Strathmore: Artist-in-Residence Program

Every year, we have the fortune to work with Strathmore in creating a collection of marketing assets for their AIR music program.  Over the course of two days, we collaborate hand-in-hand with the participating musicians and mentors in creating the images.  Showcased in this post is just a small sample of this year’s collection.  All of the images are created within various locations in and around the Strathmore Mansion, the intimate home of the AIR music program.  The Mansion also doubles as a music venue for the artists to perform and showcase their talents.  You can learn more about the program, artists, & mentors here.

Marian McLaughlin | Strathmore | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Rochelle Rice | Strathmore  Jonathan Timmes Photography

Seth Kibel | Strathmore  Jonathan Timmes Photography

Invoke | Strathmore  | Jonathan Timmes Photography

(top-bottom) Marian McLaughlin, Rochelle Rice, Seth Kible, Invoke

Get Out… Scout… & Stack the Cards in Your Favor

Drivel on the benefits of scouting is nothing new… and we’ve heard it all before. I still find, however, that scouting tends to be an overlooked item line in budgets. The obvious benefits of visiting a location a day or two prior to shooting can be huge. Not only does it afford the photographer an opportunity to plan and pre-visualize the manner in which the space can be used, explored, and lit… but it also allows him/her the opportunity to map out the path of the sun, the wind patterns, and the weather.

Assuming that the weather allows for shooting… the sun and wind can often be the most critical and overlooked aspects in planning. The use of the location and the placement of talent tends to not only be determined by content… but also by the opportunities and the limitations that the location offers. If time is tight… you will want to know where the sun will be once your set up is complete and the shoot begins. As the sun moves… so will your use of space and the placement of talent. Sun and wind can also play a key role in informing your strobe/modifier pairings. If the sun is blaring… a high-powered strobe and efficient modifier combo can be critical. If the wind is howling… best have a c-stand, sand bags, or multiple assistants. Weather seems to be a more obvious concern. It’s certainly best to have a temperature controlled vehicle or building close at hand… as well as… watchful hair and makeup artists. No budget for hair and makeup? A light hair spray and blotting tissue can go a long way. Get some and keep them in your bag at all times.

If the budget allows… scout a day or two prior. If not… arrive early and plan ahead. A strong plan can make it or break it in crunch time. Even with a good plan… you will always be improvising and dancing with the changes… so it’s best to have the cards stacked in your favor.

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Red Rock Wilderness Observation Park | Jonathan Timmes Photography

Lastly… Don’t overlook or rule out the benefits of planning non-project-specific scouting trips to discover new locations. Over time you will build yourself a library of sites that can potentially be paired with future projects. The images above were shot this past weekend while scouting on a hiking trip with my wife and daughter. Nothing more than an iphone and pen/paper were needed. It took a whole 5 mins to explore these buildings… take these pics… and jot down some notes. The final images that you deliver to your clients are your responsibility. You best own-up because no one wants to hear any excuses. My advice… just get out and SCOUT! It’s up to you to make it happen.

The Appalachian Trail Project

I learned via FB that a childhood friend (whom I hadn’t seen in over 25 years), Steve Mann, was hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Almost instantly… the idea for this project was born. Inspired by the grit and character that one must possess to accomplish such a feat… I set out to contact Steve and get his feel on making his portrait.

Steve was a quick sell and seemed excited with the idea. I was also happy to learn that after a period of time on the trail, he had managed to connect and share his trek with a few other thru-hikers (all of whom appeared to be on board with the project). The logistics proved to be challenging and it was not easy to connect, but we finally managed to track them down just outside Smithburg, MD. Everyone was introduced via his/her trail name (as is customary on the AT), thus making the unreal nature of the adventure that much more fun.

Mookie | Appalachian Trail | Jonathan Timmes

Spaceman | Appalachian Trail | Jonathan Timmes

Red Hawk | Appalachian Trail | Jonathan Timmes

Too Long | Appalachian Trail | Jonathan Timmes

Blood Root | Appalachian Trail | Jonathan Timmes

Easy DAy | Appalachian Trail | Jonathan Timmes

(Top-Bottom) – Mookie, Spaceman, Red Hawk, Too Long, Blood Root, and Easy Day,

My assistant and I had to backpack all of the gear to the campsite. That was pretty tough. Not to mention… we also filled a cooler with some good food and beer for everyone… a HUGE HIT! We ended up only shooting from roughly 6:30-8:00pm. Once it was too dark to continue… we packed up and hiked all of our gear back to the car in the black of night. Total blast.

We’d like to continue exploring this project…. however… learned that anyone making the excursion in 2014 has already passed thru the DMV region and is well near the finish by now. (Most start in Georgia in April so they can finish in Maine sometime in Sept) So… it looks like we’ll have to put the word out and try to connect with some of 2015’s crop of hikers.

Sports Illustrated: Bradley Beal

Tear sheet of our recent shoot with Washington Wizard guard, Bradley Beal, for Sports Illustrated. Slated for the January 20th 2014 issue. Thanks to producer Anastasia Pleasant, make up artist Victoria Stiles, & my crew Jimell Greene & Kris Connor.  You guys were great!

Bradley Beal | Sports Illustrated | Jonathan Timmes Photography