Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Two Women...

I am very lucky to have some amazing clients that I work with on a regular basis, but there are two in particular that are very unique and over the last few months I have noticed that they have a lot in common.

What is unique about them is that they are both women who have decided to take on the world in two very different, but at the same time, similar ways. They are both young, smart, talented, and driven by their desire to reach their goals. Fortunately, for me, they are also personable and beautiful and they make me look good every time I photograph them.

                                                                                   Ayla Brown and Jody Perewitz are both Trouble with a capital "T." They both have the same
take-no-prisoners attitude when it comes to getting the job done and if something gets in their way the don't go around it, they go through it.
At the same time, though, they continue to impress and inspire those that they come in contact with, and those that only know them through their work and achievements, by being approachable and down to earth.
They both seem to appreciate that they are in a very special position and take nothing for granted, especially the appreciation and admiration of their fans.

This past summer Jody traveled to the Bonneville Salt Flats with her team to take a run at a speed record for the fastest woman on a V-Twin motorcycle.
She would have to run in excess of 200mph in order to do this in an environment that is like no other in the world of speed. To the veterans  that try and set records there each year Bonneville is dangerous, hostile and unforgiving. For Jody and her crew this was their first trip out and just getting a feel for the place and running at speed would be a challenge, setting a record would involve a whole new level of determination and courage.
Jody, as anybody who spends any time around her would know, has plenty of both. Not only did she succeed in setting a record by going over 203mph but she is already planning a return trip this year to break a few more.
I just got back from a trip to Nashville where I spent a few days photographing musician/producer Ricky Skaggs for Sennheiser Electronics. I had touched base with Ayla since she is living in Nashville to see if she wanted to assist me at the shoot and meet Ricky and the people from Sennheiser. We had a great time on the shoot and then went to eat with Ricky and the rest of the crew and it was during that time I realized just how far Ayla had come since I had first met her and just how hard she had worked to get there.

In the past year she has moved to Nashville, become her own manager and produced her own self-titled CD which is due to be released soon. Producing, and paying for, a CD is a massive undertaking in its own right because it requires writing many of the songs, finding a studio, finding and hiring musicians and engineers, and then performing on the CD yourself while keeping all those other things moving and organized. Mix that in with performing the National Anthem at all the Philadelphia 76ers home games and booking and performing original gigs at the same time
and all the travel that goes along with those gigs and, well, there are a lot of musicians that would have quit a long time ago.
The night of the shoot I went to see Ayla perform in a round at the Indigo Hotel in Nashville that she had booked at the last minute. It was acoustic, just her and her guitar and she owned that room.
After a full day of working with me (which is a long day when you have to put up with my jokes), managing her business affairs and packing to leave for Philadelphia the next morning, she left it all behind and stepped on the stage and held everyone in that room in the palm of her hand. Everyone stopped to listen, other musicians, the wait staff, everyone, because they knew this was something special and they didn't want to miss it. It was very cool to watch.

203 miles per hour or having a room full of people hang on your every word as you sing your songs... Two very different worlds for two very different women with very similar qualities.
I'm looking forward to seeing what 2012 has in store for these two... or more accurately, what Ayla and Jody have in store for 2012.

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