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.
This last week I brought on a new intern. His name is Bryan and I think he is going to be really solid. He is a graduate from Weber State and seems to be really knowledgeable and exited to learn. I think he will be a good asset to the team. We’ll have to grab a photo of him next week and get him on here. We had a solid day of orientation on Wed. so this next week he should be rockin.
I was able to get a good chunk of post production done and some images delivered to clients for SelectHealth and Browning. Feedback was good and they seemed to be really happy with the final shots. That is the part of my job I enjoy most. It takes a lot of work to put together and execute shoots well so when you finally get them delivered and the client is happy it is very satisfying.
Next week we have shoots with Utah Business Magazine and Good Housekeeping Magazine coming up. They should both be good shoots. I spent most of yesterday prepping for GH and getting people and locations ready. I’ve decided to, when possible, start implementing more medium format digital work on specific editorial portrait assignments. It think it is going to be great to help push the quality of my work. It isn’t always the right choice but for a solid portrait I don’t think you can go wrong. Just waiting on a few details for the Utah Business Mag shoot and I think we will be ready to go.
Lastly, I had a frustrating experience with bidding on a job this week. I was asked to to put together an estimate for a few corporate portraits and a shot that was going to used in an ad for a national business publication. It was a local company so it’s always hard to feel out what local Utah clients are expecting on price. I put it together based on the info I was given and sent it over explaining that because they wanted to use it in national magazine ad it was going to be a bit more expensive. It felt like it was a very competitive bid. They wrote back saying that they didn’t feel like the fact that it was going to be used in a national ad warranted an increase in the rate and that they were going to find another photographer that we cheaper. Classic right? Haha!
I wrote back and said that I do my best to price things out a fair price that reflects the quality of the work they will be getting and that part of professional photography pricing is based on how an image is going to used, but ultimately I didn’t get the job. It’s easy to start second guessing yourself in these types of situations but I’ve learned that if all a client is looking for a cheap photographer than your better off not getting that job and working with people that value what you do and what you do for them. You can’t fake quality but at the same time you also can’t make people see that quality and investment. Sometimes potential clients, despite your explanations and all your efforts, just don’t see the value of your work and they don’t want to spend what it takes to get great shots. I understand that price is always a consideration for clients but if they are just looking for “a photographer” or don’t see the value you bring to the table, you probably don’t want that job. I like to work with people that see my work, like my work, see the quality and want to work with me not just “a photographer”. When they are exited, I get exited to work with them and am willing to do what I can to make it happen.
Being a freelance photographer you get some jobs and you don’t get some jobs and that is just how it goings. A friend told me one if you are getting all the jobs you bid on, your not charging enough! I think that is true. I think you just have to learn what you can from these experiences and keep going, never give up and be be faithful that you will get the work.
A parting shot from a recent portfolio shoot. Model: Chris York
When I’ve had some extra time I’ve been putting together some new portfolio shoots. I’ve recently done a couple of new shoots for my book. I first shot a couple mountain biking and then a Park City trail running shot. I was really happy with how they turned out and wanted to thank everyone that helped out on them. These first few images are from the couple mountain biking. We shot these in the Alpine loop up American Fork Canyon. I wanted to get a shot of a couple enjoying sport of mountain biking but not have it look to set up or anything. I really liked how it turned out. Here it is a couple of finals from that shoot. These were all shot with natural light and a little bounce.
The next shoot was a new trail running shot showing the close vicinity to trails that Park City has. Trying to show the relationship between mountain and the city. This one I shot with a portable strobe and early morning sun shot through a big umbrella to sharpen up things and add a nice fill.
Yesterday morning my assistant and I got up at 4 am to go shoot a new trail running photo for my portfolio. I had already scouted out the location last week that I thought we be sweet. We arrived at the location with my friend David that was going to be our runner for this shot at 5:30 a.m. hiked to where we needed to, with a ladder I might add. Set up so we were perfectly situated when the sun hit, which I was anticipating being at just after 6:00 a.m. We got a little messed up however because there were some clouds blocking the great morning sun I wanted so I changed our shot. I turned around and shot into the clouds and still had a great scene to work with. You just never know how things are going to come together. I knew before hand that I could shoot either direction at this location and it would be good. Good thing because that is exactly what needed to happen. Check it out! Thanks to David and Blake for their help!