Relatives from different states gathered to attend the Anderson Family Reunion picnic, Friday, June 22, 2018 under the pavilion at Charlie Vettiner Park in Louisville, Ky.
This was a commercial assignment from AP Images for a medical client whose in-house publication was doing a study on IBS, so after the reunion, I returned to their motel for photos of blood samples being taken from family members.
The problem was that everyone pictured had to sign a consent form, but my subject had a stack printed on the way, and upon arrival made an announcement. Soon thereafter, family members began returning their forms, so no problem!
We were supposed to get names for everyone.
Zahria Rogers, an editorial intern at the Courier Journal, and I were ready.
She was there to assist me in taking names of VIPs being photographed with Teddy Bridgewater, the New York Jets and former University of Louisville quarterback and guest speaker at the Courier Journal Sports Awards at the Louisville Palace. We’d gone over how I wanted to receive the caption info.
So we waited for Teddy to arrive. When he did, it was with his manager or handler who wanted to get going. I wanted to get names first, before their photo, he said after. Once we got going, the line began to back up across the room. Zahria was trying to write down everyone’s name from the left as I’d instructed her, until someone came along and said no more names. Too much of a bottleneck! Everyone got shot right as the lights dimmed.
After photographing 70 some VIP guests posing with Teddy, he grabbed me for a last photo.
Saying something like, “I know how it is for you photographers,” he pulled me in for a photo. I gave my camera to another shooter named Justin to capture the moment. (And Justin, thanks. Sorry I didn’t have your full name to give you proper credit for the photo that appeared of me with Teddy in the CJ gallery!)
Teddy wanted to do something special, so we both adopted poses. Then I noticed that Justin was in landscape orientation with my camera, so hollered at him to go vertical. I wanted my photo in that gallery, too!
The photos were posted that night in a gallery anyone could download from on the Courier Journal website:
I’ve posted my own gallery of the full-sized originals if anyone is interested:
Here’s coverage of Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Reggae Festival at the Water Tower, for the Courier Journal.
See the spread in the Sunday paper or the web gallery, Kentucky Reggae Festival 2018 on their website.
See my full gallery of images from the two days I was there and purchase downloads or prints, go to Kentucky Reggae Festival 2018 in my archive.
See the story on the Courier Journal website: Louisville bakery helps rescue exploited women through baked goods, by Nancy Miller, Special to Courier Journal, Published 12:44 p.m. ET May 8, 2018 | Updated 11:32 a.m. ET May 9, 2018
A portrait and food shoot
I made a portrait of Rachelle Starr, owner of Scarlet’s Bakery in Smoketown for a Courier Journal Cook’s Corner column. They featured recipes for the bakery’s Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice muffin, Oatmeal chocolate caramel bars and Grilled chicken pesto panini.
Neighbors were there having coffee together, so I began by shooting interiors and exteriors to capture them in the space.
Rachelle needed to leave, so I set up a softbox to shoot her portrait. The interior was already bright, but I wanted to be sure to balance that with a great exposure for her against the high-key background. The bakery’s sign below the counter branded the photo, but you have to be careful with text in your photo. I also shot it with the words obscured, and that’s the one the editors chose for the lead photo.
With the owner photo taken care of, I turned to the food items. They were ready to go, so I began by shooting standard food angles to cover those bases. Then I decided to go graphic.
I altered their presentation by using the plastic silverware to break the muffin in half and take a corner of the chocolate bar to show their insides. Then I took the Panini sandwich and turned it on it’s side for an angular composition. Those were the photos they used in the paper.
I finished shooting details as the two employees cleaned up, which made another nice photo. When I packed up, I left with the food as they closed.
Scarlet’s Bakery, 741 E. Oak St., (502) 290-7112, scarletsbakery.org
That’s my Derby Day assignment for the Courier Journal.
I shot the Derby race from outside the rail as they came out of the first turn, made it down the back stretch without incident and then as they passed by after the finish of the race.
Those were the wettest 15 minutes of kneeling on a garbage bag in the pouring rain that I’ve ever had to endure to make a picture.
I’m humbled by my colleagues who had to work in those conditions all day.
I was fortunate enough to have a commercial job that morning photographing corporate guests leaving for the track, and wasn’t expected until late in the day. By the time I arrived, everyone was in a flurry of editing photos on deadline. There was no place that wasn’t taken up by wet and muddy people and gear, no place to sit. I checked in, grabbed a track vest and left as soon as I was packed. I had time to shoot for myself before I had to be in place before the Derby race.
So I roamed the grandstand, shooting candid scenes and close-up faces of gamblers taking refuge from the rain in the grandstand near the betting windows. It was all 35 mm at F2, shoot and move, no names.
After making my way out to a view of the track, I realized that it was time to return through the masses to the media center to repack myself and walk to my spot for the race.
At the media center everyone was preparing for the race. I used cheap plastic camera covers I’d bought for the occasion in hopes I wouldn’t need to use them. They were barely adequate, but my gear stayed dry for the walk around the track, and I was lucky to find open media boxes where I need to be that I used for shelter until close to the race.
There were two people there with backside passes and cameras around their necks. They owned a horse stabled there at the Downs, but not a “Derby” horse. We talked until the horses were at the gate. Then I went to my place by the rail, put down plastic to kneel on and waited for the race.
“And they’re off!” I could hear in the distance. I waited and here came the field of horses, coming around the first turn. I made my pictures and watched them go down the back stretch. As they came back around, the jockey wasn’t visibly jubilant, but I watched for any moment that might be worthy until they passed me on their way back to the winner’s circle.
Back at the media center, I sat on the floor on a garbage bag and edited my race pictures, turned them in, and walked out of there with an Irish goodbye.
Writer Carl Brown died April 13, 2018.
Michael Jones called Friday night with the news that Carl had been found dead at his apartment. He didn’t have any further details, but word has since spread on Facebook about his passing.
Here’s a story by Joe Gerth in the Courier Journal after his passing: