Bringing Joy to Kids with Serious Illness at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

He’s kind of a big deal!

High School Senior Portrait for Boy Scout Eagle Project

Teddy Scott is one person you will never forget. I have known him for the majority of his life, and lately, he has been assisting me on photography jobs, so I have gotten to know him even better, because you really learn a lot about someone when you see them on the job. However, there is something that will tell you much more about a person than how they treat their mother… that’s how they serve others without thought of reward. Teddy was the first to volunteer to shave his head when my little friend Trajen contracted cancer and was undergoing chemo therapy. I already had a bald head, so I don’t count, but many people shaved their heads to give Trajen the courage to shave his. Teddy lead the charge!
Young man Shaving his head in support for young boy with cancer
group of men with shaved heads supporting a young child in his battle against cancer
Leading another charge, this month Teddy finished his Eagle Project, which was to organize people throughout his church and community to make boxes and boxes full of Teddy Bears to deliver to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to be given to the children there who are fighting cancer and dealing with other serious illnesses. Trajen was one of those little kids. He touched us all (still does, thankfully – his was a successful battle) and he obviously had a lasting effect on Teddy. Now Teddy is working to bring a little joy to others just like Trajen, who have tough days ahead.

Young boy at Phoenix Children's Hospital fighting cancer.

When you have run out of things to pray about, or places to serve… say a prayer for the families who are fighting against the effects of cancer and other illnesses and look for some way in your community to bring a smile to their faces. Teddy’s Bears will go a long way to that end. So, yea… he’s kind of a big deal!

Conducting (and photographing) the Phoenix Symphony

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

I am working on a project for the Phoenix Symphony right now and went to a recent rehearsal to photograph some shots for their upcoming 2011/2012 season brochures and banners.  It is quite an honor to do this job and I am thrilled to be a par of promoting the Phoenix Symphony.  I am particularly looking forward to their performance of Sheherazade in March of 2012.  Anyway, it was an interesting place to stand.  I may have chosen this vantage point just so I could stand where the conductor stands.  In the photo above, I am trying to explain to them what I am looking for in the photograph and in the image below, they are playing the most hilarious renditions of various masterpieces, all purposefully out of tune.  I thought it was pretty funny.  But then I was in an orchestra when I was young, so their musical savant humor is not lost on me.

My assistant for the day, Eric Greenhalgh snapped a few images of me working, and I thought they were amusing.  Thanks Eric.

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

I know the trumpet player in the next photo was getting a real chuckle out of my proximity to his horn.  I know I was…

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

So what do the photos I took look like?  You’ll have to tune in in a few weeks for that.  I am still working on the project and will unveil a few of them, once we wrap up the first batch for the symphony.  And if you are a Symphony goer, you will most likely see some of the images coming in to you through your mail.

If you are in Phoenix, or passing through, take the time to go see these talented musicians perform.  I am completely impressed, and I don’t impress easily.  And don’t miss Sheherazade.  I’ll see you there.

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

Thanks again to Eric Greenhalgh, who was assisting me on this shoot for grabbing a few cool shots of me working.  Check out his work.  He’s a good photographer.

I Fought the Law and the Law Won: A Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babeu

Isaac Bailey in the Sheriff's Car

“I fought the law, and the law won!”  – The Clash

My good friend Isaac Bailey came with me on assignment to photograph Sheriff Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona.  Sheriff Babeu has received a lot of publicity over the last year in his efforts to fight the drug and human trafficking in southern Arizona.  Of course, Isaac needed to be put in his place, so he took a ride in the BACK of the Sheriff’s truck.  I thought the photo above would be good for his wall.

An hour or so south of my home is a little town called Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County.  It is smack dab in the middle of the desert.  So when the Sheriff needed portraits that said “Arizona,” there was no better place than his back yard.  Just southeast of Florence is some of the most spectacular desert I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of desert.  I found the location for these shots on a full day scouting trip specifically for this shoot.  If you want to find the right location, you just have to get in a car, and drive… with an iPhone and google maps, of course.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue Jared Platt

I prefer the serious versions.  I like to think of the Sheriff as the tough law man of the west, but I suppose it is nice to see that the Sheriff has a human side as well.  And Sheriff Babeu is quite a nice man.  I have known him for a while now and I have always enjoyed knowing him.  But I still like seeing the Sheriff with a serious face.

My hat is off to Sheriff Babeu and his team.  They have a difficult job to do.  The Sheriff has Mexican Drug Cartel hits taking place in his county.  But, he is taking the fight to the cartels, coyotes and bandits that operate in Pinal county as they traffic drugs and humans north.  Its a tough job and he gets a lot of negative press from people who don’t understand what is happening out here in the desert and even death threats from the Mexican Drug Cartel.  You have heard of the rancher who was murdered in his home in southern Arizona… this problem is very real.  People are afraid out there.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue

This last shot was a last minute deal.  We thought the light was gone, due to a serious bank of clouds, but then the clouds showed a break and we could expect some beautiful colors, so we made ready very quickly and took the photo.  The sunset and the police lights required a higher ISO with a slower shutter speed of 1/50, but without a flash, the Sheriff and his truck would be fairly dark, so we have a set of White Lightning mono-lights powered by batteries, and Isaac holding a reflector off to the right to soften the shadow on the Sheriff’s face.  I think it turned out nicely.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue

You know, while I was speaking to him, he also expressed a lot of concern for the Mexican citizens being used, endangered and even left to die by the cartels and the coyotes in the desert.  He told me of several instances where the Sheriff’s office rescued Mexican citizens who had been left to die in the desert because they were too slow or couldn’t carry the drugs anymore.  His office rescues these poor people and saves their lives in an inhospitable place that will kill someone very quickly.  It’s a rough place out there in the desert, add some drug cartels, some armed bandits and a few cyotees and it gets a lot more rough.  I was floored by the stories he told us.  It was like a mob movie and a western, mixed with a little Blood Simple by the Coen Brothers.  It is bizarre to know what is happening just an hour south of my home.

He’s a good man, and he’s doing a tough job and taking a lot of flack for it.  I don’t live in Pinal County, so I can’t vote for him, but he’s got my vote.

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Subject: Sheriff Paul Babeu

Location: The Desert Southeast of Florence, Arizona