I get some pretty awesome SEO rankings and I come up pretty high in most NC photographer searches, but this one was a surprise! I have no idea what a “hip honnest” photographer is, but I’m glad I showed up FIRST in the search returns!
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I shot these earlier this year and think they are pretty nice!
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Back in May, I got a call from an agency that I haven’t done work for. They needed a photog in Charlotte and had found me through the Google, liked my work, and was it ok if they pitched me for a gig. I said sure, of course…who is the client, what is the shoot, etc, etc. The magazine was Style Milan from Milan, Italy, and it was a special issue called Style Golf. The shoot was a professional golfer.
It was a profile of professional golfer, Webb Simpson. Even though I am not a big golf fan, I had heard of Webb. He had a great run at the Wells Fargo Championship here in Charlotte. And he lives here in Charlotte. I thought this would be a great gig, something fun, and a chance to make some great photos. The shoot would be styled by Ralph Lauren, who
are one used to be one of Webb’s sponsors. Found out he just signed with Izod last month. At the last moment, I thought that this would make a good shoot to have a behind the scenes video made. I made a call to my friends Geoff and RC at La Storia Productions, and they were in!
An early morning call time, and the next thing you know we are all meeting in the pro shop at Charlotte Country Club. Webb was very nice, and when I asked him if he liked doing shoots, he was honest and said, well, no! I told him we were working light today, just a reflector, and would be running and gunning to fit in all the looks, so we would get it done as soon as we could. I had scouted the golf course the day before, so I know where I wanted to start. Kelly, from RL picked out the clothes, and we loaded everything into the golf carts and took off across the closed course (it is always closed on Monday) We had 4 hours to do about 6 looks! The rest of the morning was a blur of shooting and looking and shooting. It went by so fast. Everyone did a great job and had high spirits. I think Webb even had a good time! He couldn’t have been a nicer guy, probably the nicest and easiest going professional athlete I have ever worked with.
Two weeks after we finished our photoshoot, Webb went on to win the US. Open!
Here is the behind the scenes video by La Storia (Thanks guys!) and the layouts from Style Golf and a few outtakes that I like.
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I got an email from Van telling me he was opening a new restaurant in Raleigh, NC and that he needed some photos. He mentioned that he was very moved with my pictures, he loves the ‘sense of place’ that they portrayed. These were the kind of photos he wanted for his restaurant. Van was opening a restaurant called Bida Manda and it was going to be serving food from his home country, Laos. Van and I talked for a bit and I was very impressed with his ideas and the directions he is taking his venture. We set a date for me to go to Raleigh and shoot some photos. Meeting Van was like running into an old friend, it felt comfortable right away. He showed me around his restaurant and talked with great passion and pride about what was happening. From the photo of his parents on their wedding day, the only one that was taken btw, to the reclaimed wood table tops to the danish table settings, to the hand gathered and hand tied limbs that line the bar and the back walls of the restaurant, every part of the restaurant has had some serious thought and consideration. I was honored to be a part of this. The restaurant is named Bida Manda to honor his parents. Bida Manda means Mother and Father in Lao. Meeting the principals, Van’s sister Vanvisa, bar manager Jordan and Chef Lon, it is easy to see that everyone is very dedicated to the idea of an awesome restaurant! I tasted most of the meals we shot and WOW this food is incredible! Chef Lon has created some very good dishes, many traditional, served with sticky rice and some with a modern twist. Everything is hand made to order, including the spring and summer rolls! If you’ve never had fresh handmade spring rolls, then you are really missing out! Jordan has come up with some great cocktails, taking a fresh twist on some old classics, such as the Cucumber Cooler, a twist on the gin and tonic. There is even special ice for some of the cocktails!
I wish Van and Vanvisa the best of luck and great success! And I cant wait to get back up there for dinner!
Many of the photos are here on the restaurants website www.bidamanda.com
Here are a few others -
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I shot this job one afternoon last month. The Mooresville School District has been awarded the 2012 Sylvia Charp Award, given by T.H.E. Journal and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). The award recognizes a school district that has shown effectiveness and innovation in the application of technology district-wide. It is pretty cool and prestigious. The Mooresville District uses 11 inch Macbook Airs and gives EACH student one to use. That is a 1-1 ratio of computers to students! They told me they have not bought a text book in four years.
This kind of assignment is pretty standard, a trade or alumni magazine needs photos to use with an article. But what made this one just a little more interesting to me, is that the whole magazine is published online in pdf form only. No printed magazine. It allows for some cool extras, like videos and interactive features. My photos were used as a slide show within the article, allowing for more photos to be used in less space.
Here are a few of the photos, enjoy!