I'm proud to have another great-looking tear sheet from an assignment I completed for MD Anderson Cancer Center's Conquest Magazine. Travis Arnold, a 17-year old from Spring, Texas, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia - a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. With the help of the doctors at MD Anderson Childrens Cancer Hospital, a half-match bone marrow transplant was performed. Travis recovered and is now a top-rated golfer on Klein High School's Bearkat golf team.
In a former Nabisco cookie factory near the Texas Medical Center stands a futuristically decorated science and technology incubator called JLabs. The project, "part of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LLC, is a network of incubators providing emerging companies with many of the advantages of being in a big company without the capital investment. Residents have access to turnkey, state-of-the-art infrastructure, including singular bench tops, modular wet lab units and office space on a short-term basis." - http://www.tmcinnovation.org/jlabs/
An assignment from Houstonia magazine that began as a request for interiors for a quarter page turned into a full-page portrait and multi-page display after ad pages were added to the magazine near the end of production. Working with the talented and versatile art director Tanyia Johnson, we turned out some tear sheets I'm quite proud of.
In the United States' fourth largest city, emergency management is crucial. Emergency Management magazine recently published a profile on Francisco Sanchez, the liaison for Harris County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Having shot at the TranStar facility before, I already knew what the interior looked like and what to expect. Wanting to do something different, I suggested we go to the roof of the building. I saw a nice bank of clouds from an approaching cold front I knew would make a good foreboding background, and my gut was telling me the roof was likely filled with antennas, which it was. Having been photographed many times before, Francisco told me this was the first time anyone had suggested photographing on the roof. Once I knew I had a decent shot, I showed him the back of the camera and he was as pleased as I was.
I've added a couple of out-takes in the end. One is of a 84 year-old barber who has been cutting hair in the same building since the mid-1950's. He was born next door. Despite being downwind from Gulf Chemical since it's inception, he is completely healthy and has no complaints. The guy repairing nets is Tom, who owns and operates Tom's Net Shop. He spends his days repairing nets used for shrimping. I found it amazing that his job hadn't been replaced by machines.[gallery link="file"]
I was recently contacted by the Harvard Business Review to drive up to New Waverly, Texas to photograph gymnastics coaching legend Bela Karolyi. Few have the reputation for coaching champion gymnasts like Karolyi. I wasn't sure to expect, but in a way, it seemed like a pilgrimage. Many of my favorite Houston-based editorial photographers had, at one time or another, made the same drive out into the woods of the Sam Houston National Forest to document the silver-haired Hungarian. When I got there, a film crew from Yahoo was just wrapping up. The threesome told me they were traveling around the country interviewing athletic greats. Man, what a great gig that is. Then they asked me about living in Houston, and then moved on to wonder out loud why anyone would want to live anywhere other than Los Angeles. Being a media grunt, I could see his point. There is definitely more action on the coasts. But I digress.
I wasn't sure how much time I'd have with Bela, so I made sure to set up with a quickness. To say that the gymnasium was warm would be an understatement. By the time I was finished setting up for the first shot, I was drenched. I let the maintenance guy know I was ready for Bela. Two minutes later, he arrived by golf cart and strode over the padded gymnasium floor and asked me where I'd like him to stand. I didn't really have to give him much direction. I'm sure this was the 1,237th time he'd been photographed. He feel into a relaxed stance, and we got busy. I'm glad I did all the sweating for us.
The only restrictions I had were knowing that the final image would be black and white, and that the designer needed about 1/3 of the frame available for text. Being able to control the light indoors was a plus. We were the only people in there so I had all the lights turned off and could actually use my modeling lights, which I'm almost never able to do. Another plus was Karolyi's silver hair and mustache, which I knew if I lit well, would draw the eye right to his face.
Bela stood calmly while I sweated and worked the first set up. We eventually moved to a second set-up, the uneven bars, where I made a few more pictures. My personal favorite is the shot by the uneven bars. HBR liked the vertical shot.
There's nothing like the smell of 815 promotional booklets in the morning! This weekend will be spent stuffing and stamping a 16-page CD booklet format that premieres work I did over the summer for indie band Arcade Fire.
It was designed by Greece-based designer Michael Karakostas and coordinated by photo consultant extraordinaire Jasmine DeFoore. It took about 10-12 weeks or so to complete from beginning to end. The printing was done by Jakprints and they did a phenomenal job.
It will be sent to 815 art buyers, ad agencies and photo editors across the nation.
What do you think?