Before the Coffee

February 4, 2010

Triathlete Suzy

Filed under: people, Studio — beforethecoffee @ 8:57 pm

Suzy McCullough-Serpico is a sweetheart and I’m so glad she stopped by for a photo session. She is an Elite Triathlete who has earned her way into the prestigious Ironman competition in Hawaii this fall 2010. She wanted some promotional pictures for her website that will hopefully bring her sponsors.

Triathlons combine three events, swimming, biking and running. Being a triathlete isn’t something you do casually like joining a softball team. It’s all about preparation and dedication. After spending a few hours with Suzy I learned what it takes to be an Elite Triathlete. She is someone who pushes through the pain, someone who sees distant goals, someone who thinks about and plans the next workout, and for protein…. Suzy loves peanut butter. All the best of luck to you this year at the Ironman competition.

A little Ironman History:
Ironman began in Hawaii in 1978 with 15 competitors. Gordon Haller, a taxi-cab driver finished first in 11 hours 46 minutes and is considered the “original” Ironman. The following year Ironman got a boost of publicity when ABC sports filmed the event. Julie Moss, a lifeguard, lead the swim and the bike and was set to be the female champion when just 20 yards before the finish she collapsed. Trying to stand, her legs wouldn’t support her, she collapsed again and began to crawl to the finish. Julie came in second and ABC’s Jim McKay called it the most inspiring sports moment he had ever witnessed.

In 2009 the top finishers completed the course in a little over 8 hours. There were an estimated 1770 athletes representing 48 countries and all 50 states and ranged in age from 20 to 80 years old. The race starts at 7am and competitors must finish by midnight, 17 hours later.  This year we will be rooting for Suzy. GO SUZY!

Suzy Serpico’s Website

November 30, 2009

The Creative Plan

Filed under: people — Tags: — beforethecoffee @ 10:41 am

Before I go to a shooting location I always have a creative plan. A creative plan is a very deliberate plan to pursue a particular subject or a “look” that fulfills a vision in my mind. My creative plan might be very simple as in shooting reflections or more complex as in shooting a model running with balloons lit with strobes (previous post).  Once on location I’m very intentional, I actively pursue the creative plan I was thinking about. Sure, I still remain open minded and react to opportunities “in-the-moment” but having a creative plan keeps me looking and working toward mental visions that are not easily seen.

August 18, 2009

I’d Rather Not Wonder About That Today

Filed under: Chesapeake Bay, people — beforethecoffee @ 10:06 pm

It was one of those foggy rainy days and I decided to go for a walk along the bay. I came upon a dead horseshoe crab and decided to take a pic of the two of us. Horseshoe crabs are pretty cool creatures, they have passive personalities, they move slowly, and they are always happy when you turn them right side up and point them back into the bay.

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I'd Rather Not Wonder About That Today

August 12, 2009

Rapper Does His Thing

Filed under: Bands, people, Urban Decay — beforethecoffee @ 3:32 pm

When Breezy the rapper called me to photograph him for his CD cover I wasn’t really interested in doing anything more than a documentary shot of him. Mainly because he didn’t have any ideas except that he wanted to wear a suit and his CD was going to be titled “Billionaire Dreams.” After some brainstorming I started to get an image of what could be a fun shoot. I imagined a person that acted like they have it all yet their surroundings say they don’t. I liked the contrasting ideas so things started to gel and I felt the Henryton Facility would be a cool backdrop.

On location Breezy was a little stiff, he needed lots of encouragement and instructions before he found his groove. He liked to point at the camera a lot, which works for the first 5 shots, but you have to mix it up a bit. I told him “Breezy, forget the camera, forget about getting your suit dirty, forget about answering your phone and forget the cops could show up here and arrest us.” I walked over to the scene and pointed to the ground, “here, right here, dance like you LOVE your life and you LOVE what you are doing. If you can’t convince me right here you’ll never convince your fan club.” Breezy laughed, then pulled it off very nicely.


Here’s Breezy in the burned out floor doing what he loves.

August 2, 2009

On Her Way

Filed under: people — beforethecoffee @ 9:39 pm

Kara did a quick wardrobe change and we headed out to a construction site for a clean backdrop of sky behind her. As you can see most of the balloons had been released in other takes so she was only left with three as one drifted away. As each balloon drifted away we tried to see how long we could see it. This is a single shot image with a polarizer and a single strobe to camera left to light the front of Kara.

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