I am so excited to have a two page spread in the latest issue of Runners World Magazine. It features a shot I took of my friend and avid trail runner David Dawson. We shot this originally for my portfolio awhile back, with the idea that a magazine or company would pick it up. It ended up being a great fit for Runners World and you can find it now in the April 2016 Issue. Here is how it came together.
I love capturing people in big epic locations so when you look at the image you think. “I want to be there” and you feel like you are experiencing the moment with the athlete. That is what I set out do for this trail running shot. I called up my friend David and told him what I wanted to do and he was down. I then asked him where he likes to run, and we decided that up above Sundance Ski Resort would be an amazing spot. Luckily I knew someone that had access to a cabin up there and they got me access to this great location.
I liked this spot because it had lots of options. When I had scouted out the location a few days before our shoot, I had intended to shoot going the other direction towards the mountains. That would have put a nice waterfall and Mt. Timpanogos in the background. When we started shooting however, some clouds had rolled in blocking all of that, so I ended up having to go for option B. I was shooting on a six foot ladder. When I spun around shooting the opposite direction into the sun, I realized that was the shot. This was the final result.
There has to be a lot of things that come together to make a truly great image happen. You need a great location, great light, great talent, and sometimes a little bit of luck. All of that happened on this shoot and it was one of those experiences that gets you stoked to keep going, keep shooting, and keep creating.
Thanks to David Dawson(Runner), Blake Hansen (Assisting), Jordan McCormick(location), Tandem Stock (stock agency), and Runners World for getting it out there.
A few weeks ago I decided I would head to LA to do some testing with a few models to build my portfolio with some new sports and lifestyle images and try and meet with a some people for portfolio reviews. In doing so I also wanted to try and put together a good crew of people to work with. I was working with a great modeling agency called Sports+Lifestyle Unlimited. Like the name implies they have great sports and lifestyle models and I wanted to start to build a good relationship with them so when I book shoots in the LA area or need talent from there they know who I am. It’s important to build good relationships with everyone you work with.
It’s always a challenge when are going to new city where you haven’t really ever shoot before. Especially when you are self producing your shoots and in between shoot trying to set up portfolio reviews. Luckily, I had the help of Wonderful Machines crew directory to help me find people to help me. I came across the work of Donna Gast. She is an amazing hair and makeup stylist in LA that specializes in lifestyle and sports. She has a ton of experience working in LA and has worked with just about every major brand, agency, and photographer you can think of. I emailed her and asked her if she would be interested in collaborating on some shots and she was onboard. I can’t begin to thank her enough for her help not only is she super talented and amazing to work with, but she pretty much became my guide to shooting in LA. She helped me figure out where we could and couldn’t shoot, recommendations on locations, places to avoid, etc. I could not have gotten what I did without her help. Thank you again Donna! If you ever need hair and make up in LA she is the person!
Once I had Donna onboard I found a couple of good assistants and had already finalized the the models. After that is was a matter of figuring out where to shoot. I flew in on Memorial Day and was shooting my first models that evening. I meet Donna at here house a bit before the models to figure out a good location to shoot and to do hair and make up. I normally like to scout beforehand but that wasn’t an option so I had to rely on Donna and Google to find a cool spot. We decided we would go downtown since everyone else would be at the beach and most things were closed that day. It was a good call, we got on the 4th street bridge and other spots that would normally be too packed with people to shoot on a normal day.
I figured out really quickly why people love shooting in LA. The light is amazing. That smog really creates an look you can’t recreate anywhere else. Here are the shots we got that first day. The models were Dillon and Kelly from SLU Agency. They were great! I did two more shoot that week and will post them in Part 2 of this post. I have to give a shout out to Eliza at SLU Agency, Donna Gast, and Nathan Seabrook for their help on this shoot. We had to shoot fast and and I couldn’t have done it with out them. Thanks Guys!
Two nights ago I went on a little night hike adventure. I had been stuck in the studio all day editing and being a bit frustrated with work I was feeling like I had to get out into the mountains. I went home had some dinner, got the kids to bed, and at 8pm I left the house.
I had remembered this spot I wanted to shoot while on a hike up to Mt. Olympus last summer and decided to head for that. I figured it might be a cool shot at night. I had a water bottle, camera gear, a headlamp, my hiking boots and hit the trail. I had forgotten two things however. First how far up this spot was, and second how steep it was to get there. I was determined to get a shot so 2 hours later and after ‘3500 of elevation gain I arrived here at the saddle overlooking the Wasatch Mountains. I grabbed a few shots, and then without really resting, headed back down. I arrived back at the car around midnight feeling satisfied and exhausted.
Often we get caught up what others have or are doing, when what we really need to do is appreciate what we have and where we are. Grateful today for what I do have, where I live, and for what I’ve been blessed with in my life.