Images copyright Chad Pennington. All rights reserved.
Chad Pennington and I met online many years ago when he reached out to me with a comment about something on Facebook. While I love an IM conversation on Facebook, I often just pick up the phone and call. Well, that kicked off a great friendship. From there we've bumped into each other at various conventions over the years; stayed in touch through IMs on Facebook and grabbed a few phone calls here and there.
But more than anything today, this is one of those spotlight posts that's a testimonial to what I love most about this industry and social media - it helps us stay in touch.
It started a couple days ago when going through birthday notifications on Facebook; I wished Chad a Happy Birthday. It was early, and I never expected him to respond right away, but he was right there in the IM box. He thanked me, and that kicked off a "catch-up" conversation.
He's in Nigeria this week, and curious about what he's working on, I asked him to send a couple of images from his trip. He immediately dropped these two stunning images into the IM thread mentioning these were from his visit three months ago. (Click on either image to visit Chad's website to see more of his work.)
I haven't lost touch with Chad, but I had lost touch with his work. It's easily been five years or more that our friendship took off, but I hadn't been looking at his galleries. I've often written that the best thing about this industry has nothing to do with photography, but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
Well, Chad loves the craft! That quest for the ultimate image runs through his veins every time a camera is in his hands, and I'm so grateful that social media gives us the ability to stay connected.
When I think back to the early days, when I first came into the professional side of this industry at Hasselblad in '87, the only way we'd share images was either in person or through the mail. The Internet changed the way we share photographs, share friendships and share our passion for the craft!
So to Chad - thanks for following through and sending me the specs on both images as well. Thanks for a great friendship, and thanks for always being true to quality in everything you do. I'm sure proud to consider you a buddy - safe travels!
Note: Chad's shooting with a Canon 5D Mark III.
His model for both images is Folowosele Tomi from Lagos, Nigeria.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.