Beth Reynolds and base camp photo are about giving back through the lens with respect and integrity. We cultivate the well being of people through photography from behind the lens or by putting the camera in your hands. Located in The Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. www.basecampphoto.com to view all our work!
This is Ty Cobb, he plays little league baseball in a small New England town. Documenting little league has become a focus of mine - the love and passion for the game is pure. When I saw this young man’s name and heard his first name, I smiled. I wondered - how much he knew of his namesake. Does he understand the place in history that “The Georgia Peach” holds, does he care? Even people who do not like or follow baseball probably know who or have heard of Ty Cobb. This game, Ty Cobb pitched and did a fine job. He was a team player and watched the game intently with his teammates, one who has the last name Comiskey - but that is another story. Read about Ty Cobb http://www.cmgww.com/baseball/cobb/index.html
Today ends 6 months of being the storyteller for Linden Hill School - what was the oldest junior boarding school for boys with learning differences in the country. I only got to see a glimpse of how amazing these young men are and that makes me sad. Teenagers, boys - lots could go wrong there. But they opened up and let me in and allowed to document often difficult situations in the education. This photo of these three friends touched me- one from Texas, one from New England and one from Saudi Arabia. They shared dorms, meals, classrooms and the playing field for lacrosse. Each goes to a new school next fall and who knows if they will ever see each other again in person. They are linked through Linden Hill, through a learning difference, and overcoming challenges most do not have. I am honored to have been witness to their education, their transformation and their friendship. With out my camera, I would have never met them!
For the last 6 months I have been documenting the lives of 26 young men at Linden Hill School in Northfield, MA. The school will officially close June 8th for good. It has been an honor to tell their story, share their struggle with learning differences and being away from home. This photo was taken after the last Ultimate Frisbee game. They are walking back to main campus through a short cut in the woods. It reminded me of Eugene Smith’s “Walk to Paradise Garden.” I debated whether to walk with them or fall back and see what there might be to photograph. I always enjoy conversation with them but the light told me to hang back. I could see they would be walking into something beautiful. I was able to get several images before they crossed into each others path. I love the center boys hand on his head! This is as shot - not saturated, no vignette added. Looks good in black and white too…
Photographers have the privilege to be witness to wonderful, beautiful moments in life, such as births; graduations and weddings…Friday April 20th I was working for Linden Hill School, on assignment to document an educational canoe adventure with the Outdoor Leadership Program from Greenfield Community College. I had photographed all the preparations and putting in of canoes up river and wanted a last image of the boys from the French King Bridge - showing the Connecticut River Valley as the backdrop. From the time I got to the center of the bridge I thought it would be 15 or 20 minutes before I saw them floating gracefully underneath. An hour goes by, I need to use the bathroom, and I want another cup of coffee. I don’t see them. I couldn’t have missed them. I wait, I want to leave and come back but I don’t leave. Every time I start back to the car, I don’t make it. I stay. Some feeling I have keeps me there. The picture I want of the boys in not necessary and I have lots of work I need to do. I should leave; clearly this is going to take much longer than I estimated. But I stay; I feel a need to stay.
A few people pass by, walkers and some tourists take a few snapshots. At 10:50am a man approaches me. He is wearing a small purple mum is his jacket pocket. We greet each other and tells me he is getting married today. I say, fantastic! He says, he is getting married right here on the bridge in 10 minutes. I am stunned but excited. Really? Yes, married!
As if the large camera and 200mm lens did not say “professional” I inform him that I am and he asks if I would hold the video camera for them during the ceremony. He came early hoping to find someone to hold it otherwise he was going to hold it himself and try to videotape while getting married.
“Of course,” I said with elation! No sign of the boys in canoes yet.
At 11am, I see the canoes coming around the turn of the river. I estimate they are still 15 minutes from floating under me. I look to my left and there is Don, walking with his fiancé and their officiant and a large dog.
They met online 3 years ago and have been by each other’s side ever since, with the dog!
I am all smiles. I introduce myself to the bride as her wedding photographer, we all laugh. Don hands me a small video camera, shows me the record button and off we go.
Trucks are blowing by, and in the lulls of traffic I am hearing the ceremony. The words are profound and moving. We are all tearing up, me the most! In about 8 minutes they are married. I have panned around, got close for the kiss and made sure I got video from both sides to show their faces. I was so honored and proud to be there for this moment in life.
I asked to make a few photos afterwards and I promise to send them along. They obliged me, not knowing who I was or if I knew how to take photo…
The joy on their faces is all I need to see. I was given a gift today. I documented the marriage of Don and Elizabeth; I was there for the first second of their life together as husband and wife.
The boys in the canoes paddled by a few minutes later and I got the photo. As they waved up to me on the bridge they had no idea what had just happened!
Outtake or 37th frame…parting shot… whatever you call it, it’s always there. You are leaving an assignment, you feel you have done good work, made the photograph you need. A sense of doing a good job fills you and you pack your gear up and ride off. I always leave one camera in the front seat with me. As I left the Czajkowski Farm in Hadley yesterday, I was thinking about the bean soup I left in a crock pot. Slowly winding my way back to Rt 63, I look right and saw this photo. I did not hesitate, I stopped the car, backed up a bit and got out. I stood there a minute to appreciate the beauty of the light and the natural composition that had presented itself to me. I made 4-5 photos, stood there again, loving the late fall light, the landscape of Western Massachusetts, the colors and textures of farming - it was poetic. I never know where my “37th Frame” will come from, but it is always there. Just keep your eyes and mind open all the time!
I have found it very important in my photographic life to have mentors, several of them. Sam Abell is one, probably the most important one. I have seen and heard him speak about photography for years and there is a special photo of his father he took as a boy at a train station. It is memorable, so much that when I was standing on the platform waiting to go to NYC one day I found Sam’s train - in the early morning light, it lacked the father figure but I felt a direct connection, an inspiration from that moment. I made 2 photos and boarded. It felt amazing to channel that guidance and put it into a photograph. I showed Sam the photo and he agreed that it reminded him of his photo. The next morning I took Sam to the train station and there we stood, and we looked at the train, it felt so amazing to stand there with him, discuss his photo, my photo, and his guidance in my career. It was a complete circle. He boarded the train, I watched it leave, pulling away slowly. I smiled and in my mind said thank you to Sam - thank you for years of honest, compassionate talks about our careers, photography, rough justice, and The Photographic Life!
I was 16 when I had my first photograph published. It was inside, page 2 of my school newspaper, The Campus Chronicle from Shorecrest Preparatory School in St Petersburg, Florida. We had a substantial paper, great advisers and school supported. Seeing your name in print, a credit for a photo that someone, a teacher, thought well enough of your work to print, for everyone to see - changed my life. I was good at something. I struggled all through school to find something, anything that I was good at…there was not much. But I was good at photography. Now, almost 30 years later, it feels the same. A group of people liked my photograph enough to use it promote a very successful, artistic venture - The Brick + Mortar International Video Arts Festival. One of the chairs told me he loved the photos I submitted - it still gives me pause when I see my name next to a published photo I took. I never want to lose that feeling, that excitement, that sense of pride. I saw my photograph all over Greenfield this week and I was proud and felt proud to a part of this project. I know as a young teen it is so hard to find a path for life, so confusing, so unclear at times. Thank you to the teachers at Shorecrest who gave me the chance to find this passion for photography…
I don’t own a studio, not really interested in studio lighting and always feel drawn to window light and finding light to photograph in. Creating light is not my expertise, I am glad there are people who are fantastic at creating lighting and mood. Natural light is so lovely and wraps around you in such a beautiful way. I know I am never going to make a standard portrait of someone, the traditional is not on my radar. I know parents want those perfect images but I like the little things, the details…I think this is as much a portrait as a face is.
Took the train into NYC to go to B&H to sell some gear and replace an old lens. Passed by New Haven station - this is where my mother would catch the “banker train” in and go to design school each day. I thought about her riding the train, doing her sketches and men gazing at how pretty she was. Being in the city reminds of her and going to grad school at Hartford Art School. We often spent the weekends running from gallery to gallery. We ate at the Skylight Diner and I did again the other day. I love visiting the city, it connects me to my mom, inspires me visually. Never went more than 2 blocks in any direction the 6 hours we were there - I could have spent the whole day shooting in the diner. Inspiration is always so close if you just take the time to observe…
This is a photo I took years ago, 2007. I remember being with 5-6 other photographers as we wandered the beach each looking for a photo. Patience is the word that comes to mind. The man with the net - so still, watching, waiting till all comes into his view, just a perfect second to toss his net - hmmm, sounds like us. I waited, moved just slightly to bring his head below the horizon, moved a little to take the sun out of play…waited, fixed through my viewfinder for just the perfect second to toss my net…