Quarterly with Body Central, we coordinated and executed a three day, all-out photoshoot. Days 1 & 2 we got in as many e-commerce images and outfit changes as we could. On the third day, we went out on location.
This seasonal shoot was at the Omni Hotel Downtown in Jacksonville, FL.
It was a great shoot, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover photo they chose. I mean, their faces just aren’t the best.
This was one of few easy-going projects that I was invited to assist. And the whole job felt like home. I grew up not far from the location, and wakeboarding competitions were a fun past-time. Also, it was a day trip with very little equipment to tote. I really enjoyed being on this job.
Beyond the familiarity, Noah was incredibly talented. I mean…duh. We didn’t need to ask much to get a killer image for him. He was just having fun, Bill was working, and I think I carried a back up camera to switch off when needed.
To get the SI cover shot, we took a drive to South Florida from Jacksonville. We hung briefly with Noah and his family, then took a heck of a boat ride, watching this kid do spectacular wakeboarding tricks. The weather was perfect. We finished shooting during golden hour, then, as all of these shoots go, something went wrong.
I forget what the problem was, but our journey ended with being towed back to shore. It was only across a lake, but what a bummer note to end on. It was nice to see the end result, and it totally made up for that sour moment. The kid looks legit.
Topping the whole thing, SI sent a cookie copy of the cover as a gift to Bill at the end of the year which I found both cool and funny. It all made me smile a lot. This is a good memory.
Why? I was a Gator, shooting the #1 Defense in the country slam my team. This wasn’t a game I really wanted to remember. In fact, I’d shot a lot of Gator games and this was next to only a handful of losses I had to endure in my time at UF. Gross, losing. But this one has a silver-lining.
I always asked what the anticipated story might be when going out on assignment with a mentor or friend hired for a job. In this case, that was a job for SI with Bill Frakes. I knew the most likely story. It was everything being talked about on sports networks…Alabama had a hardcore defense facing a strong offensive Florida team. Would Alabama prevail, proving their muscle and beating the Gators on the Gator home field?
Yes. Yes, they would. And they were then the story of the moment.
And somehow nothing else big happened that week, and Bama was the cover.
I gasped seeing it in Barnes & Noble, and bought it with more excitement than I really should have had.
Here’s the story though:
When the center threw up the play call, seeing it was the number 1, I took a chance and shot on one of the cameras I was there to mostly hold and tote around for Bill.
We both shot the moment, I know. I tell myself all the time that this is indeed Bill’s image. In the back of my mind, though, I know I had the 600mm, and if I DID get the shot, that’s less cropping and better quality for print. So…it could be mine, right?
Regardless, I’m still proud that I anticipated and saw the moment. As far as I’m concerned this was a personal success.
I’ll tell you what, this was an interesting shoot. A few of us rounded up a couple athletic guys, grabbed some pro NFL gear, stocked a snack bar with anything the Snickers ad company was affiliated with, and got to work.
Well, that part actually took a few days. There was also a lot of preparation and planning back and forth. Somewhere I have a bunch of images of random college guys posing for impromptu casting. By that, I mean, I pulled over and asked as they were in the middle of a pick-up football game to flex, then give me their contact info with their measurements included.
I didn’t have the worst part of this job.
I will say, not everything went smoothly, but it was a great shoot and I loved seeing the end result. It was also a pretty big ad in the NYTimes…or Washington Post?…maybe both.
Here’s a sample of one of the great Derby Day features I was able to participate in. Thanks so much to Bill Frakes and Andrew Hancock for bringing me on as a team member over the few years they were asked to cover this incredible event!
The days were long and the main event was stressful beyond belief. I could not be more proud to be involved with such incredible people in these moments. The outcome was always exciting.
I was able to meet industry leaders, work alongside creatives I’ve admired from afar, try out gear from all the top brands and be around a sport I find to be not only exciting, but also filled with colorful drama.
I wish I had more images to share from our team, and I’m sure time will allow me to track some down. See the below shots or check out the BTS post for more!