My First Shoot For An International Magazine & The Importance Of Scouting

WNBA-Abby-Bishop-Marie-Claire-AustraliaBack in early June I photographed WNBA Seattle Storm player Abby Bishop for Marie Claire – Australia. I’ve shot for several different magazines, but I’ve never shot for an international publication before. The shoot took place at the legendary Green Lake basketball courts here in Seattle. Thankfully I live near Green Lake, so I was able to scout the location two times and do a lot of problem solving before the shoot ever took place.

On my first scouting day I went to Green Lake in the later afternoon and it was already filled with people playing full-court basketball and others still waiting their turns to play. Feeling anxious about the possibility of there being a ton of people around on my shoot day, I asked some of the players when/if the court was ever empty. A lot of the people I spoke to said that earlier in the afternoon would be my best chance to have less people on the court. Luckily for me the people I spoke to were correct.

My Second scout day there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Now most people think that cloudless days are ideal for photography, but direct sunlight (especially at high-noon) is always tough to shoot in. It can lead to bad shadows, harsh light, and subjects with squinty eyes. Upon my arrival I immediately checked the weather for next day and saw that my shoot day would be just as cloudless and hot as this day was. Now, it’s a rarity in Seattle to have two back-to-back days of no clouds, but I ended up being lucky to have the same weather conditions on my final scout day that I ended up having on my actual shoot day. Being able to scout those two days was huge for me. I was able to let the subject know when the perfect time would be to come to the court and it allowed me to come up with a equipment list (Profoto) that I would need to counter the contrasty light.

In the end because of my successful scouting I was able to get several great images of Abby and to top it off the photo editor of the magazine super happy too! When given the chance always scout your location. My two scout days allowed me to bring the right gear, get a variety of great images, and do it all in a short amount of time. To see a few more images from my shoot with Abby Bishop check out my website.

Lonesome Shack / Return Of The Blog!

Wow! It’s been a really long time since my last blog post. I’d use the excuse that it’s because I’ve been busy, but I think there’s been at least one day over the last 16 months that I could have sat down and wrote out a few post on here. Over the next few weeks I plan on catching up a bit with my blog post. Moving forward I’ll try my hardest to stay on top of it. Please keep checking back to see what I’m up to!

I have created several images since my last post on here so I guess I’ll start with talking about some images I shot back in June of the musician Ben Todd, A.K.A. Lonesome Shack. Ben’s an acquaintance of mine. He’s a super nice guy, and an amazing musician. As I mentioned above, Ben’s also known as Lonesome Shack. Under that name Ben started playing open-mics and small shows by himself around Seattle 8-9 years ago and that’s when I first saw him plat at Cafe Racer. I remember all of my friends and I being taken back by his sound and stage presence. You should just check him out, but I guess I’d describe his sound as eerily raw. Pure blues at it’s finest. I’ve always had a strong love for the blues, so upon first hearing Lonesome Shack I was mesmerized and have been ever since.

2016-0609-ben-todd-studio-lonesome-shack-0244Since those early days at Cafe Racer, Ben has started playing with two other talented musicians he met at the cafe. Kristian Garrard on drums and Luke Bergman on bass. The addition of drums and bass to Lonesome Shack has only made the sound more powerful. I recently watched them play at their album release party at Tractor Tavern. It was an amazing show. The band and the crowd really got into it and it was by far the best show I’ve seen in a while. I know, back to the photos!!!

A few weeks before Lonesome Shack’s show at the Tractor Tavern, I was riding my bike around Greenlake and I ran into Ben walking his dog Levi. Ben and I caught up a bit and I found out that Ben’s wife had recently moved to London for a job opportunity. Ben informed me that after the band released their new album, Lonesome Shack would tour for a few months and then he’d be heading to London for two-years to join his wife. Ben and I have tried a few times unsuccessfully in the past to schedule something. So this time we made a real effort to meet at my studio for a few hours and I’m so happy with the results! They came out exactly how I had imaged them and I honestly couldn’t be happier! Ben was very happy too and I’m thankful that I was able to run into him that day on Greenlake. Reminder to self; if you’ve been inside working all day and it’s nice outside, go for a bike ride because good things might happen. If you have a moment, check out Lonesome Shack’s new record here, Below are a few more images of Ben that didn’t make it onto my site, including one of Ben and his dog, Levi. If you’ve read this far thanks for doing so. I’ll be posting more soon. As always, enjoy!