Tuesday, September 28, 2010
wow. this summer and autumn have been so so busy, I've had some great shoots and adventures the last 2 months....in this post i've attached a couple of fun shoots for mens journal and people magazines. The mens journal shoot was a photo illustration about the dangers of the sun. the photo editor, jen santana, called and told me they wanted to illustrate the story with a full page picture of a guy with sunglasses, zinc oxide on his nose, just a blue sky behind him, and it cant look like nyc in ANY way (even though thats where we had to shoot it). At this point in my career, after living in nyc for 10 years and shooting almost everywhere, instantly i knew the perfect place to shoot, down on the waterfront promenade in battery park city at the southern most tip of manhattan. Being the outside location photographer freak that i am, i knew that this place would be perfect with a nice clean horizon line with new jersey way off in the distance. We cast a model for this, just a normal looking guy...i was really going for a "crispy" look, very "hot" and lots of good light courtesy of the profotos. it was a good time as usual, the weather gods were on my side and the sun held just long enough before a front moved in, and the lemonade stand was only about 50 feet away. I shot the sun separately and had my retoucher drop it in in post....and of course i wore sunscreen during the shoot!!
The other shoot is out this week in people magazine. When i got the call "can you go to lincoln nebraska and shoot larry the cable guy and his son", i jumped at the assignment. you see, its no secret that i'm a bit of a redneck. just a florida cracker making a living in nyc, and i knew larry and i would be a good fit. His son had hip dysplasia, but is ok now and larry is trying to get the word out that this can be cured if caught early and treated correctly...my family is from lincoln too, in fact the welch clan got their start there and homesteaded back in the 1800's. My pops and i even made a trip there together a few years ago (i was there on a job for rolling stone and he flew in and met me), and spent a day in the library researching old newspapers going through the obituaries trying to find the obit for my great great granpa, who we think was blackfoot indian. family legend has it that he drank himself to death. The indian story has always been a bit of legend in the family, but we've never been able to confirm it %100, just what has been passed down through the generations, getting foggier and foggier as each generation passed..anyway, we wanted to try and confirm that great great grandpa was indeed blackfoot, or at the very least find his obit for posterity. you can see the indian in my dads face: kinda long face and high cheek bones, he looks it for sure. We knew about when he died within about 5 years, so we got the newspaper microfilm for the time period and started looking through them. we also knew his last name was Harmon, so we had that to go on. I know, needle in a haystack, thats what i was thinking too. no way in hell we will find it. plus the family history is so vague that far back, we werent even sure the dates we were looking at were accurate. The good news about lincoln back then is that the newspaper was only a page long and came out once a week, and the obits only had a couple of people in it each week, so it was pretty fast and easy. after a few hours of looking, to my surprise I came across his obit. it read "the man harmon fell off his horse and was dragged to death" or something to that affect. we were super excited to confirm his death, but it still didnt prove that he was blackfoot indian. but we printed out the obituary and had an awesome steak dinner that night to celebrate, we had found the mother load. my dad ended up researching it a bit more when he got home, and talked to an expert that did indeed confirm that great great grandpa harmon was indeed probably an indian. you see, indians back then werent considered equal to whites (ya think!), and the fact that he was addressed as "the man harmon" in his obit and not "mr. harmon" was pretty good proof that he was indian and on the fringes of society. so, he probably drank a pint of whiskey, got on his horse, passed out and fell off and was dragged to death. not a pleasant way to go for sure. also while we were there we went to the one room schoolhouse that my grandma went to, it is now a national historic place. very cool to think of granma as a little girl in that little one room schoolhouse on the prairie. all kids, from k-12, in the same classroom. simpler times for sure..We also took a hike to an ancient cemetery with lots of my relatives in it on a little hill. not sure if great great granpa harmon was in there, probably not, seeing as he was an indian. and in fact i think the reason it was so vague in our family is because it was nothing to be proud of back then or even until recent history. now its kinda cool though, and i wish i would have known 20 years ago so i could have gone to college free or opened a casino!....anyway, back to larry, awesome dude, spent all day with him and his family, and had my favorite food, the famed Runza, for dinner. a very memorable 3 days in the fatherland...just another week in the life....
Posted by nathaniel at 11:30 PM