Todd Wright stepped off the boat and made his way up the pier toward the two white SUVs waiting to take him and his crew back to Norfolk. As he drew closer, I could see in his face that he was totally wiped out. The charming smile we were accustomed to had been replaced with a slightly vacant stare. “That was like a four-hour Zumba class,” he said, finally cracking a smile.
He had just spent the morning sailing across the Chesapeake Bay on the schooner Virginia, shooting a series of gorgeous photos for the story in this issue by Eric J. Wallace (Page 50). It had been a rough morning, fighting the bay, as he bounced around the ship to get the shots. Wright even jumped in a dinghy to take some from the water, a precarious situation when you’re hauling around thousands of dollars of photo equipment.
But that’s the gig. And everyone knows it.
It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make a magazine. From planning and scheduling to actually going into the field, it can be a long and sometimes exhausting process. We ask readers to give us their time, so we take the job – if not ourselves – seriously.
To bring you the Alaska fishing story that ran earlier this year, I flew through the fog on a puddle jumper to a small island in the Pacific and spent two days fighting eagles and sea lions to catch king salmon. And the poor photographer had to fight to keep down his lunch. Staring through a small aperture as the world around you moves can be disorienting.
Truthfully, that was the fun part. The 23 hours I spent in the Seattle airport to get home was hell. Of course, our creative director, EJ Toudt, laughs at that complaint. He routinely works 14-hour days traveling to, and directing, photoshoots. Same goes for our art director, Wes Watson.
We have experienced every conceivable bug bite, struggled with stubborn subjects and stubborn weather, gotten up before sunrise and gone to bed well after midnight – all to capture the right elements for the story.
But it’s worth it when we look at a new book and see what hard work achieved. We hope you agree.
Thanks for reading. And as always, please let us know how we’re doing.
-Clay Barbour, Distinction editor