Photographing Clay Walker

March 30, 2021

Back in 2002, I had the pleasure of working with Texas Country Musician, Clay Walker. The image was for a Houston area RV dealership. As it was to be at the musician's farm near Hempstead it was suggested I ride with the chief of marketing for the automotive group... in one of their RVs. Not just the basic but a completely decked-out version. Pop down 50" plasma tv (that dates this job for sure) electric popouts and so much more, it was such a treat to sit back and enjoy the 45-minute drive out of town for this experience.

On the drive, the marketing director and I planned the three images that we wanted to come away with. Upon arriving at this beautiful property we were advised that he was on the property and to set up and be ready to shoot as soon as an item arrived. Not knowing what that meant we set up the most important shot first which happened to be on the other side of a bridge which allowed for the stock pond to be featured. This would show the entire RV in a beautiful setting which simulated the RV life of camping in style. You see the weather was changing and this was before live weather apps and true smartphones. But being that I am a true professional photographer and growing up in Texas you learn to read the skies and it was becoming clear that we did not have all the time in the world.

Arriving on site we parked and scouted the additional two spots we wanted to work. It was going to be tight but completely worth it. Mr. Walker's wife greeted us and said We had set up and were waiting for a "special delivery".  Forty-five minutes later a truck sped past us to the main house. His wife brings Mr. Walker down to introduce us and advising of the game plan his wife reminds him of the phone call he has to take for a radio interview. Great, good to know. Oh and that was in 15 minutes. Wait, what??? You see the time waiting for this special delivery ate up our planned time to photograph the three sets. We placed him and began shooting quickly, getting done with the first set in record time, and just as we moved into the second set, and wouldn't you know that as soon we were ready the rain began and I knew that was it. He thanked us for being so easy to work with and flexible for waiting for his lucky hat to arrive. You see the "special delivery" was his favorite that was on his tour bus and was being retrieved. The bus was in Brookshire which was an hour's drive there and back. It was overlooked that the hat was on the bus and not at home. It is tough to have all of these great ideas planned for to be upstaged by a hat and then the weather. But as in life you just gotta roll with what is thrown your way. Plan for the best but be prepared for the worst. Our game plan beforehand and starting with the most important shot was the saving grace. We came for exactly what was most important and got it. To date, this is one of the most commented-on portraits of mine, especially the ladies.

Click or tap the thumbnail photo below to view.


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