As I’ve mention before, I love editorial work. I think it’s because I spent years as an Art Director for a magazine publishing company, hiring photographers, concepting ideas and designing layouts. But then, after working with so many photographers, the photography bug hit me and I completely switched gears. However, I think being on both sides has really helped me understand the complete editorial process better. And now I love working with the art directors and editors to give them the photographs they need to tell their stories..
I was excited when Birmingham Magazine asked me to shoot the Mercedes Marathon feature for the February 2015 issue. This city and our running community, is so proud of the Mercedes Event; and it’s one that has grown tremendously since the runners crossed the very first Mercedes Marathon finish line at Lynn Park 13 years ago.
The images for this shoot evolved over several weeks. First, I had the privilege of spending a half day at The Bell Center Early Intervention Program, seeing the amazing kids, teachers, volunteers and programs this race benefits. Then, I followed the Birmingham Track Club, jumping in and out of my car with my camera as they ran all over Homewood and Mountain Brook, on two early and cold Saturday mornings in December. Later, I enjoyed getting to meet the people and inspiration behind organizing this incredible event. Paul Sotherland is a runner and a Dad whose son Matt has downs syndrome. Out of a desire to encourage Matt and be his health advocate, came the idea for a race that would benefit his early intervention program, at what is now The Bell Center. Valerie McLean, owner of The Trak Shak, helped Paul with his training and became inspired by Paul and Matt’s story to organize what is now the Mercedes Marathon. You can read the full story “Running This Town” here.
Every time I shoot for Birmingham Magazine I learn a little more about The Magic City, where I have lived all my life (except for college and an internship), and it makes me love it even more. The icing on the cake for photographing this story was that my image made the cover! I love my job and I love this city. It just keeps getting better and better.
Valerie McLean, Mercedes Marathon race organizer & Trak Shak owner
Valerie McLean with Paul and Matt Sotherland, the father and son that inspired the Mercedes Marathon race.
Fitness Model: Katie Dunn | Lighting Assistant: Alan Matthews