Before I began my freelance photography business in 2000, I worked for a variety of sports companies (Nike as a photo producer, Aunt Mable’s and Nice Snowboarding as head of marketing, and Oregon Outdoors Magazine covering a plethora of outdoor adventure sports). Recently I’ve begun integrating my favorite passions – adventure travel and sports with wine & food, and enjoyed two bicycling assignments from Oregon Wine Press and 1859, Oregon’s Magazine. It’s the perfect balance for me, and I’ve continued to play in my own backyard hiking & biking and enjoying a variety of wine & food dining experiences on a regular basis in preparation for an exciting opportunity ahead – stay posted for details soon. Here’s a few selects from my adventures in Oregon.
I’ve photographed more than 50 covers for Oregon Wine Press Magazine, and this concept was the the most ambitious and fun to date. For the feature story on the powerful, feminine, and fun personalities of Oregon’s women sommeliers, writer Jennifer Cossey (also a sommelier) pitched Hilary Berg, editor of Oregon Wine Press, on the concept of an April fool’s cover aka Vanity Fair with a nod to Annie Leibovitz’s elaborate sets for group portraits. However we did not have the extensive budget or staff to assist – no makeup or wardrobe stylists, nor group of assistants to move props, set up lights, or a digital tech to greenscreen individual portraits to be photoshoped together for the faux ‘group shot’ . With just three of us preparing for the shoot – Hilary braved the cold to stand in as a model for light tests and helped move the props to best locations with Jennifer, and Krysta McLaughlin, owner of Charlotte’s Weddings & More, provided the dresses and fitted everyone on location. Talk about multitasking – the sommeliers were equally involved keeping each other’s glasses full of bubbly, doing their own hair and makeup, and keeping the energy lively for the entire shoot, fueled by their passion for their jobs and the industry. The energy was contagious, and they were naturals.
Sideways author Rex Pickett talks about his new book, Vertical, and his love of Oregon wine country.
For the cover of this month’s Oregon Wine Press magazine, http://www.oregonwinepress.com/, I flew down to Santa Monica with Robert Holmes to photograph and interview Rex Pickett about his latest book, Vertical, the sequel to Sideways. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would the author be similar to his now infamous character, Miles – or had success changed him to become more like his charming but philandering character Jack? While Rex could easily play either role, after spending a relaxed afternoon chatting about Oregon, pinot noir, and the life of an artist I can see how Rex could be a blend of both, weaving autobiographical details into many of his stories.
Rex has not had an easy road to success. Although the movie Sideways won an Acadamy Award for the best adapted screenplay, Rex only received a pittance of the profits. His struggles to get his first book published were monumental. He still lives very modestly; the cover photo and interview are in his one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica. I hadn’t read Vertical at the time of our interview, but I was curious how he would depict my hometown and the Oregon wine country I’ve come to know so intimately during the past ten years. Now that I’ve finished the book I won’t give away the details of which wines are featured or how the story unfolds, but I can say fact and fiction are balanced with comedy and tragedy, evoking a surprising range of emotions. Oregon pinot noir is celebrated throughout the book, and a variery of artisanal wineries are mentioned. How the book, or possible movie, will affect Oregon wine will be an interesting development. I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to comment below . . .
A behind the scenes photo of interview with Rex Pickett about his latest book, Vertical, which is the Oregon Wine Press exclusive cover and feature story. The December issue will be available Monday at the same time the book will officially start shipping, though some copies of the book are already circulating around Oregon tasting rooms. For more insight into Rex, visit his blog at http://rexpickett.com/, and watch the video interview below . . .
What a difference a week can make. Last Tuesday I was in Napa in 85 degree temps, and this morning I woke at the Allison Inn & Spa to a beautiful dusting of snow contrasted by the golden vineyards.
Sometimes the only way to get the best vantage point for landscapes involves a helicopter flight or waking before dawn and driving an hour to wine country from my home base in Portland. Other times like this morning I’m pampered by staying in a room with a view and enjoying a brisk walk around the the Inn’s garden path to capture these scenes. After finishing my shoot of the Allison Inn rooms today, I’m looking forward to a scrumptous lunch at their renowned Jory restaurant and an indulgent spa suana & steam room session to warm up. Life is good!