2011 Favorites – Assignment & Personal Photos

2011 was an interesting year, with a lot of changes. The collection of images in the gallery below is the best way for me to share that.

I’ve been putting together galleries of my favorite images for the past seven years, and this gallery looks completely different than any other gallery I have shared before, and that excites me beyond belief for the potential to grow even more in 2012. I hope you enjoy looking through this gallery as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us.


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2011 Favorites – Mobile (iPhone 4) Photos

Exactly a year ago I finally decided to break down and get an iPhone 4 (my first iPhone).  One of my favorite things about this phone is the camera and huge variety of photo editing/sharing apps that are available for it.  I’ve had several phones with cameras before this one, and always found myself snapping a photo on them from time to time, but I usually wasn’t happy with the resulting image quality, and almost always forgot to download the picture to my computer so I could share it.  In all honesty what is the point of taking photos if you can’t share them for others to enjoy?  The iPhone has changed all of this for me.  I’m now happy with the results more often than not (realizing the limitations of the camera on a phone), and I almost always share them via facebook, twitter, and as @_flashnick on instagram, or here on the blog.

You can see a 25 image gallery of my favorite photos from my first year of iPhone photography, and a list of my favorite iPhone photo apps by clicking to read more below.

Continue reading “2011 Favorites – Mobile (iPhone 4) Photos”

Beginning the National September 11 Memorial

Four years ago I was asked to photograph the first of many structural beams for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum as they rolled out of Owen Steel Company Inc., in Columbia, S.C., on September 11, 2007. As I arrived on location along with a film crew just before sunrise the workers at Owen Steel were already busy preparing the rigging to lift two massive I-beams onto a 50-foot flat bed trailer for their journey across the United States. There had been many sleepless nights leading up to this moment as a sense of tension and accomplishment filled the air of the massive building, while officials with the NS11MM met with executives of Owen Steel to witness this process. After the beams were lowered onto the trailer and strapped into place, all of the employees made their way to the parking lot to watch the tuck depart and begin to make its way through downtown Columbia toward the unveiling at Finaly Park.

Continue reading “Beginning the National September 11 Memorial”

Coastal Catharsis

The view from the dock at Charles' river house on Mosquito Creek, near Bennetts Point, SC.
The view from the dock at Charles house on Mosquito Creek, near Bennetts Point, SC.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend some time on the coast at one of my favorite places in the world, my friend Charles’ river house on Fenwick Island.  The best thing about Fenwick is that it is private, and with the exception of about 5 houses which are all owned by members of the Baldwin family, it is completely un-spoiled by the meddling of man.  Wild, un-touched, and completely cut off, this is the perfect place for me to get back in touch with my personal vision, explore, and have an adventure fishing off-shore, and have deep philosophical discussions with others much wiser than I.

Continue reading “Coastal Catharsis”

Uncorking Product Shots


Finished images from the Spanish Vines - Spring 2009 - Bottle Shoot
Finished images from the Spanish Vines - Spring 2009 - Bottle Shoot

 I didn’t really have any actual Spanish music on my iPod when I went into the studio last night for the Spring 2009 Bottle Shoot for Spanish Vines, so Buena Vista Social Club had to suffice, to get me in the mood (yes I know its Cuban, not Spanish, but the vibes are similar, and that was really all I needed).  The one thing I love about working in the studio on a small shoot like this, is that I can put on some music, sip a drink, and work at my own creative pace, even though the client needed the shots turned around extremely quickly.  Not too long ago I would have dreaded being stuck in a dark studio for an hour or two, but I guess with age has come an appreciation for the opportunity to slow down and work at a more relaxed pace. Continue reading “Uncorking Product Shots”

Personal Selects: Best of 2008

As tradition, during the first or second week of every new year I spend a day going back through all of the images I have created during the previous year to prepare for annual contest submissions.  For me this is an opportunity to look back on what I have learned over the year, re-evaluate what I might do differently next year, and see my growth both as a photographer and a person.  This year was a little different.  In a few months I will celebrate being a photographer, and a small business owner for a decade.  A small milestone in the greater scheme of things, but a pretty big one for a 28-year-old.

While last year was tough for me personally, and professionally (we are all dealing with this down economy).  The year of 2009 has started off for me with a great deal of opportunity and promise, with several great adventures already in the books that I can’t wait to share with you, and others that are out there which I don’t even know about yet.  I am going through a period of tremendous growth again, after being somewhat stagnant creatively for some time, and I am very excited for what the future holds.

The gallery of images contained in this post is never usually seen outside of contest judging rooms, where they may only get a brief glimpse of time on a projector screen.  With that in mind, I would like to have the opportunity to share some of my favorite images of the year with those of you who read this blog.  I sincerely hope you enjoy, and feel free to share your own stories, comments and critiques.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2009!

Lessons from the trail

I just wanted to take a minute to post my favorite images of the Democratic and Republican nominees for president that I had the opportunity to make while covering their primary campaigns, and share a few things I learned during my time with them.


(AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)
Above: Sen. John McCain, R-Az., right, and his wife Cindy McCain, left, wait behind a large American Flag, to be announced at an event in Columbia, S.C., on April 26, 2007.

(Brett Flashnick/WpN)
Above: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., makes a grand entrance into the Columbia Convention Center, during his first visit to the south, on Feb. 16, 2007.
Overall I think the most important thing that I learned along the process is that the relationships you make are crucial when you are in situations like this.  When you cover something as large as a political campaign (especially those of the top tier candidates), you are often subjected to being part of pack journalism.  Something that I personally detest, since it greatly tends to limit the amount of creative freedom you have to photograph the events as you truly see them, and find real moments which is something I truly value.  I found out early on that taking the time to build relationships with the candidates staff, interns, and advisors, the same way I would with a regular client, I was able to put myself in better positions to make the images that I wanted.  After the relationships and trust were established, convincing advisers, press spokespeople, and staffers to let me make the images I wanted to was a much easier thing to achieve, and once I got to know the candidates personally it resulted in me being able to photograph them as I saw and perceived them, and by the end of it I had the campaign staffers trying to help me make the images that I wanted to, and the best part was I got paid to do it.  In my book that is a win-win situation all the way around.

Mitch’s Story… Prostate Cancer

The New York Times just posted a multimedia project I recently had the opportunity to work on, called “Patient Voices” which was about prostate cancer (there are others out there ranging from ADD to Infertility).  For this project I photographed and interviewed ESPN Commentator and all around good guy, Mitch Laurance.  I spent a great afternoon talk with, and photographing Mitch at the Grande Dunes Members Club in Myrtle Beach, while the Hard Rock Park celebrity golf tournament was going on outside.  It is always a rewarding experience when you get to help someone tell their story, especially one as personal as this.




If you are interested in watching the Patient Voices Interactive Feature follow this link.

A little extra effort pays off…

I’ve been working at this shot for a little while now, and have never managed to get one that I am this pleased with. In my mind it is not perfect, and I can still do better, thus I will try again next year (or during the fall race on Nov. 16), but just a reminder that seeing differently isn’t enough, you have to have the determination to see it through, even if it takes years.

ABOVE: Horses and their jockeys charge over a fence on their way to the finish line, during the Camden Plate, at the Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C., Saturday, March 28, 2008.

If anyone is interested in seeing how I made this shot, let me know and I’ll post some additional information

Wrong Runway…

After taking off from runway 13, at Columbia Owens Downtown Airport, on Sunday morning, this Cesna 177 “Cardinal”, was forced to make a hard landing on the roof of Boineau’s Moving and Storage Inc., warehouse after experiencing engine trouble 1/3 of a mile Northwest of the runway. Here, Sterling Transport driver William Hooper looks at the single engine aircraft as it sits atop the warehouse roof in Columbia, S.C., Sunday afternoon.

…this was one of those days where you think that you are done, and then the dreaded phone call comes in… Fill a hole on the front page of metro with an image from an incident that happened 6 hours earlier, gotta love the world of newspapers.