There is the old adage, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” I find this is something that I have to put into play quite a lot in my life, even more so now that we find ourselves on our ongoing “adventure of a lifetime” roadtrip across this great country of ours. Traveling across the land hauling your life along with you is exciting but as you can imagine, it presents some challenges.
For all the prep and planning we do, life on the road can throw you curve balls when you least expect them and you have to just roll with the punches and see where it takes you. Often times if you look for the positive you will find opportunities will present themselves…. There is nothing I like more than times when you find that you have taken a wrong turn down the “wrong road” or had a issue that waylays you, rather than becoming a problem… it puts you in a place you never expected to be and it turns out to be exactly where you were supposed to be. What I mean by this, is an opportunity or an experience presents itself that you never would have had if it had not been for that problem or mistake you made that got you here. Some call it Kismet or even Destiny. Whatever you call it, if you keep your eyes open you find some pretty cool experiences and photos to be made. See the photo below which I created on the one such incident…
Earlier this fall we were just wrapping up spending the last 6 months bouncing around the Pacific Northwest up and down the coast from Northern California to Canada. Now heading towards Utah, I mistakenly turned East too early and instead of taking an easy cut across the mountains in a valley, ended up on a very narrow, twisty & windy road through the Shasta Trinity Mountain range. This makes for a white knuckle ride when you are pulling a 42 foot rig…. 31,000 lbs of fun as you make your way over hills and around narrow passages. Not only was it a scary drive on it’s own, but the skies were jet black as an impending storm was about to hit. Just when I began to really curse myself, trying to decide if I should turn back or press on through, I decided to pull over next to the river that was following my path just before the skies opened up to dump rain on us.
What I saw when I got out that I could not see while driving, was the view down river to our rear. Here was this AMAZING mountain river location with the most incredible light shining from the clouds and shining through the oncoming rain that was falling. I am lucky that I always try to have my camera ready and I was able to capture this amazing scene as it unfolded before me. The only thing missing was a fly fishermen to complete the scene which I then added in with Photoshop later. It made for a killer book shot and will also no doubt bring in some decent stock sales opportunities down the line. I call this shot, “When a wrong turn puts you exactly where you are supposed to be.”
Another amazing opportunity that came from a bit of misfortune was when we were on our way from Park City Utah, to our March/April homebase of Breckenridge Colorado. About 1/2 way there, in a little nothing town called Meeker CO, we had a mechanical issue with our tow vehicle which forced us to stop. As luck would have it, there was a nice little RV Park just opening for the fishing season right on the river about a mile from where we broke down. After checking in and getting the RV set up we set out to investigate our surroundings. What we found was the little town of Meeker resembled more of a ghost town than anything. It was during dinner that we asked the proprietor what there was to do in this town as we were going to be here a few days… It was then that he mentioned that “every one is out at the dog races” for the weekend.
Turns out he was right because by the time we got finished dinner, the little town was suddenly overtaken by teams of people with their dogs. After talking with some of them I learned that this weekend the final races for the season where taking place about 40 miles away up in the White River National Forest. The exact directions I got from 3 different people were, “Just drive down this road a mile and turn right at ‘the sign’ and follow that road 39 miles until it ends” I thought to myself, “Umm…. Ok. that doesn’t sound weird at all” as I looked on the tiny road to nowhere on the map. So despite any reservations, the very next morning I set off in good faith driving the 40 some miles farther down this tiny road taking me farther and farther from the tiny town of Meeker into the wilderness…. all the while thinking, “this must be some kind of joke”. In actuality it was a very pretty drive….. After about an hour, low and behold the road ended as I had been told and there in the middle of the woods was this mini winter festival of dog sled enthusiasts and about 100 dogs. You knew you were here as you pulled up because of the sound… ALL the dogs are barking! It’s quite exciting walking around and seeing everyone getting ready for the races. I have never seen dogs so excited about getting ready to run. As their handlers get them harnessed up and hitched onto one another they are loosing their minds, barking and tugging at their leashes. They actually have to tie them off to their cars or they would just take off without them. All in all it was quite a cool experience & you won’t find a nicer group of people. Everyone was interested why I was there and who I was shooting for. I got a quick lesson on the happenings of the day and intros to the folks running the show and the Rocky Mountain Dog Sled club. I even met a nice older gentleman named Mike who was having his 70-something birthday that day and heading out on the course racing his dogs. He’d been racing for over 35 years and not about to slow down now.
As I clicked away watching group after group of dogs heading out onto the trail towing their various handlers on sleds and skis, (Skijouring) it struck me yet again how cool this is… here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere with no-one who can even look at my truck until Monday and I find myself with this opportunity to shoot some amazing sled dog races, continue building my book and meet some really great people in the process. Turned out to be a great weekend! I love my job!
Well it has once again been a while since my last update from the road… So what have we been up to? Summer came and went by in a flash and it was probably the busiest summer I’ve had in 20 years. Since my last post we have been nonstop with one project after another. The last two months alone I’ve crisscrossed the country from corner to corner multiple times crossing the Mississippi 12 times for various projects. We’ve been to Arizona, California, Maine, North Carolina, Jamaica, Florida twice and back to Oregon on projects for Huffy Bikes, Merck Pharmacueticals, Miami Cancer Institute, Vista Print, High West Whiskey and Alaska Brewing. Most of these projects are still in post production or not yet released to the public so I can’t show them yet, but I’ll post them as soon as I am allowed.
It is hard to believe but it has been a full year since we first left on our journey across the country. It has been a whirlwind trip so far and we have no plans to stop for the foreseeable future. To date we have logged close to 16,000 driving miles and I’ve flown well over 30,000 miles on various jobs that happened over the last year as well. See our Google MyMap to see where we have been.
It’s been the experience of a lifetime…. we have been to some amazing places and met some really great people along the way not to mention shooting a zillion photos. I have to thank my wife for pushing me to do this as if it weren’t for her persistence we never would have left on this trip and the opportunities and projects that have come from it probably never would have happened. My American Worker Project took off with a bang and continues to garner great exposure. Back in July we shot hot air ballooning in Sedona Arizona and most recently I shot in the Firestone Walker Brewery in their wooden barrel aging plant. A few new proposed shoots to continue the project include potential shoots with the US Coastguard training at Cape Disappointment in Washington and also shooting with the brave men and women who fight the wild fires out that have been raging throughout California this summer. We have also been shooting a ton of travel related subjects featuring the many amazing locations we have had the pleasure of visiting.
Some of the best and most epic locations we had the pleasure of visiting included Monument Valley, The Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and Yosemite National Park. We took advantage of all these locations for the High West Whiskey project which is currently in post production and creative stages with the ad agency. I am very excited about the images we have created here and can’t wait to share them with you. For now these teasers from my Instagram will have to do.
As we steam headlong into fall things are continuing to look good as we are being considered for assignments and image uses for various projects for Chase Bank, STP, Fidelity Investments, and Orvis Fishing. Fingers and toes crossed on these as they look to be some really cool projects!
Stay tuned for future adventures as our fall calendar is packed with travel to Washington, up into BC Canada, (around Vancouver up near Whistler) and returning back down through Oregon… With later plans taking us back into California, Utah and Colorado over the winter.
We recently had the opportunity to shoot at the Firestone Walker Brewing Company in California. Firestone is a cool up and coming company in the brewing world. Founded by Adam Firestone, great grandson to Harvey Firestone of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and his brother in law David Walker. Firestone Walker has a unique brewing process where they age their brew in oak barrels during fermentation. This renders an oaky taste to the brew which is unique in a beer.
In our shoot we focused on the various processes from working the initial brewing vats through quality control, sampling the raw brew stock to labeling and packaging.
I had the pleasure recently to travel back to Jamaica on an assignment for Vista Print. I always love going to Jamaica. The people there are always so nice. We’ve spent many a month down there traveling to all corners of the map on assignments for Superclubs Resorts, Jamaica Tourism and the like….
This particular assignment was for Vista Print. We were tasked with the mission to go to their international call center and photograph some of their most valued employees for a new customer service oriented campaign. These are the people that man their call centers and are responsible for sales and customer relations and support. Having a call center based in Jamaica is a bit out of the norm these days as most are hosted out of India. The folks that work at this particular call center are a special bunch. They all seem to genuinely love their jobs and it shows in the way they treat their customers. Customer service is job one but it goes beyond that. They have been known to develop ongoing relationships that go beyond what you would expect of even the best customer service employees. One of these fine ladies actually had someone bring her cookies when she was taking a vacation to Jamaica with her family. She tracked her down took time out of her vacation and brought her cookies! Safe to say they are very likeable.
Because of that, and the fact that they provide a quality product a very competitive prices, Vista Print enjoys a large percentage of repeat and loyal customers. The picture shown above is one of the many people we had the privilege of meeting and photographing. Her name is Saju. She had an amazing energy and was so pleased to be a star for a day for us.
Hi there… me again. Thanks for coming back for Part 2 of my “Update from the Road” Spring 2016 edition. When we left off earlier this week I was recounting the various shoot projects from our stay here in Park City from the last couple months, but that is just part of the story. For those of you scratching your heads wondering “how the heck is this guy able to do this?” I thought I’d share a little insight on what it takes to make it happen… No I didn’t hit the lottery, nor was I born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Just good old hard work and careful planning & budgeting…
So what does it take keep this journey successful and profitable? It is no different than if I were in my office back home in Florida. Well it is different in that my view outside my office window is always different. 🙂
Day after day in between shoots and when we are not traveling, I put in the long hours that feed the machine and do the things that make it all happen. Like any small business owner I wear many hats…. The producer hat- This entails countless days on the computer and the phone planning and producing our next project. The retoucher hat- There is a ton of post work from shoots past…. processing of images that need to be retouched, color graded and finished. The marketer hat – Once the images are finished comes the job of pushing these images out to the various portals such as online portfolios, websites, stock agencies, social media, getting new work to the reps and working on creating new marketing materials. I’ve doubled down on my advertising budgets and am going heavy with my media buys this year. We have just finished sending out our next three spreads in The Workbook for the book that comes out this fall. Also we are going to be advertising in Communication Arts for the Photo Annual that comes out this summer. I’m also very excited about the direct mail piece we are mailing now…. It is a 28 page 6.5 x 8 inch printed booklet of images from my American Worker Project that is hot off the press at the printers and is mailing this week out to 3000 creatives and other clients across the country. Click the image below to thumb through the booklet.
I also printed 5 hard cover books of images which are a Volume 1 of the American Worker Project… That will serve as a supplement to my printed portfolios for in person showings.
It Takes A Team: Last but certainly not least are the people who support me… All that I mention above is just part of what it takes run the biz… I am fortunate to have a great team behind me and there is no way I could do all this without them. My reps Blake and Glen at VISU are busy making the rounds with portfolio showings at advertising agencies all across the country from NY to Detroit, Chicago and on to Minneapolis this month and they will show in the west from Dallas, on to LA, San Francisco and Seattle later in the year.
I’ve also been working hard with my my marketing partners at Wonderful Machine getting some great press and establishing a ton of new contacts. Working closely with Alex (pictured left and center below) we have implemented a whole new marketing plan…. She has been busy creating new, targeted lists and then promoting to those people by sending out emails and working the phones, getting people to look at the work and setting up meetings for me to show the work when we get to various cities around the country.
Meanwhile I’ve been working closely with my publicist Jessica (also from WM – pictured on right below) to put together a press release announcing the work we are doing with my American Worker Project. She then sent them out to a targeted list of about 40 photography trade publications and we have had a fantastic response from them. To date we have had about 8 interviews and articles written about the project. You can read some of them here. Future plans are to broaden our reach to include various photo blogs and podcasts and outward to the advertising trades, consumer magazines and newspapers as well.
The proof is in the pudding: Judging from the analytics that report activity on my website and blog, we are doing something right… People seem to be liking what they are seeing. Traffic on my website and blog over the last month has spiked as much as 15 times my normal daily traffic after some of the articles hit and my overall average has just about tripled on a day to day basis in since the articles ran.
The results of all this hard work: It is very rewarding to see that all this work is leading to positive results…. The calls are coming in for bunches of cool projects. Most of which I can’t give you the details of as we are under NDA’s. But what I can tell you is that we are up for a shoot with global reach for a beverage company shooting with an international sports star shooting in late June in Orlando. I also had a call this morning for a job for AirBnB.
Jobs that have been awarded…. We have also had the good fortune to land a few really great gigs that are happening over the next two months… One of these jobs is an awesome sports lifestyle oriented shoot with a large Pharmaceutical company that will have us shooting in the mountains of North Carolina early next month.
I am also extremely excited to be working on a project with a legend in the advertising industry, on some really exciting work for a Whiskey distiller. This is an ongoing project that I will be shooting at various points in the upcoming month as we travel across the west from here in Park City on down through Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, back through Sedona and then westward to California. Should be some killer stuff that hopefully will catch the attention of the awards shows when finished.
Next week we are heading down to Jamaica for a quick job for Vista Print. Should be cool, it’s been a few years since I’ve shot in Jamaica. Will be great to get back.
And last but not least, getting back to what I mentioned earlier in Part 1, I’ve just returned from Florida where we shot a tandem Print and TV shoot with Huffy Bikes alongside the talented director Ernie Mosteller of Fried Okra Entertainment. Fun Stuff!!!
Wrapping this up…. So that’s it for now. Thanks for following along, if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, please do… my Instagram handle is @petebarrettphoto and is chock full of interesting shots from our adventures.
Don’t forget to check back in!!! – Stay tuned for more great adventures from the road in the coming months as we press on up the coast of California and north up the Pacific Coast Highway up through Big Sur, Yosemite National Park, through big sequoia country and northward through Oregon, Washington and hopefully British Columbia!
This entry into The American Worker Series led me way up high to some of the very best back country skiing terrain available in the country. I was very fortunate recently to have been invited to join the guides of Park City Powder Cats on the beautiful 1000 Peaks Ranch in the high Uinta Mountains just east of Park City Utah for two days during a storm that dumped well over foot and a half of fresh powder on of some of the most epic terrain I have ever ridden. Over the two days I met some amazing people and got some really great photos while getting access to some of the most epic skiing and snowboarding terrain one can find. *Note- Some of these images need to be seen large to really get enormity of the terrain…. click the image to see a larger version.For those of you that have not heard of back country Powder Cat skiing, you don’t know what you have been missing. Instead of skiing within the boundaries of a ski resort and being herded with the hoards and masses up ski lifts where you are lucky if you get one un-tracked line on a powder day, you are instead being brought up a private mountain in a heated Powder Cat coach that delivers you and 9 or 10 other lucky skiers and snowboarders to the top of some of the best un-tracked terrain in the country. At Park City Powder Cats they have over 43,000 acres of private land to choose from. That is an area larger than Vail, Aspen and Killington Mountains combined. What that means is you can go for days and days and never have to ski over someone’s tracks if you choose not to. We are talking HUGE bowls of steep and deep riding in some of the lightest and fluffiest powder I have ever experienced, which says a lot as I have well over 20 years on the snow.
A warning though…. a few good days here will literally ruin your experience at even the very best ski resort out there. It sets the benchmark way high and everything else pales by comparison. 🙂
So epic skiing aside, my reason for being here was to shoot the people that make it all happen at PCcats. I wanted to document the hard working ski guides, snow safety and drivers that take people out day after day into some of the most incredible, (yet potentially dangerous) areas to feed their nonstop craving for fresh un-tracked powder. Over our two day shoot I had the pleasure of shooting and riding with their amazing guides Johnny, Jason, Chris and Nancy. These folks have the best jobs in the world and they are very good at it. Their ever present positive attitude is infectious. Though I guess it would be easy to be positive given the venue in which they work!
It’s not all just “atta boy’s and good jobs” though, in addition to making sure people have a great time, this hard working team’s most important job is one of making sure your experience is a safe one. You have to remember that this is the back country and it can be extremely dangerous if you do not respect it and know what you are doing. Avalance potential is ever present in the back country and it is paramount that you know what to do and not to do. Every skiier is given an avalanche beacon and a safety briefing in the morning before leaving base camp. Before each individual run, they tell you exactly where to go, or (more importantly), where not to go to keep you safe. The guides work very closely with their expert snow safety patrols. Together they constantly assess the conditions and determine where their next run will be and exactly what parts of each peak will be not only the best run, but also how to best approach these runs to get everyone down safely without incedent.
Their snow safety team are constantly out on the various parts of the mountain during the day cutting new lines, knocking down dangerous cornices and throwing the occasional explosive charge to help mitigate much of the avalanche risk. They work hand in hand with the guides to help them to craft the perfect day for their guests and keep them out of harm’s way.The image above shows snow safety patrollers Dave and Wes setting a charge to help shake loose any dangerous snow that might potentially be a problem to their guests. This particular shot was from Day 1 of our shoot way up high around 11,000 feet on a seriously steep grade with a dangerous cornice during one of the only moments where the visibility was good and not a complete white out. Nothing like heading out to the top of the world and throwing explosives, all in the name of safety! They have to be on top of their game and have razor sharp focus as without what they do, as the guides would have no way of knowing what each face is doing on that particular day without them.
This is General Manager and head honcho Ron. This guy is amazing. He is quite literally everywhere doing every conceivable job you can think of… from helping coordinate guests, to running a cat up the mountain to groom the cat trails so that the drivers can get the guests to where they need to be, to shuttling people out on snowmobiles that need to get to different areas around the mountain, to coordinating with a production company filming a movie on property. He does everything and all with a constant smile on his face! With him running the show and his amazing “Can Do” attitude it is no surprise that he has such a well oiled and positive team. Good management filters down through the ranks and it shows throughout their entire operation.
Last but not least are their team of talented powder cat drivers. Without these guys at the helm they wouldn’t be able to deliver their guests to these amazing spots. Make no mistake, their job is not easy. They have to be experts at what they are doing. These are large, HEAVY pieces of machinery, they do everything from crossing running ice cold river beds to climbing up super steep grades and chugging through giant snow drifts that can take 5 or 6 tries to get through. There are many times on any given climb when you look out the window and realize you are motoring up a steep grade riding on only a tiny ridge line with no room to spare on either side, and thousand foot drops to your right and left. These guys do it without breaking a sweat!!
If you are an advanced skiier and you’ve never done this before, you owe it to yourself to save up and go out and do it at least once. I guarantee when you leave, you will leave craving your next opportunity! You can reach them here to book your next trip!!
For my 3rd installment into The American Worker Project I chose to shoot long time Maine fishing guide Mike Guarino of Maine Wilderness Tours. (Mike is the one in red) I first met Mike back in 1998 on a stock photo shoot I did back in my Sharpshooters days. I’ve seen him a bunch of times over the years and it occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a smile on his face. He one of those guys that not only loves what he does for a living but generally seems to really enjoy life itself. He does have a pretty good gig though, there are worse jobs than going out in the great outdoors and fishing everyday. 😉
When I approached Mike this time with the idea of including him in The American Worker Project he was instantly on board. He even recruited fellow angler Dr Peter Kallin to join us on this chilly fall morning to go out and create some great fishing stills and video.
Peter is not only a great fisherman subject but is also an avid conservationist. In addition to a long career, Peter is the Executive Director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance where he works tirelessly to help monitor and control the quality of the watershed in Maine’s most important resource, its lakes.
Enjoy the images below. I will be posting some video as well at a later date. Stay tuned!
I created a little map of our Journey around the country so far which documents where we have been, shoots we have done and also where we are headed in the months to come. Be sure to check back on a regular basis to see where we have been and what we have in store.
You can zoom in on the map by clicking on the + or – button on the left to better see each pin. Also, the pins are color coded… Red pins are places we have stayed along the way. Green pins are shoots I have done and the yellow pins are places we are headed in the coming months. Click on the pins for more details. On the green pins there will be links to the images we shot at each location as I can get them posted to the blog. Click on the Green Hammond Lumber and Lobsterman pins in Maine for an example of this.
My second installment into The American Worker Project brought me Down East to the coast of Maine in a little place called Brooklin Maine. Specifically the waters off of Eggemoggin Reach just a few miles south of Mount Desert Island, but a seemingly miles away from all the crowds and tourists that one encounters when touring Acadia.
I was introduced to my new lobstering friends, Patrick and his sister Sharlene Grant, by our new friend and host Laurie, of Ocean Front Camping of Reach Knolls in Brooklin. Laurie and her husband Paul were amazing hosts and also a wealth of knowledge in assisting me with setting up several of my shoots. But that is a story for another post…. Stay tuned.
Getting back to my exciting day of lobstering…. Here are a few more photos from that cold morning on the water. Scroll down below the following photos for more info on my hard working subjects Patrick and Sharlene.
We started out our morning early at the crack of dawn, what turned out to be a late start compared to their normal days. After boarding their boat and loading up the day’s bait, we had a quick discussion about what we were going to shoot and how I can get the best shots without ending up in their way or over the side of the boat. 😉 I couldn’t have asked for better subjects. They were super nice and gave me free reign on their boat to shoot whatever I wanted.
Patrick and Sharlene are second generation lobster fishermen. Both started out at a very early age just as their father before them. Sharlene worked the boats off and on over the years and took time every summer to fish alongside her brother and her dad. Patrick has followed in his dads footsteps and has hardly missed a day on the water in over 30 years. It is hard work, but when you talk with them you see that they really love it. You would have to love it to get out on some of the cold mornings… 😉 It was a blustery 29 degrees Fahrenheit the day we went out. Fortunately the sun was out. I can only imagine what it must be like when it is cold and blowing with rain added in on top of that.
The job of a commercial lobsterman is hard. You work really long hours, get up super early and head out to search for your bouys in a sea of what seems like millions of bouys. This task of finding your traps (or Pots) has been simplified somewhat with the invention of the GPS but finding them and hauling them in is still an arduous task. Patrick captains the boat and snags and hauls in the traps while Sharlene preps the bait and does all the measuring, banding and sorting of the keepers vs the rejects. Then Patrick drops the pots and the process is repeated about a zillion times. All the while being soaked with freezing cold water. Simple right? 😉 Watching them work was something else, they are like a well oiled machine. One of the highlights of the day was when Sharlene pulled in a pot that at first glance only had two lobsters in it… upon further inspection it turned out to be one lobster that had shed its shell and left a perfectly preserved shell of its former self right next to it. A pretty rare find, even for a seasoned pro.
All in all we had a pretty good day. While it started out slow, it picked up about mid morning. Patrick joked that it seemed like every time I would switch from stills to video we seemed to bring in lots more pots full with lobsters. Sounds like a joke but it literally happened like that 3 times in a row. Stay tuned for an update with our video we shot that day. In the end we went back in to port with about 4oo+ pounds of lobster. Which is a pretty good haul for about 1/2 days worth of lobstering at the end of the season.
At the end of the day they sent me home with a giant bucket of lobsters and a few crabs and my family and I had the feast of our lives! Thanks so much to them both for making me feel welcome and for being such great subjects!
Update from the Barrett camp…
Well we’ve been at it about almost 2 months and it seems like a blur. I have been non stop shooting one project after another. We’ve been so busy I have not had time to update this blog but will be adding new stuff soon. If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram you have no doubt seen my steady stream of teaser iPhone photos. This upcoming week I am actually trying to schedule some down time to work on processing, finishing work and color grading on a backlog of finished shots and will be posting them to my blog and as well to the various social media channels soon. We also have a ton of video that hopefully will make it to the editor in the coming month to expand my reel.
Just a quick recap of where we’ve been and what I’ve been shooting. We started our journey by heading to Maine to shoot in the remaining nice fall weather. Immediate plans have had me shooting everything from flyfishing with fishing guide Mike Guarino of Maine Wilderness Tours in the Kennebec River for Maine Tourism type stuff, Shooting on a freezing 28 degree day on a lobster boat, the “F/V Pud Lee” with Captain Patrick and his sister Sharlene Grant, a couple of hard working Lobster Fishermen. I also spent several days shooting a reportage documentary style people shoot in the saw mill at Hammond Lumber in Belgrade Maine, shooting both stills and video. This project also marks the start of a series that I am working on called “The American Worker Project” where we will be shooting real people in real jobs all over the country. Very Heart of America kind of stuff. It’s a great opportunity to get out an meet new people and shoot some killer new stuff for the books. It also doesn’t hurt that this type of work is in very high demand right now and is great for getting all sorts of clients.
After leaving Maine, we headed south to Boston to take a few days showing the portfolios to some ad agency clients. I also had the opportunity to shoot Sid Abbruzzi who is the owner of WaterBoys in Newport Rhode Island which is the oldest surf shop in New England. Sid is also about to be inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame and is a really great guy with a million stories to tell about the interesting life he has lead. I also shot some neat stuff of some guys working in a motorcycle shop for the American Worker Project. While I was busy shooting. The rest of the family got to explore Boston and learn about the history of our country touring the Freedom trail and other cool stuff.
From there we found ourselves in New York City for 5 days. I had a quick editorial job to shoot and spent the rest of the time doing personal work, street shooting and hitting a few of the iconic NY spots with the family.
This last week as you’ve seen has been spent in Lancaster County in MidWestern Pennsylvania shooting Amish Country and some really cool old steam trains. Which brings me to the present… Suffice to say, it feels like a whirlwind so far. What an awesome trip for all of us.
Tomorrow we head towards Philly and I shift into post production mode for a few days as I literally have tens of thousands of images to be edited. Thursday is a much needed down day as we stuff ourselves on Turkey day visiting Deirdre’s side of the family in Southern New Jersey.
Speaking of stuffed…. Our calendar for the next 30 days does not have a free day on it. What we have scheduled for the next month makes what we have done so far look like a stroll in the park. Many miles ahead of us as we zigzag through the the entire Southeastern seaboard. Some of the travel is part of the various RV road trip photo projects and, oh yeah, I actually have a couple pretty decent ad jobs that I am scheduled to to fly out for as well. All this before a much needed Christmas break down in Naples FL.
But that is a story for another night….
Please stay tuned for more installments… Thanks for all the “Likes” and great comments, keep them coming and please feel free to share with your friends. If you have not done so already, Please follow me on Instagram @PeteBarrettPhoto as I am steadily growing my following there as well.
Until next time….
The earlybird catches the wake skater! Got up early on this morning to shoot wake skaters at Camp Modin. Nothing like waking up at 4:15 and on the water at 5:00 am on a crisp 52 degree summer morning in Maine. These kids braved the cold and never once complained. When it’s chilly like that the water actually seems really warm!
Well summer is finally here and let the fun begin! Schools are out and it is time for kids everywhere to get out and enjoy all the things that kids get to do in the summer. As many of you know every summer we move our base of operations to Maine to the quaint little town of Belgrade Lakes. See the enclosed link to see some of the fun stuff we shot last summer and featured in a recent direct mail piece that went out to about 3,500 creatives at advertising agencies and client direct clients around the country. Click here or on the image below to see the mailer
This year we are looking forward to doing more great stuff. Shooting several new projects both in video and stills of everything from a beverage project of teens enjoying a day of rope swinging at the lake, to a video project of a grandpa and grandson out fishing and other fun lifestyle scenarios. I am also planning to start a personal series documenting real people such as river rafting guides, fishing guides, boat builders, commercial lobstermen and other local flavor.
I am looking to collaborate with as many people as I can on these projects so if you are a creative person or someone in the industry such as crew or talent or just want to come out and lend a hand and learn how we do what we do, give me a call at 305/557-0694 or drop me an email at email@example.com
So my most recent lifestyle portfolio project is one that is all about color and energy. Back about a year ago, I was shooting at the Color Vibe 5K run and got some good images but thought that it would be even better to come back, and this time bring a handful of young models along with me to recreate the scene, but with a bit more control. This way I could provide them with direction and guide the energy the way I truly wanted it. It also gave me an opportunity to throw in some products and skew it a little more toward the commercial side so that it’s appropriate for my potential clients. This one ended up targeted toward Coke, as I and my reps have had several RFP’s and estimates this year for several large Coke projects, both for national and international campaigns. We’re actually up for two more as we speak. (fingers crossed!) The idea for this latest project was inspired by the traditional spring Holi festival. See below and more images to follow:
The inspiration for this event was of course the Holi Festival. It started as a celebration of the victory of the good over the bad and the beginning of the spring in India. It also happens to be super fun and has evolved into events ranging from private parties to festivals. People have just taken the idea and run with it, which has turned into a fun thing to do.
In this case, we used a Color Vibe 5K Run as our backdrop so that we could get the depth and volume of people to add to our background. Having shot the event last year, I knew there were going to be thousands of people there covered in color and getting crazy in the after-party of the run. I just brought in seven of my own millennial, ‘twenty-something’ models, our own giant box of multicolored powder and put them in the middle of the masses and directed them to have a great time. They kept throwing color and dancing to the music of the DJ that the venue had on the main stage. The models were awesome and really had a fun time with it.
I am planning a follow up to take this project one step further, shooting a motion version, all in variable speeds ramping from normal speed to extreme slow mo. The inspiration for this (more for the effect of the powder not the actual subject) is a great video on Vimeo that the folks at Variable did https://vimeo.com/40123818 I’ll be sure to share the results once we shoot it!”
I was recently asked to shoot for a really good cause for a program called “Flashes of Hope” This is a program where photographers donate their time and services to photograph young cancer pediatric patients and their families to help in the fight against childhood cancer. It is a fantastic program that raises money for cancer research for kids and also gives the kids and their parents a nice experience of being a star for a day and the parents receive a lasting memory of their child to cherish. Special thanks go to my assistant Abdiel Thorne and my make up artist Candace Wessinger who also generously donated their time for such a worthy cause.
Here is a new personal work project I’ve been working on shooting drag racers.
Like most guys, I have always liked going to the races. The only thing better than going to the races as a spectator is getting credentials to shoot them. I have had the good fortune to shoot many races over the years. From Formula One, to assignments from Dodge to shoot the Nascar races at Homestead Motor Speedway & Daytona, to projects for Bloomberg Markets shooting events where the a private luxury car club rents an airstrip for the day to race a multitude of ultra high end supercars at speeds of well over 200 mph.
Of all that I have shot, nothing trumps the thrill of drag racing. The sound of the engines roaring as the cars speed down the track. The smell and sight of the smoke of the burning rubber as they do their burn outs. It is thrilling. These guys are fearless. From the souped up street cars rocking 800 horsepower knocking out 10 second 1/4 miles, to the top fueled dragsters with up to almost 8,000 horsepower that go from 0 to over 300 mph in less than 4 seconds. Many equate it to the forces you’d feel taking off in the space shuttle as it puts 5 to 6 times the G forces on you as you rocket down the race track. They are the fastest accelerating land vehicles on the planet.
I love getting out and shooting all this. As you kneel down next to them when they do their burnouts you can feel the sound waves pounding you like someone beating you repeatedly really fast with large heavy pillows. It shakes the ground under you and were it not for the ear muffs, would permanently damage your hearing. It’s unnerving and super exciting all at the same time. These are just a few images from part one of an at least 3 part series of shoots. We have both still and video shoots planned at the Top Fuel NHRA races in Charlotte Motor Speedway in March and the IHRA Nitro drag series in April here in West Palm.
To see more of my work go to the Speed Racer section on my site @ http://www.petebarrett.com/Personal-Work/Speed-Racer/1 or follow me on Instagram @PeteBarrettPhoto and stay tuned for more exciting stuff in the coming months!