When you are best friends with a photographer, you quickly get used to having odd things asked of you. Like, can you take your kids to this avocado orchard for the afternoon and please bring a couch with you even though you are a year and a half pregnant. Or, can you please dress up your already crying two year-old in a chicken suit and lock her in your chook house for a bit. Even, let me balance your naked newborn in this gigantic shell I found I'm sure she won't fall out. Oh.
Therefore it came as no surprise to my best friend when I turned up at her farm in April of 2007 with yet another strange request. I'd been percolating this one for a while, having obsessed over the Grant Wood painting American Gothic for many years, thinking about ways I could interpret it in my work. I know it has been done to death, and I know I think too much, but I just couldn't rest until this one was out of my system. So here I was at the farm again with a crazy idea and this time almost no planning was needed because the stage was set and the participants dressed and ready before I even turned up. All Melissa did here was pick up a chicken, stand in front of the henhouse with David who already had the rake in hand and in use, and I snapped off this one perfect moment:
A few months later I found myself in San Diego shooting a friend's wedding. I wanted to take a portrait that combined the two loves of the couple: rowing and cycling. We shot the wedding at the ZLAC Rowing Club right on the water so props were in abundance for Mary, and Steve brought his bike helmet. I stood them simply against the wall of the clubhouse with their respective icons and banged off one perfect moment in a shot destined to become arguably my favourite client image of all time.