STILL THE BOYS OF SUMMER

This spring I was given the opportunity by Caitlin Peters at AARP Magazine to photograph 5 greats of the game of professional baseball and their teams during spring training in Florida and Arizona: Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins, Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies, Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles and Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers. Check out the article below or go pick up the latest issue of AARP Magazine.

OIL

We often go about our lives completely oblivious of the efforts folks endure everyday to bring products or services to market. I must admit, I’m one of those people, so recently I spent 3 days in California photographing oil workers in Kern Oilfield outside of Bakersfield. This oil reserve has over 475 million barrels left to extract, the densest oil field in California.

The work is tough, unrelenting and honest…not much else to say other than pictures don’t lie…enjoy.










HOUSE OF GUNS

Recently, on a project for Field & Stream Magazine, I had the opportunity to meet and photograph Hershel House, one of the world’s greatest makers of flintlock rifles, at his home outside the tiny town of Woodbury, KY. From his log cabin house, which he also built himself, he creates some of the most sought after guns in the world. Now when I say he creates, I mean it. From forging the metal to shaping the wooden stocks, he does it all to the exacting standards of a true craftsman. Check out the article by J. Edward Nickens accompanied by my images from the May 2013 issue of Field & Stream…

SO WHO’S YOUR CLIENT

I have heard so many times from photographers that I have VISA, Wal-Mart, Chrysler etc. as their client and although its nice to drop names like that, it’s not going to sustain yourself as photographer for the long haul. If you are so lucky and blessed to work 1 year or maybe 2 years for the same client, well consider yourself a lucky damn person. Reason being, creative, approach, and other factors come into play that makes the whole dynamic move in other directions. Visa is not going to be the person making the argument to HIRE you…the creatives will be.

Often I tell other photographers to think about your client’s a whole other way, a way that will sustain you a long and blessed career. Your clients are your Art Directors, Creative Directors, Photo Editors, and Art Buyers. These are the relationships that need to be maintained and nurtured for the long haul. The Jimmy Bonners, Jim Hagars, Christiane Anctils, Kat Dalagers and Rob Haggarts of the advertising and editorial industries, that is where you need to hang your hat.

A case in point, Jimmy Bonner and Jim Hagar I met 20 plus years ago at a very small agency in Wyoming. Twenty years and I’m still working with my these wonderful guys…my clients. The list is long when it comes to my clients!

Build upon those relationships, and if the bonds are strong, you will have a long, successful and creative life.

TRAPPED MAJESTY

I’m always amazed how much you can find when you just spend a little time and look. Last month while working on a personal project, I stumbled upon this wildlife museum in International Falls, MN, The Sportsman Service Store and Museum to be exact. When you walk into the place you are immediately stared down by a grizzly bear. Me being curious I quickly started looking around. I found the taxidermy mounts to resemble a sideshow in Florida, with Northern Pike swallowing large trout and two-headed mallards.  The museum has been around since the 30′s and local people donated the majority of the mounts. I’m an avid outdoorsman and the museum left me with very mixed feelings to say the least.

RESEARCH THIS

As anyone knows, the success to any project is doing your research. Bad info, or no info at all, is a bad deal. For years I spent endless hours researching locations, people, and countries to find out the info I needed to proceed with a shoot. Frankly, it’s a very tiresome job and I hated it…it was just not something I relished.

Not long ago I started handing this task over to a producer/researcher to do the legwork for me. This person must be well connected, organized, understand OUR culture of photography and LOVE photography to be good.

I think this is something more photographers should start incorporating into their quill to be more successful. It frees you up, while at the same time finding places and things to keep you curious. It’s not a glamorous job, but one that is extremely helpful in YOUR photo success. So think of that someone who can find things…a.k.a. a “PHOTO RESEARCHER”…someone who has connections and a love for the craft.

Well, I found my secret weapon…Ms. Cindy Hicks…I call her Ms. Cindy. Cindy has the needed pedigree to be all of the above and more. She worked as Head Art Buyer at THE MARTIN AGENCY for many years. First of all she LOVES photography, knows how to produce things and more important, FIND things.

Recently/currently we have been working on a few personal projects that I have wanted to shoot. With her background as an Art Buyer/Producer she has been able to find people and places I never thought possible which has proven her invaluable to me. Cindy FINDS things!

Just a little tech tip to let you all know what has worked for me…

http://cindyhicksphotography.tumblr.com/

ICE RECON

Last week I headed to northern Minnesota’s Zippel Bay Resort to shoot pictures of the ice fishing sub-culture. I had no preconceptions of what, who, or where to photograph, so serendipity was in full play. Driving on frozen ice is something I have never done before, and it did not take me long to get used to it. So the minivan and I searched for subjects to photograph and I was rewarded straight away. After introducing myself to some “ice trolls” I found a group of folks that were on there annual fishing trip to Lake of the Woods. It’s something this group of gentlemen has been doing for 25 years. The only downfall was that my drinking abilities did not prepare me for the copious amount of beer that was downed. These folks invented drinking. Other than that, it was a amazing trip…enjoy!

QUIETLY & UNHERALDED

Quietly and Unheralded Farmers and Ranchers plow the field and raise the cattle.

Quietly and unheralded farmers and ranchers bring the milk and vegetables to market.

Quietly and unheralded farmers and ranchers live a life on their own terms.

Quietly and Unheralded they feed us everyday.

Now I’m free to chat about a project that I was blessed to be a part of. A transcendent project unlike any that I have worked on. 10 photographers capturing on there own terms the life of a farmer and rancher. All of us searching for meaningful images. Not any one photo rising above any others, but collectively voicing a message for folks and a vocation we have all really taken for granted. The last truly archetypical American worker. And who better else to match the images with than Paul Harvey…America’s grandfather.

No words can express the gratitude at being one of the 10 image-makers. I would like to thank RAM, THE RICHARD’S GROUP, Jimmy Bonner, Rob Baker, and Deb Grisham for the immense work and late night guidance along the way. RAM, you are BRAVE. You made moving past the default of glitzy commercials…. BOLD. You made a stand and sent a message that was long overdue.

Thanks…. and thank you Ranchers and Farmers for everyday going on about your life quietly and unheralded.

Photographers: William Allard, Jim Arndt, Daniel Beltra, Mark Gooch, Andy Mahr, Kurt Markus, David Spielman, Matt Turley and Olaf Veltman.

Here are the images that I contributed to the project.

 

CHOICE OUT LOUD

40 FACES. 40 PHOTOGRAPHERS. 40 YEARS OF CHOICE.

“40” is a collaborative photography and film project acknowledging the past 40 years and portraying the future of choice. It is a powerful, united creative expression that is both beautiful and deeply personal.

Proud to have been a part of the @ChoiceOutLoud effort! 40 faces. 40 photographers. 40 years of choice. Check it out: ChoiceOutLoud.org