Hometown Craftsman

Doug Hansen is an interesting character. He’s from my hometown of Letcher, South Dakota, and makes wagons and stagecoaches for clients around the world. He makes them by hand, the “old way,” and employs a crew of craftsmen that he’s taught in the same old ways his grandfather taught him when he was a boy.

I’ve worked with Doug many times over the years; sometimes people hire me to cover his shop for a story, and sometimes Doug hires me to come out and do some work on his behalf. Recently, I drove over to create some craftsmen photos for him, mostly made with warm, soft light, and used in their annual calendar.

Recently, one of Doug’s stagecoaches played a major role in the movie Hateful Eight. Very cool!

blogHansen3Here, Quentin works with steel in the blacksmith shop.

blogHansen4Wheelwright Tim works on making wheel hubs from scratch.

blogHansen2Antique tools and pencil-drawn sketches are the norm around the shop.

blogHansen1A portrait of Doug toward the end of the shoot.

Model Status

annablogI worked on a three-day shoot for my alma mater last week. South Dakota State University is in Brookings, and I’ve been doing photography for them and speaking to their journalism classes since I graduated from there in 1993.

Imagine how old I felt when this particular assignment included my daughter Anna, who is a sophomore there. I hate the feeling I get when I realize all the students on campus weren’t even born yet when I attended. But they still make me feel young when I work with them, so I guess that’s a decent trade-off.

Good luck at school, Anna!