Man, Gregg was a tough one to break into. In 1999, shooting with Gregg was like trying to speak with the pope. When he finally warmed up to me…or rather, caved in to my persistence, I got my time with him. Most of the morning was spent on his couch waiting for him to get up. I could see the sun getting higher and the clouds marching in. He just wasn’t cut out for morning shoots. But, eventually, he would get his “mind right’ and we’d get some midday moments on the water. We wouldn’t speak much…he would do his thing and I would do mine. And eventually after several years of this, we started to understand each other. I am proud to say that I’ve spent many many great times with Gregg up to the present. Much like the last shot that was taken on Reed’s bachelor party in the Keys. He was named “Captain Jumpy” because he wouldn’t sit still out on the boat while we were fishing. He was making us all nervous. This is a shot Capt Jumpy at the helm. He had to focus, so he was fairly still for this one.
The first shot was taken back in 1999. Again, not exactly sure if this the actual first shot ever, but its close. I had to shoot stuff for Smith Sunglasses, so I would make him sit in all these random spots to take portraits. This is his look after about 15 minutes of the same thing. I think he was over it.
Now that Aaron Reed is married, we must move on. It saddens me too….BUT…I do have 1 more story that I will tell when I get all right ammo I need to visually put you in the drivers seat.
In the meantime….enjoy this random photo of Reed stepping over a railing in short shorts
For the last post of the week, were gonna keep it simple. LOVE. Because that’s all you’ve really got in the end.
See you in TX.
Reed went through a “shooting pictures with cool cameras” phase. i think he’s still going through it. He picked up quite a arsenal of old cameras over the years, some of which i was jealous of.
In 2007 we went on our 2nd New Zealand trip together for Red Bull’s Human Trailers. It was called Human Trailers because we lugged ourselves around the entire country in 2 weeks and never stopped. It was the ultimate road trip. There were a lot emotions on that trip…a very transitional time for all of us. We didn’t really get a lot of riding done, but we definitely worked out some personal issues.
This SHOOT THE SHOOTER took place in the Auckland Airport when we were picking up Danny Hampson. It was a really weird day. We sat around the hotel bar….drank….got mischievous….and were talked into trying these crazy over the counter “herbal ecstasy” pills called Dark Angels. They were sold right there on the counter next to the tylenol. It was horrible. It felt like we drank entirely too much coffee…like 4 pots. We were up for 12 hours straight and had to pick up Danny in the middle of it all. I remember him looking at us like we were crazy. Uhhhhhh, it just wouldn’t stop. So, what did Reed do at midnight…took another one. I woke the next morning to him standing over my bed, sweating and biting his lip.
Here’s some other standout images from the road trip. This is somewhere on the South Island…getting lost with nowhere to be.
Yet another fond memory from our travels together. Somehow we managed to plan the perfect DVS / Cassette trip around one of the best city’s in the world to skateboard. I”m not gonna lie…I’m sure there was some damn fine positioning to make this one happen.
i had just gotten my Littman 4×5 polaroid camera, so I was psyched to be shooting the hell out of it. My plan was to shoot one polaroid each day that said something about the trip. I’m not sure if I stuck to it, but I did find some pretty good ones of Reed. He had his long, scraggly hair at that time and was really into skateboarding. We skated everywhere through the city on this trip. We had Luis and Pedro, our cassette rep hosts, but we were pretty much on our own in an amazing city. We went to all these skate spots that Reed had seen on video parts. He fell in love with one place with a bunch of steel manual pads and had it mastered by the end.
This is also the trip that we had some major sleep walking episodes. We had all crammed into one hotel room (8 of us) and one night when we went out, we stumbled in at different times. I turned in about 4am with Reed and a couple others, found a spot on the far edge of one of the beds, leaving room for all the others. Well, when i awoke to the sound of others coming in the door, I realized there was someone right up against me and lots of room beyond them on the bed. “What the hell, Reed? Why so close?’ I thought to myself. The other guys kicked on the light about that time and we all realized it was a complete stranger laying there. Then it got real weird. The stranger woke up and sat up to 10 dudes looking at him in disbelief. Luckily he spoke English and he said “Where the hell am I?” We told him “not in the right place.” Ended up being a really bad sleep walking episode into the wrong room. Our door was left cracked open so everyone could get in later. He was in his boxers and even put his reading glasses on the night stand next to me. haha.
Turns out the Reed slept walked the next night. He wandered out into the halls in his underwear and locked himself out. He had to walk down to the front desk to get a key because he forgot what room we were in. Amazing.
Here’s some polaroids from the trip. The “Hotel” shot is special b/c Reed had to hold all of my shit while I shot this one. Filters, polaroids, film back, backpack. He was always good for that. Thanks.
Those of you who are lucky enough to know this gentlemen would agree that he is deserving of his own “week” worth of stories. It just so happens that he is getting married this Friday, so my timing is more than appropriate. Also maybe this will cheer him up a bit since his good luck streak with wake injuries came to screeching hault last week with a broken Tibia / Fibia. Ouch. No Texas 2 step at his wedding??? Uggghhhh, the humanity. A legend has fallen…but only temporarily. Our little Texas tornado has lost some steam, but will rise again.
I thought we would start with a FIRST AND LAST. I can’t really confirm the exact accuracy of the “first” photo. i dig some digging deep in the filing cabinets, to a day of Provia and colorful slide mounts. I found this one marked 2002. I know this is close to when we met. And not to mention, its a Front Blunt in 2002. The other one was from this year’s Lake Powell trip. He was getting in touch with his ancestors on the last day. This is what a week at that place will do to you.
About meeting Mr. Reed:
I can for sure remember the first time we ever shot together. The most notable thing being his length of shorts and shoe size that matched mine. It was the first wakeskater that I shot with where I could use his shoes. So, after we shot some stuff, I did just that. He pulled through the rail course out at The Wakeboard Camp and talked me into a few things I’d never done. I can remember him turning all the way around on the ski and pumping his fist in encouragement. I did my first front board that day and then even kissed the back 1/2 of the rail on a noseslide. Coudn’t believe…and either could he. It was a moment I will never forget. Hey Reed, thanks for lookin’ good for me all these years and thanks for those shoes when i need them.
……Sooooo much, that good friend Chad Crawford has themed his entire company around them. They needed some fresh mug shots for the team page of their website and I wanted to try an new lighting setup. Here’s a little sample of what we got. As i’ve said many times before, getting strong portraits that leave you wanting to know more about someone can be very challenging. It most often is someone you’re meeting for the first time and you are carrying the responsibility of portraying them correctly, authentically and interestingly. Just gotta keep working that muscle….and having fun.
This guy rides this bike through this town.
Again, lost in the archives, I found these 2 panoramic shots. I like them for their color. I am always looking for reminders of why film is so great. This is definitely one example. The color tones that come out from shooting a certain film in certain conditions are really hard to dream up in the ‘ol digital darkroom. They just happen. And when you start to gravitate towards a film in your bag on instinct, then you know you’re in that “place.” I love it.
As a photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot a lot of athletes as they meander their way through a career. Slowly enough images build up to justify delegating a virtual folder with their name on it somewhere on the hard drive. Then…when things really get serious, with printed materials, film negatives and mementos, they get a real folder to hang in the ‘ol filing cabinet. Its like i’m building my own little Library of Congress, preserving history for no other reason than my love for it. It got me thinking about how lucky I am to document these dudes grow up and change over the years.
I am gonna keep this up…I have lots of people, with much larger time spans that I can show. Should be cool.
This old b/w photo of Ben got me going on the idea though, so we’ll start with him. Its only 2 yrs old. It seems like I”ve know Ben my whole life. He’s just one of those magnetic souls. Those who know him, know what I”m talking about. This shot was from the first NIke 6.0 shoot we ever did in the Keys. He rolled up on the shoot fresh after being discovered and put on NIke. Until I met him he was referred to as “this sick skateboard guy from some small town in Georgia.” Now I’m proud to say he’s Ben Horan and one of my good friends.
So, another dive into the archives has yielded another find. 2007, Shane Bonifay at Lake Powell. This was the first morning of the shoot. I remember it being pretty cold that year. It always amazes me how cold it gets in the desert when the sun goes down. We had all started this “shoot the shooter” thing that led us to shooting all photos either of a person shooting or at least including them in the shot somehow. I love this shot of Shane. It always stood out to me. But, just the other day when i saw again, it got me thinking about if Shane still had that photo that he took. You know how those things go….shit gets lost, misplaced, erased…I figured it was gone. Not the case. I emailed Shane about it and after a little digging on his end, he came up with the goods. THere I was, in all my glory with my favorite camera and favorite filter. There is just something cool about what’s going on. A study in perspective of one simultaneous moment in time, frozen forever. Shane, thanks for capturing, persevering and finding that moment again for us.