This is the year I tried to get into more professional business shooting. After doing a shoot for the Neifert Law Firm last year (who also happens to be a fellow classmate of mine from Norwalk), I wanted to do more of that. It was just a matter of making the right connections. I knew I couldn't just jump right in the water to do work for a whale like a Wells Fargo, but I had to start somewhere if I wanted to get to that point. So I reached out to those folks on The Book who I knew had their own business.
I can't remember how I first met Josh Ansah but I'm sure it was thru some mutual acquaintance on The Book some time ago. We had never spoke in person until we finally met at last year's I'll Make Me a World in Iowa back in January. I told him then that we needed to connect to do a shoot for his clothing line Jaytees Apparel. Once again, due to schedules not meshing for the longest time, it wasn't until the summer that it was finaly able to happen. Probably one of the hottest days of the summer, I might add.
Before I forget, it's worth mentioning that his clothing line was pretty close to having two shots in this countdown. The other one coincidentally stemmed from this same shoot. It was a capture of my youngest son in one of Jaytees Apparel's trademark tees which said "Yes there are Black people in Iowa". I posted that pic a couple of times on The Book and got a huge response both times. Mostly because of the shirt itself. Afterall, all of us brothas and sistas from Iowa get tired of hearing folks ask that ignorant question. But I personally was also diggin' the way G looked in the shirt. Very stylish and cool if I must say so myself. In case you never saw it, you can see it by clicking here: G tee.
As far as this capture is concerned, I found the location while I was downtown doing another shoot a few weeks prior. The building was once the Des Moines Public Library. It was closed years ago so they could go with the much more modernized version further west downtown. Fortunately, they realized that the building itself should be left intact. It's old-fashioned architecture is something that is rare to find these days so I'm glad they preserved it. I'm still not sure what exactly it's supposed to be now though. Something having to do with World Food? I could research it and give your more insight but that would require too much time. It's really not that serious. I just liked the way the building looked regardless of what is now inside of it.
The location immediately came to mind when I was picturing Jaytees Apparel shoot in my head. I knew that he would have models of different backgrounds. I remembered that that building had a huge engraving that said "The World" on it that would be perfect above their heads. Actually, it said something else below it too, but I honestly can't remember what it was. I edited it out because all I wanted was "The World". Since I was shooting with my favorite 50mm that has a fixed focal length, I had to stand back to nearly the edge of the retaining wall to get the right shot. One more step back and I would have tumbled into the Des Moines River that flows thru downtown.
I just got asked a little bit ago what exactly "RUN DSM" is supposed to mean. I'm not the creator so Josh can answer that better than me. However, everytime I read it I get something different ouf of it. I would venture to say that is always the ultimate goal of any artistic work. But whatever it's supposed to mean, I love that it's a play on the graphic 'RUN-DMC' that those hip-hop legends made famous years ago. Also glad I was able to help out another local small business that is all about promoting our culture in the capitol city.