One thing I can say about my job, it is never the same. This year was no exception. One month I was shooting a group of the area’s WTOC-TV Top teachers on the dock during their appreciation tour and the next found me atop a rubber-tired gantry crane shooting the first cargo bound for GPA’s newest location, the Appalachian Regional Port. Other adventures included shooting Georgia’s Governor, along with a country music singer at the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference followed by a morning spent on top of a ship-to-shore crane and shooting on the docks while gathering material for the State of the Port presentation. It’s involved some climbing, some planning, and some quick thinking to execute some of these shots, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m always careful to stay out of the way when shooting in the field. I realize that the highly trained professionals I’m shooting (or shooting alongside) are trying to do their jobs quickly and. But, one place it is infinitely hard to stay out of the way is in the cab of a rubber-tired gantry crane. The cab is basically a small glass fronted box full of technical equipment needed to operate the 75-foot tall cargo moving crane. It is wall-to wall driver’s seat with joysticks, computer terminal and air conditioner. After the climb up, I squished myself into the corner as the cab smoothly lumbered forward and back and took deep breaths to quell my motion sickness while the efficient operator loaded the first cargo bound for the Appalachian Regional Port, GPA’s newest location in Chatsworth.
Every year, GPA partners with WTOC-TV to honor top teachers in our area. The culminating event is a tour of the port and luncheon. It was great to hear about what these inspiring educators love about what they do, while helping to make them feel appreciated.
This shot is the reason why I keep safety shoes in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet. I’m never sure where I’ll end up trying to get an inspiring shot. For this one of the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal, I climbed a few flights of stairs, took a 3-person elevator ride, maneuvered through the mechanical housing and traversed a maze of catwalks to the back boom of a ship-to-shore crane more than 15 stories above the ground.
GPA’s Port of Brunswick is one of my favorite places to work. The people are friendly, and the natural beauty is incredible. Shooting the maiden voyage of the Orca Ace didn’t disappoint. After boarding the vessel and meeting the captain and part of the crew, I hung around as its cargo of vehicles was offloaded. After years of shooting vessels that are generally the same shape at the same port, I am beginning to have to work harder for interesting angles. I’ve always been fascinated with mooring ropes and the contrast of these pink ropes against the blue of the vessel and sky caught my attention.
The waterfront is full of people with personality and this longshoreman did not disappoint when we asked if we could take photos and video of him while he worked to dock a vessel. Before we were finished with the shoot, we knew about the van he drove and its upgrades, his extended family, his neighborhood, his years of experience and the challenges of his work. He was such a friendly and funny subject.
What can you say about the big man in red? This photo perfectly captures the spirit of GPA’s Santa and is particularly meaningful because the person who has perfected this performance over the last several years (even visiting local special need pre-k students as part of the get-up) is putting up his sleigh bells for good as he retires. You cannot beat the expression of 45 elementary school kids from West Chatham Elementary School as Santa enters and asks them all to say their name on the count of three. Our jolly old elf and the elementary school choir join forces every year to help GPA celebrate the wrap-up of a gift drive for Court Appointed Special Advocates. GPA employees buy gifts for children in foster care who are usually going through abuse or neglect proceedings. The generosity of our employees is heartwarming.
When Jeremy Polston, GPA’s in-house drone expert as well as a lieutenant on GPA’s Port Police department, was chosen to be featured in GPA’s Great People in Action Magazine I knew I had to get him with his drone. The wind cooperated the day when we climbed on top of a large construction-site dirt pile to get a shot of Jeremy in action with the Port of Savannah in the background.
When I spend much of my days in the office, it is easy for me to forget all the grandeur of the world-traveling vessels and people that are right outside on the river. Most of my photographs are shot to illustrate a specific thing, but this one just intrigued me. I heard the crew of this vessel calling to the longshoremen as they docked and for a second thought about the rest of the world they must have seen in their travels.
We asked GPA’s Crane Maintenance team to help us with a video shoot for GPA’s annual State of the Port event. While the video team was shooting the footage needed for that, I shot some portraits. The lighting was perfect that day. It really made the colors of the container yard pop.
Shooting this year’s Georgia Foreign Trade Conference presented a few opportunities for interesting not port-related photos, including this one. The crowd threw their hands up and sang along to country musician Sara Evans famous song “Suds in the Bucket” during the 50th anniversary GFTC celebration.
This longshoreman was all smiles despite the heat and humidity as he worked to dock a vessel that absolutely dwarfed him in size. He tried to talk me into making him famous and told me about his wife as he pulled ropes and dragged lines.
The clouds made such an interesting pattern in this expanse of blue sky behind a ro/ro vessel at the Port of Brunswick.