Recently I have been asking all the creative geniuses here at TRG what their favorite image or project was that they had been a part of. Two weeks ago we spoke with Retouching and last week we talked to CGI.
This week I was very excited to speak with the TRG photographers. These folks have the creative vision and are intricately involved with projects all the way back from the concept stage and usually offer creative input and direction on these projects. They are usually the most involved with all of our projects and, honestly, I was extremely excited to find out what their highly trained and extremely experienced minds would determine as the best of the best.
There is a pressure and tendency in this business to treat what we do as a matter of life and death, but in the long run it has nothing to do with what really matters. Photographing the cancer survivors for Flashes of Hope is truly a privilege and serves as the reminder that health and happiness is all that’s truly important.
One of my favorite shots to work on was Sweeney Todd for Great Lakes Theater Festival because it was the first time I had to concept, light, shoot and star in one of my photos. During the initial pre-pro, while we were discussing the look and feel for the shot, we asked if our client, Todd, had talent in mind for the shot yet. He kind of gazed off in the distance as if trying to think how best to say something awkward then chimed in "not really, but I think I need someone who looks pretty sinister naturally". At that point everyone's eyes at the table kind of drifted towards me. I was already excited at the super creative nature of the shoot and the creative control I'd have to create this fantasy Sweeney Todd world in a photo, but the fact that I'd BE Sweeney Todd on a printed 8 foot tall banner outside the Hannah Theater made it even more fun and hilarious. Quickly, though, on-set I quickly realized how limited my acting range was ( I think I only have one look) and started getting hot and uncomfortable under my nest of lights. Modeling is hard!! I think I'm better off behind the camera rather than in front of it. Added bonus to this shoot was I got to hold a straight razor up to our editor, Bobby's, throat for 2 hours!
Just knowing that I would be meeting Viktor Schreckengost gave me chills. That day, in his Cleveland Heights home, we found ourselves surrounded by his iconic designs. There they were -- the airplane pedal car, the Murray bicycle, the jazz bowl, the metal toys, the lawn chair, the sketches of the trucks, the pitchers and sculptures and watercolors. Most were the original pieces. We all stood there, aghast, admiring a lifetime of brilliance before us. To then shake his hand and take his picture left me speechless. To this day, it remains one of the most surreal experiences of my life.
Viktor Schreckengost received the National Medal of Arts a few months later, and passed away a little over a year after that. The American Da Vinci, he is truly an icon of american design. I still can't believe I had the honor of photographing him.
This photo was done during a shoot for Access, a shelter in Akron that helps women and their families get back on their feet. Doing documentary work with non profit organizations is always rewarding and reminds me of why I got into photography in the first place, to make a difference in people's lives by telling their story to the world.
This is an old shot from the 90’s that I worked on for University Hospitals. This image was used with several types of media including billboards. It was shot with a 4x5 view camera entirely in one shot (it was before Photoshop existed). I rigged up a fish tank and a jig to repeat dunk the tablets to get consistent results. Just very minor retouching was done. It was all in camera with a single shot. This image shown was cropped vertically for the newspaper ad but they used a horizontal version for the billboard. The special part I liked of the billboard version of this shot is that the ad was the first billboard image to replace the long running Marlboro man cigarette ad on the downtown Innerbelt Bridge.