Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike for City Vision Magazine | Bellingham editorial photographer
Late last month I received a call from art director Samantha Gardner at City Vision Magazine, asking if I was available to make a portrait of Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike. Available? Yes. Excited to get started? Definitely. As a Bellingham photographer, I am always interested in getting to know people in my community. What better way than getting to photograph the chief of the city?
The most challenging part of the assignment was figuring out how to connote the transportation angle the story discussed. In Bellingham, transportation, specifically public transit, are key issues for local government. My assistant and I had a half-hour with the mayor, which is an enormous amount of time to be able to spend with a high-profile subject.
The shoot was to begin at 2:30, and by 1:00pm we were on-location scouting shooting areas and setting up lighting. We also choreographed how we would move Mayor Dan Pike through our three separate lighting set-ups. Since we were limited to shooting near and around Bellingham City Hall, I decided to photograph him on the beautiful lawn just out front and across the street at an abandoned bus stop — an apt metaphor for the public transit issues Bellingham faces today.
The Mayor was a great sport and everything moved smoothly. My assistant called out the remaining time left at 20, 10, 5 and 1 minute remaining, and we had the mayor back in his office exactly 29 minutes after the first photo. Scouting out a location ahead of time, pre-planning shoots, angles and lighting setups ensure that the experience goes as smooth as possible. And that, is more key than a lot of things to a successful portrait assignment.
Check out the September/October issue of City Vision Magazine at http://www.awcnet.org/cityvision/0910/Cityvision_0910.pdf
My portraits of the Mayor are on Page 2 (Table of Contents) and on pages 11 and 12 of the article. I really like their layouts and design!
Thanks for looking!