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surfers on mauiEarlier this year we had the pleasure of traveling to Hawaii for several shoots on Maui and Oahu. One of those shoots was a series featuring surfers on Maui’s north shore. When picturing Maui it’s almost impossible not to conjure up images of surfers riding the waves along the island’s gorgeous coastline. I was more interested in photographing the moments just before the surfers enter the sea and spent three evenings on the rocky shoreline east of the town of Paia. Each afternoon, surfers would appear on the cliff above me. Then, barefoot and holding their brightly colored surfboards, they’d climb down the steep hill, and scramble across glistening boulders to the point where the waves met rock. As the seawater erupted in mini-volcanos around them, the surfers went through their own unique preparations, staring intensely out at the sunset and timing the tidewater as it drew in and out. Finally when the ocean settled for moment in some imperceptible way (at least to my eyes), they dove in. It was an incredible experience capturing this ritual as it repeated over and over again in slightly different and amazing ways. I’m excited to share just a few of our favorite images from the series.

a teenage surfer puts on his fins and watches the waves roll in at sunset on mauia body surfer in Maui climbs across rocks toward the sea and the sunseta young surfer stands on the rocks at Mauiwide shot of the rocks at mauiyoung teenage surfer holds his green and white board and steps from the rocks into the ocean on Mauia young surfer times the waves as he prepares to jump in to the ocean with his board in hawaii

We recently had the opportunity to exercise our manifest destiny (look at me, referencing fifth grade social studies-Ms. Anderson would be so proud) when we traveled westward to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a pair of lifestyle shoots. The first shoot took place in the shadow of the magnificent Grand Teton Range at an old homestead called Mormon Row. The second was shot above the Spring Creek Ranch on a mountain that has gorgeous views of the entire range. Both locations were spectacular and in the case of the shoot at the base of the mountains, we had to be prepared for a storm that swept in very quickly over the mountains. Fortunately, we were able to get the shots we had planned and protect our gear (and our talent) before the wind and the rain really started. The storm provided an awesome backdrop for the images and the shades of colors it painted the mountains and the fields really blended nicely with the wardrobe choices. In post we worked to accent those colors so the elements of each scene really blended together. Here are a few selects from the shoot. Enjoy!

lifestyle image of a couple in a field at mormon row near jackson wyoming with grand tetons in backgroundadvertising image of a couple over looking the grand tetons in wyoming by photographer ben weldonimage of a couple in the wyoming prairie by lifestyle photographer ben weldonimage of a wyoming couple kissing at sunset on a wyoming mountainlifestyle image of a couple in the midwest by lifestyle photographer ben weldonadvertising photo of a man and woman walking through a prairie at sunset towards a car with mountains in the background. Image by Ben Weldon.Lifestyle image of man lifting woman over split rail fence at a ranch in WyomingLifestyle landscape image of a man and a woman leaning against a split rail fence in WyomingCouple at the base of the Grand Tetonslifestyle image of a couple standing against a log cabin in wyoming

This past April, we traveled down south for a week of shooting in the Florida Keys. We spent our time building our new travel and lifestyle portfolio. Despite having shot in most regions in the U.S. this was my first time visiting Southern Florida and The Keys and I was excited to experience the area. My goal was to capture beautiful scenes that showcase the relaxed lifestyle and I wanted to paint those scenes in a vintage Americana style. My vision for the shoot included a dock as a key part of the images. So we searched for the perfect location, and were able to secure an incredible house in The Big Pine Key with one of the longest docks in the Keys. To add to the vintage look, I was also able to make use of the old school glass coke bottles which have seen a revival lately. This was an idea I’ve been trying to incorporate into a lifestyle shoot for a while after visiting some antique stores in the Philadelphia area and seeing these bottles gathering dust in a corner. Apparently Coca-Cola has reintroduced a new version of these bottles into the market so we didn’t have to look too hard for them. I was happy we were able to bring together all the elements into this shoot, the space, the props, and the style and am really pleased with the final images. Below are just a few of my favorites from the shoot.
florida keys sunset by travel photographer ben weldonice bucket of vintage coke bottlesclose up of coke bottle and ice bucket full of coca cola bottles on dockice bucket of coke bottles on dock near oceancouple kissing in water next to two vintage coke bottles by advertising photographer ben weldonman with coke bottle on beach near a dock

coca-cola cap in the sandcouple sits on a dock in floridahammock hanging from palm trees at sunset in the florida keyshammock and palm trees in the florida sun by Ben Weldoncouple sits on a dock in the florida keyswoman drinks tea and looks out at ocean in florida keyswoman drinks tea on porch overooking a dock and the ocean in floridaa dock at sunrise in the big pine key in the florida keysPalm trees and old theater sign in Floridavintage cars in floridvintage red car in a field in floridvintage red car in florida

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph another artist in my Hand-Made series, featuring men and women who make their living with their hands. I visited Judith Schaechter, an incredible stained glass artist at her studio in South Philadelphia. Judith took the time to walk me through her process from the concepting of the design, the additive process of combining different pieces of colored glass to achieve the desired blend, the cutting of the raw materials, and the tedious steps of shaping and creating designs within each piece to create a finished mosaic. Like many artists in my series I was particularly impressed with Judith’s ability to imagine a design and bring that design to fruition over a period of weeks and often times even months of work. That kind of determination seems to be a running theme for the artists in this series. One of the notable differences between Judith and some of the other artists I’ve photographed for this series is that the tools Judith uses in her work are remarkably simple and low-tech. There’s something especially impressive about seeing the intricate final pieces she creates and knowing that, with few exceptions, much of the work was done using tiny unassuming hand-tools. Judith’s work has appeared all over the country and the world, but recently she commissioned a number of pieces for an installation at Philadelphia’s famous Eastern State Penitentiary. Much thanks to Judith for allowing me to photograph her and her work. Enjoy the pictures and when you’re finished shoot on over to my portfolio to view the rest of the artisans in the series.

  • Mark - Wonderful photographs. The directness and detail show the talent and dedication that both of you share. Glad I found your site.May 28, 2013 – 3:45 am

  • KellieAnn Reynolds - Fantastic portraits of Judith Schaechter, her work is mind-blowing. I really love the blue harpy piece, and the following photo of her in the bay window. Thank you for creating this series. Beautiful!October 29, 2013 – 7:32 pm

Aside from my Hand-Made project (which you can see by clicking here), I’ve been working on an ongoing series called “Along The Way” that features various local lifestyle scenes from around the U.S. and the world. A few months ago, I had a job that took me to beautiful Colorado. As my scheduled shoot wrapped in Loveland, CO, I took a side trip to the Larimer County Fair in Loveland Colorado. It was, both photographically and anecdotally an interesting experience. Though county fairs aren’t completely foreign to our neck of the woods in southeastern PA, there was something especially authentic about this county fair in the mid-west. There was an appreciation for animals and a level of seriousness, especially from the kids, that was neat to see. For my part, I couldn’t imagine the ten year-old version of myself having the faintest idea what to do with a sheep or how to tell an award-winning sheep from your regular ol’ run-of-the-mill sheep. Alas, I suppose everyone misses out on some important childhood experiences.

In addition to the county fair, I took a day trip westwards into Rocky Mountain National Park. After having achieved my goal of visiting all 50 states, the next traveling goal I’ve set is to see all 58 U.S. National Parks. I got up at 4am to make sure I could catch the sun as it rose in the valley just east of the Rockies and managed to capture one of my favorite landscapes pictured first below.

This year we have trips planned to the Florida Keys, Jackson Wyoming, and Maine that will, I’m sure, provide inspirational fodder for future “Along the Way” shoots. Enjoy the images!

rocky mountain national park photographer of a midwestern field at sunriserocky mountain national park riverrocky mountain national park photographyLarimer county fair photography near loveland colarimer county fair photoslady in waiting at the larimer county fairlarimer county fair woman on horse in the midwestwoman on a horse in the midwest at the larimer county fairwoman riding horse in the midwest at colorado county fairhorse standing outside of larimer county fairgoat at a county fair in the mid westsheeo at a county fair in the mid westcounty fair rides at larimer county fair in coloradocounty fair food vendorcounty fair vendors and rides in the midwest