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Rest Peacefully My Friend

One thing that I can say for sure, after Shooting Full Time for over Eighteen Years now, is that I get to meet a heck of a lot of people, see a lot of things that I wouldn’t normally have seen, and get to be a part of many, many events. Some Happy, Some Sad, Some Trivial, and Some that are just Kinda Special. This is one of those Special Ones…
Enter Mr. Bill Shaw…
I never knew Bill, till that big Knitting Mills Fire in Elmira Heights in January 2016. That night I laughed so hard after hearing what this Lifetime Heights Fireman said that night….He was in the Elmira Heights FD for over Seventy Years….some of those years even as Chief. But it seems that Bill always had something on his mind regarding that massive, old brick structure……and that night it was reported that 90 year old Bill uttered over & over the profound statement “I’ve been waiting Seventy Years for this S.O.B. to Burn!”…..and since no one was injured during the blaze, and it was an unusually warm & comfortable night for January 30, I just thought his quip was totally hilarious! This Old Boy is Pretty Cool I thought to myself! Sounds EXACTLY like something I would say!!!
Well, this January 2017 I had the Pleasure to Personally Meet The Legend…when he graced my 211 Studios while coming in for his Formal E.H.F.D. Portrait. His F.D. Buddy Brad Nicholson came along with him, and we all joked and clowned around while capturing a little bit of Bill for Eternity.
Little did we know, but Bill wasn’t going to be with us much longer, and sadly, he passed away this Monday, May 8th.
I only spent 20 minutes with him that Winter Morning, but I’m very glad I had the chance to share those moments with him.
Today I chatted with Heights Fire Chief Mike Cadek here at the Studio, and he quipped that I probably had a Wedding to shoot on Saturday, but I told him actually No, I didn’t have anything going on Saturday….till then that is…. because Mike asked me if I could be there for Bill’s Final Farewell & do the Photographic Coverage as Bill is Laid To Rest. It will once again be my honor to document this very special farewell to a Local Firefighting Legend.
I’m getting pretty practiced & familiar at shooting these things……as Bill will be Number 4 for me…. Dickie Sullivan – HFD, Ryan Barker – HFD & WHVFD, Tommy Lynch – HFD.
So Bill…..one more time……SMILE!
R.I.P. My Friend….

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“Heights Heroes”

Over the winter I did my third local Fire Department Members Shoot here at the 211 Studio. Here are some of my Favorites from the Elmira Heights F.D…..what I call my “Hero Cards” I created for each Firefighter. Full Bunker Gear, Special Six Light Studio Lighting Set Up, A Neat Beat Up Urban Distressed Background, SmokeĀ  Machine Cranking, and ALL kinds of Neat Firefighter Props to play with! How Much Fun is that? Then throw in a little Creative Photoshop Tweaking to really bring them to life. Enjoy, and maybe you’ll even recognize a Family Member, a Neighbor or a Friend. Thanks to all our Firefighters for your endless hours of Service to our Community!
And Next………Who’s going to be my NEXT Local F.D. Subjects? Contact me now to set up Next Winter’s Shoot for your Department (because I can’t do these full Dept. Shoots during my busy Wedding Season, which just started.)
ALEXANDER_don-CARD-9906 BURNHAM_rob-2498cardCADEK_mike-1666cardCAPARULA_walt-CARD-9835DAVIS_gary-264cardDERR_dennis-0603cardGALE_matt-3012cardGREEN_steve-2865cardHARDY_randy-3435cardHASTRICH_ryan-2557CARDHUNGERFORD_cody-1754cardJENKINS_dick-CARD-9691KADAR_pete-0114cardKAMAS_adam-3489cardKOHLER_kurtis-3189cardMECUM_bill-CARD-0014MITCHELL_jason-CARD-9618MRKUS_bob-0453cardNICHOLSON_brad-0188cardPATELUNAS_gary-CARD2_5843RIKER_jeff-0535-cardRIKER_mike-3050cardROBINSON_rich-3308cardSALVATIERRA_yhon-2739cardSAVINO_amy-CARD-5718SHAW_bill-9711-CARDSHERIDAN_jack-0340cardSMITH_brad-CARD-9978STERNFELS_howie-5830cardTAYLOR_randi-3230CARDWEIGLE_brian-0417cardWITKOWSKI_bill-2799cardSHAW_bill-CARD2-9735

“Run of the Mill”

Last week I shot the images of the Elmira Knitting Mill as unforgiving fire roared through it’s long dormant shell.
Tonight, I shot these images of the very same location for the Heights Historical Society. Lets go back to the early 1940’s, while World War II was roaring, The Knitting Mill was humming with activity. How cool would it be, to go back in time and be able to walk though this place during it’s prime.
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Employment Application

Employment Application

Sewing Department - Pants & Polo Shirts

Sewing Department – Pants & Polo Shirts

Cloth Finishing Department

Cloth Finishing Department

Sewing Department - Infants Wear

Sewing Department – Infants Wear

Spring Needle Knitting Department

Spring Needle Knitting Department

Latch Needle Knitting Department

Latch Needle Knitting Department

Order Filling Department

Order Filling Department

The Shipping Department

The Shipping Department

The Big One! Elmira Knitting Mills Warehouse Fire – 01/31/16

Had to laugh….I was called in by my Buddy Horseheads FD Chief Artie Sullivan…so I dusted it off & grabbed my trusty old T&C Helmet with my nickname, the trademark BATMAN logo on it. When I got to the scene Artie and Heights Chief Mike Cadek gave me the OK to shoot away among the Fire Troops inside the FD crowd ropes…..while doing so a Heights PD Officer came up, thought I was just an ordinary civilian and was going to move me back….
I explained to him that I had permission to shoot there…..
He asked “Who are you?”
“I’M BATMAN”
End of story……..got lots of great stuff, and lucky for all of us….it was 54 degrees out this January 31st! Felt like a Spring Drill.

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Good Ole’ Bill Shaw, the gentleman in the Yellow Fire Police Jacket & who has been in the Heights FD since he was 9 years old kept saying all night long…”I’ve been waiting Seventy One Years For This S.O.B. to Burn Down!” Well there you go Bill!!!

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