2009 – The Year of The Military Family

14 01 2010

I enjoy photography. I enjoy most people. But, when I combine photography and people, I really have fun!

I photographed 41 different Military Families in 2009.  41 great families all making the best of the impending separation of 12-15 months, with the Dad, husband or son heading to Afghanistan or Iraq.  Ft. Lewis opened the gates and flew 2/3 of its troops to the Middle East/Central Asia.  Ugh.  I really don’t know how they do it with a smile on their faces.  Everyone smiles for the camera when asked — most of the time…

Sensing underlying tension, I often asked  family individuals to look ‘serious’, or to not smile and look straight at the camera.  The resulting images caught me off guard… more than I thought they would.  The honesty of their emotions and their underlying sadness were closer than I thought.  The soldiers were good at quickly dropping into the ‘no smiling now’ pose, but the wives were not as practiced at masking their emotion.

Deployment is Hard On Everyone - Even the Brave.

Though emotion showed when asked, the vast majority of the time we had fun (after the families got used to me shadowing them like a paparazzi photographer!)  Those who know me may blame me for getting the kids into trouble Sometimes, though things could get out of hand…

Corrective Action

In all fairness to the Brevers, I saw the the love the children had for their Dad, and I knew they would have fun posing for this ‘Corrective Action’ photo.

Drop and Give Me Ten, SOLDIER!!

But this was NOT a posed photo!    OK… it was. (The Sanchez family really enjoyed their session!)

The military families I met and photographed gave me far more in return by sharing their love for each other than I could ever have have provided them in photos.  When you listen to the news reports, or read the paper, pray not only for the soldiers in the field, but also for their families listening and reading the same reports at home.  The USA truly is the home of the free because of the brave!

Until my next post…





Turn and Burn

5 11 2007

Big Smiles

This past weekend started the 3rd season I’ve had the pleasure to photograph the Evergreen Barrel Racing Association events. This will be the first season I’ve officially ‘sponsor’ the association through the use of my photography on their website and photograph gift certificates for their yearly raffle. Now, if you aren’t familiar with barrel racing… hold on to your hats cause these ladies (and even a few guys) get on these rockets on four hooves and race the clock around three barrels and a cloverleaf pattern at breakneck speed! Pretty much the distance between the barrels is the same, but the distance from the line where the time starts and stops can vary depending on the space in the arena. This weekend’s race at Stewart’s Arena was held inside and winning times were just over 15 seconds, if my memory serves me right.

Barrel racing is set up for everyone from Peewees (as in the attached photo) through and up to those over forty. Males and females compete in the same divisions. Horse and riders range in experienced from those ‘not very’ to ‘professional’. While competitive, races are a great social gathering of like minded folks and a great times seems to be had by all.

As a photographer, the biggest challenge besides dodging flying dirt clods is trying to use enough flash to produce a pleasing photograph while not scaring the horse as it rounds the second barrel were I am pre-positioned and waiting.  Action is fast and with the flash, continuous shutter release is not possible (at least on my budget).  Timing is important!!  Speaking of budget, I shoot all of these events on ‘spec’: meaning I am not being paid to be there by the race promoter. I only get paid if I sell a photo. It takes the sale of many photographs to begin to cover the costs associated with a day of shooting … but hopefully the work will sell itself.  And on those days that it doesn’t, being a horseman it is just plain fun to be around the horses.

The dark arena will eat as much light as you can through at it. Finding the right lighting is a challenge.  I will continue to wok on until I get it right.