Each year I make a select handful of photos that I am really happy with. I also make many more pictures that are moments that I will remember for years to come. Sometimes it is just a pure documentation of an event, other times it is the story that accompanies the photo that makes it special. Sometimes, it is just the picture itself.
With all that considered this year, I decided to do a looking back at 2014 with 14 of my favorite photos. Why fourteen photos? No other reason than to correspond with 2014. I could have done 20, 25 or 50. However, I just wanted to keep this short and sweet.
Making this selection was a lot harder than I anticipated. One reason for this is that the selection is incomplete. As an photographer with much of his work transitioning to advertising and commissioned work, many photos are embargoed until a campaign or event launches. Such is the case here. There are probably 5 solid photos I feel could have easily made this grouping but could not be included for reasons of embargo. As for those photos, well I guess you will just have to stay tuned. You will see them soon! Until then, I hope you enjoy these snaps!
Image 1: 2014 started off in dramatic fashion for me. While covering the NFL Playoffs for Sports Illustrated, I was assigned to cover the Indianapolis Colts vs the KC Chiefs. The game was ugly…an absolute rout of the Colts all the way into the late 3rd quarter. Fans were leaving quickly. Then Andrew Luck began to work his magic and engineered one of the greatest come-from-behind victories I had ever seen…let alone photographed. This photo is a shot of Andrew Luck diving for a touchdown after he fumbled the ball and managed to recover the fumble and then rushed forward and took to the air to find the end zone. Part of sports photography is being in the right place at the right time. Fortunately for me, I was one of maybe 4-5 photographers that was in the right spot. The image ended up running on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Image 2: Texas A&M Athletics baseball promotional campaign for the 2015 season. Pitcher A.J. Minter unleashes a pitch to my assistant Ryan who was behind the dish during a sunset portrait shoot at what is arguably one of the best collegiate stadiums in the country.
Image 3: Rory McIlroy – US Open at Pinehurst #2. Rory is always fun to photograph. This year at the US Open for Sports Illustrated, I started to work in making some images that are part of an ongoing project that I have in the works on double and multiple exposures.
Image 4: Slow shutter portrait of AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers…now of the Washington Nationals. This portrait was taken in a 15X20 interview room and Max is actually throwing pitches. In order to pull it off, we had to bring in mound dirt and a variety of other things. It was quite the production but well worth the effort. Max was a pro and great to work with and it is always a pleasure to work with the Tigers organization.
Image 5: The Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic. A rider races around a barrel during the event in Brazos County, Texas. The futurity features around a million dollars in cash and prizes for the riders and has become one of the premier barrel horse races in the country.
Image 6: My daughter gets attacked by a mean water hose during a warm afternoon at play in the back yard. All was fine and well as she played in the water and with the hose until it attacked. Laughter ensued a short time later.
Image 7: Purdue football 2014 promotional campaign. The designer came to me with the idea of a dark and sinister look and feel to the poster and the photos. Something with power and an edge to fire up the fanbase. He mentioned to me that he wanted to bring in some smoke in post production but I pushed back. I am a purist and for me, the challenge…and the fun…come from making a photograph in camera. That being the case I pushed for a smoke machine. After a few emails back and forth, a smoke machine was made available. Then knowing that the group that supplied the smoke machine also was the same group in charge of pyrotechnics for the football team as they run out onto the field, I made the inquiry and pushed for some pyrotechnics for the shoot. After some initial resistance – and then a safety meeting with campus officials – it all came together to make the best football poster that Purdue has ever had. While this was not the final selected image with the fireworks that was used, it is my personal favorite.
Image 8: Olympic gold medalist Breeja Larson. Such a great competitor and person and a joy to work with. The was the third time I have had the opportunity to work with Breeja and the first time for an underwater shoot with her.
Image 9: Grammy award winner Kirk Franklin in Los Angeles for the Game Show Network. This image was from the national ad campaign for the game show, American Bible Challenge. GSN is a great client to work for and Kirk was great on set despite not feeling well and this being towards a long day of commitments.
Image 11: Lanterns float to the sky at a temple in Lamphun, Thailand as local celebrate Loi Krathong and Yi Peng during the first full moon of November – a celebration of new beginnings and the end of the rainy season. While the mega release of lanterns in Chaing Mai get the most attention due to sheer numbers of lanterns, for the project I am working on, I opted for a much more authentic opportunity where it would be locals only and not an event that has become predominantly tourists. It was an epic trip and cant wait to go back!
Image 13: Eileen Baker-Wall holds for the very first time a wooden shoe worn by her great grandfather William Bush, a runaway slave that escaped to freedom on the Underground Railroad and with the help of conductor Levi Coffin. Levi along with his wife Catharine helped over 2,000 slaves reach freedom. As for Bush, when he reached the Coffin house, he stayed to assist the Coffins with the cause and help others reach freedom.