Got a call from a new client a few months ago, Bicycling Magazine. They had an assignment in Statesville, NC. Their Art Director Jimmy found me thru the standard web searches and Wonderful Machine. We talked on the phone about bikes and riding and Penn. and then we talked about the assignment. Kinda a cool thing, turns out one of the largest mountain bike collections in the world is in Statesville, at First Flight Bicycles. Walking into the shop, you are already blown away by the size and amount of cool and unusual bikes all over the sales floor. But then you look up and there are over 100 more vintage bikes along the walls and hanging from the ceiling! Pretty awesome stuff. Then I met the owner and collector, Jeff Archer, and he says, are you ready to see the Museum? What? There’s more? The Museum of Mountain Bike Art and Technology is not he second floor and houses over 350 bikes, mountains of components, tires, jerseys, wheels (even wooden wheels) and frames. He has one of the first Breezers, look it up! I found this shoot to be both hard and easy. One one hand there is visual candy everywhere you look, but on the other hand, how do you capture the enormity of the collection. I settled on shooting a 7 frame pano that was stitched together in PS. Turned out pretty good, dontcha think? Jimmy liked my work so much, that I have already shot a second gig for them. Repeat clients make me happy!
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Last year I was hired by a dream client to produce a video about a little sandwich shop that claims to make the worlds best hamburgers by the SFA, the Southern Foodways Alliance! SFA is an organization that I am well aware of and a member of, working with them and being a part of what they do is very exciting to me. From their website – “The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South” This is done thru written pieces, oral histories, photographs and videos. Getting that call was awesome! And then meeting the Brooks Brothers, David and Scott was just gravy on top of it all! David and Scott are identical twins who run the sandwich house their father started in 1973, the only thing that has changes since then is the color of the building! These guys put out 350-500 hamburgers and sandwiches each day, most of them covered in their secret family recipe chili. Working with them was awesome, they were gracious and welcoming, they have become friends. And, those burgers……. so good! Check out the video!
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As photographers, we all have venues that we hope to see our work in. The dream magazine, the dream client. I’ve had the good fortune of having one of my stories appearing in one of my favorite dream magazines this month. My rabbit hunting story is in Garden and Gun! See, that’s my name right there in the middle of the big ‘M’! For those of you that don’t know what Garden and Gun is, it is a bi-monthly magazine published out of Charleston, SC. It covers the best of the South, including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas, it is a metaphor for the South—its land, the people, their lifestyle, and their heritage. You know, a few things that I enjoy and enjoy photographing. The magazine is beautifully written, photographed, designed and printed. It constantly wins awards for writing, photography, design, photo editing and overall excellence.
It was about 3 years ago when I first met G&G Director of Photography Maggie Kennedy. The rabbit hunt story was part of my portfolio then and she fell in love with the story and the photos. She has spent the last 3 years trying to get this story published! It was slated to run a couple of times but something always seemed to bump it back. But she didn’t let it get her down, she always pitched it and pushed for it. This fall when I sent out a set of promo cards, one of the cards had an image from the rabbit hunt on it. Maggie received the card and promptly took it to her editors office and taped it to the door! It was set to run in the next issue. Oddly enough, this is the second time in my career that a photo editor has done something like this to get a story run and it worked both times!
This story is one that I have been working on each season for the least 3 years. The hunters are awesome people and I really enjoy their company. Each rabbit they kill is eaten, nothing is wasted. They even give some of the meat to some old timers they know who can’t get out to the fields anymore. Here is a video I created last year. Rabbit hunting, Anson Co.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to have this story run in G&G unless of course it was more pages!
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Last November I was asked to shoot the Charlotte Magazine Restaurant issue. I have done this before, and it is one of my favorite things to do! It is a whirlwind of scheduling and shooting, a crazy few weeks. I got to check in with some chef friends and meet a few new ones. I spent some time with John Fortes and his wife Amy. They are doing awesome things at their Flipside Cafe, and we’ve been there a bunch of times since I shot the photos for their story! I also got to hang out with Clark Barlowe and do some foraging with him. This was kind of a weird shooting situation. I am not allowed to tell the chefs what the shoot is for or if they will be on the cover. We had narrowed it down to four cover restaurants and chefs and I had to shoot cover options at each one. I’m sure the chefs thought I was crazy when I told them I needed to shoot portraits along with all of their food. When I shot the portrait of Clark, I had a feeling that it would be chosen for the cover. It had all of the elements, a great story, a great face, a great location. It just all came together. So here it is!
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Another years slides by and it’s time to take a look back. What a great year for us! The business is growing and the gigs are getting better. I am getting pretty good at this video stuff. In fact, we are going to really push it in 2015. We did some traveling. Went on 2 vacations! What? I not only got to nick a few things off the bucket list, I was able to see and visit one of the my top things, the Eiffel Tower. My parents hit a couple of big milestones, my Pop’s turned 70 and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary! I caught a new species of fish on the fly, a snook. We are all healthy, the dogs are all great and life is good. More of the same please for 2015!I wish everyone a great and happy 2015!