Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ushering in 2014 with some reflection......

So as 2014 quickly unfolds I have challenged Mark to reflect on 2013.  What were his highs? His lows? What would he like to see more of on 2014?  What would he like to eliminate?  What would be an all encompassing snap shot of last year? What image does he see in a crystal ball of the year ahead?  It took a while but this is what he said......

My highs? My European trip, which included re-connecting with some European air medical friends, mission photography in the Czech Republic (and the amazing hospitality of my CZ friend Pavel, his family and his vineyard+cellar!) and then a brief, but successful scouting of Roma in preparation for the Airmed World Congress in June 2014.

The low? Watching the continuing deterioration of pro photography, not necessarily as a result of technology or the internet, but how mediocre and even poor imagery is continuing to lead alot of sheep. But in all honesty my real low was at the start of 2014, but directly related to 2013. I did not meet my photo buddy Ben Checkowy, in Los Angeles, for just a half day in December, as I was too"busy" and I could not quite afford the trip. Ben suddenly passed away two weeks ago. RIP Ben. Life is way too short.

More of this next year? More missions with more air medical programs, including some good light to feature STARS' new A139 in action!  Finding more time to shoot more sunrises, as I think I have sunsets at Dog Beach covered. And seeing more pros speaking up about mediocre imagery flooding the internet and the hazards it can cause. Those who already know that you have to pay real money for good photography can chime in at any time as well. Support Artists! Their vision can take a lifetime to develop. 

Eliminate? The "joys" of travel, as my last big trip across the US with United had me stranded alone in Chicago...Perhaps eliminating some of my airline travel and getting my butt on more Amtrak trains. 

All encompassing snap shot of last year? Europe, it's friends and their hospitality and the future possibilities that it held! Mix in a successful Outriders' season...the best ever Drill Crew Calendar just debuting now and there were some real highs. 

Crystal Ball? I see a successful HAI experience that relates to both the November 2014 Dubai Helishow and the opportunity to meet some great air medical friends at the Airmed World Congress in Roma this June. The AMTC Host Program Photography project will put me in TN this year, and I always have enjoyed my time in that region of the United States. Images from that project will debut in Roma! And lastly, yet another return to Burning Man with the intention to receive a grant to do "something big". Stay tuned. 

Many, many thanks again to the followers of my blog. I really appreciate your support, and insights over the years. MM

Thursday, January 9, 2014

No doubt Mark and Waldy's best work yet! Roughneck Drill Crew's Calendar Debuts January 10th

Well Mark along with his good buddy and longtime colleague Waldy Martens have most certainly outdone themselves with the Drill Crew's 2014 Calendar.  Below you will find the official press release marking the occasion.  Once the calendar is released at the Roughneck's Home Opener this Friday, January 10th, we will be updating you with more of the amazing imagery and outtakes.  So please stay tuned!

Until Next Time.....


Back Again: Roughneck’s Debut their 2014 Calendar January 10th
 featuring the photographic genius of Mark Mennie + Waldy Martens

January 9, 2014- Mark Mennie of Mark Mennie Photography and Waldy Martens team up for the second year running to shoot the National Lacrosse League, Calgary Roughneck’s dance team, Drill Crew’s 2014 Calendar. A collaborative union, which has proven to be of utmost success for both the Drill Crew and the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders’ dance team the Outriders, with a consistent history of calendar sell outs year after year. The Drill Crew’s 2014 edition is already being touted as Mark and Waldy’s best collaboration yet, utilizing Mark’s creative capture skills and Waldy’s art direction and world class post production talents. The stars truly aligned when this for these two Alberta College of Art alums reunited for this project and pure magic was formed. The success of this shoot cannot be solely credited them though, as the dance team as a whole and their talented leader Dana Murphy played an integral part if not the most important.

Stepping away from the Saddledome this year, the 4 day shoot was set at Harley Davidson of Calgary, which was initially scouted by Dana, and while it did not allow the Drill Crew a “home field advantage” of shooting in their arena, the dealership created the perfect contrast to compliment to each of the team members’ calendar spread. “Something always drew me to a motorcycle themed calendar and shooting in late November I knew the shoot had to be indoors. Taking the shoot to an unfamiliar location can be a gamble, but it was Mark and Waldy’s dream location. They were like two kids in a candy store with the excitement that grew from scouting and all the location and motorcycle options we had available to us. Harley Davidson of Calgary was the most accommodating and welcoming to our whole production crew.”

In addition to amazing hospitality of Tom, Rob, and Patrick as well as the entire staff at Calgary Harley Davidson, the project would have been nowhere without the hairstyling talents by the Drill Crew’s own Petra. The coordinated team of make-up artists, Karen, Helen and Vered magically transformed all the ladies into calendar girls. “It always take a village during a rapid shoot of this magnitude” Mark adds.  “The production crew, venue staff, and Drill Crew created the perfect “dream team” for Waldy and myself and our organized chaos. All these unique elements merged together to create this great calendar"

The Drill Crew 2014 Calendar will be officially released on Friday, January 10th at the Roughneck’s home opener versus the Colorado Mammoth. In addition to being available for sale at all games the calendar will also be offered online as well at www.calgaryroughnecks.comThe calendar is $20 for a signed copy, plus shipping. To find out more about Mark and Waldy and their professional work please visit their sites or