When Life Gives You Lemons….

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!

 

Hammond Lumber Company

HammondFinal01

As I recently posted,   I have begun my new series,  The American Worker Project which will be an ongoing project as we travel around the country,  documenting the American Worker.      I chose to start this adventure and visual assignment in my home town in Belgrade Maine.      As many of you know I grew up in Maine and it is where we spend the better portion of each summer for the last 14 years when not off on assignment somewhere.

I figure what better place to start than the area you know best.      I chose Hammond Lumber Company because it is a classic example of a good old fashioned family business with its heart and soul wrapped firmly in the people that work there.    That and it helps that it helps that helps I am also good friends from back in our childhood days with one of the principles of the company.

Hammond Lumber is a company that was started back in the early 50’s by Skip Hammond with only $50 and a dream.     It has been a staple in the town and now around the entire state of Maine ever since.      For over 60 years they have grown from a small mill with 3 employees including Skip himself to a large company with 13 stores and counting with many many loyal employees,  many of whom have worked there for 20 – 30 years or more.      Hammond Lumber is one of those special kind of businesses where you  know you are much more to them than just a number.    They offer personal service that is rare these days,   all at a fair price.

I’d like to thank Mike Hammond and the other great folks at Hammond for giving me cart blanche and basically unrestricted access to film in their main saw mill.    Over the coarse of 3 days we shot a ton of video footage and stills of their hard working employees.

Here are just a few images from the shoot.     Click here or on any of the images to see a larger gallery of images posted to my website.

HammondFinal03HammondFinal04HammondFinal11HammondFinal05HammondFinal06 HammondFinal12HammondFinal21HammondFinal14HammondFinal15HammondFinal25

Update from the Road

RoadSmall

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….

Road Trip Anyone?

All sorts of new and exciting things happening in the Barrett Camp these days!     We have been busier than ever with a new extended ongoing travel project.    Some of you may already be following us on our adventure, via Facebook and Instagram (follow me on Instagram @petebarrettphoto) but for the rest of you that don’t yet know,  here’s what we’re up to…

Hit the roadIt’s no secret that I love to travel and I am fortunate that I have a great career that very often finds me traveling to shoot photos for great clients all across the country as well as elsewhere in the world.    My wife also shares that passion for travel and several years ago she planted the seed for an idea of getting an RV and traveling all over the country with the family.    Something everyone would love to do at one point in their lives but for someone with a busy career and a family,  it seemed like a “pie in the sky” idea to me at first.    I have to credit her with being persistent and the more I considered it the more it started sounding not only do-able but also an amazing opportunity to shoot a TON of new work all over the country which also goes a long way toward giving me new and exciting things to promote for new upcoming assignment work.

Continue reading

Color Vibe Coke

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:ColorVibe2015_018

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!”ColorVibe2015_148vFINALvertColorVibe2015_153ColorVibe2015_159v1ColorVibe2015_198

Marlins Spring Training

Got a chance to shoot a little of the Marlins Spring Training this year.  Mostly just their new recruits and prospects doing drills.  Little known fact that the Marlins and Cardinals train just a mile away from where I live here in Jupiter.   Looking forward to doing more with them in the future.

Marlins Spring Training 2015 Marlins Spring Training 2015 Marlins Spring Training 2015 Marlins Spring Training 2015 Marlins Spring Training 2015 Marlins Spring Training 2015 Marlins Spring Training 2015

 

Cape Town, South Africa

We recently had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa for two weeks of shooting and exploration.   Shot tons of new stuff for the portfolios, visited a few ad agencies to show the work, did a quick assignment and lots of exploring.   What a great trip!   If you have never been to South Africa, I highly recommend it.   It is an amazing place.   South Africa is a place that is area that is unique unto itself… far off from the areas where you venture off on safaris.    The people are great and the landscapes are amazing.

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that travel always stirs my creativity.   Nothing like going to far off places and exploring and shooting things that are different from your day to day life or surroundings.   Driving on the opposite side of the road with a stick shift on the wrong side of the car is always an adventure.   Wandering around and finding penguins on Boulders Beach,   Baboons wandering the streets by Misty Cliffs and South of the lighthouse in Kommetije.   Watching the surfers paddle longboards in overhead swell at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg on the Indian Ocean.   Finding 19th on Main in Kalk Bay and all you can eat curry… yum!   Climbing Table Mountain and watching as the weather goes from amazing sunset to socked in white out in a matter of minutes leaving you in a place that feels more like Iceland than South Africa.   A short drive outside of downtown Cape Town and you are in Stellenbosh, heart of SA’s wine country.    Just an amazing place full of diversity and many cultural influences.

Much of what we shot on this trip were wide landscape shots along with elements to add in objects and people later primarily for stock and the portfolio.

Here are a few teaser images of these places.   We will be adding in additional structural elements later to give a place to ground talent within the shots.

Yee Old Guys Part 2.


Spent a couple days shooting at the South Florida Renaissance Festival last weekend. If you’ve never experienced one before, I highly recommend going. These people are a trip. They are all “Good day to you, my lord & Me lady….” It is great how the stay and live in character throughout the festival. Tons of fun! Here is the first series of images from our our first day’s shoot.

Yee Old Guys from the Days of Yor.


Spent a couple days shooting at the South Florida Renaissance Festival last weekend. If you’ve never experienced one before, I highly recommend going. These people are a trip. They are all “Good day to you, my lord & Me lady….” It is great how the stay and live in character throughout the festival. Tons of fun! Here is the first series of images from our our first day’s shoot.