When I first started going to my current gym, one of the trainers asked if I (or someone I was close to) was in the Army since I was wearing an Army hat. I told her that I had a collection of different shirts/hats representing the different branches of the military and explained why I happened to have such things. She told me about a photographer that specializes in patriotic/military themed photos and had me go to his webpage to see some of his work. It was love at first sight!
Jesse Hodge’s images were captivating. I loved the way he photographed women. Some of them were muscular and some weren’t but all of the photos were beautiful to me. They exemplified the mood, tone and power I’d always wanted to capture in my own photographs. I have wonderful ideas in my mind but I have no experience in photography….I don’t understand angle or light and since I almost always photograph myself (with my little camera and timer) I can’t see what I’m doing in the frame until the picture is taken and it’s too late to make any adjustments. Jesse Hodge isn’t just a fantastic photographer, he also does body paint that’s out of this world. I’m not sure I want my body painted but I sure appreciate his artistry. I’m wildly enthusiastic about all of his work…..I even love his signature…a little helicopter that spells his name.
His website had some background information about him. I found out that he’s an Army veteran. I used the contact information he posted and wrote him an email about the military tribute photos I post. I told him why they’re near and dear to my heart and I asked if he would be willing to work with me to create some nice photos in that theme. I even told him I’d be willing to travel to his location (yes I like his work that much). I have no practical experience with photographers. I’m not a model by any stretch of the imagination but I thought since he was so committed to fitness photography and obviously enjoyed shooting patriotic photos he might be willing to take me on as a client. No dice. He never responded to my email….I sent another and left a couple of phone messages but never heard back. The sweet trainer who told me about him even tried to contact him on my behalf but she didn’t have and better luck than I did.
On the brighter side, I’ve since come up with some photos I like pretty well. I’ve gotten a better at figuring out how to make my pictures come out closer to the way I want them. I’ve learned a little about lighting…(mainly NEVER to photograph outside in sunlight since I can’t figure out what to do about all the shadows) and not to take photos against a certain white wall in my house. Here are some of my recent photos.
Maybe I don’t need Jesse Hodge after all. I get kind feedback on the photos I post even when my great ideas produce rather feeble results. Maybe it really is the thought that counts. Maybe I’ll get better as I go. Maybe I can do it myself!
I have some lovely ideas rattling around in my mind. I just need a few props. Let’s see…a kevlar helmet, a Marine Corps dress hat, a Navy SEAL flag, a .50 cal Barrett, an entire Marine in full battle dress (and while I’m placing my order make sure he’s muscled up), an Abrams tank, an AV-8B Harrier and an AC-130 gunship complete with pilot. Look, I’m an ARTIST now….I need things! I’m hot…someone bring me a fan! Where’s my fizzy water? I distinctly remember asking that it be here, cold, waiting for me. I want a snack RIGHT NOW!!
Jesse Hodge it appears you’ve not only created hundreds of beautiful photos….you’ve also managed to create one terrible, terrible, little monster!