I love doing portrait photography and had the opportunity to photograph Virginia McClain for Oklahoma Living Magazine cover story. Virginia lives in Luther, not far from my home in Edmond, and was a long-time employee – 41 years – at Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives – parent to Oklahoma Living Magazine. Her father Carl Booher was instrumental in bringing electricity to central rural Oklahoma and was one of the founding members of Central Rural Electric Cooperative in Stillwater, and a long-time board member of OAEC. The story by Anna Politano talks about Virginia growing up without electricity on the family farm in Luther, and then about how her father was instrumental in working with the Rural Electrification Act to bring electricity to fellow farmers. A great read about the sacrifices of our older generation and what they have done to make our lives better today.
“Would you like to photograph a story about the Horny Toad at Tinker Air Force Base?” I got that question after answering the phone call from Megan Rossman, photo editor at Oklahoma Today Magazine.
“Heck yea!” Didn’t take me long to answer that question.
I had originally told Nathan Gunter, editor at Oklahoma Today, about the horned lizard study going on at Tinker a few years ago. They had finally decided to run a story and asked me to do the photos. I spent a morning at the sprawling base in Midwest City where Air Force and OKC Zoo, along with a professor from southern Indiana were working on research to find out what had happened to Oklahoma’s population of Texas Horned Lizards – or “horny toads” as I had always called them in my youth.
Read the full story here and subscribe to Oklahoma Today –> Whatever Happened to the Horny Toad? Oklahoma Today
I just love photographing Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. I was hired to photograph the Horn Canna Farm in southwest Oklahoma last year, for publication in the 2017 Oklahoma Agriculture Magazine produced by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. I met them at daybreak in late September 2016 and set up for photos before sunrise. They had huge fields of cannas that they harvested and sold all over the USA. The story ran in the 2017 edition of Oklahoma Agriculture.
While the following photos didn’t run in the story, they show the process used to separate the canna bulbs and ship them off to market.
I photographed five college mascots in late June for a story about student mascots for Oklahoma Living Magazine. It was HOT that day – nearly 100 degrees by the time we got everyone onto the UCO football field in Edmond. I got everything set up and tested before the mascots arrived so that I could minimize their time I the heat in their costumes, since I knew they would be sweltering inside. Temperatures on the field were approaching 120 degrees! I ended up photographing them for about 30 minutes, both as a group and individually. They were happy that I brought ice cold bottled water to the shoot! My editor Anna Politano did a great job on the layout. I was very pleased with how the story turned out.
I love photographing electrical lineman. They are hardy outdoors types who work hard and a tough, demanding and potentially dangerous job. These guys and gals are calm as cucumbers when dealing with tens of thousands of volts, driving rainstorms, sleet, ice and snow. But put them in a room with photographic strobes, a white background, and some guy – namely me – pointing a huge camera lens at them, and all of a sudden they are what you might call “out of their comfort zone”.
I had just that opportunity to photograph the linemen at Central Electrical Cooperative in Okmulgee, Oklahoma for the May cover of Oklahoma Living. We started the morning outdoors on their “training poles” – something the guys were quite comfortable with. Later I brought them inside to shoot studio-style photos on a white background – something they were not comfortable with at all. Add in a group of seasoned lineman watching over our photoshoot like spectators at a prize fight, and the laughter, jokes and fun begins. The word “ribbing” comes to mind – with a capital R. There was plenty of that going on as I worked to photograph these guys in their safety equipment. It was all in great fun and one of the things I really enjoy about working with lineman – nobody takes themselves to seriously. They take safety VERY seriously, but if you have a big ego, hanging with a group of experienced lineman will keep your ego in check.
Fun, fun, fun. And funny.