Thursday, October 18, 2012

AMTC time is here! Watch out Seattle here we come.....

If you are curious about the lull in Mark’s adventures, wonder no longer.  We have both been super busy getting ready for the Association of Air Medical ServicesAir Medical Transport Conference, better known as AMTC 2012 Seattle.  I will be heading to the West Coast on Saturday to meet up with Mark, but the past weeks and months have been crammed full with the two of us getting ready for the conference. 

Mark himself spent the better part of the spring capturing imagery for AAMS. He was once again tasked the privilege of capturing this year’s AMTC host programs in their element.  Below you will find a sneak peak at some of Mark’s finest. It was his insightful captures that were used for all the promotional materials etc leading up and then during the conference.

Which is a good segue into another big project for Mark…..THE CONFERENCE OPENER!!!! (Insert uuuhhhs and aaaaahhhhs please) Partnering up again this year with friend and colleague Jean Levasseur of Phocus Productions, the two took the amazing imagery and created an even MORE amazing video, which will be played at the Conference Opening Ceremonies Monday morning. This masterpiece will no doubt blow last year’s freshman effort out of the water.  I really wish I could give you a sneak peak, but it is top secret until the conference. Sorry!  For those of you not attending AMTC (which you are really missing out if not) stay tuned please as I will be sending it out the link when we return! Also if you have not already, please “Like” Mark Mennie Photography ( ) and AMTC Insider ( Facebook Pages and get play by play details during the convention.

And lastly and most excitingly!  Drum roll please…..the INAUGRUAL DEBUT of the AAMS Survivors Network 2013 “Kiss the Wave” Benefit Calendar.  Mark in conjunction with good buddy Chas Juran of teamXcommunications, LLC and Krista Haugen of Survivors Network have been so hard at work all year creating this breathtaking testimonial to an amazing organization. The 12-month full-color calendar is an artistic glimpse into the soul of the survivors and features insightful imagery from Mark and innovative art direction and production from Chas. This dynamic team was formed over a year ago, when both Mark and Chas drew inspiration from a Survivor’s speech at AMTC St. Louis. Just to tease you even further…check out the “making of the calendar” video teamX created! The calendars will be available for purchase during AMTC at Mark, teamX and Survivors Network’s booths as well as online through the MedEvac Foundation  Don’t delay in getting your copy or 20 today! 

Okay I know what you are all thinking…..ENOUGH CHARLI!  I am not going to Seattle and we are sick of hearing you gloat about the amazing trip MMP has planned and all the exciting things that will be going on while you are there.  Plus I personally got to go pack!  So I will abruptly end with….

Until next time….

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One Wedding, One Proposal, but NO career........

During Mark’s latest trip to Burning Man (of which we have no proof in pictures since he got no service on his iPhone or shall I say that is the story he is sticking with), he heard from friends Bev and Dean and they so kindly invited him to their nuptials.  And we all know Mark would never turn down an invitation to a social event so after Burning Man; he returned for a second time to Reno merely a week or so later.  Can we say frequent flyer miles??  When I finally tracked him down (again we was “off the grid” with no cell service) below is the wrap up of his adventure.  Enjoy!
Until next time….

I'm not a wedding photographer, have never wanted to be, not to mention I'm 100% positive that wedding photographers who see me at weddings with my little Canon S95 call me a hack; but picture taking is in my blood.   I'm the guy with a little camera at a wedding, who waits for the light to get better and then can't resist taking a photo or two.  This was the case in Quincy CA, (75 miles NW of Reno) back on Sept 16th when I was invited to Bev and Dean's wedding.  It was a very small cozy affair at a very nice ranch.  So quaint as a matter of fact that if I didn't go, it would have most certainly been noticed that I was not there.  So of course I jumped on the opportunity to support my friends (and since I can never apparently sit still) and snap a picture or two.  

The light was still somewhat harsh at 4:30pm, so I feel for wedding shooters. I waited until I had a couple wobbly pops in me, a great dinner in my belly, and for Mother Nature to start painting her sky for all the guests at the ranch to see. I saw Bev walk her grandson Ethan around the grassy reception area when I "pounced", as the sky and fishing pond had hit critical mass for a silhouette image. I quickly called for the groom to join and the results as you can see with my little Canon S95 camera (my iPhone was in my room; no signal = off the grid = no iPhone captures...) worked out very well. I was also able to capture a couple of "panoramic" photos that I assembled the next day, which turned out fun as well.

And three days later I was asked to be a part of a surprise proposal!!!  A pretty busy trip for what I was calling my"Reno time out".  This request actually took place on the way up to Bev and Deans' wedding on my ride with my friend Temple.  During our road trip she asked if I could assist her with a surprise wedding proposal her son was setting up on a vista (Eagle Falls) overlooking Lake Tahoe. A table with related stuff (you know- stuff women really, champagne, chocolates...) would be needed to be set up so that at sunset for her son Cory could surprise his girl..."Shannon". I said "of course" to the manual labor, as well as I would happily shoot the process as it unfolded.   And then of course if the answer was YES, I would also do a portrait or two of the happy couple.

So on the fateful day, Temple was able to have her husband Steve also assist her with the set-up.  This meant I was fully delegated and focused in my role as official photographer. We got to Eagle Falls on the west side of Lake Tahoe about 5pm, carried the stuff to the edge of a small cliff.  We quickly set up everything and then waited. The photography then was to commence once Shannon was lead down the path and presented with a ring. She said Yes!! (hoot hoot) so I then took photos. (plan B was not to take photos if the answer was different...) So the results are posted. Many thanks to my "photo assistants" Steve and Temple, as the position of that remote flash was very important to get that sunset shot of Cory and Shannon.

Again I'm not a wedding shooter, but somehow taking pictures is what I do best.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!!! Mark & Waldy's Calendar with the Outriders Debuts this Weekend!!!

For Immediate Release                                               Media Contact:
August 22, 2012                                                            Charli LeGette
                                                                                       Mobile: 832.752.1958
Mark Mennie and Waldy Martens Photographers for Calgary Stampeders' Outriders Dance Team 2013 Calendar (Debuting August 25th)

Calgary, CA: Internationally based photographers Mark Mennie and Waldy Martens have been awarded the 2013 Calendar Contract for the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders Cheerleading Dance Team, the Outriders. Mark Mennie has over 10 years of experience developing the Outrider’s Calendar, and has excitingly welcomed Waldy Martens as his Creative Director to this project, in order to take this 24 plus page calendar to a whole new level. The Outriders' Calendar is unique in its development and vision and is recognized around the Canadian Football League as a groundbreaking way to portray beautiful, healthy, young women as strong, confident, and proud ambassadors of the CFL franchise.

Mennie and Martens originally met as classmates in 1985 in the Photography Program at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta.  Both then went on to pursue separate and diverse careers, with Martens starting up a photography studio in Vancouver BC. Shooting commercially, Martens quickly developed his unique glamour style of portraying women, which in turn led to a scoring a prestigious American magazine as one of his main clients. Martens also worked with the CFL franchise British Columbia Lions, producing imagery for their Cheer team, the Felions’ yearly calendar.  Mennie in turn went on to pursue commercial work in Calgary in the 1990's, but took an interesting curve in his career by focusing on the documentary portrayal of air medical / med-evac services in Canada and onto the US in 2001. The same year in fact that Mennie was awarded the Outriders' 2002 Calendar contract and challenged the dance team to pursue a more editorial theme of their annual calendar project initiated in the 1990's.  This 2013 Calendar is indeed like a dream come true for Mennie, as he has been hoping for years to collaborate with his best friend. 

The theme for this year’s Outrider Calendar is rumored to return to a focus on “Football”, but will never the less promise to challenge the Outriders' (Rookies and Veterans alike) notions of themselves and produce a completely polished and better than ever piece of art.  Other CFL teams should take heed that yet again, the Outriders will arrive at the100th Anniversary of the "Grey Cup" this November in Toronto with the best calendar in the league for sale to their Canadian fans. The Outriders will debut their calendar at a release party held at Grey Eagle Casino from 7 to 9pm, August 25th.  For more information go to.....  Calendar will also be on available for purchase at the Stampeders games starting at the famous Alberta tradition of the Labor Day Classic Game between the Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos September 3 &5.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rumor has it......

So folks I don’t know much, but Mark has indeed been in Calgary the last couple of weeks shooting the infamous Outriders Calendar.  For those of you who DON’T know already, Mark has been the official Outriders' (Cheerleaders for the CFL Calgary Stampeders) photographer over the past 10 years.  EXTREMELY tight lipped this go around, Mark has given me little to nothing to go by; apart that the team is a buzz about the results after individually selecting their choice from their session with Mark.  I do know however that the team’s portraits should be up on their site hopefully this week, so please check it out:  Besides shooting the ladies for their roster pictures, Mark also shot them for the Outrider’s always sought after and successful annual calendar spreads.  After literally hours of the Spanish Inquisition, Mark gave me the following morsels and “sneak peak”.  Enjoy!

Until next time....


* Rumor has it that the calendar will follow a "Football theme" this year....
* Rumor has it that each Outrider will get her "own" page!
* Rumor has it that this year’s calendar utilizes a new collaboration between Mark and photographer, Waldy Martens.   It was said that Waldy’s art direction has produced some extraordinary results and the Team (Cheerleaders) is all a buzz.
* Rumor has it that the BC Lions' Felions Cheerleader Photographer saw Waldy working on the imagery on his computer in Vancouver and was jealous (or impressed) ...
* Rumor has it could be the best Cheer Calendar in the CFL this year...look out Grey Cup Fans in Toronto this November...this WILL be a hot item!

Friday, June 1, 2012

London, Rome and Baja OH MY……

I apologize for the silence!  Every time there is a pause in my posts I fear that you think Mark is pausing as well.  But this as always could not be further from the truth. 
After spending the majority of the month of April in the Seattle area, Mark wrapped up some extensive photo shoots with the 4 host programs of the AMTC.  The conference will take place this fall, so Mark spent time with each air medical program to capture some imagery that really reflects who they are.  These images will go on to be used as illustration in all of AAMS promotional materials for the October conference both leading up to the event and during.
After the conclusion of his time in Seattle, Mark quickly boarded a plane to the UK. He not only reconnected with some very good friends, but used the locale as a springboard to head to Oxford.  In Oxford he attended the Waypoint Airmed Conference, a two day event where he met up with some of the connections he made last year in Brighton. Of course this was a business trip, but with such an amazing setting en route we all can’t help but be a little jealous. 
Heading back to London after spending a day in Oxford, Mark then utilized the "Eurostar and other trains" over to Rome. Italy.  It was here that he met up with his colleagues at EHAC (The European H-EMS and Air Ambulance Committee), which was one of the main reasons for Mark’s trip overseas.  Being asked to be a part of the official planning committee was a huge honor for Mark and his career and as a result he was called to Rome for a brainstorming meeting for Airmed 2014. 
Once Mark completed his duties in Rome, he toyed with the idea of shooting over to Dubai to check in with his friends as well as assist with some planning details of the Dubai Heli 2012,  that will take place late this fall.  But with a wait for a visa now needed for Canadians, he opted to go back to London, take care of some desk work, brainstorm a bit with Julia Cuthbert on Dubai Helishow 2012,  and then jet back early to San Diego so he could jump on even more desk work editing and preparing for a bunch of June projects.   But I also will not leave out that coming back to San Diego early also allowed him to accompany a great group of friends down to a Memorial Day gathering in Baja California, Mexico.  Again rough life , but all this traveling most certainly produced some amazing imagery which I will share with you now. 
Until next time…..

The London "Shard" in background.  It is almost complete.

London Bridge reflection.

Wendel Clark hockey jersey Mark had a pint with at Maple Leaf Pub.

Light on tree at sunset at Richard & Julia's house.

Waypoint Conference

Waypoint Conference

Waypoint Conference

Stefan Becker and Dr. Erwin Stolpe-EHAC hosts for the meeting. 

One portion of the EHAC meeting in action.

Roma cappuccino. 

The gang in front of another huge church in Rome.

Vatican tour.

Vatican tour ticket.  

St. Paul's Cathedral.  Hope of the Pope.

Funny no smoking sign with illustrations.

The camp at La Rocca.

Grand Daddy in front of his favorite local cafe. 

Kevin proud of his new "The Rocket" (note the spelling on the side)

The gang celebrating Grand Daddy's birthday.

Panoramic of the road during a detour.  

Panoramic of my "outdoor room" on the side roof of the shelter.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Caleb and the Empire Builder: Train travel at its finest....

Mark’s thrill for adventure strikes again.  Instead of taking a plane or car home from his Easter Weekend time out in Chicago, Mark decided to take Amtrak.  Intrigued by the “Empire Builder”, which is the namesake of the Chicago to Seattle route, Mark claims that he was doing research for the upcoming AMTC  in October. Some of the attendees have expressed  interest in taking the train as a group to the conference, and Mark wanted to experience it firsthand so he could accurately speak to his recommendation.  Interest or not, taking a lengthy journey on Amtrak has been a long time bucket list item for Mark so he enthusiastically hopped on that train.
The trip is approximately 2,300 miles and around 42 hours from Chicago to Seattle. Starting his journey the Tuesday afternoon after Easter, Mark took stake in seat 66, which was located on one of the last rows in one the last of the  double decker superliner cars in the back of the train.  His car was located just one ahead of the observation car, as the end of the train (the last 3 cars) were set to separate in Spokane, WA and head onto Portland, OR.  Mark felt like this was the perfect location to take in and capture all the magic that was in store for him on his journey. 

Mark’s imagery below was captured shooting primarily with his iPhone and a bit with his Canon S95 Camera. Window reflections were utilized rather than cursed to obtain somewhat of an amateur look, but of course taken to a pro level. He was able to tether his laptop to his iPhone and get good 3G signals at many times, which allowed him to post some of his imagery on Amtrak’s Facebook page.  All his entries were no doubt well received.  Unfortunately though for all of us, Mark was suffering from quite a chest cold which drained him considerably.  Although you could not tell from his photographs below, it prohibited him some from getting more in-depth portraits and landscapes. 
Below are a few blurbs from Mark that he sent me to describe his trip.  As it is always more clear coming from the artist’s eyes so I want to share them with you now. 
Until next time….
Let me begin the recap of my journey with….I was suffering from a bad cold, so I chose to kinda lay low, which unfortunately then didn't allow me to talk to as many people as I wanted to. This included the four Amish families traveling to Portland. I really wanted to ask them how they saw this trip, their thoughts about life, and even their ideas on photography...or even the movie "Witness".  There just happened to be a little guy, who was dead ringer for Lucas Haas in the 1985 movie.
Early in the first evening, I noticed one passenger assisting an older gentleman by helping him take his nitro pills. I asked him if he was ok and he said he was. I of course kept an eye on him for the rest of the trip and even more so when he stepped off the train for his smoke breaks! (good grief...) I most certainly kept my eye out for an "AED" (automatic emergency defibrillator) that I am sure was on the train. (I hope...). He oddly enough said he was “looking out for me”, as I was occasionally coughing up a lung due to my cold. Touché, sir! 
The train was only about half full at the start of the trip, but started to gain passengers as we got closer to ND. There is an oil boom there and the demand for workers and trades from WI and MN helped to fill up the seats as we traveled to Minot. Once we arrived in Minot though, many workers stepped off, but in return workers departing ND joined us for the trip home to MT, ID, and WA.
A couple of musicians were riding the train as well and we were all treated to unique a late night jam session on the observation car. The fiddle player was a Canadian and mentioned she had been previously sub-contracted by VIA Rail Canada to occasionally to play on the "Canadian" as that train crossed Canada.
In Minneapolis/St. Paul, an adorable 3 1/2 year old little boy named "Caleb" and his Mom joined us at about 11pm that first night and I was fortunate enough to have him sit in front of me.  Truly a modern day "Jeffery" (referencing the 1970's Bill Cosby comedy monologue about a youngster on a flight.. ) but updated with a thick pair of glasses, a Mohawk hairdo and footed PJs. Me and my fellow back rows peeps were treated to his questions, smiles, laughs and a few tears for about 1700 miles. I will never forget that little guy.

We arrived Friday mid morning after a slow crawl and wonderful sunrise through the Cascades. The sun was shining, and it was wonderful to arrive in the Emerald city safe and sound.
It was a great trip and I do speculate as the Oil Boom and pipeline building grows in ND and SD, that the "Empire Builder" will become even more popular. It does take time for sure, but maybe we all should slow life down a bit and take the train more often.  You know take a look out the window and engage your fellow passengers and find out who they might be and what stories they may have to tell as the train rolls on (sorta like Caleb did...). 

Regards for now- onto YYC; then back to SEA after that...
MM 2012