Last Spring the art director at Wine Spectator called me to shoot Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines, K Vintners and other brands. She reached out to me for their feature because she was confident I could handle Charles’ larger-than-life personality and still come home with the goods. He’s an ex-concert promoter with a bit of a wild side. Over two days in Walla Walla, we shot Charles and his team in four locations, including his home cellar and brand new tasting room. The tasting room is a gorgeously renovated historic building with spectacular light and really cool steel walls. Shooting Charles was a bit of a challenge. I understood that he wasn’t going to let me push him too hard, but rather, I needed to be intuitive about how to let him “lead” but still get the kinds of images that I wanted to make. My favorite of these is the portrait with the steel background. It’s graphic and arresting–like the man himself. Total dream assignment.


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