I was so excited ten years ago when an advertising agency asked me to shoot nine day-in-the-life photo essays featuring utility workers in Wyoming for a public relations ad campaign. The December 2002 project was such an amazing opportunity to not only take some really cool pictures, but experience quite an adventure. Every day we visited a new small town, each different in their own way.
Traveling with a producer, art director and a client from Pacific Power, we saw some very interesting things as we canvassed the Cowboy State. In Evanston, we saw a drive thru store selling liquor, adult products, fireworks and sandwiches. Did I mention it was a drive thru? In Rawlings, Wyoming we sang karaoke songs in a bar that had a diner and a liquor store. In Cody, we went to Wild Bill Cody’s steakhouse and ate buffalo and at some place, (God only knows where), we met a taxidermists who loved combining rabbits with antelope horns to form jackalopes!
Barely old enough to get a regular rental car, the project gave me a chance to see how people live in a very different part of our country and it provided me with a great opportunity to push my creative skills, shooting the same topic day after day. I loved creating images that would capture these men in the midst of their daily lives and allow the client to put a face on the impersonal ‘power company.’
We would start each morning with a new employee in a new town and end the day with the producer driving us to the next small community, as the art director and I made selects on my laptop in the back seat.
If the phone rang and the caller asked me to do it again, I would jump at the opportunity and it would be 10 years later and 10 times better.
This article was written by John Gress