Where are they now? | Coldstream graduate channels energy to ber-successful career | SierraSun.com
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Where are they now? | Coldstream graduate channels energy to ber-successful career

Special to the Sun
Courtesy Switchback PR for TTUSDAndrew andamp;#8220;Smallzandamp;#8221; Small attended North Tahoe High School and graduated from Coldstream Alternative School. As owner of the photography studio Smallz + Raskind in Los Angeles, he photographs celebrities, rock bands and musicians, and haute couture fashion advertisers. See his full portfolio at www.smallzandraskind.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; He may not have known it as he spent countless hours banished to the hall outside his classroom, but Andrew andamp;#8220;Smallzandamp;#8221; Small was destined for great things. The ADHD that manifested itself as extra energy caused him to disrupt classrooms, but eventually sent him on a creative path realizing his artistic dreams. Thanks to a few exceptional teachers who recognized and encouraged his creative tendencies, Andrew Small graduated from Coldstream Alternative High School and then college andamp;#8212; a milestone he didnandamp;#8217;t entirely expect to achieve. The small-town kid, born and raised in Tahoe, then began a journey that transformed him into an innovative and highly acclaimed creative artist whose career now takes him all over the world. Smallz + Raskind is the commercial photography team of Andrew Small and Jared Raskind. Clients include FOX, Aandamp;E, History Channel, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers Records, Interscope, Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Hollywood Records, Stand Up 2 Cancer, and Acuvue, to name a few. In addition, the duo has created alluring images via inventive photo shoots with celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Samuel Jackson, and Sharon Stone, as well as big-time recording artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, Common, Plain White Teeandamp;#8217;s, Fergie and many more.The 30-year-old TTUSD success story took some time recently to answer a few questions.What year and from what school did you graduate?1999 from Coldstream. I actually did home schooling from Coldstream Alternative School starting in 1998 and ended up graduating a year early as a junior. Throughout the time I was homeschooling I still attended music classes and remained a part of the music program at NTHS. What school or university did you attend after high school?I spent a few years at Butte College in Chico, Calif. majoring in photography until one of my professors recommended I take my photography schooling to the next level and attend a more intensive school called Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. This is where I got the most out of my college experience and met my now business partner Jared Raskind who was also a student there at the time. We were roommates and we would always help each other on different photo assignments throughout our time there. Whenever we did work together the creativity would go through the roof andamp;#8212; it was inevitable that when we left school we would continue down that road. That is how the photography team of Smallz + Raskind was born. Describe your path to your current career. I guess while growing up my two favorite things were playing with gadgets and instant gratification. Looking back I was destined for photography. Also the fact that I have extreme ADHD helps with the fast-paced lifestyle of being an entertainment/advertising photographer. Now what were we talking about? Wanna go ride bikes? Ha ha!What do you like most about your career?There are actually a lot of memorable moments that pop into my head, like the time we got to shoot the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Houdiniandamp;#8217;s mansion, which is where they recorded a couple of their albums. We are longtime fans, and after so many years of admiring their music, to get to shoot them was an honor. Or the time we had Grave Digger the monster truck crush an old Cadillac during a shoot for the History Channel. But I think the most memorable experience by far was a shoot we did for a fashion magazine out of Hong Kong where we had Sharon Stone sitting on the back of an African elephant while it kneeled to pose for us. That day we had her interacting with baby zebras andamp;#8212; which are inherently pretty energetic to say the least andamp;#8212; a Bengal tiger, and even a baby rhino that got a little crazy a few minutes into the shot and started to andamp;#8220;play aroundandamp;#8221; by tearing the set down and running off with a part of the background skewered on its horn andamp;#8230; all the while miss Stone stood her ground in the front of the frame, posed like a statue, as if she didnandamp;#8217;t even notice the calamity going on behind her. What a day. Do you have other activities or hobbies?Actually yeah! I am a member of C.E.R.T. Community Emergency Response Team, which is actively involved in community preparedness and works with the fire department and other local agencies such as the Red Cross during disaster scenarios. I also am a competitive pistol shooter and compete in matches on a regular basis throughout Southern California. Looking back at your school years in TTUSD, how do you feel your high school experience and education prepared you for college?Strangely enough I never actually thought I was destined for college. As I mentioned I have ADHD and spent a lot of my time out of the classroom as a kid sitting in the hallway because my concentration would drift away and I would usually start messing around be banished to the hall. There were a few instructors, though, who could see through the crazy spastic ADHD kid and really made an effort to teach me ways to work with my energy, which in turn made it possible for me to realize that college could be an attainable goal. Was there a particular teacher or individual who provided inspiration?Geoff Igarashi and Dean Nordby, who worked in the music department, both took the time to show how my energy can be focused into passion about music, which later turned into art in general, then in turn became a love of photography. The camera became my new instrument of choice but the passion followed. There was also a teacher, Mrs. Thomas, who I had a few times throughout the years starting in elementary school, again in middle school, and even in high school when I started doing independent study for my junior/senior year. She was a great inspiration to me and always took the time to listen when school and life would get frustrating. Sheandamp;#8217;d keep me on track when Iandamp;#8217;d get distracted! Iandamp;#8217;ve always wanted to thank her for that. Andrew Small currently lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend Kimberlee, who works in the fashion industry. You can view the photos of Sharon Stone, as well as his full photography portfolio of celebrity portraits and high fashion images at http://www.smallzandraskind.com/.andamp;#8212; Provided by Switchback PR + Marketing on behalf of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District


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