One of the things I really enjoy about photography is getting to meet some of the really interesting people that live and work in our community. Case in point was the subject of Austin MD's July / August 2015 Cover - Greg Abbink. Greg is an instructor at the Austin Police Academy who has dedicated his life and career to teaching and improving the standards of the Austin Police Department. He's a great guy and was a fascinating subject to work with. What makes him especially special is that he is one of the first police officers in the country who is transgender.
Now I could go off on politics and my personal beliefs and long standing support for the LGBTQ community, but honestly, it's not about me. And if you're not LGBTQ friendly, then I'm not going to change your mind in a blog post. Maybe I'll talk about my personal politics on this issue in another post.
Anyways, I think that fact that our police chief and police department have actively supported LGBT officers is awesome. Greg brings a unique perspective and provides a great resource for the department. He makes the unfamiliar familiar and puts a face on the transgender community that officers can recognize and identify with, and I think that's a great thing for the future of our city.
Shooting with Greg was a lot of fun. I was commissioned to shoot the cover, title page, and provide some extra images for the article itself. Doing my research, I was trying to find a balance between the obvious topic and placing Greg as an instructor at the academy. We shot in his office, in the gym, in front of the academy, and in one of the classrooms. Because we were shooting in so many places, I tried to keep my gear light and portable. I used a beauty dish with a diffusion sock on an AB800 with the VLM battery back. I tried to balance the ambient with strobe and still create a sense of place.
Here's the cover, and you can read the entire issue here.
As always, comments and feedback are appreciated, and I'm happy to answer questions about the shoot.