As part of a campaign for North Carolina Tourism, I had the opportunity to photograph climbers rappelling down Big Bradley Falls in Selma, North Carolina. Not for the faint of heart or weak of knee, rappelling down a 200-foot waterfall is no joke. It’s wet. It’s slick as hell. And you can barely hear yourself think over the roar of the falls - which may be a good thing, given the insanity of it all. In order to photograph our talent, I had to do everything they did - only facing down the wall (called the Australian Rappel) and shooting all the while with an extremely heavy and cumbersome underwater camera. In doing so, I was reminded of what they said about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - that everybody remembers the balletic pyrotechnics of Fred Astaire, but nobody remembers that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, only backwards and in high heels. I was definitely feeling like Ginger Rogers in a wetsuit that day.
The intention of LGA’s new campaign for North Carolina Tourism was to attract first-time visitors to North Carolina. To that end, they crafted a beautiful “Firsts That Last” campaign, featuring people who had never visited North Carolina before. In the images above and below, for example, Jazmene and her daughter, Peyton, not only had never visited North Carolina before, they’d never seen the ocean before. What an honor it was to document their first trip to the Outer Banks, and witness the joy of their first sight of three-quarters of the planet. Truly a first experience that will last a lifetime.
Thanks so much to Jon Cain, Ryan Coleman and Naomi Newman of LGA in Charlotte for trusting me with their wonderful campaign