It’s a little hard to follow my previous act (now at a staggering 935 likes, THANKS!!!), but alas the show must go on! This month I’m proud to have my work featured in another issue of Panorama Magazine, the official magazine of the Porsche Club of America. I’ll go off on a small tangent and gush about how bold and gorgeous the cover is. Of all the magazines I’ve been published, this cover may take the cake for most daring. No words, small subject, and a blue title atop a blue image are all big risks. If magazines had balls, this automotive issue would have 3..pairs. Panorama is able to push the limits a little more since they aren’t in direct competition with newsstand magazines, which is why I love working with them so much.
Inking the pages this month is a pristine Sunflower Yellow 1974 Porsche 2.0 liter 914 nestled in Summerton, SC. David Matthews is not only the owner, but the author of the article as well…no relation to my favorite nostalgic high school band. After losing his zest for life, David was looking for a diversion to take his mind off of…stuff. The solution is this eye-blinding 914. Like most older model cars, love can be closely correlated with how much money and time is invested. Given the 25 years of marriage to this car, you can say they’re strictly living by their vows.
This is an interesting car, and the Deep South is a particularly interesting place as well. In a region that is mostly populated by F-150s and combines, a screaming-fun-yellow-raspy-German-oddball Porsche is easier to spot than acne on Paris Hilton’s forehead. The low weight (~2,150 lb) and torquey engine combine for an exhilarating ride. No matter how you look at it, this is indeed a Porsche, and therefore a permanent part of history with the automaker that sets the bar for sports cars.
No, this isn’t exactly photography or design related.
Yes, this is my blog and I do what I want… for, I am engaged to the beautiful light-of-my-life Sarah Smith!!
The proposal took more than a few months of preparation to make sure everything went just right, and in the end it couldn’t of gone any better. Knowing me, I would have to do something creative and special for the proposal. One year ago I spent the weekend with her family at the annual Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC. This was the first family trip that I had done with Sarah, and thought it was a special moment. After over a year our love grew for each other, and the voice in my head said “this is the one”… But, I had to make the proposal special. So either wait until the next Cooper River Bridge Run for 4 months watching my girlfriend anxiously pace around while I ignored the marriage subject, or pop the question randomly.. I chose the first option.
I would propose to my girlfriend at the top of the Cooper River Bridge during the race, with pictures (of course). First I had to ask her father for permission (over BBQ), he smiled and agreed. Next, I had to sign up for the race. Her father would organize her side of the family, so she wouldn’t get suspicious. After that, I had to find a trusty photographer to take the pictures during the proposal. I had worked with Ben Sassani many times in the past, and I knew he was my guy. The hard part would be finding Ben in a sea of 32,000 people (thank you Find My Friends for iPhone!).
The day had finally come and the show was on. The morning march to the race at 5am was brisk, followed by a warming sunrise. Sarah, her mom, father, family friend Jaime and I were staged at the starting line. In just a few moments I would be proposing to my girlfriend, so I was a little nervous. Good thing running around can cure some butterflies! We near the top and I see my photographer/friend Ben, whew! All is good. So I then give Ben “the sign” that I’m about to propose, which will forever go down in memory. I jump high in the air not once, twice, three, but four times yelling “TOP OF THE BRIDGE!!!” I got a lot of weird looks, but on the last one I fall to the ground in an Oscar winning display of pain to my foot.
I yell and scream, drawing an even bigger crowd (as if my idiotic jumps didn’t do that already). Sarah frantically crouches down to make sure I’m OK, I lift her up and say “I can’t go any further… I can’t go any further, without you”. And I pull out the ring. I’ll never forget the look on Sarah’s face during that moment, ever.
YESSS! A huge gorilla has just been lifted off my back! I had not just invited Sarah’s family to the event, but my family as well. After this moment we could all speak freely over a wonderful dinner with lots of wine at Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill. The fun part was how much attention we received. Within a few hours after the race we had been tagged randomly on facebook, and nearly all of our friends found out! On top of that, after the race a journalist for the local paper Post and Courier did a nice little article about the proposal.
Many many many many many thanks to Sarah’s father for helping make this all happen. No doubt the best weekend of my life so far, and the beginning of a lifetime of happiness together.
***** EDIT *****
This article was posted a few minutes before the Boston Marathon bombing. Our thoughts go out to the victims of this inhumane senseless act of violence.
Riding my bike around my town of Greenville I can’t help but hear the name George Hincapie twice on any given day. He is one of the most well known and friendliest figures in cycling; most notable for competing in a record 17 Tours de France, and having the craziest legs in any peloton. So when Hincapie announced an 80-mile Gran Fondo in the mountains of upstate South Carolina, with HUGE cycling names such as Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, Tejay van Garderen, Ted King, Christian Vande Velde, and Dave Zabriskie… I had to get involved. This is the type of event that if I wasn’t behind the camera, I’d be throwing a leg over my Scott CR1.
PAVED Magazine, in my opinion one of the most beautiful publications that focuses on the art of cycling, picked up the story and was proud to provide the images you see below. The lovable and always honest Neil Browne not only wrote the article, but suffered through the gran fondo as well.
The ride started and finished at the Hincapie-owned La Bastide Inn where the stories and beer were flowing. Hincapie’s farewell to his professional cycling career was the center of attention, but by the end of the day all of the riders were thinking more about what the 7,000+ feet of climbing did to their battered legs. Hincapie said “Cadel (Tour de France winner) thought it was a lot harder than he expected”… now that’s saying something. No wonder George and Hincapie Sportswear call Greenville, SC home.
Blankly staring at my flickering monitor, eating a PB&J sandwich, while listening to my favorite creative music (Ellie Goulding, Daft Punk, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco), I simply can’t think of a witty fun way to begin this blog article. And it’s driving me crazy! Why is this happening?!? I got plenty of sleep last night, and it’s even raining outside so I’m not (that) tempted to ride my bike. Is it because this article is about Dario Franchitti–one of the most decorated racecar drivers in history?.. A truly humbling genuine man that is so accomplished, yet so modest and friendly, that it’s hard to evoke in words?.. Yea I think it has something to do with it.
I got the call from Panorama (Porsche Club of America) to ask if I could make the drive to Tennessee to shoot Dario and his insanely immaculate, but well driven 1973 911E hot rod. Of course these conversations are always humorous because how could I possibly turn that down? This is the kind of car you KNOW that you’re driving. No ABS, no power steering, no cushy suspension, raw. It’s not as fast as a Porsche GT, but it certainly feels like it at half the speed. Did I also mention Dario Franchitti is the owner? Thought so. Pack my gear, I’m on the road.
When meeting Dario as he was pulling his 911 out of the driveway, you could tell this Porsche isn’t just another car in his garage. We made eye contact for a few seconds, then his attention was immediately back on the car, triple-checking every detail to be sure every millimeter was spotless. “Only one cat in the world can do that” as he pointed to the hood. Looks like his fearless feline can’t distinguish a priceless 3.7 litre 325hp 2,150-pound fire-breathing piece of history and a cardboard box. Rolling over the Tennessee mountain roads in the backseat, listening to the melodic sounds from the exhaust, it was very refreshing to witness someone so famous with the means to buy any car in the world, so attached to a classic car.
A few shots of me working the camera, or is it Dario telling me HOW to work the camera? Photoshoot styles for Porsche mags are usually less processed and more natural. This feature was no exception, so a lot of attention goes into composition straight out of the camera. Over the 3hr time period we got some great shots, thanks largely in part to my very lovely assistant Sarah…OK she’s my girlfriend! . The entire experience was such a joy. The weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and we even got to chat about one of my favorite shows South Park.
David Conklin did a superb job with the article, yet I’m afraid to say that the magazine can only be picked up if you’re a Porsche Club of America member, or know someone who is a member! How convinient, my writer’s block is going away and now I’m finished… Oh well, I guess I’ll go ride my bike!