• Family Portrait 2013


    My boys are on spring break this week and I couldn't be happier that they're spending it with me in New York. It's their first time in the city and we're aiming for "best spring break ever." We'll accept nothing less. Yes, the Statue of Liberty is still closed from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and yes, Sheep Meadow is not in season but we're not bitter. The American Museum of Natural History is a showstopper and F.A.O. Schwarz is still cool to 10 and 11 year-olds...and 30 year-olds too, surprisingly. I spied a 9" alligator head from the corner of my eye at the pop-up Evolution store and the little boy inside of me geeked out. Of course, I couldn't let them get back on that plane without a family portrait (and don't let other parents tell you otherwise, bribing the incentive system is how these things get done).

    Best week ever.

    Mar 15, 2013 | Permalink (20) View/Leave Comments

    JP left a comment on 5/14/2013 at 4:47 PM:

    Who is this ‘Tim’ dick? Shut your pie-hole, dude.

    Alec Vanderboom left a comment on 4/9/2013 at 11:01 AM:

    well done sir

    C.L. Young left a comment on 3/21/2013 at 6:53 PM:

    @Tim—Let’s be and act gentlemanly! Is that not what being a man is about? Constructive criticism is one thing, but rudeness, very crude.

    @Castleberry-This sums up what fatherhood is all about…quality time with those that matter the most! As a father of two great kids that I would go to the ends of the world for, I truly “get it”! Thanks for this heart-warming picture. It really made my day! We (meaning you and I and others who “get it”) are truly blessed!

    psp left a comment on 3/20/2013 at 9:01 PM:

    FEC, Glad you guys enjoyed Dylan’s.  She married one of my fraternity brothers from Penn. 
    If you make the trip to RI this summer I have some great recommendations for family activities.  My girls love the East Bay Bike Path with stops at Dell’s Lemonade.  We are looking at taking your recommendation on Boca Grande.  Looks as close as you can get to the Vinyard or Block in FL. Best PSP

    EBCDesq. left a comment on 3/20/2013 at 7:53 PM:

    I hope their first week in the city is the best! Have a most excellent time with them. And, hopefully they haven’t grown up so much that you can’t still swing from them from your limbs. :-)

    RLS left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 7:47 PM:

    You are blessed.

    Richie left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 3:17 PM:

    Just tell me what the shipping cost will be to my country (South Africa: a country devoid of good clothes).

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 3:01 PM:

    @Richie—At the rate they’re going you won’t be waiting long.

    Richie left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 2:50 PM:

    As your boys outgrow their clothes, will you ship them to me for mine?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 12:24 PM:

    @Tim—It’s simply decoration.

    Tim left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 12:22 PM:

    Fred - Talk to us about the taxidermy. Fair to assume you didn’t kill the beasts? Strikes me - perhaps - as a bit contrived to hang dead animals on your wall when you didn’t kill/hunt them….no?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 11:14 AM:

    @Tim—The same day I shot this portrait we were shot by another photographer for a spring editorial feature…and plus, it was spring break :)

    Tim left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 11:04 AM:

    Why are you dressed in summer clothes?

    Karen left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 9:05 AM:

    Gorgeous family!

    Dan left a comment on 3/19/2013 at 12:41 AM:

    Love the set-up! Now SMILE, DANGIT.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/18/2013 at 9:35 PM:

    @psp—We did indeed make a visit to Dylan’s Candy Bar for ice cream. They loved it. We had plans to check out the USS Intrepid but ran out of days. Next time…

    psp left a comment on 3/18/2013 at 9:30 PM:

    How about a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar,  my girls loved it.  Then the Intrepid for a little testosterone

    BG left a comment on 3/18/2013 at 8:03 PM:

    Terrific taste in personal effects, ‘A Privileged Life’ indeed ...

    MJ left a comment on 3/18/2013 at 7:27 PM:

    Great portrait, your boys are adorable!

    emjkmj left a comment on 3/18/2013 at 7:25 PM:

    Fantastic family portrait, Wes Anderson approved….


  • Interviewed in Mar GQ Taiwan


    GQ Taiwan recently interviewed me for a piece they did on New Fashion Media in their recent March issue. While I can’t decipher the majority of the copy (yes, I tried Google Translate), I can share my unabridged answers to their questions below in English.

    Why did you start Unabashedly Prep?

    The underlying motivation for creating Unabashedly Prep was in essence two-fold. I wanted to create a place guys could learn more about preppy fashion while inspiring them to gravitate toward classic dressing.

    How would you describe your style?

    The obvious answer is that my style is, in essence, preppy. But it's really more than that. My sense of style revolves around a classic sensibility rooted in American sportswear. It's timeless and preppy...but worn with a wink.

    What is your ideal look for men today?

    My ideal look for today's guy is a mix of American sportswear with tailored clothing. It's that mix that exhibits a little imagination while projecting a casual confidence. American men, at times, have done this really well.

    To what would you contribute the success of Unabashedly Prep thus far?

    "Success" is different for each person. For me, the very definition of the word has changed more than 17 times over the four years I've been publishing it. It's certainly superseded any modest expectations I initially had. Looking back, I focused on content I was passionate about, quality imagery, frequent publishing. That apparently clicked with some people.

    Has your blog changed in any way since you started it?

    For the most part, Unabashedly Prep is essentially still the same blog I started in 2009. I've had to say "no" to scads of propositions but I'm happy with that.

    What is the most memorable thing that has happened in relation to your blog?

    The most memorable event that happened in relation to my blog was the opportunity to join Ralph Lauren as a director of concept design back in April of 2012.

    Mar 6, 2013 | Permalink (9) View/Leave Comments

    SPQR left a comment on 3/30/2013 at 9:20 AM:

    ahh….then well done!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/29/2013 at 5:39 PM:

    @SPQR—They were not aware of my heritage until after the fact.

    SPQR left a comment on 3/29/2013 at 4:51 PM:

    Curious if they selected you in part because of your Taiwanese heritage?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/16/2013 at 12:54 PM:

    @Wayne—If my memory serves me correct, I wore brown snaffle bit loafers, sans socks of course.

    Wayne left a comment on 3/16/2013 at 12:42 PM:

    Curious what shoes you wore in that photo, killer look!

    Andrew left a comment on 3/14/2013 at 3:59 PM:

    Congrats on the well-spoken interview! As a long time reader, I hope it’s one of many.

    John left a comment on 3/13/2013 at 6:44 AM:

    Cool, I saw that issue on the shelf the other other day.

    Google Translate won’t be of any help. It’s bad enough for languages closely related to English, but with Chinese it will basically be gibberish. I actually do some work as a translator here in Taiwan, so get in touch if you’d like a translation.

    emjkmj left a comment on 3/12/2013 at 3:15 PM:

    @FEC, very cool…

    Saturdays left a comment on 3/12/2013 at 10:47 AM:

    Congrats on the feature, a shame they didn’t put you on the cover though.

    ; )


  • Published in Man of the World, No. 2


    Man of the World, a sophisticated men’s lifestyle handbook and online store that caters to gentlemen who seek a lifestyle of class (their words, not mine), just published their second issue. It’s a high gloss, thick, quarterly showcasing beautiful photography, interviews, and short form articles that keep you flipping through the 220 some-odd pages. They’re the latest to drum up a feature on artist, collector, and good friend, Ali.

    Some of you may remember Ali pulling back the curtain on his place for me over two years ago...which he’d never done for anyone up to that point. On one of my many trips back to his Brooklyn loft, I shot this photo of him below. Anyhow, it’s always an honor for my work to find itself amongst such great company. That, and seeing your stuff in print never gets old.

    Jan 25, 2013 | Permalink (3) View/Leave Comments

    トゥミ 財布 left a comment on 7/8/2014 at 4:45 AM:

    有名なブランドケイトスペード バッグ リボン http://www.lebanonpackages.com/ja/katespade/
    トゥミ 財布 http://www.marttakantele.net/item/tumi/

    MGM left a comment on 1/25/2013 at 9:40 PM:

    Yes, congrats.  Also, thank you for the tip.  This magazine looks great and is something I am going to subscribe to.  I love reading up on tips about how to achieve ever-greater sophistication in all things material—- home decoration, dress, products, etc.  This magazine seems just perfect.  Thanks!

    cam left a comment on 1/25/2013 at 10:44 AM:

    Congratulations on this achievement sir


  • Tips for Better iPhone Photographs


    I’m often asked by folks who follow my Instagram feed and inspiration wall, “How do I take better photography with my iPhone?” Most of the photographs I shoot on a daily basis are taken with my iPhone. Why the iPhone and not my professional Canon gear? Simply put, the best camera is the one you have with you...and I always have my iPhone with me.

    Keep compositions simple

    When shooting with your iPhone, look for easily readable patterns or symmetry. Keep in mind that photos sent to other phones will be viewed small. This image of a door in Oxford, England struck me for its clean lines and symmetry.

    Be intentional about cropping

    Every image I shoot is cropped after the fact. The native crop ratio isn’t always what best suits the composition. For example, a square format is popular on Instagram whereas landscapes are better suited to cinematic ratios.

    Choose a window seat

    When flying, choose a window seat. The view is nice from 36,000 feet above sea level. This image was created while en route to The Bahamas. Using iPhone’s grid, the island is intentionally composed at the lower right/third of the frame with leading lines guide the eye diagonally from right to left.

    Turn the grid on

    The “Rule of Thirds” is one of the first principles students of photography learn in the classroom. While this principle can be broken in good taste, you will consistently create better images by employing it. Turning the optional grid on in the iPhone’s camera will help ensure it is always top of mind. I keep mine on all the time.

    Embrace motion

    Motion often conveys emotion—it’s a heightened candid moment. Capturing motion with an iPhone often results in part of your image being blurry—and that’s okay! I shot this image at a Girl Talk show during last summer’s Firefly Music Festival. What makes this work is the motion of the hands and confetti set against a backdrop that is sharp and in focus. Every time I look at I’m right back in the middle of that swarming, sweaty rave.

    Good light is key

    For the last six years, I have created photographs with available sunlight almost exclusively. It’s simple, yet it can take months to recognize poor light from good light, and years to recognize good light from great light. The iPhone’s simple but capable lens is best suited for shooting with natural light. This high peak pole tent was shot and hour or two before sunset, what is commonly referred to as “golden hour.”

    Don’t just stand there

    Most, if not all these images I shot here were not created by me just standing up straight and holding my iPhone out. At 6’0” I often get low, then lower in framing my composition. Or in the case of the letter opener and magnifying glass, shooting down from up above.

    Use your flash sparingly

    While natural light often creates better images on the iPhone, the flash can be used to achieve a certain effect (also read “The Terry Richardson” effect) when you want a harsh drop shadow. This image of my Swiss army knife in a cork was shot against a white wall in order to create the drop shadow.

    Zoom with your feet

    The digital zoom might be the most useless feature of the iPhone’s camera—stay away from it. It’s quite deceiving actually. Instead of the lens zooming in, the iPhone is actually cropping in close on your image before you ever release the shutter. When you want to get closer, use your feet. It produces a crisper, higher resolution image.

    Use two hands for stability

    Whether I’m shooting in portrait or landscape mode, I like to hold the iPhone in both hands and release the shutter with my right thumb. This minimizes camera shake in lower light. To further minimize camera shake, hold your thumb down on the shutter until you are ready to take the picture.

    Be aware of moments

    Some of the most powerful candid photographs depict people in some portion of the full spectrum of human emotion. Easier said than done of course. Capturing the “decisive moment” is an art form that is often honed over a lifetime—Henri Cartier-Bresson was arguably the best at it. But it starts with being aware of what’s around you...and then rattling off a bunch of shots. After the moment has passed, go back and pick the decisive one. Apple recently made it easier to capture these moments by granting quicker access to the iPhone camera from the lock screen using just one swipe.

    Use the AE/AF lock

    As you may already know, you can tap once on the iPhone’s screen to focus and set the exposure of your image...but then you move slightly and the exposure changes on you. By tapping and holding on the area you want to expose for, the AE/AF lock is activated. This feature allows you to shoot back-lit photographs like this one of my boys in the backseat of my Bimmer. The bright sun was coming in through the back window and by locking the exposure on their darker clothing, I was able to properly expose for their clothes and faces.

    Look for people or objects to create a sense of scale

    It’s always a good idea to try and include a person or object in your composition to give a sense of scale. The patrons and waitstaff outside of P.J. Clarke’s do just that.

    Use an app to develop your images

    I use Visual Supply Co’s VSCO Cam app to develop my iPhone images. It’s a beautifully simple camera app that allows me to achieve the look and feel of film. You can adjust white balance, exposure, save highlights, add fill, and add film grain among a handful of other features. It’s not over the top or heavy handed, it’s just right.

    Jan 23, 2013 | Permalink (8) View/Leave Comments

    scaleworm left a comment on 1/30/2013 at 11:47 PM:

    I agree, whatever is at hand, that takes images is the camera to use. I have thinking for a bit if an x100 but then would I carry it about with me all of the time for images? I take lots of images of my two daughters, and on my macbook they look Great!

    Bob Strassel Jr. left a comment on 1/30/2013 at 10:04 PM:

    Thanks for the great tips. I feel like I just took a master’s class in photography! Love the P.J Clarkes shot (used to be an old fav. of mine), great perspective.

    Giovanni Piazza left a comment on 1/25/2013 at 8:54 AM:

    Nice tips. I checked out the app and ended up downloading it. It has since taken my iPhone photo game to a whole new level haha. Thanks Castelberry!

    emjkmj left a comment on 1/24/2013 at 8:44 PM:

    Thanks for the pointers Fred!  I started photography as a hobby a year ago…  Very therapeutic.  I just picked up a Leica Monochrom now researching 50mm lenses.

    S/Amatourist left a comment on 1/24/2013 at 3:24 PM:

    very useful pointers. and great shots. man, i can smell that old BMW leather.

    alicia left a comment on 1/24/2013 at 11:14 AM:

    thank you so very much - i have picked up many good tips!  i follow your instagram & love your images.  i am going to try the app you mention.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/23/2013 at 5:01 PM:

    @Charysse G.R.—You’re welcome. I’ve never come across this “purple streak” you mentioned…?

    Charysse G. R. left a comment on 1/23/2013 at 4:59 PM:

    Thanks for the tips! Definitely needed them! I was wondering how you avoid the “purple streak” a lot of iPhone 5 users have a problem with…? Thanks!


  • The Secret To Life


    Sep 13, 2012 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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