishment and I'll take it with pride. I do have another announcement as far as photography goes. I will try and make that appear next weekend.

Anyways, no word yet if this photo will be published in the actual magazine and not just online, but I will be looking through the issues to see it. Thanks for sharing in my excitement!


Dear Mr. President,

2009-02-18-cartoon.jpg, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Dear Mr. President,

As our newly elected leader, I call upon you to to lead us in America. You are a black man, leading the most powerful country in the world. As much as I would like to believe that racism doesn't exist, it does. Please do your part to make it disappear.

I ask this because this week a satirical cartoon was sketched out, and printed in a popular publication. A cartoon that depicts a chimp getting shot by police (for attacking a woman). A cartoon that also pokes fun at the ridiculousness that is the current stimulus bill. Now for me, I see nothing wrong with this. The point of these cartoons is to take current events and joke about them. But you see, Mr. President, many people are making a connection between the primate in the cartoon, the comment, and black people. This I find ridiculous. In 2009, this connection should not be made.

I ask of you to come out to the public, your people, and tell us all that a joke is a joke. A cartoon is a cartoon. Tell us that you personally feel that this is not racism.

With Great Respect,



7, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

Ok, so I promised to blog about my appointment that I had on Monday with my new doctor from UCSD Medical Center regarding my health.

I am having surgery on May 15th, 2009.

The surgery is to remove any of the remaining harmful mucus in my stomach, and to ensure that it stays gone for a little while. Since what I have has no cure, this is just a big bandage on my future. Weak stomachs skip this next part:

The surgery SHOULD go like this:

-Sleepy Time
-Epidural Catheter (tube in my spine?)
-Cut Me Open (sternum to belt buckle)
-Clean Me Out (each organ gets a wipe down)
-Fill Me With Chemo
-Let Sit for 90 Minutes
-Clean Me Out
-Sew Up Stomach
-Staple Skin Shut
-Hate Life

It will be a 9 to 11 day hospital stay (on average) and I will be super drugged. No working for 6 weeks. My scar will be gnarly.

That's my update. Physically it's going to suck. Mentally it's hard to grasp. Ultimately I want to live a great life, and if this is what it takes to do that, then I'm all in.


Deere, John

Deere, John, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

When I spoke with nurse at UCSD Medical Center, she said, "Essentially, you have PMP"

What is PMP? Here's what I've found out.

PMP is an abbreviation for a "syndrome" known as Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. Literally, this means false (pseudo) benign tumor with mucinous features (myxoma) of the abdomen (peritonei). PMP is sometimes known as "jelly belly".

Because PMP is such a rare condition, it is an "orphan" disease. This means that there is little knowledge of it in the medical community and little research is being done to find better treatments. This is why it is so important to promote awareness so that an appropriate standard of treatment is recognized and money is raised/made available for research. There is about 1 person with PMP for every 1,000,000 people in the U.S.

PMP is caused by low- to moderate- grade mucin-producing tumor cells that usually arise from the appendix. PMP is difficult to classify in to "low grade", moderate or higher-grade, due to its unpredictable behavior, both in its microscopic appearance and in the individual person. To most pathologist's PMP looks "low grade", but in PEOPLE it can act in a higher-grade fashion growing and spreading, and producing mucin/jelly more quickly than expected. This discrepancy between the microscopic/pathologic/scientific description/classification AND the actual "clinical" behavior of PMP in the patient, makes it much more difficult for the doctor to make accurate predictions, unlike breast cancers and colon cancers where the expected behavior of the tumor cells is more predictable. We generally like to think that PMP severity exists on a spectrum from low to moderate to high grade.. Despite pathology that looks low grade and a big "whew!" from the oncologist ("its just PMP") each person's version of PMP may defy what the doctor's and scientists and pathologist's THINK they know! PMP patients need experienced medical oncologists and surgical oncologists.

With all that said, I'm special. With almost 306,000,000 in America, I'm one of 306 people in the club. Sure, I'm rare, I'm special. But boy, do I feel so alone right now. Reading about this only scares me more. I can't wait to have my appointment on February 2nd. I need answers. I am sitting here in my room. Alone. Drinking 2 liters of laxatives. Preparing for my colonoscopy tomorrow. Not eating because I can't. And I just feel alone.

Leslie is the best. Hands down. You guys reading are the best. Your words comfort me beyond belief. I love you.

God, please heal me. God, please take my fears.



Zebra, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So I suppose I'll update everybody on my health. Today I got a call from my tumor surgeon. He basically admitted defeat and told me I needed a 2nd opinion on my tumor biznass. So he referred me to a specialist at UCSD Medical Center.

After some phone tag, I got the nurse who told me some stuff. That most likely I am going to need another surgery to clean out the remnants of the tumor, and that I will need some (most likely) minor form of chemo to clear the rest of the junk out. I'm not worried, just not ready for another surgery.

She kept telling me that what I have is extremely rare. Mucinous Cystadenoma. I asked how rare, and she said, "Take it this way...what you have is only .5% of all gastrointestinal cancers." and I asked if that meant I was one in a million...and she over-excitedly agreed. I would say that one in a million might be a slight understatement with what I have.

So basically, what I understand to be happening is that the tumor spilled it's junk inside me. My surgeon cleaned out what he could, BUT the leftover crap in my abdomen can actually start sprouting more tumors if left untreated. I don't know how this is still considered benign, but it is. It's just benign with an attitude.

Prayers welcomed. I'm going to be ok. Financially this added junk is going to kick the crap out of me. I've never had debt in my life and over the course of less than 2 months I'm already looking up from the inside of a $7,000 bill. I guess thats a big savings from what I would have payed...so I can be thankful for that. :) Insurance is saving my tail to a great extent. Ugh, money.

There's my update, sorry if I worried anybody. Thanks for checking in on me! Now, go enjoy the (obviously a boy) Zebra at the top of this post.


Friends Don't Let Friends Poop On Other Friends

So this past weekend was my 1 year anniversary with Leslie. She's done a great job putting up with me for this long, and is still happy being with me. Quite amazing if you ask me. Or if you ask any girlfriends from my past. I'm sure Leslie would get the title "Super Hero" from all of them.

With that said, nothing commemorates an anniversary like a rhinoceros taking a dump on another rhinoceros. I know, I know...I have a way with words. But seriously, how amazing is this photo? Not for it's photographic quality (which is superb by the way), but for it's content. Here's the caption I wrote for the photo:

"So I saw this happen, but had no idea I had actually gotten a photo of it until just now. The rhino's were enjoying the water when out of nowhere, the anal vortex opened up and shot out 12 lbs of poop. The wall of sweet rhin-ass-eros stench hit us so hard that we took off right after this. Yum!"

Long story short, this event made our special day at the San Diego Zoo that much more awesome. True, we were run over by a semi-truck hauling 73 tons of guano, but we walked away from it all. Most importantly, with a picture to prove it.

To those who have come and gone from my blog and noticed no new posts, I'm sorry. I've been quite busy, and life just keeps moving faster. I keep trying to renew my love for photography so that I can keep giving you new and interesting things to look at. Don't get me wrong, my love never fades, it just gets burried under a mess of life sometimes. All that said, thank you. Keep reading, and enjoy the poopy picture above. :) Heck, make it your desktop. I did.


Big News - Teaser

Big News - Teaser, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

So my big news is coming. It may not be that big to you...or most of my readers really, but to me it's huge.

I will say that my photos are being used in a big way. I feel that as a photographer, it's nice to be noticed. I have had the chance to do some pretty sweet, exciting, fun things photographically...but this is the first time I'm able to contribute photographs to something larger. Much larger.

I'll leave it at that for now. I have some more photos to finish editing, then I'll blog again. I'm sorry to have neglected the blog and flickr lately. This certain project has kept me busy, along with a few other photo jobs, and my health, and work, and that darned girlfriend of mine.

Photos from the San Diego Zoo, coming sooooon.



Moonrise, originally uploaded by jonnyups.

I have some exciting news coming up. I haven't posted here in a while because I've been in the process of starting back up at work, getting a ton of photo stuff done, and chillaxing.

So you've been warned, I might be a little excited in the near future.

*hint: it might have to do with a string of concerts I shot in November