Father's Day 2017

I'd like to talk about a recent adventure with a true inspiration in my life, who taught me that careers and passions may not always coincide, but that it is not impossible to conquer both. A senior commercial loan officer with over 40 years in the banking industry, with a masters degree in banking, and also holds a masters in chemical engineering, an affinity for designing, engineering, and fabricating anything he can imagine. This man can build, fix, and assemble anything. A true jack of all trades / man for every season, I'd like to introduce to you my father; the junior to my third.

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On a recent trip to Virginia to photograph a corporate client, I decided to tack on a few extra days to drive to Northern Virginia and spend some time with my parents. It had been raining for what seemed to be an eternity in NOVA and my father, now retired and unaccustomed to remaining idle, was beginning to get a bit restless. Knowing the true engineer at heart, I decided to ask if he would be willing to fabricate a bracket for the Wescott Ice Light 2 that I use for head shots. In my research, I discovered only one bracket that could do what I hoped to accomplish, however, the cost was far from what I thought was practical. Anyone that knows me would agree that I’m fairly cheap unless it comes to camera gear or computer gear. My idea was simple: to mount two Ice Lights to one V-shaped light stand. Enticed, he immediately went to his shop and began, first and foremost, to write all speculations and measurements scrupulously in his idea book, filled with a myriad of his creations. Anyone that has spent any time with me can also attest that I am best at observing rather than assisting in projects as I find I hinder progress. I learned quickly as a child that when dad was working, I was to stay out of the way and I decided to practice said lesson on this particular project. After drafting his prototype (with me nodding in agreement regardless if I agreed or not), he began arranging an assortment of bolts, metal, and tools all from their meticulously organized and respective locations. Think of libraries Dewey Decimal System when you're envisioning the organization that his shop has. I am a bit jealous. As I watched him dash around his shop, I decided to not only steer clear of his path but to capture him in his natural habitat. I chose the Profoto B2 kit with a Wescott Rapid Box beauty dish to capture what few photos I could without impeding progress (or asking him to be still).

Mesmerized by the flying sparks and the overheard fractions and conversions, I looked on in awe as he presented me with his creation: a flash bracket exactly as I had imagined and at a fraction of the size of the costly bracket I had found online. All for a mere 50 cents. Reinstituting my personal skill of persuasion, I convinced him that testing the bracket was best so corrections could be made immediately if needed. With my camera manned, my test subject in position, and my Ice Lights attached, I can proudly say, this is the first time in my professional photography career I have landed the opportunity to capture a portrait of my father.

Both portraits of my father were obviously taken with a bit of haste, so not to waste time while in the shop, but as you can see with the catch lights in his eyes, the new bracket was used.  I'll definitely be using this on future shoots, just look in the eyes!

Happy Fathers Day Dad! Thanks for the custom creation!!

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