bethany stanbery


There's just something about PDN's photo contests that makes me want to enter them. This time it's the Great Outdoors Photo Contest. It will be my third time throwing an image into the PDN arena to see how it does. Looking at some of the other entrants, I am totally humbled. There's been some damn good work submitted so far. Below is a screen shot of the image I submitted. It's Bethany Stanbery hangin' tough on her silk in Kootenai Canyon south of Missoula. Regardless of the outcome, I am totally stoked on this image. In fact, both shoots (here and here) I have had so far with Bethany have resulted in images that are among my new faves. Anyhow, we'll see. If I win, great. If I don't that is totally fine too. Sometimes simply creating an image you are proud of can both the means and the end. This is one of those images for me.


Aerial Silk on the Footbridge

You might remember from this post here that I shot aerial silk performer and athlete Bethany Stanbery hanging from a silk in the Bitterroots. Since then, we have been planning more shoots and brainstorming more locations. About a week ago, we conquered location number two. Made possible by Levi Parchen, who rigged up the whole shebang, the Missoula Police Department and the City of Missoula Engineering Division, this shoot turned out better than I imagined it was going to, given the challenges we faced. Once again, schedules, cold weather, rain, wind and some snow caused us to reschedule the shoot a few times. And then on the night that we had a green light, the college basketball team was playing in a championship game a short walk away which meant the possibility of too many people coming and going through the shot. But, in the end it all worked out and was totally worth it. And, just like our first shoot down the Bitterroots, the images created during this shoot had me reeling with excitement or a few days. Hell, i'm still reeling with how they turned out. I am very excited about this ongoing project and am excited to see where it leads. In fact, throughout this project, I have been reminded why I love photography so much. Everything I look at I try to figure out how we could rig a silk to it, where I would shoot from, what I would use for lighting, etc. It's projects like these that force you to look at your surroundings a bit different (and crawl around underneath a bridge like a crazy person) trying to previsualize a shot.  A bridge becomes a great location, as does a tree or a building, and then the mind is off to the races. In so many ways, it is exactly like another lifelong passion of mine, skateboarding. Having looked at curbs, loading docks, handrails and transitions for decades wondering how I can ride them, this project feels familiar.

Aerial Silk in the Bitterroots

Realizing today that after this shoot, I posted a gallery of images to the Andrew Kemmis Photography Facebook page, but didn't post the images on my blog. So, for the sake of being thorough, I am gettin' them posted here as well. The amazing athlete seen in these photos is Bethany Stanbery. Behind the scenes, it was made possible by Levi Parchen, whose climbing and rigging abilities brought everything together. This shoot was rescheduled, postponed, planned and replanned several times over. The original idea was to shoot this idea two months earlier in a completely different location. In the end, it was worth all the logistic juggling as several images from this shoot are amongst my favorite from 2011.

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