Monday, January 11, 2010
It's been awhile since i last blogged and i'm gonna tell you why. In this photography biz, you gotta keep quiet about what projects your working on until they come out. Every time I do a cool shoot, I want to run to my computer, download the cards, and blog blog blog until my fingers bleed. But this being a paranoid secretive biz (magazines and advertising), everyone is always trying to trump everyone else, and the internet has made it worse. basically, you can't talk or blog about a job until it comes out in print, and then you are free to scream as loud as you want about how great and cool a photographer you are. But by the time a story comes out, i've done so many other stories and am SO over it. Ok, cut to today, I'm trying in earnest to force my lazy ADD ass to blog a little more regularly (thanks jay d), so check back here more often. I've even threatened to blog about stuff not photo related! how about that! Ok maybe thats pushing it a bit, i will stick to photo related stuff. So here's the first post of the year. This story just came out in Mens Health magazine, its an olympic preview showcasing three winter olympians and how they work out. I shot snowboarder Chris Klug out in Breckenridge in november. Chris believe it or not had a liver transplant some years ago, and he's still a world class snowboarder. I love the picture that the mag chose. This to me is the quintessential Nathaniel Welch photo. It's a portrait, but not static, A+ for me. The other shot is a tight closeup of bobsledder Justin Olsen. When i met Justin at the olympic training complex in Lake Placid, I left the meeting thinking "gee, he doesnt seem like a winter olympian. Texas accent, big dude, he seemed like a football player." Turns out I was right, he is a football player. He was recruited to as a pusher, as the bobsled event is all about shaving hundreths of seconds off the time, and the best way to do that is with an insane push. this guy had legs like tree trunks. I've attached a picture I took of his legs so you can see what I mean. Like every job i've ever had, theres always a nugget of memory that will always remind me of the job. Sometimes its part of the shoot, sometimes it's not part of the shoot, some random or not random thing that happened during it. For this one, I had a rain day in Lake Placid, and had been hanging with olympic biathalete Lowell Bailey for what seemed like days but was really only a day and a half. We had breakfast, we had lunch, and finally we srcubbed the shoot until the next day. Lowell grew up in Lake Placid, so he knows the place intimately, and he's a fly fisherman, as am I. He mentioned going fishing in the afternoon, and of course I ingratiated myself and forced a invite.... That is what this job really is about for me (not forcing invites). Meeting people, finding that connection or common ground, and enjoying the experience. Regular life never would have put me on a stream outside of Lake Placid in November fishing with an Olympic athlete. But this job did. All of of sudden we weren't magazine photographer and athlete/subject, just two dudes making the most of a great but wet afternoon at the end of fishing season. Fishing a stream with a friend is great, you arent really fishing side by side, but within a 100 yards or so usually. Just company enough to know your not alone and someone else is experiencing this moment. I would look over at him occasionally and see him fighting a fish, and he'd glance over at me and see the same thing. We both ended up catching a bunch of fish, mostly brook trout, and that night we went to a local restaurant, had a great burger and filled our bellies with a local beer. work.
Posted by nathaniel at 3:43 PM