Remember when you and your friends ruled the neighborhood, the forest behind your house, the local park or the beach near your home.

This past winter I was down on the beach taking pictures with my son of surfers, while we were walking down the beach we came upon a wood pallet that had washed up at high tide from the night before. Nobody seemed to take any notice of it and probably discarded it as just another piece of random beach trash. But it wasn’t trash to me, I was intrigued by it. I took a couple of frames of it before we continued down the beach, but I kept thinking of the pallet and the potential it held for creating an image.

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Original wooden pallet found on the beach in January 2019.

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Original wooden pallet found on the beach in January 2019.

I’m a storyteller, I like to create visual narratives which I hope individuals are intrigued with, stories individuals can relate to or images that individuals are motivated by; and this ordinary pallet was the perfect opportunity to create something from nothing.

Pirates, is a whimsical photo narrative of three kids and a dog playing on an old wood pallet (beach trash) washed up on the beach.

PIRATES became the perfect narrative for me to build a story around that show the pallet as something other than what it was and the perfect stage to cast the imagination of the kids who would play my band of salty crewmembers. Aiding in creating a bridge between my childhood past and my present life with my own kids. Allowing me to create a personal photo project that would hopefully inspire others and reflect on the possibilities of their potential by charging the horizons of tomorrow.

Since this was a personal project, it took some time to put it all together and I’m proud of how this entire project turned out because it shows the level of commitment I put into my personal photo projects and photos I create for clients. When I create an image for myself, I want that image to reflect the best work that I can possibly do both creatively and technically. When I create a client, they expect the best image possible, which will help them stand out from the mass of media that’s fighting for everyone’s attention. We all want to be noticed; and good, creative and technical work helps my images to get noticed.

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For me; personally, being noticed with this project is to show the project with also showing the behind the scene efforts that went into creating it. I wanted to do this so someone can get to know me as the artist and my process better. Usually when I’m creating a picture the audience only sees the final result but they don’t see the behind the scene (BTS) efforts that go into it. For PIRATES, I wanted to come out from behind the “curtain” and show the journey that went into creating the picture.

I worked with a good friend, Brandon Flint; who recently launched a video company (Story Directive) to help individuals and companies tell their stories through video, so I enlisted Brandons help to help tell my PIRATE story.

I’ve also been adding into my portfolio some motion and animation clips of my own, allowing clients to see options of what can be created from a single shoot. So instead of just creating one still image I also created a motion asset that brought the image to life as a Cinemagraph.

I’ve created Cinemagraphs in the past, but this one was fun and challenging. The challenge came from the need to wait for the wave to cycle and fade enough that made the jump from start to finish not so obvious. The added motion of the waves helped to support the narrative of the frozen action of the kids looking out across the water.

I’m excited to add this image to my portfolio of conceptual projects, which I hope will inspire my clients and others to create. Think what I can someones brand based on what I did with this piece of beach trash. We are only limited by our own imagination.

Special thanks to everyone involved:

HMUA: Natalie Bohlin Assistant 1: Dewey Keithly Assistant 2: Greg Merino Studio: Grain Photo Studio Kid Captain: Rosie Salty Kid Crew Member 1: Deacon Salty Kid Crew Member 2: Dane Salty Crew Dog: Roxy Videographer: Story Directive / Brandon Flint