Dr. Thomas Kent “T.K.” and Virginia “Ginger” Wetherell pose alongside the fence in front of a Spanish moss-draped live oak tree on their farm in Lamont, Florida. Dr. Wetherell was president emeritus of Florida State University in Tallahassee and a former House Speaker in Florida’s House of Representatives. He lost his 16-year battle with cancer on December 16, 2018.
This past February, I had the pleasure of creating environmental portraits of Dr. Thomas Kent “T.K.” and Virginia “Ginger” Wetherell on their farm in Lamont, Florida. T.K. was president emeritus of Florida State University (and an alumnus), former president of Tallahassee Community College, and a former House Speaker in Florida’s House of Representatives. Ginger is a former state legislator and lobbyist.
I photographed the Wetherells alongside the winding, white fence in front of their home near Tallahassee, Florida. They were flanked by beautiful, Spanish moss-draped live oak trees. T.K. and Ginger were very kind during our photography session together and I enjoyed meeting them.
Sadly, as reported by the Tallahassee Democrat, on December 16, 2018, T.K. lost his 16-year battle with cancer. Rest in peace, Dr. Wetherell.
Alaqua Animal Refuge founder Laurie Hood cuddles with two puppies in 2008. The refuge and Hood will be featured on the new tv series “Animal PD” on National Geographic’s network, Nat Geo Wild. Hood founded the refuge in 2007 in Freeport, Florida. Scott Holstein/Rowland Publishing.
Alaqua Animal Refuge and its founder, Laurie Hood, will be featured in a new television series on National Geographic’s network, Nat Geo Wild, along with Walton County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigator Breezy Adkinson. The series, “Animal PD,” premieres on April 14th at 9:00PM. Read more about the show in the Northwest Florida Daily News.
About the photo:
Placing the subjects in the shade gave me easier control over the lighting than if they were in direct sunlight. A large octa softbox at camera-right provided a soft boost of light. If no shade is available, sometimes a large softbox can both shade and light the subject.
A daub of peanut butter on Laurie’s cheek was intended to help create a moment with the puppies. However, they ignored the treat, causing my trick to fall flat. Luckily, Laurie did what she does – she loved on the animals, creating the moment that makes the photo.
See how my peanut butter trick redeemed itself on my photoshoot with quarterback Christian Ponder and his dog Dallas.
Portrait of Wayne Rogers in Destin, Florida.
Wayne Rogers has passed away. He was an actor most known for playing Captain “Trapper” John McIntyre on the M*A*S*H television show of the 1970s. Also an investor, Rogers was more recently a regular panelist on the Fox News Channel show, Cashin’ In.
I took portraits of Rogers several years ago for a cover story in Emerald Coast magazine written by Scott Jackson. I photographed Rogers at his beach condo in Destin, Florida, during Jackson’s interview. He was kind and laid back, giving us plenty of time to complete the interview and get the photos we needed, and he even posed for fan snapshots with us when the work was done.
I took some unposed, ambient shots of Wayne Rogers during the interview to give the creative director and design team additional options. Then for his portrait session, I set up some lights in the living room and photographed him lounging in a chair. As is typical with photographing celebrities, Rogers was able to simply turn on the charm for the camera, which makes things easy. Lighting was simple; the main light was a small softbox in close to him at camera left. In some shots I bounced another light or two (also at camera left but further back) off the ceiling to raise the exposure of the background above the ambient level.
You never know what’s going to happen during a photo shoot on location, and this time was no different. I still chuckle when I think back on it. Wayne Rogers and Scott Jackson were sitting on the couch, just beginning the interview as I was getting my gear situated. Rogers’ wife, Amy Hirsh, came in from a walk with their two Yorkshire Terriers. One of the dogs, Capo, immediately snapped its head around and locked its eyes on Jackson. An intruder! With a warrior yap, it charged right past me and toward him, transforming from a cute, little dog into a blur of fury. I watched in curious anticipation as it leaped into the air and sailed in slow motion towards the unsuspecting Jackson. Closer and closer it flew – eyes squinting with determination, jaws wide open – until it had reached him at knee-height, where his hand rested, and attached itself to the tip of Jackson’s finger with its tiny, sharp teeth. “Yeeow!” Jackson yelped in painful surprise while jumping out of his seat. I swiftly excused myself as Rogers and Hirsh tended to him. Once out of earshot, I erupted in belly laughter while feeling slightly guilty for my delight in Jackson’s misfortunes. He was fine, of course; he had Trapper John to care for the wound.
Rest in peace, Wayne Rogers.
Marilyn Little rides RF Quarterman through the Sawgrass Water fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Red Hills International Horse Trials is one of the best events Tallahassee photographers can shoot. It’s outdoors in the capital city in the spring, the season of perfect weather in northwest Florida. Resurrection fern-covered and Spanish moss-draped Southern Live Oak trees create a picture-perfect backdrop for the equestrian event, held in beautiful Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park on the north side of town, near Lake Jackson.
The Cross Country course, designed by Hugh Lochore, is my favorite, mixing adventure, athleticism, risk, and triumph. Plus, spectators are close to the action; rider and horse together leap over jumps mere feet away. It’s difficult not to hold one’s breath each time the pounding hooves go silent as they leave the ground and go airborne. Also exciting is the spray of water jettisoned into the air as horse and rider enter a water obstacle, such as the Sawgrass Water fence.
I like the challenge of catching and preserving a moment while shooting action, and I’m grateful as a Tallahassee photographer that I can photograph the Red Hills International Horse Trials. I hope you enjoy this selection of my best images from the Cross Country phase. Please click on an image to license it or to purchase prints. More images are available in my photo archive here.
Katherine Rivera rides Royal Lufttanzer over the Shire Bound Trunk fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Jennie Jarnstrom rides Cape Town over the Hammock fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Lisa Barry rides F.I.S. Prince Charming over the Hammock fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Mikka Kuchta rides Rubens D’Ysieux in a blur toward the Hog House fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Kelly Prather rides Blackfoot Mystery through the Sawgrass Water fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Marilyn Little smiles as she rides RF Quarterman through the Sawgrass Water fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Caroline Martin and Quantum Solace stumble on the Sawgrass Water fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
Caroline Martin clings to Quantum Solace’s neck after the horse stumbled on the Sawgrass Water fence during Cross Country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee.
(Animation) Quantum Solace stumbles in the Sawgrass Water fence, nearly throwing rider Caroline Martin.