LIBBY DELANA & COLLABORATION

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Libby DeLana is just the loveliest person. Meeting the sweet and laidback woman, you probably wouldn’t guess that she’s one of the advertising industry’s most successful and influential forces. Multi-talented Libby studied philosophy, trained as a graphic designer, and is now one of the industry’s leading creative directors. She actively advocates for female leadership in and out of the ad world, and is heavily involved with a handful of charities. In her spare time, she founded branding firm Mechanica in 2004 with Ted Nelson and Jim Garaventi. She also describes herself as a devoted mother and wife. Basically, she’s the woman who can do it all.

I’ve worked with Libby on many projects throughout the years. Most recently, we collaborated in January on a shoot for Saucony. Her vision for the campaign was a departure from the typical athletic wear campaign, where you see somebody running down a lonely road or through an urban landscape. Libby wanted to do something more minimalist and artful.

Working with Libby is always great because true collaboration is something she values, which I really appreciate–that’s what this industry should be all about. We had countless phone calls and chats over clamballs at Woodman’s where we bounced ideas off of each other for what the final pictures would look like. On set, she allowed me the creative freedom to deviate from the original plan and play around with light and composition. For example, the black and white portrait of the female model began with a strict lighting set-up and then evolved–or devolved–to a more natural shot taken with available light.

Libby is an inspiration to work with, the kind of woman who could pick a leaf up off the ground and design something around it. Collaborating with her fueled my own creativity, and being able to play off of her was a lot of fun. At the end of the shoot, I dragged her on set to take a couple of photos of her and her striking long, gray hair. I think they really capture her spirit.

Take a look at some photos from the shoot:

PRESS – ESPN THE MAGAZINE

I’m extremely proud to finally be able to share “Water’s Edge,” the feature I shot for ESPN The Magazine of Bill May, “the greatest male synchronized swimmer who ever lived.” Bill May had been retired as a professional athlete for 10 years and was performing in the Cirque du Soleil “O” show out in Vegas when he was yanked out of retirement to train for the milestone of his life: The first ever synchronized swimming world championship to include men.

This piece has been a long time coming–it’s been almost 9 months since my shoot with Bill. Capturing the precision and grace of athletes in motion is difficult enough–just imagine the added inconvenience of maneuvering in the water within a restricted timeframe. I had 30 minutes to shoot as Bill May and his partners Christina Jones and Kristina Lum Underwood on the pool deck. The next 3 hours were spent photographing whatever pictures I could get as they trained, fully focused and totally indifferent to my presence. Afterward, I was given just one controlled half-hour under the water to direct some of the movement.

Some of my favorite photos of last year came came from this shoot. Five of the images from the shoot were recognized at the 2015 International Photography Awards, where I won Sports Photographer of the Year. Some of the pictures will also be included in the American Photography 32 award book, which will be released next November. The AI-AP books are the “first and foremost go-to resources for art directors, designers, photo editors and art buyers who insist on assigning only the best original, thoughtful and compelling pictures.” I’m very happy about both accomplishments.

Check out more of my photos and read about Bill May’s incredible journey at ESPN.com

PRESS – BLOG.AT-EDGE.COM

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When asked about my strategy while shooting an enormous event like the Olympics, I said,”In competitive sports you’re always trying to look for what’s different, what hasn’t been done – there are so many photographs of the same person crossing the finish line – how do you find that iconic shot? You have no idea when it’s going to happen. My strategy is to figure out what’s going to make someone feel like they were actually at the event.”

AtEdge, a marketing program that connects art buyers and photo producers with creative professionals, recently featured me on their blog. Click the link to read the rest of the article “JOHN HUET: CAPTURING THE POWER AND VULNERABILITY OF THE COMPETITIVE ATHLETE” on their site!

PHOTO STORY – “A ROSE”

I bought these roses for my wife on Valentines Day. Every day, I walked past them and with each day they were a little closer to dead. I don’t normally take still lifes, but I figured I’d snap a picture of the roses before they were completely gone. I’m not sure why. I guess because I thought they looked nice, and I take pictures of things I like to look at. Or maybe, I  did it as a personal challenge–to push myself out of my comfort zone in the sports arena. Whatever the reason, I ended up snapping a few dozen shots. I played around with angles, settings, and editing to see how many ways I could transform the image. Below are three photos of the same bouquet, visualized in three very different ways. Perhaps I’ll print them and hang them on my wall.