On the other side of the camera

A few days ago I got a message on Facebook from Matt Leitholt introducing himself... 

Hey John, I am a young photographer that has been following CreativeLIVE for a while and I'd like to get lunch with you sometime in the next few days.
I'd also love to photograph you for a personal project I'm doing of well known people.
Check out my site to see some of the other big time photographers like Joe McNally, David duChemin, and Peter Hurley at www.mattleitholt.com

Photo © copyright by Matt Leitholt

Photo © copyright by Matt Leitholt

How could I refuse? Even before looking at his great photos of other photographers I was in for it. We arranged to meet up for lunch today (Saturday) at Blue Moon Burgers in Fremont. We talked about some of the photographers Matt has met and worked with. Then we chatted about creativeLIVE and Matt's interest in landscape photography.

From Blue Moon, we headed over to my house to meet my wife, Kim, and talk about the photo Matt wanted to create. I grabbed one of the "do-rag" head scarfs that people are used to seeing me wear on creativeLIVE and Matt asked me to grab my Deardorff view camera and a tripod. Then we jumped into the car to go to Gasworks Park.

There we climbed up the kite hill for the downtown view from the sun dial (aside: Seattle seems to have quite a number of sun dials for a place known for being overcast and rainy). I'm sure it was quite entertaining to other folks there to have us show up with the view camera and a set of studio strobes (a small Chimera box for the back/rim light and a Photek Softlighter II for the main light). We invited a young spectator to help hold one of the light stands in case the winds picked up. Kim stood watch over the other light. But the weather held up and no lights were blown away.

I don't see it in the photo, but a young boy near us was exclaiming to his folks that he just saw a shark in the water. I'll have to go back and see if I can spot that shark another day.

We quickly got set up and Matt was very fast at getting me posed and making the photo. It was quite painless being on the other side of the camera. Thanks, Matt!

One of the most surprising things I learned during all of this is that Matt is only 20 years old. He has a great understanding of the process of photography and a great way of working with people. I expect to see a lot of great things from Matt.

I'm also quite humbled to be included with the other photographers in his project, such as David DuChemin, Art Wolfe, Peter Hurley, Joe McNally, and Jeremy Cowart. One person missing from the list, though, that Matt would really like to photograph is Chase Jarvis. Chase, if you are by any chance reading this, please let me set up an introduction.

I was there as the subject this time, without a "regular" camera. But I did manage to take an iPhone photo of Matt taking my photo..


Check out Matt's blog post about the afternoon, too.

John Cornicello