Jack Blankenship for ESPN The Magazine
Back in January I was commissioned by ESPN The Magazine to travel to Tuscaloosa, AL to photograph “Alabama Face Guy,” Jack Blankenship.
For those of you reading this that have no idea who this guy is or why he makes this face, I’ll let this clip explain it for you.
My assignment was to photograph Jack doing simple day to day things while making “the face.” The main idea ESPN Senior Photo Editor Stephanie Weed and I discussed was to shoot Jack in a grocery store examining an apple and making “the face.” After many rejecting phone calls to grocery stores (because of corporate policies) in the days leading up to the shoot, the apple idea almost didn’t happen. Since the assignment was on short notice and the fact that it was a small shot, we weren’t going to jump through hoops and try to get approval from corporate grocery store chain offices. However, on the day of the shoot I gave the apple idea one more attempt. After scouting some locations for other ideas, we spotted a Piggly Wiggly in the shopping center where we were going to get some coffee. I walked into the Piggly Wiggly expecting to be rejected again, but it turns out I hit the right store. The Piggly Wiggly local owner, Jay Welborn, was a big sports fan and was excited to let us do the shoot in his store on the spot.
When Jack brought me to his fraternity house, I knew I instantly wanted to shoot one last image. A little off the beaten path of simple every day things, I had an idea for a “sophisticated” shot of him with a coat and pipe. This is what we got.
And a few extras…