Jake Wyman, Photographer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How To Gift Wrap a Baby Elephant

Baby elephants and baby rhino's need our help!

I love elephants so much that one year I gave each of my nieces and my nephew, a "baby elephant" for Christmas!
You'll have to read the rest of my post to find out how it's done, but know that it is truly a unique gift that helps a great cause, and it's heartwarming.

But first.........
"If neither time or money were not an obstacle, then what would you do with your life?"

For a long time, this has been one of my favorite questions to ask people that I meet-young & old, and the usual response is a variation of "I don't know."

My answer has always been the same: To continue working as a photographer and travel, but focus exclusively on photographing wildlife & nature. My primary objective would be to create a book on my favorite animal in the world-the elephant! To experience an elephant or elephants in their natural habitat is one of the most awe-inspiring and humbling experiences I've ever had. They are magnificent! To see them performing in a circus is pitiful and disgusting.

Maybe someday, I'll get my priorities in order and go and do it. For now, I live vicariously through the work of the photographer Nick Brandt and the "Big Life Foundation", an organization founded in October 2010 by Nick and the conservationist Richard Bonham. 
Their mission, from the website:

"Big Life Foundation seeks to conserve and sustain the wildlife and the wild lands of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem of East Africa through innovative conservation strategies that address the greatest threats while - at the same time - satisfying the economic interests of the resident Maasai people in ways that improve the quality of life for the entire community."

Recently, I received a heart-wrenching newsletter/email from the foundation, regarding the famous elephant family below.
 © Nick Brandt

On October 27 2012, Nick Brandt took this photo of Qumquat, one of Amboseli’s most famous matriarchs, and her family.
24 hours later, they were gunned down by poachers.

You can read the short  and somewhat hopeful story here, and I hope that you will take the time to read it.

And now, about those baby elephants for the Holidays.....

The story is "hopeful", because the older of the two baby elephants was eventually found alive, and rescued by the David Sheldrick Trust. The Sheldrick Trust is another conservation organization that I have followed for years, and it is through them that I was able to gift the orphaned baby elephants. Like the one in the picture above. Through their "Orphan's Project", you can choose the orphaned baby elephant, or rhino, that you would like to foster. Once you make the donation, you will receive (digitally) "a fostering certificate with a profile and photograph of your adopted orphan together with a description of the Orphans’ Project", along with items related to the Sheldrick Trust and it's work with baby elephants and rhino's. And, the money goes to a great cause.

More information about the fostering program can be found by following this link: Sheldrick Fostering

Thank you for caring.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, on the CT Shoreline

Unless you've been hanging out in the middle of the Kalhari, with a tribe of Bushmen, then you know that Hurricane Sandy just smacked the eastern seaboard hard. Really hard. First, Id like to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to my friends in New Jersey & New York who have felt the impact from this incredible "storm".
Here on the Connecticut shoreline, we have had to deal with extremely high winds and huge tidal surges. Our home in Guilford is doing fine-no damage or flooding of the basement, so I was able to go out a couple of times during and after the storm, to try and make some images.
Here are a few.....

Route 1 in Madison, 10/29/2012, 1:47pm
Route 95, between Madison & Guilford. 10/29/2012, 3:34 pm

Damage to the Guilford Green, 10/30/2012, 10:06 am
Damage to the Guilford Green, 10/30/2012, 10:12 am
Guilford Harbor, 10/30/2012, 10:26 am

High Tide at Madison, 10/30/2012, 11:45 am

High Tide at Madison, 10/30/2012, 11:45 am

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Solar Panels: Good Friends & Good Timing

Sometimes it's all about connections and timing.
Lately I've been seeking out solar panels & wind turbines to photograph and add to the "Alternative Energy" portfolio on my website.  
In these three instances, I was fortunate to have connections to projects that I either didn't know about, or needed help in getting access and permission. 

In the first instance, my cousin Jeff turned me onto row of solar panels that track the sun, near his home in southern Vermont.

Southern Vermont
Some weeks ago I was told about a huge field of solar panels in Western Massachusetts. After a bit of research, I found out that my cousin Tim is an electrician there, and Doug, an old friend from high school, is in charge of the facility. With these connections I was given permission to go into the area on a weekend, as long as I was accompanied by Tim.

With a solar array as large as this one I really needed a perspective above the panels, but no ladder would be allowed inside-for obvious reasons. The next day I was talking to a good friend of mine about my luck in gaining access to the array of solar panels, and lamenting about my inability to get up above the panels. (In fact, the first friend from high school was in the same class as this friend. They both went to high school with one of my younger sisters.) I mentioned that I'd like to get a higher perspective to show the impressive number of panels;  he then asked if a bucket truck would be high enough, to photograph the panels from outside the fence. Yes-As long as I could get permission. Permission was granted, and use of the bucket truck was confirmed, and since the weather was going to be perfect on the upcoming Sunday afternoon, we made plans to meet and photograph the panels with the truck.
(Unfortunately my cousin Tim couldn't help out because of a family emergency, so it was arranged that another electrician would "stand in" as an escort and more importantly from my perspective, for scale.)

Western Massachusetts
 In the last instance I had heard about a large array on top of a former landfill in my hometown of Greenfield, Mass. With the help of my cousin Larry, I was able to gain access; and with assistance of my good friend Steve, and his ladder, I made a few images of this large field of solar panels.

Western Massachusetts
Thanks to Jeff, Larry, Steve, Mark, Doug, Tim and Tim, I ended up with new images for the portfolio.

More solar and wind-related images can be seen on my website, www.jakewyman.com.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wings on a lake in northern Maine

It's amazing how relaxing and productive it is for me to spend a week on a remote lake in northern Maine. It's also a place where I can pretend to be a wildlife photographer-something that I wish I had done long ago. 
I love to visit Spencer Pond Camps, a place that I've stayed often over the past ten years, and not surprisingly, it happens to be one of my favorite places in the world! Situated on Spencer Pond, which is about 34 miles north of Greenville Maine, on logging roads, the camps are rustic and cozy. The area is full of wildlife, including moose, bear, pine marten's, fisher and deer; and many varieties of birds, including bald eagles, osprey, merlins, owls and others. This year, the loons were especially plentiful and thankfully, very "outspoken"!
While I was able to spend time relaxing and reading, I was usually photographing in the early mornings and into the evenings. I'll share more images in my next post, but for now.....
Each morning before sunrise, I'd climb into one of the kayaks with my camera, binoculars and a bottle of water and head across the pond (only in Maine would it be called a "pond"), to see what I could "see. One morning, as I was paddling back to camp, I happened to have the camera in my lap with the "right" lens, (70-200) and settings, (autofocus and a fairly fast shutter speed), when I noticed a solitary loon flying towards me, coming fairly close off my starboard side. It was a beautiful thing to have seen, and I was lucky to get a few nice images as she flew by.

Here's one of my favorite images from that sequence:

"Flying Loon"

Another evening, as we were watching the early evening sky from our private dock, I had an idea for an image. Needing a willing model, I approached the mother of a young girl whose family was staying in another nearby cabin, and asked if her daughter would be my model.
She was happy to help.
Thank you Veronica!!

"Soaring Veronica"

It's been said that as a parent, you should give your child "wings and a nest". Speaking from the perspective of a son who loved to endlessly wander and explore, I would agree, and I am grateful to my parents for having this philosophy while I was growing up.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, July 16, 2012

"But, I don't shoot weddings"

A few months ago I received a telephone call from a young man in New Haven who was looking for a photographer to shoot his wedding. He's a teacher & his fiancee is an architect, working at a well-known architectural firm. I'm not a wedding photographer and I haven't shot a wedding since I was in my twenties.

Here is how the discussion went:

groom: "My fiancee and I are looking for a wedding photographer."

jw: "Ok. I can give you the names of a few photographers that I am comfortable recommending."

groom: "No. We want you to photograph our wedding."

jw: "Hmm. How did you find me? Did you really look at my website?"

groom: "We did a search for 'photographers in CT', and we looked at a the websites of few photographers; we like your work."

jw: "I'm flattered, but I don't shoot weddings."

groom: "We know-that's why we want you"

jw: Hmm.
"Thanks, but let me think about this. In the meantime, I'll send you links to a few different wedding photographers. If you get in trouble, and can't  find one who is not busy that day, then call me back."

groom: "ok."

Six weeks later, I got another telephone call from the groom:

groom: "We still want you to photograph our wedding."

jw: " Really?! Let's meet for coffee. Can you come to Guilford?"

So we met.
A very nice couple. Both of them are obviously smart, and creative. He's also very interested in photography.

To make a long story short, since work has been slow, and they agreed to my price, I agreed to shoot their wedding.

It was a very hot, but beautiful wedding day, and for a good part of that day and evening, I photographed their beautiful & fun wedding.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's all relative, but the weather is brutal here. Especially for an "arctic wolf", as my friend Kelly calls me.
Due to the heat (88-90 degrees), humidity (90-95%), and a camera bag that weighs about 25 pounds, I shower and change clothes two to three times a day.
My typical breakfast consists of dim sum at the same nearby traditional restaurant which my small hotel had recommended. I sit at the same table with a retiree named Mr. Lee, and his wife, and another man whose name I cannot recall, along with three or four others. Mr. Lee speaks English well enough so that he can help me order those dishes which do not include pork or beef.

The waiters now know to deliver my favorite dim sum dishes: a vegetable dish, a prawn dish, and and fish balls. I love the taste of them all! (The manager of my hotel has told me that I MUST try the chicken feet, which is a traditional Cantonese dish. Maybe tomorrow.)

More of my images of Hong Kong will be posted in the next day or two.

The traditional Dim Sum restaurant that I visit for breakfast each morning.

Chicken's Feet

Dim Sum

More later!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Back in Hong Kong

After a four hour mechanical delay, and a sixteen-plus hour flight from Chicago on a tired and well-used 747-200, I arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday night. Paying a bit extra for an exit row made all the difference in the world, as far as legroom was concerned.
It's now 2:00 am on Saturday morning and the first image that I'm posting is an image which I made last night, from the back window of my hotel, 60 West Suites.
I couldn't be happier with my room and my great fortune in finding this hotel in the center of Hong Kong-a city which is notorious for affordable hotels with tiny rooms. When I arrived at 10:30 pm local time, the desk clerk couldn't find my room key and after about twenty minutes I was given the key to room 1504, which is a two bedroom apartment with a small kitchen area. I'm learning that patience is indeed a virtue and in this case I was rewarded with a great "room" with huge windows in front and back.
Typical for this time of year, the weather is hot, humid and very overcast, so after an breakfast of dim sum in a small restaurant nearby, the afternoon was spent walking and riding the trams around the island, trying to reacquaint myself with this incredible city. I think that Hong Kong stimulates more of the human senses than almost any other city that I've visited. The sounds, smells, tastes are incredible!
And of course, there are the things to see and capture....
Over the next eleven days, I will try to share my experiences in this vibrant and exciting city with pictures, as often as I can. Stay tuned.

Soccer being played under the lights, in the middle of Hong Kong.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Going Back to Hong Kong"

At the time, I was fortunate and I knew it.
From 1991 to 2001, I would get on a plane and fly off to a country or region which sounded exotic and exciting, to make photographs for my Photonica, my wonderfully photographer-friendly stock agency at the time. In addition, a small selection of the images that I would make would also be used for a calendar by the shipping giant, Maersk. A few of the places that I photographed were the Canadian Rockies & Denali, French Polynesia, Patagonia, Western Europe and Africa. Those were definitely the "good old days"!
It was in 1995 that I traveled to Hong Kong and China, when it was still a British colony. Two years later it became one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China. (The other is neighboring Macau, which I also visited.)
It was one of my favorite trips, but it was also one of the most difficult, because in those days I would fly into a major city, stay a few nights and plan the next parts of my trip from there. The circumstances were much more difficult in China, as I did not speak Chinese, nor did I have a guide. What an adventure! Fortunately I had worked hard to also get a corporate assignment by researching corporations that were doing business there; I found a client who was involved in the massive construction project that would become Hong Kong International Airport, or Chek Lap Kok Airport. That assignment helped to underwrite the trip.
The stock images from that trip still sell today, but it's been fifteen years, and it's time for another adventure.
On May 9th, I will fly to Hong Kong for two weeks, to make new photographs and to experience this bustling city once again. During my first visit, I was amazed at how dense Hong Kong was, and I was awestruck by the vibrant activity & colorful culture that was everywhere and I'm looking forward to going back.
(This time it will be a pleasure not to worry about hauling lead bags filled with more than 250 rolls of 35 mm film through airports; and the cumulative effect that x-ray machines might have on my film.)

Stay tuned and please email me know if you have any great tips regarding hotels & restaurants.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Forever is a long time....

During recent negotiations for the usage of one of my images in a prominent travel magazine by a well-known publisher,  I made changes to the all-encompassing/one-sided contract which was presented to me. Basically, the unaltered contract stated that the publisher could use the image in any way shape or form, and that they could authorize anyone else to use the image-FOREVER!
Ultimately the changes were accepted and I licensed the image for what I felt was a fair licensing fee.
Because of the changes to the contract, in the past year, I have licensed the same image to the Chinese, Korean, Italian and Russian versions of the same magazine for more than $2500, and I'm waiting to hear back from the Brazilian edition.

Moral of the story? Stand up for terms & conditions which are fair to both parties.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What is a "Corporate Image Collection"?

© Jake Wyman

When people ask me about the kind of photography that I produce, I tell them that for over twenty-five years I have been making photographs of people, places & things, mostly for corporations and sometimes that entails the creation of what I call, "Corporate Image Collections".
Basically, a "Corporate Image Collection" is collection/library of images for a specific client, showcasing relevant people, places & things. The client has the right to use the images as they like (yes, they pay well for this option). In some cases there is a transfer of copyright, but I've never been asked to do this. Retaining the copyright allows me to use the images for promotional purposes-such as on my website & mailings. Just to be clear, I would never use the images for stock.

For example, the image above of a young girl & her father in Bangalore India was one of the thousands of images which were made a few years ago as part of a huge project for the pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. The project took over fourteen months and we traveled to England, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India, photographing actual patients and street-casting "real people" as models. Using "real people" saves considerable time and money, but working with non-professionals can be great fun and a challenge. The models were paid for about 30 minutes of their time and model releases were obtained.

Another more industrial "Corporate Image Collection" was created for APMT/Maersk, the largest shipping company in the world. We were commissioned to create a collection of images of worker portraits & the port activity at six of their ports and terminals around the U.S. The project involved spending a few days at each location photographing from the tops of cranes, on board massive container ships, and driving around the terminals, photographing stack after stack of colorful containers. And yes, it was as fun as it sounds!

Why was I chosen for the Novartis Project?
I'll explain in a future post.
More images can be found on our website:

© Jake Wyman
©Jake Wyman
©Jake Wyman
©Jake Wyman
©Jake Wyman
© Jake Wyman

Contact us to find out more about Corporate Image Collections

All images © 2012 Jake Wyman and may not be used without permission

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Jade Screen Update

In the previous post I mentioned a letter I had received from a woman who had visited the Huangshan Mt's., after seeing my Jade Screen Hotel image in Conde Nast Traveler, while she was receiving treatment for cancer.
Jamie's letter and a photograph of the magazine spread showing the Jade Screen image has just been released in the March issue. And once again, Conde Nast Traveler has somehow "dropped the ball", and neglected to give me a credit for the image! Instead, they gave a credit to the photographer who photographed the magazine spread! Aargh!

My contact at CNT has apologized and she has promised that it will show up as a correction in the next issue.

The good news is that the online version of CNT has published her letter and there is now a "Going To Extremes" slideshow from that story. Both include a credit & link !

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jade Screen Hotel & CNT-Revisited

Once in awhile I get an email or a note about one of my images which helps me feel good about being a photographer.

About one year ago Conde Nast Traveler licensed my Jade Screen Hotel image to lead a story called "Going to Extremes"; a portfolio of images of remote hotels from around the World. I wrote about it in a previous post.

In December, I received a very moving message from a woman in Montana who had seen the article.
With Jamie's kind permission, here is what she wrote:

I saw your photo of the Jade Screen Hotel in Conde Nast Traveler when I was in the hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy for leukemia. That picture was good medicine. It took me far away from a place that I really didn’t want to be.I saved that shot, even made it the wallpaper on my phone. It just made my jaw drop every time I looked at it—both because of the scenery itself and because of the magical way you captured it. It looked like something straight out of a fairy tale, so remote and elusive.When I finished my last treatment, I took my new lease on life and headed straight for Huangshan. I climbed those stairs, and I stayed! at the Jade Screen. It was a dream come true. Is there any way I could get a copy of that print? I feel like I have carried it around for many miles… or maybe it has carried me. 
And then.....

Many thanks to you for taking that photo! From the first moment I saw it, I wanted to go there. On my way to China, I kept showing people where I was headed. Like me, no one could quite believe that such a place existed. Someday, I’d like to hear about your trip. How did you possibly discover Mount Huangshan?
BTW, thanks for asking about my health. I am in complete remission and done with all my treatments. It was a long haul, but now my hospital visits are simply routine checkups.

It really was a thrill to climb those steps.... such a far cry from the days when I couldn’t breathe without being on oxygen and when a few steps around the room was a major accomplishment.

Thanks again for inspiring me to go!

Jamie & I have corresponded many times since I received her email, and she has sent a letter to the magazine, letting them know about her trip to the Huangshan Mt's. It will be published in the March 2012 issue of CNT.

Thank You Jamie! I look forward to meeting you someday!