Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photographer Jeffery Salter: Allen West “Guardian of the Republic”

Former Miami Herald photojournalist Jeffery Salter blogs about his photo session with former member of the United States House of Representatives Allen West for book cover of "Guardian Of The Republic".

When the retired Lt. Colonel Allen B. West roared up to the studio and drove his Honda VTX 1800R retro cruiser inside, my team didn’t know if they should salute or run for cover.
Miami celebrity and portrait  photographer Jeffery Salter
Allan West “Guardian of the People” book cover by Jeffery Salter | Miami Florida
When I mentioned to Rep. Allen that I personally preferred BMW motorcycles, it could have been a constitutional crisis, but we managed to get past that by having both grown up as Army Brats, West’s father was a War World II veteran and so was mine. When West was in the military he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas which sits next door to an old Sante Fe railroad depot town named Killeen, Tx. which was named after Frank P. Killeen, a manager of the railroad. And that’s where I grew up, throwing newspapers, working at Taco Bell and shooting photos for Ellison High School year book. Go Eagles. Anyway I digress.
I was commissioned by Random House to photograph the take no prisoners, former paratrooper, master Scuba instructor and former member of the United States House of Representatives Allen West.
We chose a very direct approach to the visual style of the photograph. Hard light, minimal shadows and crisp focus to match the personality and the tone of this straight shooting book which is filled with prescriptive politics…basically giving his views on how to overhaul government.
This is an outtake which I toned differently. It’s funny how with time we feel an image differently.
Miami celebrity and portrait photographer Jeffery Salter
Allan West “Guardian of the People” book cover by Jeffery Salter | Miami Florida
Photographer: Jeffery Salter
Art Director: Michael Nagin
Stylist: Melissa Kitchen
Groomer: Olivia Senghor