Just so you know…
I try and put lighting diagrams on my posts to show how the following images were created. In this case, I want the focus to be on the subject. This person deserves it. I will tell you this, I used a flash in a soft box to get the look that you will see.
Usually, I don’t take myself to seriously. I say life is short, have fun. However, in this case, this is no joking matter. I was truly honored to be part of this project. Sometimes you get to work on stories that have a great impact not only on your life, but America as a whole. I look up to the men and women that help keep this great country of ours safe. The military is on the front lines, but here at your local community, it’s the fire and police departments that keep us safe. I have had the opportunity to photograph both local fire and police departments and after meeting all of the people that are involved to make everything come together, it’s truly amazing. The stories that these brave men and women tell are truly inspiring and some horrific. I hope at the end of this post, you will consider doing a “ride a long” with the police department or going to your local fire station and tell everyone there “Thank You.” This goes along way. We live in a wooded outlying area and our local fire department has saved our house three times from arson fire. I really appreciate what these people have done for us and I make sure to thank them every time I see them. Bake them a plate of cookies while you are at it.
I got a call from Harbor Style magazine and they told me that they wanted me to photograph a “local hero”. I had all of these visions running through my head as I had no idea what to expect or who. Once I found out the details of the project, I was floored. This was one project that had to go off without a hitch.
You might remember back in 1993, the World Trade Center in New York was under attack. Someone had the insane idea to try and blow up the building by parking a Ryder truck in the basement garage loaded with explosives. There was damage, however the buildings still stood. As we know in our government that there are people who are on the look out for this kind of activity. For obvious reasons, these people aren’t in the lime light. However, their mission is a very important one, keep America safe.
Fast forward to 2010. As people move around in their professions and live in different places, you just never know who you are going to meet. The writer and I met at the local police department to start doing the interview and take a few photos. A strapping police officer came out and escorted us to the conference room. He told us that the gentleman would be with us shortly. A few moments later, in walks Officer Matthew Besheer. We did the usual meet and greet that we do with all of our interviewees. As we chatted and started to set up for our first photograph, it then hit me what kind of person we are dealing with. Officer Besheer was the arresting officer of the terrorists that tried to blow up the WTC in 1993. This was really an honor to meet someone like this.
Officer Besheer has worked all over the world hunting terrorists. He has also met some interesting people as well. He showed us some items that he was presented with from different countries. It was truly remarkable what this one person has done. He is truly a “hero”.
A few photographs…
Due to space requirements of a printed product, not all of the photos that I take make it in the magazine. Here, I wanted to show you some of the more interesting and important photographs that were taken along the way. First, at the top of the post you will see what actually ran on on the cover of the magazine. As with all of these photos. click on them to see a larger version.
This was a possible cover shot. This was one of the images that really struck with me. Officer Besheer is holding an actual piece of the Ryder truck that was used in the 1993 WTC bombing. This brought back a flood of memories as we were discussing some of what it was like working the case.
Since Officer Besheer is an expert in his field, when the terrorists came back in 2001, he assisted the local departments in New York. I asked if any of his colleges that he knew perished in the event, I got my answer, he replied, “Yes”. I would imagine that working in this type of field would have great impact on your life. Here is another side bar, Harbor Style Magazine was the first time that Officer Besheer talked with the press since 1993! This was truly an honor and I respected him for allowing us to come and photograph him.
Again, this was another possible cover photo. You will see he is holding an iron cross. This cross was cut of of an I beam from the WTC in 2001. He allowed me to hold it and it was a humbling experience. In a strange way, it was like I was there when it all happened. It was an honor to hold a priceless piece of history that will remind all of us what happened that unfortunate day many years ago.
So the next time you see a police officer, fire fighter or any of our military personal, be sure to stop and take a minute out of your busy day and thank them for their service. Without people like this, America wouldn’t be like it is today.
Until next time…
Keep Your Glass Clean