I recently photographed a story for 405 Magazine titled “Enough to Drink” about the water needs of Oklahoma City, both past and present, and how people are working to reduce water consumption and conserve water in the future. My assignment took me to Draper Lake and Lake Hefner water treatment plants, to Norman to meet with the owners of Ideal Homes to see how they are building new homes to conserve water, and to OSU-OKC to photograph how they are teaching water conservation to builders and landscape companies. My assignment was due in late January so it is difficult to photograph water features in the middle of the winter – running sprinklers was out of the question. We made the best we could of the project and I am very pleased with how the story turned out. The folks at 405 Magazine are really starting to commission great long-form journalism stories and I really enjoy doing the in-depth journalistic photographs to help illustrate the stories.
I recently photographed my first story for 405 Magazine in Oklahoma City. The story is a great piece of long-form journalism written by Ben Felder. The story is about the growth of some of OKC’s neighborhoods, specifically focusing on Classen Ten Penn area and Paseo Arts District, and how neighbor’s are building their community without losing the character of the neighborhoods.
I had the opportunity to photograph Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese at his farm near Nardin, Oklahoma for the cover and feature story on him for my good client Oklahoma Living Magazine. This excellent story was written by Anna Politano.
I knew I was going to have an opportunity to take great pictures when Mr. Reese agreed to meet me before daylight on his farm in north central Oklahoma. He was in the middle of the milo harvest so we met at his John Deere combine that he had left in the field the night before. When he asked me what he should wear for the shoot, I told him “wear what you normally use to farm in.” This turned out perfect since he normally farms in his worn white dress shirts that he cuts the sleeves short after he wears them out in a suit and tie. I thought that little touch really added a sense of realism and showed how he easily moved from the suite and tie world of state politics to the world of farming and running a combine.
Mr. Reese was very cooperative when I arrived and moved his combine so that I could get the best angle for the morning sun. I knew as soon as I snapped the first picture that we had a winner on our hands and was very pleased when the story came out. Of course Anna always writes a great story and the pictures I felt really showed who Jim Reese was in his down time.
Below are a few outtakes from the photo shoot.
When Kenneth and Barbara Goodin retired from working in Lawton, they decided to move to their ancestral land near Elgin. Kenneth’s grandfather, a respected Comanche Indian named Bob Otipoby claimed the land after the 1901 Jerome Agreement, which forced the Comanches to assign tribal members individual land allotments. He and his Betty Pedday had been living on the land for years prior to 1901. In fact, as a teenager Otipoby ranged free across southwest Oklahoma until the Comanche tribe was forced onto the reservation near Lawton. Now Kenneth and Barbara live in a small stone house they designed, which overlooks the Wichita Mountains and Medicine Bluff, both sacred grounds for the Comanche.
I photographed Kenneth and Barbara at their home for the story about homesteaders for Oklahoma Today magazine written by Nathan Gunter.
Jennifer Plett and her husband Perry live just north of Okeene on land her great grandfather, J.A. Hendricks, homesteaded after the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. Their home is filled with memorabilia from her family’s time on the farm. She and Perry moved into the house in 1980 and raised their children in the shade of trees her family planted years prior. Their house is surrounded by green and golden wheat fields and even includes a well from the original homestead.
This is the third family I photographed for the Oklahoma Today story about homesteaders, written by Nathan Gunter.