I was pleasantly surprised to find out that three of my photographs have been selected for inclusion in the upcoming Focus Philadelphia book and that my photo of  Wynn in his beekeeper outfit won third prize! That’s a bronze right? Though I have had images included in previous Focus exhibitions this is the first year I’ve won a place on the podium. When it comes to contests I remember the line from Glengarry Glen Ross, ” First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is,” you’re fired!”

As you may have read in my previous post Bee Box Inspection my wife and son have recently taken up beekeeping, which led me to begin The Philadelphia Beekeepers Project. All of the photographs in the series were shot outdoors and depict beekeepers tending to their apiaries but for this portrait of Wynn I wanted to move indoors to control the lighting and use a backdrop to elimanate any competing elements.
 My objective was to capture Wynn’s new persona, that of a competent and capable steward of bees and to illustrate how an outfit can transform the subject that is wearing it.
 What I like about the image is the juxtaposition between his stoic expression and the geeky outfit. I say geeky with all due respect, beekeepers even refer to themselves as “Beeks,” a contraction of beekeeper and geek. It is their cross to bear and they bear it proudly.  I too wear one of these goofy suits when I’m photographing near an open hive.
There are basically three type of hats commercially available from beekeeping supply houses, the pith helmet, the wide brimmed floppy hat or a dome hood. I’m considering starting a side business offering novelty beekeeper hats. How about a bowler or tophat , maybe even a stovepipe, you get the idea. Any angel investors out there? If so just leave your info in the comment section and I’ll get back to you pronto.
Congratulations to Matt Stanley, first prize and Gene Simnov, second place and to everyone else who made it into the book. You can see more images at Focus Philadelphia.Thanks to this years judges Jamie Leary, Nathaniel Stein, and David Winigrad and to the ASMPhilly Focus committee.