Category : Assignments

Sweetness and light

As I've mentioned before I tend to be a strobe junky. If I can find a way to light my subject, especially a portrait, I tend to do so. This morning I met Nicole DeBoom, professional triathlete, owner of the SportSkirt clothing company and super-duper nice lady for a photo session for a profile of her. I arrived as I always do: with a trunk full of lights and lighting do-dads. What did I end up using? Nothing at all! […]

You had me at sparklers

I’m cruising over the Mississippi river on the way back from my D.C. trip. I went to document the wedding of a really great couple, Jill and Chaz. Although I’m not keen on the wedding photography industry I do really enjoy the making photos part. I’ve edited the selects down for the online slide show that I will put up for them and thought that I’d share some of my favorites with y’all.   Oh and when was the last […]

If it fits

For the same mag I mentioned the other day I had to do their monthly fashion article. This time it’s based on a cool shoe boutique. A few years ago I started to learn a lot about fashion from my wife and although I am no expert I do know my way around. A-line to empire waist, Von Furstenberg and Nina Garcia  … Not bad for a guy who normally wears jeans and hiking boots, huh? Anyhoo, neat-o shoes are […]

Hit the lights!

I’ve become the primary photographer of a local magazine aimed at women in their 30-40’s with, how do we say?, disposable income.  This is going to be a good gig.  Last month I did a few assignments for them but as of the upcoming issue it’s essentially my baby. The cover story is about local women who each has a personal vision of success. During the editorial planning meeting we looked at which of the 4 women in the story […]

Assignment insight part 2: make something happen

Ok then! Picking up from where we left off in Part 1; I got my head wrapped around the assignment, did my homework on the subject, looked at the location and realized that getting my gear there was going to take some work. Oh! And I didn't have much time to get what I needed. Just another day at the office ya know? Well my assistant Kim and I met Wendy our mountain climber gal/subject at her home and found […]

Assignment insight part 1 – Getting your mind around it

Anyone who is a professional photographer will often get a potential client say something like "Why are you charging me so much? All you have to do is go out and snap the picture!" Uh, no. It's far more complex than that. Let me explain from example. I get a call from a guy who is interested in having me make some location portraits of Wendy Booker a "climber lady in the Boulder area". Ok, can do. How did he […]

The beautiful people

Ok I have to admit that since I'm a news/documentary shooter at heart the first thing that goes through my mind when I'm looking for a subject for my photographs is not "Is it pretty?". It's more like "Is it interesting?" Pretty things are to me rarely as interesting as non-pretty things. Smooth marble or rough hewn granite? Baby or old man? I'll take the craggy stuff thanks. I remember reading an interview maybe 15 years ago with now legendary […]

Inside a long morning

Well as promised here is an inside look at my coverage of the John McCain town hall meeting yesterday. Things technically begin when the alarm clock went off at 4:15am. Not my favorite time to open my eyes, ya know? So I get on the road and head to the location where I need to be by 6am to get a spot on the press riser. It’s lovely at that time of the day although I’m rarely up at this […]

Pre-flight checklist

Ok, let run this down: Both bodies set, one with my trusty 17-35 and one with my workhorse 80-200? Check.Strobe on a rope (SB-800 with SC-17 TTL sync cord)? Check.400mm and 1.4 converter with monopod? Check.14mm incase I want to get stupidly wide? Check.Batteries fresh? Check.Gore-Tex top and bottom? Yep.Do I have that XLR to 1/8th inch cable for the Medusa feed? Oh yeah, almost forgot that. Check.Microphones and recorder setup together? Check. Dang it but before a "serious" gig […]

Making chicken salad out of chicken … stuff

Ok let me say that this was not the photo that I intended to make. Nope. Not at all. I had something very very different floating around in my scull as I was driving to the assignment. I was to photograph a trio of executives who relax by playing Lacrosse on a local team. I liked the idea of three guys in suits with their Lacrosse sticks and helmets with the sunset behind them and dramatic light in front. Yeah, […]

Joan and Johnnie

I appreciate that I have editors that feel that I’m a sensitive guy and will assign me to photograph people in emotionally difficult/delicate situations. I’ve been shipped to Kansas City to photograph a woman who lost her 16 year old daughter in a plane crash a little over a year ago. Joan Winters with her daughter Paige and their riding coach went to look at buying Paige a new horse in Kentucky. But on the return flight there weren’t enough […]

Sometimes you get lucky

This was a pretty straightforward assignment: get a photo for a profile of a guy who runs a local chain of vintage/resale clothing stores. Now as with all assignments, you never know what you will have to deal with in terms of location conditions and most importantly the mood and personality of the subject. See my prior posting about photographing a certain coach for how bad it can get. Anyhoo I got there and found that the subject Todd was […]

On life and death

One of the amazing things about this job is the range of subject matter that you cover as a journalist. Personally I prefer the ones that are positive and show the strength of our species but not in a saccharine way. I don’t like "tear jerker" stories as they always seem contrived and pandering. Give me the ones where there is hope but still struggle because life is like that: a journey where there is happiness with an undercurrent of […]

… to a screeching halt

Galen Rowel wrote that the process of traveling heightens the senses in ways that we often don’t think about. The act of packing bags and putting thing in order at home so that you can be away is a different state of awareness than we normally experience. I totally agree. Sometimes I feel that way even if I am  just packing my bag to do a shoot on the other side of town but then I’m silly. The Omaha trip […]

Something different

I often get people asking me if I will photograph them/their band for their upcoming CD.  It rarely turns into a job for the following reasons in order: 1) They don’t have any money but want to give me a few copies of their crappy CD plus "think about all the publicity you will get from all our fans seeing your work". Talk usually ends here. 2) They want photos but have no idea what they want style wise and […]

How bad can it get? Let’s see …

One of the things that I’ve always heard and believe is: the difference between a pro and an amateur is that the pro will bring back the goods under any circumstance. I’ve had some assignments where things just go horribly – terribly wrong but it’s my job to make something out of it. Bad light, awful location, limited time, grumpy subject … NO subject, been there – shot that. I had one the other day that I knew was going […]

The night time … is the right time …

That or "The freaks come out at night …" That all applies. Something happens when the light gets low and the music gets loud that makes "normal people" (whoever that is) transform into something far interesting. So I had to do photos of a local hotspot because they have a reputation for being a big singles scene on Tuesdays of all things. However they don’t really get going until near midnight but man did people come out of the woodwork […]

Three executive portraits in one day …

Like it or not but the bulk of "news" photography is portraits for the simple reason that most stories don’t get the time and funding to send a guy like me out to wander about to find/make a dynamic story telling image to illustrate said story. So doing portraiture is a big part of my work even though I consider myself a documentarian. The other day was a busy one where I had 3 assignments for the local business journal. […]

Tommy boy’s bad azz toy

Back story: a long time ago when I was a budding landscape and art photographer I did a lot of things to learn techniques that I never really used much if ever afterwards. Some of those days/nights payed off and gave me a skill set that is broader than many of my "competition" even if I rarely if ever get to use them. One of the phases that I went through was shooting nocturnes and I got really good at […]

Weather it be nobler …

It’s amazing how much weather plays a part in making some photos happen or not. Back in my landscape days I’d often trudge out well before dawn to get to the spot that I’d located and stand there with my camera all ready to go while shivering and hoping that I’d get magical light. And almost as many times I’d have my heart sink as clouds on the horizon, some kind of haze or just plain bad luck would give […]

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