responsiveslider_lol_02 The Language of Light DVD - More
MeetJoe_02 Meet Joe McNally - More
inthebag What’s in the Bag? - More

My Friend Joe Came By…..

Jul 1

In Seminars & Workshops at 10:57am

Up at the workshops the other day, my friend Joe Hodges came by. 27 year veteran of FDNY, and one the most hard working, decent, friendly guys I have ever met. We got to know each other a bit after 911, and since that time I have been a friend of his old house, Ladder 6 Engine 9 in Chinatown–the Dragonfighters. He always just waves me off when I say this, but he’s got a great face for a picture.


I always remember what he said to accompany the Giant Polaroid I shot of him back at 911 time. He could have easily retired back then and taken it easy. Instead, he stayed on. As he said, “Now’s not the time to leave. The older guys have to stick around and show the younger guys the way.”


He’s taking well earned retirement now. Went to his party the other night, and was very surprised and grateful when I got called up by the guys at the house and was given a plaque. I’ve done some photography and some other pretty inconsequential stuff for the house over the years, and it was a very nice thing they did. Trust me, nothing any of us could do would be enough in return for what these guys do for us every day.


Later in the day, we did small flash inside and outside…..3 small flashes here for Bethany…


And then a one light down the hallway treatment for Mariana. Here is where no depth of field is helpful. The Nikkor 200 F2, at F2. Lens is the sharpest thing I’ve ever shot…




more tk…..

Jon Martinez says:

on July 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

Excellent!!!! I cant wait to see and read more. Congrats on the plaque I bet it was an honor.


John Remus III says:

on July 1, 2009 at 11:05 am

Alway great work with your firefighter portraits Joe!
And that hallway shot at f/2 is incredible. Alas, I’m still shooting Canon and no longer around around the Nikon crew on tradeshows any more :(

Sean Sullivan says:

on July 1, 2009 at 11:12 am

Joe, had a great time and learned a lot. Enjoyed learning from you as always, and Joe Hodges was a blast to shoot. I hope we get the see the final “rope trick” shot soon…you do have a warped imagination…love it.

Marc says:

on July 1, 2009 at 11:25 am

Great images again! And congrats!

John Leonard says:

on July 1, 2009 at 11:31 am

Joe your a stand up guy. You deserve that plaque. And I speak for eveyone that our first responders through out the country are a real source of pride and an example of daily heroes!

bryan lathrop says:

on July 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

A TON of great information and shooting crammed into one day. So glad I came up for this. My only suggestion for improvement would be to make it a two-day deal, so you could balance out the didactic portions with more of the hands-on exercises. Regardless, it was awesome watching Joe as he worked his magic as he explained how to “build” the shots. Great crew, great models too.

Jamie Willmott says:

on July 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm

That F2 shot is milky!

Herkus says:

on July 1, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Thank You for sharing 😉

Ken Worley says:

on July 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Awesome work, and what a great honor to receive that plaque. We should all be very thankful for the work that firefighters do everyday.
Thanks for sharing.

David says:

on July 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm

congrats on the recognition, and thank you for always being inspirational, both through the camera and as a person.

jakob says:

on July 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm

This is awesome Joe! Once more Im speachless of your photography, you really kick my ass! Thank you for sharing your stunners with us! You`re my hero!

Best regards,

Richard Cave says:

on July 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

That f2 is amazing, what a shot, well done with recieving that plaque, you are now part of a brotherhood, you are privileged.

Anyway you owe me a beer,


Andre Guay says:

on July 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Nice Bravo!

Ben Madden says:

on July 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Way cool on the plaque, Joe! Joe Hodges & Co. sure sound like a good bunch.

Now, stop showing me pictures taken with the 200 f/2!

daniel petre says:

on July 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

hello, watched some video tutorials with J.M. and was very attracted by his way to show and explain things, a very nice work Joe !
also this website and blog is pretty cool and i enjoy every new post in my rss program.
nice apple screen in the last pic 😛

Andrew says:

on July 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I’m currently picking up the melted remains of my face from my keyboard from that shot of Mariana @ F2. That … I would say, is somethin’ HUSKYYYYYYYY.

Angie says:

on July 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm

I had just started reading thru your 911 book the other day, and was quite impressed with Joe. So I’m delighted to see this follow up!! How awesome! They are true heroes, no doubt about it!

Marshal says:

on July 1, 2009 at 11:41 pm

A big hats off and salute to Joe Hodges and all brave & selfless firefighters like him for their service.

And to Joe McNally a big salute to a photog I truly admire. Btw, your pics in the current Nat Geo for the article Cosmic Vision are superb! :)

Mark says:

on July 2, 2009 at 12:32 am

Just keeps getting better and better. Love that one of Mariana.

Graham McBride says:

on July 2, 2009 at 2:18 am

Joe it must be a tough job working with ladies like these…Lucky you

arun says:

on July 2, 2009 at 6:59 am

Joe Hodges Rocks !!
Thats pretty cool that you were given that plaque. That is some high honor coming from those heros.

Jakov Cordina says:

on July 2, 2009 at 7:22 am

you are an inspiration!

Hans van de Vorst says:

on July 2, 2009 at 9:12 am

A great read Joe, the lady in red is lit S P E C T A C U L A R.

Dewayne Pizzolato says:

on July 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

Congrats Joe!!!
I can’t imagine how surprised you were by the plaque.

I think that F2 shot looks awesome and maybe it’s just me but with that puddle behind her doesn’t it kind of look like she has that “who pissed on the floor” look?

Take Care,

Ziv says:

on July 2, 2009 at 10:17 am

Love the image of Mariana… buttery goodness.

“The Nikkor 200 F2, at F2. Lens is the sharpest thing I’ve ever shot…”

At $5k, it better be sharp. Hope it arrives in a big box… I may have to live in it.

Michael Quiet says:

on July 2, 2009 at 11:11 am

Hi Joe and gang,

What a wonderful workshop Wednesday. I learn a ton. Joe you are a huge inspiration to me. Your work always seems to captivate me and inspire me to go shoot. I am excited to say im gunna mimmic the lighting set-ups at my studio this week. Hoping to reach the quality you produce. I have one question I forgot to ask. What program do you use to handle you raw images? Thanks again in advance.


Stephen Colby says:

on July 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

Spectacular images as usual. How much and what PP did you do on the Mariana shot…or is it mostly the 200 and YOUR lighting knowledge? (read…why don’t my pics look like this?)
Where is the one light and what manipulation was done?

I know I know…I should come to a workshop…jeesh.

Thanks a bunch.

Echo the comment on National Geographic…the shots of the telescopes are nothing short of remarkable.

dinno from liveBooks says:

on July 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Hi Joe, Your site looks awesome! and I just picked up your Hot Shoes Diaries Book yesterday. I’ve been looking for a book about lighting with small flashes for the longest time and will definitely come in handy for my wedding shoots! Thanks

Rory says:

on July 2, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Greetings from New Zealand.

I loved reading this post, and felt obliged to leave a comment. I have devoured your books and love taking time out to take in your blog. Congratulations on the plaque. I’m sure a gift like that is not bestowed lightly, and for the philanthropic nature that merited it I’m sure we’re all thankful. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge so freely.

Hopefully the excellent pinot noirs in New Zealand may tempt you to offer a workshop here…

Al Thomas says:

on July 2, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Hello Joe! Outstanding as usual! Mariana is stunning as usual too. Dangerous lady. :)The lack of depth of field causes her to “pop”. Like a lot how the colors blur due to the lighting which puts the focus on Mariana’s top half.
Thanks a lot!

Sina says:

on July 2, 2009 at 11:44 pm

I love joe’s portraiture… the amazing thing above the red one I think about picking appropriate tools and method.

Thanks for giving inspiration and congrat for plaque.

Dominic Letizia says:

on July 3, 2009 at 8:13 am

Joe, kudos to you and your pro team for making the day an awesome experience. I was especially impressed by your willingness to share every bit of knowledge and methodology with us in such a collegial way. The true sign of an ultimate professional.

Malinda Hartong says:

on July 11, 2009 at 8:47 am

To Joe Hodges, thanks for your years of dedication, sacrifice and service. Your helmet shows your guts! WOW!
And to our photo Joe, I bet that gesture from “the guys” about choked you up! It does me too. That’s so cool!

Vlad Ciubotariu says:

on June 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Absolutelly SUPERB !

I like the simplicity of u’re shots. Natural light & MOBILE STROBE. It’s exactlly the way i work for about 2 years, and i can see u can succeed with this method i adore. In my opinion, sun isn’t enought :D:P

I’ll watch u’re blog FOR EVER !

George DeLoache says:

on August 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Joe your work only gets better. I love the Lady in Red shot. That 200mm F2 is one sweet lens. I have not been able to justify buying one but I still remember using your at Santa Fe Workshop. Well maybe one day when my ship comes in!! I am looking forward to you workshop a Photoshop Word. So I’ll see you next week in Vegas baby Vegas!!!!
All The Best

Leave a Reply