I have had some remarkable life mentors. It started with Cook Neilson and Phil Schilling of CYCLE Magazine. They both are in Motorcycle Hall of Fame and teamed-up to design, build and tune a 750SS Ducati that was ridden by Cook, tuned by Phil, into the Superbike Winner’s Circle at Daytona International Speedway. The last private effort to wrestle that title away from the factory racing efforts. My time at the magazine, nearly 6 years, was an honor and privilege.
On Saturday Night Live, Chico Escuela’s (Garrett Morris) catchphrase was, “Baseball been berry berry good to me!” Well I gave baseball a go, my highlight was a no-hitter in the semi-pros. But for me, photography has been very, very good to me.
With Phil’s help I transitioned from a staff Associate editor and photographer into the advertising photography arena. My very first commercial photo shoot was for Honda. How that assignment came about is a long story with many people to thank. My first commercial assignment was in my wheel-house of my talent, to shoot race-action of Daytona Bike Week at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. From that assignment, Honda produced over a million racing-action posters, for their dealership network. From Freddie Spencer to Johnny O, the posters and ads were one of the first of their kind and proved to be quite popular.
I went on to shoot for Honda’s agency, Dailey and Associates for quite some time, they were principle clients that allowed me to build my first studio, in Los Angeles, on Sunset Boulevard. I am so very grateful my relationship with Honda still continues. Currently I am involved with advertising and marketing projects.
I just finished a introductory ad for Honda Power Equipment, a great group of people headed by Atlanta’s John Lally, and among his staff is one of those lightning fast racers, championship motocross legend, Warren Reid. Lally has had a long relationship with John Cate of Cadence Design, an amazing creative shop. Lucky for me, he is located in Nashville. He called on my studio to produce his vision to introduce Honda’s VersAttach™, a handheld split shaft power-head that can attach up to six different tools with a click and a twist.
Another mentor I had said, “We used to take great images, now we MAKE them.” When I first saw the comp and heard Cate describe his vision, I knew this shot would be one that was made. It was visually stunning but equally challenging. I was in, it was kind of assignment I love.
I called on Phase One’s digital system and their equally amazing Capture One software to tackle the task. It was an easy choice, the IQ180’s huge 80MP captures teams up well with the almost limitless features of Capture One made a perfect combination to produce our idea. It was a project that I was proud to have been a part of.
And still another mentor once told me, regarding commercial photography, “If 10% of your images don’t make your portfolio, you are either lazy or working for the wrong people.” I am proud to display this shot. Thanks to s team of Johns. John Lally, John Cate and my retoucher John Wilson.
Mentors have truly enriched and guided my career, as I’m sure if you think about it, yours too. Take time to thank them. Oh, and don’t forget to pass the mentoring help forward.