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The Donnell Daily

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Complete Nutrition founder Cory Wiedel for the June 2014 issue of Entrepeneur Magazine. Thanks to Richard Olson for the assignment tap.

Anne Pham for the June 2014 of Fitness Magazine. Thanks to photo editor Karina Dearwood for the assignment opportunity.

Thanks to Barbara Goldman and Photo District News for the write-up on my recent shoot for mittechreview. And check out the images in the amazing print design by Creative Director Eric Mongeon.

37 weeks (& change). The countdown has begun.

Oh, hey girl. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Rakia Reynolds for Philadelphia Magazine. 2011.

Chris Ihle pushed a stalled car off of train tracks as a freight train was bearing down — and looked great while doing it. Photographed for Men’s Health. Thanks to Joe Rodriguez for the assignment tap.

Ames, Iowa. 2013.

Star Cristy, of the James Cristy Cole Circusand her dogs for Spirit Magazine. Gretna, NE. 2013.

Have a good weekend, all.

Quick shoot for Forbes in northern Iowa the other week. Thanks to DSM North America president Hugh Welsh for being such a good sport and climbing into and onto things, despite 100-degree weather and blinding mid-day sun. And, thanks (again) to my pal Michele Hadlow at Forbes for the assignment tap.

Thanks to Dwolla founder Ben Milne for being game to smash things during our shoot earlier this month for MIT Technology Review’s INNOVATORS issue. That willingness (and creative director Eric Mongeon’s good taste and design) landed the photo on the cover. Check the article out here.

Also, big ups to Dwolla’s Jordan Lampe for his mad LEGO skillz and to the intern’s name that I don’t recall for the fab dry-erase marker skillz.

Gonna see this guy (@colindonnell) in less than 24hrs. East Coast — here we come. Colin Donnell, ca. 2004?

(Any art buyers and/or photo editors that see this, I’ll be in NYC through Wed., and would be happy to bring you a cup of coffee if you look at some of my pictures.)

I had a last-minute, 20-minute portrait session with Drake University President David Maxwell for Forbes Magazine last week. It was so hot that morning that I sweated through two shirts by the time we were set-up for the 9am shoot. No way of telling in the images though — thanks to the ever-cool Dr. Maxwell.

So, big thanks to Senior Photo Editor Michele Hadlow for the tap and to David for making time!

Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Part 2/3: Portraits of Prescribed-fire burn-boss Jeremy Bailey

First of three posts:

Last March, I got to meet some of the most interesting people in this country. The Nature Conservancy sent me to it’s Niobrara Valley Preserve, located in northern Nebraska, in order to make a portrait of Jeremy Bailey, a former Hotshot firefighter and an expert in creating “good fire.”

I spent 2 days with Jeremy and other firefighters from around the country, who were at the Preserve for an intense multi-week workshop on prescription fire. After a slow morning the first day, the crews got some good fire going. Being a naive, I asked Jeremy to jump right in the scorched earth. Within 15 mins we had blown up one light (sorry to asst. Patrick Geske for the shocking experience), caught our subject on fire and were left choking and hacking from ash and smoke.

So, after 15 minutes in a small fire, which was lit, on-purpose, in an open field, I was ready to quit. It’s hard to tell how hot a fire is by looking at a photograph. I will tell you that while standing 10-feet from these prescribed fires, within about 15 seconds I felt like I had an intense sunburn.

So, I cannot imagine what it must be like to voluntarily hike 20 miles, up a mountain, over rugged terrain, in 100-degree heat in order to battle a fire that has flames reaching 200-feet tall and is as deafening as standing next to a jet’s engine. Add to that giant boulders crashing down the side of mountain, whilst on fire, and you might get a sense of what it’s like to be a Hotshot firefighter. It takes a special person to put themselves in that position — crazy, brave, selfless, all the above.

I created a lot of images that I am proud of, so I am going to split this post into two more posts: one of portraits of Jeremy and one of the images that I created for myself — reportage-style images.

Thanks go out to Director of Photography Melissa Ryan for the assignment tap, to Jeremy for putting up with me for all those hours in his pick-up and to all the firefighters that week who shared beer and stories.

Coincidentally, my buddy Chris Crisman photographed the cover story of this issue, which is also about wildland fire. Check out his blog for his experience. Also, my heart goes out to the families who recently lost loved ones in Arizona.

Fun with composition: GolfBusiness Magazine. July 2013.

Last May, I scored a new client and a quick BBQ-filled trip to Kansas City, when the wonderful Caitlin Peters called from AARP. She asked me to create a portrait of three generations of AARP members, all of whom are in one family: Kendra Bell, 50; her mother Nancy Bell, 76; and Kendra’s grandmother, Lucy Elliott, 96.

Of course, the real (uncredited) star of this shoot was Nancy’s wallpaper — “old-lady chic” in her own words.

Check out the story online here. And thanks Caitlin.