NAC architecture brought us in to shoot the new "Clearwater Clinic" in Orofino, Idaho which they designed and helped concieve. Pat Watkins, their facility manager, was super helpful all day as we executed both exteriors and interiors for a long full day. The assistant I hired said that it was the "longest day he had worked in his life". He's young- he'll have more chances to beat it. He was good help right through the end, then for the three hour drive back. Once we arrived back at the studio we added grass, bark, and cleaned up the images for their final stage, as you can see using the image sliders. It's a beautiful building which is as much a community center as a clinic judging from the traffic and activities all day long.
Grant County Public Utility District called us to refresh their facility photography and document the fisheries research and activity in which they are engaged. We took two separate days to make the most of weather and river flows. They own and operate Wanapum Dam and Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River as well as numerous recreational facilities along their stretch of the river. I have a personal liking for these dams (as well as other large-scale human technologies), my dad having been an engineer. Our family vacations often involved dam visits when I was very young. That was a time when anyone could stroll into the control room and have access to almost anywhere inside the dam. In hindsight these dams have their problems but they are what is largely responsible for the prosperity and quality of life in our modern civilization. The fishery problems are being addressed with great priority and effort right now given the importance of fish navigation in the circle of life and to the native cultures of the area. You would be surprised that with the modern turbine blades the survival rate difference is only about 1% between the turbines vs the spill way. Our first day was in the generator bay at Priest Rapids for a "heavy lift". Our second day began at 5:30 a.m., with fierce winds, which should have been no surprise (it is the "gorge"), It was a very cool, (as in freezing cold!) hour or so just downstream from Priest Rapids Dam. Extreme and gusty winds did not get the best of our camera supports- the tripods held steady (with extra weight) and we got our shots. A tough and long, but fun, day.
You can download the annual Report here and view some images we captured for them here: www.grantpud.org
Bouten Construction hired us to update their library of "process" and construction images. They use these images in proposals as well as in their broad marketing efforts. We were in Yakima on another job and stayed overnight there so we could be in the Tri-Cities, at the project, at 6:30 am the next morning. These guys start early and move fast. The parking garage is a substantial structure- five stories of heavy concrete. It was a routine day: re-bar install (getting ready for a large cement pour), form setting and removal, concrete finishing, crane work, and a dozen other tasks that are impressive in both scale and skill.
Eric Thun, owner and inventor at Springtools asked us to photograph a few new tools and tool sets for advertising and promotional purposes. It helps that they are nice quality products. We brought them into the studio, talked over the art direction and he left us to our task with the help of his marketing and sales guy, Marty Parole. These spring tools are a great idea, in all of their variations, and Eric has had great success with them in national markets. I began working with this product many years ago with the previous owners of the company. I like it when a company stays with us as their photographer even through a change of ownership and management.
Wine has become big business in Washington thanks to good soils and a good latitude for the growing of grapes. Along with the "biggies" (Chateau St. Michel and so on) there are a few small, but very good, local wineries toiling to make the best wines on a small scale. My friend Kirk Phillips, with business partner John Morrow, run V du V winery here in Spokane. Kirk grew up around Lind Washington where his dad was a farmer. Turns out this area is especially good for the growing of grapes. Kirk started making wine on a hobby level in 1983, turned it into a business in 2003 as V du V winery. His knowledge and interest both increased through the years and now they make about a thousand cases per year. The grapes they use are still mostly from the Lind, Washington area including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, grenache. They make some nice wines and Kirk and John love the process and still do it all themselves. First Fridays they are always open, with music and great fun (and for direct sales) at South 10 Scott. Right next to the Clear Channel bunker on Sprague.
You can view their website here: www.vduvwines.com
This last weekend, Friday through Sunday morning, about eighty Spokane area creatives went to Camp Fire's Camp Sweyolaken on Coeur d'Alene Lake for ... well - for FUN. The second year of the Collective Campout, we did team projects, a range of hands-on seminars, and heard from Von Glitschka, a great designer illustrator from the Salem, Oregon area. The weather was great, food was good and the people were the best. It's amazing how great these spontaneous and quick projects came out with this mass of visually strong people, all in one place.
Mollie Mraz, daughter of a long and dear friend, John Mraz (and her mom Marilyn) helped us with some computer decisions and mentioned her Marbled Bengal cat in conversation. Allergy-free apparently. She showed me a few images of her young cat and I asked her to bring herby for a photo session. The cat, Zelda, has such an exotic look and a tail about a yard long. While cats and strobes and studios don't always mix well, we stayed at it until she got a little familiar and you can see the result. Well worth it for us and for Mollie.
Nurse.com magazine, a large-circulation web and print magazine assigned us to photograph Associate Professor (and PHD) Martin Schiavenato to introduce a story about a technology he is developing to assess pain in newborns and infants. Before they are able to express discomfort. The WSU staff cooperated beautifully with us and we were able to execute in two locations. Martin is an RN and has worked with premature babies a great deal. This, and a genuine compassion for his small charges led him to this effort. An interesting fellow doing noble work. Read the full story below:
We photographed a new bike rack design invented and developed by my good friend Neil Johnson. SCS Racks is his company's name and he has really thought this through. It is a great, simple, easy to use, and very secure design with a beautiful finish and look. He even has a new lock design that will conform to certain car brand key patterns. Then you can use your car key in the rack lock to access your bicycle. A real entrepreneur, Neil has been a realtor for many years.
You can view the website and other images here: http://www.scsrack.com/
The Mendoza College of Business contacted us based on our website to photograph an alum for their very high-quality Alumnae Magazine. Mendoza is a subsidiary of Notre Dame University and Ms. Katherine Merck was being featured owing to her election as the 2016 Rodeo Queen. Katherine has had a love of horses, riding and the Western lifestyle since she was eleven and signed up for a week-long YMCA horse camp (regular camp was full). She was smitten and did all she could to learn horsemanship and "reining"- the very precise control of a horse. After earning degrees in finance and medieval studies, then beginning law school at Gonzaga, she researched the Rodeo Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and many other sources to win an escalation of competitions, finally arriving at Miss Rodeo America 2016. She was obliged to take a year off of law school to accommodate the 340 days of traveling required. Quoting Katherine: "The effect you can have on people with kindness is amazing". Even for our brief contact, she lives in this spirit. For us, apart from Katherine's uncommon warmth, I was reminded of how much patience it takes to work with animals.
You can read the article here: http://bizmagazine.nd.edu/issues/2016/spring-2016/irish-cowgirl/
In 1986 I was at the steam plant just before they shut down the last boiler and, along with a group of five or six of us- me, several dejected steamfitters, and Steve Blewett (of WWP), we each, in turn, pulled the lanyard on a huge steam whistle, charged by that last boiler, as the dying bellow of that huge old machine just before they shut off the (by then gas) fire on the last boiler for good. It was great- the sound was so deep, loud and rich as to take your breath away and it bellowed and echoed all over town for twenty seconds after sounding the whistle. I am sure that everyone within a mile, at least, inside or out, heard the seven or eight times we fired that whistle and wondered what the heck was going on. At one time in Spokane's history that whistle was blew every day at noon and sent all of downtown on their lunch breaks. When I say "whistle"- this thing was three feet long and took two people to carry safely. It was beautiful- heavy brass and built like old stuff was- to last forever. It may be around there still. The steamfitters at the plant ran a steam line way across the room and out the window on the train deck, installed a 90º elbow, screwed on the whistle and valve, and gave it steam pressure. We had to stand on a ladder to reach the lanyard on the valve and it took all you had to pull it, unsteady as the ladder was. It wouldn't sound until we were almost hanging from the rope, forcefully letting off a huge cloud of steam with the raucous sound. I couldn't believe how it resonated and echoed off of various downtown buildings. And such a hearty organic sound. Like the old steamship whistles- real bass and very loud. A good memory except that I went in for hernia surgery at 8:00 am the very next morning! I was very happy to have this photo project to distract my thoughts that day. To learn more about the Steam Plant visit: http://www.steamplantspokane.com/history
When Avista wanted to increase awareness of the benefits of natural gas, helveticka and J. Craig Sweat Photography stepped up to the plate to produce a new print ad. We scouted locations, ending up choosing my friends Pat and Janet Smith's kitchen, then considered various "lifestyle" scenarios and looked for fitting talent. As the idea became more refined we assembled food and props for a summer "dinner party" and finally went to shoot. Several hours later, we had our shot, with outside light variations through sunset. For a large-set shoot it went well and we got good advantage of the fine summer evening. It was a fun session and we did no damage to my friend's home, happily.
CK Anderson of "helveticka" asked us if we would help his agency produce a series of photographs of T-shirt designs from the "Helveticahaus" site for a design competition. Helveticahaus is a non-profit organization and website set up by CK to celebrate the widely used (and his favorite) "helvetica" type font, good typography in general and as a way of using this connection to do a bit of e-commerce and fund scholarships for future talent. It was a beautiful evening (and smokeless) and it all went smoothly for five set-ups in the up-and-coming creative neighborhood around helveticka's new building. All just behind the old Armory building (Wild Walls).
Avista Utilities has taken a financial interest in the Palouse wind farm that you will see as you drive from Spokane, Washington to Pullman, Washington. While they do not own the wind farm, they have a deal wherein they will buy all of the power generated by the turbines for thirty years. The Palouse has been one of my favorite subjects for many years and this addition has caught my eye more than once. I made a few images of the site at a good time of day on my own one day and eventually was asked to show them to one of Avista's marketing people for a specific ad. As we discussed the use of my image it became apparent that they had little or no great photography of this site, even with its sweeping and extraordinary location. We arranged that J. Craig Sweat Photography, Inc. would go there at the right time, on the right day, and cover it for them in as many ways as possible. J. Craig Sweat Photography, Inc. delivered a gallery of 284 images and they made a number of selections right away.
Here are some images of the Spokane International Airport Fire Station, courtesy of US taxpayers and Integrus Architecture. J. Craig Sweat Photography, Inc. was asked by Integrus Architecture to photograph the structure; both interior and exterior. Be glad these folks are here for us. Nice people, great building. The facility has a workout room where the Fire Fighters can maintain a healthy fitness level. The main bay of the building houses three serious fire trucks, two that are each capable of holding 30,000 gallons of water as well as a fire deterrent foam. The new building was moved to near the center runway to help with speed of deployment and allow greater access to the whole airport. A first class facility that we all hope is never needed for its greatest purpose.
Bouten Construction is a well known and respected name in Spokane. You cannot look at a view of our city without setting your eyes on Bouten projects. A high level of craft and a quality finish are what they are known for and they haven't been afraid to take on some of Spokane's largest building projects. Very nice, very sharp people was the impression I was left with after the entire office staff came through our studio, one at a time, giving us a chance to converse and get to know them just a little. These are people who really live their work. They know what they're doing and approach a project with a healthy and productive attitude. We worked with helveticka to create images that really spoke to the brand of Bouten. Read helveticka's blog here: www.helveticka.com/news/
These last few months we had the honor of working with design agency "helveticka" on a new and separate venture they have started. The idea; to create a Scholarship fund for area design students based on the culture around the font "Helvetica". CK and Linda like the font well enough to have named their design business after it, almost. The font is timeless in its simplicity and grace but feels modern. The new site and scholarship fund are under the name Helveticahaus. Below are some of the images we produced for the site as well as one behind-the-scenes shot of one of the sets. CK's is a great idea which should grow with a thousand heartfelt "thank you"s.
Inga Hansen, Exec. Editor of MedEsthetics (and other) magazines saw our website and, according to her, "really hoped we could do this project". She and I went over the job, settled on a budget, then we made our arrangements with Spokane Dermatology Clinic. Jayce Charlesworth helped us greatly from inside the practice and we took the better part of our day there, shooting in a dozen different areas. It is an impressive, brand new, except for the basic structure, building and houses Dr. Werschler's research company as well- a growing and sizable operation itself. The work was published as a three-page story and the magazine cover art in this month's issue, and online, of course. The good Dr. Werschler was a pleasure to work with.
Sheila, daughter of Michelina Tyrie, called and asked if we could make some images of her mom for the Steinway Piano Company. You can see the story, as published, at this link: http://www.steinway.com/news/articles/constant-companion-michelina-tyrie-counts-more-than-five-decades-with-her-steinway-piano/
Michelina opened her comfortable home to us so we could photograph her and the Steinway piano she bought in 1961, at age 26, from the Chicago showroom. It is a 1923 Mahogany Louis XV Model A. She fell in love with this beautiful instrument partly because it was alone in a room of black pianos. It really is an exquisite piece of furniture, ignoring completely the superb sound it produces with Michelina's subtle touch. She is a fine musician and plays regularly, professionally in addition she also offers classes. Her daughter Sheila clearly loves and admires her mom and the Steinway folks think she's someone special too. It was a fun couple of hours, with us the beneficiaries of some beautiful music.
Integrus Seattle and Spokane Portraits as well as Candids. Integrus Architecture, for whom we occasionally photograph finished building projects, asked us to show their staffs and culture through images of their principals as well as working candid images of everyone during a normal workday. Given the qualities of the location and the intensity of their work, taking an unobtrusive "fly on the wall" approach to these candids offered a wealth of opportunities. It was great fun as I stated several times "I'm not here" to avoid affecting the meetings and allow them to focus on their work. The reality of this method shows in the images and is a truer reflection of the intensity and collaboration required of their high-stakes trade. The video was produced by Spokane's ILF media (and not us). We have included a link to it to give a little more depth here. This project (and the video) was partly motivated by Integrus's 70th anniversary in business.