Posts Tagged ‘Steve Marsel Galleries’

Chicks with Guns – Seeing RED

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Photo Assignment: Chicks with Guns

Seeing RED

 

You don’t kill animals. You harvest them

You don’t kill animals. You harvest them

 You don’t kill animals. You harvest them.

Not The Obvious Choice: If you think about it, I’m a very odd choice to shoot a project like this. I didn’t speak the language of outdoor sports, especially hunting! In my experience, affinity matters. For instance, I was once up for a commercial account for a golf accessory business. I didn’t get the account simply because I didn’t golf. Everyone that worked on that account had to be a golfer. In retrospect, that made a lot of sense. How could I possibly add anything to a golf shoot if I didn’t know the first thing about golf?

Now we come to “Chicks with Guns” : I’ve never hunted and have only fished on occasion. I’ve always lived in the city. Truthfully, I’ve never really understood why people liked hunting. It seemed barbaric to me. And based on where and how I was raised, it made sense for me to think that way.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

They’re not guns. They’re firearms.

A Different Kind of “Shoot”: I fancy myself a wannabe video producer. Since the middle of last summer, I had been traveling to Maine every weekend, working on a peripherally related spec video project to flex my producer skills. When a client asked me to shoot a calendar for The Maine Sportsman Magazine, I didn’t hesitate! I thought, at the very least, the project would subsidize my gas expenses.

I also knew this type of project is why I got into the business of being a photographer in the first place. I wanted experiences that were both outside my sphere of knowledge and/or outside my comfort zone. And besides, this was the Miss Main Sportsman Competition—“Chicks with Guns”! What could be wrong with a photo-essay like that? Little did I know I was in for the learning experience of my life!

Jodi Jennings Haskell - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Jodi Jennings Haskell – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

I’m A Liberal from Connecticut:  “Hi! I’m Steve Marsel. I’m a liberal from Connecticut, and I’ve never fired a rifle.” Though I never actually said that, those words rang in my head during each call I had with the finalists of the Miss Maine Sportsman Competition to introduce myself for an upcoming shoot. Their way of life was alien to me: hunting, fishing, stuffing. Words not found in my daily vocabulary. But when I opened my mind and put my preconceived notions to rest, what I discovered about these “alien” people taught me a great deal about myself and my world view.

Britt Humphrey - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Britt Humphrey – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Ballots, Businesses, Bears, Oh My!: This project came at a critical time in the state of Maine. A binding question on the November ballot might have banned the use of bait, dogs or traps to hunt bears in the State of Maine – forever! Animal-rights groups had been streaming in money from out of state for months. The “bear-baiting” question was on everyone’s mind.

Carly Chapman  - Finalist 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Carly Chapman – Finalist 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

I discovered that thousands of people made their living in Maine as registered guides. For those of you who don’t know, a registered guide is “any person who receives any form of remuneration for his services in accompanying or assisting any person in the fields, forests or on the waters or ice within the jurisdiction.” There are more than 4,500 registered guides for hunting and fishing in the state. More people than I ever imagined.

Tiffany Waldron - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Tiffany Waldron – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Against the Odds:  Old school hunters were dying off, and sporting camps and lodges found it difficult to make ends meet in the modern world. For one, the competition for American sporting activities is staggering, leaving hunting and fishing desperate to keep up. For another, gas prices (until recently) had been increasing over the past few years, which really put a crimp in many businesses. It became harder and harder for sporting camps to remain viable businesses. So many of their customers drive from other states.

Georgette Kanach - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Georgette Kanach – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

What the average person doesn’t understand about the hunting industry is how many people travel from out of state to hunt and, more importantly, the economic stimulus their travels provide. Hunters and fishermen that drive up from other states usually stop along the way at the Kittery Trading Post or L.L. Bean or the like and spend money. Of course, many of those hunters come for the bear hunt.

Barbara Plummer - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Barbara Plummer – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

A registered guide told me that even prior to election day, when the referendum would finally come to a vote, hunters, who would normally leave there trophy bears with taxidermists in Maine, were taking their bears back with them to their home states. “Why?” I asked him. He explained that the out-of-state hunters didn’t know if they would ever come back to Maine. Even before the first ballot was cast, the state was losing money.

Linda Mercer - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Linda Mercer – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Both Sides of the Coin: Then there’s the larger issue, which is the really big educational concern for me. Most Americans have no idea where their food comes from, and many just don’t care. They think it’s cruel that hunters bait bears in the woods and shoot them. Perhaps these people think that their meat appears out of thin air on a piece of Styrofoam wrapped in plastic. “Blue-state” Americans (seemingly) refuse to make the connection with the food they eat in restaurants or put on their tables and where the food actually comes from. And I must admit that I was one of those liberal blue-state people. I thought that hunting was cruel.

Bethany Terstegen - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Bethany Terstegen – Finalists 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Let me make something clear: the bears in the woods have a much better chance of surviving than any animal waiting to be killed in a slaughterhouse somewhere, such as farm-bred cattle or chickens. The animals we line up in narrow stalls without giving an inch to turn their neck—they stand no chance of surviving! I think that my liberal brethren never think of that. The reason they don’t think of it is because they don’t want to.

Alyson Randall - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Alyson Randall – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

Hunting and fishing in America is a birthright. It’s how this country was settled. And it is narrow and shortsighted to think hunting and fishing as simply cruel and unusual punishments. Especially when you consider the slaughterhouses and huge corporate farms that treat animals cruelly as a matter of course day-in and day-out. Where is the uproar for the rights of those animals? No one seems to care.

 

Starley Cashman - Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

Starley Cashman – Finalist, 2014 Miss Maine Sportsman Competition

 

A Look from the Other Side: You’ve probably heard the old saying, “A mind is like an umbrella: it functions best when open.” (Lincoln) That’s how I hope to approach every experience in my life. I want to keep an open mind so that I see both sides of as many issues as possible. True, I am a liberal, from a blue state, but the past few months have educated me. I now better understand where guides, hunters, fisherman and the like are coming from. I force myself to rise above the hypocrisy.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to pick up a rifle and start hunting tomorrow or next year or possibly ever. I’m not sure hunting is for me. But I learned something. I learned that I didn’t understand the issue of harvesting animals from the point of view of the people that were using them. My new friends gave me a new-found appreciation for what those individuals are fighting. I’m glad to engage anyone on this topic and speak on both sides of it. But I think that after this exposure, I’ve been informed and transformed. “Chicks with guns” turned out to be a very educational project for me, and I appreciate the opportunity to have experienced it.

 

 A very special thanks to James Eves for his generous spirit and gifted skills retouching these images.  Thank you my friend!

And to  Rhen Wilson for his superb editing skills.

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All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
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Our Bravest: A Salute to Veterans

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

 My Photo Session with Disabled Veterans from Our Bravest

Our Bravest Composite FullBehind the camera, my own assumptions and comfort zone can be rattled. In honor of Veterans Day, I offer this story about one of those occasions.

 

An Unusual Pitch

The project started out as so many do—a pitch over the phone. In early spring of this year, a long-time client, Theresa Fisher of CCA Global in Manchester NH (whom I really like!), rang me up and ran through the typical pitch I’d heard a least a dozen times. But my ears perked when she mentioned a “public service project.” I’ve made a point over the years to seek out public service projects, but my migration from still photography to television has spread me a little thin.

I was already primed to agree when the client sweetened the deal with a few more details. I can’t recall the entire conversation—my ADD/multi-tasking brain can only absorb so much—but a few choice phrases stuck out:

“—Fourth of July weekend—”  “—see the fireworks—” “—in New York City—”  “—put you up in a hotel—”

Theresa knew exactly how to whet my appetite. What self-respecting photographer wouldn’t say yes to this?

However, it was only after an emphatic “YES!” that I came to terms with what I had just agreed to. The realization hit me square in the face. I’d signed on to shoot portraits for an organization called Our Bravest, a non-profit that builds Smart Homes for catastrophically injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In other words, the types of veterans Our Bravest works with include burn victims and double and triple amputees.  I had never heard of Our Bravest.

As I set the phone down, my heart sank.

Exposing My Discomfort

You might be asking why the sinking heart. What was my issue? To be honest, lack of exposure. I’m not from a military family. No contemporary of mine is or has been in the military. I’ve never even met anyone disabled.

My mind raced, envisioning the injuries, the scars, the missing limbs. I’m squeamish to boot. I’m the kind of person who switches channels and looks the other way whenever I see something upsetting. I can’t even get my blood drawn without averting my eyes.  So imagining the day of the shoot, meeting these veterans…it made me – uncomfortable – to say the least!

But what could I do? There was no way I could reject the client’s offer. Theresa (Senior Vice President,Visual Merchandising and Branding) has always been a great supporter of mine. I’d committed myself to the project, and that was that.

 

Shifting the Focus

On an early Saturday morning in New York City, the day of the shoot for Our Bravest, my assistant Alex Mateo and I set up a studio in a function room in the hotel. I brought Alex because he’d done a tour of duty in the Air Force, and I thought someone on my team should have something in common with today’s subjects from Our Bravest.

When the first man to be photographed appeared, he rolled into the room on a motorized wheelchair. My heart quickened, and my equipment felt heavy and slick in my sweaty palms.

When I’m anxious, I become super efficient. I try to control everything I can, while I can, knowing that at any moment, I could lose any semblance of control I tried to cling to.

As the veteran, a triple amputee, approached, I felt that control slipping away. I hardly knew what to say, but the veteran didn’t need an introduction. As if sensing my nervousness, he introduced himself with an apology. “Sorry I’m late,” he said, slapping the arm of his wheelchair playfully. “This thing only goes about eight miles per hour. So traffic was pretty tough to get through.”

Without warning, I burst out laughing. And so did he. It wasn’t even that funny of a joke, but that wasn’t the point. The point was this man, who had gone through so much, used humor to snap me out of myself.

I had been so caught up in my own uneasiness, I didn’t bother addressing the truth. America’s veterans are us. We’re all the same. I didn’t need Alex to share something in common with them to make the day run smoother. We all share similarities, be it art, family, or a little self-effacing humor.

Any discomfort I had entering the studio dissolved immediately. For the remainder of the shoot, good banter and wit united us, and my empathy for the men and women who sacrifice themselves for this country blossomed. The resilience of the human spirit transformed me, and, thankfully, I will never be the same.

 

Special thanks to Theresa Fisher at CCA Global, Frank Siller and Paola Tornabene at Our Bravest for this great opportunity, James Eves for his great retouching, and Alex Mateo for his steady support, and Rhen Wilson for his superb editing skills.  

 

Steve Marsel Studio | Steve Marsel Stock | Steve Marsel Galleries| Boston Corporate Portraits| ICE HOLES on Facebook

All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
Steve Marsel Studio Blog | Contact Us

 

 

A Few Good Women – Cinemagraph by Steve Marsel

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Serving in the USMC was an experience that is a part of me.  I live it day to day.”

Sgt. Heidi Larson Hurley USMC

Sergeant Heidi Larson Hurley served in the Marine Corps for nine years.  “I decided to join during my senior year of high school while all my friends were being accepted to college,” she reflects.  “I still recall Parris Island like it was yesterday.” As graphic illustrator, she was part of a team that created training aids and presentations for briefings and events during the Saudi Conflict in 1991.  She went on to study at Mass ART and to work at Boston ad agency Hill Holiday.  Today she teaches art and design at Braintree High School outside of Boston.

Sgt. Heidi Larson Hurley USMC

Sgt. Heidi Larson Hurley USMC

The flag waving in Heidi’s classroom this Memorial Week is a reminder of – and a tribute to – all who have served their country and the cause of freedom.   “I belong to the Women Marines Association,” says Heidi.  “Some of the members are in their eighties and nineties now, among the first women who served in the USMC. I am honored to know them.”  Semper fidelis.

 

Want to know more about Steve Marsel’s animated Cinemagraphs? – Click here!

 

 

 

Guest Blogger Jack Brady

Guest Blogger Jack Brady

 
 
Guest Blogger John (“Jack”) Brady is a writer, editor, author and biographer.  He was editor-in-chief at Writer’s Digest and Boston magazine, and founding editor of The Artist’s Magazine.  His byline has appeared in New York magazine, New Times, Esquire, American Film, The Sunday New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine and numerous other publications.   His interview with author Evan Connell appeared in the March 2011 issue of The Writer magazine. He has taught journalism at Boston University and has been visiting professional at the Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University and was Hearst Visiting Professor at the University of Missouri Journalism School.

 

John Brady lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts and can be reached at 978/463-2255 or at 978/270-6686 (cell); or by e-mail at Bradybrady@aol.com.
 
 
Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

Steve Marsel Studio | Steve Marsel Stock | Steve Marsel Galleries| Boston Corporate Portraits| ICE HOLES on Facebook

All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
 

The Rosa Parks Bus Shoot by Steve Marsel

Friday, February 4th, 2011

One aspect of this job of being a professional photographer that really challenges me is the ability to find props – quickly.  I was doing a shoot last month for our other blog – stevemarselstudio.com/blog for Martin Luther King Day.  The topic of my blog posting for Martin Luther King day was how Dr. King had single handedly started the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  I had never seen an iconic shot of the back seats of a vintage bus.  I looked.  Google images had nothing.  A thorough search online of the major stock photography agencies turned up little or nothing. I knew that if I wanted to create an image that represented Dr. King, it would need to be straight forward and direct.  I want to shoot THE “back of the bus” image.  An Image that would be the visual manifestation of that concept for all time.  But…  I needed a bus!

"Back of the Bus" image © 2011 Steve Marsel  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“Back of the Bus” image © 2011 Steve Marsel ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

About the Bus:

The MBTA’s (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) RetroBus #2600 was built in 1957 by General Motors at their truck and coach plant in Pontiac, Michigan.  It is 35 feet long and 96 inches wide and is model TDH-4512 (for “T”ransit [sigmifying two doors, one for each entrance and exit, as opposed to “S”uburban with only one door], “D”iesel engine; “H”ydraulic transmission(as opposed to a manuel stick shift), “45” seated passengers, “12” is the model number – the even number “2” signifying a 96″ wide bus.  All 102″ wide buses had odd model numbers).

Number 2600 was built for the City Bus Company of Oklahoma City, and assigned their number C605.  The Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company, one of the MBTA’s predecessors, purchased the bus secondhand in the early 1960’s. The eastern Mass was eager to retire the last gasoline buses in its fleet, and consequently acquired a large number of used diesel buses in this time period.  The bus was assigned the number 3183 by the Eastern Mass.  The MBTA acquired the Eastern Mass in 1968, and took possession of all of its property.0 including 3183.  In 1970, 3183 was part of a group of buses leased by the MBTA to Middlesex & Boston Street Railway Company (M&B), a private bus operator serving Newton, Waltham, Lexington, and other communities in the western suburbs of Boston.  In 1972, The M&B went out of business and the MBTA took over it’s routes, so 3183 returned to the MBTA. The bus was retired shortly thereafter by the MBTA, and sold to the Gateway Bus Lines of Wareham Mass.  The bus sat in storage at Gateway for many years.  In 1988, the bus was returned to the MBTA and completely rebuilt by volunteer labor by the men and women of Everett Shops.  The bus was assigned the number 2600, to represent all of the General Motors “old look” buses owned and operated by the MBTA and its predecessors in the period between 1940 and 1975. Number 2600 has been used for parades and other special occasions ever since.

Photography by Steve Marsel Retouching by James Eves Original copy written by Steve Marsel This image available for licensing at Steve Marsel Stock

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visiot one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.

 

Steve Marsel Studio | Steve Marsel Stock | Steve Marsel Galleries| Boston Corporate Portraits| ICE HOLES on Facebook

All Images on this site are copyrighted material of © Steve Marsel Studio, Inc. & Steve Marsel Studio LLC D/B/A Steve Marsel Studio. Unauthorized Use is Strictly Prohibited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Steve Marsel Studio . 561 Windsor Street A204, Somerville MA 02143 617.718.7407 | 888.254.6505
Steve Marsel Studio Blog | Contact Us

 

 

Your 2010 hangover is now officially over. Make 2011 your happy new year.

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Without even knowing that 2010 was the Year of the Tiger, I’m guessing that you will nod in agreement when I propose that we all need a warmer, fuzzier 2011.  That must be why it’s so pleasing to announce that next year will, in fact, be better—at least according to the Chinese zodiac. The Tiger of all hangover years—AKA, the year rife with cholera, oil spillage, and loudmouth tea partiers—will make way for the sweet, fluffy (preferably dwarf-angora-lop-eared ) Year of the Rabbit on February 3, 2011!

Original Photography by Boston Advertising & Commercial Photographer Steve Marsel

Photograph ©2011 Steve Marsel

So what should we all meditate on this year to make it a good one? Rest. Peace. Tranquility. The year proports to be languid and leisurely with a carefree and slightly indulgent air. Time to play nice and spoil each other. Do I smell gourmet cupcakes? Just don’t take it too far–procrastination will also loom. Railroad your diet, and that emergency bootcamp class will surely harsh the mellow.

Good taste, art, and culture will receive a bit more emphasis in 2011, as will personal development and slow, steady growth. Perhaps the most charming quality of the lucky rabbit year is that love, romance, and family life are well-starred. You will suddenly realize what it all means to you–how very lucky you are to have what you have and be surrounded by such amazing people, too.

While strife will still surround us—it can’t magically vanish, after all—the Rabbit favors peaceful solutions to life’s problems and much needed diplomacy. Last year may have left you feeling that all is lost, but chillax, hope is very much alive.

So enjoy yourself, entertain your friends, and take it easy! While you’re at it, have a coconut water – you probably need the electrolytes.

Lisa Miller

Guest blogger Lisa Miller was born in the Year of the Rat or the Jack Russell Terrier—she can’t remember. She is living and writing in enjoyable relative obscurity at the end of a driveway and the edge of a river. In true Rat fashion, as long as she doesn’t have to work in an office, Lisa will write anything you want at any time for money–anything.

Additional thanks go to the very talented Stylist Donna Laviolette Model – Amanda Wilson, and Retouching by James Eves Photography by Steve Marsel

Visit Steve Marsel’s other sites: Steve Marsel Studio, the assignment site and flagship site of the Steve Marsel brand, Steve Marsel Stock, the rights managed digital stock library of Steve Marsel Studio, Steve Marsel Galleries, the private gallery site of the Steve Marsel Studio. Visit one of Boston Photographer Steve Marsel’s other blogs as well: Steve Marsel Studio Blog , the creative blog of the Steve Marsel Studio. Steve Marsel Galleries Blog, Steve Marsel’s blog that discusses the stories behind the photographs, and Steve Marsel Stock Blog, the blog of Steve Marsel’s rights managed digital stock photography library that discusses the stories behind the images on the stock site.