Last month I was offered the opportunity to spend a day with Virginia oystermen, mostly on the boat, shooting them doing their thing for a feature in Virginia Living magazine. Being a huge believer in the 'life is short' philosophy, it always excites me to do something cool I might never have done or seen otherwise. It opens my mind, reminds me that my life is just one little part of the huge puzzle and that not everybody spends the majority of their workday in front of a monitor. Oh, and I love taking photographs, so that worked out well.
The Art Director picked me up at a few minutes to 5 (yeah, a.m.) and we drove the 2 plus hours to an inlet near Virginia Beach, home of the quite famous Lynnhaven Oyster which is staging a huge comeback after many challenging years. In my mind I had this shoot figured out. Uh huh. Which when you are shooting outdoors and in unknown territory, typically means it will look nothing like you naively planned.
Here I thought we'd be shooting weathered, craggly oystermen at sunrise with vibrant blue skies throughout the day (don't forget that polarizing filter!) and abundant sunshine (grab the sunsreen!). Not. As we drove toward the beach, the cloudy skies darkened. And when we arrived the crew turned out to be, um, younger than me. Dang, I'm old! But they had killer orange waders and huge smiles that welcomed us and our interest in sharing their story. The light was beautiful, diffused and we were spared the pesky humidity. Best of all, the guys love what they do, and you could tell.
Here is the next issue which should be available next week. My shot made the cover which is always an honor, and so fun (and not just because the kids holler out in the grocery line, "Hey Mom there's your picture!"...hee). While it looks like we might have shot it in the fancy high-end studio I don't have, we actually rigged it on the spot, literally on the dock, as the light was gorgeous and the oysters were as fresh as they could be.
and a few more:
On another day we visited Falls Church for a separate article which will also appear in the next issue. Yes, that burger was amazing, and the fries... mmmm. Eating the props is a huge perk. Then we shot all afternoon and wrapped the day with some amazing Thai food at Bangkok Blues, packing up the equipment whilst listening to some great live music. And I don't know what happened to that martini...