Craft labor is arguably the backbone of any given project. And as that labor pool constricts, recruiting, cultivating, and retaining this specialized workforce is more important than ever. That said, a couple sure ways to bring together any group of people is to highlight their value and showcase their efforts. This is where I come in. I’ve been telling stories with my camera for two decades. But what I do has much more to do with people than it does photographs. My job is to bring out personality. Full stop. I don’t care if you’re a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people-eater. If you’re human, you should find a connection to my work. But you still have to help me understand how you get that whole operation off the ground.
People will stand in line to tell you why something isn’t about you.
That’s a solid argument in many situations. Like in the cockpit, or the operating room. But I’m not saving lives, or building rockets. It’s simple, really. When it comes to executive portraits, it really is all about you.
The test is when your friends and family see the photos. Do they see your personality, or wonder what you were thinking. If you’ve trusted the right people, it’s the former rather than the latter.
Everybody here knows I dig humans. After a couple years of feeding my brain everything backcountry aviation related, I showed up at Nevada’s Dead Cow Lakebed for the High Sierra Fly-In. And found some of the best humans I’ve ever met. They blew my wig back. IRL. It was unforgettable. The side-by-side drag race, no shit, was fun to watch. But my biggest takeaway was how cool this community of people is. People that you know damn well would do just about anything for a fellow pilot, and their collective family. Or anybody else for that matter. And probably already have. That’s my kind of group. Hugging earth in my own kindergarten spaceship with these folks will definitely happen at some point in the near future. All I gotta do is figure out how to get GoFundMe to unblock my account. #highsierraflyin#hsf2018#deadcowlakebed#flying#aviation#backcountry https://vimeo.com/297177066
Drone technology has come a long way fast. The tools at our disposal today provide solutions that were previously almost unthinkable. But people sometimes use drones because they have drones, not because they’re the best means of communicating the intended message. It’s a clear case of looking for nails because of your new hammer.
The more important tool is the cognitive ability to survey the landscape, solve problems, and create thought-provoking content. Often in the face of challenge. This project is a perfect example of that approach. The request was to capture drone footage of a newly-constructed smart school in San Francisco. We did that — we also brought cameras in the classroom on the first day of school, and became kids again. Or maybe that was just me. The result is a direct focus on the benefit the architect and builder brought to the community — as told through the voices in that community.
At the end of the day it’s all about defining goals and clearing a path directly to them. No matter what tools it takes.
Biologist turned pro bike racer Emily Kachorek migrated from the thick of the South American Rain Forrest to the wilds of professional cyclocross racing. As much as it sounds like a leap, it all makes sense when you get to know Emily. She’s as intelligent and resourceful as she is creative and kind — but she also has no problem dismantling folks on the race course. All traits that put her squarely in the category of people I respect and admire. Here’s a look behind the scenes of a project we worked on together for Bicycling Magazine.