Posts Tagged ‘Southeast’
Environmental portraits in a corporate office can be difficult sometimes. The second you arrive the scouting begins with stops at the usual locations. The lobby is the most logical first stop. “Are there any nice architectural elements? Is there a lot of glass perhaps that could make for an interesting background.” Next stop is the conference room. “I hope it is big and has a nice wooden table, leather chairs, and a huge bank of windows”……….. no such luck on almost all counts. Next stop, the office of the executive…… in this case it is Jochen Etzel, the CEO of Continental Tire of the Americas. We can work with this, in fact we have to work with this because I have to produce two different portraits for the client and the office is on the list as a must. So, where is that second location going to be?
This whole time during the scouting process, you feel like you are one of the most rude people in the world who also happens to be a bit of a snoop. While trying to engage in pleasant conversation with your client you are turning your head every which way, even peering into conference rooms with people in them and generally just trying to scan the entire place for possibilities before my assistant and I are off to the races setting up lights. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was not fully engaged in the conversation, unless of course the conversation pertained to the shoot itself. Fortunately, this is a long term client and by now probably understands how I operate, so I am more focussed on the task at hand then trying to develop a relationship. More over, she is a get the job done kinda of women and incredibly efficient, so as clients go, we are very compatible.
Moving on to the lunch room……… not typically a place I would ever be scouting for a corporate portrait but they just went through a renovation and low and behold there is this beautiful white plastered wall with depth, curves and shadows with the logo and word Continental mounted to it in big bold letters with a modern brushed aluminum look. Now this is what I’m talking about! Clean and simple with the ability to Brand the Company and add context to the photo. Perfect!
A couple weeks ago I had a project that required me to get my kayak out on the water at sunrise. As I paddled along side the model and his dog on our way to the location I watched a fine mist hovering over the lake and marveled at the quiet. As I listened to the rhythmic sound of the paddles piercing the water it occurred to me that it had been quite a while and I wondered why it took a project to get me to pull the spider web filled kayak out from under my porch and put it in its’ rightful place.
After a very brief moment of feeling guilty for not doing this more often, it occurred to me that I was on a job and getting paid to kayak and create imagery that conveyed the experience of calm and tranquility when gliding across the water and the solitude one can feel when paddling at that time of day. So when the demands of work, family, and life in general seem to occupy every minute of every day, the fact that my job will put me in a kayak on a crisp fall morning, and a paddle and camera in my hand, makes me realize that I chose the right field……….. at least I felt that way that day and may need to refer back to this post every so often to remind myself of that fact……….
It is just around the corner and already the nights are beginning to dip into the 50’s. When you walk outside in the morning and are met with a coolness instead of the thick humidity we have endured for the past several months in the South, my mind instantly floods with the potential activities that the coming weather is synonymous with. Camping, hiking, pumpkin carving, leaf pile jumping, fires, and roasting marshmallows in the backyard.
Oh and Fly Fishing of course. I don’t even Fly Fish myself, mainly because I so thoroughly enjoy capturing those who immerse themselves in the outdoors. Years ago, my passion for engaging in outdoor sports and adventure transitioned into documenting outdoor sports and adventure. The camera and the need to create and capture the essence of the activity, surroundings, and people, became necessary to my fulfillment of the activity itself. I find it it to be the perfect blend. It is impossible to document outdoor adventure and sports or the landscape itself, without being in it, taking certain risks, and engaging with it. Whether it is climbing a rock face to get a better perspective, hiking several miles to a certain location, kayaking down a coastal river, or wading in a cold mountain stream, the physical effort it takes to be there, the vulnerability to the natural elements, and the ability to visually capture the experience or surroundings, perfectly fulfills my creative needs along with my need for adventure and the outdoors. I absolutely love my job !
If you do fly fish and need a guide, John Monroe is a great one, but more importantly, he is a super nice guy that you will enjoy spending a day out on the river with.
This image brings me back to my formative days. After college in Baltimore I moved to Greenville, South Carolina to take a full time assistant position with a commercial photography studio. After work on Friday I would head to the mountains to camp, hike, rock climb, kayak, and shoot. It was during those two years of exploring that I fell in love with this region. I was hooked……..and still am!