Intro by Skip Cohen
I first met JB Sallee when he won the first WPPI Hy Sheanin Scholarship. It must have been at least ten years ago. Time really does fly when you're having a good time. He and and his wife, DeEtte, were only engaged then and here we are today with two kids and a well established photography business.
This is a little different guest post than I normally share, but that's what makes it so much fun. While the image itself is spectacular, I love the post because it's really a tribute to JB's grandfather, who first put a camera in his hands. That, along with ongoing encouragement and exposure to art, launched his career.
We all have somebody in our past who was so influential in our direction to choose our current career path, but now you're in a position to pass on that legacy. It's through photographers/educators like JB that so many new artists are being influenced every day. JB really put it in perspective with his last line...
"Life is precious and very short! What small token will you create that will shape the life of someone you love?"
You'll find more stunning work of JB and DeEtte's on their website. Plus, if you're walking around WPPI and you have a chance to meet them, just walk up and say hello - you'll never be disappointed!
I am very proud of this particular wedding/bridal image that we lovingly named “Prada Marfa” that we shot in the freezing cold at 3am in Marfa, Texas at the famous Prada Marfa Store as seen on “Gossip Girls”!
I owe a lot of appreciation to a lot of people in my life for guiding and moulding me into the man/photographer I am today. One person in-particular was my grandfather who took me to this Prada art installation piece years ago.
My grandfather was the one who not only introduced me to art but also put a camera in my hands when I was 16 years old and told me to do what I love and never settle for less. I took that advice to heart and I have never regretted my decision to pursue professional photography. Along the way, that one old Nikon opened a lot of doors for me. I met my beautiful wife and was her photo lab instructor in college, together we followed our dreams and opened up our own small photography business in Dallas, Texas. We have met thousands of other photographers who share our same passion and made many life-long friends.
It’s crazy to think how one camera started a new path in my life and now it is our turn to mould and guide our two small children and bring them up in life with love and compassion for others, like our loved ones did for us. I worry everyday that I am inadequate as a father and not prepared to guide two little ones to face this harsh world but then I remember to take it one day at a time and one day I hope to give that one special gift to them that will change their prospective of life and help them to see the beauty that life has to offer.
My Grandfather always wanted me to do a wedding shoot at this Prada store in the city where he lived so he could show it off and “brag” to his friends about his “pro photographer grandson”. As hard as I tried, I could never find the right bride to convince into doing this shot. Unfortunately he passed away last year and I never got to give him this shot that he wanted when he was living, but I did find just the right bride. We went down to the store and created this shot. Without question I know he is up in heaven bragging to his new friends!
Life is precious and very short! What small token will you create that will shape the life of someone you love?
Behind the Scene
One of the most common questions we receive from Brides and Grooms is if our work is a composite of many images or just one shot? Well here is one example that we shoot 99.9% of our clients portraits on location and not in a studio and then later Photoshopped into a cool scene.
We have a belief that if we fake it, then it just feels fake! Not only do we love creating beautiful portrait art for our clients but more importantly, we like for our art to mean something and have a story behind the image. We hope to create a lasting memory for them to tell their friends and family, truly making their wall art a conversation piece and not just a boring wedding shot that will get tossed under the bed in less than a year! .
The "quick" story behind this image is that we rushed from Midland, Tx. where we picked up the bride to get to this location by sunset but we arrived 5 hours past sunset and the temperature dropped down to 26 degrees. The bride was a trooper and we came away with something different than what we had set out to shoot but we think it was meant to be! That's the great thing about what we do, we NEVER know what we will get!!