At the end of May, I received an inquiry email from an editor at National Geographic Traveler wondering if I would be interested in shooting an assignment for them.
I wonder if anyone ever says no?
After all, it seems like almost every photographer says they want to shoot for National Geographic when they grow up… and I was honored to get the chance to shoot for one of their publications.
I was given the assignment to photograph Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. I was asked to shoot art, galleries, interiors and exteriors of the museum. The trickiest one was the exterior because the museum doesn’t have a grand entrance like one would expect. Ok, it’s grand with the sculpture Yield, by Roxy Paine, but the building sits at the base of a natural ravine in the heart of the Ozarks. You don’t see the series of pavilions that are built around two creek-fed ponds until you ride the elevator down and walk into the museum. It was designed by world-renound architect Moshe Safdie, and saying that it’s a gem in Northwest Arkansas is an understatement. I know that I am supposed to be unbiased as a photojournalist, but as a resident of Northwest Arkansas, I’m grateful to museum founder, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., heiress, Alice Walton. I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Art, so I’m pretty excited to have a place to take my 7-year-old and hopefully pass along my enthusiasm for art.
My shoot for the magazine was for a new series called, “Best of the World.” I spent a lot of time at the museum waiting for the light to be perfect, and I was lucky enough to have one day with a beautiful blue sky. I’m so thankful for the museum being more than accommodating to my requests to photograph galleries, and photograph the entrance at dawn. I had a lot of fun looking at the architecture and galleries, but I had the best time just being creative. I really enjoyed being me…. over the years I’ve learned that I am most comfortable when I am behind a camera, or when I’m with my son. Through this assignment, I had the best of both worlds when I took my son on the Art Trail and photographed him in Skyspace by artist James Turrell.
I really enjoyed working for National Geographic Traveler, and am looking forward to photographing another “Best of the World” this month.