I recently spent a full day at a major Columbus advertising agency doing head shots for 50 of their employees. Here are a few shots from a fun group of people!
I had the privilege of riding around on an after hours, private tour of the Columbus Zoo with Ellie and her family in celebration of her upcoming 100th birthday. Maybe it was her bright eyes and ear to ear smile, but I wouldn't have guessed her to be a day over 85 :)
Who here watches "Chopped" on the Food Network? There have been a handful of chefs from New Orleans compete on the show and by assignment or accident, I've photographed at least three or four of them. Parkway Bakery and Tavern is a well known place to grab a po-boy, and their chef, Justin Kennedy, was a contestant on Chopped that I went to photograph for an ad. I had totally forgotten that somebody from Parkway had been on the show when I got there, but as soon as I saw him I did one of those "hey, I recognize you!" jumps. He was a super nice guy, and makes a mean po-boy.
This was the last Young Bloods portrait I got to do before leaving New Orleans. Spending time photographing these people doing great things for the city had become one of my favorite and most inspiring monthly jobs.
We did this editorial shoot of dance teacher Dana Reed for St. Charles Avenue magazine. Life is beautiful when you've got a big, open dance studio space with amazing natural backlighting!
What do you do when you were hired to do pretty generic coverage of a short daytime event and they ask you to throw in some headshots for their website? After hiding the fact that you don't have the ideal equipment on hand, you discuss usage and payment, and then find the cleanest solid background available near a window. I won't win an award for technical perfection, but for a single light source and one minute of notice, everybody ended up happy.
I love when jobs come in from unexpected places! A friend of mine who works with Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio contacted me and said they wanted to write about one of their students for an alumni newsletter; the sort of thing that says "this is what our students are doing." One of their students, Elijah, happened to be doing a co-op in New Orleans for the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal. I happened to be in New Orleans as well, so we connected and took a few shots at his office and then at the house he was helping renovate (a very "New Orleans" task). They definitely weren't on my planned shot list, but I really hope they use the images of Elijah juggling mirlitons. Nothing says school in New Orleans like juggling mirlitons in front of a chalkboard!
Portraits photographed for ads going into the "Top Lawyers" issue of New Orleans Magazine.
I went out to Opelousas to meet painter Jerome Ford at his studio for a photo shoot. The building itself was fairly spartan, but with exposed brick walls and project materials everywhere, it made for a cool setting for our pictures. We ended up using the upstairs, which was totally empty because of the construction work. Throw in a couple of his colorful paintings of southern Louisiana scenes and boom, we had our shot. Check out more of Jerome's work here. Read the Acadiana Profile magazine story here.
You know when you open the magazines on airplanes and there are always large spreads of ads for major hospitals or high profile doctors? Well I do that stuff, too. Ok, maybe not for in flight magazines yet, but I've photographed my fair share of doctors and dentists and lawyers for advertisements. Here are a few from some recent shoots.
Never doubt that the world is full of interesting people. This guy was at Pearl Harbor on that infamous day in 1941. He was on the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945. And after what I'm sure were a lot of interesting places in between, he was at the Victory Ball for the National World War 2 Museum this month. With a firm handshake and an unfailing wit, when asked what Pearl Harbor was like, he responded, "Well, I woulda rather been on Bourbon Street." Not bad for a guy pushing 92.
Emeril has a handful of restaurants in New Orleans and makes appearances during a handful of events throughout the year. This was the third year in a row that I've photographed the Sunday at Emeril's event, and it seems to get bigger every year. The restaurant staff ran their butts off to pull off another well orchestrated service for all the guests and honorees.
The March of Dimes has a fancy event in New Orleans that I've somehow managed to attend as a guest or as a hired photographer for the last four or five years. They get a bunch of successful young people together and have them assemble packages of donated stuff for people to bid on. Think trips, luxury spa treatments, meals at great restaurants, etc. This year I got to do the group shots for a magazine profile that's done prior to the event. Shooting the people is cool and all, but the real fun here was shooting inside the Saint Hotel, which recently opened on Canal St. It's got a restaurant with white leather (fake leather?) booths, a lobby pool table, a giant chair to play on, and a swanky hotel bar. How's about a game of billiards for charity? Don't mind if I do.
This guy is getting all sorts of well deserved awards lately. I photographed Bill for a profile on his upcoming Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement award. I won't go into detail as you probably know the story - successful business owner does tons of philanthropic work. All I can speak to is my personal interaction. My only direction on this shoot was to do something out of the office, so we got Bill on the phone and he actually had people on forklifts moving pallets around for me. If all his philanthropy stuff doesn't work out, I'll at least vouch for the fact that he was really accommodating to one lowly photographer.
Artist Chestee Harrington was in town for Mardi Gras so we made arrangements to knock out some pictures (saving me a trip to Lafayette). We had the run of a sparsely furnished house on St. Charles and quickly got what we needed. Being that Fat Tuesday was approaching, we couldn't help but get harassed by a passing beggar. Now before you accuse me of being insensitive to beggars... the guy asked us for laundry detergent (??), and when we said we couldn't help him (we were both visiting a practically empty house), he gruffly accused us of lying and wandered off muttering to himself. I guess I need to start carrying detergents around in addition to my pocket change.
I called the number I was given and asked for the president of Zulu, quickly realizing that I made a verbal slip and confused my forms of leadership. A person is president of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, while another is King of the Krewe of Zulu. The latter is the one that has ceremonial duties and wear's elaborate costumes while riding in the parade on Mardi Gras, and that's the guy I wanted. After we got that straightened out, I met Elroy (King, not president) at the Zulu headquarters for a quick shoot before their meeting. It was cool getting to see the hangout of the krewe responsible for the black and gold coconuts that everybody loses their sanity over on Mardi Gras.
I don't get a chance to research most of the people I'm asked to photograph, so unless it's a major business owner or celebrity, I just make sure I've read the latest weather forecast and sports statistics so we have stuff to chat about. For these two I showed up while the writer was in their home interviewing them. I got my lights set up and joined the group at the table while they wrapped up their talk. In the few minutes of conversation that I caught, I quickly realized that they were being profiled because between the two of them they're involved in a ridiculous number of social causes. This is one of those couples that you should just shake hands with and say "Thanks for all you do."
We took an afternoon trip down to Key West to unwind after a day of shooting. I like cats and I like reading, so soon enough we ended up at the Hemingway house, surrounded by offspring of his pets. I never went through a major Hemingway phase in high school or college like some guys I know, but after getting a little more of his life story, I can understand the draw. He was a man's man; a hunter, a fisherman, a hard drinking wounded war veteran with a slew of personal problems. I'm imagining his original cats hitting the saucer pretty hard at the local tavern while swapping stories about claw scars and great bird hunts. The current feline occupants are extremely tame and I got to rub many a kitty's belly while I was there.
Shooting for different clients in different industries means that I always have to be ready for those calls or emails that say "we need you to show up at (insert place) to photograph (insert person) by (insert some time period in the past)." This day I showed up at a coffee shop where the writer was doing the interview, but nobody had mentioned to the interviewee that she was going to get photographed at the same time. Luckily the interviewee was Anne and she was incredibly nice and accommodating despite being sick. I showed up at her gate a handful of hours later and we knocked out the shot.
I happened to be in Lafayette and got a call from a magazine asking for a shot of local gym owner (as they put it), Red Lerille. Not being from Lafayette, I assumed it would be a relatively small deal. Oh how wrong one can be. Red's is a massive 20 acre fitness complex. We chose to shoot in the newest expansion to the gym, a large open training room with some devices that looked more like they belonged on a military obstacle course. Aside from his fitness empire, he owns eight airplanes, the original Borden's ice cream shop, and was Mr. America in 1960. On the way out after the shoot he made a comment saying I had nice calves. That's right, Mr. America told me I have nice calves.
Published photo here