There are two things I particularly love about photography, maybe about life: people and nature. Some photographers might say it’s watching that perfectly captured image unfold or capturing a moment in time – and those are fantastic, no doubt about it. But what has always made photography special to me is the people factor and the ability to tame nature.
First, people – I found it in news, meeting and talking to folks every day and being a part of the daily news cycle. And I find it today, with my clients, my subjects, and those I get to interact with daily.
And of course, nature – my passion. Days out on and near water, waiting quietly for the subject, over which I have no control, watching for the break in the water, the breath of the manatee, or the pastel colors of a sunrise or sunset reflected as if on a canvas.
So it was a good fit when I did my first freelance job with VisitFlorida, the state official tourism vessel and website. I got to meld my love of nature with my love of people.
One of my recent assignments was a two-day photo shoot in Steinhatchee, Florida. My main contact there was charter captain Jim Henley, a local entrepreneur, fishing and scalloping guide. He took me under his wing; showing me around, introducing me to the locals and after seeing and hearing from me on what kind of photos I was looking for, sending me on my way to be creative.
Henley is the kind of person I’d have worked with when I was in news, and the kind of person I enjoy working with as a professional photographer today. I’m smiling as I write this, remembering him bonding during a lunch break with Shirley Watson, owner of the Mayo Café in Mayo, FL.
Or how he lead the way with me in tow to the waterfalls in Steinhatchee Falls Park. This is a wonderful waterfall with a fishing lagoon above where folks fish in the shade of the oak hammocks and scrubby flat woods. A bonus that day was seeing the ruts of settlers wagon wheels etched in the limestone above the falls and just at the edge of my vision. During all these excursions Henley was watching me and giving me that “I told you so” look.
My background in news and my passion for nature photography makes this the perfect kind of shoot.
Thank you VisitFlorida and Kevin McGeever.