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2014 in Review

I know its been a long time since I posted. It’s been a very busy year! my first shoot of 2014 was doing my own portrait, then off to New York to work with Beate Chelette. That was just the beginning!

Rather than bore you with the details check out the video. It is just a few random shoots from this this great year. Enjoy!

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Passion

 

Vacation is almost over. One more full day and then a long scenic drive home to Philadelphia and our time in Vermont will be gone for another year. But it’s good to go home.

While we have been here, we have met new friends and we have seen places we will never forget. As a photographer I often wonder which is richer, the memory or the images that spark it? The view from behind the Whiting Community Church (above) was astounding. Behind us and beyond the church grounds, lay the Green Mountains in the distance. Before us is the Champlain Valley with the Adirondacks in the distance (below).

I make photographs as an artist and as a professional. It is how I make my living. For me though it is more than a job, or even a career; it is my passion. Getting the image that my client wants and needs; capturing the moment so that it will last a lifetime and beyond is what I love to do. It is what I need to do.

 

I always seek the best possible image. I am continuously watching the light, seeing how it plays with the subject, watching how a simple shadow can change the mood of the moment. The trick is to capture it at just the right time. Although it is my job, it hardly seems like work.

 

The same is true for some of the people we have met here. The owners of Taylor Farm (http://www.taylorfarmvermont.com/) for example, they love the farm and the animals. The owner was coming in from cutting firewood yesterday as we were shopping in the store on the farm. I mentioned to him that gathering a wagon load of wood is a heck of a chore. A simple, “We love it” was his reply. You can tell that they do. His wife was in the store and she was putting out fresh vegetables smiling and humming the whole time.  I made mention of the refrigerator case that was new since we were here last year and they were there with the story of how it didn’t fit through the doors. He was kind, polite and enjoyed sharing the delightful story of how they had to take out the door to get the case in.

Mr. Taylor was showing his passion. The passion he has for his farm. It showed too, in the wonderful fresh foods they sell here. Even the cows here are passionate about their work. They are happy and friendly and even the baby heifers in the front pen greeted us with smiles and licks.

 

Down the road is Stoddard’s Restaurant, a tiny little diner with 5 booths and a few seats at the counter. Linda Stoddard is working the grill and Lori is her friend waiting the tables. Lori remembered us from last year, even remember that I was a photographer. She said, “You’re the photographer. I remember you because you said how much you love your work.”  And I do, it is my passion.

 

If your job involves your passion, your desire and dreams, it’s not like work. It gives you a joy and satisfaction that can’t be described. Even here on vacation in Vermont I cannot put the camera down. My wife is thinking of writing an essay or short book on “How To Survive As A Photographer’s Wife.” If she ever actually puts pen to paper, I will make sure it is available here. I live to get the right shot whether it’s for a client or my own memories. I am told it shows in my work.

 

But it’s not work, it is my passion.

Perspective

 

pərˈspektiv

  1. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view
  2. true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion

In any given project we can see the positives and the difficulties. The differences between those that succeed and those that fail is how we translate them. A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity yet an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.  It’s just a matter of perspective.



Not long ago I was sent on a job to shoot a recently completed rehabilitation center. The marketing director wanted an image of the front of the building showing the grand entrance way and the wonderful design of the new building.  After driving the 4 hours to the job site, I arrived to see that the old building was still intact and in fact occupied as the residents had not yet moved into the new building. Until the moving was complete the old structure obviously had to remain. Normally that would be too much of a problem. I could take a selective angle and shoot what I can and work with what I had. In this case however, the old building was only 24 inches from the new, not yet completed, entryway.

 

Even with my widest angle lens 24 inches is a bit tight. My assistant for the day was saying that we should just drive the 4 hours back and then return to reshoot when the building was occupied. Being the stubborn person my wife says I am, I wanted to see what we could shoot.

 

Once we were able to find the site foreman, we gained access to the building. Inside the space was technically completed. Although the furniture had been delivered, unless it actually needed to be installed, it was not even unpacked. The floors had not yet been cleaned from the construction phase and the place was still a bit messy. My creative mind went nuts!

Suddenly I saw opportunity all over the place. Here was an interior that was not setup as the designers and architects had planned, the place is basically a mess and I was lucky if I could even find a lamp among all the boxes. A clean creative canvas!  I got to shoot what I wanted and not just what I found.

 

I couldn’t actually shoot the entrance as requested as there wasn’t even a door there let alone anything “grand”.  However as we walked the floors I found that there was furniture for the dining area and for most of the common areas too.  I asked the site foreman for a broom and a box cutter and we went to work.

 

Out of nothing came something. We were able to create images that so impressed the client that they submitted them as examples of their project for a state recognized award.

 

My assistant that day was ready to pack it in and call it a day. I on the other hand wanted to see the opportunities at hand. By doing so we were able to complete the job and do it in a way that thrilled my client.

 

It’s all just a matter of pərˈspektiv.