October 18 was the start of a 14 day trip, lots of flying, lots of driving and hopefully a few good shoots. This trip I was going to be shooting for Heavy Hitters, Honda Tuning, Truckin and Mini Truckin. The same day I flew into Dallas I had two shoots one for Honda Tuning and one for Mini-Truckin just east of Fort Worth, nothing too special about these shoots except the Honda was 2 hours late. Since my whole life is about being somewhere on time, that is one of my pet peeves is being late.
On Monday the 19th I had a car to shoot in Shreveport, LA, never been there so kinda looking forward to it. I had a 3 hour drive from Dallas but it ended up taking 4.5 hours since I was so tired I pulled over a couple times to take a nap. Since I had never been to Shreveport and the car I was shooting was coming from Baton Rouge I had to figure out a meeting place. To do this I used Google Earth, a really great tool, I have used this for a long time now to scout locations for areas I have never been. The area was perfect, lots of decaying buildings all within a mile of each other.
The car on the other hand was pretty lame, it had all these high performance goodies, was as low as it could go but it does not drive, have never been driven…whats the point but it had a graffiti painted engine bay. What I didn’t realize when I picked the location was that there was a homeless shelter across the street and as the end of the day approached it opened up and the dregs of Shreveport started making they way past us all asking for money and eyeballing all this expensive camera equipment. I finished as fast as possible then had an hour drive to my hotel. I would have liked to stay in Shreveport but the next day I had a 6 hour drive and wanted to lessen the drive as much as possible.
Oct. 20 drove from my hotel forget the name of the little dot on the map to Conroe, TX just north of Houston. I drove diagonally across the state. Since there wasn’t any real easy way to get there I mean no interstates I programmed the address in my Blackberry and it gave me a route that I was sure would get me lost. The whole trip would be on 2 lane Farm roads. Driving through the center Texas…wow this is a huge state with a whole lot of nothing. After leaving my hotel I just wanted to get going so I figured I would get a few miles on me then get some coffee, big mistake after I left my hotel there was not a single place to get coffee until Houston 5 hours away.
After settling in my hotel for a bit my shoot for that day was a 3 axle mini-truck for mini truckin, it was interesting, not my taste but I’m sure someone likes it.
Houston does have some great food especially bbq, one of my favorites is Goode Company. You know this is going to be good before you even taste the food. All the signs of good bbq are there, piles of wood surround the building, there is a separate smokehouse with a steady stream of smoke coming out of the smoke stack, dining is simple just long picnic tables but most important is that you can smell the smoking meats long before you get there.
My shoots on Oct 21 for Truckin and Oct 22 were canceled due to rain so instead of staying in Houston I went back to Dallas.
My shoots for Truckin’ Magazine on Oct 21 were canceled due to rain. Instead of staying in Houston I went back to Dallas at least I would be closer to the airport and would be able to go to dinner with some friends. The drive to Dallas took longer than usual due to the rain.
The view of the drive-through from my hotel.
When arriving in Dallas, I called a friend of mine who owns Jack’s clothing in Flower Mound, TX. She needed some photos of her store so I did some interior photos and some pics with her and her dogs. After all her shop is named after her dog Jack. It was an easy shoot mostly available light with some simple lighting when people were involved. It was really nice to see someone who I haven’t seen in a few years.
On the 23 I was able to photograph another friend who I had been trying to photograph for quite a while but for one reason or another we haven’t been able to meet. We did the shoot at Kat Tattoo, we were supposed to meet around noon but due to her makeup artist canceling at the last-minute we couldn’t shoot till later in the evening. I was worried that we wouldn’t have the time to do the types of images that we both wanted.
While waiting for Katrina to get made up this guy walks in that had some unique tattoos and just a great look that I wanted to photograph. Luckily he was interested to shoot. I did a quick setup with a single speedlight inside the lastolite box and a single sunpak 120j as a rim light. I was very happy with the results for this 10 minute shoot.
Once Katina was finished with hair and makeup we started to shoot, she was amazing, I think we got several really good shots at this location and was very happy but we had to leave and move to my hotel. Katrina recommend that I stay at NYLO it’s a really cool hip boutique hotel in Plano. The room was really good to use a photo location since it doesn’t look like the typical hotel room. We shot there for a couple more hours and once again got some more really good images
Drove back to Dallas, about 3 hours…ITS HOT. The in car thermometer indicated 108.
I checked in my hotel then Hampton Inn in Lewisville and just did some editing to catch up. When I received my key there was this card inside the key case. As part of Hampton Inns “green campaign” they now put these travel tips cards with your key. I wonder how much paper they waste just to give worthless tips.
On the subject of going green. I have noticed lately that just about every retail store are selling “green” bags. The retailers realize that the dumb asses think they are saving the planet by purchasing these so-called “green” products, where its just another revenue stream.
Just the act of creating more ”green” products the retailers are also creating more trash when these wear out. Here is a tip, use one of the number of bags you probably have at your house from department stores etc. Also just the production of these items is not green. I don’t care what percent of the product is recycled at the end it is going to end up in a landfill. Also look at all the electricty used to manufacture this item, the boxes to ship them and the gas used by the trucks to ship more useless crap to the stores
Today shot a pretty cool truck a 71 Toyota Hilux whose body was left original including rust, but had Center-line wheels and was on air-bags. This truck was pretty cool, I was more interested in this more than then Nissan R35 skyline I shot a few days before. Anybody can buy an R35 but take a vehicle that is 20+years old and completely rework the suspension where nothing is off the shelf takes talent and vision, this truck had soul.
Before the shoot I had dinner at Baker’s Ribs in Deep Ellum.
For those of you who don’t know Deep Ellum is the renovated warehouse district located just three blocks east of downtown Dallas. There are a lot of places to listen to live music, there are several galleries and great places to eat. I had the brisket and ribs with pinto beans and mac and cheese. The ribs were fall off the bone fantastic and the brisket was absolutely amazing. the meat was so tender and had a great smokey flavor. Although there was bbq sauce, the meats were so good by themselves that they didn’t need anything else.
I’ll talk more later about my thoughts on bbq