A couple of weeks ago, I sent an email to the Bicycling Magazine Design Director, Jesse Southerland to share some portraits I took of cyclists at the end of a 100 mile day. A few hours later, we were on the phone chatting about a pretty cool shot where someone would be moving furniture on a bike. (Disclaimer: This never happens, but it was just the right time and I happened to be available.)  Jesse mentioned there would be a sofa involved, some other house hold items and a kid in a car seat… a KID! Having three of my own, I was pumped that I could use my baby skills on set. I thought it was pretty clever and funny, which I love, so I took a test shot in my driveway.

Bicycling Magazine Test Shoot

Me on an old triathlon bike, hauling my life’s belongings

I set the camera on a trusty tripod with a Velo remote and set up two strobes on stands. Our conversation carried into the next day as we ironed out details and finalized a location. After that, we were set.  I met Jesse on a cool morning in Emmaus, PA the day of the shoot. His team, including Art Director, Colin McSherry were all great and had things set up in no time. The props were great and I was amazed how quickly they were able to arrange everything.  At the same time I was setting up two strobes since the scene was backlit and dialed in the settings.  Just as he had set up the scene, the cyclist/model said, “Wow, I’m surprised how well this is all going” which was immediately followed by the sound a bike tire going flat. #irony

Once we started shooting, you would’ve guessed we were on a highway with the amount of traffic coming through ( which is 100% unusual for an Emmaus side street). It didn’t interfere too bad since I only needed to move the 86″ PLM back and forth as opposed to the whole set.

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

The staging begins. Light on rider is a strobe on a silver beauty dish. Jesse is strapping the car seat in as Colin selects the next prop.

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

“This is a lot of stuff.” #throwbackmac

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

“Where did we get this unicycle from?”

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

86″ PLM moved off to the side while Design Director, Jesse Sutherland and Art Director, Colin McSherry mind meld. Shoutout to Rodale video crew getting some BTS footage.

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

There’s always enough space for a PBR sign.

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

#irony #flattire #modellife

Bicycling Magazine Behind the Scenes - We Dare You

Ready to roll, baby on stand-by.


What you can’t see is to camera left, is my Prius with the hatchback open where I setup the digital capture. We were able to preview images and have everything triple backed up right after the shoot.

I’m a hug fan of comedy and absolutely loved how nutty the concept was. Below is the final image, which consisted of 3 images, comped together.



Final shot:

5d Mark III

Raw File converted in Light Room

Three images merged in Photoshop

Same day turnaround