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The Answer Man…

Nov 30

In Friends at 9:26am


Is there any limit to how much stuff Terry White knows about bunches of stuff? I’ve known Terry a little bit for a while now, but got to know him better during the recent DLWS excursion to the wilds of northern Michigan. (Terry’s a Detroit guy.) He’s with Adobe (about 13 years) and runs one of the most respected tech blogs in the blog world, and is on top of technology the way I’m on top a plate of strawberry pancakes after a sunrise lighthouse shoot:-)

We shot this early am portrait of Terry in the cornfield with one SB900 and a tri-grip diffuser. He’s just got one of those gregarious faces that belongs in front of the lens. I’m surprised he’s smiling at me, ’cause he shared a car with both myself and Drew. Poor Terry. On the way to sunrise shoots, he was just so ready to sink into a passenger seat dream state in the pre-dawn Michigan gloom when Drew and I metamorphosed into a pair of overlarge, one year old golden retrievers in the back seat. I’m like, punching Drew, whispering, “We got Terry White in the car! He can’t get out! Ask questions!”

Drew would start lobbing queries from the backseat, little annoying firecrackers going off inside the otherwise pleasant reveries of Terry’s early morning head. And, because he is first and foremost very gracious, and also because his incredibly nimble mind invariably engages any question about anything that might even be a distant cousin of the pixel, he began answering. It was great. He was stuck with us, and Drew was throwing all manner of stuff at him. Drew, trying to be ingratiating (and to let Terry know he’s pretty tech savvy, too) asked if he had seen this particular, latest and greatest app? Terry twisted around and eyeballed Drew over his glass rims. “Yes, I do know about that app. It’s actually the app of the week on my blog.” D’oh!

Pretty terrific, at least for us. Given that short time in the car, I hatched a plan. Terry would be a great house guest, right? So I’m going to invite him over for the weekend. Hey, yeah, it’ll be fun! Watch the Lions! Annie’ll make some great food! Have a few beers, relax! And then, just when he’s relaxing, I would casually mention…..”Have you seen our studio? You know, like, our work stations?”

And then we’d have him! He’d sit down, ’cause he’d be curious about how inefficiently our stuff is set up, and boom, we’d pull out a document roughly akin to a physics textbook filled with questions. I’d be calling up to Annie, “Hey honey, got some more hors d’oeuvres goin?” “Terry! Wanna beer? Something to put your feet up on? Reading lamp? Cigar?”

He’d be onto us immediately, of course. I’d wake up to the sound of a car door in the middle of the night, and Terry, desperate to get out, would have called one of those New York City car services. I’d race downstairs, chasing the car as it headed down the driveway. It’d be like the last scene in Shane, you know, where the kid runs after the gunslinger shouting, “Shane, come back! Momma’s got some chores for you to do!”

Except now it’d be a hi tech version of that plaintive call….”Terry! Come back! The Ipod still needs a’fixin!”

More tk….

jeremy mayhew says:

on November 30, 2009 at 10:29 am

I can’t pass a cornfield anymore without thinking of you. oh, and when are your portrait sessions cards coming out like the strobist/chasejarvis ones?

Donna says:

on November 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm

You may want to re-think the “watching the Lions” angle. It’s rarely fun, more like sticking your tongue in an electric outlet. Except the outcome isn’t as shocking. Detroiters are duty-bound to watch, but I can’t say that it’s enticing.

John McIntosh says:

on November 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Probably not the best place to ask this Joe but your using SB900s and you like them A LOT. Elsewhere there has been a lot of traffic of them overheating and giving people grief. The Q is have you had problems with them overheating and cutting out or do you have so many that it is not a factor ?

Frank Burch says:

on November 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm


RC says:

on November 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm


That was awesome!

Mike Neale says:

on November 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Excellent skin tones, Joe & Drew,…under difficult outdoor lighting,…well done!

PS…if u go Terry,…fight the “naturally-occurring-consequence” of pickin’ up their Bostonian accents!,….;-)))


Nick McDonald says:

on November 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Great story Joe, love the visuals.

@John McIntosh, The only time I have ever had my SB900’s overheat is shooting over 200 frames in quick succession at or near full power. Yes the overheating is annoying, and yes you can turn it off. The SB600’s that were firing along side the 900’s were even hotter than the 900’s. And they still all work great. The SB900 is darn fine flash.

Tom Peterson says:

on November 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Terry White? I hope to get a chance to meet him one of these days, and Kelby, and Ziser, and Moose. I’ve already met you Joe, so that’s one checked off my list. Funny post. Your mind works in strange ways.

Rory Laubscher says:

on November 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm

You have a gift for combining good imagery and good story telling.
Wish like hell you’d be tempted enough by good New Zealand wine to come and do a class here.

Bill Bogle Jr. says:

on November 30, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Okay, now I get it. Terry was in the cornfield with Shawn Johnson.

Great shot.

Bill Bogle, Jr.

stephen says:

on November 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm

“He’d sit down, ’cause he’d be curious about how inefficiently our stuff is set up. . .”


Wayne says:

on December 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

I see Terry used one of your portraits on his website “About Terry White”. Great shot!

Marty says:

on December 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

What a beautiful, and well deserved, compliment to Terry.

Kingsley says:

on December 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm

HAHAHAHA – too funny


Fashion Photographer Jerry Avenaim says:

on December 4, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Now I see what you mean when you say they just fall together Joe. Great images and a great story just flow so organically for you. Well done man.

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