Archive for the ‘The Story Behind the Image’ category

Kevin Connolly in National Geographic Traveler Poland.

The first time I met Kevin was on a book reading he did in Bozeman, Montana a few years ago.  What caught my attention about Kevin was his sense of humor. I came out from the reading with a smile and wanting to know more about him.  I bought the book and read it in a few days and very much enjoyed it.  Right after finishing his book Outside Magazine called me to photograph Kevin for a feature they were doing on him.  I guess that’s how life works sometimes…  036_NGT_1308_WYWIAD_01-1
He showed up at my house, and my normally sweet dog Tobi, tried to bite him as he stepped through the front door.  I had never seen Tobi do that.  “I am used to it” Kevin said with a laugh. “Dogs think I am weird as they have never seen anything like it.  When I go hiking in the woods I pack a gun as I don’t know what animals will do. I might look like a snack to them.”  We shook hands and the first thing I noticed is that my manly large hand disappeared into Kevin’s even larger hand.  I figured that the rest of the day we were going to photograph Kevin as we helped him get around with us.  Turns out, we had to catch up to Kevin the whole day.  We skied Big Sky and he enjoyed working us to the ground, and I am no novice skier.  I pride myself for having grown up skiing the Alps.  We made it to the end of the day not without pain or suffering or noodle legs.  Never a second to take a break, Kevin always with a grin.

I have since watched Kevin’s progress throughout the years and have been impressed by what he has accomplished.  Recently I received a call from National Geographic Traveler in Poland, they needed a photograph of Kevin.  National Geographic? Poland?  Really?   Nice working Kevin, keep going at it.

The New York Fighting Scene

_MG_4550Recently I met with the photo editor at Harper Magazine and showed her my recent shoot of the New York fighting scene.  She asked me “why are you drawn to this project?”.  That was a very good question, I am not a fighter or a boxer and why would I want to document fighting?  I replied to her, making an analogy with the first Corrida I watched in Spain.  I am an animal lover and I didn’t really want to see a bull get played to its death.  I wanted to witness it as a cultural experience, to do it once and say I did it.  However when the bull fighter entered the Arena, I felt the energy, the intensity, the history and the pride surrounding bullfights.  You could feel this energy pulsate through your body.  It turned out to be an unforgettable experience and gave me a whole different perspective on bullfighting.

These are the same elements that I wanted to capture and that drew me to this project.  Intensity, history, pride and the energy surrounding the fighting scene. And in New York, I knew I was going to get both history and the real people.  I researched for classic NY GYMs with lots of history and came up with John’s GYM in the Bronx and GLEASON’S  in Brooklyn.   _MG_6288Not being a fighter made this project a little more challenging.  When I contacted the people involved the first question was “who in the hell are you?”.  The unfriendly, intense attitude continued until I took some photos and brought back some pictures to show them.  After seeing the first pictures things changed and I was welcomed into this somewhat raw and intimidating environment.

I wanted to capture the training of the fighters as well as the coaches and the environment.  I let them do their  thing and just danced around them.  On the fight night the goal was to show the intensity of the moment before, during and after the fight. Check out the three galleries, John’s GYM in the Bronx, Gleason’s GYM in Brooklyn and Friday Night Fights.  If you enjoy this blog don’t forget to like me on Facebook


JOHN’S GYM in the Bronx


Meet Joe Stone

Last week I had the chance to photograph Joe Stone for An Ironman’s Journey and Colle McVoy.  Joe was like anyone of us a few years ago, but after crashing while speed flying in Montana, was diagnosed as an incomplete C7 quadriplegic. What would I do if that happened to me was the question that kept arising in my mind while photographing him.  Joe didn’t give up or lose a beat.    With his hands strapped to special pedals to something similar to an upside down bicycle, rubber gloves for friction on his racing wheelchair and a special wetsuit to keep his legs contained and his body rigid, he has been training to become the first known wheelchair using quadriplegic to compete in a full Ironman triathlon.  Watch him this November the 2nd at Ironman Florida. Go and kick some ass Joe!

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