How do you dress for work haha? To interview the youngest competitor at King of the Hammers, 15 year old Melvin Wade IV, I put on a helmet and went for a ride in his UTV racing rig! He's an awesome kid and I had so much fun riding out to the lakebed in Johnson Valley for a mini photo shoot for our story. The clashing bright yellow vest is my hi-viz media vest. (Thank you to his Mom, Lisa Wade, for grabbing this photo of me looking so stylish!) Check out my story and photos Meet the Youngest KOH Contender: Mel Wade IV on DrivingLine.
Wow was King of the Hammers crazy!! I worked 18 hour days out there, everything from the Backdoor Shoot Out Monday night in 25 degrees perched on the side of a cliff of loose rocks (I watched quite a few people slide several feet down the side but drinking may have been a factor) to a 6am photo shoot back at the bottom of Backdoor with the entire Nitto racing team (6 cars and drivers/co-drivers), a few trips out to the lakebed for high-speed desert racing then jeeping through Johnson Valley to get to obstacles that other media couldn't reach, and time on the short course to cover Qualifying, Power Hour, and race starts and finishes. And then up all night processing photos to provide daily content for DrivingLine.
It was a brutal schedule and by Saturday morning I was exhausted, but I had a fantastic time because I was doing what I love best to do!
In addition to catching up with some old friends I met many fantastic new people out there. On Wednesday I shot Qualifying next to Chris Collard, the Editor-in-Chief of Overland Journal (swoon) and got to chat with him for several hours. Shooting for Overland Journal one day is an aspirational goal of mine of course! They have the most gorgeous imagery, and Chris was a super nice guy. On Thursday and Friday I teamed up with the awesome Doug Dienelt of DRD Images because we both wanted to avoid the media crowds and I had the vehicle to get us where ever we wanted to go. Doug is a great co-pilot/navigator, a fantastic race photographer and an all-around super guy. Doug was also one of the "strangers" I was sharing a trailer with. Thank you for making the week so much fun (AND productive) Doug!
Also got to spend a little time Friday night hanging out with the crew from 4 Wheel To Heal, the organization I volunteer with. They brought eleven wounded warriors out to King of the Hammers for the week. Thanks to the support of the off roading community they were able to get the guys out on the trails a few times and I could tell by the smile on everyone's faces that they had a fantastic week. Thank you so much to everyone who gave them help and support. I was feeling guilty about not being available to help out but they had no shortage of love and support, and even a few minutes on the main stage in Hammertown!
What else....? My head is still spinning. I shot about 10,000 photos during the week and am still working on finishing up the processing. My webhost is having issues and even though I am uploading to the galleries only twelve or so images are showing. Not happy about that one bit. And this was my first time using Lightroom on location. When I imported the catalog to my main computer it seems that I lost the edits I had made on several images that were posted on DrivingLine throughout the week, so I have to re-edit all of those.
And of course a big congratulations to Loren Healy, winner of King of the Hammers. Loren is one of the Nitto drivers so it was a very exciting (and busy) day for all of us. Nitto had three drivers in the Top 6, so it was a fantastic week for my client. Here's a shot of Loren at Wrecking Ball.
More coming soon...